Tuesday, April 30, 2019

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which you may think doesn’t apply to you if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental health issue, but the truth is that mental health is much more than a diagnosis.

Mental health is about a person’s overall well-being. From a stressful day at work to receiving bad news to feeling overly exhausted, our mental health is something we all should be focused on improving, said Britane Outlaw, MS, LPC, CLCP, CCM, marketing and screening liaison for Norman Regional’s Senior Counseling Center.

Here are eight tips to improve your mental health:

  1. Let go of material and emotional clutter. This will lessen stress and allow you to focus on what’s important to you.
  2. Practice basic self-care such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising to keep your mind strong.
  3. Practice deep breathing to reduce momentary anxiety. Simply inhale for four seconds, hold the breath for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everybody needs a little extra support on occasion.
  5. Get outside and soak up the sun! Vitamin-D deficiency is linked to depression.
  6. Start a gratitude journal by writing down one thing you’re thankful for each day. Change your words, change your thoughts, change your life.
  7. Be engaged in your community. Connectedness is strongly linked to higher life satisfaction.
  8. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions so that you can properly release them. It’s ok to not be ok.

Mental health is serious and not something to shy away from talking about. If you or someone you know need more help than just eight tips, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Seek the help of a trustworthy friend, mentor or counselor.

If you think you need additional help, call our 24-hour information and referral line at 405-307-5555 or click here for more information about our services.