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Mental Health Is Health: Nurturing Wellness for All Ages

green ribbons in layered hands

1. Awareness and Acceptance

The first step toward mental wellness is awareness. Acknowledge that mental health is an integral part of overall health. We’ve made progress in challenging the stigma around mental health, and that’s remarkable.

Now, let’s move from awareness to acceptance. Recognize that it’s okay to prioritize your mental well-being. Acceptance allows us to discuss mental health openly, leading to everyone's improvement.

2. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep plays a crucial role in mental wellness. It’s where repair happens—both for our bodies and brains. Our brains clean out and reorganize themselves during sleep. Lack of sleep affects our outlook on life, energy levels, and emotions.

Children only grow when they are sleeping well.

Parents develop patience, tolerance, and the ability to regulate and calm after sleep.

Here are the recommended hours of sleep per night:

  • Children (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

  • Children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

  • Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

  • Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours

When you do not get the minimum amount of sleep for your age or get the quality of sleep needed, it can influence your outlook on life, energy level, and emotionality. Individuals who do not get enough sleep have greater levels of depression and anxiety. If you find yourself sleeping too much or too little regularly, it may be time to seek help from a professional.

Getting enough SLEEP is the main factor for healthy living and whole-body wellness.

sad women with list of supports for mental heatlh

3. Fuel Your Body

Remember that food is fuel. Start your day with breakfast—it jumpstarts your metabolism and provides essential nutrients for your brain. Prioritize a balanced diet, including protein-rich foods. Children need food before school, even if it is just a protein shake. Proper nutrition positively impacts mental health. Research shows gut health is required for whole body wellness, including BRAIN health.

4. Movement and Physical Activity

Regular exercise benefits physical and mental health. Engage in activities you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or yoga. Movement releases endorphins, which boost mood and reduce stress. A simple walk can shift your mood, regulate your emotions, and improve sleep and digestion. Even a small walk around the block is a good start.

5. Connect with Others

Social connections are vital. Engage with family, friends, and the community. Share your feelings and experiences. Loneliness impacts mental health, so reach out and build meaningful relationships. Even when it seems not worth it, make the phone call, check in via text, and go on that coffee date. Even the briefest human connection elevates our mood.

6. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, promote relaxation. Take breaks during the day to reset. Mindfulness helps manage stress and anxiety. Our favorite is lying on the floor with legs up a wall for just 5 minutes. That is all it takes, promise!

myths of mental health listed

7. Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to seek professional support. Therapists, counselors, and mental health providers are here to help. Remember that asking for help is a sign of strength and courage.

Children’s Mental Health

The pandemic has significantly impacted our children’s mental health. As parents, we can:

  • Listen: Create a safe space for children to express their feelings.

  • Validate: Acknowledge their emotions and let them know feeling scared or uncertain is okay, expected, and normal.

  • Routine: Establish consistent routines to provide stability, predictability, and consistency.

  • Play: Play is essential for children’s emotional well-being. Encourage imaginative play and creativity. PLAY WITH THEM! Yes, you will get the same benefits of play, no matter your age.

ways to support your mental health

Wellness Matters!

As we navigate life’s challenges, let’s prioritize mental health. It’s okay to ask for help; we can create a healthier, more compassionate world together. 🌟

If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out to a mental health professional or a helpline. You’re not alone. 🌈

Remember, you matter, and your mental well-being is worth nurturing. 🌻

Image of Cary Hamilton with Signature


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