Happy World Mental Health Day! Though this holiday was introduced in 1992, it seems like now, more than ever, people are becoming more accepting to the realities of mental health and illnesses. As weird as that sounds, this is where we are.
Mental health is important for everyone, but millennials especially struggle with it thanks to our current societal state, and the constant need to measure up to hyped up Instagram posts. One-Eighty says, “Our society tends to put a lot of focus on physical health. While there’s nothing wrong with taking steps to improve your physical fitness and live a healthy lifestyle, this often causes mental health concerns to be overlooked.”
This shouldn’t be the case. Mental health services professionals note that between 15 and 20 percent of youth experience mental health problems, which can have a significant impact on all areas of their life. In fact, without the help of mental health services, young people experiencing these types of problems often deal with functional impairments, social and behavioral issues, and other concerns that cause them to feel isolated from the rest of society. Without help, they may experience a decrease in school performance or experiment with substance abuse.
To ensure a brighter future for us and the generations that follow, it is essential we continue to set the standard and overcome the harmful stigmas that so often surround mental illness. With early intervention based on scientifically proven methods of treatment, it is possible to ensure that these conditions don’t have a lasting negative impact. By acting quickly and treating mental health issues as we would a physical illness, adolescents and others can receive the support they need and go on to make valuable contributions to society.”
In order to focus more on mental health, I want to start by giving you a few tips to help you work on improving your mental health:
Limit social media
Social media is creating so much competition, anger, and sadness in our lives as millenials. We watch people travel to our dream locations, get engaged with our dream rings, and have the cutest baby bumps and baby showers, and wish that our lives looked like that. Y’all – we have to cut this out! If you are constantly comparing yourself with others, cut social media out from your life. It is not healthy at all. One thing I will say is that the grass is not always greener on the other side and no matter how perfect someone’s life looks like, they still have struggles. Maybe their struggles look different from yours, but they still have them. Nobody goes on social media to post about the ‘bad’ things in their life. Instagram is a highlight reel. Try to be aware of that the next time you are looking at a picture and thinking about how perfect this person’s life is.
Using substances to avoid issues is not a new concept but it seems it’s more common. Today, drugs and alcohol are more accessible, and along with social media, it has normalized the idea of getting intoxicated to numb the pain. The only way to get to the other side, is soberly pushing through your current circumstance.
Nourish your body
According to Mentalhealth.org, “There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel, for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.
But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.
A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.
A healthy balanced diet includes:
lots of different types of fruit and vegetables
wholegrain cereals or bread
nuts and seeds
plenty of water.”
Learn to say “No”
We were trained as children to say yes to everything our parents tell us, so now, it feels like saying no is wrong, but as functioning, healthy adults, we have to learn that saying no can be good for us and our overall well-being. It’s often praised for being busy or visible at every major event, but we do not always have to say yes to every social or professional invite. We live in a world that is constantly on the go and if we do not eventually say no to something, we will get burned out and overworked. Learning how to properly balance personal time for yourself and everything else will save you tons of trouble in the future.
Talk to someone
If you are still struggling with your mental health, or even just a life change in general, it may be time to talk with a professional. For some, this may be a tough taboo to overcome, but trust me, it’ll be worth it once you do. Meeting with a professional counselor or therapist can help you significantly by adding clarity from an unbiased perspective. If you are looking for a counselor in Georgia, I recommend looking into Ray of Hope Counseling Services. They are committed to helping individuals feel better in a safe and confidential environment. With many areas of expertise such as imago therapy for couples, play therapy, hypnotherapy, stress and anger management, addiction therapy, christian counseling, and more, Ray of Hope Counseling Services is there to help you feel relieved. Check out their seven locations in Kennesaw, Canton, Alpharetta, Peachtree City, Conyers, and Marietta and visit their website for more information!