A series of colored banners spell out different aspects of mental wellness: family, career, friends, health

Crush your goals without crushing your soul.

You hear about mental health a lot, but how often do you hear about mental wellness? And what’s the difference?

Mental Health:

Mental health refers to an individual’s overall psychological well-being. It encompasses emotional, cognitive, and social aspects.
It includes both positive and negative states. For instance, mental health can range from feeling content and resilient to experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.
Mental health is often assessed by professionals using diagnostic criteria and standardized tools.

Mental Wellness:

Mental wellness focuses on proactive steps to maintain a positive mental state. It emphasizes prevention rather than treatment.
It involves practices that enhance mental resilience, coping skills, and overall life satisfaction.
Mental wellness includes self-care, stress management, mindfulness, and building healthy relationships.
Unlike mental health, which may fluctuate because of illness or external factors, mental wellness is a continuous process of self-improvement.
In summary, mental health is the broader concept, while mental wellness is an intentional effort to nurture mental well-being. Both are essential for leading a fulfilling life.

January is Mental Wellness Month

Mental wellness is a crucial aspect for local government professionals. Here are some practical steps to promote well-being:

Self-Care: Prioritize self-care routines. Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and healthy eating contribute to mental wellness.

Stress Management: Local government roles can be demanding. Learn stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness.

Work-Life Balance: Set boundaries between work and personal life. Disconnect after work hours to recharge.

Peer Support: Connect with colleagues. Sharing experiences and challenges can foster a supportive environment.

Professional Support: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) can provide confidential counseling.

Remember, taking care of your mental health benefits not only you, but also the community you serve. Check out the Mental Wellness Toolkit from the National Institutes of Health.