Tips for Less Stress During Mental Wellness Month

Mental and emotional well-being is essential to overall health. Positive mental health enables people to cope with the stresses of life, to live life to the fullest with a positive attitude, and to feel active and connected. This January, during Mental Wellness Month, is a good time to recognize and address some of the daily stresses that can lead to unhappiness and resolve to take steps towards improving your mental health.

Health is often associated with physical fitness, and the desire to lose weight or get fit. We often forget that mental well-being is just as vital as physical well-being.  Mental wellness is how you meet your emotional needs, and it involves maintaining good mental health, a positive attitude, high self-esteem, and a strong self-image.

Good mental wellness is the ability to respond resiliently to emotional states and the flow of everyday life, as well as dealing with situations realistically and learning more about yourself and how things you do affect your feelings. The day-to-day stresses that affect many of us, such as not spending enough time with our families or friends, can all take a toll on our mental well-being.

While there are many daily stressors that are beyond our control, you may be surprised at how many you can control, and with very little effort.  With that in mind, I’d like to share some strategies that may help you reduce your stress:

  • Develop a positive attitude: People with positive attitudes are likely to be happier, more successful, and better able to handle crisis and stress.
  • Be thankful and don’t dwell: In concert with the positive attitude, be thankful for what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t.
  • Avoid negative self talk: Laugh at your mistakes and learn from them, instead of putting yourself down.
  • Approach each “stressful” situation as a “problem solver”:  Many people pride themselves on being able to solve problems.  Every time you you’re stressing out, ask yourself “what is the problem that’s causing my stress”?  Then try to solve it.  Simply re-framing the stress as a problem to be solved can turn a negative situation into a positive one.
  • View each crisis situation as an opportunity:  When stress occurs, make a list of good things that could result from the problem you’re having.
  • Laugh: Humor is a great stress reducer. Studies indicate laughter can make you healthier.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise increases energy and releases brain biochemicals to ward off depression and anxiety. Just a 15 minute walk a day will help keep your body and mind healthy.
  • Get enough rest: Get a good night sleep or even take a nap to feel well-rested. This will improve your mood and ability to focus and get things done.
  • Eat well: Eat fruits and vegetables and food rich in fiber, rather than junk food, for overall better health.
  • Use Facebook and other social media sites: Social media sites, such as Facebook, are a great way to connect and stay in touch with friends and family. According to research, Facebook also helps stimulate and keep the brain fit.
  • Peace of Mind: Part of mental wellness is having a plan in place for your future and for your loved ones. The greatest peace of mind comes with making sure your wishes are met and your loved ones are taken care of, especially if you should become incapacitated or need long-term care.

If you or a loved one is nearing the need for long-term care or already receiving long-term care or if you have not done Long-Term Care Planning, Estate Planning or Incapacity Planning (or had your Planning documents reviewed in the past several years), please call The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Long-Term Care Planning Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. at 703-691-1888 in Fairfax or 540-479-1435 in Fredericksburg to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation.

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