mental health month
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

May Is Mental Health Month So Here Are 4 Activities To Try To Take Care Of Yourself

When we talk about health it is important to not just focus on our physical health, but on our mental health, too.

114
May Is Mental Health Month So Here Are 4 Activities To Try To Take Care Of Yourself
Meredith Flanagan

This year marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Month. Since 1949, the United States has recognized May as the observance of Mental Health Awareness. How appropriate since it is the beginning of Spring and the renewal of the brightness of the sunshine and the warmth of the summer months. We have all kinds of programs, facilities, and workouts to address physical health, but we tend to dismiss or even avoid mental health. It is time for longer days and increased activity. Here's to our Mental Health!

Smell the Flowers

Megan Carmen

Spring is in the air! The fresh breeze, colorful flowers and birds chirping are reminders of the change of season. Take a step outside and allow yourself to enjoy the newness that Spring unfolds. Our minds and bodies enjoy the warmth of the sunshine and the smells of the flowers blooming. The American Psychological Association confirms that sunshine is good for our mental health.

Take a Long Walk

Giphy

Yes, it's true. Exercise is good for you! Physical movement actually releases endorphins in the brain. These endorphins have many functions, primarily they activate the feeling of "pleasure", happy signals. Exercise does not have to be rigorous to release these endorphins. A simple, casual walk can have the same effect as an intense aerobic workout. So stop making excuses and get up and move!

Step Back, Make Time for Relaxation

Giphy

Relaxation is necessary for the body to rejuvenate. Relaxation varies depending on personality. Some enjoy quiet meditation, yoga, stretching. Others enjoy a solitary activity like reading. While others enjoy playing such as group activity or sport.

Unfortunately, our society does not put enough emphasis on relaxation. We seem to be caught in a cycle of over-scheduling and over-achieving. The brain and the body need time to step away from structure and routine. There is an old saying that indicates there is a time for work AND a time for play. Relaxation decreases the amount of stress individuals experiences and therefore decreases the likelihood of additional health issues associated with stress. The benefits of relaxation impact heart health, blood pressure, anxiety, and overall mood.

Don't Forget Your Brain Needs Rest Too

Giphy

Sleep. What can I say? Getting the correct amount of sleep is vital for learning, processing, memory retention and recall and it restores the body's energy. The amount of sleep necessary depends on an individual's age, but it is safe to say that our habits do not support this. The American Pediatric Association stipulates that school aged children should get at least 10 hours of sleep and teens should have at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. Hmmmmm....raise your hand if that happens?!?!?! It's time to shut off Netflix and our cellular devices and let our brains rest.

I have to admit that living with a Mental Health Professional is an added bonus! My mom has always been insistent that we take time to address our mental health needs as much as our physical and intellectual needs. Balance is the key. If you think you may need some assistance, don't hesitate to ask. OU has a wonderful Center available to students and can be found on the 3rd floor of Hudson Health Center. They are available on a drop-in basis, check them out.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

26046
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

93662

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

119053

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

99816
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'The Addams Family 2' Film Review

The sequel to the 2019 reboot is an enjoyable, but unremarkable start to the Halloween movie season

63707
Photo Credit: MGM – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd82bSBDE84

There's a reason why the Addams Family have become icons of the American cartoon pantheon (although having one of the catchiest theme songs in television history doesn't hinder them).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments