When we first realize that we may have a mental health issue, it can be scary. We wonder how people manage, how people deal; we worry and fear about the unknown. Yet, we also have hope. We realize that the help we need is out there. All we must do is reach out and tell someone—anyone—and to hope that we will be listened to. Just to know that we are not alone.
Mental health problems among children and youth are on the increase. One in three kids will experience a mental health condition by the age of 24, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth. What’s more is that half of all mental health conditions begin by age 14.
Conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more can have a significant negative impact on a person’s psychological, spiritual, social, and physical well-being.
Five Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health
Following are some tips on what you can do to help with your mental health:
Taking good care of yourself means many things to different people. For some, it may mean taking time to yourself so you can care for your physical and basic needs. By doing so, you are showing yourself that you value your life and wellbeing. No matter what you do though, it is important that you take the time to care for your mental health.
Take care of your body
Mental health is just as important as physical health. One way to support mental health is to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But how do you stay healthy in a toxic world and in a culture that promotes negativity and harm?
Well, you should:
- Get enough sleep
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid smoking and vaping
- Eat nutritious meals
Surround yourself with good people
We all care about our mental health, yet there are times we feel like we’re on our own, especially when we are overwhelmed and depressed. The good news is that your mental health is not entirely up to you—you can use various strategies to help you cope, such as exercise, meditation, and therapy. But you can also do something easy that you probably do all the time, surround yourself with good people, especially your family and friends, who can encourage you to think positively.
Learn how to deal with stress
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, but it can have lasting effects on our mental health. Thankfully, there are several things we can do to help reduce stress. Learn to talk to friends, family, and even a mental health professional. Take up a hobby, or exercise regularly. Find a way to disconnect from technology and surround yourself with loved ones.
Set realistic goals
One of the easiest ways to improve your mental health is to set realistic goals. When you have a clear goal in mind, you know what you have to do to get there. Setting goals can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know where to begin. But with the right support, you can accomplish your goals.
Mental health experts say that talking about mental health is important. This advice holds true whether you’ve experienced it firsthand or whether a friend or loved one has. Not only does it help you build support networks, but people who talk about mental health are more likely to seek treatment—and receive treatment successfully. Many treatments for mental health conditions are available, but knowing which ones to try can be overwhelming, so many people—especially teens—don’t receive the treatment they need. However, in order to make a full recovery, you must find a solution that works for you.
There’s a reason this divide exists: Mental illness can have devastating effects on our bodies, and in some extreme cases, we see how mental illness can be fatal. But with the right treatment and medical care, we can live full, happy, and fulfilled lives. So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help – it may just be the best thing that you ever decide to do.