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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

September 4, 2018

Written by Shawna H.

Let’s talk about mental health. We get a lot of messages through social media, television, and news outlets that we should be taking care of our mental health. It is so important! But what exactly is mental health, and how do we take care of it? In short, our mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is everything that goes on in our brains and the behaviors that result from those thoughts and feelings.

Our mental health can be affected by biological factors such as genes or brain chemistry. It can also be impacted by life experiences. Sometimes if a person has gone through something really difficult in life, it can influence how their brain processes information. All these factors affect our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health

So, how do we take care of our mental health? The best thing to do is to eat healthy, exercise daily (or at least 4 times a week), and get plenty of sleep. I know you hear this all the time, and it probably sounds too simple. But, think about it. Our mental health is our brain, right. So, for our brain to stay healthy, it needs the right nutrition (water, fruits, vegetables), chemical stability (exercise increases the happy chemicals in our brains), and plenty of time to recover after working hard (sleep). The other huge component of mental health is being loved and supported by people. Human beings are social creatures, so we need to connect with other humans. This does not mean you need hundreds of friends because one good friend can be enough. Just get out there, and find those special people who will understand, love, and support you (moms, dads, and siblings count too).

Know When to Reach Out

It is totally normal to feel sad sometimes, but what if it is more than that? What if you do all the right things, and you are still struggling. Or, even trying to exercise or eat healthy is beyond your capabilities. Maybe you are having trouble sleeping, focusing on school, eating, or maintaining control of your emotions. What then? I would suggest you reach out to the people in your life who have your back. Ideally, that is your parents or guardians because they will see you every day and be able to assist you in finding some help. Talking to your doctor, a counselor, or a psychiatrist could be the next step. There is no shame in reaching out to others when you are concerned.

I am a Support Coach at Whitmore School. All the teachers and staff at Whitmore care greatly about our students, and we want to make sure our students feel supported by us. Click here if you would like to learn more about Whitmore School.

Written by:

Shawna W.

Student Support Coach

 

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