The past few years have not been easy for anyone but one thing that has improved is the stigma around mental health issues has decreased significantly. More Americans than ever are making it a priority to focus on improving their mental health.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. During this time everyone is encouraged to check in with their own mental health, share resources and find ways to work on your own mental health one day at a time.
Getting started is easy!
Here are five tips to help you improve your mental health this month.
- Start with the positive. How we wake up each morning can really set the tone for the day. Rather than sleeping until the moment you need to be out the door, experts recommend giving yourself time to wake up, stretch, meditate, set goals for the day and eat a good meal. Practicing a little mindfulness first thing in the morning can boost your mood, lower anxiety and help you get off on the right foot. Setting a goal or intention for your day first thing in the morning can also keep your mind focused on the big picture.
- Fill your time. If you are retired you may not have a job depending on you every day but you can still find ways to be active and feel useful. Everyone needs a hobby that captures your interest and helps you feel fulfilled. Doing something you are good at also helps to boost your self confidence!
- Show some love. Staying connected with other humans is also good for our mental health. Take time each day to reach out to someone who brings you joy and don’t be stingy with expressing your feelings toward them. The more love we share with others, the more comes right back to us!
- Find time to exercise. It may sound like a cliche but it is truly amazing how much of our mental health is connected to our physical health. Even if your only form of exercise is going for a walk, every step will help you connect with the present and build gratitude for the body you have to live in.
- Take time to be grateful. What you look for is what you find. When you purposefully look for things to be grateful for, you will surely find more things every day. If you have struggled to find things to be grateful for in the past it can be a wonderful exercise to write down daily three things that made you smile each day. Writing these things down will help you remember them and give you an opportunity to reflect on them as well.
Mental Health America has a list of 31 Tips to Boost Your Mental Health, as well as tools to help screen for depression and anxiety on their website. If you or anyone you know is struggling with their mental health, please reach out to Mental Health America.
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