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  • Writer's pictureValerie Petry

In Our Minds: Holistic Mental Health

I have a podcast called Mind Body Balance, that’s dedicated to empowering you on your journey to self-care and well-being. I explore the transformative world of self-care, delving into practices that nurture your mind, body, and spirit. In each episode, I embark on a mindful exploration of various self-care techniques, from simply daily rituals to profound life-changing practices. I share insights, tips, and personal stories to inspire you to prioritize your own well-being. This podcast is a sanctuary for self-discovery, where I’ll discuss mindfulness, mental health, journaling, and everything in between. Whether you're a seasoned self-care enthusiast or just starting your journey, Mind Body Balance is here to support you in creating a life filled with balance, joy, and self-love. So let's embark on this transformative adventure together. Get ready to prioritize yourself one mindful moment at a time, and welcome to Mind Body Balance, where self-care meets inspiration.

I’ve never posted a transcript of my podcast but here’s a go.  I am not going to change anything.  I’ll leave all as it is on the audio.  This episode kicked off Mental Health Awareness month which is May.  Treating mental health holistically involves addressing a person's well-being on multiple levels, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  I will discuss some holistic approaches that can be beneficial to mental health.

“Hey, everybody, welcome back to the podcast, Mind Body Balance. I'm your host, Avalarie. This month, May, is considered Mental Health Awareness Month.  Let me just also add that I am not a psychologist. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist. I am a certified happiness life coach, but I carry no doctorate.  Of course, I do a lot of research before I come and talk to you guys about things, but I just wanted to make sure I threw that out there before I started saying anything else. If you're new to the podcast, welcome. This is a positive and safe space.I try to be as mindful of things that can be a trigger to other people as I can, possibly can. But come in, get comfy, and thank you for letting me take your ears hostage for a few minutes. Those of you who are returning, I want to say hey, y'all, I'm glad y'all came back.Of course, this podcast would not be as successful as it is without your listenership, and I appreciate you. Don't forget, if you like what you hear, subscribe, rate, leave a review. You can leave a review on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and I appreciate you in advance. And share with anybody that you think would benefit from whatever you hear.

So why am I talking about holistic approaches to mental health? I have had the benefit of being around people who do suffer with some type of mental health illness or another. I do know that a lot of people don't like to take medications because of the way it makes them feel. One person says that it just makes them not care about what's going on. They have no feeling. They're just so relaxed and lackadaisical. They just can't respond, and if they do want to respond, they can't respond quick enough. And this person is bipolar and manic depressive. 

A lot of people who have mental health illnesses are often ashamed, and they don't want to take the medication because of that point. Are they in denial, or they're not able to have access to someone who is going to really be dedicated to assisting and helping them and providing them with resources that is going to help them manage their mental illness. And so, I just, you know, I can't talk to you about the medication, you know, because I don't prescribe it, I would never prescribe it. But I can talk about things that can be done, you know, in the event that someone is not ready to address the mental illness issue, or someone who feels like they just need a mental reset, because sometimes I do, especially if there's a lot of events in a given month, between work and personal life balance. So sometimes I need a mental health break as well. So hopefully these things can assist someone out there, or help you help someone.

And some things are kind of obvious, like the first thing, healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats. They can positively impact your mood and your overall well-being. This is like the omega-3 fatty acids. This is like vitamin Bs, because you know, vitamin B gives you energy and vitamin D. I did not know that if you're feeling kind of sluggish or just really drowsy a lot, sometimes your vitamin D can be low.And then minerals like magnesium and zinc play roles in mental health as well. You know, magnesium is good for like keeping that good ol digestive track clean, you know, helps you keep that, you know, that regular poop and shake. But it does play a huge role in mental health as well. Exercise. Physical activity has numerous mental health benefits. It includes reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. And you should try to work out for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a week, at least three days out the week, at least. Do I do exercise at least three days a week? No, I'm just gonna keep it real. I was, and I fell off, and I've noticed that, you know, my energy levels aren't where they should be. So guess what, it's time for me to get back with it, right?

Adequate sleep, quality sleep is crucial for mental health. Establishing a regular sleep schedule, like creating a relaxing bedtime routine, or just ensuring your sleep environment is conducive to rest. So that means an hour before you go to sleep, you might want to go ahead and turn that TV off, you know, lower the light on your Celica phone, putting up the iPad. I usually plug up my iPad and the phone that I use for social media way away from my bed. I will keep my phone... Oh, let me tell you one thing I wanted to do. I do keep my phone near my bed, but I should do like my baby sister. She puts her phone on do not disturb. However, she can include important numbers like me, my mom, or other sisters. In the event there's an emergency, someone can still get in touch with her. Other than that, everything else is on do not disturb. So that's a good idea to try. I have not tried it, but that's a good tip, I think. Mindfulness and meditation. Practices like mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance overall mental well-being. I know you see me on my social media platforms. I always show videos or reels where I am practicing deep breathing exercises. I try to do that before I go to sleep as well. For some reason, it just kind of, it just lets the body know, hey, it's time to just go ahead and lay it out.

