One of the best changes I have seen in the medical community since I joined as a physical therapist is recognizing the importance of mental health and its impact on all aspects of our lives. The pandemic has increased the overall prevalence of depression and depression-like symptoms. This increase has led to many new individuals being unsure of how to take care of their mental health. Even though it will take a qualified practitioner to diagnose a mental health disorder properly, there are a few things that you can do to help prioritize your mental health.
As physical therapists, the physical component of health and wellness is easily understood and commonly discussed around injury prevention and rehabilitation. However, every day we treat patients that have also been affected by depression, anxiety, increased levels of stress, and low self-esteem due to injury and decreased functional ability. We strive to maintain a holistic approach to patient care and effectively serve the communities around us, remaining well acquainted with the benefits of exercise on mental health and wellness. Here are a few ways that exercise has been proven to boost our mental health.