How to prioritize mental wellness in 2023

How to prioritize mental wellness in 2023

– By DLC Children’s Outreach Specialist Jessica Liria, M.S.

Ringing in the new year is an age-old tradition to celebrate our experiences over the last 12 months, to acknowledge the challenges that we pushed through and to focus on the hope and opportunities of the year to come. For personal growth and progress, it is important to recognize the events of our past so we can better shape our future.

It is hard to believe 2023 is here and that three years have passed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we continue to face obstacles, both old and new, there is no better time to come together as a community and set a common goal for the new year. Prioritizing mental wellness in 2023 is a resolution worth committing to, and with support, success is within reach!

Here are five reasons to prioritize mental wellness this year.

1. Overall health

Each body part is important, but the brain is our control center. Acting like a computer inside our head, the brain is responsible for communicating with and coordinating the rest of the body. When mental health is affected, other aspects of wellness can be affected too — physical, financial, social, spiritual, environmental, intellectual and occupational. By paying attention to our mental and emotional health, our overall health, including the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, will improve.

2. Reduce stigma

Our society has made great strides in overcoming the negativity associated with mental health challenges, but there is still room for improvement. Understanding the concerns your community faces related to mental health and having conversations with others on the topic helps to break down the walls of stigma. Feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment or disappointment should not be associated with mental wellness. By placing increased value on brain health, we can foster an environment that encourages openness and acceptance around mental wellness.

3. Increased need, strained access

Florida continues to rank near the bottom of the 50 U.S. states when it comes to public mental health funding. With the influx of people that have moved to the area in recent years, combined with the rising number of challenges being experienced, the mental health field is desperately trying to keep up. Applying preventative techniques, like utilizing healthy ways to manage emotions and conflict, may reduce the need for crisis services.

4. Information overload

Along with the benefits of the internet and smartphones, there are also several dangers to be aware of. One major risk is the prolonged exposure to negativity and information that leaves us feeling anxious, sad and/or angry. In the age of technology, our brains are constantly processing the information we consume — including the tragedies and hardships felt worldwide. Without adequate time to work through it all, we subject ourselves to a non-stop rollercoaster of emotions. It is time to give it a rest and dedicate our focus to things that are positive and uplifting.

5. It is OK to not be OK

Life is unpredictable and things happen that are beyond our control. A sign of true wisdom and strength is knowing when help is needed and reaching out to ask for it. Seeking guidance for mental wellness should be met with the same acceptance as a physical health concern. Support and assistance is available, whether it is to overcome a temporary hurdle or to cope with a lifelong challenge.

How do I get started with this New Year’s resolution?

David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) has launched a community-wide campaign, Mind Your Mind in 2023. DLC invites you to participate in a quarterly approach to mental wellness – encouraging acceptance, awareness and openness. By signing up for this free initiative, you will receive information and tips associated with each month’s theme along with videos, articles and activities relevant to those focus areas. As a community, we can establish a common goal to prioritize mental wellness — it begins with each of us. When we care about ourselves, we can care for others too!

Visit DLCMindYourMind.org to learn more.

Supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County.

Jan 28, 2022 | Blog, Mental Health

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