Mental Health Awareness Month – Simple Steps You Can Take Today To Improve Your Mental Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time when we should increase awareness of the importance of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. By engaging in more conversations about mental health, we can battle the stigma and prejudice keeping people with mental illness from seeking the help they need. Here are some ways you can help your mental health this month and onwards:
Regular physical activity does more than improve your stamina, maintain a healthy weight and build muscle. Exercise and other heart-pumping activities release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects and foster relaxation. You don’t need to commit to a full workout to get the benefits of stress-busting endorphins. Instead, engage in physical activity that you enjoy. Go for a run or walk with your pet. Go for a hike at your favorite spot outdoors. Or stay at home, turn up the music, and break into dance!
Learn a new skill
When our mental health suffers, we can feel down, without direction, and anxious. Learning a new skill can improve those bad feelings by giving you motivation, a goal, and a purpose. A new skill or hobby keeps our minds occupied, helping us escape negative emotions. And as we see the results of our improving skills, we feel a sense of accomplishment and a boost in confidence. Document your activities through photos for you to look back at them and remember your experiences. If you’re learning a new language, record yourself speaking. If you’re crafting, surround yourself with your creations.
Capture your emotions
It’s not always easy to talk about our emotions with other people. We fear judgment and embarrassment. If you’re not prepared to seek the help of a trained professional, put your feelings down on paper or record your emotions with an audio app. Journaling is therapeutic because writing down your problems and fears can help you recognize triggers, allowing you to identify ways to control them. Audio diaries can be powerful because listening to the sound of your own voice can help you understand the depth of your emotions. Track your entries to understand your moods. Give yourself a boost by ending each entry with words of positivity. Give yourself advice and offer yourself encouragement.
Should you have a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or call1-866-837-7521 to be connected to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.