Health Topic

Mental Health

In the past, mental health has largely been an invisible issue because it wasn’t easy to diagnose. As we learn from impacts of mental health, our perceptions change. Now we can raise awareness through education and understanding.

Three women share a group hug.

What to Know About Mental Health

Much like physical health, mental health is a measure of your well-being. But instead of focusing solely on your body, mental health focuses on how you feel, how you interact with others, and the lifestyle choices you make as a result.

Mental health is all your moods and emotions.

It’s normal to experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness, joy, excitement, and everything in between. All of those feelings are a normal part of life. Over the course of a lifetime, everyone will experience challenges to their mental health (just like they will with their physical health). It’s only when these challenges persist, or interfere with daily life, that they become mental health issues.

Contributing factors you can’t control.

Living with a chronic health condition can take a toll on your mental health. So can the effects of aging. Certain medications can cause mood changes that impact your mental health. And people who have experienced emotional or physical trauma in their past may struggle with ongoing mental health issues.

Contributing factors you can control.

Many mental health issues are closely tied to your physical well-being. That’s why it’s important to make a NEW START each day with:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Water
  • Sunlight
  • Take it easy
  • Air
  • Rest
  • Take time

Misuse of prescriptions is very dangerous.

It is important to take medications exactly as prescribed. Taking them more often, or at higher doses is just as dangerous as taking them once in a while or not at all. If you feel your medication needs to be changed talk with your doctor immediately.

Caring for Your Mental Health

Your mental health is closely tied to your physical well-being. Ask yourself what you could do to help improve both.

Could you be eating healthier?

What you eat affects how well your brain functions and impacts your mood. Try adding some healthier food choices to your shopping list.

Could you get a little more exercise?

If you’re not very active, you may be surprised at how much even a 10-minute walk can help improve your energy level and your mood.

Could you drink more water?

Staying hydrated is key to your physical and mental health. Try keeping a glass of water where you can see and reach it.

Can you spend some time outside?

Fresh air and sunlight are good for your overall health. Whether you take a walk, spend time in the garden, or sit on your front steps, try getting outdoors and see how it makes you feel.

Do you need more sleep?

Your sleep directly impacts your physical and mental health. If you have trouble sleeping, you may find that physical activity helps you sleep better.

Can you better manage stress?

Left unchecked, stress takes a big toll on your health and can lead to anxiety and depression. If you’re under a lot of stress, you could try meditation, listening to relaxing music, or simply taking more rest breaks.


Mental Health Knowledge Check

Mental health can be a complex topic, but you probably already know more than you think. Test your knowledge with our quick trivia quiz.

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