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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

How to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) selected this year’s theme of “Take the Moment”. Take the moment to take care of yourself, others, and spread awareness to fight against the stigma that still surrounds mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month started in 1949 and strives to raise support, awareness, education, and advocating for all people in hopes to eradicate the stigma and provide resources.

Here are some ideas on ways to celebrate this month:

  1. Reflect on your own mental health

Use this month of awareness to really check in with yourself. How do you really feel? Are you taking care of yourself? Use this time to evaluate things like:

  • Sleep habits

  • Exercise

  • Diet choices

  • Start journaling

  • Start practicing gratitude daily

  • Think about your connections with others. Are there relationships that are taking more than they are giving? Are your relationships healthy? This could be friendships, romantic relationships, or even your job.

  1. Start a self-care routine

This does not have to be a time consuming process. Trust me I get it, life gets busy. Start with something small like 5 minutes of meditation or deep breathing, start a new book, color or draw, start a walking routine. Enjoy and really appreciate nature even if you can sit outside for 5-10 minutes and be in the moment. There’s many little things that don’t take much time to start incorporating into your schedule.

  1. Share mental health information.

This can be on social media or during conversation. Speak to your experience or knowledge. Common connections are extremely powerful and healing. Talk about it! It can help you and others!

  1. Listen to some podcasts

There are a lot of great podcasts out there that focus on mental health. Take a look! Some of my favorites are: Ten Percent Happier, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Unlocking Us with Brene Brown. There’s plenty more that are totally relatable and helpful.

  1. Donate time or money

Join one of the local NAMI walks in your area, donate money, or volunteer your time. There are many organizations that are in need of volunteers and funding. A couple would by NAMI or Mental Health America. Below are the links to their websites for more information:

I’m using this month to really start making a habit of taking mindful walks 30 minutes a day. I’ve downloaded an app called All Trails which shows me trails in my area, difficulty level, and approximate time it will take me. I’ve found it very useful especially when you have a busy schedule. What’s something you can do to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month? Let me know in the comments below!

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