Mental health is the necessary ingredient for a happy life. With the stressors and business of day-to-day life, it is easy to push mental health to the bottom of the list. But taking care of your mental health can’t be the last to cross the finish line every day, not if you want to lead a rich, full life. Managing mental health is unique to every person, but there are easy things we can all do to prioritize our mental health.
On that note, may we present the 2022 veteran’s guide to all things mental health.
Take a Walk: It is no secret that exercise is important for our physical health. However, activities as simple as going for a daily walk, bike ride, or swim, can have crucial benefits for mental health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, daily exercise not only releases endorphins, which makes you feel happier, but can reduce depression and increase energy as well. For veterans who are impacted by mental health, exercise is a natural way to combat the effects that can make it harder to function in day to day life.
Support a Healthy Diet: Food is fuel, and functioning optimally means providing your body the nutrients you need. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps with sleep, pain mediation, and positive mood balance, is mainly produced in the gut. This means that the food you put into your body has a major impact on how you feel, both physically and mentally. When considering positive mental health, a nutritious diet is the best ingredient your brain can receive.
Spend Time With Loved Ones: Taking time to be with the ones you care about is a pivotal part of mental health. Studies show taking time with positive influences in your life can be instrumental for boosting mood and stamina. Think of it as your own personal cheer squad: they can motivate you to be your best when facing challenges. Asking those you care about the most can be challenging, but they are ultimately your greatest asset in a positive mental health journey.
Learn a Hobby: Learn to surf, woodwork, write creatively, or any other activity that challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. All of these hobbies can be positive outlets for restoring a sense of self. Having a hobby not only provides a healthy distraction from stress, but can provide a sense of satisfaction outside of work. For veterans who have had a strenuous line of work, a hobby can be a reminder of all you are capable of outside of the line of duty. Whatever the hobby may be, trying one that allows you to express yourself in a different, confident way, is a great way to promote positive mental health.
Care for Others: When it comes to mental health, one of the best things you can do is to look outwards. Those who dedicate time, energy, and efforts to helping those in need often feel the extraordinary satisfaction of making a difference. For veterans, whose lives have been in service to others, finding ways to continue that and give back to those who need it most can be monumental in the journey of mental health. Recognizing that your power to lead and make an impact does not have an expiration date is a realization that goes a long way.
Start a Support Group: Along the same lines, as veterans with unique past experiences, speaking to those with similar life journeys can be a way to ensure you are not alone. Talking about the shared experiences, while also reflecting on how you have grown, changed, and succeeded are ways to help propel you to positive mental health. This can be a way to be understood on a deeper level, and take past experiences into account. Finding local veterans chapters and seeing if there is anything available is a great way to start.
Get Creative: Creativity is a great outlet to express yourself in a different way. Artistic expression can allow you to tap into a positive sense of self, and express yourself in new ways. For those looking for extra energy, focus, and calm, VRB’s Focus and Calm Daytime CBD can bolster your creative endeavors.
Get Sleep: Sleep is the baseline of managing positive mental health. You need rest, and when you are not rested, you immediately feel the effects. Positive sleep patterns help to control moods, aid in decision making, and provide the energy you need for daily tasks. Inability to fall asleep is a serious problem when it comes to managing positive mental health. For those who need extra help with sleep, VRB’s clinically backed Sleep Blend can help you get your crucial rest.
Get Help When You Need: Counseling can be a great outlet for mental health. Although sometimes challenging to find the right person, finding a good therapist can be instrumental in effecting positive change in your mental health journey. Prioritizing yourself and your health is not always easy, especially for people who have spent most of their time supporting others, but a necessity for maximizing mental health. When it comes to mental health, your journey matters.
Speak Up: As with anything, it is crucial to decipher and vocalize potential issues. If you are someone who struggles with getting up and starting your day, or has trauma which affects daily life, speaking up is the first step. For veterans who may have experienced trauma in the line of duty, it is important to speak to a loved one or a medical professional who may provide the support you need.