COMBATTING STRESS, ANXIETY, AND DEPRESSION
Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year, including depression, anxiety, and stress?
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to mental health struggles that prevent many from seeking the help they need. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse during the pandemic, highlighting the need for increased awareness and support for mental health.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health worldwide, leading to increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition to the pandemic, there are many other factors that can contribute to mental health struggles, such as work or school-related stress, relationship problems, financial stress, trauma, and more.
For me, the pandemic was especially hard because I lost my aunt to lung cancer, and not being able to spend time with her due to social distancing was extremely difficult. She was like a mother to me, and her death was one of the hardest things I have ever been through.
I felt lost, alone, and like I would never be happy again.
After a few months of therapy, I started to feel better. I was able to talk about my aunt without feeling sad or angry. I was also able to start to heal and move on with my life. That is when I learned that there is absolutely no shame in struggling with symptoms of mental health.
In fact, it's completely normal to have ups and downs with your mental health throughout your life. Just like we take care of our physical health by going to the gym or eating healthy, we need to prioritize our mental health as well.
So, how can we start prioritizing our mental health?
First and foremost, we need to start by talking about it. Let's remove the stigma and start having honest conversations about mental health. Let's check in on our loved ones and ask how they're really doing. Let's normalize therapy and seek help.
Because here's the truth: asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. (It sure helps me alot) It takes courage to recognize that you need support and to take the steps to get it.
No matter what challenges you may be facing, it's important to remember that there are practical tools that can help you prioritize your mental health. Every journey towards better mental health starts somewhere, and by incorporating the following tools into your daily routine, you can take control and find the support you need.
Now, onto the practical tools for the mind and body that can help prioritize mental health.
6 ways to improve your mental health:
1. Embrace the Power of Reading
Reading is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and improve mental health. From novels to self-help books, reading can transport us to new worlds, expand our understanding of ourselves and others, and provide a welcome escape from daily life.
If you're looking for a great book to read, consider "Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being."
This book dives deep into the mysteries of complexity theory and sheds light on how everything emerges from consciousness and awareness. It will deepen your understanding of the meaning of life and our place in it.
But why is this important for mental health?
Well, think about it: our minds and bodies are also complex systems that are constantly changing and adapting. When we understand the connections between our mental and physical health, we can start to make positive changes in our lives that promote overall well-being by becoming more aware of our sense of being - our sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts. Moreover, this book also touches on the nature of consciousness, which is a critical aspect of mental health. Understanding the complex systems that govern our consciousness can help us better understand the root causes of mental health struggles, such as anxiety and depression, and develop strategies to overcome them. This particular book is powerful, but in general, reading helps improve brain activity, aids in sleep readiness, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and heart rate so it can help fight depression symptoms and prevent cognitive decline as you age.
2. Put Pen to Paper: The Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health
Talking about strategies to overcome our anxiety and Depression, journaling is another great tool for combating mental health.
By putting pen to paper, we can explore our thoughts and feelings, identify patterns, and work through challenges we may be facing. Journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase mindfulness, all while providing a space for self-expression and self-care.
If you're new to journaling or need some guidance on what to write, the MELT Journal is a great resource. Our journal is designed to help you reflect on your thoughts and feelings, cultivate a sense of gratitude and mindfulness, and set daily intentions with daily affirmations. Incorporating journaling into your self-care routine can be a simple yet effective way to prioritize your mental health.
Download the MELT Journal for Free HERE to start reaping the benefits.
3. Self-care Getaway: The Benefits of Taking a Break to Prioritize Your Mental Health
When we take a break from our daily routine, responsibilities, and surroundings, it can do wonders for our mental health. By giving ourselves time to rest and recharge, we can reduce stress levels, improve our mood, and gain a refreshed perspective.
If you're in need of a quick escape to prioritize your mental health, consider joining MELT's Self-care Retreat in Costa Rica. From October 28th to November 4th, 2023, you can escape to the luxurious Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, a mountain retreat in Costa Rica. You'll have the opportunity to join MELT Creator, Sue Hitzmann, and a community of like-minded individuals for a transformational self-care vacation that you won't forget.
4. Move Your Body, Move Your Mood: Boost Your Mental Health with Movement and Breathwork
Movement and breathwork practices can have a significant impact on our mental health. Whether it's a gentle yoga flow, a brisk walk in nature, or some good ol' fashioned stretching, intentional movements can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase overall wellbeing.
No need for fancy equipment or a gym membership. Just grab a yoga mat or head outside for a walk in the park. Movement and breathwork can be done anywhere, anytime, making it an accessible and convenient tool for improving your mental health. One great resource to learn these practices is through the MELT Self-care Online Course.
With easy-to-follow videos and instructions, you can learn how to use gentle movements and techniques to help improve your physical and emotional wellbeing.
As a special offer for our readers, the first 50 to use the code "IMPROVE" will receive $40.00 off the course.
5. Feel Good by Doing Good: Supporting Businesses that Prioritize Mental Health
Why settle for feeling just "GOOD" when you can feel GREAT by supporting businesses that prioritize mental health?
Take Tona Active, for example. They're not just a clothing brand that creates the last black leggings you'll ever need. They're on a mission to prevent teen suicide and self-harm.
After suicide impacted the family of TONA’s CEO David Dean, the company was created as a mission-founded organization for the prevention of teen suicide and self-harm. Their goal is to provide 2,250,000 hours of counseling over the next three years, until no child or teen is ever denied treatment due to an inability to pay.By supporting Tona Active, you can not only get high-quality stylish and functional leggings but also you'll be supporting a company that is making a positive impact on mental health. It's a win-win!
6. Seek Support: The Importance of Therapy and Support Groups for Mental Health
Last but not least, seeking support is essential for improving mental health.
Whether it's through therapy or a support group, having a safe and non-judgmental space to talk about our thoughts and feelings can be incredibly beneficial.
Therapy can provide a space for introspection, self-reflection, and growth, allowing us to gain new insights into our mental health struggles and develop coping strategies. Support groups, on the other hand, can provide a sense of community and connection with others who are going through similar experiences.
If you're interested in therapy or support groups, there are many resources available. Psychology Today is a great place to start your search for a therapist, and organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provide a wealth of information and resources on mental health and support groups.
Remember, it's never too late to prioritize your mental health. By incorporating these practical tools into your daily routine and seeking support when needed, you can take control of your mental health and improve your overall well-being.
Let's work together to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and create a world where seeking help is encouraged and celebrated.
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