The past couple of years have been extremely stressful, it's no wonder there’s a mental health crisis in America. If you’re struggling to find answers and support, try looking at your community, here may be more there than you think.
If you are struggling right now, you’re not alone; one in five adults in America suffer from a mental illness. Over 43 million experience mental illness in a given year. Most people you interact with on a daily basis probably struggle with their mental health. After the COVID-19 pandemic and losing most socialization, the world went into shock.
Nothing was the same, and nothing ever would be. Isolation can take a toll on our minds and bodies, and it’s important to remember that what you’re feeling now is not permanent. Emotions come and go, and you aren’t always going to be struggling. There are things you can do each day for your mental wellbeing. It can be as simple as taking a walk or eating a healthy meal.
Three Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Boost Your Mental Health
- Going outside – It sounds all too simple, but being in nature even for an hour can do wonders for your mental state. “Ecotherapy,” as it is sometimes referred to, stems from the idea that our psyche is connected to the Earth around us, and that nature possesses healing properties. It is thought to bring balance back to our mind and our life.
A study conducted by psychologist Terry Hartig was done to find out the effects of ecotherapy. Three groups of people did three separate activities; one took a walk through nature, one in an urban area, and one sat quietly reading. The group that took a walk through nature reported less anger and “more positive emotions” than the other group. In another study, 71% of those who spent time in nature were found to have fewer symptoms of depression than when they started. Fall is the perfect time to go outside, too, as the leaves start to change, there’s nothing more picturesque. If you’re in need of a mental health walk, check out Tippling Rock Nature Park in Sudbury, MA. Its beautiful views are sure to give you the peace of mind that you need.
- Eating well and improving your gut health – Again, eating is something that we should all be doing at least twice a day, but for people suffering from mental illness, simple tasks like feeding yourself can be difficult. What may scare you is that a link has been found between mental illness and gut health. Meaning, the food we eat may be causing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and more.
In a large study conducted in Finland by Guillaume Méric, a bioinformatician, a huge connection was found between depression and the bacteria in our gut microbiome. When there is bad bacteria in our gut, it can cause negative emotions in our brain. This shows just how connected the mind, body, and spirit are. The scientists behind the study even found a link between gut bacteria and autism. They found that people who suffer from autism have a deficit of a certain bacteria in their gut. Eating healthy food and food that is good for your gut like probiotics and prebiotics is the best thing you can do for your mind and body. Probiotics include kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. Prebiotics – basically food for probiotics – include beans, garlic, onions, and raspberries.
- Get adequate sleep – Sleep is a huge factor in anyone’s quality of life, especially someone struggling with their mental health. There is a huge link between sleep deprivation and mental decline. The problem is, a lot of people with mental health issues such as ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety are prone to having sleep disorders like insomnia, which causes even more issues.
Getting insufficient sleep has been proven to increase negative emotions and create stress. Sleep is extremely important for our cognitive function and memory. When people are sleep deprived, they are prone to forgetfulness, confusion, and aggravation. In order to combat this and do what’s best for your mental health, it is important to get at least seven hours of sleep per night, even if it means forcing yourself to bed and turning off all your electronics.
Your mental health is about more than just your mind, it is all connected; your body, mind, and spirit. When we begin to give attention to all three, it can do wonders. Now, some people may do all the right things to live a healthy lifestyle and still need support. That’s why there are places to turn to. It can be daunting to seek help, and it can even feel impossible. It’s important to remember that there are resources out there that can help. You just need to find them.
Three Things to Do In Sudbury to Take a Mental Vacation
If you’re in need of a fresh perspective on life and a little history, check out the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. Surrounded by beautiful views, nature trails, and wildlife are WWII ammunition bunkers. Most are surrounded by trees, and have thick iron doors. This historical place marks a time in history of colonization, as the refuge used to be Native ground, before it was taken over by the same army that built the bunker. A beautiful place with a daunting history, great for some ecotherapy, though.
Remember, the mind, body, and spirit are all connected. Healing Point is a wellness spa located in Sudbury geared toward helping people with mental and physical ailments. Their services include acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and hypnoacupuncture, which combines the two. They treat things like insomnia, negative thinking, and anxiety by connecting the mind and body. If you have the resources, visiting Healing Point may be a great way to treat yourself.
Hemisphere Hypnotherapy is another wellness center in Sudbury which focuses on hypnotherapy and life coaching. They focus on having your subconscious mind and bringing it together with your conscious mind. They focus on cutting out harmful habits, rewiring your mind to transform your emotions, and help you to work on your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Help is Out There
Northeast Health Services
NEHS is here for you. Located in Sudbury, MA, it’s easy to access the help you need. Visit the NEHS website here. There, you can explore options, read testimonies, find locations, and set up an appointment, virtually and in person. Some conditions they treat include anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, Schizophrenia, sleep disorders. Start your journey to wellbeing today.
If you need a mental health day, don’t be afraid to take it. Your mental health is your number one priority, and nothing comes before it.