Keeping Your Mental Health in Check

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, April 10, 2024
By Erika Fernandez De Castro

In the realm of self-improvement, physical health often is the focus. We hit the gym, watch what we eat, and schedule check-ups to keep our bodies in the best condition. But what about our mental health when looking at self-improvement? Just as vital, yet often overlooked, our mental well-being deserves the same level of attention and care. Keeping our mental health in check is crucial for overall well-being.

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Here are some strategies to keep our mental health in check:

1.  Self-awareness: Paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors fosters a sense of self-awareness. Recognizing signs of stress, anxiety, or depression early on gives us the space and time to manage the situation better.

2.  Healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep all contribute to our overall health. Physical health and mental health are closely connected.

3.  Staying connected: Maintaining supportive relationships with friends, family, and loved ones helps create social support that is essential for coping with stress and adversity.

4.  Setting boundaries: Learning to say no when we need to is a form of self-respect. Establishing boundaries helps protect our time, energy, and emotional well-being.

5.  Practice mindfulness: Engaging in activities that promote mindfulness, such as meditation, prayer, or deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and increase resilience. The practice alone is an opportunity for us to explore our thoughts and helps quiet the outside noise that continuously fights for our attention.

6.  Seeking help when needed: We should not hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional if we are struggling. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

7.  Limiting exposure to negativity: Reducing our exposure to negative news, social media, or toxic relationships that can contribute to feelings of stress or anxiety plays an important role in our own disposition. If we take a mental inventory, we can analyze our exposure to negativity. Are we exposing ourselves to a large amount of negative news? Are we letting social media affect the way we feel?  Is our time being consumed by a toxic relationship?

8.  Practicing self-compassion: We must be kind to ourselves and treat ourselves with the same compassion we would offer to a friend facing challenges. We must remember that we are doing our best to navigate life and we must be less critical of ourselves when we fall short of expectations.

Taking care of your mental health is an ongoing process.  It seems rational that we would do so, but it is something we must consciously strive for and work at. We must accept that it is normal to have our ups and downs, triumphs and setbacks. By incorporating a few or all these strategies, we can help build resilience and better help ourselves manage life’s challenges.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”
Brené Brown, Rising Strong

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