Mental Health Awareness Day

Supporting each other is vital to creating the understanding world we need…

Portlock, Hawaii

Despite all of the negative ramifications of the coronavirus, one thing that I’m thankful for is the amount of awareness being raised surrounding mental health.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

One can experience difficulties with their mental health that would cause their thinking, mood, and behavior to be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

For those who need it, help is available. Full recovery is possible!

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Wellness

Achieving and maintaining positive mental health allows people to realize their full potential, to cope with the stresses of life, to work productively, and to make meaningful contributions to their communities.

Ways to maintain mental wellness include: getting professional help when needed, connecting with others, staying positive, being physically active, helping others, getting good sleep, and developing coping skills.

Our individual wellbeing contributes to the health of our families and communities. It is up to us to support one another and to help those who are struggling.

If you or someone you know is in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

Mental wellness is especially important to me, as I have been on my healing journey for over five years. Through my experiences, I have learned that the best approach is one that is preventative, holistic, and accountable. Some of my favorite ways to care for my mental health are: going on a walk, enjoying the beauty of nature, and prayer.

How do you prioritize your mental wellness?

Healthy Breakfast for a Dose of Energy

Eating a healthy breakfast is one of the easiest ways that you can take care of your mental and physical health. By starting the day off right, you can easily give yourself the energy you need to make it through the day.

Keep scrolling to for healthy breakfast recipes that are easy to make and extremely healthy as well!

Overnight Oats and Fruits:

This is an overnight grab and go recipe that requires minimum effort.

1 part oats

1 part milk

1/8th part of chia seeds

1 full tablespoon of Greek yogurt

Topping of your choice (fruits and nuts) 

Take an airtight jar and add oats, milk (of your choice), and chia seeds. Then add a fully loaded spoon of Greek yogurt into the glass jar or bowl. You can also add vanilla extract, sweetener of your choice, or any other toppings like berries, banana, apple slices, or nuts.

Banana and Berries Smoothie:

Once again, this is another easy to make recipe that takes less than five minutes on a hastening morning.

Blueberries

Blackberries

1 Banana

½ cup Yogurt

½ cup Milk 

Add a handful of frozen blueberries and a bunch of frozen blackberries. Then add 1 banana and blend with yogurt. Stir and add milk of your choice and remix it. 

Voila! Your 5 minutes of breakfast is ready to eat.

Your Next Go-To Fruit Bowl:

As a cherry on top, here is another minimal recipe to try today!

Slice and toss your favorite fruits in a bowl. Drizzle some honey and sprinkle chia seeds on top and enjoy your delicious bowl of fruits! 

This recipe works wonderfully with any sort of fruit combination. However, our favorite combo is,

Strawberries

Pineapple

Red grapes

Oranges

Banana

Kiwi

To add a sweet and tangy flavor, drizzle honey and lime on top and mix lightly.

My Top 5 Wellness Tips

Here are my top five wellness tips for anyone who is looking to make positive changes in their life.

1. Make prayer a habit.

Centering life around prayer is something that many religious traditions do. I believe that it is a beneficial practice that creates positive change.

2. Drink lots of water!

Staying hydrated can be tough when you’ve got so many things on your mind. Get a hydroflask! Craft a way to make drinking water fun- your skin and hair will thank you.

3. Enjoy your evening & sleep well.

In Genesis, days go evening then morning. Ensuring that we have good evening is crucial in creating a cadence for ourselves. Having an evening ritual and wind-down routine makes falling asleep a breeze.

4. Eat less.

As humans, we didn’t always eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s actually not really necessary to eat more than two meals a day (for most people- note: this is not professional advice in any way, please consult a healthcare professional before making any lifestyle changes).

5. Practice stretching.

I love stretching because it releases the built up energy that I feel being inside for long parts of the day. Going on a walk is also a great way to refresh after lunch or before dinner. Stretching after a walk is great because your muscles are activated and your body is warm.