COVID. Demanding jobs. Juggling family schedules with your own. Lack of sleep.
These can all set the stage for stress, which can exacerbate mental health issues, presenting challenges that you have to consistently face every day.
Mental health care is vital to living a healthy life, and depression and other similar illnesses are very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, roughly half of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. In addition, 1 in 25 Americans has a serious mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or major depression.
And COVID has placed more stress on Americans than ever.
At Conway Medical Center, we believe that both your physical and mental health are important. This is why we’re providing these five ways to take care of your mental health, and when you should seek out mental health care.
5 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health
1. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep and regular exercise can help your mental health. We realize that when you are depressed, you don’t feel like doing these things, but that is precisely why it is so important for you at this juncture.
2. Stay Connected to (or Develop) a Support Network
Surround yourself with family and friends who will be supportive—not judgmental. Do not hesitate to call upon them for help or just a listening ear. You may be surprised to know that the people around you may also be struggling with mental health care issues—you are not alone.
3. Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is an important part of mental health care because it helps regulate your mood. Without sleep, your body is not able to recharge, leaving you drowsy and irritated. As a result, your outlook, alertness, and emotions can change.
If you have sleep apnea or problems with chronic insomnia, we encourage you to contact our Sleep Medicine Center, where we can treat your problem to help you get a good night’s sleep.
4. Try Relaxation or Meditation
Studies have shown that meditation and other relaxing activities have a calming effect on an anxious mind. The Mayo Clinic has compiled a useful guide on how to meditate that we encourage you to check out.
Don’t be discouraged if your mind wanders at first. Like many other things, meditation takes practice.
5. Talk to Your Doctor
It’s important to talk to friends for their support. However, they will not have the training of a licensed professional. It’s often valuable to speak with someone who has a completely objective approach and has helped hundreds of people in similar situations.
You might need medication, in which case you should seek the help of your primary care doctor, who can help you with any mental health concerns.
What’s the Difference Between a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist?
A psychiatrist is an MD, meaning they have been to medical school. A psychologist typically has either a master’s or doctorate degree.
What Prompts the Need for Mental Health Care?
Everyone gets depressed from time to time. It’s also very common to be anxious in certain situations. However, when these conditions occur every day for several weeks and interfere with your ability to perform tasks, then we suggest seeking mental health care from a trained professional such as your primary care physician.
Your primary care doctor will offer non-judgmental help and give you appropriate advice on how to help your depression or anxiety. He or she will also be able to discuss any other mental health concerns you may have.
Do not let stigmas about mental health keep you from getting help.
Want to know more about mental health? Check out the Centers for Disease Control’s complete guide.
Conway Medical Center: Safeguarding the Health of the Community Since Its Inception in 1930
We have almost one hundred years of service to the Myrtle Beach, Conway and Horry County areas. We’ve provided the best Horry County physicians near you to help with every aspect of your care. Whether you’re seeking treatment after a heart attack, or if you need help managing your diabetes, we’ll be there for you helping you live your best, healthiest life.
Want to learn more about staying healthy? Read our other blogs on a variety of health topics.
If you are having mental health issues, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.