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Mental Health Awareness… Are You In Tune?

When you break a bone, you go to the doctor. You receive some medicine, a cast, and a treatment plan. If you had diabetes, you would continue to see a doctor to monitor and regulate your well-being. So, why is it that when it comes to a brain being unhealthy or ‘broken’ it tends to get shoved under the rug or written off. Mental health is one of the most challenging health crises in America. 1 in 5 adults struggle with mental health. 50% of lifetime mental illness begins at the age of 14 – 75% by the age of 24. Suicide is the leading cause of death among people ages 10-14. Learning how to take care of yourself, recognize warning signs, and make sure you get the right type of help that you need is the best way to live a mentally healthy life.

As Joyce Sunada’s said, “If you don’t make time for your wellness you will be forced to make time for your illness.” Making time for your wellness means checking in with yourself, evaluating your emotions, and re-framing the importance of taking time for yourself. Collectively, we can crush the stigma against mental health.

Here are great ways to take care of yourself:

    • Get regular exercise. 30 minutes per day. Take your dog for a walk, put your favorite podcast or your most hype playlist, and move your body.
    • Make sure to eat three meals a day. Try to make them healthy, but everyone has to start somewhere. Listen to your body and it’s needs… what is it lacking?
    • Make sleep a priority. Making sure that you get enough sleep will make a grand difference in your mental well-being.
    • Find a hobby. No, really, find a hobby. 
    • Practice gratitude. It can be easy to forget the good things when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but taking time each day to recognize the things you’re grateful for can have a positive impact on your health and life.

There are so many different ways of taking care of yourself and your mental health. It’s important to know yourself and recognize your triggers. A trigger is a stimulus that elicits a reaction: it brings on or worsens symptoms. When triggered, it’s important to understand what triggered you while also trying to self-regulate.

Some ways to regulate the nervous system:

    •       Take a deep breath (I know, it sounds easy, but this is KEY.)
    •       Take a Breather – step out of the situation
    •       Go on a walk
    •       Journal
    •       Sit with your feelings and accept them for what they are
    •       Think of something that brings you peace and joy

 May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and something that needs to be celebrated. Understanding your triggers and triggers of those around you will make for better understanding of the way we act. We all have our individual, unique struggles but being educated about mental health is the best first step.

“Mental Health by the Numbers.” NAMI, https://www.nami.org/mhstats

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