Your mental health is very important. You will not have a healthy body if you don’t also take care of your mind.
Don’t assume you have good mental health just because you don’t have mental health illness. You have to work to keep your mind healthy.
Nutrition and mental health
The food you eat can have a direct effect on your energy level, physical health and mood. A “healthy diet” is one that has enough of each essential nutrient, contains many foods from all of the basic food groups, provides the right amount of calories to maintain a healthy weight, and does not have too much added fat, sugar, salt or alcohol.
The same diet doesn’t work for every person. In order to find the best foods that are right for you, talk to your dietitian for more information.
Exercise and mental health
Regular physical activity is important to the physical and mental health of almost everyone, including older adults.
Being physically active can help you continue to do the things you enjoy and stay independent as you age. Regular physical activity over long periods of time can produce long-term health benefits. This is why health experts say that everyone should be active every day to maintain their health.
If diagnosed with depression or anxiety, your doctor may tell you to exercise in addition to taking medications or receiving counseling. This is because exercise has been shown to help with the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise can also slow or stop weight gain, which is a common side effect of some medications used to treat mental health disorders.
Sleep and mental health
Your mind and body will feel better if you sleep well. Your body needs time every day to rest and heal. If you often have trouble sleeping, talk to a health professional.
Stress and mental health
Stress can happen for many reasons. Stress can be brought about by a traumatic accident, death, or emergency situation. Stress can also be a side effect of a serious illness or disease.
With all we have going on in our lives, it seems almost impossible to find ways to de-stress. But it’s important to find those ways.
For more information about services offered by the Minto-Mapleton Family Health Team, visit the website at www.mmfht.ca or call 519-638-2110 (Drayton) or 519-327-4777 (Clifford).
Feven Gebremicael is a social work intern with the FHT.