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Relationship Advice Brought to You By the Letter ‘F’: Family, Friends, Food

Relationship Advice Brought to You By the Letter ‘F’: Family, Friends, Food

Regular watchers of Sesame Street know that the famed children’s show announces “sponsors” at the end of episodes. These are not your traditional advertising sponsors, however. Instead, they tend to involve a letter or two and a number or two.

For example, the show might end with, “Sesame Street was brought to you today by the letter X and the number 7.”

We are borrowing that strategy for this blog entry. This entry of the Peak View Behavioral Health blog is brought to you by the letter F and the number 3. Let’s look at three things—all of which start with F—that can support your mental health.

We’ll Start with Family

It is possible that when we mention family, you immediately think about the ways in which your family has damaged your mental health over the years. There is no doubt that family life can be challenging for everybody involved.

But it is also true that your family can be a source of wonderful and ongoing support. These are the people who arguably know you best and who can see you through most any struggle—assuming they are well-equipped to do so.

For some families, a collaborative approach to building better relationships can be truly useful. Family systems therapy gives each member of a family an opportunity to be heard. In addition, individuals learn about their strengths (and weaknesses) and how those characteristics contribute to (or detract from) family harmony.

Friends are the Family You Choose

In some cases, your closest friends might be even closer to you than your family members. These are the folks who will always take your call (or answer your text), who you always feel comfortable around, and who accept you just as you are—even when you are struggling with your mental health.

On the flip side, however, are people we sometimes think of as friends who really are not. For example, you might have a social media “friend” who just wants to argue all the time or who posts things that are inflammatory (let’s be honest: you probably have more than one of these “friends”). 

Or you might have friends in real life who are not all that friendly. Maybe they put you down. Maybe everything seems like a competition. Maybe they talk about you behind your back—even after they have promised to keep your confidence. These folks are not your friends.

Ending these sorts of toxic relationships—whether they are online or in the actual world—is a good way to support your ongoing mental well-being. On social media, a few changes to your settings can reduce the influence of troublesome folks in your feed. In the day to day, a hard conversation may be in order. A supportive friend may be able to help you have that hard talk with someone who has been undermining your mental health.

Make Sure Your Relationship with Food is Healthy

We have been talking about personal relationships with family members and friends, but all of us have a relationship with food, too. And for some people, that relationship is not very healthy. Do you find yourself stress eating? Do you use food—consciously or unconsciously—to “self-medicate”? Are your overall dietary decisions working for or against your physical and mental health?

Making just a few changes to your approach to eating can have a positive impact on your mental health. Cut down on sugar. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Don’t eat foods (or drink beverages) that make it hard for you to sleep restfully. 

We are not suggesting that you have to change your entire relationship to food overnight. Instead, we are suggesting that good choices can lead to good results. And over time, each small, healthy choice can lead to more similar choices. Taken together, that can mean big gains for your overall well-being.

You Can Forge a Relationship with Peak View Behavioral Health

At Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs, we are committed to providing personalized mental health care to each person we serve. If you are struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, a trauma-centered disorder, or other mental health difficulty, we can help. You can count on us to treat you with empathy and respect—and to provide care grounded in evidence, expertise, and experience. 

When you are ready to improve your mental health—and maintain those improvements over time—we are ready to get to work. Building a relationship with us can be a foundational first step toward building a better overall quality of life for yourself.

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