October is Mental Health Awareness month and this month-and every month-should be one that raises your awareness of mental health and how to best help yourself. Mental Health is more than just anxiety, depression, or other illnesses; mental health is about taking the time to train and take care of your brain and mental well-being. Below are seven ways to help with mental health and well-being.
- Get plenty of sleep: Sleep is our bodies best defense against illness or infection. Sleep is also one of the best ways to regulate our emotions and help stop ourselves from feelings of overwhelm.
- Activity/Exercise: Finding an activity, especially exercise, boosts chemicals in our brains that reduces low mood, anxiety, stress, and tiredness. You don’t need to go run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, sometimes a simple walk outside can do the trick!
- Do something that you enjoy!: Take the time to color, watch your favorite movie or show, call your best friend! Doing something that brings you joy increases good feelings and decreases negative feelings.
- Take a Break: If you have a certain assignment or activity that is causing you excessive stress, walk away from it for a while! Don’t stress yourself out by forcing yourself to do something that declines your mental health, stepping away from it can only benefit you in the long run, plus you’ll come back to it with fresh eyes! Mental Health days are a great example of a way to take a break!
- Write it Down!: If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed or upset, write those feelings down! What you’re feeling is valid and you have every right to feel that way. By writing down what you’re feeling it can reduce those negative feelings, it helps even more if you burn, tear, or destroy those feelings.
- Spend time with animals: There is a reason we call the Emotional Support Animals! Animals, big or small, tend to lower the stress hormone in our bodies and tend to make us feel better emotionally. Volunteering at a shelter is a great way to boost our own serotonin and give back to our furry friends!
- Ask for help. If you are really struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that’s asking a friend, a teammate, coach, professor, or seeking professional help.
Mental health is no joke and it’s okay to admit that you are struggling or need help. If you find that these tips aren’t working don’t hesitate to reach out to someone you trust and can confide in. If you fear that someone you know is struggling reach out to them and let them know you are there for them; or reach out to someone who can help you help them. You are not alone and you have a village to support you!
SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357)
NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI(6264)
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Call or Text 211 for live help
Crisis Text Line: text “Home” to 741-741
The Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
The Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860