April 28, 2023
May is Mental Health Awareness Month! This month, we recognize the many ways mental health impacts our lives, especially for those living with mental illness. It’s also the perfect time to take a step back and consider how we care for our mental health in everyday life. Do you prioritize this kind of care, or do you wish you were doing more?
May is the perfect time to start implementing small, personal changes to ensure your mental health is maintained and prioritized every day. We asked mental health professionals across our organization to offer advice on what you can do to care for yourself, starting today.
“Take just 5 minutes out of your day – setting a timer if needed – to just sit, stare at the wall, stare outside, or just close your eyes. This gives you 5 minutes of peace every day. It has been so helpful for me.”
“Have at least one or two things be routine daily practices. Routine helps the brain and body prepare for what is coming and can reduce overall stress, tension, and anxiety. For me, it’s my morning coffee and saying goodnight to my pet before I go to bed.”
- Katelyn Donald, School-Linked Therapist
“Prioritize sleep, eat healthfully, move your body, stay hydrated by drinking water, practice gratitude, connect with positive influences like friends, family, and colleagues, and practice mindfulness, meditation, and/or relaxing activities that you enjoy.”
- Amanda Kaiser, School-Linked Therapist
“One of my favorites is practicing a non-judgmental stance or noticing without judging. For example, instead of saying, ‘I’m a failure,’ say, ‘I’m disappointed I got an F on that assignment.’ Or, ‘I’m disappointed I didn’t get that job offer.’ In addition, end the day identifying something positive that happened or something you are proud of.”
- Hannah Langholz, Mental Health Therapist
“I love fidgets, and they help me a lot, so I try to ensure I have fidgets accessible to me through casual means. Like having functional jewelry fidget rings, necklaces, earrings, or key chains.”
“I frequently use TIPP skills throughout my day: Temperature, Intensive Exercise, Pace Breathing, and Progressive Muscle Relaxation. My favorite go-to temperature things include hot packs and ice-cold water. I do less intensive exercise and more of a light walk to get a change of scenery. If I’m feeling stuck or having a hard time focusing, I will get up and take a quick walk around the school or my office. I do pace breathing every night as a daily practice to fall asleep at night, which does wonders. I don’t often use progressive muscle relaxation, but I find stretching or just taking a moment to stand up and do a little twist if I’ve been working on the same thing for too long.”
- Samantha Clarke, Mental Health Practitioner
We wish you a happy Mental Health Awareness Month and a happy spring. For more professional mental health guidance this month and beyond, follow and engage with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.