Did you know that one in five adults will experience mental illness this year?* This statistic reminds us that for millions of people, living with a mental illness is a reality that they and their loved ones deal with every day.
If you have experience with mental illness, support someone who is struggling, or simply want to improve your own mental health, practicing self-care is an important aspect of balancing the demands and stressors of life – especially while navigating these challenging times in the midst of COVID-19.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month—a time observed by organizations and people across the world to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding mental health—Momentum would like to offer recommendations for making self-care a priority in your life and encouraging others to do the same.
Show yourself compassion.
Self-compassion is showing yourself kindness when your first instinct might be otherwise. This creates space for you to recognize your positive and negative feelings, successes and failures. Rather than feel badly about your actions or outcomes, self-compassion eliminates the threat of comparing yourself to others.
Try mindfulness exercises.
Mindfulness exercises focus on bringing one’s thoughts to the present moment and situation at hand. These practices have even been found to decrease stress and improve medical conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. Books and smartphone applications have made mindfulness practices accessible virtually any time, anywhere.
Talk about it.
Sharing your feelings and experiences with close friends and family is an important part of self-care. Deepening relationships allows you to gain perspective and share in other people’s experiences, thereby creating a space of safety and trust. Being vulnerable with others may highlight the fact that you are not perfect—but neither is anyone else.
The ways in which we show ourselves kindness might change day-to-day, but at the heart of self-care is the acceptance of ourselves—imperfections and all—and humbly recognizing where we can improve. Living in the present and being open with loved ones are also critical to our mental health. If you would like to learn more about the role that mindfulness plays in the alignment of your wellness, contact Momentum today. Our friendly and expert staff are here to help you continue your exploration of self-care.
*National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org)