Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others. Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illnessâ€”itâ€™s essential to your overall health and quality of life. Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.
Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. When it comes to your mental health, self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.
Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:
For other ideas for healthy practices for your mind, body, surroundings, and relationships, see the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wellness Toolkits.
Seek professional help if you are experiencing severe or distressing symptoms that have lasted two weeks or more, such as:
Donâ€™t wait until your symptoms are overwhelming. Talk about your concerns with your primary care provider, who can refer you to a mental health specialist if needed. If you donâ€™t know where to start, read the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Tips for Talking With Your Health Care Provider fact sheet. Learn more about how to get help or find a provider on the NIMHâ€™s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.
If you are thinking about harming yourself or attempting suicide, tell someone who can help right away or dial 911 in an emergency. You also can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1â€‘800â€‘273â€‘TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential.
Note: This list of non-federal resources is provided for informational purposes only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute an endorsement by The ADD Resource Center, NIMH, NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government.
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