How To Tell If Your Mental Health Is Improving Or Not

Keeping tabs on your mental health is tricky. You live “inside your brain,” so evaluating it from the outside is no easy task. You hope that you feel better, but knowing whether you do isn’t always easy. 

 

Fortunately, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself to get a better picture of how you’re doing. Take a look at the following: 

 

Are Your Sleeping Habits Returning To Normal? 

 

When you have a serious mental health condition, like depression, it can adversely affect your sleeping habits. You can sometimes find yourself struggling to get any rest at all. Alternatively, you can sleep too much – all the way through until lunchtime on occasion. 

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However, if you notice yourself getting back into your old pattern, it could be a sure sign that you’re on the mend. Once you get back into your rhythm, it is a sign you’re on the path to better health. 

 

Are Your Relapses Becoming Less Frequent?

 

Keeping track of your relapses is essential if you have mental health problems. You want to know how often they happen so you can document trends. If you’re getting better, relapses will become less frequent. But recording them in a journal is essential. If you don’t, you can wind up believing things aren’t getting any better, even when they are. 

 

Are You Able To Function In Your Daily Activities? 

 

Mental health problems can make it difficult to function in your daily activities. Going to work or even getting out of bed can feel like a monumental effort.  The whole point of things like Midwest Behavioral Health telehealth services is to help you through these difficult times. Professionals support and coach you, helping you deal with the root of the problem and get on with your life. 

 

If you feel that getting out of bed is becoming easier, it is a good sign that you’re mending. Mental health problems don’t last forever. They ebb and flow throughout your life. Having a spring in your step in the morning is a sure sign that things are getting better for you. 

 

Are Your Symptoms Getting Better?

 

Knowing whether your symptoms are getting better day to day is difficult. Improvements tend to occur slowly through time – so much so that you can find it hard to notice. 

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Using objective measures to track your symptoms, therefore, is essential. The Wakefield Questionnaire, for instance, is a crucial tool you can use to judge where you’re at with your depression. You just fill out the answers, and then it will spit back a numerical score, telling you your current situation. If you score more than 15 on the test, the designers of the questionnaire recommend that you seek professional guidance and help. 

 

When you know your mental health is improving, it helps a great deal. It shows you that the worst is over and that you’re on the path to recovery. It is a bumpy road, but one that you must tread if you want to see these difficult times through.

How to Proactively Manage Your Health

Only a lucky few get to go through their life without worrying about their health. For most people, that’s not the case. They have to take a proactive stance when it comes to all things related to their health. If they don’t, then they’ll run the risk of falling into a poor mental and physical state. But it’s all good and well saying that you’re going to stay on top of your health; how do you actually do it? Below, we’ll take a look at a few useful tips that’ll put you on the right track.

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Find your Bad Habits

 

If you’re going to work on improving your health, then first you’ll need to identify your bad habits. What current aspects of your lifestyle are contributing to poor health? This requires a little bit of reflection; you’ll find that by analyzing your lifestyle, you can identify your poor health habits. This could be that you drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or sit down too much. Just by recognizing these things, you’ll be able to put yourself on the right path towards a healthier lifestyle. 

 

Don’t Ignore Symptoms

 

It’s rare that a medical condition really takes you by surprise. Your body will tell you if something requires more specialist attention. But of course, you have to listen to what your body tells you. If you have a sore throat for longer than usual, then you shouldn’t just ignore it, and hope things will resolve on their own. You should make an appointment with the best throat doctor, and see what’s causing the pain. One of the best things about the modern world is that the medical system is so advanced. If a problem is caught early on, then there are usually multiple different medical solutions that can be implemented. 

 

Physical Exercise

 

While we may be tempted to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, the truth of the matter is that this approach won’t be all that beneficial to our health. If we’re going to be at our brilliant, healthiest best, then we need to work up a sweat from time to time. If the idea of spending time in the gym doesn’t sound all that appealing, then don’t worry, there are plenty of fun activities available. You can maintain all-around positive health by finding a physical activity that you like, and then making it part of your schedule. 

 

Mental Space 

 

It used to be that we’d just think of our health in terms of our physical condition, but in recent years, the medical community has begun to change that. Now, there’s a greater emphasis on our mental condition too. Dealing with mental problems doesn’t just make existence more difficult; it also has a detrimental effect on your physical health, too. So it’s really important that you’re taking steps to give your mental health a boost. You can do this by eating well, moving your body, and spending time in the outdoors, which has been shown to significantly reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. 

Choosing The Right School For Your Kids

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Choosing where your kids go to school is one of life’s most important decisions. You want to make the right choice as it’s not good to keep pulling them from one school and moving them to another. So, you need to ensure they go to a good school that helps them flourish! 

