Did you know that self-care can play a significant role in your overall mental health? In honor of Mental Health Month, I’ve rounded up supportive mental health and self-help resources for you to discover below.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experiences mental illness within a given year. Did that statistic surprise you?

There are many conditions you possibly hear about daily that are considered mental illnesses and affect mental health, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, impulse control and addiction disorders, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and many more.

Aside from traditional support for improving and maintaining mental health, self-care can be an incredibly supportive practice to encourage mental health – and it doesn’t have to cost you a penny.

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SO, HOW WOULD SELF-CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH LOOK?

Did you know that there are three types of self-care? Incorporating the below practices and creating self-care awareness around your needs can help to improve your mental health.

There is no right or wrong way to practice self-care, as long as you are actively focusing on practices that are designed to protect, improve, or preserve your health and wellbeing.

Before diving into a new self-care practice, it’s essential to recognize how stress and a lack of self-care can present itself in the physical body.

Experiencing low energy, headaches, trouble sleeping, digestive issues, and more are all physical signs of stress within the body and can develop and play a role in mental health issues as well.

PHYSICAL SELF-CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Get outside and get moving. Moving your body daily for at least thirty minutes can help to release endorphins – those feel-good hormones – and improve your overall health. Plus, fresh air is always good for the soul!

Prioritize sleep. Rest is so important and, unfortunately, getting enough rest isn’t high on most people’s to-do lists these days. Instead of binge-watching TV at night, try to get to bed an hour or so earlier than usual. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s rest, consider taking magnesium supplements (this is my favorite brand) or trying a high-quality CBD oil.

Disconnect from technology. Carving out technology-free time is a great way to reduce your screen time and allow your brain to recharge. Plus, it can be so easy to fall into the comparison game trap that social media perpetuates, so give yourself a break (and protect your mental health).

EMOTIONAL SELF-CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Communicate your needs. Often, unnecessary stress and anxiety can be caused by not constructively communicating what’s on our minds. Instead, we assume the other party can guess what we’re thinking and feel neglected, frustrated, or resentful when they don’t. Be vulnerable and communicating how you feel and what you need instead!

Set strong boundaries. Letting others take advantage of your energy, time, kindness, money, etc. is a sign that you need some stronger boundaries. Learning to set boundaries can empower you to take back your power and preserve your mental health.

Not sure where to begin with setting boundaries? Check out my book on this subject!

Learn to say No. Much like setting boundaries, learning to say no can support you in having more time and energy to devote to what’s truly important to you. Release unnecessary commitments and support your mental wellbeing instead.

SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Connect with your higher self. Get back in touch with who you are and what you want to help create a sense of self-health and mental self-care. I love this journal because it’s filled with supportive and unique journaling prompts to rediscover you and who you are.

Create a meditation practice. Meditation can sound so intimidating, but it’s not! With the help of a few simple tips, practicing meditation for beginners can empower you to calm your mind, release worries, and decrease stress and anxiety.

Discover your unique spirituality. Reconnecting or discovering your unique spiritual beliefs can play a powerful role in supporting your mental health. Connect with a like-minded community, dig into a few books (like this one or this one), and spend time pondering how you view what’s happening up there and all around.

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HOW TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH

Here’s the thing: talking about mental health is one of the most impactful ways to raise awareness for what so many of us are navigating.

Being vulnerable and sharing what you’re struggling with can not only provide relief and comfort for you, but you never know who you might be helping by sharing your story.

Also, I encourage you to always reach out to your friends and check on how they’re really doing. Even the one friend who always seems like they have it together.

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BENEFITS OF THERAPY FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND SELF-CARE

If you’re still craving more support with your current mental health status, I always recommend finding a therapist who can support you. Therapy is a positive part of my life and allows me to decompress, analyze situations, and see the world through a more positive and realistic view.

Looking to find a therapist, counselor, and psychologist in your area? Check out this list.

As society learns to destigmatize the idea of therapy, the more we will begin to talk about mental health, mental illness, and everything in between.