Take Time For You: Mental Health Matters
Before you read this article, take a few moments, just for you. Take a deep breath and breathe out. Now take another breath and breathe out. A simple self-care activity, like this, can be done anytime, giving yourself a few moments to slow down and recenter. Even with a busy schedule, taking time for yourself is essential for your health. And not just your physical health, but your mental health as well.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is an important part of overall health. It includes your emotional well-being and your psychological and social well-being.1 Much like physical health, your mental health needs regular self-care to be at its best.
Prioritizing Self Care
A self-care routine can help you better manage stress and keep your mental health a priority. Regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and a consistent sleep routine are important to support your well-being. In addition to these foundational practices, you can personalize your self-care routine to support your unique interests such as reading, outdoor time, and other hobbies. Other examples of self-care activities include spending time with supportive friends and family, journaling, practicing gratitude, or even relaxation activities.
Self-Awareness is Key
Stress and other factors can impact your mental health differently throughout your life. Staying in-tune with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can help you be aware of changes that signal the need for additional support. Talking to a professional is helpful for many life circumstances, whether you are experiencing stress and need a listening ear or have a mental health concern such as anxiety or depression. It's important to reach out for help.
Mental Health Disorders
It is estimated that 1 in 5 U.S. adults will experience a mental health condition in a given year.2 Risk factors such as environment, habits and lifestyle, trauma, genetics, and even individual differences in brain chemistry can affect one's mental health.3 Changes in your mood, energy level, appetite, sleep routine, social life, and physical health can be warning signs of the need for help.
Common symptoms can include: 4
- Social changes or withdrawal from family or friends
- Excessive worry or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Difficulties concentrating or confused thinking
- Extreme mood changes
- Often feeling irritable or angry
- Changes in sleeping habits such as trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
- Difficulties managing stress, problems, or daily activities
- Experiencing physical symptoms, without obvious cause, as nausea, upset stomach, or body aches 5
If these symptoms or other mental health concerns are causing distress or make it difficult to function in your daily life, it's recommended to reach out for professional help.
Reaching Out for Help
Acknowledging the need for help can be difficult. Fear of what others might think and misconceptions about mental health can get in the way. You are not alone. It's okay to talk about your mental health concerns and reach out for help.
If you are unsure of where to begin, you can start by contacting your doctor or reach out to a mental health organization in your community. In Central Illinois, UnityPlace provides a wide range of mental health services, call 1-888-311-0321 to learn more.
*Seek immediate help and contact 911, if you are:
- Experiencing suicidal thoughts or have plans to harm yourself or someone else.
- Engaging in self-injury such as cutting or hair pulling.
- Hearing or seeing things that are not real or feeling out of touch with reality.
*These symptoms could be life-threatening, contact 911 right away.
Central Illinois Mental Health Resources:
UnityPoint Health - UnityPlace Outpatient Services:
1-888-311-0321, Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
UnityPoint Health - Methodist Inpatient Services:
(309) 672-4150, available 24/7
UnityPoint Health – UnityPlace Crisis Services (ERS), available 24/7:
For a crisis evaluation and counseling:
*For emergencies, call 911 immediately.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255, provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources
Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741741, 24/7 crisis support
*For emergencies, call 911 immediately.
The information featured on this website is for educational purposes and should not be relied upon for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health or medical conditions. Contact UnityPoint Health – UnityPlace or your medical care provider to discuss your mental health or substance use disorder concerns.
1 Mental Health. (n.d.). MedlinePlus. Retrieved April 19, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/mentalhealth.html
2 B4Stage4: Changing the Way We Think About Mental Health. (n.d.). Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/b4stage4-changing-way-we-think-about-mental-health
3B4Stage4: Get Informed. (n.d.). Mental Health America. Retrieved April 14, 2022, from https://www.mhanational.org/b4stage4-get-informed
4 Know the Warning Signs | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved April 10, 2022, from https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms#:%7E:text=Each%20illness%20has%20its%20own%20symptoms%2C%20but%20common,fear%20of%20weight%20gain%20or%20concern%20with%20appearance