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Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Mental Health Awareness Month: 6 Ways to Prioritize Your Mental Health

As May begins to unfold, it serves as a gentle yet powerful reminder of the significance of mental health. Throughout this month, Mental Health Awareness urges us to reflect on the state of our psychological well-being and encourages us to take proactive steps to nurture it. Prioritizing our mental health is not just important but essential for our overall happiness. Read more as we talk about some practical strategies and activities that can help us foster self-awareness, and promote mental well-being not only in May but throughout the year.

Embrace Mindfulness: 

Mindfulness is a great tool for grounding ourselves in the present moment, alleviating stress, and enhancing our overall sense of well-being. It involves practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply being fully present in whatever we are doing. By incorporating mindfulness into our daily routines, we can cultivate a sense of calm and clarity, even amidst life's uncertainties and challenges. Learn more about practicing mindfulness: Mayo Clinic Q and A: Mindfulness and mental health - Mayo Clinic News Network

Prioritize Self-Care: 

Self-care is often misconstrued as a luxury, but in reality, it's a fundamental necessity for maintaining our mental, emotional, and physical health. Each day, set aside time to engage in activities that bring you joy. Whether it's reading a good book, taking a leisurely walk in nature, or enjoying your favorite hobby, prioritize activities that are relaxing and rejuvenate your mind.

Cultivate Meaningful Connections: 

Human connection lies at the heart of our well-being, yet in today's fast-paced digital age, genuine connections can sometimes feel difficult to come by. Take the time to nurture relationships with loved ones, friends, and community members. Engage in heartfelt conversations, share experiences, and perform acts of kindness. These meaningful connections can serve as a vital source of support, understanding, and belonging. Learn more about how to build meaningful relationships: Build Meaningful Relationships: Strategies for Connection - DHW Blog (

Move Your Body: 

Physical activity isn't just beneficial for our bodies; it's also essential for our mental health. Regular exercise, whether it's a walk, a yoga session, or a dance workout, releases endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters, and promotes relaxation. Engaging in physical activity can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression while boosting our overall mood and well-being.

Set Boundaries Around Screen Time: 

In today's digital world, excessive screen time can contribute to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion. Set boundaries around your screen usage by limiting social media scrolling, turning off notifications, or designating tech-free zones in your home. Instead, allocate time for activities that foster genuine connections with the people and places around you. Learn more tips on how to reduce screen time: Tips to Curb Screen Time for Adults - Scripps Health

Seek Professional Support When Needed:

If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, remember that seeking professional support is a courageous and proactive step towards healing. Whether it's through therapy, counseling, or psychiatric care, reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You don't have to navigate your mental health journey alone, and there's no shame in asking for support when you need it.

In addition to Mental Health Awareness Month, May also honors Older Americans Month, celebrating the invaluable contributions and experiences of older generations. As we focus on prioritizing mental health, let's not forget the unique challenges and needs of older adults. Reach out to older family members, neighbors, or community members, and engage in conversations that foster understanding, empathy, and connection. By honoring and respecting the wisdom and resilience of older adults, we enrich our communities.

As Mental Health Awareness Month unfolds, let's embrace the opportunity to prioritize our mental well-being. By incorporating mindfulness, self-care, meaningful connections, physical activity, and healthy screen habits into our lives, we can nurture our mental health and lay the foundation for long-term well-being. Your mental health matters, and investing in it is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself!

Brought to you by Tara Schumann, Digital Media Specialist for The Society of Certified Senior Advisors.