What is “mental health,” anyway? Mental health affects our feelings and even behaviors! Those things are controlled in our brain. It’s our brain that makes us happy, sad, excited, worried, or upset. The brain is a super awesome and complex organ that lets us think, feel, and do!
Just like the rest of your body, your brain can feel good and healthy sometimes, while at other times it feels worse. So mental health and wellness is just like physical health and wellness, only for your feelings! When our mental health is good, we feel relaxed, calm, or happy. When our mental health is having some trouble, we can feel pretty bad, sad, or angry.
Emotions are normal, and it’s okay to feel sad when something sad happens, or angry when something upsetting happens. But if you’re feeling bad very often, when there’s no reason to be sad, angry, or anxious, that can mean that your mental health might need a bit of T.L.C (tender loving care!).
Just like your body, your brain can get better or worse depending on how you treat it. Luckily, that means there are things we can do that help our mental health, so that we can feel better more often!
Dealing with Disorders
Some people experience mental health “disorders,” like depression or anxiety, that make them feel not-so-great more often than usual. That can happen when brain chemicals are out of balance, making us think and feel things that we don’t need to.
It’s okay, and actually quite normal, to experience a mental health disorder. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! If you’re experiencing a mental health disorder, it’s even more important to try to make lifestyle choices that help improve how you feel.
Mental health disorders can be hard to talk about. That’s called “stigma.”
Mental Health Helpers
Getting Good Sleep
Your body isn’t the only thing that gets tired: sleep helps your mind rest and rejuvenate. A good night’s sleep will help your mind to feel more clear and content!
Eating Healthy Nutrients
Your body and brain need all kinds of vitamins and nutrients to work well. Eating a well-balanced diet will help you feel your best.
It’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough water, so that you don’t dehydrate. Doctors recommend drinking 6-8 cups a day!
Beating Stress with a
Self Care Tool Kit
Stress is that awful, anxious feeling that we get when we are overwhelmed. It happens when we feel like something bad might happen. Stress can often be caused by tough events in our lives. Many people feel anxious about big changes, like moving to a new home or starting a new job.
Sometimes things can feel so overwhelming in the moment we need to take a break – we need to take a few minutes to just breathe and calm our minds. Sometimes listening to a meditation, watching a calming video, or taking nice, deep breaths can help.
A Self Care Tool Kit is a list of things that you know will help you feel better when you start feeling sad, stressed or overwhelmed. Your kit can either be written down, or just a mental list in your mind. It’s important to know that things that help you so that when you are feeling icky, you have a good idea of things that you can do to help yourself feel better!!
Here are a list of things that often help people to feel better. Are there other things that you can think of that help you?
A relaxing bath
Talking with friends or family
Talk to a counselor
Read a book
Call or facetime a friend
Get out in nature
Take some time to think of what other things make you feel good when your down and create your own self care tool kit!
Guided Breathing Exercises
Empathy for mental health
Do you know what empathy means? And why is it important for nurturing our mental health?
Learn more about it:
Take the Challenge
There are lots of things we can do to help our mental health, but sometimes it can be hard to pick one! Try this 30 Day Mental Health Challenge. It has one activity for you to try every day. You can look at it below, or CLICK HERE to print it out. Then you can hang it somewhere in your home, where you’ll see it every day!