Wednesday, September 23, 2020

HEALTH IS THE NEW HAPPY! Taking care of mental health

September 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Health

Taking care of mental health

BY TIFFANY McNEELY

Tiffany McNeely

Mental health awareness is on the rise. One out of five Americans — an estimated 46.6 million people — have some sort of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Some choose to ignore their condition and others lack access to services.

I recently helped a young woman who wanted to be my roommate. She moved from another state and we met through a mutual friend. After a week’s stay with me, to see if it was a good fit, I realized that she had mental health issues that were not disclosed to me. Her old roommate called to inform me that she was in denial about having schizophrenia and depression.

She was suffering from an episode of psychosis — which leaves a person unable to think clearly, detached from reality, and suffering from severe emotional distress. She ended up having a panic attack, on the ground and unable to speak when the ambulance found her one block from my house. When I arrived to identify her, she was not able to comprehend what was going on.

I was incredibly sad at that moment because I had never experienced anything like this before. I did not know how to help her and I was very confused about everything that took place. This is an extreme case of mental illness that can consume an individual if they are not taking care of themselves and receiving the help or care they need.

Some other mild cases could be as simple as suffering from anxiety or stress. We need to be aware of what great mental health looks like and how to achieve this in our daily life. Here are some steps I take on a daily basis.

  • Talking to a counselor or therapist when things arise that you cannot fix by yourself. It’s OK to seek assistance to work through issues so that you don’t spiral out of control. This is a great way to get thoughts out and have an outside opinion on how to deal with life issues.
  • I practice self-care throughout my week. I pick something I love to do and I enjoy it by myself. I love to read books and take what I call sanity soak. A glorified bath with essential oil, soothing music, and I add coconut oil with epsom salt. I like to run or take walks to enjoy the sunsets in nature. Anything that brings peace and joy to my life.
  • There are natural supplements that you can take like B Vitamins that support the nervous system. I have used a drink called Calm that has magnesium in it to help relieve stress. Probiotics assist with keeping the bad bacteria low in your gut. Good gut health is vital for good mental wellness. Ashwagandha and saffron help the nervous system and can relieve stress. Always consult with a doctor prior to use of supplements
  • Staying active is important. When you’re active for at least 30 minutes a day, it can improve your memory, improve sleep, and boost your overall mood. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, and ADHD, being active can have a positive impact on these conditions.
  • Taking foods out of your diet that can disrupt your mental health: processed meats, fried foods, refined cereals, candy, pastries, high fat dairy products, and any foods that are genetically modified can all cause mental health problems. So make sure you are eating more fiber rich grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, wild caught fish, and meats that are organic range and grain free with no hormones.
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