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Recipe for Emotional Wellness
When we think of Healthy Living, we usually think of it in terms of our physical health.
However, Healthy Living can apply to our emotional and mental health as well. Similar to improving our physical health, we may be able to “get in better shape” emotionally by following this Recipe for Emotional Wellness.
Sleep – Many people have sleep problems and the causes can be complex. Not enough sleep or too much sleeping can be a sign that your mental health may be suffering. We can increase the chances of better sleep if we decrease the amount of caffeine we consume in coffee, tea and cola drinks. Lying in bed watching TV can be a no-no. It may serve to keep us amped up. So if you have a TV in the bedroom, think about moving it out. You can prepare for sleep by doing some relaxation exercises. Many people have a glass of milk or a bowl of cereal and milk before going to bed. Milk is one of nature’s natural sedatives.
Eat – People can struggle with their food intake and one of the casualties over time is their mental health. A well balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can improve your mental health because you get all the vitamins and minerals your brain needs to function well. The high sodium, high carb diet can make mood levels fluctuate so think about this the next time you want that burger and fries. Cutting down on your alcohol intake will help immensely as well.
Exercise – This can be the key to living healthy, emotionally as well as physically. I am not suggesting that everyone runs five miles each day, but a regular program of physical exercise, pre-approved by your doctor, can help you stay in shape mentally as well as
physically. It doesn’t have to be a heavy duty exercise. Even a nice gentle walk after supper three or four times a week can get your body’s chemicals to be more active and when they get active, you feel better physically. When this happens, you feel better emotionally as well.
Communicate – It’s an old saying that a burden shared is a burden lightened. If you can share your concerns with someone else, that takes some of the load off your shoulders. What you may find is that other people have faced a similar situation and you may get some good tips and advice about handling the challenges that you face in life. Just knowing you are not alone can be very comforting at times.
Goals – If we have a “come day, go day” view of life when every day is pretty much the same, then we miss out on a lot that life offers. If we can set some goals for ourselves and then try to achieve them, we will view ourselves in a more positive manner. The goals we set
don’t have to be major life achievements, they can be something as simple as picking up that hobby we stopped doing or reading a book for an hour each evening rather than watching TV; parking our car a little farther from work so we get up earlier and walk a bit more. These goals may not be a big deal to other people, but they can be a big deal for you. Try it, you may like it!
Medications – Many people take prescribed medications for various health problems. It’s really important that we take them as prescribed and that we are telling our prescriber how these meds are affecting us. So if your provider has to adjust your meds, they have confidence that they are doing the right thing. People need to be a partner in their own care, your well being is too important to be left to anyone else.
This Recipe for Emotional Wellness has helped a lot of people. Try it for a few months and I would be very surprised if you don’t feel better as well.
This article is courtesy of Ron McHugh, executive director for Oxford County Mental Health Services.