Mental Health Awareness Month: 4 Tips for Self-care

Personal Growth

May is mental health awareness month. For something as important as our mental health, it’s helpful that an entire month is dedicated to shining a light on it and providing people with tools and resources. 

There’s no doubt that the past year or more has contributed negatively to our mental health. Consider these stats from the US Census Bureau, Household Pulse Survey.

  • 35.8% of adults are reporting symptoms of anxiety during COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 28.4% of adults are reporting symptoms of depression during COVID-19 Pandemic

These stats are sobering, and it likely means someone close to you is suffering privately.

The pandemic has been challenging. Not only the stress from the fear of getting COVID, but add on the regular responsibilities of work and home, and it’s overwhelming.

Thankfully there are so many exercises and self-care practices we can use to support our mental health. Here are 5 self-care practices to add to your routine:

Add Nature to Your Day

Working from home? Add some indoor plants to your home office within view. Or better yet, take a break and go out for a walk in nature. Studies show that nature makes us happier.

Develop a Hunger for Knowledge

When you have a curious mind and hunger for knowledge, studies show that it improves our health and longevity. Try watching an inspirational Ted Talk, reading for 20-minutes a day, or take a course on LinkedIn Learning. 

Exercise

Exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by releasing feel-good endorphins and taking your mind off worries, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s why it’s so important to build exercise into our day, whether it’s a walk, jog, weights, team sport activity--the point is, get your body moving! Try exercising for 30-minutes or more 3-5 days a week and document how you feel.

Journal

When we keep our stress or emotions bottled up it will eventually surface in negative ways. Journaling is a therapeutic exercise that will help you document your feelings, to-do’s, or anything on your mind that’s taking up too much space. Try writing for 2-3 minutes non-stop first thing in the morning and in the evening before bed.

Practice any or all of these four exercises and you will be significantly better at managing your stress and overall mental health.

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