By Pastor Dean Rudloff,
The Lake County Mental Health Task Force, The North Shore Mental Health Group
While mental health is important to address year-round, Mental Health Awareness Month provides a dedicated time for people, organizations, and communities to join their voices to broadcast a message about mental well-being. This week’s message from The Lake County Local Mental Health Task Force and The North Shore Mental Health Group focuses on Mental Health and Self-care.We all have mental health, and it is important for us to take care of ourselves. Self-care is the practice of taking care of oneself. It takes purposeful effort, but it can help with maintaining or improving your daily mental well-being. It is important to note that self-care is not a selfish act and doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. It can be whatever you make it and is an intentional way to love yourself. There are many different forms of self-care, and it is important for you to find out what works best for you. Below are a few different forms of self-care, according to the Mental Health Coalition:
- Physical Care addresses stress that lives in your body. Such care alleviates physical pain or tension that either causes or results from mental stress. This can include massage, fitness, dance, aromatherapy, rest, and pampering.
- Emotional Care involves tending to your own internal emotional world – especially your mood and feelings. This can include connecting with others, psychotherapy, journaling or creative writing, and art.
- Cognitive Care engages in activities that are intellectually rewarding and/or stimulating. This can include reading, writing, listening to books or podcasts, watching films, and psychotherapy.
- Spiritual Care can take many different forms and does not have to be tied to formal religion. It means getting in touch with the less tangible aspects of yourself and the world around you. This can include: church and worship, prayer, meditation, breathing, and even work.
To better take care of yourself, identify a few different forms of self-care that you would like to try or have tried and liked, schedule a time to engage in and enjoy these forms of self-care, and continue regularly until it becomes a part of your daily life. Your mental health is no different than your physical health and just like you do things to stay physically healthy, brushing your teeth, eating well, going to the doctor, there are things you can do every day or on a regular basis to stay mentally healthy. The JED Foundation (https://jedfoundation.org/practice-self-care/) has a variety of resources to help you find some ideas to consider to add to your self-care practice.Throughout the month of May the Minnesota Department of Health is featuring a training that you can participate in to help others who may be experiencing life challenges or suicidal experiences. On May 8 at 11 a.m. go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-develop-and-maintain-a-wellness-plan-a-tool-for-holistic-wellbeing-tickets-601630552177 to learn how to develop and maintain a Wellness Plan. The session is aimed at providing hope and resilience regarding our own mental health and help you recognize signs of struggle within ourselves through the holistic approach of the 8 Dimensions of Wellness.