Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 2nd through October 8th. According to Mental Health America of Illinois, mental health conditions are most common in people ages 18-24, and one in four adults will experience a mental health disorder each year.
Here are some ways to take care of your own mental health. Keeping your mind healthy and positive is an important aspect of overall wellness.
- Laugh and have fun. Laughter helps obliterate negative emotions, relieves stress, and triggers the release of endorphins, which are your body’s natural chemicals that make you feel good.
- Sleep. Sleep not only gives your brain rest, it also enhances your memory and creativity.
- Eat properly. Healthy foods can alleviate anxiety and stress, and they can also act as natural mood-boosters.
- Exercise. Exercise, along with laughter, also releases endorphins, and it helps to clear your mind and relieve stress.
- Reserve “me time.” Give yourself time alone to unwind, relax, and get to know yourself. Building strong self-esteem is a critical step in achieving a healthy mind.
- Work now, play later. Procrastination is a major contributor to stress, so working hard now will make free time later much more enjoyable.
- Express your feelings. Don’t bottle everything up inside—if you’re having a hard time or feeling down, talk to someone about it, or write a letter to yourself.
- Create goals. Setting and achieving goals, no matter how big or small, boosts your self-esteem, and makes you feel better about yourself.
- Give back. Be especially nice to people, or practice random acts of kindness. Making others happy will make you happy in return.
- Test your brain. Strengthen your brain by doing crossword puzzles, solving riddles, or playing games that require critical thinking. Pogo.com has over 100 free online games to keep your mind active.
Follow these simple tips to improve your own mental wellness, share them with friends, and remember to keep mental health in mind!
For more information on mental health, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness and stop by the Peer Educator Table from 11:00am-1:00pm in front of Lawrence Dining Hall.Written by Carol Fritz, peer educator