You go to the (virtual) doctor for a yearly checkup. You bring your car in for an oil change. You transition your summer wardrobe to fall. As humans, we naturally take care of ourselves, and while a spa day here and there might help, we so often overlook our mental health when partaking in self-care. Earl Lewis, a couples and family therapist,聽believes in ending the stigma that can聽come with seeing a mental health professional. Seeing a therapist should be a routine part of聽maintaining your overall mental health, not something you do only when you face a tough personal challenge.

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鈥淢y clients are everyday people that you walk down the street with,鈥 he said. 鈥淚鈥檝e seen people with high economic status and low economic status. I鈥檝e seen people with nowhere to live and I鈥檝e seen high class. It鈥檚 all over the spectrum.鈥

While some issues might render mental health care absolutely necessary, Dr. Lewis says that even mundane, everyday stresses can be remedied by seeing a therapist. Most people can be reluctant to see a therapist for regular mental health care, especially because we live in a day and age where independence and self-help are championed.

Despite these societal tendencies, Dr. Lewis believes that self-care doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean caring for yourself聽by yourself. To him, self-care means working with a therapist to establish preventative measures against more serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Two great examples of things to chat with a therapist about are relationships and pressure-related stress. 鈥淩elationships are very complex and abstract,鈥 he says. 鈥淪ometimes, you just need a person who鈥檚 an outside eye to look into your relationship and notice things.鈥

Dr. Lewis also says that these issues are especially important for millennials who are experiencing these types of stressors for the first time. Because millennials are so eager to fend for themselves, seeing a therapist might be the last thing they think of when they consider coping with a situation. Many young people will turn to friends and family for help, but Dr. Lewis says that seeing a therapist can be the perfect complement to a support network you already have.

鈥淪eeing a therapist isn鈥檛 exclusively about mental health,鈥 Dr. Lewis said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 about self-care management. What do I do when I have all these things going on to prevent from getting depressed? When you鈥檙e stressed and overwhelmed, that鈥檚 when depression and anxiety can set in. A therapist can help.鈥

Whether you have great mental health or can feel your mental state slipping (or anywhere in-between), Dr. Lewis argues that seeing a therapist should be as normal as going to your regular medical doctor. Convinced? Contact Dr. Lewis through his website,聽www.RelationshipsGoneRight.Com.

How do you keep yourself mentally healthy? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)