Health & Wellness

Starting 2017 Off on the Right Foot

Because of busy work and life schedules, many people never take the time to properly assess their mental health.

Winter is upon us. Shorter days provide less and less sunshine, the holidays usually add more pounds to the scale, and the stresses of everyday life continue with every passing day. Whether you feel as if “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” or not, your mind, body and soul may be facing neglect. Do you exercise regularly, if so, is it effective exercise? Does your diet consist of healthy foods and appropriate calorie levels? What is the status of your mental health? When was the last time you took the time to assess your overall health?

Many of us lead extremely busy lives, revolving around hectic jobs and families, among countless other factors. Daily tasks, poor habits and everyday stressors can easily consume the day in its entirety. It seems that no matter how hard we work to achieve and succeed, at the end of the day many of us are left in a state of pure exhaustion, which will only carry over into the next day. As we go about our day, it is a struggle for most to find successful ways to prioritize our own health and wellness. Comfort food and cozy couches are always there for us, and their invitations are even bolder when the sun has set by 5 p.m., and the temperature is below 40 degrees. Although some of us put forth effort to include some type of fitness or gym membership in our New Year’s resolution, along with having good intentions to consume healthier foods involving less calories, it is a rarity that mental health maintenance makes it on our New Year’s resolution lists. The website explains in detail that “mental health is important at every stage of life” and should always be maintained and included in your overall health and fitness plan.

According to the dictionary, mental health is typically defined as a level of psychological well-being. Sigmund Freud defines mental health as the capacity “to work and to love.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reveals that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and 18.1 percent of American adults live with anxiety disorders. In addition, one out of every five adults experience a mental illness. Common disorders such as depression and anxiety may vastly affect one’s “level of psychological well-being,” as well as their ability “to work and to love.” NAMI also states that “60 percent of adults with mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year.” As we digest these statistics, we can better understand why mental health needs to be maintained just as your physical fitness and level of nutrition do.

Sign Up for E-News

So how do we get started? The first step toward improving and maintaining your mental health is to assess your current level of well-being. If mental illness or mental disorders are evident in your family, contact your doctor or ask for referrals for treatment specialists in your area. Very often, there is provider information listed online that include patient reviews. If you have never been treated or diagnosed with a mental condition before but do have some questions or concerns, it does not hurt to get evaluated by a professional. You can also assess your level of mental health by taking a look at your daily life. Certain signs may indicate that you could benefit from talking with a therapist or another mental health professional. A few of these signs may include having low stress resilience to minor situations (overreacting to minor daily occurrences), difficulty sleeping, excessive crying and frequent headaches. The American Institute of Stress (AIS) lists 50 common signs and symptoms of stress, all of which can have a significant impact on your level of mental health.

With the new year just beginning, no matter how packed our schedules are, it is vital to take action toward prioritizing our own overall health. As we take advantage of new gym membership discounts and turn our attention toward calorie counting and healthy eating, we should also be mindful to include some mental health maintenance as part of our resolution.

This article was written on behalf of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, a community action organization dedicated to assisting individuals struggling with addiction and their families. Learn more by visiting or calling 845-842-1212.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Facebook, Fools, Friends and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Since its inception, Facebook has been a regular target of mockery and criticism—everything from, “Do I really need to see a picture of the pastrami sandwich you had for lunch?” to “Why did you help the Russians get Donald Trump elected?”

No one likes to mock and criticize more than I do—just ask all of my former friends. And while I agree that Facebook can ...

It Was the Economy That Got Trump Elected

I am not easily shocked by much anymore. Yet, I was by last week’s column by fellow columnist Bernie Kosberg. Kosberg, whose column runs regularly in Mahopac News and sometimes in Yorktown News, said in the first paragraph: “Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of ...

God Is Just! Schneiderman Is Out!

Whenever you doubt that God is just, remember last Monday. That is the day New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned.

As you know, I have had him in my sights for a long time. He has squandered our tax dollars with more than 100 lawsuits against the Trump administration. Plus, his lawsuits against Big Oil and trying to nullify our double jeopardy laws. Most will go nowhere as ...

It Wasn’t About the Economy or Jobs

Soon after President Trump was “crowned” by the Electoral College in November 2016, I wrote a column about Putnam County voters that garnered some attention—both good and bad. Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of suitable jobs, but to the overarching fear ...

BOCES… What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder what BOCES stands for? We associate the name with a center of learning that supplements the general curriculum of local high schools by teaching students specialized trades. Beyond that, does everyone in the non-BOCES population, those who have no direct connection to the programs, fully appreciate the priceless value it brings to our communities’ young adults and their ...

Bias in Media, in Me, in You

While listening to an interview with a voter on my car radio, I thought I had excess ear wax that obstructed my hearing. The voter (whose name is Bruce) said this about one of the qualifications that a Senate or House candidate must have to earn his vote: “I don’t want anyone with ideas. We have enough of those already.”

I’m a journalist and have been one my entire ...

Dog Allergies, Part Deux

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband.

“Give me the good news first.”

“OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said.

“Hallelujah,” shouted my husband. He was understandably ...

Cross My Legs and Hope to Die

One morning, I had a big cup of coffee as I usually do, and then I got in the car and drove 40 minutes to a clothing store I had been curious to check out. I don’t normally drive 40 minutes to go shopping, but since I am a stay-at-home mom and everyone knows we stay-at-home moms just spend our time shopping and eating bonbons, I figured, “What the hey.”

Having had the ...

CD Release Concert - New Middle Class at Putnam Arts Council

May 23, 2018

Press Release

Contact: Mike Borok

Phone: (914) 962-0120


May 19, 2018

Putnam Arts Council Hosts CD Release Concert featuring New Middle Class, with Dan Pelletier & Wendy Cody

MAHOPAC, ny: On Saturday evening, June 16, 2018, the Putnam Arts Council will host a concert ...