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Taking care of your mental health


It would seem that being healthy is the latest craze. It feels like every corner is the home to a gym or fitness studio of some sort, organic food is trying to gain its place as the new norm, fast food joints are adding items like granola and fresh fruit to their menus and even your local Walgreens tells you to “Be Well” any time you make a purchase. Understood, health is a great wealth. How often do you spend your time and energy focusing solely on your physical health? Wait a minute; there are other types of health you should be concerned about?

GenTwenty is here to urge you not to neglect your mental health or in other words the well being of your mind. Mental health is a broad term that covers everything from your personal thoughts and feelings to your connections to others. It also affects how we function and interact with others daily.

Be aware of your own mental health. Check in with yourself daily to look for warning signs that your mental health may be suffering. Some warning signs include: trouble with your relationships, change in appetite, change in sleeping pattern, alcohol and substance abuse, severe mood swings, struggling to perform routine tasks like you normally would and thinking about doing harm to yourself or others.

Remember, you are not alone. Mental health issues, as taboo as society has allowed them to become, are not as uncommon as you may think. Twenty percent of adults in this country have experienced some sort of mental health issue at some point in their life. Ten percent of twenty-somethings alone experience depression.

Seek help. Asking is usually the hardest part. Speaking up is taking the first step. We know how brave you are, so if you are in crisis or need immediate help, seek it. You can call 9-1-1 or you can find information for the closest hotline here. These hotlines are staffed with trained professionals who are there to help you find the resources that you need or just talk if that’s what you need. Take advantage of them.

Take care of yourself, each and every day. You may find that maintaining good mental health is something that you have to make a priority and work at every day. That is perfectly okay. Every person is different and life is not perfect every day. You may find yourself feeling stressed, sad, upset, or many other things.Remember that there are tons of things that you can do to help yourself feel better. Isn’t that empowering? You know yourself better than we do.

So we encourage you to make a list of things that tend to make you feel better and things that you can do daily to help yourself stay healthy.  Keep it handy should you need it. Some of our favorites include: talking to those that you can trust and believe will be supportive of you, journaling, listening to music, exercising, eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting regular sleep. Be as specific as possible and make sure to give yourself tons of options!

When it comes to health, try starting with your mind. Work your way down from there.

About the Author

Geralyn Dexter

Geralyn holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and a MS in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently working on a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She enjoys reading, yoga and art. Within the next three years, she hopes to complete her doctorate and transition from practicing therapy in a community setting to having her own private practice.