August is often a month of transition for many people. Vacations are over, kids go back to school, the days begin to shorten while our extracurricular activities increase, and we typically spend more time indoors to combat the heat, the bugs, and the exhaustion of being busy. The “lazy days of summer” are coming to an end! All of this can impact our mental health and emotional well-being.
Mental Health vs. Emotional Well-being
What is Mental Health?
To address our mindset and work towards better mental health, it helps to understand what mental health is.
According to the CDC, mental health includes:
- emotional well-being
- social well-being
- psychological well-being
When these three dimensions interact, the overall outcome impacts the way we think, feel, and act. If our mental health is in a good place, it can improve our ability to interact with both ourselves and others, expressing and behaving in healthy ways that enhance our well-being. If our mental health isn’t in a great place, reputable mental health interventions can offer reprieve; they help us develop skills to process our feelings, build healthy relationship connections, and change our outlook towards ourselves and the world (and much more). We become more resilient and are able to cope with challenges.
Mental health and mental illness, while often used interchangeably, should not be treated the same. Taking care of our mental health can help protect us from more serious mental illness, just as taking care of our heart can protect us from more serious heart health issues.
There are many factors that contribute to mental illness. Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States. In any given year, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness.
Given mental health is so common and talked about so casually, why are we contributing our two cents? Because we, at Balanced Wellness, feel that it is critical to establish the difference between mental health and emotional well-being. Emotional well-being can be improved through an integrated approach, wellness coaching encompassing all dimensions of our wellness wheel, and a commitment to balance. We are here to help you with everyday skills and coping mechanisms, along with providing necessary resources within our scope of practice. If you are concerned about a more serious issue, we can help you seek professional help to diagnose and treat mental illness.
Important to note is that ALL of the dimensions of well-being impact our TOTAL well-being. While we define dimensions as independent, they are truly intertwined. Let us assist you in creating a toolbox to improve your mental health– guiding you on a journey towards optimal spiritual, physical, environmental, social, emotional, and occupational well-being!
Stay with us as we cover more mental health topics this month:
- Cultivating a healthy home and work environment
- Managing stress with movement, meditation, and mindset
- Developing resilience