To help support mental health awareness month, I have compiled 7 ways to support your mental wellbeing all month long! I believe in every one of these and have seen the benefits of them for myself!
- Exercise: The benefits of exercise are endless. It can make you feel good about yourself and your body, release endorphins that will make you happier, improve your mood and reduce stress. Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel better physically and mentally! Choose exercise that feels like a reward and not a punishment. All you have to do is move! The more fun, the better. This isn't a time for "no pain, no gain". This is a time to "move your body because it feels good"!
- Give Service: Giving service feels good and can be a great way to improve your own mental satisfaction. It feels good to serve and it can boost gratitude for what you have. Volunteering at a charity event or organization will not only benefit the cause but also provide you with an opportunity to meet new people. Donating clothes can help someone else in need. Participating in a walk or other type of event to raise money for a cause you believe in can help you feel like you are making a difference.
- Eat Healthy: Eating healthy has been shown to increase overall happiness levels by raising serotonin levels in the brain which makes us feel more energetic and positive about ourselves and what we're doing in our lives. Eating healthy and yummy? Well, that's just a double bonus. Intentionally add some nutrition to your day in a way that nourishes your joy as well as your body. Make it delicious. Of course, for your own mental health though. If you feel the need to indulge in something that is not too healthy for you now and then is fine! Honestly what makes you happy!
- Spend Time With Friends and Family: Especially in 2021, after a year of social distancing, many people feel more isolated than ever. Reach out and connect however you can. Connection matters. Spending time with friends and family is a great way to make yourself and others feel better. You can do this by inviting them over for dinner, going out on the town, or just spending some quality one-on-one time together - whatever it may be! Just find a way to connect with these important people and let the love flow.
- Sleep Properly: Sleep regulates our hormones and helps us feel refreshed the next day. Making sure to get a good night's sleep can help you feel happier and more resilient to face the challenges ahead. Good sleep hygiene includes going to bed and waking up at the same time, avoiding screens before bedtime, limiting caffeine in the afternoon, eating dinner earlier than later in the evening, and practicing mindfulness meditation. I also find wearing blue light blocking glasses when viewing screens helps me to sleep better at night.
- Take CBD for Mental Health: CBD has a variety of mental health effects. Some studies show that it is effective at reducing feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. I have had great success using CBD to ease my feelings of anxiousness and worry. Plus, I sleep better than ever, which is sooo great!
- Ask for Help. When I was really struggling with mental health, asking friends and family for support helped me feel less alone in my struggle. It also made them aware of how serious the issue is so they could provide more resources or offer advice on what has worked best for their own mental health needs. I believe VERY STRONGLY that mental health issues and struggles need to be destigmatized. So many of us feel depression, anxiety, or have had some trauma, that it is crazy to me that there is still any stigma about openly talking about it or asking for help. Never feel like you can not ask for help! There are many outlets now as well if you do not want to express your struggles and work through them! Remember you are worthy and someone loves you and all of you!
I am glad that we have a mental health awareness month. I hope that more people use this month to openly discuss this important topic and that people will feel comfortable to say, "I had that issue and this is what helped me" or "I am struggling with this and I could use support". As far as I am concerned, we are all in this together. Know that you ARE NOT ALONE!