may is mental health awareness month
May 31, 2021
The uptick in mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic served as a reminder of the importance of taking care of your mind and emotions. Part of the goal of Mental Health Awareness Month is to reduce the associated stigma. Our goal is to provide you with perspective and insight into this common but often misunderstood topic.
A common misconception about trauma is that it must stem from a largescale, catastrophic event, like a car accident, physical assault or natural disaster. However, a traumatic event can be much less obvious. It could be anything that negatively impacts your ability to cope. That may include family disputes, severe illness or watching traumatic events on television.
Processing trauma in a healthy way often requires:
- Time and patience: There isn’t a timeline for coping with trauma, and everyone experiences it differently. Be kind to yourself and understand that it may take longer than you thought to recover.
- Social connections: Isolation is a common symptom of trauma, and it can have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Building and using a support network of family, friends and medical professionals will provide you with love, perspective and motivation.
- Physical care: Your mind and body are more interconnected than you may realize. Taking care of one always benefits the other, so make sure you eat well, drink lots of water, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep.
One of the biggest hurdles we face in our journey to better mental health is accepting that some things are out of our control. That doesn’t mean you can’t still feel frustrated or disappointed by them, but accepting reality gives a problem less power over you.
It takes practice to notice when you’re fighting against acceptance. You may find yourself dwelling on a past event and thinking about what you could’ve done differently. But it’s important to remember that you can’t change the past.
Acknowledge your feelings and practice coping techniques such as:
- Deep breathing
- Muscle relaxation
How Can I Protect My Mental Health?
Aside from eating a healthy diet and exercising, here are some things you can do to boost your mental health:
Do what you love: It’s important to nourish your mind as much as your body. Find activities that make you happy, such as reading, crafting, playing music, dancing or cooking.
Stay connected: Whether you’re a lone wolf or social butterfly, you need at least some social interaction. Schedule time each week to catch up with family and friends. You don’t necessarily have to discuss your mental health but interacting with loved ones is a good way to improve your mood.
Practice mindfulness: With the endless stream of news, it’s easy to get swept away worrying about the future. But learning how to focus on the present can ease your nerves, stress and anxiety. Use your senses and note the things you hear, see, smell, feel and taste. It’s a simple technique that requires you to slow down and focus on the world around you.
The Embassy Healthcare team is committed to supporting the mental and emotional well-being of each resident. Schedule a tour and find out how we address mental health.