Oftentimes when we think of health and wellness we immediately focus on our body, particularly weight, appearance and lack of physical ailments. However, an essential and often overlooked aspect of health is your mental wellness. Although it is talked about more these days, there still seems to be a stigma surrounding how important it is to care for oneself in this way. As someone who is diagnosed with clinical depression, it is imperative that I make my mental wellness a priority; that’s a lot easier with the help of resources available through the military.
Some days we feel like we are on top of the world and can handle anything that comes our way. Other days, not so much. It could range anywhere from just a case of the blahs to having to fight to get out of bed. In some cases, it can be debilitating. As with anything that is related to “self,” in my opinion, awareness is half the battle. It has been my experience that on days where I feel a bit off it is sometimes hard to realize it, strange as that may sound. Frequently we squash our feelings because we don’t want to deal with them. And, frankly, they can be scary and sometimes cause us pain and discomfort. When we do this, we deny ourselves an opportunity to be our best, healthiest self.
Once we become aware of our mental wellness, it really is up to us to take care of it. Fortunately, if you are in the military, mental wellness is given top priority for soldiers and their families. Non-medical counseling services are available in the form of online service and webinars, call center counseling and counseling in person and by phone via secure chat or video sessions.
Aside from non-medical counseling, there are things you can do on your own to take care of your mental wellness. For instance, I know that I feel better when I exercise. It doesn’t even have to be that vigorous, I just need to move my body in some way that feels good to me and helps me mentally reset. Activities such as journaling, meditating, drawing or coloring, or simply having coffee with a friend on a regular basis can help with my mood. Again, becoming aware of what works for you is important, and then it’s up to you to create and implement a plan.
Wellness encompasses not just our bodies, but also our minds – and we owe it to ourselves to take care of both. Everyone gets down and goes through difficult times, each of us responding uniquely to each experience we have. Remember: it is okay to feel this way and acknowledge you feel this way. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your experiences to others; even if whatever you are experiencing is not as bad as someone else’s, it still affects you and it still matters in your life. Do you have any mental wellness tips to share? Comment below