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Mental Health

Page history last edited by Holly Swyers 3 years, 7 months ago

What are good strategies for maintaining mental health and addressing mental health issues?

 

Physical Health:

Keeping active is a great way to prevent mental health issues, and make you feel better if you are not in a mentally good space. A person’s mental health can be connected to how they manage their physical body.  Playing sports, doing yoga, going for a walk or run are all effective ways of creating endorphins that naturally make you feel good. Exercising to relive stress can be used as a positive outlet, and has a positive effect on mental health. Even just taking a walk can change a your state of mind. Avoiding alcohol and drugs can also aid in a healthy lifestyle, as well as making sure to maintain a healthy diet.

 

Relationships:

Making sure you have good friends and family that are supportive of you is crucial in maintaining good mental health. Creating a strong support system of family and friends, and possibly a partner, that care about you will help to encourage a healthy state of mind. It’s great to have a network of support you can go to in times of crisis, or when you just need someone to talk to. Having multiple groups or communities where you can go for support is helpful as well. It is important not to let yourself become isolated either, so try and seek out your support systems when you need to. To keep relationships healthy and not a drain on you, make sure you establish strong and clear boundaries.  As Mary Smith stated, “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep people warm; you can’t pour from an empty cup. We can’t take care of other people when we neglect ourselves.” 

 

Professional Help:

When you feel yourself spiraling and can't manage things, don't ever be afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help. Professional help means seeking counsel or therapy from a medical professional (psychologist, therapist). Often employers have employee assistance programs that may guide you to the help you need, so make sure you understand these benefits by talking to your employer. Talk to your primary care physician about your mental state and your mental health history, often they can refer you to additional support.

 

Self-Reflection:

Part of being mentally healthy is being self-aware.  This means taking time for yourself and allowing yourself the opportunity for some quiet time. Being honest with what you need, and how others can best support you, are all apart of being self-aware.  Moments alone can establish exercises in mindfulness and self-reflection. Being in nature and enjoying a hike in the woods can be times where you can clear your head.  It is important to help yourself first, and understand that there is nothing wrong with that. Another key to good mental health is being truthful about your past mental health concerns- if you have any, and making sure you are taking care of them. An important part of that, is to maintain a positive work and life balance. Hanna O'Hara states, “…aligning what your life mission and the most meaningful parts of your life with your work so you don’t have split core values". 

 

Leisure Time:

Leisure is an important aspect of maintaining mental health. You should always make time for something you enjoy, and are passionate about. Remember that doing things for ourselves is okay, and is actually healthy in the long run. Find activities that you enjoy and that keep your mind engaged. Reading and playing games that challenge your brain are some activities you can do.  If you love sports, make time to play them.  Balancing work and leisure times is hard, but it will help your mental state in the long run. Take a day off when you know you need to, or even just some time for yourself to do nothing. 

 

This page was developed from interviews with:

Vince Wilder, Mary Smith, Hanna O'Hara, Nicholas Huxley, Grace Lawrence, Rhonda Wright, Isaac Ellison, Tami Gilbert, Olivia Jones, Erika O'Brian, Anna Nozick

 

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