Since 1949, the month of May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month and an opportunity to educate millions of people about mental health through the media, local events, and screenings.  As part of the “big picture” when dealing with fertility issues and treatments, mental health is just as important as your physical health.  So as we head into summer, check out these ten tips that can help boost your mental well-being.

  1. Start your day with a cup of coffee.  Studies show that coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression, but remember to stick to just one cup. If coffee isn’t your morning drink of choice, try a cup of tea instead.  Even the non-caffeinated stuff can do the trick.
  2. Plan a vacation.  Did you know that when you have something to look forward to, it can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks?  Go ahead, and book that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about!
  3. Get creative.  Experiment with a bunch of new recipes, start a DIY project at home, paint or even just color in a coloring book.  When your creative juices are flowing, your mind is focused and you tend to be in an overall happier place.
  4. Laugh a little.  Laughter is a great way to ease anxiety, so hang with a friend that makes you laugh, see a funny move, read a silly book, or watch funny videos online.  We all have our own quirky sense of humor, so do whatever makes you smile.
  5. Dance!  Hit your favorite dance club or simply dance around the house while you do your housework.  Dancing reduces levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases endorphins (the body’s feel-good chemicals).
  6. Take a bath.  Give yourself the gift of a relaxing, warm bath at least once a week.  Add some Epsom salt to soothe aches and pains which in turn will boost magnesium levels and help with depression.
  7. Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your diet.  Among their many benefits, omega-3’s have been linked to decreased rates of depression.  Fish oil supplements work, but you can also try adding foods like wild salmon, flax seeds, or walnuts into your diet.
  8. Practice forgiveness.  Put the road rage aside and forgive the guy who totally cut you off.  Studies show that people who forgive have better mental health and are more satisfied with their lives.
  9. Go outside for a walk.  Whether it’s a stroll through the neighborhood or a walk in the park, research shows that being outside can increase energy levels, reduce depression, and boost your well-being.
  10. Smile!  When you’re down, the hardest thing to do is smile.  We totally get it.  But keep this in mind, smiling can help lower your heart rate, calm you down, and help you have that all important positive mindset.

If you would like more information about UNC Fertility, please give us a call for more information or to schedule a consultation at 919-908-0000.