Welcome to May which is Mental Health Awareness Month
Americans are more aware that they should commit at least 3 times a week for physical activity and consume healthy foods; on the other hand, mental health is often overlooked. In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to challenge you to double down on your mental health.
Society doesn’t naturally promote therapy or self care days to relax, relate, and release. However, it’s still important to take care of ourselves holistically. One of the first self care practices we’ll get into is how to take a couple minutes to unplug and take deep, mindful breaths.
It’s totally natural if during the first minute your to-do list runs wild through your mind. While it may deserve your attention, not right now. This breathing exercise is all about and for you.
Breathe in positivity to use that same energy you do to keep moving forward despite whatever hurdles come your way. Breathe out the uncertainty or fear of the future. In that second and final minute, appreciate all you’ve done so far and all that has yet to come.
Visualize your thriving career and a healthy work-life balance. Everything you want is right in front of you because of the work you’re putting in today. You come first. Take all that in with steady, calm breaths.
Also, try breathing exercises before grabbing your phone first thing in the morning. This is a great opportunity to set your mind and intentions for the day with an air of positivity and affirmations that you are embodying your best self. “Thoughts become things,” so think positively.
As a second tip, fill your social media scroll time with positive content. We see a lot of content – some (if not most) of it can be toxic and negative. Your brain is affected by all the stimulation. So, why not be proactive and start following pages of empowerment? Think about how much time you spend on Instagram, scrolling and watching videos. Sprinkling in positivity will boost your mood and inspire you to pursue your dreams.
Taking thirty seconds to watch a clip of a Ted Talk about women reclaiming their time in the workplace can give you just the energy you need to step into your own office after your lunch break and do just that. You may even find yourself taking one step further and creating a specific “Saved” folder on Instagram for positive posts. We have one for creative inspiration, affirmations, and another for mental laughs to pull out when needed. Be proactive, arm yourself with the tools and coping strategies to motivate you through the tough days that will come.
As a third tip, use the time you actively practice self-care to surround yourself with positivity for all five senses. Light your favorite candle, play your favorite song that makes you happy, grab a fluffy pillow or blanket to snuggle with, watch a short inspiring or funny clip, and indulge in your favorite small dessert or healthy meal that fuels your body as much as your mind. Do what makes you feel the most you and joyful.
You can run yourself ragged trying to be the strong, motivated boss all the time. Don’t neglect your basic mental health needs while nurturing everyone else. We are here as a reminder to stop, breathe, and take several moments for yourself. You are the key to your success. Smile and appreciate yourself. You are doing it like no other.
Empowering mental health takes practice just like physical exercise. Start small routines that can evolve into lifelong commitments. Mental health does not just apply to anxiety, depression, or other identifiable diagnoses. It is about the everyday emotions and mindful practices to cope regularly. Our job is to find ways that work for us to make lemonade out of lemons while being the bosses we all know how to be as women. We always get it done for others; go as hard to show up for yourself and your mental health.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health should be everyone’s priority, and while the spotlight holds space for those living with mental health challenges like anxiety or depression, everyone has to find ways to boost their mental wellbeing on a regular basis to remain healthy and whole. Self care is an ongoing effort to maintain positive mental health as you grind and make your dreams happen. Incorporating consistent routines that cater to you for you will boost your mental health and help you keep going, especially on tough days. There are so many tips and tricks you can find that work for you. The point is to find them. Treat your mind the same way you treat your body, with intention and love. Remember, you can’t pour into others if your glass is empty.
For more on mental health tips/practices – watch this minute video created by C&D The Agency’s Co-Founder, Dina Marto.