After living through a pandemic, hearing regular “brink of war” announcements on the news, listening to warnings of a great recession, and struggling with the reality of a rise in cost of living, many Americans are exiting 2022 with a lot on their minds. What does this new year hold for America? Nobody really knows. How can we make 2023 a good year no matter what life throws our way? Focus on mental health.
Anxiety and depression are currently on the rise. Suicide hotlines are ringing off the hook. Mental health clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed. We have got to talk about this. How can we help ourselves?
Here are some tips, these are not cures, they are just suggestions to help each of us do what we can to maintain a healthy mind.
1. Get out and about in nature. Being outdoors is a wonderful way to relieve stress and the fresh air is wonderful for mental health.
2. Exercise. It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise, just a simple walk or jog every day will help boost your mental health.
3. Eat healthy. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and make sure you are getting all of your vitamins and minerals, especially B12.
4. Take breaks. Don’t overload your schedule, make sure you are keeping time open to take care of yourself. That could mean a spa day, taking yourself on a date, going for a solo weekend at the beach or mountains, sleeping a whole day, or it could mean just going for a walk in the park on your lunch break. Just take time to rest.
5. Disconnect at night. Turn off all the electronics- TV, cell phone, radio, tablet, computer, all of it. Instead, read a book, learn to knit or cross stitch, try journaling, do a crossword puzzle, just leave the modern day technology behind for an hour or so before bed at night.
6. Say no. If you are a yes person, work on saying no. Tell people no when they ask you to do unnecessary tasks you don’t want to do. Decline invitations to events that have a tendency to be tedious or stressful. It’s ok to say no.
7. Get help. If you are struggling with a mental health issue, know that you are not alone and there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. 20% of Americans, that’s about 50 million people, are struggling with some kind of diagnosed mental illness and it is reasonable to say that there are even more people who have not yet been diagnosed who are struggling. If you need to talk to someone, do it. If you think you may need medication, talk to your doctor. Do what you need to do in order to be your best self and live your best life.
Let’s make this year, 2023, the year that we take back our mental health. Have the tough conversations. Do what is necessary for mental stability to be your new normal.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis you can reach out to 988 via text message or phone call any time 24/7.