Mental Wellness Month and the New Year
January is Mental Wellness Month. Mental wellness comes from feeling balanced, having positive connections with others, and having the ability to deal with life’s stresses. It does not mean you’re always happy. It’s also not the absence of mental illness.
Feeling mentally well can help you maintain your mental health, build resilience, and overcome life’s challenges. The new year is a time when people make resolutions, often to better themselves in an aspect of life. Now is the perfect time to focus on improving your mental wellness. You can help your family improve their mental wellness too!
Here are tips to enhance your and your family's mental wellness:
Be grateful. Practicing gratitude every day can make you more optimistic and less stressed. It trains your brain to notice the good things in life and unlearn negative thinking patterns.
Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. Make time every day for your mental health. Do something that is meaningful and brings you joy. Help your child do the same.
Get enough sleep. Your body needs to be healthy to keep your mind healthy. Get the recommended hours of sleep for you and your child. If you have trouble sleeping, see your doctor.
Learn a new skill. Creative hobbies can provide a sense of purpose and achievement, boost confidence, reduce stress, keep your mind sharp, and help avoid burnout by restoring your creative energy. Some creative skills are playing an instrument, painting or coloring, baking, dancing, sculpting, writing, graphic design, and photography.
Exercise regularly. Exercising for 30 minutes a day keeps both your body and mind healthy. It can lessen depression and anxiety. Go for a walk, bike ride, play a sport, or take a fitness class.
Connect with others. Sharing quality time with friends and family can be fulfilling, provide emotional support, and build a sense of belonging.
Eat well. Keeping a balanced diet helps the physical and mental health of you and your child.
Practice mindfulness. Being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings is a part of mindfulness. One practice is a body scan. Move your attention through your body, and notice what you see, feel, hear, taste, and smell. Name them without judgment, then let them go. Here are some more mindfulness practices.
Ask for help when you need it. It is not a weakness to reach out for resources and support. We all need help sometimes. It might be time for professional help if you or your child cannot function or have tried to improve your mental health on your own but are still suffering.
If you or someone you love are in crisis, call the local 24/7 Hopeline at 1-800-567-HOPE (4673). If it is an emergency, call 911.
If you are not in crisis but want to find local resources, call 211.
If you are in crisis call 1-800-567-HOPE (4673) or text 741 741.