More than half of adults in the United States will experience mental illness – which refers to a variety of conditions that affect their mood, behavior, emotions or thinking – at some point in their lives. Mental illness can sometimes occur, while others are chronic. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mental Health Awareness Month, observed every May, is a time to raise mental health awareness, break stigma and support people with mental illness.
Each condition has its own unique symptoms, but common signs of mental illness include the following:
- Feeling sad, irritable or angry for a long time
- Feeling too paranoid, anxious or anxious
- Experience extreme mood swings
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Changing eating habits due to increased hunger or loss of appetite
- Having difficulty sleeping or making dramatic sleep patterns changes
One or two of these symptoms alone may not predict a mental illness, but they may indicate a need for further evaluation.
Taking care of yourself
One way to improve your mental health is through self-care. Self-care looks different for each person because it is about doing things that you like or need.
Here are some ideas for how to practice self-care:
- Live healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
- Connect regularly with friends and family who encourage and support you.
- Pamper yourself by watching your favorite TV show, bathing, applying a face mask, getting a massage or reading a book.
- Find ways to relax, including meditating, practicing yoga, going on a nature walk or baking.
The goal is to try to do something you enjoy every day. If you are concerned about a loved one's mental health or your own, consult a physician or mental health professional.
One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime. This makes skin cancer the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is very preventative by avoiding excessive sun exposure.
May is the month for skin cancer awareness, but sun protection is important all year round. Here are some tips to protect you outdoors:
- Stay in the shade under an umbrella, tree or other shelter. Avoid the sun between 10:00 and 16:00, when the rays are strongest.
- Wear dark clothing made of tightly woven fabrics and a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.
- Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and apply it all over the body and lips. Apply again every two hours – and after swimming or sweating.
Inspect the skin regularly for any stains or changes in color or appearance. If you have any problems, contact your doctor.
Fast food is highly processed and contains unhealthy trans fats, especially when foods are fried in oil. Eating fried foods can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to new research, people who ate the most fried food per week had a 28% higher risk of major cardiovascular events compared to those who ate the least. These people also had a 22% higher risk of heart disease – and a 37% higher risk of heart failure.
Along with choosing baked or grilled items, consider the following heart-healthy alternatives to fried foods:
- Skin-free poultry and fish
- A variety of fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole grains
Limit your daily intake of fast food and talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
We all here at CoverLink wish you continued health and safety this year!