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Did You Know January Is Mental Wellness Month?

In order to promote mental health and well-being, January is annually celebrated as Mental Wellness Month. Despite this month being Mental Health Awareness Month, Delaware Psychological Services recognizes the importance of mental health throughout the year.

What is Mental Wellness?

The World Health Organization has defined mental wellness as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Does that mean that you aren’t experiencing mental health issues? Not always. It doesn't mean you're just coping well with any disorders you might have, either. Instead, positive characteristics that enable you to thrive, even during stressful times, are signs of mental wellness.

Mental wellness is associated with certain characteristics, such as;

  • You feel secure when you are content, no matter what the circumstances may be. A person who is highly content is able to enjoy life and laugh.

  • A resilient person is one who is capable of standing up to stressful situations, dealing with them effectively, and returning to normalcy. Individuals who are resilient are able to adapt to new circumstances and experiences.

  • Maintaining a work-life balance. Separating your home life and your work life is part of maintaining this balance. Balanced individuals make sure to schedule both work and playtime into their lives.

  • The ability to build and maintain relationships. In order to manage their relationships effectively, people adhere to the concept of giving and taking. These people realize how important other people are to them.

  • Possessing self-confidence and self-esteem. An individual with a strong sense of self will utilize their strengths, overcome weaknesses, and take full advantage of their talents.

  • When times get tough, a sense of purpose remains unwavering. Meaningful living encourages you to take more positive steps to achieve your goals.

You may want to consider your own mental health during mental wellness month. Start by looking for positive characteristics that you can improve. Also, you should identify potential obstacles and a negative mindset that might stand in the way of your success.

And, from there, you may also want to try the following six tips to improve your mental wellness starting this month.

Practice self-care.

By being physically and emotionally healthy, you’re able to boost your mental wellness. And, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through self-care.

Self-care may take the form of eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and sleeping well, It could also be finding healthy ways to manage your stress, such as through yoga or breathing exercises.

And, don't forget to schedule time each day to indulge in the things that are pleasant and meaningful to you. Take a walk, bathe in a hot tub, or engage in hobbies. Even if it takes only a few minutes, this can make your day more enjoyable.

In short, use this month to get in the habit of taking care of yourself since it is easy to overlook self-care in your daily life.

Look for the positives.

When everything around you seems to be falling apart, it's so much easier to focus on the negative. If you do not work to change this mindset, however, you are more likely to stay there. Start by looking for some small positives, like having a roof over your head or a warm meal to eat.

Finding the silver lining is another way to find the positive in a situation. For example, you can view a crisis situation as an opportunity. Specifically, solving problems creatively can open up more possibilities. Try listing the positive outcomes that might come from solving the problem you’re facing.

In addition, you can practice positive thinking techniques. You can also create a positive working and living environment. You'll soon see more positive effects in your life when you can identify the fears that are holding you back.

Develop an attitude of gratitude.

Taking the time to appreciate the people and things we are grateful for can help us feel better about ourselves. While not every day may be ideal, there is always something to be thankful for. Focus on what you are grateful for, and turn your attention away from what may be pulling you down.

Keeping a gratitude journal might be helpful to some, expressing appreciation in prayer, conversation, or in writing to others.

Slow down.

With so much going on in our daily lives, both the mind and body can become overwhelmed when you feel that your life has become hectic. As such, make sure you take short breaks throughout the day. After all, there’s nothing wrong with doing something relaxing that you enjoy, or with just existing. You can pray, meditate, and practice mindfulness at this time.

Others enjoy reading books, taking baths, lying in a darkened room with scented candles, and taking a nap. To ensure that your mind remains in the present moment, you should take several brief breaks during the day for at least ten minutes each.

Connect with others.

A key component of mental wellness is staying social. Regularly interacting with friends and family will prevent you from feeling isolated and lonely, both of which can negatively impact your mental health. Being around family and friends who have a positive outlook can also be very helpful when you're dealing with depression or another mental health issue.

During the pandemic, there are ways for you to safely interact with loved ones, such as video chatting. Even if you feel safe, you can still use technology to connect with others more frequently.

Ask for help.

Talk to your loved ones and ask for their support. Or, reach out to Delaware Psychological Services if you're feeling extremely overwhelmed. In addition to working with people who may have a serious mental illness, our licensed mental health therapists are trained to work with people who are coping with everyday stresses. Call us at (302) 703-6332 to get back on the road to wellness!

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