Mental Health Month Wrap-Up

As Mental Health Awareness Month ends, you still have a couple of days to do something special to care for your mental health.   Just like caring for your physical health, home, pets, work, and vehicle, mental health is an important part of wellness.  Here are some excellent ways you can sneak in a little self-care this weekend!

Practice deep breathing.  This is absolutely the first line of care for anxiety and other symptoms of mental health concerns.  Try inhaling for four counts, holding for four counts, and exhaling slowly for four counts.

self care is not selfish inspirational reminder – handwriting on a napkin with coffee, body positive, mental health slogan

Take ten minutes each morning to breathe deeply, relax, and take note of your emotions.  Sometimes we don’t notice the emotions we are carrying around, but they are always there.  Take time to inventory your emotions and take care of anything that stands out.

Do activities that alternate using the left and right sides of your body.  This crosses the “midline” or incorporates both sides of your brain.  Walking, running, toe touches, draw figure 8s, play hockey.

Journaling in any form is great self-care.  You can draw, doodle, write, or make lists.  Journaling doesn’t have to be long paragraphs; you can just jot down thoughts as they come to you.  You can even keep a journal on your phone!

Dance or participate in vigorous exercise. Our bodies are capable of so much, and moving them helps release endorphins, stretch muscles, and work out emotional stress.

Join a group or a team.  Having friends with similar interests helps us feel like we belong to something important.

Sleep, and sleep well!  Getting enough sleep every night in a restful space does wonders for your mental health.  Pay attention to things that might disrupt your sleep, like allergies, substance use, and quality sleeping space.

Drink plenty of water!  This helps your organs and muscles feel great and improves your overall state of mind.

Clean up your diet.  Eating healthy foods helps you feel better, think more clearly, and get the nutrients we need.

Make a therapist appointment!  Having a partner in your journey is not only helpful, it’s necessary for some mental health concerns.  Trusting your therapist is important, so don’t be afraid to speak up for what you need.

The holidays are just around the corner, and this can be a difficult time for our mental health.  Take time to engage in some of the above activities and plan for time for yourself.  If you need help managing your mental health, call Truesdale Medical today for a referral to our mental health therapist or another provider.

Sarah N. Harbin-Coleman, MA, LPCA

Mental Health Therapist