Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and is an essential component to our overall health. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Having a strong mental health outlook can benefit your life in more ways than one. Try adding the following tips into your New Year’s resolutions to improve your mental health.

First, try to stay positive and surround yourself with a positive support system. Be mindful of your needs, know and understand your self-identified limits.

If you are taking medication to treat anxiety or depression, never change medications or dosages without speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider first. Take medication exactly as prescribed. While certain medications may improve anxiety or depression, exercise can help too. Exercise not only improves your physical health, but exercising regularly has been shown to reduce depression and or anxiety.

We all know getting enough rest is important. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults age 26-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep can help you function more efficiently.  When you get enough sleep, it is easier to cope with stress, handle problems, concentrate, think positively, and remember things.

If you are looking for ways to manage your mental health, or are looking for resources, Mental Health America of Arizona offers mental health screening tools. They also offer resources to help you or a loved one find help.

Remember that you are never alone in battling mental health issues. Mental Health America of Arizona lists a number of support groups that people can join in different cities across the Valley. For those needing immediate mental health assistance, there are resources available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Crisis Response Network. If you or a loved one needs help, these resources can be lifesaving.

It is important to remember that if you are feeling down, depressed, or not like yourself to ask for help. There are many resources available to help aid in mental health awareness and treatment. We believe that all individuals can live a life filled with meaning and purpose. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2017!