Sat, March 02, 2024

Mental Health Matters: Love Yourself

Checkmark both boxes for New Year’s resolutions and the longest month of the year in January being completed. At the start of February, we all are hopefully off to a new great start for the year with our hopeful resolutions, goals, and dreams…..maybe.

Following the hype and joy of the holiday season, January becomes one of the longest months of the year. As we navigate through our excitement for what the next year of life may bring, alongside the lull of getting back into the swing of everyday life, the struggle is real.

In a recent survey with Forbes Health in 2024, 36% of Americans responded with a 2024 resolution of addressing an improvement in mental health. This means, nationally, more individuals are looking at life in the sense that there are areas to improve in their lives on – which is AMAZING and starts with self-care.

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Self-care is one of those “fluffy” mental health terms that help us feel good about ourselves, right? Wrong. Self-care is so important because mental health is not important – but critical to not only our quality of life, but how we can serve others.

It is easier to think about this in the sense that our brains are like a central processing unit for a computer or phone you may be holding right now. Our brains are a 24/7 operating system that connects both physical and mental health.

Physical and mental well-being go hand in hand. Did you know that poor mental health can lead to diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and even arthritis? Not only are these serious health conditions as the cost of health care continues to increase nationally – but more importantly, the quality of our lives and our loved ones.

Isn’t it time to stop the stigma and start loving ourselves during February with self-care? Life is crazy and always on the move – just like our brains. There is no better time to take charge of today and all our tomorrows through self-care.

Self-care means daily and consistent daily practices that help YOU be the best version of yourself. Aside from a lonely lunch hour in your office, it is time for a jump start to self-care and love yourself. Here are a few ideas to help you on your 2024 self-love start:

  • Socially connected – Be a couch potato….in a good way or not! Take time out of your day, week, or month to connect with others through couch time phone calls or talks with loved ones, getting out gatherings meeting up with friends/family, volunteering, and serving. Regardless of if you are an introvert or extrovert, connectedness to others always makes a world of difference in your mental health.
  • Exercise and physical activity daily – Time to stand for our bodies! Remember our brains are the central processing unit for our entire body. Increased physical activity helps to release dopamine and serotonin – which can help boost your mood, outlook, productivity, and just make you feel amazing overall.
  • Health and diet – Pizza every day never kept the doctor away. What we put into our bodies is so important because our bodies are the product of what we put into them daily. A nutritious healthy diet helps to boost every aspect of your well-being physically and mentally.
  • Sleep – Shut it down! With a 24/7 society on the move always sleep could not be more important than ever now. Practice daily habits of digital disconnect before rest, meditation, and downtime to help you rest easy, wake up refreshed, and ready to tackle the day.

It’s time in February 2024 to start loving ourselves through self-care and establishing those different ways to do so – that not only lead to helping us to love our todays, but our future tomorrows.

Monica Bitrick, Director of Fundraising and Community Awareness, Serenity Behavioral Health Systems/Serenity Behavioral Health Systems, helps individuals of all ages who suffer from the many aspects of behavioral health and developmental disabilities. Our mission is to provide the highest quality care in a professional, responsive, and caring manner.

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