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Q: What are some simple ways I can take care of my mental health?

There’s a growing recognition that taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to take care of your mental and emotional well-being.

Start by making sure that you’re eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and staying physically active. It’s no secret that your body and mind are connected, and there’s lots of evidence that even small or moderate amounts of exercise can boost your mood.

Many people find the news stressful, so try to limit time spent scrolling online and use social media in moderation. In addition, try to make time each day to take a break and disconnect from screens and electronic devices.

Make time each day to unwind and relax by doing something you enjoy, like reading, listening to music, gardening, or doing a craft. If you don’t have a favorite hobby, try some new activities.

If you struggle with stress, try some calming practices, like meditation, mindfulness, stretching, or just taking a few deep breaths.

While alcohol can make you feel relaxed in the moment, it can also be a depressant and interfere with sleep, so drink in moderation. And if you’re having a hard time controlling your alcohol or drug use, consider getting support for your substance use, such as from a support group or addiction program.

Reach out to your friends and family. Enjoying time with others can lift your mood. Your loved ones can also provide you with emotional support and give you advice and practical help for any challenges you may face.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed most of the time, or if stress, sadness, or anxiety are starting to interfere with your daily life, make an appointment with a mental health professional to get extra support.

Fatima M. Imara, MD

Psychiatry, Behavioral Health

Maui Memorial Medical Center
221 Mahalani St
Wailuku, HI 96793