Mental Health Awareness Month is observed every May. This month is a time to raise awareness about mental health, break the stigma, and support people with mental illness. Ways to participate in mental health awareness month include: prioritizing your mental health, reaching out to someone to ask how they are doing, share information, donating to mental health organizations, etc.
More than half of adults in the United States will experience mental illness—which refers to a variety of conditions that affect one’s mood, behavior, feelings, or thinking—at some point in their life. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Keep reading to learn signs of mental illness and some taking care of yourself tips.
Self-care and Your Mental Health
Each condition has its own unique symptoms, but common signs of mental illness include the following:
Feeling sad, irritable, or angry for an extended time
Feeling excessively paranoid, worried, or anxious
Experiencing extreme mood swings
Avoiding friends and social activities
Changing eating habits due to increased hunger or lack of appetite
Having trouble sleeping or making dramatic sleeping pattern changes
One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness, but they may indicate a need for further evaluation.
Taking Care of Yourself
One way to improve your mental health is through self-care. Self-care looks different for every person since it involves doing things that you enjoy or need. The goal is to try to do something you enjoy every day!
Here are some ideas for how to practice self-care:
Live healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
Connect regularly with friends and family who encourage and support you.
Pamper yourself by watching your favorite TV show, taking a bath, applying a face mask, getting a massage, or reading a book.
Find ways to relax, including meditating, practicing yoga, going on a nature walk, or baking.
Taking the time from your busy life to try out a new hobby you have been thinking about. Here is a list of a few things you can try:
Get an adult coloring book and color
Put together a puzzle
Grab a recipe from Pinterest or go buy a cookbook and start cooking
Even though the above ways can help you get on the right track to a positive state of mind, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult a medical professional. If you have concerns about a loved one’s or your mental health, please contact a doctor or mental health professional. You can find a resource by the National Institute of Mental Health that provides more information on immediate help and treatment, here.
*This article is intended for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be exhaustive, nor taken over a professional’s advice. Readers should contact a health professional for advice. Thams Agency provides content like this to promote overall wellness, but our expertise is in insurance.