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Wellness

It’s All in Your Head – 3 Ways to Make Your Mind a Priority This Month

Blog Post - It’s All in Your Head - 3 Ways to Make Your Mind a Priority This Month

As we leave the cold winter months to embrace the summer sun, it’s easy to believe that the days of darkness and gloom are behind us. However, just like our bodies, our minds need care all year long to stay healthy. Here are three ways to take care of your mind this Mental Health Awareness month:

Address your stress

Stress is our body’s response to an external threat. Everyone experiences stress, and not all stress is inherently bad. Stress can be something that encourages personal growth and resilience, and can even motivate us to try something new.

However, stress that is not properly managed can easily become overwhelming. Consider taking inventory of your life and lifestyle-what is causing you stress? Can anything be eliminated or changed? What factors contribute to the magnitude of the stressors that I am experiencing?

As you begin to recognize what is causing stress, address the areas of concern instead of trying to avoid them.

Be Creative

Have you ever checked the phrase “I’m not a robot” on a website with CAPTCHA software? These words mean more than a security feature. If you can complete this simple task, you are not a robot! You can be creative.

Use your creativity: learn a new skill, write, read, draw, paint, sing, or something else. Part of developing a healthy mind is putting creativity to good use.

Engage in your community

A sense of togetherness and understanding is established when you spend time with other people. Communities often share a common interest, skill, belief, or faith. This common interest allows for individuals in the group to experience a level of support and belonging. For a mental health diagnosis, chronic illness, or drug addiction, a support group may be very beneficial for an individual on the path to recovery.

Volunteer. Be a person who gives the gift of time. One study found that volunteering on a regular basis decreased the level of overall cortisol (stress hormone) in its participants.¹ Contributing to your community not only benefits other people, but it benefits you too!

Final Thoughts

Know that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. It is estimated that 20% of American adults live with some degree of mental illness.² You are not alone. Starting the conversation is crucial in beginning the journey of wellbeing.

Several free resources are listed below for additional support:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Support (Call or text “988”)
  • SAMHSA National Helpline-(1-800-662-HELP)-Get treatment referral information about mental health and drug or alcohol use disorders
  • apa.org/topics/crisis-hotlines-Includes a detailed list of contact information for crisis helplines and support groups

For even more ways to cope with stress and to learn about mental health initiatives, visit www.nami.org (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).

 

References:

¹STRESS-BUFFERING EFFECTS OF VOLUNTEERING ON SALIVARY CORTISOL: RESULTS FROM A DAILY DIARY STUDY – PMC (nih.gov)

²Mental Illness – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (nih.gov)

Sierra Williams

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