Mind your health during Mental Health Month

By Bill D. Persinger Jr.
Mental Health Center of East Central Kansas

For 65 years, May has been known as “Mental Health Month”. Mental Health America and its affiliates have done much to promote awareness. The theme this year is “Mind Your Health”, with goals being to:

  • Build awareness about the relationship between good mental health and overall health and wellness.
  • Inform people about how one’s mind and body interact.
  • Offer tips on protecting one’s mental health.
  • Promote health of the whole person.

Wellness is something that we can all strive to maintain or obtain, including those of us who may have health problems. Wellness is more than just avoiding illness, injury, or disease. Wellness means that we have a good balance in our lives, that is, having a good mix of things going on, such as exercise, communication, activities, some time alone, some time with others, balancing work and non-work activities, and so on.

Wellness (that balance of mind and body) can be pursued whether one is already healthy, if one is recovering from a health problem, or if one has a health problem that is likely to persist.

There are a number of things we can do to achieve wellness of mind and body. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Work towards financial stability and security.
  • Strive for healthy relationships.
  • Treat yourself kindly.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Volunteer some of your time to a worthy cause.
  • Improve your eating habits or maintain good ones.
  • Engage in rewarding, satisfying work.
  • Put in perspective those things you cannot change.
  • Exercise regularly.

In a recent press release, the folks at Mental Health America have also pointed out that:

  • Good relationships and being with others can help you to enjoy the times when you are alone.
  • A positive attitude improves one’s mood and health.
  • Helping others can help reduce one’s depression.
  • What you drink is just as important as what you eat.
  • Spirituality can give you a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Writing down one’s problems can create a new perspective and improve mood.
  • Learning and practicing stress management techniques reduces stress and can change your brain and the way you function.

Health and mental health experts say that changing just one thing in your routine or life can make a very significant and positive difference. Change begins by taking just one step.

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