May was mental health awareness month. Wow, don’t we all need a couple more months to bring attention to the importance of mental health? This year has been like no other, “unprecedented” in fact. So many changes, so much anxiety, fear and loss.
It is so important to be aware of what good mental health looks and feels like and what poor mental health looks and feels like. In a time where people have lost jobs, normalcy, stability and even loved ones it is a top priority to get our minds and bodies back in order.
Happiness is Overrated
Just as grief is different for everyone, being mentally healthy or not can look different for each individual. Having good mental health is so much more than simply being happy. Happy is good. Happy is fun, but happy can be overrated.
You heard it here first, that is right, happiness can be overrated and does not equal being mentally healthy. I am very happy when I eat a double cheeseburger with pickles, onions and a side of salty fries. Aren’t we all? Some who struggle with addiction are happy when they get that next hit of their drug of choice. I think you can see my point. Being happy can not be the goal of life and the gauge in which we determine our mental health.
- Positive view of yourself
- Feel optimistic
- Set goals and can follow through with them
- Confident when faced with new and different situations or people
- Do not always blame yourself
Poor Mental Health
- Lack focus
- Have no goals
- Feel ashamed or shame often
- Lack confidence when trying new things or meeting people
How to Manage Your Mental Health
- Stay active and exercise
- Take breaks
- Stay connected with friends and support group
- Eat and drink well
- Ask for help
- Have a support system to talk to about your feelings
Mental Health Awareness is Crucial
Grief and mental health are closely related. The ability to process and manage grief has an enormous impact on your own mental health. It is so important to find the support you need when dealing with the loss of a loved one. We experience grief differently and not one way to heal is the right way or the only way.
People are becoming more vocal about mental health awareness. Talking about mental health is becoming less and less taboo. As we talk about it more it reveals that many of us struggle and actually may have more in common than we think. All the more reason to ask someone, how they are doing…and truly be interested in the answer.
Finding grief support is a huge piece of overall mental health. Find your people. Join a support group, find a counselor or therapist or if you are so blessed share your feelings with a trusted friend. The good news is that there are so many different ways to get your mental health on track. Find what works for you and start working toward your healing.