May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a month when people all across the mental health community join together to help spread awareness around mental illness to let people know that they are not alone.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are 1 in 5 adults in America living with a mental illness, and yet, the stigma still exists, causing people to feel like they may be the only ones. This is the reason that Mental Health Awareness Month is so important.
Here are some ways that you can participate, along with a mental health community:
- Educate yourself
You can educate yourself on topics around mental health and wellness. This includes learning how to practice good self-care habits to protect your own mental wellness or even learning about specific mental illnesses that you have wrong beliefs about.
If you are unfamiliar with many mental health topics, you can spend time online doing personal research. There are many blog posts that you can read on a variety of mental health topics. Or, you can check sites like Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the National Institute of Mental Health. Many different nonprofit organizations work to help spread awareness about mental health.
- Talk to a therapist
You can speak with a therapist to address any mental health challenges that you’re facing in your life. Some people mistakenly believe that therapists are only able to help people with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Because of stories that they hear on TV or in the media, they may struggle to see that many mental health challenges impact people daily. This includes things like anxiety and depression or troubled relationships.
Talking with a therapist does not necessarily mean that you will be diagnosed with a mental illness. Therapists, like those at BetterHelp, can assist you in struggles that you’re facing in life or feel stuck in a rut.
If you are experiencing any challenges, consider making an appointment with a therapist during Mental Health Awareness Month to learn more about the strategies that you can use to improve the areas of your life that you’re struggling in.
- Focus On Your Self-Care
Self-care plays an important role in mental health. If you have not been practicing good self-care habits, this focus on mental health for the month can be a great time to put those in place.
Self-care habits include things such as getting the proper amount of sleep, making healthy food choices, getting regular physical activity into your schedule, and participating in activities that you enjoy and that help recharge you. If you’re feeling burnt out and exhausted in life, then adding self-care habits to your day may be able to help improve this.
Even things like meditation, journaling, and reading a book well but can count as self-care. It’s all about finding the things that helped you to unwind and recharge healthily.