Taking care of our mental health is essential to being well and showing up at our best. The amount of stress, anxiety, depression, and isolation over the past two years have been challenging to many and brought the importance of mental health to the surface.
Here at Suite Stitch, we want to help break the stigma on mental health and show the strength and courage in seeking support. It is ok to not have all the answers and it is ok to ask for help.
In this blog post, we share three simple ways to improve mental health with insights from the National Alliance on Mental Illness Hearts and Minds program.
It is no surprise that exercise is good for us physically, but it can also do wonders for our mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Hearts and Minds Program article, “Physical activity can even improve how well medications work. As your body's state of health improves, it functions more efficiently, including how it processes food and medications that you take.”
Exercise has also been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep, and mood. More specifically, the Mayo Clinic indicates, “Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve your mood, help you relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.” You do not need to run a marathon to see the benefits, even a 10-minute walk can be a great way to get in some exercise.
Mediation has become a popular way to focus inward and reduce stress. The Mayo Clinic indicates, “Meditation may offer many benefits, such as helping with concentration, relaxation, inner peace, stress reduction and fatigue.”
Not sure where to start? With so many meditation techniques out there, it can be hard to know where to begin. We recommend starting with some of the techniques described in this headspace article to learn more about which mediation techniques are best for you.
We all need some form of connection, and the great news is there are many ways to feel connected to our community. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Hearts and Minds Program highlights the importance of finding support and supporting others. In particular, support for building and maintaining healthy habits and mental health awareness. An article from the National Alliance of Mental Illness Hearts and Minds Program notes, “Sharing and receiving support leads to improvements in symptoms of depression, and helps you better manage emotions.”
While opportunities to meet in person may vary, there are multiple ways to engage and connect with others. Connection can be built upon in a variety of ways including virtual club meetings, phone calls, and virtual check ins.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of ways to improve mental health, nor a replacement for professional help, we hope it provides some tools and insights to support your mental health journey. If you need additional support, we recommend the National Alliance on Mental Illness as a resource.