May Is Mental Health Awareness Month
Elevating Your Psychological Resiliency
Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally withstand or adapt to uncertainty and adversity. Building resilience to life’s inevitable changes and challenges can help you cope with and manage stressors. It can also help protect you from various adverse mental health symptoms. Health care professionals are noticing stress and anxiety developing at a rapid rate, and because May is Mental Health Awareness Month, now is a great time to check in on your feelings and thoughts.
Resilience isn’t developed overnight; it’s built over time and shaped by personal experiences. Just like building muscle, elevating your psychological resilience requires commitment. Consider the following strategies:
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle. For a holistic approach to maintaining physical wellness, you should prioritize sleep, eat healthily, stay hydrated and engage in physical activity regularly.
- Practice self-care. Get into the habit of caring for yourself and doing activities that make you happy. With the rise in mental health issues, it’s important to prioritize yourself now more than ever.
- Maintain an optimistic outlook. Adjusting your thought process and reframing any negative thoughts can be beneficial. Own your negative thoughts; they can lose their power when you say them out loud.
- Review your employee benefits. Your employer may offer mental well-being support and resources, so check what’s available in your health plan.
Make your psychological resilience a priority this month. A good way to start is by focusing on doing at least one thing every day for yourself that supports your overall well-being.
If you have any concerns, contact a health care professional or use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).
Self-care and Your Mental Health
Self-care is the practice of intentionally engaging in activities that positively impact mental, physical and emotional well-being. This practice has a direct correlation to mental health. For instance, self-care techniques can help create healthy coping mechanisms for unavoidable stressors in everyday life. In turn, practicing these techniques can soothe negative symptoms of mental illness or help you relax.
It’s important to note that not everyone practices self-care the same way. To effectively practice self-care for your mental health, self-awareness is important; it can help you recognize when you’re experiencing certain emotions or worsened symptoms of a mental illness. Once you know your common triggers and symptoms, you can find the best self-care techniques.
Here are some ideas for how to practice self-care:
- Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Not only do the foods and drinks you consume impact your mood, but they also fuel your body with the nutrients it needs.
- Prioritize movement; physical activity can help you cope with stress. It’s even better to do the activity outside, as spending time in nature can boost your mental health.
- Practice healthy sleep habits (e.g., stick to a schedule, get enough quality sleep and avoid devices before bedtime) and make time for rest and recharging.
- Connect regularly with friends and family who encourage and support you.
- Pamper yourself by watching your favorite TV show, taking a bubble bath or reading a book.
- Find ways to relax, including meditating, practicing yoga, breathing exercises or journaling.
- Set self-care goals and priorities to help you better understand what triggers certain symptoms and what coping mechanisms work best for managing your mental health.
Self-care looks different for every person since it involves doing things you enjoy or need. The goal is to try to do something you enjoy every day. While self-care is not a cure for mental illness, it can help you understand what triggers certain symptoms and what coping mechanisms best manage your mental health. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.