Mental Health Awareness Month

May 7, 2020

Alexis Alger-Feser

Since 1949, the month of May is dedicated to Mental Health Awareness. Mental Health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing. It is especially important during a time like this. According to the World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

We all face challenges in our lives that can impact our mental health, and everyone experiences something different. Mental health conditions are more common than you may think. Some people don’t like to talk about them or might be scared to. But you are not alone. Every year millions of Americans face a mental health condition. 1 in 5 US adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. You are not broken, and nothing is wrong with you. Recovery is possible.

Just like you need to put forth an effort to maintain your physical health, the same goes for your mental health. You must continue to practice establishing strong mental health because there are so many ways life takes a toll on our emotional well-being.

Reaching out is not a sign of weakness. Our social side craves companionship, so it is key to have someone you trust that you can open up to. Phone calls, video chat, and social media are great ways to connect during times when we aren't able to be face-t0-face. Confide in someone who is a good listener that won’t interrupt, judge, or criticize you.

Treat yourself like you would treat others. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your favorite activities and hobbies.

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. How you think about yourself can impact how you feel, so use words that promote feelings of positivity, self-worth, and personal power.

Being mindful of the present moment allows you to let go of negative or difficult emotions from something weighing you down. It also brings awareness by paying attention to physical sensations, sounds, smells, and tastes to what you are doing.

Taking care of your physical wellness will have a positive impact on your mental and emotional wellness. Get 7-9 hours of sleep, drink plenty of water, eat nutritious meals, and move daily!

Make your mental health a priority. Reach out to someone to talk. And remember to be kind to yourself and be kind to others. You don’t know what they are going through.

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