Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it is often overlooked or under-prioritized. In an effort to change this narrative, Mental Health Action Day was established. This annual global event is dedicated to encouraging people to take proactive steps toward enhancing their mental health. But what exactly is Mental Health Action Day, and how can you make your mental health a priority? Let's dive in.
What is Mental Health Action Day?
First launched in 2021, Mental Health Action Day is a movement designed to mobilize people around the world to take the first steps towards supporting their mental health. A coalition of nonprofits, brands, and influential figures came together to kickstart this initiative, recognizing the need for a more action-oriented approach to mental health awareness.
Mental Health Action Day isn't just about awareness; it's about action. It encourages people to move beyond passive recognition of mental health issues and take tangible steps to enhance their own mental well-being or support others in their mental health journey.
How Can I Prioritize My Mental Health?
Prioritizing your mental health means taking active steps to protect and nourish your mental well-being. Here are a few ways to make your mental health a priority:
Professional Help: If you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or even just not sure what how to manage stress, seeking professional help is a crucial step in prioritizing your mental health. Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counselors are trained to help you navigate mental health challenges. These professionals are trained in a variety of treatments, for instance, as a licensed therapist in Pennsylvania, I am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, and more.
Self-Care: Self-care isn't just about spa days and bubble baths (though those can be part of it!). It's about taking time to do activities that nourish your mind and body. This could be reading a book, taking a walk, meditating, or simply enjoying a quiet cup of tea. Finding what you enjoy is key.
Setting Boundaries: This can be saying no to excessive work, limiting time with toxic people, or setting aside personal time each day. Boundaries are essential for maintaining balance and preventing burnout.
Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can significantly influence your mental health. It's essential to prioritize these basic aspects of health to support your mental well-being.
What Are Strategies To Help My Mental Health?
Improving mental health is a journey, and everyone's path will be different, and you can always try out new things for your mental health. However, here are some universal strategies that can help:
Mental Health Education: Understanding mental health can help you recognize signs of trouble early and know when to seek help. Take advantage of resources like books, podcasts, blogs, and webinars. Professionals such as therapists can help you understand your mental health and provide a path that is just for you.
Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness involves being fully present and engaged in the current moment. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Stay Connected: Regular interaction with family, friends, or even pets (whoever you call a part of your support system!) can provide a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation.
Develop Healthy Habits: Adopt a regular sleep schedule, eat nutritious meals, and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. These habits can have profound effects on your mood and energy levels.
Positive Self-Talk: Your inner dialogue can have a significant impact on your mental health. Practice speaking to yourself with kindness and encouragement, and challenge any negative or self-defeating thoughts.
Remember, Mental Health Action Day is about taking the first step, no matter how small, toward better mental health. Prioritizing your mental health is not a one-time event but an ongoing commitment. Let's transform mental health awareness into mental health action together!