May – Mental Health Awareness Month

So this month is Mental Health Awareness Month, and that’s super exciting! Regardless of your social status, your job, your salary, your family life, your relationship status, your food preferences, your sexual orientation or identity,

MENTAL HEALTH IS VITAL

(Suicide Prevention Month isn’t until September, but just in case, if you are in distress or crisis or are having thoughts of harming yourself, please call: 1-800-273-8255 for 24/7, free, confidential support. If you don’t want to speak to someone, and would prefer to chat online, please click here.)

I’ve said it so many times, both here and out loud: If everyone on earth had a therapist, counselor or social worker, the world would be a better place.

To me, someone’s mental health is based on who they are as a human being, decisions they make, the people they associate with, and the way they live, which is why it’s different for everyone.

For instance, in my experience, someone can have much better mental health if they live in a house with 5 other roommates, and work 3 part time jobs, whereas for someone else, living alone and only having 1 job is the only way someone else achieves their best mental health (of course along with other factors, but just to make it a little simple)

I also believe that the way to achieve your best mental health can change… For example, I was once both of those individuals I mentioned above. I used to work 3 jobs, and live with a bunch of roommates, and I was happy. Now the thought of living that way again makes the blood drain from my face. I am absolutely happy living with my husband and our animals.

Here’s what Merriam Webster has to say about Mental Health (yes, I’ve also been shopping for patio furniture options recently):

mental health

MW also notes “feeling comfortable about oneself, positive feelings about others and the ability to meet the demands of daily life” as being imperative for good mental health.

It’s hard, because as an altruist, it’s tough to really decide what’s good and right for me, rather than for the good of everyone and everything around me. Some advice that I’ve given friends on a regular basis when they’re faced with a tough event, moment, or decision in their lives is to:

  1. Stop what you’re doing, just for a few moments
  2. Imagine yourself as the sun in your universe (meaning everything and everyone in your life are the planets and moons (and space waste!) rotating around YOUR axis…)
  3. Really think about the event, moment or decision in question
  4. Evaluate how you feel, and what the best course of action, or reaction, or decision should be that will make you feel right, and good. (***provided it doesn’t hurt yourself or anyone else!)
  5. Do what’s best for YOU! – Because ultimately this will lead to your improved mental health!

***At times, this has meant cutting ties with someone who is considered a toxic person. Yes, that may hurt both of you in the beginning, but it’s ultimately for the best, because who needs toxic people in their lives, besides NO ONE?! This also may mean breaking up in a relationship that isn’t a 2 way street. Again, it hurts at first, but ultimately, in time, you’ll be glad you didn’t waste any more of your time on it! Know what I mean?

Anyhow… I digress…

MENTAL HEALTH IS VITAL!

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Month here are some resources:

Mental Health America

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Council for Behavioral Health

Congresswoman Napolitano’s website on Mental Health Month. Napolitano is the founder and Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus.

 

 

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