In August, we celebrate National Wellness Month, a month focused on creating healthy habits, managing stress and prioritizing self-care. Our overall wellness is largely affected by our mental health — emotional, psychological, and social well-being. When you’re mentally healthy, you’re better able to handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices.
As behavioral health professionals, we can often put our own health and wellness on the back burner due to outside factors like work deadlines, family obligations and other stressors. However, it’s important to note that if we are going to continue to face the challenges and complexities in our careers and do the important work of helping those in need, we must first take care of ourselves.
This month is about making it a priority to care for ourselves all the time, not just when we are experiencing challenges or crises. Taking responsibility for your own well-being can mean making time for the things that are important to your mental and physical being, such as:
- Routinely exercising and eating well
- Checking in on your mental state: how are you feeling? How are you dealing? What problems can you solve today? What situations do you need help with?
- Getting outside daily for vitamin D, breathing fresh air and connecting with your environment
- Surrounding yourself with good people and an environment that promotes healthy habits
- Taking time to do the things you love
Giving yourself an active role in your own health allows you to assess your situation and plan accordingly. And finding new and meaningful ways to improve your mental health and help support others in doing the same can truly give you a boost of happiness.