Mental Wellness Month
Many people think of January as a month for making resolutions for the next year, such as losing weight, saving money, taking the next career step, etc. Mental wellness underlies the effort we are able to put towards the resolutions or goals we set. Without the fuel of positive mental well-being, movement towards our goals may be delayed or impossible. This January, make an effort to take care of your mental well-being. By doing so, you are increasing the likelihood that you will be able to meet your goals. When there are the inevitable obstacles, you will face them with a greater strength in reserve. Keep in mind that there are many ways to improve or maintain mental wellness, and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it’s important to seek what is right for you.
Here are ten tips for improved mental wellness from Mental Health America.
- Connect with others. Research has demonstrated the benefits of social connection, including increased happiness, better health and a longer life.
- Stay positive. Thinking negatively can drag down our moods, our actions and even our health. Instead foster optimism, practice gratitude and think positively. Download eCBT Calm for more information on how to assess your stress level and learn relaxation techniques.
- Be physically active. Daily physical activity can help your mood by decreasing stress, anger and tension as well as reducing anxiety and depression.
- Help others. Research indicates that those who consistently help other people experience less depression, greater calm, fewer pains and better health. They may even live longer.
- Get plenty of sleep. There are many tasks that fill our to-do list, but research shows that you’re more likely to succeed at your tasks and enjoy greater well-being if you get some serious rest. For information regarding meditation techniques for restful sleep, download iSleep Easy.
- Create joy and satisfaction. Did you know laughing decreases pain and promotes muscle relaxation? Creating avenues of good feelings can boost your ability to bounce back from stress, solve problems, think flexibly and even fight disease.
- Eat well. Food can boost your energy and fuel your brain, and good nutrition can help at times of stress. According to a recent survey, nearly half of Americans overeat or eat unhealthy food to cope with stress. If you are feeling stressed, find healthier ways to feel better like taking a walk.
- Take care of your spirit. Spirituality can mean something different for everyone. Connect to what you find meaningful, such as a higher power, other people, nature or kindness. Spirituality offers many possible benefits including better mood and less anxiety.
- Deal better with hard times. At some point in our lives, most of us will face times that are stressful. At those times, having strong coping strategies can make a huge difference. Research shows those who spent time writing about a difficult event had better health and less depression. Download Journey for a way of recording your daily thoughts.
- Get professional help if you need it. If the problems in your life are stopping you from functioning well or feeling good, professional help can make a big difference. Remember that you don’t have to be in a crisis to seek help. A mental health professional can help with coping strategies and problem solving. The Counseling & Testing Center offers free and confidential counseling to all Georgia State University students. For more information on how to make an appointment, call us at 404-413-1640.