Caring for Your Mental Health

 

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.

 

Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.

 

Self-care looks different for everyone, and it is important to find what you need and enjoy. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. In addition, although self-care is not a cure for mental illnesses, understanding what causes or triggers your mild symptoms and what coping techniques work for you can help manage your mental health.

 

Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted two weeks or more, such as:

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes

  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable

  • Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities