CICS Newsletter: January 2018
Happy New Year!
Every year, we think about what we can do to better our lives and ourselves as we start our new calendar. But how often do we think about our mental wellbeing? Here are five things you can do to better your mental health in 2018 from our friends at NAMI.
1. Stand Up to Stigma
Feeling ashamed and at fault for something that is out of your control is a weight that no one should have to carry.
Stigma can be incredibly challenging to overcome. It shouldn’t be this way, and you can help to change society’s way of thinking about mental health.
If someone is using language that you find offensive and improper, let them know. Inspire them to join our stigmafree movement, and commit to learn more about mental health. We all need to see the person, not the illness.
2. Take Care of Your Physical Health Too
We’ve all heard this time and time again and there are plenty of studies that prove how beneficial exercise, getting enough sleep and eating well improve overall wellbeing.
The challenging part is finding the motivation, time and effort. Start by creating a simple routine and sticking with it. For example, grocery shop and meal prep over the weekend or on your day off. Have set times during the week for working out or physical activity. Establishing this kind of structure is hard at first, but it’s easier once you get used to the routine.
3. Share Your Story
Opening up about your experiences is not only personally uplifting, but it also helps other people who can relate to you. Use one of NAMI’s platforms such as Ok2Talk, YANA or the mobile AIR app to share your story.
“The best way to encourage others, and to fight stigma, is to speak the truth about what we face every day,” said Anna, a member of our YANA Community. The great thing about these spaces is that you can remain anonymous if you prefer and feel safe sharing your experiences.
If you feel really motivated to share your experiences with others, you can also start your own blog. This will motivate you to consistently write and express yourself on a regular basis. Skutler, a member of our Ok2Talk Community, wrote, “I've always loved writing, but this is the first time I've shared my work with a larger audience, and I can't believe how many people have read and appreciated my personal journey.”
You can also become a presenter for NAMI’s “In Our Own Voice,” a presentation series that changes attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes by describing the reality of living with mental illness.
4. Make a Commitment to Stay Informed
Knowing what’s going on in the world of research can help you find out whether there are new ideas that might help improve your quality of life. For example, research shows that getting outside during the winter — even though it can be very cold — is important. Getting enough vitamin D is essential to your mood and overall wellbeing.
Here is a list of credible websites compiled by Karen Moeller, Pharm D, DCPP, and Brantley Underwood, Pharm D, MBA, that can help people find information online:
5. Do Something That You Love Every Day
Even if it’s just 30 minutes each day, read, color, go for a walk or talk with someone that you care about. These activities can bring you a sense of peace. It is so important to feel relaxed for at least part of every day. Our busy schedules frequently take over and stop us from making time for ourselves, but leaving time to do something that you love is essential.