Celebrating 70 Years of Mental Health Awareness
Good health isn’t just about having a strong heart or a good blood pressure reading. When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on one aspect. We have to look at the health of the whole person which includes their mental wellness.
Looking back, psychiatry has come a long way since Mental Health America launched “Mental Health Month” in 1949. A campaign created to help raise awareness and encourage screenings for common disorders like depression and anxiety.
The theme for this year is #4Mind4Body. A theme that really puts the spotlight on the importance of viewing our minds and bodies as one. In order to live a truly healthy life, we need to make use of tools and resources that benefit our minds and bodies as a whole.
Luckily, since 1949, the tools and resources we have available for better mental and physical health have really advanced! Now, telepsychiatry brings new life to the field of mental health and wellness as a way to bridge the gap between patients and providers. It provides convenient access for patients who can now enjoy appointments from the comfort of their own homes.
As we celebrate Mental Health Awareness and advancements like telepsychiatry, let’s continue to focus on health as a whole. A combination of our minds and bodies as one. If you’re looking for a few ways to develop a #4Mind4Body mindset, try a few of this year’s initiatives by Mental Health America…
Mindfulness is a big buzzword nowadays. There are tremendous benefits of being aware and focused on what’s going on around you. People’s minds have a tendency to wander and begin to obsess on things that make us anxious like past or future events. By using techniques like meditation, we can be more mindful, stay resent in our lives and deal with the here and now. This allows us to take positive actions instead of worrying about scenarios out of our control.
Mental health is not just about our minds. It's also connected to our physical well-being. \By focusing on developing healthy eating habits, we can give our bodies the fuel necessary for optimal mental and physical health. Eating poorly can affect your mood and overall happiness so changing your diet in a positive way will improve your mental health.
Most people spend 40 hours or more a week at their place of employment. It can be one of the biggest stressors in life! We sit in front of screens for too long, adopt poor nutritional habits, and sometimes have difficult relationships with our coworkers that cause additional stress. By doing things like taking more breaks, drinking more water, and working towards building positive relationships, we can turn all those hours spent at the office into a more rewarding experience.
You can improve your mindset by treating other people well. Kindness is a powerful thing! Positive actions towards others can lead to more positivity coming back your way. On Thursdays, take the time to do something thoughtful for another person. No matter how small the gesture, it will make you feel good.
Exercise! On Fridays, incorporate physical activity to really get your heart rate up. This will increase blood flow and release endorphins that will make your body and mind feel better.
This is the opposite of Friday’s challenge. Relax! Take some time for you on Saturday. We spend so much time working, doing for others and keeping our minds going a mile a minute. On the weekend take some time to kick back and recharge your batteries. Your body and mind will thank you.
Sleep is an essential part of our overall health. We all need a good night's sleep to really recharge. On Sundays, try sleeping in, going to bed early, or both! You can also improve the quality of your sleep by doing things like eliminating alcohol and not eating too late. Take the time to understand your sleep habits with a journal and you’ll be on your way creating better night’s sleep in the future.