World mental health day was celebrated on October 10th and we at the Dismas Home of New Hampshire hopes that everyone had the opportunity to get a pulse check on their overall mental wellbeing.  The theme for this year is, ‘Making mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’, which we couldn’t agree with more!   Many people don’t realize that their mental health scorecard isn’t as good as it may appear because the symptoms of  mental illness aren’t things we can see like a runny nose or a broken finger. 

As the temps cool down and the trees shed their leaves in preparation for their icy slumber, the dark and gloomy days are on the horizon.  With shorter days, lack of sunshine and an abundance of fresh air many of us may begin to experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder which can further wreak havoc on those already suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses.

Misdiagnosing

Secondly this is the time of year where families and friends get together to celebrate the holidays. While that is the most wonderful time of year for some, it is also the time where people put a lot of pressure on themselves and each other to attend family functions, splurge on expensive gifts and partake in traditions that aren’t always joyful.

Remember that it is okay to say no, you do not have to compromise your mental wellbeing to please others. You are your number one priority and what’s more wonderful than being healthy, happy and feeling mentally stable?  We at the Dismas Home of New Hampshire fully realize that while there’s tons of information out there on how to whip your mental health into shape here are some tips for a routine mental health check-up when you aren’t feeling your best.

  1. Ask yourself, how do you feel today?  While this may sound a little silly, it will help with your assessment.  Do you feel anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, sad or can you identify the emotional state you are in?  Maybe you can use the 1-10 method to see where you fall and track it daily to help you know how to proceed. 

  2. Ask yourself – what’s been renting space in your mind?  Are you worried about friends and family, financial stability, work deadlines, or all of above?  This may be a good opportunity to use your journal to take account of the things that trigger you, potentially see a pattern and discover a way to address them.

  3. Ask yourself – Are you treating yourself with love?  Are you eating enough and are your meals nutritious?  Did you meet your recommended water intake for the day?  Did you get at least 30 minutes of movement or exercise in?  Are you following your sleep routine? Are you being gentle and kind to yourself? Remember our mental and physical health are connected.

  4. Ask yourself – what have I done for me lately (me time)? – are you taking time to do the things that bring you happiness, be it as small as letting your creative juices flow by writing, painting, doing a puzzle or watching a movie or as big as signing up for classes, looking for a new job or planning a visit with family.  Invest in yourself!

  5. Ask yourself – Do you know your support system – do you know who to turn to when you need advice, when you feel there is something not right, when you just need to talk?  Do you trust these people and feel they have your best interest at heart?  

Mental health is important, understand your symptoms, know your resources, break the stigma and make it your number one priority.

It’s not just a house; The Dismas Home of New Hampshire, located in Manchester, offers women a home with the one-on-one support needed for recovery, family reunification, and re-entry. Dismas Home of New Hampshire is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.


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