May is national Mental Health Awareness Month, so what better time for a mental health check-up!
But, what exactly is good mental health? And, how do we know when we’ve achieved it?
Mental health is the foundation for enjoying a balanced life and the ability to cope with problems in a constructive manner when they arise. I believe good mental health is broadly defined by the following characteristics:
- Awareness of emotions and reactions
- Ability to express feelings in appropriate ways
- Thinking before acting
- Managing stress
- Striving for balance
- Attending to physical health
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Finding meaning and purpose in life
When our mental health is compromised, our moods, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all impacted –and this can affect our physical health as well.
For a quick overview of your mental health, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I getting enough quality sleep with regular bed and wake times?
- Has my appetite, eating habits, or weight changed recently?
- Am I more worried and anxious than usual?
- Am I staying connected to my support network or isolating myself?
- Have I lost interest in things and activities that used to give me pleasure?
- Am I more sad and unhappy than usual?
- Do I find myself crying, having mood swings, or thoughts of suicide?
- Does my life feel balanced between work, friends, family, self-care, and meaningful activities?
- Have I been ignoring my physical health?
- Do I notice thoughts about myself tend to be negative or critical?
If you are concerned about any of your answers to these questions, there is no need to feel ashamed. Getting through uncertain times like these is hard to do alone. Reach out for further screening and help. Take action to get yourself back on track so that you can function at your optimal level.
On a personal note, I am working harder than ever (by video) to support my clients, so I have to practice what I preach to stay in tip-top mental shape! For me, that means eating balanced meals, reading for pleasure, taking long walks, and getting plenty of sleep.
As a reminder, now that I offer telehealth services online, I am able to serve people anywhere in California! If you have questions or would like to schedule a mental health screening, please call me at (310) 383-1505. Until then, be well!