One area that I am aiming to prioritize in this New Year is my mental health.
According to a survey conducted by theย American Psychological Association in 2023, people ages 35-44 years old experienced an increase in chronic health conditions since the pandemic, increasing from 48% in 2019 to 58% in 2023. The same age group also experienced an increase in mental illness diagnoses, going from 31% in 2019 to 45% in 2023.
My family is part of these stats.
I am sure that I am not alone when I admit that I have experienced increased stress, anxiety and depression since the pandemic. Having S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) does not help things either. Feelings of sadness and isolation ran rampant for me in December. I am still feeling BLAH, but I acknowledge these feelings (they happen to me from time to time- and A LOT more often since COVID) and I am really focused on “snapping out of this” right now.
Part of my new year intentions are to work on this issue that I struggle with on a daily basis. In addition to my renewed health and wellness efforts, I am going back to the core things that serve my mental health: morning pages, meditation, reading, sound therapy, gratitude practice and saying NO to things that are not a full on YES. I also have a therapist on speed dial in the event that I cannot “snap out of it”.
Since graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2019, I have been on a quest to learn all the things about better health and wellness. I read a ton of books, do lots of research and find doctors that are sharing their knowledge on wellness that goes beyond writing a script.
The integrative approach to healing and wellness are what fuel me: food as medicine, movement, mental health, community and connection, my menstrual cycle, fasting and sleep. These are the core and foundational elements and true measures of health.
Although I am in my S.A.D. era again, I know what to do so that I can crawl out of it and how to do it too. I let myself just be here for a bit and now I feel empowered to get back to myself. I don’t know if it is the new year or the fact that I am just sick of feeling this way, but whatever it is, I am actively working on it. Writing this article has felt freeing in a way. I hope if you need help or feel this way too that you benefit from these tips.
Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

 

From some of my research, here are some tips that can help improve mental health:

  • Get morning sunlight. The light from the rising sun sets our circadian rhythm and helps regulate our sleep cycle.
  • Move your body. Exercising boosts your mood and can combat depression.
  • Go to bed earlier and limit device usage an hour before. The blue light stimulates our brains to think it is time to “be up”. Limiting blue light and going to bed earlier will help with getting sound sleep.
  • Try Dry January and limit alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant that can cause feelings of anxiety, sadness and depression and if you are already feeling this way, alcohol will just make it worse.
  • Check in with yourself by journaling or doing morning pages. Recognize and acknowledge how you are feeling. If you notice yourself feeling more down, irritable, tearful or exhausted, or having sleep or appetite changes, it’s time to ask for help.
  • Seek the help of a mental health professional.

If you need mental health services, you can take the first step by calling 2-1-1 to be connected to helpful community resources. Anyone contemplating suicide should call 9-8-8 immediately.

If you need more help…

The Florida Association of Managing Entities (FAME) is the statewide organization representing Floridaโ€™s seven Managing Entities. FAMEโ€™s mission is to advance the behavioral health recovery of individuals and their families in the state of Florida.
Floridaโ€™s seven local Managing Entities work with a network of over 300 behavioral health care providers who deliver services to over 2 million Floridians, including children, expectant mothers, veterans, and the chronically homeless.
Providers meet patientsโ€™ diverse needs with โ€œwraparound servicesโ€ that not only address mental health issues and substance abuse, but also assist with housing, transportation, and employment. Community boards administer, manage, and ensure accountability of state and federal funds for behavioral health services, keeping oversight and accountability closest to the people they serve.
Regardless of where you are, just know that you are not alone. You’re doing great mama.
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Eryn
Eryn is a health conscious momma of four amazing kiddos ranging in age from 6 to 20! She is a marketing maven and mentor with 20 years of business development and marketing under her belt. She beyond obsessed with all things purpose, giving back, wellness, and marketing. Living in Orlando for over 15+ years, this Flo-Grown, Miami native has fallen for The City Beautiful and all it has to offer! From the local arts, to the craft beer and foodie scene, to all of the non-profits and giving opportunities, Eryn is in love with all things Orlando! Her connection with local moms, businesses of Orlando and philanthropy goes deep.ย Eryn uses her ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ to ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ & ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ other mompreneurs in life & business. Eryn is also an accredited Integrative Wellness Consultant, Purpose Coach and certified Social Entrepreneurship/Small Business Coach, and a low tox living advocate. She strives to help other women prosper and flourish in life and business and she thrives on creating authentic partnerships and building relationships. Her motto is "be on purpose" and she lives to better the lives of others.

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