Mental Health

Mental illness sucks. That’s the only way to truly describe it and capture my honest feelings on it at the same time. It affects everything you do, think, and feel. It encroaches on your life and before you know it, you’re unable to function like the rest of the society.

This is what millions of Americans are dealing with daily. They suffer in silence as the rest of the country continues on in ignorance.

In this series, I hope to help eliminate a small bit of stigma by informing the public audience about mental illnesses from both a personal and an informational standpoint. As someone diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder, I have plenty of personal experience to go on. Mental illness affects both one’s mental and physical health. In the first chapter of this series, I’d like to give a few tips for keeping yourself mentally healthy. You’ll notice many of these tips go hand-in-hand with proper physical health as well. This is an important correlation to realize: that one’s physical and mental health are intrinsically connected.

Eating Right

Proper diet is an essential part of being both physically and emotionally healthy. You may notice that when you eat badly, you feel the same. Keeping your diet filled with vegetables, whole grains, and protein will keep your body and mind happy.

Exercise

Physical activity releases endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that make us happy. You + Exercise = Endorphins = Feeling good. It’s a rather simple equation.

Setting Aside “Me Time”

Even the busiest people must have fifteen minutes in a twenty-four hour day to spend on themselves. It’s the most important time of the day. You can do whatever it is that makes you happy. Read a book, meditate, walk the dog, take a hot bath, whatever it is as long as its just for you.

Positive Affirmations

At first I thought this was a bunch of BS too, but it honestly works. By repeating over and over a phrase like “I will stop procrastinating today.” (a personal favorite) or “I am a strong person.” you are not only meditating on that phrase but the phrase is ingrained in your subconscious. Some call it the Law of Attraction, but I just call it common sense now.

Sleep!
Getting at least eight hours sleep is a necessity for good mental health. If you are exhausted, it’s not very conducive to a good mood. Sleeping too much, doesn’t help either. A major sign of depression is sleeping more than usual. Personally I slept twelve to fourteen hours a day when I was depressed. Keep a balance and try to sleep at the same time every night.

There are so many more helpful tips for keeping yourself mentally healthy that perhaps I will add in some other part of this series. In the meantime, try to incorporate these elements into your life so you can keep yourself and your brain healthy.