We talked with CU Medicine psychologist, Aimee Zisner, PhD, about different mental health conditions, ways to take care of our mental health, and reducing stigma, "It’s ok for things not to be ok and it’s ok to talk about it too."
It is common to struggle with a mental health condition. Over the last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have likely experienced fear, worry, or grief and at a time when they are more isolated than usual.
Experiencing good and bad days is a normal part of life but you should seek help when these emotions interfere with your everyday life, affect sleeping patterns, or your relationships with others.
Dr. Zisner says to check in on your mental health think of ways that you are functioning well and in what ways you’re not.
Ways to take care of your mental health“The best way that I know of for us to care of our mental health is to develop a repertoire, to have multiple tools that we can pull from to maintain mental health and wellbeing and help us out when we’re in a jam. To flexibly face an array of challenges,” said Dr. Zisner.
Your physical health is directly tied to your mental health. Dr. Zisner says it’s important to get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise to not only stay in good physical shape but to help you feel good mentally, “Things that we know to be especially helpful are finding ways to move our bodies as regularly as we can, to eat as well as we can, and to sleep as well as we can. I know that those are maybe some of the more obvious ones but they come up so often because they are so important and do work quite well.”
It’s also important to regularly connect with friends and family. Having a strong network can help you through tough experiences. Dr. Zisner also suggests to get out in nature, practice acts of kindness and generosity towards others, do things just for fun, and really try to slow down.
Resources availableDr. Zisner practices at CU Medicine Family Medicine, our Centennial and Landmark locations. Both clinics are a one stop shop to take care of your overall health all in one place. See a primary care provider and you can meet with a psychologist as well.
If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, call Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text “talk” to 38255. You can also chat online through the Colorado Crisis Services website.