Mental Health Awareness Month Understanding, Treatment & Help
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In our fast-paced world, stress is a daily reality. Fortunately, you can take practical steps to make it more manageable, which is essential in improving your overall mental health. In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Month, here are some habits that you can incorporate in your daily routine to keep any signs of anxiety you may be experiencing in check.
1. The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Regular physical activity is well-known for its ability to strengthen muscles and help with weight loss. What many do not realize is that exercise can also increase your energy levels, reduce tension, and improve overall cognitive functioning. While doctors recommend three to five 30-minute workout sessions per week, even five minutes of aerobic exercise or a ten-minute walk on your lunch break can begin stimulating your body’s mood-boosting properties, which in turn will promote a more positive outlook of your daily life, and may lessen any anxiety or stress you’re experiencing.
2. The Importance of Relaxation Techniques for Mental Health
Improving the mind-body connection can go a long way toward relieving any symptoms of anxiety disorder. Practicing mindfulness allows you to live in the present. Identifying your triggers enables you to figure out the source of your stress so you can face your fears head-on. Deep breathing tells your brain that all is well, activating your parasympathetic nervous system which, in turn, puts you in relaxation mode.
3. Personal Connections are Essential Components of Mental Health Recovery
Spending quality time with friends and family relieves anxiety symptoms by enhancing feelings of belonging and self-worth. Volunteering in the community provides a sense of fulfillment in giving back and may add new people to your support network. The “others” in your life may also include beloved pets. Spending time with our furry companions can keep us active and fend off loneliness, thoughts of depression, and other early indicators of mental health disorders.
4. The Importance of Mental Health Self-Care.
In the midst of juggling work and family responsibilities and other commitments, it’s easy to let your own well-being fall by the wayside. Dedicate Mental Health Awareness Month to making self-care a priority. Be sure to eat a balanced diet– supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids, valerian, kava kava, and other “super foods” to improve your mental and physical health. Learn to say “no” to some activities so you’re not taking on more than you can handle.
Coping effectively with stress and anxiety is critical– not just during May Mental Health Month, but all year long– to optimize your overall well-being. Chicago Behavioral Hospital provides comprehensive mental health services for those struggling with anxiety disorders. If you or a loved one is dealing with anxiety, contact us to learn more about how we can help.