May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Mental health issues are a growing concern in the United States, where approximately one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year. It is a critical component of our overall health and well-being. Yet, it is often neglected because we do not usually recognize the immediacy or dangers of mental illness symptoms as we do physical symptoms. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and behave, impacting our ability to function in our daily lives. Mental illness can lead to various challenges, including relationships, trouble at work or school, and even physical health problems. It is essential to prioritize mental health, just as physical health, to prevent mental illness’s negative impacts and promote overall well-being.
There are several steps we can take to improve our mental well-being. These steps are not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a starting point for individuals to identify what works best for them:
Practice Self-Care: Self-care is an essential component of maintaining good mental health. It involves taking care of our physical, emotional, and mental needs. Some self-care practices include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in joy and relaxation activities.
Connect with Others: Human connection is vital for our mental health. Social support can help us manage stress, boost our mood, and improve our sense of belonging. It is crucial to prioritize building and maintaining relationships with people who make you feel safe, supported, and loved. One way to connect with others is to join a community group or club that aligns with your interests. This can provide an opportunity to meet new people who share similar hobbies and values. Additionally, consider contacting friends or family members you last talked to and schedule a catch-up or hangout.
Seek Professional Help: If you’re experiencing persistent or severe mental health symptoms, seeking professional help is vital. Mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists, can provide treatment and support for various mental health issues. There are several ways to find a mental health professional that works for you. We included some resources at the bottom of this newsletter to see a mental health professional that works for you.
Manage Stress: Stress is a common trigger for mental illness. Learning how to manage stress through meditation, deep breathing, or exercise can help improve our mental health. One way to manage stress is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These activities can help lower your heart rate and reduce muscle tension. Additionally, consider making time for activities you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time outdoors. Regular exercise can also help to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Mental health is an essential component of our overall well-being, and it is important to prioritize it in our daily lives. By practicing self-care, connecting with others, managing stress, and seeking professional help, we can improve our mental well-being and live happier and healthier lives. Let us use this Mental Health Awareness Month to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and promote the importance of mental health.
Seeking help is a critical step in improving our mental well-being. Here are several resources available for you or a loved one to seek out if you require support.
FINDING A THERAPIST