May is Mental Health Awareness Month – there’s no better time of year to think about ways you can protect your mental health, and even improve upon it. Here are four tips:
Rely on your support system.
What kind of support system do you have in place around you? Family? Friends? Coworkers? These people are absolutely essential to your mental health and well-being. In fact, a lack of social support has even been linked to physical health ailments, like depression, cardiovascular disease, and an increased likelihood of substance abuse. So, whether it’s keeping in touch with a family member or spending quality time with your friends on a regular basis, rely on your support system. Humans are social creatures, and interaction with others is an important ingredient to a healthy lifestyle.
Make it a daily practice.
Improving your mental health isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And the best way to keep your mental health protected – and to make it better – is to make it a daily practice. That can mean different things for different people. Some practice yoga, meditation, or breathwork. Others go on the same walk during their lunch hour. Whatever it is, make time for yourself every single day, and keep this sacred time set aside for you and only you.
Outsource things that tax your mental health.
Think about the things that really drain you and put a strain on your mental health. Can you “outsource” them to someone else, or get rid of them entirely? Hiring an accountant to do your taxes; relying on a delivery service for dinner one night rather than cooking; bringing on a babysitter to take care of the kids one night a week. Whatever it is, getting some kind of outside help to give yourself a break can really make a huge difference.
Ask for help.
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, talk to someone. That doesn’t mean you have to set up an appointment to see a psychologist. You can use a mental health app to talk to a professional confidentially or set up a telehealth visit with your doctor. Professional help is available to you if you need it – don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Improve Your Mental Health This Year
This spring and beyond, focus on improving and protecting your mental health. It’s important in so many ways!