Staying mentally healthy during difficult times can be a challenge but is very doable. While everyone’s schedules and lifestyles are adjusting, it is important to be aware of the signs of mental illness and wellness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI , one in five U.S. adults experience mental illness, and at least 8.4 million Americans provide care to a person with emotional or mental illness.
Signs may include;
- Emotions of sadness or just feeling low
- Mood swings
- Excessive worrying
- Feeling fearful
- Unable to think clearly, making it challenging to concentrate or learn
- Change of sleep habits, appetite, weight gain or loss
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality
- Thinking thoughts or risky actions to trying to harm yourself or someone else
- Drug and alcohol use
Here are a few ways take action, adjust and adapt to foster and promote physical, mental and spiritual wellness for yourself.
Health benefits according to PositivePsychology.com are enhanced empathy, improved cognition and stress stabilization. Studies have shown that meditation improves self-image and self-worth. When we meditate, we are able to clear our mind and become more aware of the thoughts that drive our emotions and actions.
Helping others gives you purpose, a sense of belonging, builds self-esteem and better yet, builds meaningful relationships. More times than not, the one providing the help would say they are on the receiving end.
Creating Established Routines
While routines in general can assist with efficiency it can also be very normalizing. Knowing the plan for your day can be a sense of relief and therefore decreases stress and provides us with much needed structure.
Connect With Nature
Taking a walk outside not only encourages your brain to release endorphins that boost your mental health, decrease stress and pain, improves sleep, and wards off depression, but it simply grounds you and lifts your spirits!
A study from the University of Kansas found that smiling—even fake smiling—reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations. Spend a few minutes on YouTube for some humor therapy. The Mayo Clinic has published several articles listing numerous health benefits of positive thinking from decreased depression to increased lifespan. In short, keep smiling!