 

Keeping that in mind, how do you find the best schools for your kids? Regardless of whether you’re looking at elementary, middle, or high schools, you will still be searching for the same elements. Here are a few things that tell you if a school is good or not:

 

Good grade averages

If the grade averages are good, that tells you a lot about the teachers in a school. While this is important for all ages, it’s particularly vital when your child is in high school. They will be studying all the way through to college, so they need great teachers to help them achieve their dreams. Struggle to reach the required grades, and they may be unable to get into their desired college when they’re 18. A good rule of thumb is to find the national average GPA and compare schools to it. If they’re higher, then you know they must be doing something right. 

 

Modern teaching methods

You don’t want to send your kids to a school that’s stuck in the past. Like every industry, the education sector has transformed over the years. The way kids are taught now is remarkably different from twenty years ago. So, you want to find schools that use modern teaching methods and call upon technology wherever possible. Many schools have a whole digital education system that kids can utilize while they study. Some even hand out educational devices and use technology to manage student Chromebooks and laptops, so they stay safe while studying. As a general rule, the more technology a school utilizes, the better it tends to be. This is simply because they’re moving with the trends and understand what kids engage with nowadays. 

 

Excellent support system 

Finally, your kids need to go to a school that actually supports them. Lots of schools take a hands-off approach to their students in that they offer hardly any support. Thankfully, this has changed a bit lately. Schools are realizing how many children suffer from mental health issues – particularly during their teenage years. So, support systems as in place to help kids both inside and outside of school. Be sure to ask about any extra support that students get when you’re looking at all the different schools in your area. If they seem confused by your question, that that indicates they lack a support system. 

 

Ultimately, these are the three key things to look for in a great school for your children. There are other things to take into consideration, but these are the most important. Obviously, another key thing is how close the school is to where you live. This can make life a lot easier or harder in the mornings! In a perfect world, you’d find a local school that’s a short walk away and ticks all three of the boxes above.

5 Ways That Sunlight Can Improve Your Health

5 Ways That Sunlight Can Improve Your Health

Diet and exercise are essential to good health, but they aren’t the only factors to consider. Did you know that light and darkness can affect your wellbeing? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), getting between 5 and 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face at least two to three times each week will boost your vitamin D.

Darkness triggers the production of melatonin in the brain, which helps you sleep. Sunlight causes a similar effect that produces serotonin. Serotonin improves mood and helps you feel focused and calm.

How can sunlight improve your health?

  • Boost Mood for Improved Mental Health

As stated above, the sun can boost your mood by triggering the production of serotonin. Researchers at Brigham Young University found that people experienced more mental health distress during seasons with less sun exposure. Less distress was reported on days with more sunshine.

Their efforts indicate that sunlight has a stronger impact on mental health than any other environmental factor, including temperature and rainfall.

  • Lower Blood Pressure with Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight can lower your blood pressure. Nitric oxide found on the top layer of skin reacts in the sun. This causes the blood vessels to widen, allowing the oxide to move through the body. Wider vessels lower blood pressure.

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology study suggests that this effect could lower the risk of stroke and heart attack. Connect Electric believes that the sun is important for good health, but always recommends talking to your doctor when managing conditions like high blood pressure.

  • Vitamin D Helps Build Strong Bones

Sunlight exposure makes the body transform cholesterol into vitamin D. Vitamin D is involved in the growth of strong bones. Medical studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and rickets in children. There is also a link to bone-wasting diseases like osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

  • Lower Cancer Risk Through Safe Exposure

Sun exposure can help lower your risk of some types of cancers. It is important to note that too much exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer. So you should always follow the recommended guidelines when exposing yourself to the sun.

Researchers found that people who lived in regions with fewer daylight hours were more likely to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.

  • Light Therapy for Skin Conditions

A little sunlight can go a long way in reducing the symptoms of some skin conditions. WHO reported that sun exposure may help treat psoriasis, eczema, jaundice, and acne. Doctors sometimes recommend UV radiation to treat these conditions.

A dermatologist should be consulted to determine if this is the best course of treatment for a skin condition.

Many factors are involved in nurturing long-term good health. You should consider a multi-faceted approach when coming up with a plan for yourself. Eat nutritious food, get plenty of exercise, and enjoy sunlight in the recommended quantities. A little bit each day can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health.

Lockdown Lunacy: Your Greatest Assets In Avoiding Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic

Feeling anxious? Stressed? Irritable? Moody? First of all, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s okay not to feel okay. Especially when we’re all in the throes of an international pandemic. We’ve been cooped up indoors for weeks now. We’ve been diligently practicing our social distancing, straining to keep the kids where they should be while under lock down and coping with the learning curve (and reduced paycheck) that comes with working from home. Under the circumstances, you’re doing an incredible job of keeping it together!

