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How To Maintain Good Mental Health

All of us are occasionally plagued by mental health stressors, some more than others, and of course, everybody reacts differently to these types of challenges. While there are some common approaches to managing and improving mental health issues, sometimes thinking outside the box can help bring about new mental clarity and perspective. Align Pilates can put you on the path toward holistic, whole-body health and wellness.

Common Mental Health Issues

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, there are a lot of things that fall under the mental health umbrella. Depression, anxiety, and compulsive behaviors, and thinking all fall into this category. Some mental health issues are exacerbated by drug or alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, environmental stressors, or even situational issues, like being stuck in a relationship or a job you no longer find rewarding. There's also clinical depression, which is something more severe that should be addressed by a primary care provider. In fact, any new or disturbing mental health issues that arise must be evaluated in short order. Prescription medication, therapy, or other approaches may be necessary for the best outcome.

Get Creative

If you want to think creatively when it comes to improving your mental health, stop for a moment and think about the things that bring you personal joy, fulfillment, or a sense of well-being and serenity. For example, according to the American Psychological Association, activities like birdwatching, hiking, kayaking, or other outside activities can give you a renewed outlook and a sense of being at one with nature. Maybe physical activity is something that's important to you, in which case regular kickboxing, tai chi, or spin classes might be the right fit. These activities are good for you mentally, physically, and sometimes even socially, making them all-around good approaches.

Explore Your Talents

Sometimes taking up a hobby can improve mental health. Maybe you’re musically inclined and would like to learn a new instrument. Art therapy, like painting or sculpture, can be therapeutic, as can gardening, knitting or crocheting, woodworking, or even charcoal drawing. Maybe you’d like to write poetry, or even do something focused and repetitive, like building a rock pathway through your yard, learning hot glass lampworking techniques, sewing, making candles, or some other activity in which you can immerse yourself. Local art and community recreation centers often offer affordable beginner-level classes that are open to the public.

Animal Therapy

There's a reason humans are drawn to service animals, companion animals, and emotional support animals. Pets can bring joy to our lives as well as give us something to love and care for, getting loyalty and companionship in return. While you don't want to get a pet for the specific purpose of enriching just your own life, you can certainly make a difference in the life of a shelter pet or senior animal who needs love and attention - all of which can give you a mental and emotional boost. Consider the best breed for you, your life stage, activity level, and housing situation before heading to the shelter.

Pursuit Of Passions

If you're feeling underutilized, unchallenged, or generally unhappy with your current career, it can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Consider going back to school and pursuing a degree that would allow you to embark on a new career path. Online programs make it relatively straightforward to earn a degree while still working full-time or taking care of personal and family obligations. You can often work on your own schedule from the location of your choosing. When looking at online school options, make sure you find a program that’s accredited and offers competitive tuition rates.

The topic of good mental health care is increasingly finding its way into mainstream conversations, allowing all of us to acknowledge our needs and seek out better paths to overall health and wellness. If you’re feeling depressed or despondent, it's absolutely critical to reach out to your primary care provider or a trusted professional emergency resource to help you get the help you need.

Align Pilates provides a wealth of educational opportunities designed to help you live your best life. Visit the site today to learn about schedules, pop-up studios, health coaching, and overall holistic health and wellness.

Photo via Pixabay

Post written by Jennifer McGregor

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