Oct. 10 is World Mental Health Day. Mental health and self-care are extremely important. Our mental health can affect how we act toward ourselves and toward one another. It affects how we think and feel as well. It determines how we handle stress and make choices in life. It is important that people become more aware of mental health and how to take care of themselves every day when feeling sad, angry or stressed.
“Some of the common, general recommendations for self-care include the following: regular exercise, meditation, staying in touch with loved ones, balancing work/academic demands with personal needs like sleep and good nutrition,” Illinois State University Staff Psychologist Glorivette Albino-Montalvo said.
Everyone is different, so each one of us may have a different routine to deal with stress-related problems. Finding a self-care method that works for you will be beneficial in the long run to cope with obstacles in life.
“Self-care is about cultivating a sense of general wellness that allows us to be our best selves on our daily routines, and that involves our mental health. An important element with promoting mental health is eliminating the stigma that society continues to attach to mental health conditions. Asking for help when we need it implies that we are wise enough to recognize our needs and are trying to respond to those,” Albino-Montalvo said.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help from a friend, family, adult or even a professor. There are many ways that you could get help and deal with the situation of feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
At Illinois State University, there is a WellTrack app that can help with practicing self-care and developing the right routines that suite you. It helps with managing stress and it can help you recognize signs of anxiety and depression without the use of a professional mental health provider. The app is available to students, faculty and staff who attend ISU for free.
Kognito is also a useful program for learning about mental health and suicide prevention. It was made to assist students, faculty and staff who are dealing with thoughts of suicide or even mild anxiety or depression. It will provide users with ways to practice self-care.
“To be advocates for mental health, we have to take care of ourselves first. Self-care is not a selfish thing,” Albino-Montalvo said.
One student has some words of advice to share and tips on how she deals with mental health and how she takes care of herself.
“First things I like to do in the morning is chug water and make my bed. It’s a sign of accomplishment. Then I’d meditate and set good intentions for the day. Workout and eat well. Write down things you’re grateful for and have a good sleep schedule. I also recommend talking to friends and family if you’re feeling down,” freshman international business major Ava Webster said.
It is important to find what works well for you. What works for Webster may not work for you. It is recommended that everyone finds a way to take care of themselves. This will result in a healthier and better lifestyle in the long run.
If you do not like to exercise, maybe a way to calm yourself down and escape could be through music, drawing, writing in a journal or even simply sitting down and reading a good book. Sit down and think about what helps you focus and live a healthier life. Also, download the WellTrack app if you need help. Self-care is extremely beneficial and will reduce stress and problems in your life. It will provide a better and happier way of living.