With the start of a new year comes a renewed commitment to health, but amidst the influx of gym memberships and cleanse subscriptions, it can be easy to overlook the fundamentals of self care. Remember to nurture your mental health in 2020 by keeping these major mental health holidays in mind!
The holidays are a trying time for many. Between the financial onus that comes with the season, to the estimated 10 million Americans suffering from seasonal affective disorder, winter can be a tumultuous time mentally and emotionally. January is a time to regroup, restore and cater to both your own mental wellness and bear an empathetic awareness for others.
In an era inundated with doctored selfies, cyberbullying and FOMO (fear of missing out), it’s now more important than ever to practice self esteem-boosting behaviors and body positivity. Look inward this month and take a moment every day to list five things you love about yourself. If you follow an account on social media that leaves you feeling self-conscious or consistently unhappy, try unfollowing that account. Social media is a means for connection and entertainment – use it to boost your self love!
While findings are difficult to parse due to the stigma associated with self harm, studies across 40 countries approximate that 17% of all people will self harm during their lifetimes. Most prevalent in teens, and more specifically, teen girls, this condition is commonly accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. March is a month for acceptance and shame-free support for those experiencing self-injurious behaviors. Don’t be afraid to seek help or help those who need it.
Deadlines and taxes and neck pain, oh my! Life is complicated, and stress can start to grate on us mentally and physically if we don’t take time to decompress at the end of a long day. Whether you hit the ground running to boost those endorphins or remain in corpse pose throughout your entire yoga class, your mind and body need time to heal from the stresses of everyday life.
It’s time to take a pause and renew your commitment to mental health and self awareness. IMay is a month dedicated to bringing those subjects to light, encouraging those suffering in silence to seek the help they need. This is also a time for loved ones to step up and support those who need it most. It’s time to end the silence that surrounds mental health!
About eight million adults suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder during any given year, be it from sexual assault, physical trauma or trauma inflicted during combat situations. Commonly associated with war veterans, PTSD can be incredibly debilitating, causing depression, anxiety, hopelessness, flashbacks to the event and behavioral changes. Thanks to programs like the National Center for PTSD and the Wounded Warrior Project, we can help those in need!
Minority Mental Health Month was established in 2008 in an effort to spread awareness of mental health factors impacting people of color, immigrants and their families, LGBTQIA individuals, and other underrepresented groups that face unique struggles in regard to mental illness in the U.S. Let’s all do our part to improve access and care for mental health across all minorities!
Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in 1878 and in 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day! The outcome of years of fighting for equality is palpable in the vast success of so many women, but it’s important to reflect on those struggles and remember what it took to get here. Support your fellow women this Women’s Equality Day!
All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. #BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope!
The theme for Health Literacy Month is “Be a Health Literacy Hero.” It’s about taking action and finding ways to improve health communication. Health Literacy Heroes are individuals, teams or organizations that not only identify health literacy problems but also act to solve them. You can help by recognizing and cheering on those you consider as Health Literacy Heroes. Know your rights and know your health!
NOVEMBER 16 – 24
#NHHAW (National Hunger + Homelessness Awareness Week)
Take time this week to join those advocating for our nation’s population struggling with homelessness and hunger on a daily basis. From participating in fundraising opportunities to spearheading advocacy events, there is a myriad of ways you can get involved in the cause. Find out how you can help by visiting https://hhweek.org/.
#IDPD (International Day of Persons with Disabilities)
This is a day that promotes the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities. hile our differences make us unique, it’s the similarities that keep us united under the umbrella of the human condition. Spend this day considering the unique struggles of those with disabilities. Let’s do what we can to maintain our human connection and ensure that everyone’s quality of life is held to the same standard Let’s offer a helping hand or a kind word during difficult times. Compassion is key, and humanity is livelihood.
Written By: S.Mishkin