Mental health is an important topic that often gets overlooked in the hustle and bustle of life. During Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to take the time to focus on your mental health and learn how to take care of yourself. Therefore, this blog article is intended to empower you by providing tips on how to support your mental health and wellbeing.
What Is Mental Health Awareness Month?
Mental Health Awareness Month is an annual event that takes place in May each year. In my first year of blogging, I wrote an article for Mental Health Awareness Week, which happens during Mental Health Awareness Month. That year’s topic was body image, which you can find here.
The month-long event that is Mental Health Awareness Month is meant to raise awareness about mental health and to encourage people to take steps to prioritise their mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month also serves as an opportunity to remove the stigma around mental health and to start conversations about mental health in the workplace, at school, and in our communities.
When it comes to mental health, it’s important to understand the impact that mental health has on our lives. Our mental health has an impact on our physical health, our relationships, our work, and our overall wellbeing. Therefore, it is essential to prioritise our mental health so our quality of life is the best it can be. Although other life events may get in the way, of course.
Understanding The Impact Of Mental Health
As I’ve already said, mental health is an important topic that often gets overlooked in our busy lives. When it comes to physical health, mental health can affect our energy levels, our sleeping patterns, and our overall immune system.
When it comes to relationships, mental health can affect our ability to communicate effectively and our ability to connect with others. At work, mental health can influence our productivity, our motivation, and our ability to succeed. Finally, our overall wellbeing is greatly impacted by our mental health. When our mental health is not in a good place, we may experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and/or depression.
Basically, every area of our lives can be affected when our mental health is poor. This is why Mental Health Awareness Month exists, to help people to be educated about this fact and generally raise awareness. That way, more people will start taking their mental health more seriously.
As someone who’s struggled with poor mental health since my infant years at primary school. I know just how important it is to take your mental health seriously. And why we need to teach children about mental health as well.
Identifying Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues
Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, sexuality, gender identity, ethnicity, or any demographic you can think of. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of mental health issues so that you can get help if needed.
Common warning signs of poor mental health include persistent sadness, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, withdrawal from social activities, and feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness are especially important warning signs because they can indicate depression and an increased risk of suicide.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these warning signs, it is important to seek help. Mental health professionals can provide guidance and support and can help you to learn how to cope with your mental health issues.
If you’re worried about someone you know, then I have several articles that you might find helpful in your efforts to support them, they are:
- Ask Twice To Support People Who Might Want To Talk.
- Twitter’s Advice For Supporting Someone With Mental Health Problems.
- Creating A Safe Space So People Can Open Up.
- How To Always Be There For A Friend: #BeTheMateYoudWant.
- Suicide And Suicide Prevention: Advice And Information.
- Using Motivational Interviewing To Help A Loved One.
Mental Health Resources
Thanks to the modern age, mental health resources can be found with a few simple searches online. Some of the most common mental health resources include therapy, support groups, and crisis hotlines, like the support pages my blog has that list global and UK details.
Therapy is a great option for those who are struggling with mental health issues. A therapist can provide a safe space to talk about your struggles and can help you to find ways to cope by providing guidance and support.
Therapy can also help to provide insight into your mental health issues and can help you to understand your thoughts and feelings. This makes therapy a good place to learn new coping strategies for difficult situations and can help you to learn how to manage stress and anxiety, among other things.
The best thing about a therapist is that they can provide an objective perspective, whilst also being easier to open up to than a loved one because there isn’t that sort of connection between the two of you. For me at least, that’s important because my loved ones are more likely to tell white lies to spare my feelings.
Support groups provide a safe space to connect with others who are going through similar struggles and to learn from each other. If you ever heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), then that works like a support group, albeit a peer support group. There are other types of support groups available, which your local mental health team should be able to signpost you to. It’s also worth checking out mental health organisations like Mind.
Crisis lines are available for those who are in need of immediate help. Crisis lines are staffed by trained professionals who can provide guidance and support and can connect you to resources in your area.
I have two pages that cover crisis lines and other support information. The first one is my global crisis support page, which you can find here. And the second is my UK crisis support page, which you can find here.
Having a support system can be beneficial for those who are struggling with mental health issues, as it can provide a safe space to talk about your struggles and can help you to feel connected and supported.
When creating a support network, it’s important to reach out to people who are supportive and understanding. This could include family members, friends, or even mental health professionals. It is also important to remember that your support network doesn’t have to be large; even one or two people who are supportive and understanding can provide much-needed support. What’s important is that you make a support system that works for you.
Self-care is an important part of mental health and can include anything from eating healthy to playing video games. Mindful practices such as meditation and yoga can also be beneficial for mental health. These practices can help reduce stress and anxiety and can help to promote relaxation. Mindful practices can also help to bring awareness to our thoughts and feelings and can help us to be more present in the moment.
In addition to mindful practices, there are other healthy habits that can help to promote mental wellness. Eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and creating morning and evening routines can all help to improve mental health.
Eating healthy is important for overall health and wellbeing, as certain foods can help to boost mood energy levels. Also, eating a balanced diet is essential for mental health, as certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for mental wellbeing, although I still fail at this one spectacularly.
One important vitamin is vitamin D. If you have dark skin like me, then you can struggle to produce enough vitamin D during the colder months if you live in a cold country. Therefore, I take a supplement to make sure I keep my levels up. This, I believe, has also been linked to helping with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and winter blues.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles when I’ve talked about exercise, exercise releases endorphins which can help to reduce stress and anxiety and can help to improve overall wellbeing. Getting enough sleep is also essential for mental health. That’s because sleep is the main means our body has of restoring physical working capacity, as well as mental restoration (Venter, 2012), recharging our spoons. Thus, sleep helps to restore the body and the mind, and a lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, decreased energy levels, and difficulty concentrating.
It’s also a good idea to take breaks from your devices, as that can help to reduce stress and can help you to focus on the present. Another good idea is to switch the doomscrolling for cheerscrolling, as it puts you in a more positive frame of mind.
Stress is a normal part of life, but it is important to understand how to cope with stress to maintain good mental health. There are many coping strategies that can help to manage stress, such as breathing exercises, journaling, and yoga. Recently, I’ve found building Lego sets to be very therapeutic.
Because the topic for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is anxiety, then exposure therapy can be a great place to manage and ever overcome your anxiety-inducing fears. If you’d like to know more, then check out the following articles:
- Imaginal Exposure: The First Step In The Exposure Therapy Chain.
- Interoceptive Exposure: How To Use It To Manage Anxiety.
- Graded Exposure: The Ultimate Method To Tackle Fears.
Mental Health Awareness Month is an important time to focus on mental health and to learn how to take care of yourself. It is essential to understand the impact that mental health has on the quality of our lives and to recognise the warning signs of poor mental health.
There are many mental health resources available, that’s one of the great things about the internet. All these resources are available around the clock in a device you carry in your pocket, so take advantage of that. Your mental health matters, just like you matter.
This is why each year during Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to take the time to focus on your mental health and learn how to take care of yourself. So we can pass on the skills we’ve learned to look after our mental health to our loved ones and the next generation. I hope my blog article has provided you with some basic tips on how to support your mental health and wellbeing during Mental Health Awareness Month. For more tips, please check out the rest of my blog.
Remember to take the time to prioritise your mental health and to seek help if needed.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with mental health issues and Mental Health Awareness Month in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time,
Unwanted Life readers.
Venter, R. E. (2012). Role of sleep in performance and recovery of athletes: a review article. South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 34(1), 167-184. Retrieved from https://neuroptimal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/RoleofsleepinperformanceandrecoveryofathletesAreviewarticle.pdf.