May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Since 1949, Mental Health America and its chapters, along with other mental health advocates across the nation, have led the observance of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. This year, Mental Health Awareness Month’s theme is “Risky Business,” in an effort to shine the spotlight on risk-taking behaviors that can exacerbate or indicate mental health conditions that need attention. Learn more about Risky Business at the Mental Health Month 2017 website.

There are ways to combat the propensity for and temptation of risk-taking behaviors! By engaging in healthy self-care, you can boost your mental health and cope with adversity without turning to potentially destructive behaviors. Here are some simple ways to take care of your mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month, and all the year through:

  • Keep a gratitude or achievement journal.
  • Start your day with a cup of coffee to boost your mood.
  • Plan and take a getaway, even if just for a long weekend.
  • Keep your bedroom cool to promote good sleep.
  • Try a new recipe, craft, or other creative expression.
  • Enjoy a few pieces of dark chocolate every few days.
  • Coloring (especially complex or geometric designs) can help relieve anxiety.
  • Put away electronics for a technological break.
  • Turn on your favorite music and dance.
  • Spend time with loved ones, including the furry kind.
  • Watch something that makes you laugh.
  • Prepare your lunches or pick out your clothes for the work week to save time.
  • Send a thank you note.
  • Go for a 30 minute walk in nature.
  • And many more—see the full list here!

If you are experiencing mental health struggles, please don’t wait to get help. Just like any other illness, getting help early increases your ability to get better, faster. If you think you may need help, but aren’t sure, visit our website for free screenings, information on mental illness, resources, and referrals to therapists.

If you or a loved one are in crisis and need immediate behavioral health services, please access these resources:

Mental health is a vital component of well-being. Take some time this month to invest in your and your loved ones’ mental wellness and hygiene for a happier, healthier life!