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But that doesn’t mean you don’t need and deserve a helping hand when it comes to reducing stress and easing your anxiety. Your home can either be your greatest ally or your greatest enemy when it comes to avoiding stress and anxiety. Here we’ll look at some items around the home which can do you a world of good…

 

Your windows

 

Natural light is both the ultimate office perk and the perfect antidote to cabin fever. So make sure you get plenty coming into your home. Great quality windows are a long term investment, so use a reputable company like Plymouth Window Installation if you plan to replace yours. The right windows can help you to make the most of your natural light,are easy to clean, keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, saving you money on heating and AC. What’s more conducive to a relaxed mind than knowing you’re saving money? 

 

What’s more, your window can give you a great view of…

 

Your garden

 

Who could have known that we’d come to view our time spent outdoors as such a luxury? Nonetheless, the time we spend in the garden can be a great antidote to the stresses and strains of your workplace and your home becoming the same location. 

 

Gardening, fresh air and spending time amidst your flowers and plants can all be a fantastic boost to your mental health and allow the stress of the day to melt away. 

 

Your phone

 

Like your home, your phone can either be your greatest ally or your greatest enemy. If you use your phone to trawl through Facebook and Twitter you’ll likely be struck with a feeling of FOMO as everyone seems to be navigating the lock down better than you… or simply watching people being hateful to one another. However, when you use your phone to call or video chat with your friends you can enjoy an endorphin hit that helps your stress simply drift away. Nothing eases anxiety better than seeing a familiar face. 

 

Your pantry

 

It’s not just the plants in your garden that can be a huge boon for your psychological well being. The food you eat can also help you to reduce stress and anxiety. We’re not talking about the guilty comfort foods you enjoy over the weekends. We’re talking about all the wholefoods and plant based foods which can gradually alter your brain chemistry and stabilize your mood. According to recent studies, plant based diets are directly linked to lower levels of stress, depression and anxiety. 

 

Your pets

 

Finally, we cannot underestimate the importance of pet therapy throughout the lock down. Spending time with your furred and feathered friends can help ease stress, make you smile and boost your mood throughout the day.

Keeping A Close Eye On Our Health

One minute we’re running around the playground, carefree as children and the next we are up to our necks in bills, and health problems that we really didn’t think we would ever get. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom the older we get, if we keep a close eye on our health, and make sure that we are doing everything we can to stay fit and healthy, then there should be no reason why you should need extra care and attention. We have many tools available now, such as hearing aids and glasses that will help anybody who struggles in these particular areas, but ultimately keeping a close eye on our health, is the prevention that is better than cure. So how do we keep an eye on our health? And stay healthy?

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Illnesses

Keeping a close eye on illnesses that crop up, and working out exactly how these may affect you, is essential, especially if you have a weakened immune system or a pre-existing illness that could affect your overall health. Nobody likes catching the odd virus, but there is generally not a lot we can do about it since there are many people who come in contact with others during the workday, and that’s understandable. But keeping a close eye on these, washing your hands regularly, and staying away from people who are quite ill, can save you the time and hassle of being poorly yourself. Any on this as you may have had, now become much more difficult to watch, 

 

Mental Health

Keeping a close eye on our mental health is something that we should all be doing regardless of the age profession or amount of time we have available. If we don’t keep a close eye, it’s quite easy to lose track of how we are feeling until it’s too bad to ignore. There are day-to-day things you can do that will help you feel better and not have to worry about feeling down or anxious. If you don’t have a great support network, all the tools in place to help yourself feel better if you do have a down day, then now is the time to start considering that. It’s not always easy to keep track of your mood when life is just so busy, but not everything worth doing is easy. And taking care of your mental health with self-care, mindfulness, and generally looking after yourself is the only way to ensure your mental health stays stable. Ultimately mental health is becoming much more important, and the reason for this because we know how important mental health is. Not only does poor mental health affects mentally, but it also has physical effects as well. It can cause physical symptoms of stress, and no end of issues elsewhere in your life.

 

Seeing A Doctor

Keeping an eye on your health at all times will result in some questions being asked occasionally, and if you find you have symptoms of any kind that concern you for more than a couple of weeks, that the pharmacist can’t help you with, then it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Doctors can help you and put you in the right direction where others can’t. Keeping yourself healthy sometimes means taking advice from the professionals, so if you’ve had a cough that won’t go away for several weeks, or you’re feeling very ill and nothing helps, then it’s time to seek advice from a health professional. None of us want to waste the doctors time, but you will find that if you are careful, and have done the research first, you should feel better in no time. Depending on which country you’re in, this could cost you money, but it’s better to do this now than when you’re too ill to take yourself to the doctors.

 

Exercise is the first thing that you should do to maintain your health. And this can mean many things, but ultimately moving your body doing more activity than you are currently, and feeling the benefits will help improve your sleep, boost your immune system, and keeps your heart healthy too. So adding a little exercise bit by bit to your routine should improve things significantly for you. The boost to your immune system is one of the best things you can provide yourself, though, because you will end up with fewer illnesses, and quicker recovery times. So there is no doubt in the fact that you will benefit from this.