Throughout the month of May, people across the country will recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a time for us to consider how we can make our mental health a priority.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family. That means we all have a reason to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and support one another in our journeys to being happy and healthy.
Below are a few ways you can support yourself, sisters, friends and family.
- Be aware of your personal stress levels. We live in a society that glorifies being busy. While it’s great to have a schedule full of activities you’re passionate about, be sure you have time built in to take care of yourself.
- Practice healthy coping mechanisms. Feeling overwhelmed? Take a long walk, write in a journal, buy an adult coloring book or talk to a close friend or loved one. There are a variety of ways we can cope with stress and anxiety.
- Get a mental health screening. Next time you visit the doctor, ask them about mental wellness and signs to look for if you have concerns. Talk to a counseling office about getting a free assessment or learning some new tips.
- See a mental health professional. Or offer to go to the counseling office with a friend. Talking with a counselor can be just as healthy as regular exercise. Don’t be ashamed of talking to a professional.
- Talk about mental health. Just starting a conversation about mental health with those close to you can have a big impact. A lot of us are uncomfortable discussing anxiety, depression and other issues related to our mental health. However, simply letting someone know that it is a topic you care about can open the lines of conversation and make the subject less taboo.
Take time in May, and all year, to care for yourself and those around you. We each deserve to feel our best, and sometimes that takes work. Luckily, we have the support of our sisters in Kappa Delta to face the world together!