5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

woman getting fresh air, meditating, outdoors

In our busy lives, we all have moments where we feel like our mental health might be suffering. Especially given the ongoing experience with pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, and uncertainty have taken a toll on their well-being. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we wish to remind you of 5 manageable ways to boost your mental health.

Why Take a Mental Health Day?

While taking a sick day is common when you are feeling physically unwell, what’s not as common – but should be – is taking a mental health day when you are feeling mentally and emotionally unwell. The truth is, taking a mental health day from work or school can be extremely important for your overall well-being. It can help to improve your mood, avoid burnout, get some much-needed rest, and rejuvenate yourself so you can tackle “real life” once again.

The Power of Vulnerability

By its very definition, vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Even when we try to control every aspect of our every day, we will be met with unexpected situations that require us to respond – with no script and no guarantee of perfection. We can try to avoid being vulnerable, or we can choose to face the uncertainties of life head-on, knowing that vulnerability often leads to greater intimacy, self-worth, and compassion for ourselves and others.

101 Screen-free Activities to Boost Your Mental Health

Taking a break from screens is vital for your mental health. Research connects too much screen time with increased depression, disrupted sleep, increased stress, difficulty focusing, and increased aggression. For children and adolescents, the effects are even more profound, with further impacts on cognitive development. Here are 101 screen-free activities from screenfree.org. Make a personal goal to check off a few of these activities this (and every!) week.

Infertility’s Impact on Women’s Mental Health

woman worried about pregnancy test - perinatal mental health

For many women, the conception and birth of a child is a momentous, long-awaited, and life changing event. Even the emotional rollercoaster that comes with sleepless nights and rapidly changing hormones is mitigated by the excitement of, and love for, a new baby. But for the millions of women grappling with the challenge of infertility, the mere topic of babies and motherhood can be heartbreaking.

Recognizing Alcohol Awareness Month

In recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month – which seeks to raise public awareness and educate people about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism – here are just a few of the ways alcohol can affect your physical and mental health, and how you can seek out help for you or a loved one. 

5 Ways to Support Sexual Assault Survivors

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and there is no better time to address the silence that is fueled by sexual assault. Sexual assault thrives on silence; the louder we can show our support for survivors, the more we shed light on an epidemic. Here are 5 ways that you can help.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month Shines a Light on Mental Health

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. One way we can mark the occasion this year is to educate ourselves on the mental and emotional impact of living with a disability. Adults with disabilities report experiencing depression and mental distress almost five times more often than adults without disabilities. Frequent mental stress is often linked with poor health habits that can lead to chronic disease and other poor health outcomes.

Holi Reflections: Mental Health Challenges in the South Asian Community

South Asian women celebrating Holi

Mental health challenges have a long history of stigma and shame in South Asian culture which often means that many individuals do not seek out professional support. Influences such as community and family expectations, along with cultural traditions can make it difficult to talk about mental health, let alone seek out help. 

Sunstone Counseling Wants You to Join Our Team!

NOW HIRING

Sunstone Counseling believes that providing accessible mental health counseling is more critical now than ever, and we’re committed to answering the call for additional support. That’s why we are continuing to expand our reach in the Northern Virginia and Richmond areas, and beyond. In support of our growth, Sunstone Counseling is accepting applications for several positions to provide outstanding services to our community.

5 Surprising Misconceptions about School Counselors

Previously known as “guidance counselors,” school counselors’ duties have evolved over time to take on a significantly more impactful role in educational settings. Professional school counselors are recognized for their expanded scope of practice, enhanced educational requirements, and increased level of responsibility and accountability. Yet many people still believe the purpose of a school counselor is predominantly to advocate for their students’ academic wellbeing. In celebration of National School Counseling Week, we shed light on some of the most common misconceptions of school counselors.

Children and Play: Four Reasons to Encourage It

young boy playing with building blocks on floor; play therapy

For children, play is their world. It’s how they express themselves, build relationships, and learn about their environment. Play is a crucial piece to child development. As a parent, your role is to not only take time to connect with your child through play, but also, allow the space and opportunity for your child to play. So, why should you, as a parent, encourage play in a child?