If you or a loved one is dealing with mental illness, it can make daily tasks feel harder than usual. But we want you to know that you’re not alone. More than one in four Americans deal with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental conditions. A mental illness is a real medical issue. And the good news is that most of these conditions can be treated.
A healthy mind often goes hand in hand with a healthy body. Only a mental health professional can help you deal with the serious symptoms and causes of mental illness. But following these tips can help you take steps toward good mental health.
See your doctor. If you’re not feeling well, don’t assume that it’s OK. Your doctor can help you decide if your symptoms are due to a physical or mental health problem and help you develop a plan to feel better.
Get enough sleep. Your body needs to be at its best to help your mind recover. Ask your doctor how much sleep is enough for you.
Watch what you eat. A healthy, balanced diet fuels your body and keeps your blood sugar steady. This prevents mental highs and lows that can make depression and anxiety seem worse.
Get moving. Regular exercise can help you feel less stressed, depressed and anxious. It can even help you sleep better. Check with your doctor first before developing a fitness plan.
Manage your stress. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and don’t take on too much. It’s OK to say no to people or projects that place too many demands on you. Know your limits, and only take on what you can handle.
Connect with others. Surround yourself with positive, caring people, and spend a lot of time with them. If you don’t have supportive people in your life, seek them out by joining a support group.
Save time for yourself. Make time each week to do something you enjoy.
Remember, you’re not alone. Talk to your doctor or seek counseling if you’re not feeling like yourself lately.
1 National Alliance on Mental Illness website: What is Mental Illness and Mental Health by the Numbers (accessed February 2017): nami.org.
3 Mental Health America website: Staying Well When You Have a Mental Illness (accessed February 2017): mentalhealthamerica.net/sites/default/files/staying_well1.pdf.
4 The Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning International website: Mood Swings and Depression: Let’s Get to the Bottom of It (accessed February 2017): orthomolecular.org/library/articles/mood.shtml?ct=39992.
LiveHealth Online is the trade name of Health Management Corporation, a separate company providing telehealth services on behalf of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. Online counseling is not appropriate for all kinds of problems. If you are in crisis or have suicidal thoughts, it’s important that you seek help immediately. Please call 1-800-784-2433. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) or 911 and ask for help. If your issue is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. LiveHealth Online does not offer emergency services.
*Prescription availability is defined by physician judgment and state regulations. LiveHealth Online is available in most states and is expected to expand to more in the near future. Visit the home page of livehealthonline.com to view the service map by state. LiveHealth Online is the trade name of Health Management Corporation, a separate company, providing telehealth services on behalf of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.
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