5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

April 07, 2017

 

More than 300 million people in the world are currently living with depression, a mental health condition brought on by various factors such as loneliness or illness that can impair the day-to-day living of individuals and cause fatigue, stress, low motivation and anxiety."

April 7, 2017 is World Health Day, an annual event where the World Health Organization (WHO) provides helpful resources on how to prevent, treat and remove all stigma from a particular condition. This year’s theme is depression.

According to the WHO, more than 300 million people in the world are currently living with depression, with occurrences increasing year by year at about 20%. Depression is a mental health condition brought on by various factors such as loneliness or illness that can impair the day-to-day living of individuals and cause fatigue, stress, low motivation and anxiety.

As one of the leading nonprofits in the world that focuses on healthy living, the YMCA offers the following ways to encourage and assist anyone suffering from depression.

  1. Physical Activity. We all know physical activity should be a regular part of our day, but engaging in activities such as sports or more low-impact routines such as yoga and deep water running can assist in both preventing and treating depression for individuals of all ages.
  2. Hobbies & Interests. We know it can be hard to get interested in anything when you’re feeling down, but health providers insist that an effort should be made to partake in a hobby to keep a positive outlook. Activities can include playing on a sports team, joining a knitting club or, for children, participating in a dance competition or another after school program. Our Spring 2 session begins April 10, so stop by our Registration page to see what unique programs your local YMCA center offers.
  3. Social Interactions. Loneliness is listed as one of the main causes of depression, particularly in children and older adults. YMCA of Metro Chicago hosts plenty of “Silver Sneakers” events dedicated to providing our adults ages 60 and up with opportunities to remain physically fit and social in the later years of life. For children, parents are encouraged to take advantage of summer day camps, where adolescents and teens are invited to try new things and make new friends all summer long.
  4. Healthy Eating. It can be easy to let your health fall by the wayside, but it’s important to always take care of yourself. Your local YMCA offers free wellness consultations that will help you improve your eating habits by providing tips and resources on how to make the best decisions for your well-being.
  5. An Opportunity to Talk. Sometimes, all you need is a listening ear. Programs such as our Story Squad and Urban Warriors offer the teens of Chicago a chance to say what’s on their mind as a way to treat trauma in youth, a noted factor to depression in adolescents and teenagers. Visit the YMCA’s Youth Satefy and Violence Prevention page to learn more about this initiative and its programs.

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression or has a family history of it, know that this condition is usually very treatable. The YMCA of Metro Chicago is available to assist you and your family’s health needs by providing programs and resources.