The Importance of Prioritizing Mental Health

By O'Connor Professional Group

Posted in

If a child falls and breaks a bone, immediately they are rushed to the emergency room. No one would tell them to walk it off, or try not to think about it, or that it’s not a big deal. We put such high importance on excellent physical health, so why do we not do the same when it comes to mental health? It’s no secret that there are stigmas against mental health.  Barriers that prevent people from reaching out for support or being the one to reach out and give support.  Sometimes it’s easier to sweep problems under the rug rather than confronting them head-on.  In the long run, though, that does nothing but cause more pain.

When life gets crazy, it’s all too easy to allow our health and mental well-being to be left by the wayside. The truth is, however, that our mental health affects every area of our lives. For us to perform at our best, to be the person we want to be, we have to understand that taking care of ourselves mentally is a must.  If your goal is being the best support you can be for a husband, wife, son, daughter or other loved one going through a tremulous ordeal, then taking care of your own needs to is a must.

Allowing room in our lives for self-care, relaxation, self-forgiveness, and understanding means that you can avoid the mental burnout that comes with life’s stressors. It’s important to remember to take care of your mind just as much as you would take care of your body, and it’s not as hard to do as you might think. Here are some simple things to look at to make sure you are staying on top of your mental health needs.

Be Aware of Your Inner-voice, is it Working for you or Against You

One of the best and most important ways to take care of your mental health is to reconsider the way you talk to yourself. Everyone has a voice in their head with which they converse, and you are talking to yourself nearly all the time. Unfortunately, that voice can be negative, and when that is the case, it has a very harmful effect on mental health. When people go to friends for comfort or advice, it would be shocking if said friend blamed you for all your problems, but it is somehow acceptable for the little voice in your head to do just that. By merely noticing that little voice and changing its words to those of positivity and support, you can take a massive leap towards improving your mental health.

Being OK with Not Being OK

Another way to work towards improving your mental health is to understand that it’s okay not to be okay. Especially today it’s all too easy to shove any negative thoughts and feelings to the back of your mind and try to distract yourself and not think about them. It’s okay to be upset or sad or anxious, and it’s okay to talk about it. No one expects you to be perfectly happy all the time; it’s completely unrealistic to think that is even possible. Getting help and finding someone to talk to does not mean something is wrong with you. In fact, realizing that everything is not okay is a huge step towards making things ok again.

Make Time for Self-Care and Hold Yourself to It

The importance of making time and engaging in self-care activities cannot be understated. We need to take care of ourselves if we want to be able to succeed.  Self-care is instrumental in making sure we are prioritizing our mental health.  Self-care is different for everybody.  What might work great for someone is not necessarily the best option for you.  Find an activity, exercise, or game that you enjoy and that makes you feel good.  Hopefully, something that provides you with some relaxation and allows you to quiet your mind.  Engaging in these activities allows us to remember that life isn’t just about the daily stress.  Find your activity, and preferably activities, and make time for them, don’t allow your schedule to bump self-care out continually. Life happens, and we have responsibilities that sometimes have to come first, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find the time somewhere else to give ourselves the love we deserve.

For most of us, taking care of ourselves means taking care of our body: eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. All of that is good, but the list is missing something. Everything is about the body when the mind is just as vulnerable if not more so. So many people suffer poor mental health, yet we tend to forget about that when we think about taking care of ourselves, and its time for that to change.

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