Mental Health Month
Creating Healthy Routines and Considering Your Feelings
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the City of Rocklin is sharing tips from the organization Mental Health America to help manage mental health.
Life was already busy before the pandemic, with work, taking care of family, getting enough sleep, and performing household duties. The past year has exacerbated the feeling of being overwhelmed for many. Routines have changed dramatically, and it’s hard not to be weighed down by effects on health and the economy. The stress of uncertainty can be managed by understanding how feelings are affecting behaviors and creating healthy routines.
Create a Routine Right for You
Any healthy routine should include a nutrition-rich diet, exercise, and a sufficient amount of sleep. Try to build a routine around those three guidelines by adding a small thing each week to work on. By starting small, the steps are more manageable and can be longer-lasting. A healthy routine that is right for you can be different from a healthy routine for someone else, because no two people are exactly the same.
Start Small by Adding to Existing Habits
Making small changes to existing habits you already have in your routine is an easy way to incorporate healthy change. You can swap less healthy behaviors for better ones. For instance, let’s say you usually go on a walk in the morning but want to add more exercise to your routine. You also want to watch less news coverage at night. You could make a goal of going for another 30-minute walk in the evening instead of watching news coverage. You would meet both your goals of exercising more and watching less news.
Don’t Ignore How You’re Feeling
Recognizing how you feel may help you better cope with challenging situations. By pushing feelings aside, it may become more difficult to manage them healthfully. Processing emotions immediately may not be appropriate for some situations, but try to process them as soon as you can.
Talk It Out
Talk to someone you trust about what you are feeling. This can be a friend, family member, or even a mental health professional. People may be willing to also share similar experiences they have had with you to make you feel like you are not alone in your struggle. It’s also okay to tell someone you just want them to listen and empathize with you.
Make Time for Things You Enjoy
By setting aside time to do something you enjoy—whether it’s fun or relaxing—your brain will release chemical messengers that aid your physical and mental health.
Find more information and resources about COVID-19 and mental health at mhanational.org/covid19.
*This article is part of a series for Mental Health Awareness during the month of May. A new article with mental health tips will be released each week.