The next part of my journey I want to share with you is the mental part. Mental health has such a negative connotation in our country, and is often an area that people try to skirt around. According to Mental Health.com , “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Being OK with yourself seems to cover a lot of the basics for good mental health, so I kind of did an inventory from some of the warning signs that the article listed as early warning signs.
Early Warning Signs
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
Well, think I can pretty well rule out most of these — I don’t smoke or take drugs and now that I am on a Weight Watcher journey, my drinking has dropped to nearly nothing instead of going the other way so I am OK there, I guess. I am forgetful but I blame that on my impending dementia, and not a mental health issue. (wait, isn’t dementia a mental illness? www.ascseniorcare.com/mental-illness-vs-dementia-elderly/ says there are distinctions that should be made between dementia and mental illness in order to properly diagnose the individual. While dementia does affect mental health, it is not a mental illness, but a disorder of the brain that causes memory loss and trouble with communicating.Feb 19, 2015) Not sure if that made me feel better but I think I will have a bit of time yet.
Mental Health.com continues to say that positive mental health allows people to:
- Realize their full potential
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Work productively
- Make meaningful contributions to their communities
and ways to maintain positive mental health include:
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Connecting with others
- Staying positive
- Getting physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills
Well, all told, I am OK with my mental health. There may be some folks who would question parts of it, but this is my blog so I get to do the evaluation!!
Now I would like to give you all an update on the physical part of this journey. I weigh in on Saturdays so about Thursday I start to get a little nervous. Even though I feel I have followed the program pretty well, it almost seems too easy some days and that scares me! I am journaling every day, but will just hit some of the highlights here. This week I increased my steps by 500 and hit that goal every day but one and I am blaming that one on my tracker screwing up (is that a trigger for mental health checklist???) I increased my water to at least 64 ounces each day– tea and diet pop were over that. I took a lazy morning and drove the cart (well, can’t be good all of the time!!), around the grocery part of WalMart, and scanned a lot of the things I wondered about. It gave me some good ideas AND spending a few hours at WalMart is always a great way to be entertained! I did purchase a few things and when I got home, I realized I forgot the cookies and donuts— see told you I was getting forgetful!! Saturday at 9 AM is the hour of truth, and this week I dropped 5#!. I am so excited— this brings my total to 24.2! Now THAT is good for my mental health.
Well, guess this is enough babbling for a week, and I will feature the spiritual portion of this journey next week. Hope you all are staying cool this week and are planning a wonderful week coming up.