May Is Mental Health Month 2020Lindsay Chambers
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted our mental health needs more than ever before. Since May is Mental Health Month 2020, it’s crucial to stop and review some straightforward ways you can improve your mental well-being.
1. Learn the Art of Self-Forgiveness
Even if you’re consistently good at forgiving other people for their mistakes, learning to forgive yourself can be a challenge. Though guilt and shame are normal human emotions, issues such as depression can magnify them and cause them to take on an outsized role in your life. If you find yourself dwelling on slip-ups from your past, recognize when you are falling into a spiral of negative self-talk, and have strategies to help yourself move on with a positive attitude.
2. Seek Therapy
If you aren’t currently working with a counselor, finding the right one can be instrumental in your quest for mental well-being. A therapist not only provides a non-judgmental outlet for your stress, but they can also teach you healthy coping strategies to use when you’re struggling. Many people are discovering the benefits of remote therapy due to COVID-19, so what better way to observe Mental Health Month than to explore your options in this area?
3. Adopt an Animal Companion
Having non-human family members can add joy to your life in many ways. If you choose to rescue a pet from a shelter, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved the life of another living being. Pets also provide a source of unconditional love and companionship. Playing with a dog or cat can help release feel-good chemicals in your brain and lower your blood pressure. If you aren’t quite ready for the responsibility of caring for a pet with more complex emotional needs, having an aquarium can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
4. Allow Yourself Time to Process Your Feelings
We’re all working through various difficulties related to COVID-19. Within less than a month, the pandemic evolved from an abstract, far-off problem to an outbreak that has closed schools, businesses and major tourist attractions. If you feel a sense of loss or disconnection during this time, step back and acknowledge that these emotions are genuine and worth exploring. Dealing with your feelings, instead of trying to shove them aside, can be tremendously beneficial to your mental health. It’s not always easy, but the rewards of processing your feelings during Mental Health Month can help convince you that it’s worth sticking with through the long term.
You Are Not Alone
Mental health challenges can make you feel isolated, as if nobody else will understand what you’ve been going through. Self-quarantine during COVID-19 can compound this feeling of loneliness. Now, more than ever, is the time to realize that we’re all experiencing heightened stress and anxiety together. This Mental Health Month, commit to yourself and your well-being. A bright future awaits you, and at Serene Behavioral Health, our levels of care can help you get there sooner. We welcome your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.