Mental Health Month: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
May is Mental Health Month: an entire month dedicated to improving access to mental health care for those who need it and promoting the mental health of all Americans. Whether you have a mental illness or not, it is important to make mental health a priority. As fitness and health professionals, a lot of what we do focuses on the body from the neck, down. However, we can’t ignore the effects that mental health has on physical health and vice versa.
Regarding mental health, I’ve learned a few things over the years. However, what’s more, important is that I’ve learned that I don’t have, and never will have all the answers.
I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know
Exercise causes a release in some people. Every personal trainer can remember the first time they saw a client cry during a workout. Sometimes the tears are happy, other times they’re tears of frustration. Some people don’t cry, but the emotional outburst is just as visceral and genuine.
In moments like these, I’ve been asked questions I don’t know the answers to:
“When will I feel better about myself?”
“Why do I have so much trouble motivating myself?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
When a client trusts me enough to open up in moments like this, I always wish I could say more or do more. I always commit to being compassionate and patient with my clients, and if I could inject them with self-confidence, I would.
Here’s What I DO Know
A healthy body supports a healthy mind. A healthy mind supports a healthy body. The entirety of YOU is a complex marriage of multiple working parts. So what can you do today to support your mental health? Here’s what I know:
- Just Move. Get up and move around. Exercise has been shown to have a significantly positive impact on stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Do something you enjoy. Take the dog for a walk, do some stretches on your lunch break, or try one of our fitness classes.
- Be Mindful. Being mindful simply means being aware of yourself and your thoughts in this very moment. Taking a regular yoga class encourages you to be mindful not only during the class but in everyday life. With mindfulness comes an appreciation and love for the incredible individual that you are.
- Eat Good Food. We are what we eat. The food we eat becomes a part of every system of our body, including our brain. Quality food and the right amount of it will improve your energy levels, your health, and your mental clarity.
Good mental health requires a commitment to your entire self: mind, body, and soul. Maintaining overall wellness requires effort, and it doesn’t always come easy. Taking charge of your mental health is especially difficult if you have a mental illness, so remember that it’s okay to ask for help.
Take Care of Yourself – Mental Health Month
Here’s the most important thing I’ve learned: if you are struggling with your mental health, if you have a mental illness or suspect you have a mental illness, you don’t need to overcome it by yourself. If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental illness click here for more information on immediate and long-term mental health services.
Also, please keep in mind the powerful effect that working out has on creating a healthy, happy life. We are a community of people inspiring people, and here to help -> Group Fitness Classes