The Importance of Mental Wellness
By: Lexxy Trujillo, Intern
In this day and age, hustle and grind culture is the emphasis for success. Any free time available or extra dollars laying around are tools that are encouraged to be used for expansion. It seems like everyone is rushing to level up, but at what cost? While going an extra mile is commendable, if all spare time is used up and our mindset is that rest can never be taken, how will this negatively affect us? Taking periods of rest and intentionally scheduling time for self-care can be seen as selfish or lazy. But this perception of laziness comes from the dismissal of acknowledging self-care as a valid and serious subject that deserves as much perception of importance as taking care of your physical health. Just as we need rest and recovery when our body is physically unwell and take measures to maintain physical health; We should be taking the same approaches when we feel mentally exhausted or unwell too.
Taking measures to maintain or recover our mental health can have many positive effects. These can include increasing overall mood, increasing enjoyment and satisfaction in everyday life, rejuvenated sense of energy, as well as increased positive interactions with others. Just as we are not at our best when physically unwell, the same can be said for when we neglect our mental health. Self-care activities you can partake in, to recover or maintain mental wellness include:
Aside from simply just being activities of enjoyment, physical activity and exercise stimulate the production of endorphins. This has the ability to reduce stress hormones and elevate mood. These effects have the ability to recover and maintain mental wellness.
Spending Time in Outdoors
While nature itself may have calming effects, exposure to sunlight stimulates production of serotonin. This has the ability to boost mood and increase feelings of calmness. These effects have the ability to recover and maintain mental wellness.
Mindfulness activities can range from meditation to filling out mindfulness journals. Whichever you prefer, it is good practice in understanding and learning more about yourself as well as anchoring to the present. Emphasis on the present maintains mental wellness by helping to rid the mind of weighing restraints ruminating on the past can bring about or the intense anxieties over the sheer amount of possibilities the future may bring.
Taking Time to Relax
Depending on your personal preferences, this may be spending time by yourself or spending time with loved ones. Whichever your preference, it’s important to simply allow your body and mind to relax and be in spaces where you feel at peace. Just a rest is necessary for maintaining physical wellness, so it is for mental wellness.
Taking time for yourself is not a waste of time. It is to recover and maintain our mental wellness. When we prioritize our mental health and reshape our perception of it’s importance in our lives, we create more enjoyment in our own journeys as well as normalize and encourage such for those around us.