May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While it is important to regularly check in on your mental health, this is a great time to do a comprehensive check-up. There are many elements to consider when checking in on your mental health. Take stock of how you are doing in areas like connections, support, mood, nutrition, sleep, exercise, mindset.
This week we are focusing on things to consider when doing a mental health check-up for teens. Explore optimizing each of the seven areas below:
- Connections: Take a look at your relationships. Are those connections positive or negative? Evaluate the way you feel when you are around different people. Are changes needed? Are there friends or family you have lost touch with that you would like to reconnect with?
- Support: What kind of support system do you have? Do you have friends, family and teachers you feel you can count on? When you are having a hard day, do you feel you have people you can count on to support you?
- Mood: Check-in with your mood. Are you feeling happy most days? How often do you feel irritable or angry? Do you worry a lot or feel anxious? If you feel down for extended periods of time (2-3 weeks), it can be a sign that it’s time to talk to someone.
- Nutrition: How are you fueling your body and mind? The right foods can help boost your mood and give you energy. Make sure you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, limited processed foods and added sugar, and drinking plenty of water. Try to limit caffeine as it can worsen the feelings of anxiety and worry.
- Sleep: You likely have a busy schedule, but proper sleep is so important for your mental and overall health. Are you watching TV or on your phone right before falling asleep? That can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to disconnect devices at least an hour before you plan to fall asleep. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night can do wonders for your energy and mood.
- Exercise: How are you moving your body, and how often? Getting some sort of exercise and movement each day is important. Even just taking a walk, or doing light stretching in the morning can help your mental health improve and is good for your overall health.
- Mindset: How do you approach challenges when they arise? Challenges and disappointment are part of life, but our mindset and perspective can greatly impact how we cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs. Shifting to a positive mindset is easier said than done, and takes practice. But by focusing on the good things, and knowing things will get better can help. If you need help shifting your mindset or developing tools and techniques to use, reach out for help.
Remember that everyone needs a little help sometimes. Whether for yourself, for your child, or for your relationship, there are seasons where it’s best to seek outside help. We are here for you. We help people like you.
Whenever you’re ready, here are ways we can help:
- Schedule an appointment – Schedule Now
- Try virtual counseling from home – Learn about telehealth
- Text WECARE to 474747 and our Client Care Coordinator will reach out
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