Though the term “mental health” has been around for a while, and it has more recently become a buzzword in our society. An idea once associated with asylums and madness has now become so normalized that it’s trending. But what does mental health really mean and why are we talking about it?
According to the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC),mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health essentially affects everything we do, from the way we complete our tasks to the way we socialize to the way we treat ourselves. Mental health is not separate from physical health, as it holds the same level of importance when it comes to our overall well-being. A decline in mental health can cause various physical issues, and having a physical condition can induce mental illness. Mental health is not just “in our head,” it’s a very real, crucial component of our lives.
The way we treat our bodies now will affect how they function in the future, and the same goes for our mental well-being. Here are a few tips on how to proactively take care of your mental health:
Check-ins: It’s important to be aware of our mental state. We talk to ourselves all day, whether we realize it or not, and being conscious of this self-talk gives us a lot more control over it. Ask yourself questions like, “How am I really feeling?” and “Is there anything I need physically, mentally, or emotionally?”.
Maintaining physical health: As mentioned, physical health hasa major influence on our mental health. A good rule of thumb for maintaining physical health is to remember these four basic needs: Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise, and Sleep. If you’re feeling low, check in to see if any of these needs aren’t being met. You’d be amazed at what a meal and a nap can do for a bad day!
Self-care routine: Just as going to the gym only makes a difference if it’s done consistently, the same goes for mental health care. A great way to maintain your mental well-being is to create a self-care plan or routine. Check out our self-care blog post for more guidance on how to incorporate self-care into your life!
Seeking professional support, even if you don’t “need” it: It’s encouraged to see the doctor for check-ups, even when we feel healthy. In the same way, it can be so beneficial to see a counselor, even if it’s simply to check-in. A counselor can help you minimize stress, think more positively, reach your goals, and so much more. At the very least, having a conversation with someone who will be unbiased and non-judgmental can be helpful to even the most mentally healthy individual.
Proactive mental health care will improve the entirety of your life, building upon a more confident, authentic, and loving version of yourself. You deserve it!