Every May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an important reminder for people to check in on themselves and their loved ones as the season shifts into spring. Breaking down the stigma of mental health is a vital part of ensuring people receive the help they need.
May is a great time to talk about the importance of mental health awareness because winter is a tough few months for many people. Now that spring has arrived, it’s a great time to revitalize your mental health and take some active steps toward growth, renewal, improvement, and hope.
What are some ways you can get started?
1. Reach out to friends and family
It may be tough to reach out to friends and family, especially if some of them believe some of the stigmas in mental health, but having support is crucial. Connect with loved ones who understand the importance of mental health and are in your corner.
2. Get outside in the sunshine
Now that the sun is out again, take advantage of sunshine’s positive impact on your mental health.1 Take your pet for a walk, head to the beach or lake, or spend some time at the park!
3. Don’t neglect sleep
Sleep is an underrated component of positive mental health. Be sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night so your body receives the rest it needs to function properly.
4. Move your body
Exercise and movement make a big difference when it comes to mental health. Walking, yoga, running, swimming, biking, weightlifting, and playing sports are all awesome ways to move your body.
5. Eat whole, nutritious foods
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat,” and there’s more to that than you might believe. If you eat a lot of processed or high-sugar foods, it impacts your mental health. Incorporate more whole foods into your diet to ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients.
6. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol is a depressant and has poor effects on your mental health over time. If you’re concerned about the importance of mental health, limiting or eliminating alcohol from your life can have some fast and noticeable results.
Volunteering your time is a wonderful way to give back and provide a sense of purpose in life. Find an organization or group that you care about and consider volunteering once a month.
8. Join a club or rec league
Friends and family are fantastic but don’t always enjoy the same things as you. Clubs, classes, and rec leagues connect you with people who share similar interests and help you build community.
9. Incorporate mindfulness
Recognizing the importance of mental health means trying things you may not normally try. Mindfulness is a practice that encourages you to live in the present moment and adapt to life as it comes. Incorporating mindfulness is shown to improve mental health in some individuals.2
10. Seek treatment if you need it
If you find that you’re still struggling after incorporating some of the practices above, treatment may be the next step to wellness for you. There is no better time to ask for help than right now, and Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to do it.
Facilities like Clearview Treatment Programs know how hard it can be to overcome stigma in mental health and seek help, but we’re here for you every step of the way. Call us at 866-339-3544 or submit an online contact form to learn more about your options and find the program that best meets your needs.
- Environmental Health. (2009). Effects of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants.
- Mental Health Foundation. (2022). How to look after your mental health using mindfulness