It's World Mental Health Day, and it's critical that we continue to be thought leaders in breaking down any stigmas associated with mental health, the first of which is that it's okay not to be okay. But most importantly, you are not alone.
Did you know? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),
- "More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime."
- "1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year."
- "1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness."
- "1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression."
According to research, the following helpful tips can mitigate emotional distress while encouraging positive experiences when dealing with mental illness.
10 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health:
1. Don't Isolate Yourself.
I understand that life can be overwhelming and that the aftermath of trauma(s) can have a crippling effect on your life, leaving you wanting to be shut down from the world around you. However, it is strongly advised that you maintain a safe social circle that can serve as your community. Don't just live inside your head. This is a friendly reminder that even if times are difficult, there are many people who care about you, and the world needs people like you.
2. Stay Active.
Staying active helps release endorphins, which increase joy and positive reinforcement in your life. Staying active can also increase the image that we have of ourselves positively by being more physically and emotionally attuned.
- Go to the gym
- Ride a bike
- Go hiking
- Participate in Yoga
- Get a personal trainer
3. Talk to Someone.
To paraphrase a popular saying, "the Devil's playground is an idle mind." When we are alone, our minds can be our worst enemy. Similar to the first bullet, it is critical not only to avoid isolation but also to engage in uplifting conversations with people you trust. Don't hesitate to share your truth with others.
4. Lean on Your Passion.
In the words of Harriet Tubman, who was facing unprecedented levels of suffering, "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world".
Find something about which you are passionate and immerse yourself in it.
5. Sleep Well.
Getting enough sleep has some of the most powerful healing properties. Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep per night. Drop your worries at the door and get some shut-eye to rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
6. Be Mindful About Content Consumption.
We are constantly inundated with content. Whether it's through the news, social media, commercials, ads, or the vast internet. We are bombarded with messages, and unfortunately, many of it has negative undertones that we may digest consciously or subconsciously. It is critical that you create a safe space for yourself by protecting your peace, which can include protecting your digital consumption.
7. Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet.
The truth is that what we put into our bodies can have a direct impact on how we feel. Make a concerted effort to be mindful of what you consume. Meet with a doctor, a dietician, and/or a nutritionist to discuss the best dietary options for your specific body.
8. Try Something New.
Simple. When was the last time you did something for the first time? Life is meant to be experienced. The universe is meant to be discovered. Love is intended to be felt. Joy is intended to be contained. Step outside of your comfort zone to fill your world with the most vibrant experiences.
9. Create Healthy Boundaries.
Be unapologetic about establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries for yourself and others. Hold yourself and others accountable for adhering to those boundaries, and never be afraid to take appropriate action to enforce those thresholds.
10. Seek Professional Guidance / Resources
Please consider reaching out to your Primary Care Doctor for care. Additionally, If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health crisis, here are some Emergency National Helpline resources: