Did you hear the shocking news?

image of a multitude of peopleDid you hear the shocking news that 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year?2 How about that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the world for individuals 15 to 44?1

Probably not.

In the midst of “fake” news and even real news of terrorism and disasters, facts like these get lost. Yet, suicide rates have increased by 60% over the past 45 years and more than 800,000 people worldwide take their own lives every year.1 But did news stations report this? Have you seen it on social media?

Something you may recall hearing about are the following celebrities:

Robin Williams
Don Cornelius
Jonathan Brandis
Vincent Van Gogh
Lee Thompson Young
Virginia Woolf
Chester Bennington
Alexander McQueen
Marilyn Monroe
Dana Plato
Diane Arbus
Ernest Hemingway
Jovan Belcher
Lucy Gordon
Johnny Lewis
Mindy McCready
Kurt Cobain
Sylvia Plath

What do they all have in common? They all committed suicide.

image of song "How to Save a Life" by The Fray

“…had I known how to save a life” by The Fray

Yet, for many celebrities their suicide is attributed to the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” lifestyle they led or their penchant for the dramatic. There is little or no serious discussion about mental illness or what led up to their tragic demise. This is probably equally true for the non-celebrities who commit suicide every year. While preventable, little is said about suicide, mental illness or mental health.

October 10th is World Mental Health Day (WMHD)image announcing World Mental Health Day as October 10th.

WMHD is a day to understand the stigma around mental illness, to be educated on what mental illness entails and develop methods to work on your mental well-being. In addition, October is Emotional Wellness Month and Depression Awareness Month. This Month is dedicated to evaluating your levels of stress and depression and educating yourself and others on depression.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental illnesses are commonly ignored. “Sleep it off,” “It’s a phase,” “You’re just stressed,” are common terms heard by family and friends. By familiarizing yourself with signs of mental health illnesses/issues you can eliminate those phrases once said and get your family member, friends, or loved one the help they need.

When a person is mentally ill, a person’s brain functions are disrupted such as their thinking, perception, and behavior. Some symptoms include sleeping problems, extreme emotional highs and lows and difficulty focusing. So now that you have more awareness, be sure to stay alert for signs of depression in others and yourself. The following are ways to improve mental health which you can suggest to family and friends or try yourself.

Ways to Improve Mental Health:

Value Yourself!
image of woman looking at herself in the mirrorWhen life seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t manage it all, that is the time when you most need to value yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and say “I can do this!”
“Today, I can take one small step.” “It’s okay if I fail, I can start again tomorrow.”

Poem Don't QuitYou have much to offer the world, see the value in yourself. Here’s a little poem, I find inspiring: “Don’t Quit”.

Break up your routine.
You wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, go home, eat dinner, lay down, sleep, and repeat. Although having a routine can be efficient in getting things done, it can become meaningless and eventually can cause the days to drag on. It’s time to rejuvenate! Instead of following your daily plan to the point, add a few little activities in between to add excitement to your day.

Treat Yourself!
a photo of an Energy Healing Session by Jennifer Garcia of Spiritual SpectraTake time to do something for yourself. Treat yourself to a spa day, take yourself out to the movies, pick up a hobby or spend time with friends. Another spectacular way to relieve stress and emotional baggage is through an Energy Healing Session by Spiritual Spectra. It’s okay to take a day and put aside your work. After all, taking a break and working on your mental health is the only way to truly be sane.

Check the company you keep.
Do your friends encourage you or put you down? Do they want to spend time with you and listen to your problems or do they shut you out and not care? It’s time to reevaluate the company you keep. Keep positive people in your life that uplift you. Those friends will help you maintain positivity and have great mental health. Sometimes, it’s okay to be selfish, and especially selfish with whom you keep in your life. Get rid of that negative energy in your life and you will see how much happier you are.

Get Active!
image of a walk in the parkWhether it’s taking a morning stroll and enjoying the glorious sunrise, birds chirping, and animals stirring, or stretching out your muscles with some gentle yoga, either is a great way to start your day. By doing this morning activity you are waking yourself up and creating positive energy to carry on throughout your day. Youtube has various yoga teaching videos to help you practice.

At mid-day, stand up and stretch your muscles, pull your arms up and stretch them out, then lay them down and roll your head around, then bend at the waist and gently bow forward as far as you can and then gently get back up, and finally bend at the knees gently downward and then gently up. This will help loosen any tight muscles and get the blood flowing. Also, some time during the day try to get at least 15 minutes of cardio in, such as dancing, aerobics, walking, swimming, playing a sport, whatever activity you most enjoy.

Listen to music.

image of song "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammer

“Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer

When getting ready to go to work, on your drive, or during your lunch break, listen to some jams, soothing sounds, positive music to start your day right. Whether you download it to your phone, ipod, or computer, music can help keep you uplifted and in a positive mood throughout the day. Feel free to take a break and get up and dance, if the mood strikes!

One song that boosts me up and makes me smile is “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer.

Clear your space!
A cluttered space is reflective of a cluttered mind. So bit by bit every day, tidy up and put things away. Another form of clutter is the energy in your home, the more stuff you have, the more it bottles in energy including all the bad moods, unhappiness, sadness and anger held by those in your home. A Property Energy Clearing by Spiritual Spectra is an energetic cleansing of your property releasing the negative energy that has accumulated and transforming the energy in your environment to make it safer, healthier and happier for those who reside in your home

Here are a few more ideas: https://www.uhs.umich.edu/rejuvenation

Now that you’re better educated on what mental health and mental illness consists of, make a promise to work on your own mental health as well as being by a person’s side as they understand their own mental health issues.

Citations
1 http://www.wincalendar.com/World-Mental-Health-Day

2 https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/world-mental-health-day-2017/

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