World Mental Health Day: How to Take Care of Your Mental Health
October 10th will mark World Mental Health Day, a fairly recent commemoration which has gained a lot of traction in the past few years, as mental health concerns are finally getting the level of attention they deserve. The World Health Organization estimates that one-in-four people worldwide suffer from some form of mental illness, with diagnoses rising at an ever-increasing rate.
Mental illness has the same potential for harm as any physical illness, which is why treatment should be approached with the appropriate level of seriousness and maturity. Here are some ways that you can take care of your mental health this year.
The first step towards effective mental health care is being able to talk about your situation with others. This doesn't mean you need to pluck up the courage to shout it from the rooftops (although that's also fine). Rather, simply taking the step to tell someone you trust will open the door towards effective treatment and recovery. This can be a friend, family member or loved one, or even a mental health professional or volunteer. It's about being honest with yourself and knowing that support is available.
Fortunately, the stigma that was once attached to seeking professional help has mostly faded away. Speaking to a qualified professional will allow you to better understand your condition and plot a roadmap to recovery. Of course, with long waiting times for publicly provided therapy and prohibitive costs for many private options, some people may feel this option is out of reach.
However, there are alternatives which are catered to people with all kinds of conditions. Those who may feel too anxious to leave the house may prefer courses that they can do online, allowing you to receive therapy from the comfort of your own home. Patients can receive counseling via email, chat, or video call, allowing you to seek the kind of treatment that fits you best.
Look after your body
The link between mental and physical health is well-proven. Although those with mental health conditions may struggle to say, diet and exercise, even small improvements in your physical routine can have a substantive impact on your mental health. Try staying hydrated throughout the day, eat foods that are rich in vitamins (particularly vitamins D and C), and spending as much time facing the daylight as possible, even if that just means moving your desk to a window. The smallest adjustments can make significant differences, so don't be afraid to try.
Establish a support network
Having a support network that you can rely on during tough spells is critical. This is not just about placing the right people and contacts around you, it's also about removing any toxic influences in your life. If you feel that you have friends or a social circle that don't support you or perhaps encourages activities that are detrimental to your mental health and wellbeing, it's time to consider removing them from your life. You may find that having a strong support network is crucial to your recovery, to don't hesitate to be discerning when it comes to who you interact with.
There are many different avenues to take when tackling mental health difficulties. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and what works for one person may not be as effective for another. Take your time and try things out, measuring the impact as you go. Recovery is always a multi-step process.
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