May is Mental Health Awareness Month! We think spring is the perfect time of year to focus on this extremely important topic. Mental health can often go overlooked, especially when compared to our also-important physical health. But the truth is that your mental health is equally important to your overall well-being.
What does “mental health” mean, exactly?
Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and affects how we think, feel, and act, according to mentalhealth.gov. When a person has poor mental health, it can affect them negatively, leading to physical health symptoms as well as strained relationships, mood swings, the inability or struggle to perform daily tasks, and much more.
When a person has positive mental health, on the other hand, they’re able to enjoy positive relationships with others, cope with life’s daily stresses, and make meaningful contributions to their families, work, and society at large.
What does Mental Health Awareness Month involve?
During May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about this part of health. Every year, the organization fights the stigma against mental health and provides support, educates the public, and advocates for policies that support people suffering from mental illnesses and their families.
For 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI’s goal is to amplify the message of “Together for mental health.” The organization aims to advocate for mental health and increase access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements, and national events.
How can you improve your mental health?
Looking for quick ways to boost or maintain your mental health? Here are some ideas:
- Practice gratitude. Be thankful for the good things in your life, and remind yourself of them daily.
- Take care of yourself physically. Physical health has an important and inextricable connection with your mental health. Exercise regularly, eat well and get enough sleep every night.
- Connect with others. Humans are social creatures. Having a good support system around you, such as family and friends is extremely important.
- See a professional. If you’re struggling with your mental health, see a professional. Talking to a therapist is extremely beneficial for many people, including those without any kind of diagnosed mental illness.
It’s Time to Better Your Mental Health
This month, take steps to better your own mental health and advocate for others as well. Download NAMI’s 2022 Awareness Event Guide, take action when opportunities arise in your community and consider sharing your own mental health story to encourage others to prioritize their mental health.