People often de-prioritize their mental health, and it can have serious consequences.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and really the two go hand in hand. Finding ways to prioritize your mental health is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Why is good mental health important?
The term “mental health” is often linked to specific disorders such as depression. However, mental health covers so much more.
Stress, anxiety, anger and frustration are emotions everyone experiences and are directly tied to their mental well-being. Also, stress and depression have been shown to tax the immune system. So, finding ways to handle negative emotions can lead to an overall healthier and happier life.
How to maintain good mental health
Building in ways to take care of your mental health throughout your day is just as important as diet and exercise.
First, begin by evaluating how your mental health is at this moment, and identify the things that are both positive and negative. Think through the negative triggers and signs related to your mental health suffering. Then, make a conscious plan to address these times when your mental health needs attention, as well as build habits to maintain mental health wellness.
General mental health tips
Use these strategies for maintaining positive mental health through your day:
- Find ways to reduce stress. While most people will experience a range of stressful emotions on a daily basis, it’s important to deal with stress and find ways to reduce it. Exercise is a great stress reliever and contributes to overall good health. When things out of your control cause stress, find alternative solutions. For example, if traffic is stressful, try to adjust your driving times or find an alternate route.
- Create a work/life balance. This can be tough. Establishing boundaries for work time and home time is challenging in today’s world. Setting aside blocks of time where you are disconnected from work is an important step to avoid burnout.
- Give yourself some downtime. Don’t feel guilty about doing nothing or taking part in something that you enjoy. Everyone needs time to recharge, so allow yourself that time.
- Use technology. Many apps can help with stress relief, meditation and taking breaks. Scheduling apps can help to keep you on track and stave off feeling overwhelmed. Check these out and try a few to see what works best for you.
- Chat with your primary care provider. Mental health should be discussed during your annual physical. Making this a normal part of your checkups is a great way to stay healthy and find new ways to improve your mental health. Plus, if you need extra mental health assistance, your primary care provider should be able to refer you to a mental health specialist.
Learn about the primary care services we offer at Mercy Health.