May is Mental Health Awareness month. Over the course of the pandemic everyone has dealt with increased isolation and stress. These things no doubt impact your mental health, but the world keeps turning so how do you keep up? Remember you’re not alone if you’re struggling to feel your best every day, and keep reading about how to prioritize your mental health.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that in 2020, an estimated 2.9 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode with severe impairment in the past year. Also, an estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. Adolescents and adults alike struggle with mental health and need support to get to their happiest selves. Taking time for yourself and reaching out for support before you are in a crisis could save you from a major episode.
Even when you don’t struggle with an ongoing condition like depression or anxiety, prioritizing your mental health will improve your outlook and quality of life. With busy lives and multiple commitments, it’s easy to let taking care of yourself get pushed to the bottom of the list. Simply making room for your mental health and your own wellness will only improve your work and your personal life.
Taking time for self-care is monumental to your happiness and well-being. Self-care is any time you take to do something for yourself that you enjoy. Reading a book, doing a workout with friends, working on a hobby, anything that helps you unplug and detach from stress – schedule it into your week. Look forward to it, let yourself enjoy it, and feel yourself recharge! Taking care of yourself in this way better prepares you to deal with the stress and emotions that you encounter every day.
If you are taking time for yourself and still having a hard time coping with stress or your emotions, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Remember that everyone has gone through tremendous changes over the course of a pandemic. Counseling can help anyone with their mental health because even venting your problems helps release stress, so give talking to someone a try. Counseling can also help you learn healthy coping mechanisms for when things get overwhelming.