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Have you ever experienced a moment of feeling down? You can’t quite pinpoint the reason, but, for some reason, you might have the urge to lie down, have trouble focusing or just aren’t excited about something that used to make you happy. What you’re experiencing is often directly linked to your mental health.

In the past, mental health was overtly stigmatized, especially in minority communities. This was due mostly to the lack of resources and knowledge available to become more informed. Today, even though the stigma is still around in some areas, there are more resources available for all people, both in person and virtually. The progression of mental health from the dark stigma of the past has made it a more regular conversation topic to bring forth more knowledge and help those who may be unsure of what to do.

Managing your mental health is just as important as regular check-ups and screenings for the rest of your body. Not everyone shares the same experiences when it comes to mental health management such as stress, anxiety and depression. Since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown of 2020, there has been an increase in stress and depression among people, especially due to being more isolated from their loved ones. If you happen to have a pet or multiple pets, they can bring many emotional benefits during such times. However, there are still many options to keep maintenance of your mental health at home.

Balancing Your Mental Health

Practice mindfulness

Practice sitting with your emotions: Acknowledge your emotions as they come by taking a moment to pause to breathe and process the root of this feeling. As you exhale, let it go as only a moment and not a permanent place to be.

Stress management

If stress is left unmanaged, it can begin to affect not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Stress can appear physically in many ways. Learn how and more about stress management.

Shower meditation

Who doesn’t love a warm shower? Throw on your favorite tunes and turn on the faucet. As the water rushes over you, think of the water washing away the stress your body may be holding onto throughout the day. If a shower isn’t your favorite way to relax, try a bubble bath with lavender.

Words of affirmation

Identifying a mantra to repeat each morning or call upon in stressful situations has helped many people realign their mental health. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat positive words of affirmation aloud. Here’s one you can try:

“I am only responsible for me. I will do my best to be the best version of myself every day.”

If looking at yourself in the mirror is too intimidating, try leaving a sticky note of words of wisdom or words of affirmation around you to give you a boost of motivation. 

UofL Health – Peace Hospital has inpatient and outpatient services available for foster youth and caregivers. You can call Peace Hospital at 502-451-3330. In a crisis, you can dial 988.

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Article by: Michael Gosser, LCSW, LCADC

Michael Gosser, LCSW, LCADC, is the director of Adult Outpatient for UofL Health – Peace Hospital, where he works as a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. He has been working in the behavioral health field for more than 25 years and at Peace Hospital since 2015.

All posts by Michael Gosser, LCSW, LCADC
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