How to Know When to Take a Step Back and Take Care of Your Mental Health

Statistics show that one out of four people in the US is currently experiencing or has experienced some sort of mental health issue. Common mental health issues include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders. However, mental health issues can include any type of condition that affects your mood, thinking, and ability to cope.

For many, the holidays can be a precarious season for mental health. Below are some common ways to help you recognize and avoid mental health pitfalls.

Signs That Your Mental Health is Suffering

Initially, mental health concerns can creep in unnoticed. Often, your awareness begins with simply feeling a bit off. The symptoms could look like:

  • not sleeping well
  • feeling unusually irritated
  • decreased appetite
  • having low energy

Nonetheless, it isn’t always easy to tell the difference between mental illness and what are typical behavioral reactions. A rule of thumb is that when normal reactions like anxiety or fear become excessive or lingering, it’s a good idea to reach out for help.

Making Self-Care a Priority

Mental health is important to your overall well-being. And if left untreated, mental health disorders can contribute to a host of other medical issues, such as cardiovascular diseases and gastrointestinal disorders.

Here are a few practices you can follow to ensure you’re keeping mental health a priority:

  • Recognize signs and get help.

    If you feel like you could be struggling with mental health issues, start journaling how you’re feeling so that you can track symptoms. Next, reach out for help. You can start with friends and family but don’t hesitate to contact a medical professional either.

  • Stay physically active.

    There’s a strong correlation between mental and physical health. Exercise can not only help reduce stress and anxiety; it can also improve sleep quality.

  • Practice mindfulness.

    That includes practicing meditation and breathing exercises as well. Practicing mindfulness can benefit your mental health because it enables you to better regulate your emotions.

  • Pay attention to your diet.

    Try incorporating more fresh fruit, raw vegetables, and healthy omega fats. As well, try to avoid heavily processed packaged foods.

And don’t underestimate the power of getting outdoors. Because the winter months usher in the season of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), make every effort to expose yourself to natural light. But if that’s not possible, you can talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits of light therapy.

Arbor Associates leads the staffing industry in sourcing and recruiting in the allied health, medical and education fields. The recruiters at Arbor Associates go beyond just finding you a job. These professionals provide the tools and support you need to become a happier, healthier employee.