Autumn Schultz
Autumn Schultz
Nutrition and lifestyle coach at Impact, helping you focus on one holistic habit at a time for a healthier lifestyle.

Muscatine Living

This past month was Mental Health Awareness Month, and in the eyes of a nutrition coach, mental health plays an important role as it is the baseline for how you are going to take on each day. Since COVID, the world has seen a significant increase in those battling anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. In 2021, Arthur Evans Jr., the CEO of the American Psychological Association, said, “we are facing a mental health tsunami.” It is estimated that nearly half of adults facing such issues are not seeking out treatment.

Let us start with the what and whys of mental health. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, how we feel, how we act; it affects our ability to handle the day-to-day stressors, our ability to relate to our surroundings, and each choice or decision we make in a day. While our mental health affects our ability to handle stressors and what decisions we make, it has far more impact on our body than we may think. Those battling depression have an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, general pain, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s dive into three ways you can start prioritizing your mental health!

Tip #1: Schedule time to move

Have you ever heard the phrase, “movement is medicine?” Well, it is 100% true! Exercise has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety by over 30%. Exercise will enhance your mood and energy while decreasing stress. Not sure how to get started? Here are a few things to consider when it comes to starting your fitness journey. Schedule your workout like any other appointment on your calendar. Get an accountability buddy, and move in ways that make you feel good! Workouts do not need to be intense or complicated.

Tip #2: Incorporate a balanced diet

Use the plate method; it is one of the easiest ways to reshape your plate when trying to incorporate more balance. Our snacks should be balanced too, each time you sit down for a small snack between your larger meals ask yourself, do I have protein, carbohydrate, and fat? Lastly, aim to drink 60-80oz of water each day.

Tip#3: Prioritize positive self-talk

Positive self-talk is one of those things we have all heard about but maybe never took the time to learn about the impact it can have on our mental health. Positive affirmations just 20 times in a month had a significant effect on more than 10 thousand people’s mental well-being. Does repeating positive affirmation help decrease overthinking? The answer is yes! Does decreased overthinking increase productivity? Again, yes! Does decreased overthinking increase overall success towards goals. You guessed it; the answer is yes!

So, today I challenge you to identify two positive affirmations that you may or may not believe right now, and I want you to recite them in the mirror every morning for the next two weeks to see what kind of impact it can have on your mental well-being! Just because no one else can heal or do your inner work for you does not mean you can, should, or need to do it alone. Please reach out if you have any questions or need guidance to reach your goals.

Know Your Impact, Athletes!

Coach Autumn

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