Mental health is sometimes overlooked as a key piece of one’s overall well-being. Unfortunately, mental illnesses are very common. The good news is that they are very treatable with the proper help.
May is Mental Health Month and this year, Mental Health America's theme for this year is #4Mind4Body. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally so this year NAMI.ORG is looking for people to challenge themselves and share their mind and body development.
Each day of the week has a different theme as well so using each daily hashtag, participants can focus on areas of mental health that affects both the mind and body. Here are the areas you can focus on each day in May.
Mindfulness is a big buzzword nowadays. It means being aware and focused on what’s going on around you. Our minds have a tendency to wander and begin to obsess on things that make us anxious like past or future events. By using techniques like meditation, we can be more mindful, stay present in the moment and deal more effectively with our lives. This allows us to take positive actions instead of worrying about scenarios out of our control.
Mental health is not just about our minds, it is tied to our physical well-being. One of the biggest factors in physical wellbeing is what we put in our bodies. By focusing on healthy eating we give our body the fuel it needs to feel good. Eating poorly can affect mood and overall happiness so changing your diet in a positive way will improve our mental health.
Most people spend 40 hours or more a week at their place of employment. It can be one of the biggest stressors in people’s lives. We sit in front of screens for too long, adopt poor nutritional habits and can have difficult relationships with our coworkers. By doing things like taking more breaks, drinking more water and working towards more positive relationships we can turn all those hours spent at the office into a more rewarding experience.
Working on your own mental health doesn't have to just be about how you are treated by the world. You can also improve your frame of mind by treating other people well. Positive actions towards others will lead to more positivity coming back your way. On Thursdays, take the time to do something thoughtful for another person. No matter how small the gesture, it will make you feel good.
Exercise! On Fridays do something physical to get your heart rate up. It will increase blood flow and release endorphins that will make your body and mind feel better. An active body will lead to a more active mind and that is good for our overall mental wellbeing.
This is the opposite of Friday’s challenge. Relax! Take some time for you on Saturday. We spend so much of our time working, doing for others and keeping our minds going a mile a minute. On the weekend take some time to kick back and recharge your batteries. Your body and mind will thank you.
To really recharge our batteries in a healthy way though we all need some good sleep. On Sundays make sure to get it. Sleep in (a little), go to bed early, refrain from eating too late or drinking alcohol before bed. Take the time to understand your sleep habits with a journal and you’ll be on your way creating better night’s sleep in the future.
Now that you have focused on the above areas, each for a specific day of the week, try incorporating all of them every day if possible. Take care of your mind by taking care of your body and vice versa!