Originally Published: May 11, 2014 6 a.m.
A diverse array of local events has been organized in recognition of Mental Health Month. You will find presentations on important topics that might be expected, such as "Depression and Seniors" and "Dealing With Caregiver Stress." But you may be surprised that Mental Health Month activities also include a free concert; a coloring contest for children (visit http://couriercontest.com); and free yoga classes. Why, you ask? Because maintaining one's mental health involves wellness in all facets of life.
"The health and wellness benefits from the practice of yoga and martial arts are well documented. Stress reduction, emotional balance, improved circulation, increased flexibility, and learning how to live in the present moment are a few of the perks of such practice," said Ben Naaz of Fusion of Movement in Prescott Valley. "Learning how to live in the now without worrying about what is coming or what has happened, if only for a class period, later translates to confidence in real-life situations."
According to information at www.mentalhealthamerica.net, taking care of all aspects of "you" will increase the likelihood that you stay well. Some tips for self-care include:
Live healthy, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid drugs and alcohol. Manage stress and go for regular medical check-ups.
Practice good hygiene. This is important for social, medical and psychological reasons in that it not only reduces the risk of illness, but it also improves the way others view you and how you view yourself.
Hang out with friends to build your sense of belonging. Consider joining a support or volunteer group or taking a class to make new friends.
Do something you enjoy every day. That might mean dancing, watching a favorite TV show, working in the garden, painting or reading.
Find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, getting a massage, taking a bath or walking in the woods.
"Yoga calms the mind, settles the spirit, and soothes the soul," notes Bri Boretman of Deva Healing Center in Prescott. "
Visit www.wygc.org and click on "calendar" for a list of Mental Health Awareness month events.