January is National Mental Wellness Month

in Mental health
Olivia Pennelle
Published Jan 4, 2021
January is National Mental Wellness Month

With 2020 now in our collective rear-view mirror, it’s fitting that January is also National Mental Wellness Month. Originally founded by the International Association of Insurance Professionals (an educational resource for insurance professionals), National Mental Wellness Month is dedicated to promoting the importance of one’s mental health. This is especially important for people in or seeking recovery—and improving mental wellness is something we can all benefit from after the challenges of the last year. What’s more is that other organizations, such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), have adapted the idea for other months, like Mental Health Month in May.

In recognition of January, here are some mental wellness tips and insights from our Executive Clinical Director, Steve Carleton, LCSW, to help those both seeking and maintaining recovery.

He explains that the role mental health or wellness plays in recovery isn’t static, especially as we face unprecedented challenges like the pandemic or the simple stresses of day-to-day life.

“This is more about having healthy routines and behaviors which support people through difficult times,” Steve said. “Now more than ever, people are being tested and adjusting to a new way of life.”

He encourages people to start small with changes to their mental health and “try to consistently do one brief behavior daily that has the intention to balance and care for oneself.”

Top tips for maintaining mental health?

What are Steve’s top three tips for maintaining mental health? He advises the following:

  1. Understand the signs that you are struggling. “Increase your awareness by checking in with yourself regularly. Ask ‘How am I feeling physically?’ ‘How am I feeling emotionally?’ ‘How am I seeing or thinking about things?’
  2.   Identify and utilize your support. “Ask yourself who do you call when you have a bad day at work versus home? What people lift you up when you are down? It is important to have more than one outlet for stress and also to be a support to others.”
  3.   Predict the crisis and have an action plan. “Many of life’s stressors are predictable for us. Try to anticipate what’s to come. Identify specific behaviors or routines that ground you. These do not need to be complicated. Take 10 conscious breaths, go for a walk, have a stretch, or two minutes of cardio.”

Advice for people in recovery struggling

For those in recovery struggling with mental health, Steve advises the importance of recognizing the harsh reality that recovery is difficult. “They must have compassion for themselves,” he advises. “It might not be realistic that we can remove the symptoms of a mental health issue, but it is realistic that we can change our relationship to difficult internal experiences.”

People in recovery should go easy on what they see in the mirror, he says. Very often, it’s the past haunting someone’s present that causes the most challenges when it comes to recovery. “Wrap your arms around that unwanted experience and yourself,” he suggests. “Take that depression, stress, anxiety, or whatever for a walk! Running from pain might offer temporary relief, but sooner or later, it tends to catch up. Acceptance, which is a difficult and ongoing process, is the way through.”

For those struggling with addiction and mental health

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we are here to help. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we bring compassion to the commotion, peace to the pain and empowerment to the powerless. If you or someone you know needs support with addiction, bring us your battle. Call us today and take the best, first step towards recovery: (720) 704-1432

You might find the following blogs helpful:

Ways to Celebrate New Year’s without Drinking

How to Return to Detox After Relapsing

Sober Mocktail Ideas

10 Tips to Cope with Relapse During the Holidays

Relapse: Signs to Watch Out For

The Effects of Isolation on Opioid Use