1. Value Yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons.
2. Take Care Of Your Body. Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to eat nutritious meals, avoid cigarettes, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep and exercise.
3. Surround Yourself With Good People. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier that those who lack a supportive network.
4. Give Of Yourself. Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else.
5. Learn How To Deal With Stress. Like it or not, stress is a part of life. Practice good coping skills. Also, remember to smile and see the humor in life. Good coping skills can include taking a walk,
reading a book, gardening or just sitting on the porch and enjoying nature.
6. Quiet Your Mind. Try meditating or reaching out spiritually. Relaxation exercises and meditation can improve your state of mind and outlook on life.
7. Set Realistic Goals. Decide what you want to achieve professionally and personally, and write down the steps you need to take to realize your goals. Aim high, but be realistic and patient with yourself and don't overschedule.
8. Break Up The Monotony. Although our routines make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, a little change of pace can help perk up a tedious schedule. Alter your jogging route, plan a road trip, hang some new pictures, or try a new restaurant.
9. Avoid Drugs And Alcohol. Substance abuse is one of our society's biggest health concerns. Sometimes people use alcohol or drugs to "self-medicate" the symptoms of a mental disorder, but in reality, alcohol and drugs only aggravate them.
10. Get Help When You Need It. Seeking help is a sign of strength- not a weakness. And it is important to remember that treatment is effective. People who get appropriate care can recover from mental disorders and substance abuse, and lead full, productive lives.
If you or a loved one is struggling, Ozark Guidance can help. Each year, Ozark Guidance serves 14,500 people in Northwest Arkansas including 4,800 children. We are a nonprofit with seven locations to serve you throughout Benton, Washington, Carroll and Madison Counties. For more information, visit our website at ozarkguidance.org or call 479-750-2020 or 1-800-234-7052.