May is Mental Health Awareness Month! This was started 64 years ago to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of mental wellness for everyone. Mental Health America’s theme this year is “Pathway to Wellness”. Wellness is defined as “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a more successful existence.” Living a “successful existence” means something different to everyone and wellness can be many things, but generally includes the pursuit of health, defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease” and working towards achieving one’s full potential.
Your pathway to wellness can include: good health, saving more money, healthy relationships, taking care of your community, etc.
There are four steps to take good care of your body and mind highlighted on the Mental Health America website (www.mentalhealthamerica.net). These steps can make a difference in how well you do in your day-to-day life.
- A Healthy Diet—Improves Your Ability to Learn.
- Regular Exercise—Elevates Mood, Reduces Stress, Increases Energy Level, Stimulates the Release of Endorphins and Serotonin, Which Makes You Happier.
- Relaxation—Take Time Each Day to Unwind; Especially Before Sleeping.
- Plenty of Rest—7-9 Hours of Sleep Each Day. Inadequate Sleep can Lead to Mood Changes and Lowered Resistance to Illness.
Other steps to help achieve wellness are: development of coping skills, emotional awareness and connections to family, friends and the community.
Fully embracing the concept of wellness not only improves health in the mind, body and spirit, but also maximizes your potential to lead a full and productive life.
May 5-11, 2013, is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is “Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma”. There is a need to educate the nation about children’s mental health and promote comprehensive, grass-root efforts to eradicate scrutiny, discrimination, etc. that deter our children, youth and families in need of care from seeking help. www.ffcmh.org (National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health website) has valuable information.
Thanks to United Counseling Service for sharing this article from their May 2013 newsletter with us.