How to improve your family’s mental health?
You love your family. You care deeply about their well-being. Whether you wish for your kids to ace an upcoming test at school or hope your husband executes a big meeting at work, you always have your family’s best interest in mind. In today’s world, it’s very easy to become disconnected from each other, even while spending so much time together. Kids can escape to their devices, adults can get lost in the news of the world, sometimes you can find yourself focusing less on yourself and your own wellbeing and more on everything else that is out of control. Prioritizing your family’s mental health and overall wellbeing can be tricky. Below are a few ways you can improve them.
Talk to others
When you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s easy to think you’re the only person experiencing these problems. Conversely, if you notice a family member you care about may be struggling, it can also be hard to approach them and start the conversation around their health. If you aren’t sure if a loved one is struggling, look for these warning signs to help you dictate what you do next.
If you feel yourself becoming increasingly stressed and it’s a recurring issue, start by talking to a family member or close friend that you trust. Oftentimes, just talking to someone and venting your problems can alleviate some of the mental strain you may be feeling. If this issue is more serious, however, and you’re experiencing other symptoms such as loss of appetite, trouble staying focused, or communication issues, it may be wise to reach out to a psychiatrist online to receive professional help in a confidential setting. Whatever you do, do not take on this battle alone—be a shoulder to lean on for someone in need, and realize when you need help as well!
Take care of your body
Physical health and mental health are interconnected in a number of ways. Focusing solely on one can leave you playing catch up on the other which won’t do you any good. Taking the time to care for your body physically can make a positive impact on your mental health, and what’s great is it doesn’t take a ton of work to make positive incremental changes.
We all know the importance of a healthy diet. With a big family and so many crazy schedules, it can be difficult to get everyone sitting down at the same time. Whether you have a weekly wine night with friends or the kids have practices, family meals can quickly become every man for themselves. However, don’t overlook the importance of sitting down together, talking about your days, and having a healthy meal. Eating together can do a world of good for your mental health and also help decrease unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
On top of eating a balanced diet together, family exercises also have positive effects on your mental wellbeing. Exercise helps pump blood and oxygen throughout your body which leaves you feeling accomplished and can help sharpen your attention as well. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous and can be as simple as going out for a walk in the fresh air or playing a yard game outside.
Learn to deal with stress
This is easier said than done, we know, but it’s a useful skill to learn. Start with knowing what stresses you out. What are your triggers? What situations tend to make your blood boil and your heart rate spike? While you can’t always avoid these scenarios (definitely don’t run from them), it’s helpful to be able to identify these moments and understand how your body and mind react to certain stimuli.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help yourself calm down, relax and find some peace in moments that become stressful. As we talked about above, exercise can be a great tool for your physical and mental health. Going on a run or lifting weights can help you destress and get your mind off things. Doing yoga in the morning, breathwork, or any form of meditation can help you slow down and redirect your mind from feelings that overwhelm you and instead focus wholly on being in the moment.
It can be hard to watch a loved family member struggle with their mental health. At the same time, it can be difficult to offer help if you too are struggling. Taking small steps and implementing little changes into your daily routine can help you and your family improve your mental health. From talking through your problems, taking care of your physical health, and understanding what your triggers are, you’re well on your way to improving your mind. Feel free to add whatever else works for you and like we talked about, don’t take this journey alone!