There are many things to be happy about right now in my life. I have a job I love (and I have a job, period), I’m in love, I have good friends and a family that loves me, and a cat that has adopted me and makes me smile when she rolls over on her back so I will rub her belly. And I don’t have to worry about the basics such as food and shelter.
I can’t complain, people will say. And right now, I really can’t.
But it’s not always like this for me. More than a 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I spent a couple stints in psychiatric wards and struggled ferociously with regaining my sanity.
Those weeks in the hospitals were pure hell, and every night when I take my meds, I am reminded I have a preexisting condition that makes me a threat to health insurance companies.
New Year’s resolutions typically focus on physical health. But paying attention to mental health is also important, experts say.
Luckily, some of the same steps you can take to improve your physical health also have mental health benefits.
“Air is good for the brain like the rest of the body and regular exercise is the best support for good mental health,” says Franklin Abbott, an Atlanta psychotherapist in private practice.