Mental Health Awareness
Every year in May we take the month to raise awareness on all things surrounding mental health. This year is especially important as we come out of a pandemic that has rocked the general public’s mental health like no other. Being away from loved ones, quarantined in our homes, feeling the anxiety of the complete unknown. The past year has really challenged us, taken us to the edge, and hopefully for most of us made us stronger in the end. In this article I want to give you five ways to support mental health awareness this month. It is so important to be present and understanding with today’s mental health crisis, and together we can create change and support in our communities for all those in need.
5 Ways to Support Mental Health Awareness
Phone a Friend
As life slowly and safely returns to normal, many are still quarantined for a number of reasons. Or maybe they don’t have the means to get out of the house and visit anyone. Think of someone in your life, a neighbor, family member, or friend that could use a phone call “just because”. Something as simple as saying “hello”, and “how are you” could mean the difference between a person having a mentally depressed day, or feeling happy and important. Even letting someone simply vent their feelings can be relieving to them, and help them cope through their troubles.
Cook a Meal
This might sound like something that you do for someone who has maybe lost a loved one, or been through a tragic event. But, truly making a meal for anyone even without a reason can brighten anyone’s day! A working mom or dad with kids and not a moment to relax in their own thoughts for example. This could be the key to opening a door to give them relaxation and reflection so that they are able to take time to support their own mental health. Giving the gift of creating more time in this busy lifestyle, even if it’s just for a few hours could change someone’s stress levels instantly.
Get Outside with a Friend
Being outdoors can be one of the most healing activities for the mind, and being able to do it with a friend can open doors to reflection, conversation, and simply just being present in nature. Check out my other article on the periodical, “Nature’s Benefits on Mental Health” to learn more about the incredible positive mental impact that nature provides. This could mean camping, fishing, hiking, biking, or simply just grabbing a blanket and having a picnic in the park!
This is one of my favorite ways to support mental health awareness, it is a simple and impacting practice that we can all become better at. So often we are consumed with our own thoughts and feelings, and as humans we face our attention’s inward. Next time you are having a conversation with someone, check in with yourself and be sure you are listening fully to what the person is saying and not trapped with thoughts in the back of your mind. I promise you if you practice this as often as possible, listening and giving positive feedback will become second nature.
Ask for Help
Lastly, let’s look within ourselves. Not only can we support others mental health, but we also need to nurture our own. Often people are experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, or fear inside and they can’t seem to find a way out of it. Let’s remember the great importance of simply asking someone for help. There is no reason to hide feelings, or problems inside of ourselves, we need to find awareness within our own lives and ask for help if we can’t solve feelings alone.
We are all in this life thing together, so let’s lend a hand, an ear, an afternoon, and normalize being open and honest about our inner thoughts and feelings.