By Rachel Rubenstein, LCSW

Emotional Self-care is just as important as physical self-care. We spend time making sure we have the look we want, brush our hair and (hopefully) shower daily! Consider this, we spend time on our clothes, our hair, keeping our dogs groomed and our rooms neat (maybe)…we often don’t focus much on the care and attention our emotional self requires. Mental Health (our emotional health) requires attention and care to keep us in check. Just because we don’t see it (like your clean room) doesn’t mean we should ignore it.

I like to equate Mental Health Wellness with our physical wellness (our body). For example, you know how your PE teacher always asks you to stretch before running the field. We can do mental stretches by talking to a good friend, journaling, or taking quiet time to ourselves.

Depression & Anxiety are struggles many of us face. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) cites that at some point over 7% of kids have had Anxiety and over 3% have had Depression. That’s over 6 million kids aged 3 to 17 years old that have been diagnosed with Anxiety or Depression…and often both. Check it out at Did you know that frequently a Mental Health issue happens alongside another Mental Health issue? It is common to experience a Mental Health challenge firsthand or know someone experiencing one. It happens!

As a therapist I assist kids and adults in managing Mental Health struggles by learning techniques to manage common challenges by teaching tools to help prevent or decrease the severity of Mental Health obstacles. We often grow in Emotional Intelligence from Mental Health challenges but getting to the other side of a Mental Health challenge can be…well, a challenge! Let’s talk about Depression, one of the most common of the Mental Health issues we face. We are going to review just a few things that you can do if you, a friend or a loved one is living with depression.

A little step can make a big difference. Here are 3 ideas…

  1. First, know that it is OK to feel Depressed. The stigma of counseling and Mental Health is a thing of the past. Many of us acknowledge our struggles and seek the assistance of friends, family, and doctors to help us move through a Depression. Don’t settle for difficult feelings. Know there is assistance. Depression can take our energy and motivation but do your best to act and reach out.
  2. Do something that brings you joy, makes you happy, maybe even brings a smile to your face, even for a moment. Even though you may not feel like doing the activity, encourage yourself or your loved one-pet the dog, take a walk, go for coffee, knit, play catch, or sit outside in nature. You will have great ideas on this one!
  3. Be aware of and challenge your negative thinking. There is great power in looking at your thoughts and challenging those ideas. Seeking the support of a mental health professional can be so helpful in figuring out what these thoughts are and how to combat them. Many others have done this, you can too.

If you feel you or someone you know are in crisis, please immediately reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Other helpful resources include the TeenCrisisLine at 741741 (text the word “home”),  the Teen Lifeline (peer counseling/crisis line) 1-800-248-TEEN, EMPACT Crisis Services 480-784-1500 or 911. 

Knowing yourself and moving through a Mental Health challenge can lead to personal growth and satisfaction, but you need to take that first step. Seek out the support of a professional mental health provider, talk to a friend or your family. You got this, Girl! 


Rachel Rubenstein, LCSW is an Arizona based mental health provider and educator and the owner of The Counseling Consultants, PLLC, a group practice serving kids and adults with a variety of Mental Health Wellness needs. She is passionate about assisting youth to learn life skills, gain insights and thrive