May is mental health month and it is a subject near and dear to my heart. As someone who lives with an anxiety disorder and depression, it's important for me to work to show people through my work that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of and it doesn’t change people’s ability to live and function in our society. We should not stigmatize or discriminate against people dealing with any kind of mental health issue. There is no shame in needing and seeking help!
According to WHO, One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
Let’s end the stigma of mental health and talk about it in the open. To help me, I invited someone very special to share their thoughts on our blog today. Dra. Isis A. Gracia Morales is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychological Counselor here in Puerto Rico who you might recognize under the name Piensa Bonito. She’s a wonderful mental health professional who’s sharing some tips for how makers can take care of their mental health in simple ways.
3 Mental Health Care Tips for Makers
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which is why we want to emphasize the importance of taking care of our minds. Socially, the care of our bodies is seen as normal. Ads and advertising about physical care are everywhere, leaving the issue of mental health a little off to the side. However, scientific evidence increasingly emphasizes that the balance between mind and body is what brings happiness and health.
How can we take care of our mind in a simple way?
Follow these 3 tips and start your path to positive mental health today.
Physical exercise and nutritional care is necessary.
Many times when we see this advice we think that we have to do exercises every day or we have to undergo strict diets. Well, NO. Studies show that only doing exercises three times a week for only 30 minutes is more than enough to activate hormones such as Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphins that help our emotional balance.
On the other hand, strict diets are not necessary (unless your doctor indicates it) because if you can reduce flour and refined sugar from your life you will do well. Large amounts of sugar in your diet can be very harmful to your brain, it can even become inflamed! Again, I'm not talking about completely eliminating things with extreme diets, because I know that the craving for sweets is natural. It is only to be aware that if we can substitute some sweets and flour for fruits and vegetables we will be healthier and trust that you will be in a better mood.
The power of Gratitude in scientific studies is increasingly being tested. Gratitude teaches us to give thanks for what we have now. To look for something good in the day to day. Gratitude opens the way to acceptance, which reminds us of the great gift of accepting the reality that we cannot change, but we can learn from. Make a habit of writing three things down that you are grateful for. It can be in a notebook or in the Notes app of your cell phone. Write them! Write them when you get up and then when you go to bed. If you do this each day, this exercise will become easier. You will see that you'll begin to feel better with what you have. Because if you are not happy with what you have now, you will not be able to receive greater joys in the future.
Take care of your family, friendships and partner relationships.
Many times these people are our support group. There are no perfect relationships and it is not necessary that they be. In imperfect relationships we sometimes argue and have conflict. Conflict is important, because through conflict we grow and learn. However, when the conflict is very heavy we must also learn to get away and let go of those people who drain our energies. Even if it's your family. Whether or not you have a partner it is important to take care of relationships, feed those that contribute and release those that we no longer identify with. Having healthy and stable relationships is an important factor for our mental health.
Finally, one last piece of advice: create positive habits from these tips and seek professional help to implement them if you need it. Some of the positive habits you can try is learning something new like meditation or mindfulness. Do not be afraid to go to a health professional if you find that you could be better, we can help you. Changing our mind to be healthy is possible.