The Rest Will Follow: Improving Sleep and Overall Mental Health

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Getting a good night's sleep is the key to recharging our body and mind. Eight hours is the recommended time to fully rest, allowing the best version of ourselves to wake up with energy to conquer the day ahead. While eight hours suffices as the ideal amount of time for sleep, there are some factors that can prevent us from feeling rested. Our often sedentary lifestyle and electronics addiction can be detrimental to our physical and mental health, but simple solutions can resolve these unhealthy habits.

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Get Your Gym Socks On: How Forming a Healthy Exercise Routine can Help Your Mental Health

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Let’s face it. Getting into a healthy routine of exercising and staying active isn’t easy. If it were, you’d never find an open treadmill at your gym. Everyone would be there. It’s so much easier to go home, drop on your couch, and try to forget the day. But when you have a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, the easy way out isn’t always the better choice.

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The Food-Mood Connection

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When we make a concerted effort to eat a healthier, more wholesome diet, we’re often doing so for a physical reason: to maintain or lose weight, or to minimize health risks. But what if doing so could also have a positive impact on your mental health? Nutritional psychiatry is still a relatively new school of thought, but it refers to the connection nutrition plays in preventing and potentially even helping to minimize symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

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The Correlation Between Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

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Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions on their own, but when combined with a substance use issue, can become even more serious. Research suggests that nearly half of individuals with an eating disorder are abusing drugs and/or alcohol. To put that into context, those with an eating disorder are five times more likely to have a substance use issue in comparison with the general public.

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The Relationship Between Eating Disorders and Anxiety

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In a study comprised of nearly 2,500 individuals with an eating disorder, nearly 60% had an anxiety disorder. While it’s common to see a co-occurrence of eating disorders with depression and substance use, anxiety is actually the most common of all the disorders co-occurring with anorexia. These comorbidity findings are beginning to raise important questions about the very nature of eating disorders, and their treatment.

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Healthy Isn’t a Size

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Honoring your body and treating it with respect starts with the understanding that there is a natural diversity of body sizes and shapes. Healthy isn’t “one size fits all.” There isn’t one height, weight, or shape that is healthy.

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