Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May is Mental Health Month

mental health month
May is Mental Health Month and it’s the perfect time to check in with yourself to make sure you’re taking good care of your own mental and emotional well-being. 

This year’s theme, Fitness #4Mind4Body, is designed to educate individuals how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising and getting enough sleep can go a long way in preventing the onset or worsening of mental health conditions.

As part of the month-long celebration, Mental Health America (MHA) is challenging individuals to make small changes to create big gains for their health and wellbeing. Here are a few to consider:
  • Skip or limit processed, fried and sugary foods. A diet that regularly includes these kinds of foods can increase the risk of developing depression by as much as 60 percent, according to MHA. And, in fact, yet another study showed that 1/3 of participants with depression experienced full relief of their symptoms after improving their diet. 
  • Fit in fitness. Just one hour of exercise a week is related to lower levels of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders, according to MHA. Try 10 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity at a time, 15 times a week, to reach the recommended amount. 
  • Add prebiotics to your diet. There’s a strong link between mental health problems and gastrointestinal symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, pain, constipation, and/or diarrhea. This is because anxiety and depression can cause changes in the gut microbiome. Prebiotics are great for the gut and include asparagus, bananas (especially if they aren’t quite ripe), garlic, onions, or jicama, tomatoes, apples, berries and mangos.
  • Make shut-eye a priority. Sleep is fundamental to a healthy mind and body – and, in fact, sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of people under the care of a psychiatrist, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population, according to MHA. A must-do sleep tip: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including weekends) to keep your body’s natural rhythms running on schedule.
  • Control stress. Learning to manage stress can be a small change with big results on your physical and mental health. Try meditating. Just 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection may ease chronic stress and/or increase your tolerance to it. Listen to music, relax or just think of pleasant things (or nothing at all).

Take Back Your Mental Health
Perhaps the best way you can celebrate Mental Health Month is to seek help if you or someone you love is struggling with a co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder. At Rising Roads, our staff is here to help you take your physical and mental health back. To learn more about our psychiatric consultations, call us today: 866-746-1558.








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