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Many of us have experienced, or know people that have experienced, struggles with their mental health throughout their lifetimes. Suffering with mental illness can be extremely overwhelming. This can be especially true when having gone through a formal diagnosis and being offered a wide array of treatments to dull the symptoms that impact you in your day to day living.
In the years preceding 2020, mental illness became much less of a stigma than in the former years. More and more people began to speak about their struggles in an open and honest way. This has helped some to feel less isolated and alone when dealing with the consequences of poor mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic which first brought lockdowns to countries across the globe in 2020 impacted many people’s mental health. However, even before the outbreak, there were so many things that could play their part in affecting people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Learn more below about how aspects of our lives such as our hearing, feeling isolated, and lack of exercise can play their part in impacting mental health negatively, and the things we can do to make sure we look after our physical and mental health for positive, long term effects.
Experiencing Poor Physical Health
It is a well known fact that our minds and bodies collaborate with each other to keep us feeling good. When you experience poor health, you are likely to experience adverse mental effects, too. Depression can be caused by other physical health conditions that have been left untreated, or as a side-effect from various medications.
Speak with your doctor to assess whether you should take or change medications if this is the case.
Hearing loss can affect your mental health. While it is a lesser-known fact, lack of hearing can socially isolate you from the world around you. Even if your hearing is only slightly affected, a slight hearing impairment can exclude you from conversations and keep you out of the loop with what’s going on.
Get your hearing checked and get some advice about how you can improve your hearing, and therefore, mental health, too.
Lack of Socialization
Similarly to experiencing hearing loss, a lack of social interaction will likely cause a sink in your mental health. Having close friendships are vital to living a healthy and wholesome life – as they can influence the way you see the world around you.
Granted, with covid, it’s harder to meet up with our best friends in person, but it is vital for our mental health to spend time with people in the safest way possible. Whether that’s scheduled video calls, texting to check in, or going for socially distanced walks. Make sure you prioritize interacting with those who know you best for the good of your mental health.
Poor Sleeping Habits
Everybody knows the difference having a good night’s sleep can have on your overall feeling of wellbeing. Having several nights of poor sleep leaves us feeling tired, unproductive, unmotivated, irritable, hungry, and depressed. Adopting good sleep habits can be what makes all the difference as it can make you feel physically and mentally much more healthy. That means getting yourself into a good bedtime routine and ensuring you frequently get enough sleep at night to allow you to have a productive day.
No Exercise and Poor Diet
Physical health and mental health tend to go hand in hand. So if you stop moving your body, your mind will suffer as a result. Quarantine has impacted on most of our movement schedules as staying at home with a lack of space and equipment can mean we are not motivated to try and move. However, some people who suffer with their mental health have reported that exercise has been as beneficial to them as taking meds. So get walking, jogging, stretching, whatever it is to get your heart racing.
Bad diet can also affect our mental health. Bad food choices can leave us feeling sluggish and fatigued. Eating foods which are healthy and healing for your body can help. Food can be medicine!
Being Surrounded by Negativity
This may include being in an abusive relationship. Negativity breeds negativity and can play a huge role in how you begin to feel about yourself. Manipulation, gaslighting and ignoring you are all forms or emotional abuse and are highly detrimental to your mental health.
If you are the victim of abuse seek help where you can.
Self-care isn’t selfish, and if you take some steps to tackle your physical health, you are likely to improve your mental health, too!
If you are feeling down or depressed for more days than not, please seek medical attention. If you are feeling like you cannot go on, please call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or chat here>>> https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ Or visit the suicide prevention lifeline at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/