The Importance of Mental Health

Life is tough, but so are you. Here’s what you should know about caring and nurturing your mental health right now.

Okay, it’s time to talk about mental health. We think now is probably the best time to open up a dialogue about mental health. After all, the year has been incredibly challenging for so many people and we understand that you may be feeling anxious or depressed. Our Austin, TX, family physicians Dr. Paul Keinarth and Dr. Kelly Alberda want you to know that there are strategies that you can implement to improve and boost your mental health that we can also help you with!

Why is mental health so important?

How we feel and think can affect everything from our behaviors to our mood. If you feel mentally and emotionally healthy you may find yourself tackling goals, waking up refreshed and being energized and productive throughout the day; however, when mental health is negatively impacted, you may find yourself dealing with everything from poor diet and bad sleep to negative self-talk and a decrease in work performance, to name a few.

How can I improve my mental health every day?

We will all feel the ebb and flow of negative emotions, anxiety and even depressive episodes at some point during our lifetime. Of course, there are simple things that you can do every day to improve your mood and to help you feel better. Some of these tasks include,

  • Getting regular exercise (even if it’s just a brisk walk or that online yoga class you love; every bit of movement and activity counts)
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Practice self-care
  • Find time for meditation
  • Write in a gratitude journal every day (write down 3-5 things you are grateful for at the end of each day)
  • Practice good sleep hygiene and make sure you are getting enough sleep
  • Have a support system of family, friends, or people in the community that you can turn to for advice, help and support

When should I seek help for mental health issues?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as trouble concentrating, increased anxiety and worry, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, trouble sleeping or loss of appetite, that persist for several weeks and greatly impact your quality of life and day-to-day living then it’s time to talk to a professional. The sooner you seek help the better. In fact, our very own Dr. Keinarth founded the Stress Reduction Clinic where he’s taught Mindfulness-Based Meditation for more than 16 years. Our team of doctors can provide you with resources, advice and even referrals to mental health professionals who can help you better cope with stress, anxiety, or depression. You aren’t alone; we can help!

For many people, the first step is to talk with their primary care provider about their mental health. Our Austin, TX, doctors would be happy to sit down with you and discuss ways to improve your mental health. Call us today at (512) 459-9889 to schedule an appointment.

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