Did you know that May is National Mental Health Month? Of course, mental well-being is always something to be prized and pursued, but this is an especially good time to speak openly and honestly about issues related to mental health—to break past stigma, elevate the dialogue, and encourage everyone to do something good for their own mental wellness.
The question is, what can you do to boost your own mental health capacities? What habits can you develop, and what steps can you take, to ensure your mental wellness? Consider a few suggestions:
- Get screened; speak with a local mental health care center about being screened for potential mental health disorders, or simply do a quick Google search for screening options. Screenings are usually free, quick and anonymous, and you can learn much about your mental health standing.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep at night. Getting those eight hours in is imperative for maintaining mental focus, clarity and memory. If you do not sleep well at night, try cutting out caffeine after noon; turning off your phone and tablet an hour before heading to bed; and getting more exercise during the day.
- Find an outlet for stress and anxiety. Do something that helps you shake off the burdens of the day—whether that means physical fitness, journaling, painting, or something else entirely.
- Cultivate healthy relationships. Take stock of any people in your life who have a toxic effect on you, always bringing you down, and try to spend less time around them. Instead surround yourself with people who encourage you, and with whom you can talk candidly about any problems or anxieties you have.
Remember: Good mental health does not happen by accident; it happens when you invest your time and effort into it!
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