May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to discuss our mental health practices. Have you had a mental health check-up recently? Do you know of someone who may need your help? If so, check out this brief guide.
What is World Mental Health Day?
Started in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day is meant to educate the public about the importance of mental wellness. Every year there are new themes. Some of these themes include mental health in young people, mental health in the workplace, depression, and dignity in mental health.
This day of awareness is also meant to encourage people to develop better mental health practices as well as help others who may be struggling. Listed below are some tips that can help us all.
Basic Self-Care Tips for Mental Wellness
As part of World Mental Health Day, take some time to assess your own mental health. The following four tips are suggestions to help you get started.
- Self-reflect. An important part of mental wellness is getting in touch with your emotional and spiritual health. Schedule some quiet time to take stock of yourself. Ask yourself hard questions. What have I been struggling with lately? Have I been stressed? What are my go-to coping mechanisms? Am I truly taking care of myself?
- Practice self-love. Often easier said than done, self-love is important for your emotional well-being. Just loving yourself for who you are takes practice. To start your own self-love regimen, check out this Mindful article.
- Reign in your negativity. We tend to be our own worst enemy. Our negativity can poison every aspect of our lives. That’s why it’s important to monitor your actions. Reign in your negativity by watching what you say or even think about yourself. When you constantly criticize yourself it can jeopardize your emotional health.
- Talk to someone. A regular mental health checkup is an important part of living a Mindful life. And visiting a therapist is one of the best ways to make sure that you’re doing okay mentally. Unfortunately, it’s often expensive and not covered by health insurance. Consider finding alternatives. Online therapy sites like Talkspace offers therapy services that could be within your budget.
Tips for Helping Others
Mental illness is often an invisible health condition—unlike a limp, for example, you can’t physically see a person struggling with their mental health. That doesn’t mean that their condition should be taken lightly. In honor of World Mental Health Day, we should all take a moment to reach out to others who may need our help.
- Know the signs and symptoms. The best way to help people or to prevent mental health conditions from getting worse is to be knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms. Parents, please review the signs of childhood depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. If you’re a boss, post an educational mental health poster in the break room or pass out pamphlets. World Mental Health Day is the day to spread awareness.
- Don’t judge or offer unhelpful advice! If someone does open up to you, don’t judge them. You might think everything should be great for the other person, but you don’t know what they’re feeling. Also be thoughtful and careful with any advice that you give them. Telling a person who is in the throes of depression to just cheer up and feel better is not helpful whatsoever.
- Listen! More often than not, what people really need is a shoulder to lean on or cry on. Be that shoulder! Just listen. It can help a lot.
- Encourage them to seek help. If you think the person should really seek help from a professional, approach the subject gently. Remind them that there is no shame in therapy or mental wellness. And provide them with resources if you can.