Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. With COVID-19 causing many stressors that impact our mental health, the Community Health Office would like to talk about ways to cope.
Emotion-Focused coping skills are useful when the circumstances for change are out of your control. This allows you to redirect that emotion into a different activity when nothing can be done about the initial circumstance.
Problem-Focused coping skills are useful for when you actually do need to alter a situation to a more positive outcome. This coping skill lets you put into action a circumstance that can be in your control to change.
Stress on Mental Health
What Causes Stress?
This can be different for everyone but stress can be produced by numerous things such as financial worry, difficulty at school or work, trouble within friendships or relationships, even emotional causes like fear. Though having stress in our lives is inevitable, there are simple ways to reduce its effects. Exercise is a great way to improve your health but also your stress levels. According to The American Institute of Stress, exercise produces endorphins that act as natural pain killers. This helps our bodies rest and sleep better, thus lowering our stress.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle is Crucial for Stress & Mental Health Management
A well-balanced diet consists of plenty of vitamins and minerals that can help combat stress. Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to lower inflammation in the body as well as improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. Salmon, spinach, and walnuts are a few foods high in Omega-3. Vitamin C aids in lowering cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Consume foods like oranges, broccoli, and strawberries for high amounts of vitamin C. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and whole grain bread can increase our brain’s production of serotonin, the body’s mood stabilizer.
Positively Engaging Your Mental Health
Make time to do the things you love like cooking, reading, or playing an instrument. Engage your senses – light a candle, play your favorite song, look at old pictures. You can also create a ritual or habit for stress relief. If your down time is before bed, engage in something regularly at that time. Your body will begin to recognize this and relate it to relaxation, which will help reduce your stress.