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Equipped to...Go Mental!
October is Mental Health Awareness Month. When we talk about mental health, we don’t just mean the absence of a mental disorder. Mental health is all about how we think, feel and behave. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, mental health is "…a state of psychological well-being…an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits".
The key word there is balance. It’s something we all talk about but very few of us actually manage to achieve. Good mental health isn't something you have, but something you do. To be mentally healthy you must value and accept yourself. This means looking after and caring for yourself.
Here are just some of the things you can do to improve your mental health:
Get Enough Sleep
One of the best ways to stay mentally healthy is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop good sleep hygiene:
There are many situations in everyday life where it is appropriate to react with some anxiety. This “normal” anxiety is a good thing – it keeps us on our toes and stops us from ignoring danger. It can also motivate us to do the things we have to do.
The threat to our mental health comes when the anxiety is “abnormal”, which we may then diagnose as a disorder. Anxiety disorders include – but are not limited to – Panic Disorders, Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
If you feel your anxiety levels may be “abnormal,” contact me to discuss treatment options.
Image by: Wordle
Stop the Stress
Stress occurs when a person perceives the demands of an event or situation to be too much for them – when they feel they can’t cope. Stress is less about the actual cause of the stress, and more about our perception of a situation.
In the 21st century, being stressed is regarded as a status symbol - if we are not stressed then something must be wrong! We seem to have lost the plot - it's not OK to be stressed! Excess stress is detrimental to our mental health and reduces our overall physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Read the article “Stressed to Kill” for a list of symptoms that may surprise you!
Burnout is characterised by physical and emotional exhaustion - usually as a result of too much work. Many people experience burnout without even realising it, and only know something’s wrong when their symptoms become severe enough to significantly interfere with their work and family life. This is when their mental health is most at risk.
Remember that you don't have to suffer from burnout. Here are some things to try:
Take the Burnout test to see if you’re at risk.
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