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Why Taking Care of Your Own Mental Health Should be Your Number One Priority

Taking care of your mental and emotional health is extremely important for optimal functioning. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 people in America right now, live with a mental illness. Of course, these illnesses range in severity, but it is something that affects millions of people every day. Our mental health has a huge impact on how we move through the world, how we feel (our emotions), and how we function socially. 

Why do we neglect our mental health?

As humans, we tend to our physical health before we tend to our mental and emotional health. Perhaps because it is seen as taboo, or we feel we will be perceived as weak if we admit that we need to take care of our mental health. However, if we do not address these issues, and let things fester, it can lead to some negative consequences, such as anxiety and panic attacks. Neglecting our mental health needs are not productive, and in many cases, can be extremely counterproductive. 

How can improved mental health impact you?

When we take the time to take care of our minds, we can live a more fulfilled emotional and social life. Whether that means showing up more fully for family, being an equal partner in friendships and relationships, or doing your best in school or work. Your mental health impacts all facets of your life.

What steps can I take to improve my mental health?

If it feels overwhelming to start to think about improving your mental health, maybe you start with small changes. This could take the shape of small exercise breaks throughout your day, getting adequate sleep, spending time in the wilderness, finding moments of silence (perhaps through meditation), eating healthy and balanced meals, talking to friends or family, and when you are ready or if you want, taking the steps to talk to a mental health professional. There are people who want to listen and help you – you are not alone in your experience.

Taking care of our mental health is crucial for our functioning. When we take the time to acknowledge we need to make changes, we can live with more ease. Talking about mental health should not be a taboo subject. You are not weak for seeking out help either, in fact, you are extremely brave and strong for recognizing this about yourself.