World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year. The focus of this day is to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of mental health issues. As well as to encourage people to speak up and seek help.
Cases of depression have grown by 20% in almost a decade, now making it the leading cause of disability worldwide, and almost 800 000 people die at their own hand every year. Yet, in developing countries like South Africa, as many as 80% of people suffering from mental health conditions like these are not diagnosed or treated.
As such, it is very important for each person to take responsibility for their own mental health on a day-to-day basis. At Malée Natural Science, we believe that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body, which is why we always recommend taking a holistic approach to overall selfcare.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH – THE HOLISTIC APPROACH
Focus on balanced nutrition
If your body does not get the nutrition it needs, your brain cannot function properly. For instance, did you know that a deficiency in nutrients like omega–3 fatty acids and B vitamins actually have the potential to cause depression? As such, it’s important to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats.
Stay properly hydrated
Our brains need to be adequately hydrated to function properly. In fact, 85% of your brain tissues are made up of water and even a 2% dehydration level can lead to degraded mood, lower levels of concentration, and headaches. Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to give your brain. The boost it needs to keep your emotions on an even keel.
Practice sleep hygiene
Ongoing sleep deprivation has been linked to occurrences of mental health issues. Adults need to sleep at least 8 hours every night, and teenagers and children even more. Practice good sleep hygiene by going to bed every night. Steering clear of electronics at least an hour before bedtime. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol at night, and keeping your room cool and dark.
Tailor an enjoyable selfcare regime
Taking the time to clean and take care of your body on a daily basis in a way you enjoy is another way to check in with yourself. Choose a a body cleanser, moisturiser, and exfoliator that suit the needs of your skin, and block out some time for TLC each day.
Move in a way that makes you happy
Exercise forms a vital part of taking care of your mental health. However, you don’t need to run ultramarathons to enjoy the benefits of exercise. As little as 30 minutes’ of physical activity is enough to keep your body happy. Find a way to move that gets you smiling.
This could be anything from walking, running, cycling or swimming, to dancing to Beyoncé with your kids. Playing fetch with your dog or jumping on a trampoline – whatever floats your boat.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Taking a holistic approach can make all the difference. Focus on your nutrition, hydration, sleep schedule, selfcare regime and take some time to exercise every day. With this foundation in place, it becomes far simpler to tackle any emotional issues that may crop up.
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