What Is Mental Health by Martha Reyes

What is mental health?  Mental health is our emotional and psychological well being.  It helps us determine how we handle our emotions, interact with others and the decisions we make.   Mental health is important in all age groups from childhood, adolescence to adulthood.  It is important to check your mental health as well as your family and friend’s mental health.  There are ways to help improve one's mental health with simple daily self care routines and/or checking in on our loved ones.

Over time, as we get older we go through life experiences that bring us happy & joyful memories, there are life experiences that may cause trauma or hurt and sometimes the daily stresses can be overwhelming to some. It is important to be able to identify behaviors within ourselves or our loved ones that struggle with mental health issues.  Some early warning signs are:

-Eating or sleeping too much

-Low or no energy

-Feeling helpless or hopeless

-Drinking, Smoking or use of drugs more than usual

-Experiencing severe mood swings

-Thinking of harming yourself or others

-Inability to perform daily tasks (taking care of yourself, kids, going to school or work etc.)

-Yelling or fighting with family and friends

-Wanting to be alone

Here are some tips on how to boost your mental health and help those who are struggling.  

1.) Journal. Track gratitude, goals and achievements. Write down 3 things you are grateful for, 3 daily goals and 3 things you were able to accomplish.

2.) Start your day right!  Whether it is having a cup of coffee or tea, meditating or going out for a morning brisk walk.  Whatever it is to help you keep a calm state of mind and bring positivity before the start of the daily chaos.

3.)  Getaway.  Plan a weekend getaway with some friends, something to look forward to.

4.) Show some love or be kind.  Being kind doesn’t cost anything, a simple compliment can make someone smile :)  Or send a thank you note to show some appreciation.

5.) Self care.  Get a massage, facial, mani/pedi or exercise.  Do something that will make you feel good, relax your mind and relieve stress.

6.) Get off the grid.   Put your phone away or leave it at home for the day.  disconnect from constant notifications, emails and other distractions or interruptions.  Spend some quality time with friends or have a day to yourself.  

7.) Breathe. Take 15 minutes and step outside to get fresh air.  Practice breathing exercises can help calm the nerves.

8.) Movement.  Go out for a 20-30 minute walk to get the blood circulating or stretch/yoga.  This will help release some stress and increase endorphins. 

9.) Balanced Diet.  You are what you eat.  Feeding your body nutritious foods can help how you feel physically.

10.) Laugh.  Take the time to laugh, hang out with friends you can have a good time with and laugh. Watch a comedy/movie.  Laughter helps reduce anxiety.

Take a moment to yourself and check your mental health.  Sometimes a day filled with self care is needed.  Check on a loved one and see how they are doing, it's always nice to catch up or show them some love, people like to feel appreciated.  Everyone should prioritize their mental health and make it a part of their everyday habits to check themselves.  Selfcare and self love are important factors when trying to better your mental health.

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