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Lifestyle Factors that Impact Mental Health

October 18, 2022

There are many factors that influence mental health, but lifestyle factors such as sleep and exercise are often overlooked. Sometimes lifestyle factors can be a quick or short term fix to help with symptoms while working through a lengthier intervention, or could be just what a young person needs for symptom relief. Being tired, hungry, or in pain can make the stress of anything else feel so much worse.

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Lifestyle and Mental Health

Here are some lifestyle factors to consider:

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If any of these areas is a problem, guiding young people toward a manageable goal like “I am going to increase my sleep from 3-4 hours per night to 5-6 hours per night,” “I am going to take my dog for a walk 2x a week,” or “I am going to smoke marijuana one night on the weekend instead of two” is more attainable than trying to achieve perfection right away in some or all categories. Successfully achieving small goals can be baby steps towards a larger healthy lifestyle goal.

Author: Emily Johnson, MSW LICSW, School-Based Mental Health Supervisor

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