May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Here’s How to Get and Stay Mentally Healthy
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month (not to be confused with National Mental Health DAY in October). Nuvamed is proud to be supporting the cause by donating 10% of all May sales towards mental health related charities. We’re also happy to offer these tips to practice mindfulness and awareness. Especially during these difficult times in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health is a critically important facet to overall wellbeing.
Here are some excellent related resources about how to stay mentally healthy:
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is everywhere, all the time. The term “mental health” makes most people think of negative connotations: stress, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. While these are considered “mental illnesses”, it’s often a fine and blurred line between these and what’s considered “normal” or “healthy”. Positive emotions fall under the umbrella of mental health as well. When you’re happy, joyous, care-free, that’s mental health at it’s finest.
Just like our physical health, our mental health can be impacted by what we do. Certain parts of us are purely genetic and hereditary – just like certain aspects of our physical shape are, too. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work towards fostering better mental health. Whether you feel happy or down, here are a few things to try that will help you relax, gain perspective, feel gratitude, and achieve a stronger mindset.
Recognize that we are all different, and facing different issues.
Like we said, there is no avoiding mental health. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Everyone you know is a different, and processing tons information in real-time. How you think about or respond to something might be the complete opposite of how someone else would. Something that makes you happy might make another person sad. Try to keep this in mind as often as possible.
Use your understanding and awareness of mental health to empower you to practice positivity. In almost every scenario, we have the choice to react with positivity or negativity (or somewhere in between). Believe it or not, the choice is yours! You are in control. Do your best to channel positive energy in every situation. Be the bigger person. Take the high road. See the glass half-full. You know the cliches, but now put them into practice!
Of course bad things still happen and negative emotions are a healthy part of what makes us human. Things that happen are often beyond our control, but how we response to them is within our power. If your spouse nags you about something and your impulse is to argue – pause. Try responding with affirmation and positivity. It’s not easy, but you’ll feel better afterwards than when trying to put up a fight.
If you find yourself too often dwelling in negative emotions no matter how hard you try to see the bright side, try to understand why. It also can’t hurt to speak to somebody about how you’re feeling whether it’s a friend or one of the organizations above. However, you should not attempt to diagnose yourself or anybody else with mental illness. Leave that to medical professionals.
Put some new habits into practice to manifest positive outcomes.
This one might sound “deeper” than it really is. What we’re really saying to to try new things. Especially with many of us stuck as home, now is the perfect time. Try mediating, or yoga, or another new fitness routine. These physical actions won’t just improve your fitness, they also have numerous mental health benefits.
Another habit you could try is to create a new organizational system. Whether you’re an essential worker, working from home, or looking for work, give it a shot. Make a list for each day of the week with what you want to accomplish. This is extra helpful if you’ve been feeling anxious or unsure lately. It’s easy to get stuck in panic-mode and freeze, only to have another day/week/month go by. Instead, make a to-do list, schedule it out, and stick to it. Cross things off as you go. You’ll look back at it months from now and be able to feel good about what you’ve been done.
Remind yourself what you’re grateful for
This is easy but often overlooked. It’s hard to remain grounded in gratitude all the time. As humans, we adapt to new situations and quickly get used to how things are. We get used to the fact that we wake up everyday with a roof over our heads. We get used to having friends and family who love us. Do you see where we’re going with this…? These are not things to take for granted! Everyday try to reflect on a few things that your grateful for. You’ll realize that you have a lot to be happy and positive about.