It’s that time of year, the time for New Year’s Resolutions.
So many people decide that January is the time to start taking care of their physical health. They join a gym, commit to classes and clean the kitchen of all the holiday foods that are delicious and fattening. What most people don’t stop to think about is taking care of their mental health, which is equally as important. If you had asthma, a heart problem or some other physical health issue, you’d probably get checked out by a doctor, right? You’d do your best to follow the doctor’s orders.
The same should be true for mental health issues. Both physical and mental health conditions may be caused by a combination of genes and life experiences. But many people never seek help for mental health conditions. Why? Denial, fear of the stigma, unsure of where to start, unsure of what the commitment will be.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Taking care of your mind, along with your body, may help you:
- Feel better about yourself
- Improve the quality of your relationships
- Manage your emotions
- Handle personal and school/work challenges
Here are some steps to start taking in your road to caring for yourself.
- Good nutrition
- Be Mindful
- Do Activities you enjoy
- Connect with friends and loved ones
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an illness just like asthma, diabetes or cancer. Nobody would tell someone with these illnesses to change their thinking or just get over it. We need to help end the stigma.
A diagnosis of depression doesn’t have to be scary. With proper treatment, you can still thrive. In addition to therapy and medications, there are other measures you can take on your own to reduce the impact of depression symptoms.
Many of these same steps can help you to improve your ability to manage everyday life stressors and reduce factors that may be putting you at risk for future mental health struggles. Check out our Managing Your Depression handout.
Remember, you are not alone.