Mental Health & Fitness

Mental Health & Fitness

by Christy Graham LPC
Play Therapist Supervisor
Acorn Counseling Services

Every month, new information about how daily habits – diet, sleep, exercise – affect your mental health. Let me break down some of the research and show you just a few habits that can make a long-term difference in how you feel each day.

Can you believe all the different ideas on how to eat or not eat to be healthy? I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve done my research! As a therapist and my experience as a JuicePlus Distributor, I’ve learned a few things from some brilliant people.

  • Load up on the right foods: fruits, vegetables, and yogurt. Much of the serotonin[90%] is made in the gut. Fiber and phytonutrients in these foods are critical for proper gut function.
  • Eat the wrong foods in moderation: sugar, caffeine, alcohol. The ups and downs caused by sugar can destabilize your child’s mood and behavior, but it does the same thing to yours! These foods also interrupt or decrease the effectiveness of your sleep, which is critical to your physical and mental health.

Research shows that a good night’s sleep is correlated with all sorts of mental wellness-from stress relief to good driving. Just Google sleep, and you’ll find so many articles and blogs on this, it’ll make your head spin! But here are a few things to start with to get a great night’s sleep.

  • No caffeine or alcohol within a few hours of sleep. Both of these disrupt the natural rhythm of sleep and interrupt the reparative and stress relieving properties of sleep.
  • No TV in your room. Some research shows negative effects from the screens, but you don’t sleep well with light and sound on in the room.

Articles, blogs, and all sorts of advertisements bombard you with great ideas on which and how much exercise you need. Boiling down the research I’ve read, here are some quick ideas:

  • Get some exercise every day. A 20-minute walk works well!
  • Resistance training, yoga, and just plain sweating can make a big difference in your mental fitness as well.


Do you have difficulty with any of these habits? No problem! Therapists at Acorn can help you identify blocks to healthy living and support you in getting to your goals. Call us today at 940-222-8703 for an appointment.

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