May is Mental Health Month

An important part of any wellness program should include tools for your mental health as well as your physical health. Did you know that creating a healthy lifestyle can help prevent the onset of anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions? Leading a healthy lifestyle is great for lessening your risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer, but it is also extremely useful for keeping our minds clear and full of hope.

The best way to lead a healthy lifestyle is to incorporate the following into your life:

  1. Do at least 30 minutes of some form of exercise every day. Walking in the park or around the block on your lunch break is a great way to get exercise in for your body as well as connecting with nature for your mind and soul.

  2. Make sure you are getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night. Do you fall asleep with ease? Do you stay asleep during the night or do you toss and turn with thoughts of every meeting, soccer game or project racing through your mind? It is imperative that you find a way to quiet your mind before you go to sleep so you can get a deeper slumber. You can do this by turning off all electronic devices (television, computer, iPad, Kindle, smartphone) one hour before you need to be sleeping. The blue-light from these devices can wreak habit on your circadian rhythm making your mind believe it is still daylight and thus will not shut down properly. Read an actual book before you go to bed. Meditate, stretch or listen to calming music before climbing into bed. Sleep is important to help the body recharge and gives you enough physical and mental energy to deal with daily responsibilities. Sleep issues can be a sign of a mental health condition like anxiety, or depression.

  3. Eat a nutrient dense diet that includes more protein, vegetables and fruit than simple carbs and choose whole grain complex carbs to nourish your body and mind with amazing vitamins and minerals.

  4. Incorporate self-love into your day in some way. Taking a tea break, reading a chapter in your book, doodling in a notebook, coloring in a stress management coloring book. You can also take a bath, watch your favorite movie or take the time to create an amazing meal for yourself.

Advocate to be preventative with your mental health and ask questions, get screened and address the issues that you think may be leading to lack of sleep, anxiety or worry. Prevention strategies address mental health before it gets to a point of crisis. Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being. Mental health illnesses or disorders are very common and very treatable.

To learn more you can click on this link for a challenge in the month of May; http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/


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