One in five Americans suffered from mental health symptoms in 2020, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health. Young adults between 18-25 years of age had the highest rate of psychiatric symptoms. Excessive worry and sadness, trouble sleeping and other psychiatric symptoms are common in our community. When we experience these symptoms, it does not always mean that we need to be treated with medication. Just as we do for our physical health, things can be done to keep our mental health in check. As September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention month, St. Peter’s Health and I challenge our readers to take this opportunity to focus on behaviors that protect our mental health.
Eat a well-balanced diet: Ensuring that we nourish our bodies with a variety of healthy and whole foods as well as an appropriate amount of calories has been shown to help with improved mood symptoms.Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps our bodies function efficiently and feel better.Exercise: Regular movement, whether it is a leisurely walk, yoga or higher intensity exercise, has evidence for improving anxiety, depression and sleep. Move your body daily, even if you only have a few minutes to spare.Get plenty