How are you?
How many times a day do you ask or answer this question?
If you're like most people, it's at least a few. It's part of polite conversation.
But, how often do you answer it honestly?
Most of the time we say we're "fine" or "good." But the truth is, no matter how strong, skilled, or accomplished we are, sometimes we're not okay.
Everyone Has Mental Health
While physical health reflects the wellbeing of our body, mental health reflects the wellbeing of our emotional, social, and psychological state.
And just like everyone has a body we try to keep healthy, we all have emotions and minds to care for.
Sometimes We're Unwell
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Our mental health can fluctuate just like our physical health.
This is influenced by our behaviour, genetics, and environment.
Physically we can face long-term conditions like diabetes, and short term issues like a the flu.
It's the same mentally. We can face long-term conditions like schizophrenia, and shorter term issues like the stress after having a new baby.
Which of the following can influence our mental health?
Developing Healthy Habits
You take care of your physical health through healthy habits like eating nutritious food, exercising, getting enough sleep, and going to the doctor regularly.
In just the same way, you can develop habits to stay mentally healthy. All of the above healthy physical habits can also have a positive impact on your mental health.
Other positive mental health habits include:
Writing in a journal
Spending time with loved ones
Talking about your feelings
Asking for help when you're stressed
What's the key characteristic of a habit?
Mental health is a complicated topic. But recognizing that we all have mental health, in the same way that we have physical health, is the first step to taking better care of ourselves and each other.
As you continue with your week, try to become more aware of your mental wellbeing. Check in with yourself regularly by asking:
How am I really feeling?
Am I taking care of mind?
How can I take better care of my emotions?
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