January is Mental Wellness Month….a time to draw attention to and raise awareness about the importance of mental health. With that in mind, our partners at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center put together a guest blog offering tips to help Arizonans boost their mental wellness. After you have had a chance to read it, we’d love to hear your thoughts. And we’d also like to know how you believe we can further highlight the importance of taking care of our mental health. Generating important conversations around the health issues affecting the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season winds down for most, feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, stressed and depressed may continue to linger for many. And as New Year’s approaches, so too mounts the added pressure of setting resolutions without any real plan in place to achieve them. This year, as a way to kick off Mental Wellness Month (January), St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center is challenging Arizonans to let go of potentially unattainable resolutions, and instead make their mental wellness a major focus for 2018.
“This time of year, we often zero in on fixing all the things we think are wrong about us from losing 25 or even 50 lbs. and turning our eating habits upside down to buying expensive gym memberships and drastically cutting spending habits that we know will be difficult to maintain. If we’re not successful, we end up feeling sad, depressed or hopeless,” said Dale Parsons, Director of Therapy Services at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center. “This year, we want to challenge Arizonans to work on ways they can boost their mental wellness throughout the year. It’s less about fixing ourselves and more about taking time to support ourselves before mental health problems develop.”
Unlike resolutions that require extensive planning, copious willpower or a separate line item in the family budget, mental wellness resolutions do not have to be complicated. Instead, they are easy-to-implement, easy-to-live-by guides to healthier living. The experts at St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Center have provided a handful of resolutions to help Arizonans put their mental wellness at the forefront this coming year. Among them:
- Be consciously positive. It’s easy to dwell on the negative or keep reliving all the bad things that have happened. When those feelings start coming, take pause and focus on positive thoughts…
- Be good to yourself. Focus on your strengths and don’t put yourself down. Every mistake or perceived failure is an opportunity to learn and better ourselves.
- Be good to others. Working on relationships is tough, but the rewards are priceless.
- But, learn to say no. It may be a difficult task, but saying “yes” to everything is a surefire way to ensure burnout. Caring for yourself is not selfish.
- Make time to exercise. Low-key exercises, including hiking or even yoga just a few minutes each day allow you to center yourself while increasing your energy and boosting endorphins to fight anxiety and depression.