Mental Health Wellness Week
It’s Mental Health Wellness Week and unlike other awareness days and weeks the focus is on staying well, not the condition itself. Two of the goals are promoting the benefit of mental wellness for both the mind and body and educating people on how to incorporate mental wellness techniques into their daily lives, whether you have a mental illness or not. The best way to stay well is to have good coping skills and build resiliency to deal with life when it throws us curveballs.
Good Coping Skills
Everyone is going to be faced with stressful days or a difficult situation at some point in life. That’s why it’s important to have a toolbox of active coping skills.
- Meditation – Deep breathing techniques promote relaxation and reduce stress
- Exercise – As the heart rate increases during exercise, the body releases endorphins which reduce stress
- Humor – Laughing helps reduce stress
- Hobbies – Listening to music, drawing or painting, and gardening are a few activities that promote relaxation
- Spirituality – For some, religion and belief in a higher power provides comfort during stressful times
- Healthy eating – Although you may crave junk food when you’re stressed, healthy food can actually improve your mood
- Getting enough sleep – Sleep is crucial because it gives the body and mind time to repair itself and get ready for another day
- Friends & Family – When you’re stressed, leaning on a friend or family member for support can be helpful
The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.” Basically it means bouncing back from difficult life experiences. It is not a personality trait; anyone can learn the behaviors, thoughts and actions that foster resiliency.
- Develop a positive attitude – Don’t give up when life gets you down. Whether it’s weight loss or learning a new skill for work, your attitude can make the difference between success and failure. You need to work on positive thinking and positive-self talk so you don’t defeat yourself before you even start.
- Be aware of your feelings – Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed by emotions it’s hard to know exactly why you feel the way you do. Try to pinpoint the cause so you can work to prevent the emotional turmoil in the future. One good way to do this is to keep a journal.
- Control what you can – Many things in life are out of our control, but we can always control how we react to situations. When something goes wrong try to put the situation in perspective. Is it really worth an explosion of anger or a feeling of being doomed forever?
- Keep moving toward your goal – Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you wanted, but it doesn’t mean you never will. Do something small each day that puts you on the right track to achieving your goal.
- Learn from your past – Don’t dwell on your past, but look back at what challenges you have faced, how you have reacted to them and how you have overcome obstacles. This awareness will either help you react the same way again in the future (if you reacted positively) or make you realize that you need to come up with a different way to cope with similar challenges in the future.
Give Meditation a Try
Meditation has proven to reduce stress, so why not give it a try? If you’re skeptical, check out this infographic to see the benefits.