This Sunday, Oct. 10, is World Mental Health Day – an observation of worldwide mental health issues and their effect on people’s overall well-being. Despite the prevalence of disorders like anxiety and depression, we still have a long way to go to fight the stigma associated with these illnesses and educate people about available treatments.
Observing World Mental Health Day is especially crucial in the unprecedented circumstances we are all experiencing. Experts predict the ongoing stress and uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term effects, especially among people who already struggled with social anxiety and other emotional issues pre-pandemic. What are some ways you can celebrate World Mental Health Day 2021?
1. Check in on Friends and Family
Everyone deserves to feel a sense of connection, but unfortunately, mental health challenges can be isolating. People living with conditions like bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, agoraphobia or postpartum depression might think nobody understands what they are going through. In some cases, they may even begin believing they deserve the pain and distress that accompanies their mental illness.
If people in your life have dealt with difficulties like these, reach out and let them know they aren’t alone. A quick phone call or simple text to tell them you’re thinking about them can go a long way toward boosting a loved one’s spirits. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can even encourage them to seek counseling or offer to help research therapists who specialize in their specific concerns.
Volunteering for organizations that support mental health is an excellent way to get involved in a cause you believe in while helping people who are going through a rough patch in their lives. In the process, you’ll also boost your mental well-being. If you lack the time or inclination to lend your time to a mental health nonprofit, you can support them financially instead. Even a $5 or $10 donation can be significant for budget-savvy nonprofits that know how to stretch every dollar.
3. Prioritize Your Self-Care
One of the top ways to celebrate World Mental Health Day is to take time for yourself. Self-care is not selfish; it’s a necessity for everyone who wants to be healthier and happier. Set aside a few hours or the whole day for activities that bring you joy, such as a walk in the park, a relaxing massage, meditation or watching your favorite comedy specials on Netflix. To spread the message and set a positive example for others, invite friends to join you.
4. Take a Mental Health Inventory
We all have times when we feel a little burned out or overwhelmed. Checking in with your emotions is another way to make the most of World Mental Health Day. It might help you to schedule an extra session with your therapist to decrease your stress levels and keep them at a manageable level. If you aren’t currently working with a mental health professional and are thinking about exploring therapy, use the day as inspiration to research counselors who might be a good fit. Or, even if you don’t think therapy would benefit you right now, you can still explore your innermost thoughts and feelings by writing in a journal.
Helping People Prioritize Their Mental Health Since 1993
At New Found Life, we believe recovery from co-occurring addiction and substance use disorders is within reach for adults, no matter what difficulties you have gone through. We offer a complete continuum of care that allows our clients to achieve lifelong freedom from drugs and alcohol while they work on recovering all aspects of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. To learn more about what makes our programming unique, contact us today.