Another thing I have not tried, but I do have other people that have told me that they enjoy speaking with a therapist or a counselor. Talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other psychotherapies can provide valuable support and coping strategies for managing mental health conditions. And especially if you're at a point where these holistic things are not working for you, then I would strongly suggest reaching out to a therapist or a counselor. Social connections. Cultivating healthy relationships and maintaining a strong support network can provide emotional support, reduce feelings of isolation, and improve overall mental wellness. But let me say this. Your social connections that you're cultivating should be positive. They should bring you positive energy. They should place you in a positive environment.If they do not, it is not for you. Move on to somebody else, okay?  

Mind body practices. So this is gonna be like things like acupuncture, massage therapy, Tai Chi. These things can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve your mood. Creating outlets like art, music, writing, dancing, all these things can be therapeutic, and they can serve as an outlet for self-expression and emotional processing. So one of the things that I have learned to do is if I am trying to cut down on screen time, I've started reading a lot more, right? But sometimes, I'm a mood reader. So that means that I'm a mood reader just like I'm a mood watcher. I may watch Criminal Minds five days in a row, and then all of a sudden, I want to go to this show that I just started watching, and there may be three or four episodes I haven't seen yet. But I'm the same way with mood reading. I might have three or four different books I'm reading at one time, and I just may not feel like reading.

But I don't necessarily want to look at the screen, you know, my iPad, I scroll social media. So what I've done is I've taken up diamond painting. So I can cut on Criminal Minds, which is something that I've seen the seasons, all seasons, three or four times, right?So I don't necessarily have to look at the screen. It's just used as like background noise a little bit. And a diamond paint, which is really, really, really relaxing. Sometimes I'll color. Sometimes I'll decorate pages in my journal. But that works for me. It may not work for you, but it's just a suggestion. You know, your mind is not necessarily thinking on anything. It's just focusing on putting the diamonds in its, you know, specific spot, color, number notation, or just focusing on how you're gonna make a picture look really pretty and vibrant, staying in the lines, you know, mixing up the colors a little bit.

So your mind is not thinking or wandering or worrying, and it's just good to me. I think it's good practice. And then the last thing is, not the last thing, the next thing is nature and outdoor activities. Spending time in nature, gardening, hiking, or participating in outdoor activities can have a calming effect on the mind, and it can also reduce stress and anxiety. Another thing, I'm gonna use my baby sister again because her and her family are always outside. Matter of fact, when we video chat them this morning, to wish her Happy Mother's Day, her and her husband and her boys, they were out walking. They went to this spot that had a river next to it, and they just walked, and they'll hike. So, you know, are practicing Shren-yoku, you know, just bathing in the forest. All those things can be beneficial to the body.

And then the last thing is holistic therapies. So, like aroma, and I'll go into the holistic therapies a little bit deeper because I'm interested in a lot of them, like aroma therapy, using herbal medications, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and healing modalities like Reiki. These may resonate with you as well, but those are just some things that you can do holistically before you attempt to go and see someone who's going to put you on medication that may not make you feel like your best. Other people have, and it has made them feel better, you know, help them with clarity of the mind. I'm not saying that medication is a bad thing. However, if you feel like it is, I just want you to know that these other things are out there that you can do holistically to help you with any type of mental ailing or mental confusion, cloudiness, scatteredness. If you have ADHD, ADD, ADHD, you know.

So, I hope some of these things that I've introduced to you are some new things that you're thinking about checking out. If you do, hit me on my social media platforms. Let me know how they work. If you have, you know, any opinions about it, or any information you would like to share of your personal experience, you can find me on Instagram at selfcarewithval, you can find me on Facebook under Valerie Petrie, and well, yeah, pretty much everywhere else, you can find me at selfcarewithval. So, I hope this helped, and I hope you come back and see me so we can continue talking about things that can improve our mental health, our overall wellness, and just, you know, beefing up our selfcare routines. I'll talk to you guys again soon.”

From Mind Body Balance Podcast: In Our Minds: Holistic Mental Health, May 15, 2024 material is protected by copyright.


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