This week is Mental Health Awareness Week:
How many of you have paid attention to what you ate in the last year, maybe gone on a diet, or just tried to get healthier?
How many of you have been to a dentist in the last year, engaged in some form of physical exercise, or visited a doctor to get a checkup?
Our physical health is seen as hugely important, and most of us are aware of the need to look after it on a regular basis. Mental health, on the other hand, is invisible, and humans tend to disregard what they can’t see. However, just as the early detection of chronic illness risk allows us to change behaviours and prevent disease, so the maintenance of mental health can lead to the prevention of mental illness.
Many of the strategies that promote physical health, such as exercise, good nutrition and good sleep, also promote mental health and well-being. There are other things we can do to maintain mental health on a regular basis, and these include:
The prevention of mental illness is often an overlooked topic because we worry about the stigma if we admit we are struggling or need to seek help. People might tell us to pull ourselves together or get over it, which only exacerbates our sense that we should be coping better.
Remember, mental health is health. We cannot separate it from our regular routines of caring for ourselves, so care for yours on a daily basis.
If the subject matter in this article resonates with you, then counselling might be a good option to help you to move forward. I offer a free 20-minute consultation so we can explore how I might be able to help you.