Simple self-care ideas for your mental health

Also: Health fairs in January

Let’s take a moment to shed some light on this often misunderstood and overlooked aspect of our wellbeing. Mental health isn’t just about whether you’re feeling happy or sad at any given moment - it’s a complex tapestry that weaves itself through every facet of our lives, from our relationships and careers to our physical health and overall sense of purpose. It is a concept that encompasses an individual’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. It refers to our ability to think, feel and behave in ways that enable us to navigate through life’s challenges, form meaningful relationships, and contribute to our communities.

If you find yourself struggling with your thoughts, emotions or behaviors on a regular basis, it may be a sign that you’re experiencing a mental health issue. These issues can manifest in various ways, such as feelings of persistent sadness, anxiety or anger; difficulty concentrating or making decisions; changes in appetite or sleep patterns; social withdrawal; and even physical symptoms like headaches or fatigue. If these symptoms are interfering with your daily life and relationships, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. Taking care of your mental health is just as crucial as taking care of your physical health. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, you can pave the way for a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.

Here are some simple ways to maintain good mental health in 2024:

Physical activity. Ready to dance like nobody’s watching? Or maybe you prefer the feeling of a sweaty workout in the gym. Either way, moving your body releases those happy hormones and keeps stress at bay. So why not put on your favorite tunes and shake it up?

Social contact. Got a bestie who always knows how to cheer you up? Make sure to keep in touch. Regular social interactions can make us feel connected and supported. Invite your friends over for a movie night or plan a fun outdoor adventure—the possibilities are endless.

Meditation. Ever tried closing your eyes and just breathing? It might sound simple, but meditation can work wonders for our mental health. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, allowing us to let go of negative emotions. So take a deep breath, and let’s give it a try.

You-time. Need some quiet time to recharge? Whether it’s a bubble bath, a cozy book, or a DIY project, spending time on activities that make you happy is crucial for maintaining good mental health. So go ahead, treat yourself to some me-time.

Hobbies. Have a passion for pottery or a flair for fashion design? Pursuing hobbies that you love can provide a creative outlet and a sense of accomplishment. So why not pick up a new skill or dive deeper into an old one? The journey to mastery is not only fulfilling but also great for our mental wellbeing.

Taking care of your mental health is a lifelong journey, and it’s never too late to start prioritizing your wellbeing.

Alaska Health Fair offers useful and affordable blood tests, but your healthcare provider is needed for a comprehensive health evaluation. Getting a thyroid screen ($35), vitamin D screen (D2, D3) ($50), vitamin B12 screen ($35), and ferritin ($35) tests can detect potential deficiencies linked to mental health issues, neurological symptoms and fatigue. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Health fairs return

Alaska Health Fair, Inc. is just starting to rock and roll with our busy spring 2024 health fair season.

Our first Fairbanks event is an office draw on Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The first Anchorage event is being held on Saturday, Feb. 3 at First Christian Church in Rogers Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Whether you’re looking to volunteer, exhibit or take advantage of the affordable blood tests, there are numerous opportunities to get involved. Visit for pricing, event schedule, volunteer opportunities and more. Or call one of our offices: Anchorage, 907-278-0234; Fairbanks, 907-374-6853; Juneau, 907-723-5100.