Since 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates across the country have observed May as Mental Health Month. Mental health affects everyone. Through readings, lectures, seminars, help lines, video presentations, podcasts, apps, and so many other venues, we can educate ourselves on how to identify, help, prevent, and treat ourselves and others. You are not alone! You are not the only one going through post Covid issues of not feeling your Best Self. If you are experiencing excessive or long lasting signs of panic, worry, anxiety, depression, irritability, extreme mood swings, social withdrawal, eating or sleeping changes, acknowledge that you may need help. Be honest. Be strong. Be brave. You deserve to live the life you want. You are valued. You are appreciated. You matter.
With everything we have been through for over a year now with Covid, racial injustices, violence, financial instability, unemployment, war, climate disasters…all this has contributed to a greater number of mental health conditions. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles, which often prevents individuals from seeking help. One organization, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will amplify the message of “You Are Not Alone.” by focusing on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay.
For too long, mental health was not talked about. People did not feel comfortable to discuss what they were really feeling. Some may have felt weak, less than, not valued, and chose to remain silent. Unfortunately, that leads to continued issues and a spiraling down.
Education is key to improving mental health for all. We often misunderstand what we do not fully comprehend. So let’s break down a few things:
Mental health relates to one’s social, emotional, and psychological well-being. It includes physical, intellectual, environmental, vocational, social, emotional and spiritual health. Mental health affects thoughts, feelings, moods, behaviors, and actions. When one has positive mental health, they are better equipped to handle stress, be more productive, and realize their full potential.
While we focus on our physical wellbeing, the food we eat, exercise, and getting regular check-ups for vision and dental care, we often forget to take stock of our emotional and spiritual needs. Everyday demands take their toll. Mental disorders can affect one’s ability to relate to others and to function each day.
Throughout my life, I have focused on my physical wellbeing and devoted time to my spiritual and emotional self. Some years better than others as Life got in the way! For It takes time and work and daily practice. However I have learned that the more I take care of myself, the better I am. It is my responsibility. It is my choice. It is my decision and practice. Maintaining a positive outlook, reducing stress and negative influences, and surrounding myself with love, harmony, peace, joy, kindness and compassion is what I am about.
Together, we can realize a shared vision where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives. To be their Best Self.
With Light and Love and remembering that You are Not Alone,