Every New Year, we think about what we can do to better our lives and ourselves as we start our new calendar. This year, think about what you can do on a regular basis to better your mental health.
Here are a few options to get started:
1. Stand Up to Stigma
Feeling ashamed and at fault for something that is out of your control is a weight that no one should have to carry.
Stigma can be incredibly challenging to bear. A few people who responded to a Facebook survey feel that living with mental health stigma is worse than living with a mental health condition. It shouldn’t be this way, and you can help to change society’s way of thinking about mental health. We all need to see the person, not the illness.
2. Take Care of Your Physical Health Too
We’ve all heard this time and time again and there are plenty of studies that prove how beneficial exercise, getting enough sleep, eating well, etc. reduce symptoms and improve over-all well-being.
The challenging part is finding the motivation, time and effort to do these things. Start by creating a simple routine and stick with it. Have set times during the week for working out or any type of physical activity. Having this kind of structure is hard to start, but makes staying healthy so much easier once you get used to the routine.
3. Make a Commitment to Stay Informed
Knowing what’s going on in the world of research can help you find out whether there are new ideas out there that might help improve your quality of life. For example, research shows that getting outside during the winter — even though it can be very cold — is important; getting enough vitamin D is essential to your mood and overall well-being.
Here is a list of credible websites compiled by Karen Moeller, Pharm D, DCPP, and Brantley Underwood, Pharm D, MBA, that can help people find information online:
- MEDLINE Plus
- WebMd Health
- PubMed Health
4. Do Something That You Love Every Day
Even if it’s just 30 minutes each day, read, color, go for a walk or have a conversation with someone that you care about. These are the activities that can bring you a sense of peace. It is so important to feel relaxed for at least part of every day. Our busy schedules frequently take over and stop us from making time for ourselves. But leaving a little bit of time to do something that you love is something that is essential to fit into our hectic lives.
For more information on this and other similar topics, visit the website for Valeo Behavioral Health Care at: www.valeotopeka.org.
– By Laura Greenstein
Valeo Behavioral Health Care
400 SW Oakley
Topeka, KS 66606
24 Hour Crisis Line
National Suicide Prevention Life Line
Shawnee County Suicide Prevention Coalition
Family Service and Guidance Center (18 and under)
325 SW Frazier
Topeka, KS 66606
24 Hour Crisis Number
Healing after Loss to Suicide Group (HeALS)
Sandy Reams – Group Facilitator