The month of May is designated to celebrate many things, among them is “Mental Health Month.” According to experts, to have good mental health, your brain needs to be physically fit and emotionally fit. To keep your brain physically fit, keep your body healthy. This will boost your self esteem, mood, and overall mental state.
At least 30 minutes a day of some sort of physical activity helps improve memory, reasoning, and reaction times in your brain. You can do things like walk 100 steps after eating, you can spread the 30 minutes out over the day. A balanced diet helps improve memory, decision making and thinking abilities, and mood. Getting enough rest helps keep your body and brain stay healthy. Exercising your mind is important for good mental health, too. Simple mind puzzles like word searches, cards, Yahtzee or crosswords, or reading the newspaper will help stimulate the brain. Deep breathing, listening to certain types of music, writing, a hobby, or reading helps your emotional state.
Maintaining a healthy self esteem is integral to good mental health. A person with healthy self esteem realizes their strengths and weaknesses, they are confident, able to act independently, be responsible, take pride in achievements, tolerate frustration, try new things, and offer help to others. A healthy self esteem improves your mood, mental ability and enjoyment in life.
To help build self esteem in your child, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Children thrive on positive attention. Encouragement goes a long way. Offer praise, teach them how to think in positive ways, avoid ridiculing or shaming, let them own their problem but teach them to recognize when they have made good decisions, show them you can laugh at yourself.
By laughing at yourself, one thing you are showing your child is that they are not alone. Another way to show them this is by reading about how other children experience similar situations and emotions and ended up okay. Leveled Reader has a Self Esteem section with books for various levels of readers. Read about “A Bad Case of the Stripes,” “Lucy on the Loose,” “Finklehopper Frog Cheers” and others. By reading, your child will be improving their mental health in so many ways!
Quote: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends and the most patient of teachers.” Charles W. Eliot.