“The root of all health is in the brain. The trunk of it is in emotion. The branches and leaves are the body. The flower of health blooms when all parts work together.” – Kurdish saying
If anyone wakes up one day with a terribly painful toothache, they will most likely make an appointment to see a dentist to have it taken care of. Likewise, when we find ourselves injured or not feeling well, we will head to the emergency room or see our doctor to get on our path to recovery. By and large, most people are good about paying attention to their physical selves.
But when it comes to our mental health, there is a hesitancy to avoid mentioning it in everyday conversations. It is often treated like it is something that does not exist. Perhaps this is due to an overall misunderstanding of what mental health is. According to MentalHealth.gov, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we manage stress, relate to others, and make choices.”
One thing that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic was the need for more attention to our mental health. The changes in employment, closure of schools, the uncertainty of how the virus was going to affect us, and the loss of life all took a mental toll on people of all ages. For the first time ever, the topic of mental health and mental illness came to the mainstream without the stigmas attached to it as had been the case in the past.
With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to take the time to take care of their whole being: physically, emotionally, and mentally. Particularly for those who are grieving, it is essential to pay attention to the signs your body may be giving you. Take extra care by getting proper nutrition and exercise. Keep your lines of communication with friends and family open. If things seem overwhelming, reach out to your doctor or therapist to explore the options that are available.