Mental Wellness – Maintenance and Strategies (2/2)

Published on September 24, 2020

Last month, we posted an article providing a few strategies that could be added to any youth’s mental health or wellness plan (if you want to check that out you can click here: Mental Wellness – Maintenance and Strategies part 1 of 2). In this article, we will explore three more useful strategies that you can add to your toolbelt!

Eat Balanced Meals

Nutrition is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also beneficial to mental health as well. Please note, that Nutrition and diet for mental health is not about losing weight (although if that is one of your goals, you can pair it with exercise and physical activity) it’s about consuming proper balanced meals that can help combat stress.

What you can do:

  • Keep regular mealtimes. Consuming your meals and snacks on a regular schedule can keep your digestive system in shape, when you don’t eat at consistent times each day, it can cause your stomach to overwork resulting in bloating and indigestion throwing your body out of balance (in turn throwing your mind out of balance)
  • IF YOU CAN, eat with family or roommates. Sharing meals with others increases feelings of containment and familiarity which can help us feel content and secure.
  • Minimize foods made up of refined sugars and that are high in fat.
  • Increase servings of fruits and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3’s like fish or nuts.

Your body and mind functions on fuel, similar to how a car needs gasoline to function. The quality of that gasoline can effect performance of a car, like how various foods can effect us. The key takeaway: remember to eat, and be mindful of how and when you eat.

Mental Health Care

This one is important, maintain your professional mental health care, or be sure to seek professional mental health care when needed. During a time where face to face contact is difficult technology has been able to keep us connected to our mental health professionals. Thanks to software like Zoom and Whatsapp we are able to confidentially communicate with our therapists and maintain regular scheduled check-ups.

And it’s not only therapists! Other appointments that you are able to make virtually:

  • Coaching
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychiatric Care
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatments
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous

Yes! There are AA and NA meetings that happen virtually.

If you do not have a regular appointment or have not been in contact with a mental health professional previously call or text the California Youth Crisis Line at 800-843-5200 or visit to chat.

Mindfulness, Meditation, and/or Prayer

Sometimes a fantastic way to improve mental health is finding a time and space for quiet self-reflection. Mindfulness, meditation, and/or prayer are excellent ways to help calm our minds, reflect on good and bad days, and clear headspace.

Mindfulness is becoming more common as a mental health treatment as research demonstrates that it helps reduce anxiety and depression. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.

How you can practice mindfulness:

Pay Attention – Try to take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses – touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For example when you eat your favorite food, take the time to smell, taste and truly enjoy it.

Live in the moment – Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting and discerning attention to everything you do. Find joy in simple pleasures.

Focus on your breathing – When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even a minute can help.

Meditation can help you sleep better, cope with some symptoms associated with mental disorders like depression and anxiety, reduce some of the psychological difficulties associated with chronic pain, and even improve some cognitive and behavioral functions.

How you can practice Meditation:

Body Scan meditation – Lie on your back with legs extended and arms at your sides, palms facing up. Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.

Sitting meditation
Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hand in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.

Walking Meditation
Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length, and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance. When you reach the end of your path, turn and continue walking, maintaining awareness of your sensations.

For many people, Prayer to a higher power can be a source of comfort and strength and through prayer. When this is the case, prayer offers emotional comfort, resulting in lowering stress and anxiety and improving mental health.


We hope that these strategies help you on your mental health journey. If you can, practice daily, and if you need us we’re here for you: Call or text 800-843-5200 if you need to talk.


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