What do you do with the stress that you feel? Answering that question and taking appropriate action is an important part of what Mental Health Awareness Month is all about. Developed by Mental Health America in 1949, the purpose of this annual May tradition is to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
Let this month be a reminder of the phenomenally important role that mental health contributes to your own health and well being and that of those around you. It’s important to make taking care of yourself a priority so that you can then take of others. This is especially true in difficult times. As the in-flight passenger safety announcements say, “If you are travelling with a child, secure your own oxygen mask first.”
Everyone experiences times of trouble and stress. Practicing wellness of mind, body, and spirit is the best way to stop these from becoming a serious mental health issue such as depression or anxiety disorder.
Here are some ideas to help you relax and combat the stressors in your life. So when the stormy winds of life blow, you’ll bend but you won’t break.
- Keep a journal or diary where you can express your feelings about anything and everything.
- Close your eyes and day dream about your most favorite place in the world.
- Listen to music and sing along with it.
- Call a friend.
- Enjoy something visually beautiful such as nature or art.
- Count to ten slowly and breathe
- Make a conscious effort to laugh more.
- Take time for a daily tea break.
- Play with your pet.
- While watching television, dance silly to the commercials.
- Focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want.
- Have a healthy daily routine including:
- 3 meals a days
- 8 hours of sleep a day
- 30 minutes of exercise
- 30 minutes of learning something new
- 30 minutes for contemplating things for which you are grateful
Regularly balancing your responsibilities with enjoyable activities can create a natural state of harmony and well being in which you are able to cope with stressors, work productively, and contribute to your community.
Suzy Rogers is a Development and Communications Assistant at Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Inc., which provides quality mental health services for children, youth, and their families. DGS believes that all children have a right to good mental health and should have access to quality therapeutic care, regardless of their ability to pay.