Tag Archive for: Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is mental health awareness month.  It’s a time to pause and ask yourself, “how am I caring for myself?” Self care is important for good mental health and your mental health impacts everything from success and happiness in your relationships to the way you perform at work and school.  Focusing on your mental health is vital to your overall wellbeing and should be a daily endeavor.

So how?  Look at taking care of your mental health through moments in solitude and time connecting with others.  You need both.

Turning off our brains from a task filled day requires a bit of solitude. That means putting the phone away, turning the news and social media off, and putting the to-dos out of your mind. You may feel you don’t have time for any self care, but I bet you have 15 minutes.  Create 15-minute vacations.   Crank your favorite tunes in the car, sing and maybe even do some car dancing.  Listen to the comedy channel.  Go for a 15 minute walk.  Light a candle and take a warm bath.  Meditate. Sit in a quiet corner or get under the covers and read a book for pleasure.  Try having your morning coffee or tea while sitting in silence looking out the window at the sunrise or scenery. Creating space for a mere 15 minutes out of your day in solitude to quiet your mind will have positive mental health benefits.

We also need connection with others as a source of coping and self care.  Connectedness is key to our wellbeing.  Humans are meant to rely on one another, be in community with one another, feel valued and cared for.  To have a sense of belonging. A recent major report from the Surgeon General on the loneliness epidemic that we are currently facing, proposed social connection in schools, the workplace, and at home can be a major source of healing.

Find a mental health ally.  Someone who is a source of support.  That support can look like,  “I had a hard day and need a hug.” or “Let’s go for a walk”  or “Can we play a game of cards?” And some of the time it might be “I need to talk.”  Your mental health ally could be a parent, a friend, a sister, a brother, a spouse, or a significant other.  Someone you have no hesitation to reach out to when you aren’t doing well.  Someone you don’t have to hold back in sharing how you are really doing.  Because talking about your thoughts, feelings, and how you are really doing is taking care of your mental health.    Create those safe connections at home and in your social circles.  They can be meaningful sources of coping and self care resulting in a positive impact on your mental health.

So please take time in solitude and time connecting with others.  You need both. You can consciously create your own balance.