What are your priorities? Asking yourself this question and thinking about what is important to you each and every day can help you and your family live happier lives. Answering this question may make you think of a lot of things, but is mental health one of them? It’s time to put your health and happiness at the top of your list. Here are some tips to help prioritize mental health.

Plan for “Me” Time

Having a full calendar and busy family schedule to juggle can make your head spin. Your mind can race and anxiety can build up when trying to get everything done. Before you know it, you are in go go go mode, and you can be exhausted by the end of the day. Try to dial back and look at your day ahead. Do you really need to do everything that you have planned? Think about what may be a few things to cut back on, and rather make some personal time a priority in your day. Encourage yourself to reserve some downtime for at least a half hour a day. This can be time for you to focus on yourself and for you to unwind with some “me time.” Use this time to do whatever you please to clear your head and rest. Check out 35 ideas for me time to get started on focusing on you.

Explore Ways to Relax

Relieving stress is different for everyone. It may be a spa day, for others it may be getting to enjoy the great outdoors, and for children it may be having an adult to confide in or getting creative with some calming crafts. Whatever it may be, it’s important to encourage your family to participate in activities that may help to improve mental health and find what works best. For instance, you can show that healthy activities can be fun and rewarding by having your child try a yoga and mindfulness adventure camp, or keeping a journal to express their thoughts. It is also important to set a positive example. Discover what works for you by engaging in different activities as well like meditation, Tai Chi, or trying different types of therapy to improve your mental health.

Communicate Often & Openly

Mental health can often be pushed aside and may not be addressed until emotions run high. If you are feeling overwhelmed or notice your children may be struggling with their emotions, it’s time to talk about it. Voice how you are feeling to your family, don’t hesitate to tell your partner you are feeling stressed or depressed, and may need some extra help and support to lighten your load. The same goes for your children too. Help them to communicate their feelings effectively before they have a meltdown. Model for them how to ask for help or use “I” statements to voice how they are feeling about something. Participating in these exercises and having an open-door policy in your household can make prioritizing mental health easier and more approachable.

Photo Cred: Eneko Uruñuela