Almost daily we are reminded of the importance of taking care of our physical bodies. We hear messages that remind us that eating healthy, getting regular exercise and watching our portion sizes will improve our quality of life. These are important messages, but taking care of our mental health deserves equal attention.
We rarely are reminded about the need to care for our mental health. Many of us are unaware of the role mental health plays in our lives. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well being. It affects how we think, feel and respond. If helps determine how we handle life’s challenges, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important throughout our life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
We can increase our mental wellness with the following tips:
• Be adaptable to change. Being flexible helps when situations in life change.
• Use it or lose it: Keep your mind and body active.
• Make goals. Making goals and reaching toward them will help you remain positive about your life.
• Don’t isolate yourself. Supportive relationships are important for good mental health.
• Volunteer in your community. People who consistently help others experience less depression, greater calm and fewer pains.
• Give your body rest. Get seven-eight hours of sleep daily. Stress levels increase when the body is deprived of sleep.
• Remember to laugh.
• Remember that mental illness is treatable. Know the symptoms and where to get professional help if needed.
For more information, contact the Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition at 577-523-2119
— Barb Welty
Elkhart County Suicide