Monday, May 28, 2012

May is Mental Health Month--Tips for Keeping Good Mental Health

May is Mental Health Month.  According to NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, one in four adult Americans suffers from a mental health disorder in any given year.  I thought I would share with my readers some tips to maintain good mental health.
  • Get plenty of rest.  Experts suggest getting 8 hours of sleep a night.  Schedule yourself to get to bed earlier.
  • Drink plenty of water.  I have been reading that many Americans are dehydrated because they turn to other beverages when they are thirsty, which don't hydrate the body like water does.  Staying hydrated helps the body to function as it should.
  • Find a hobby.  Having a hobby, whether it be reading, a sport, gardening, a craft can help you to avoid getting into a funk.
  • Socialize.  Get out with friends.  If you have little ones you don't want to leave with a babysitter, invite friends over for a potluck.  
  • Develop a network of friends/family you can rely on for support.  When you are upset, talk things over with them.
  • Exercise!  Even a brisk walk can help de-stress you!
  • Journal.  Keeping a written record of your feelings can help put things into perspective.
  • List 5 things to be thankful for daily.
  • Find some quiet time.  Turn off the television, the computer, your phone and relax for 10 minutes a day.
  • Try yoga--it is a great way to de-stress with the added benefit of getting in shape.
  • Eat healthy.  Avoid high fat, high sugar, processed foods.  
If you find you are having mental health problems and nothing seems to be helping, it is important to contact a professional for help.  If you don't know where to start, check with your family doctor.  Treatment may include counseling,  medication, or support groups.  The good news is that mental disorders are treatable and you can feel better again in time!

Here's to good mental health!

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