Nurturing your Mind: Mental Wellness Month  

Woman meditating on a holistic approach to mental wellness

It is only right that the first month of the new year is Mental Wellness Month – a timely reminder to prioritize our mental wellbeing. When you nurture your wellbeing, everything else falls into place after. You may achieve your new year’s resolutions when you consider taking care of YOU! 

While the terms “mental health” and “mental wellness” are often used interchangeably, understanding the subtle distinctions between the two can empower us to foster a holistic approach to our mental wellbeing.  

What is the Difference Between Mental Health and Mental Wellness?  

Mental health and mental wellness carry distinct focuses.  

Mental health encompasses both positive and negative states, including the absence or presence of mental disorders. It pertains to the health and emotional stability of our brain. A mental health disorder, also known as a mental health condition, involves significant disturbances in the way we think, behave, and function in society. In fact, 21% of adults in the United States (52.9 million) experience a mental health disorder. If you suffer with one of these conditions, there are many resources out there to help you. See your doctor if you are experiencing feelings that are interfering with your daily tasks. Hill Physicians Medical Group has over 5,600 physicians committed to giving you personalized care. Find one here!   

Mental wellness zooms in on the positive aspects of wellbeing, emphasizing flourishing and optimal functioning. The key to mental wellness is being proactive and taking care of ourselves before issues arise. Having mental wellness is a condition of being confident, identifying coping mechanisms for dealing with challenges, controlling only what you can control, sustaining healthy relationships, working productively, practicing self-care, knowing when to say no, and setting boundaries. Mental wellness is multi-dimensional, holistic, and personal.  

Five Areas of Mental Wellness 

  1. Emotional Intelligence and Resilience: Mental wellness begins with exploring our emotional landscape. Building emotional resilience enables us to navigate life’s challenges with grace, bouncing back from setbacks and learning from adversity.  
  1. Social Connection and Meaningful Relationships: Nurturing connections with others provides support, understanding, and a sense of belonging.  
  1. Physical Vitality as a Pillar of Wellness: A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep contribute to mental wellness. Remember, our physical health is connected to our mental health.  
  1. Purpose, Passion, and Personal Growth: Finding purpose in life gives direction and a sense of fulfillment. Pursuing passions and setting meaningful goals contribute to a sense of purpose.  
  1. Mindful Awareness and Inner Balance: Practicing mindfulness cultivates an awareness of the present moment, reducing stress and enhancing our ability to savor life’s simple pleasures.  

Beware of destination happiness, meaning that happiness can only be found when we get the job we want, the person we want, the new iPhone we want, etc. Happiness can be found where you are if you practice gratitude.  

How Can You Celebrate Mental Wellness Month?  

There are many ways to celebrate Mental Wellness Month, or better yet, enhance your mental wellness.  

  1. Prioritize Self-Care: Dedicate time to activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it is reading a book, taking a nature walk, or doing a face mask, self-care is essential.  
  1. Cultivate Positive Relationships: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Foster open communication and share your thoughts and feelings with trusted friends or family. 
  1. Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness practices, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises into your daily routine to center yourself and reduce stress.  
  1. Set Realistic Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller, achievable steps. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and acknowledge your efforts along the way.  
  1. Listen to Music: Did you know that listening to music can ease anxiety and reduce stress? Music is a powerful tool to uplift your spirits. Read this blog to learn more and even find a curated playlist just for you.  
  1. Exercise: Moving your body is a beautiful way to improve all areas of wellness. Find physical activity that you enjoy and practice it daily.  
  1. See friends in Person: Humans thrive off relationships. Texting or facetiming your friends is great, but there is nothing more refreshing than seeing a friend or loved one in person.  
  1. Journal: Stopping to acknowledge your blessings is a wonderful way to have a positive outlook on life. Keeping a journal to record the things that you are grateful for is a great idea and constant reminder to keep a positive perspective.  

As we celebrate Mental Wellness Month, let us embark on a journey of self-discovery, embracing the nuances of mental wellness. Remember, prioritizing your mental wellness is not just a January resolution but a lifelong commitment. Take self-care seriously and flourish.  

If you or someone you know needs immediate help or is experiencing suicidal thoughts, help is available. You are NOT alone. Please call or text 988 or dial 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).  

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