Wellness includes feeling fulfilled, energized, playful, focused and capable. While managing physical, mental or emotional challenges, these foundations of our well-being go a long way toward improving our health,” says Jamie Friend, certified health and wellness coach at Mayo Clinic. “Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being,” she adds. “Curiosity, acceptance and adaptability are essential for behavior change leading to improved mental and physical health.”
Ready to take charge of your mental health?
“Start by mapping your course,” says Friend. Ask yourself questions. What change do you want? What benefits will you see? What makes these areas important for you? Be clear and specific about your why to make change stick.
Next, brainstorm small changes to help move forward toward the big change. “Think small and consistent,” says Friend, “Many people set goals that are too big, adding unreasonable time and resource demand.” How could you replace one activity in your daily schedule to better align with your desired outcomes? Consider asking for help from a friend, family member, wellness coach, or another support person along the way. ::
A few ideas
For an instant mental health boost, consider these ideas offered by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Southeast Minnesota:
- Take a hike. Stroll through the park, woods or just down the street. Being in nature increases energy levels, decreases depression and boosts well-being.
- Try something new. Make a recipe, sketch a picture, pen a poem or do another creative project.
- Show love to someone. Deep, loving relationships are important for a happy, healthy life.
- Laugh. Hang out with a friend or watch a favorite comedy. Laughter reduces anxiety.
- Send a thank-you or keep a gratitude journal. Written expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.
Take action. Mental health matters.