“There is no health without mental health”
This is a statement made by The World Health Organization and a statement mental health providers have been advocating for many years. Education on the importance of physical health is becoming more and more available, but what about our mental health? The two are connected, yet mental health often seems to fall into the shadows.
Here are 5 simple tips to improve both physical and mental health for you, your child, or your family:
- Go for a walk. Taking 10 minutes of your lunch break can lead to improved energy, moods (thanks, endorphins!), and mental awareness. Not to mention the benefits for your muscle and heart health!
- Stretch it out. A five minute stretching time first thing in the morning can alleviate tension and improve mental clarity. Doing the same before bed can reduce stress as well as improve relaxation and quality of sleep. Most of us can agree, when we sleep better, we feel better!
- Eat on purpose. Many struggle with “mindless eating,” and that usually does not mean we are reaching for broccoli or carrots! Excessive sugar (and carbohydrate) intake often leads to inflammation, which negatively impacts the immune system and brain. Choosing healthier food such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats and proteins can lead to balanced mood and emotions, energy, and better quality of overall health.
- Get outside. This may mean sitting on your front porch, going for a jog, or working in the garden. Small doses of Vitamin D that comes from sunlight have been shown to improve moods
- Drink water. Our brain is made up of approximately 75% water. When we start to become dehydrated due to lack of adequate water consumption, this impacts both our physical and mental health in ways such as headaches, poor concentration and low motivation. A common recommendation is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day, but your activity level may require more or less.
Physical and mental health are directly correlated. When we take care of our bodies, our mental health benefits, and vice versa. If you need extra support or resources, CrossWinds is here to help.
Dacey West, LMLP
CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness