In honor of National Mental Health Day, on Thursday, October 10, we have put together a list of the six best ways to promote self-care.
The struggle with mental health is more common than we think. According to a report by Mental Health First Aid, 46.4 percent of American adults will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime, and only 41 percent of the adults who suffered in the last year have received any kind of professional treatment or support.
Ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and addiction, mental illness takes on a variety of forms. There's no better time than National Mental Health Day (Thursday, October 10) to bring awareness to the issue and support those who are struggling, whether that be a friend, coworker, family member—or even yourself. Here are some ways to do just that.
1. Take the Day Off Work.
If you have the leisure or available time, take the day for yourself to lounge on the couch in your pajamas, spend time with your pets, read a book, binge-watch a show, take a bath, or some other relaxing activity that makes you happy. Taking some time for you will help you relax, recharge, and refresh your mind.
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2. Reach Out to Someone and Talk.
A good way to deal with stress is to talk about it. Ranting about a stressful situation is a normal and healthy way to release your anger. Speaking to someone you care about (or a professional, like a psychiatrist or counselor) can help you decompress, deal with your emotions, and evaluate your situation. If you don't already have an appointment, go ahead and make one—or choose to speak to a professional on one of the many available websites, such as betterhelp.com.
(Pro Tip: Getting multiple perspectives can help you see every side of the situation, which will help you narrow down the best choice for you.)
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3. Go Out With Your Friends, Family, or Loved One.
One of the most effective ways to manage your thoughts is to spend time with the people you care about. Whether you go to a movie, meet for coffee, or take a walk in the park, spending time with loved ones is an excellent way to deal with the drama in your life. They can offer you perspective, love, and support—like nobody else can.
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4. Talk to Your Boss.
If you are having problems in the workplace and feel overwhelmed or underappreciated, this is a good day to set up a meeting with your supervisor. If appropriate, you can discuss the possibility of a raise and how you feel about your position with the company. Your boss can, in turn, share how they feel about you, too, and help you pinpoint strategies for overall improvement. An open and honest conversation can do wonders for your mindset. However, only you truly know if a meeting like this will work for your particular situation; boss/employee conversations can be tricky and must be tackled with caution.
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5. Leave Motivational Sticky Notes Around Town.
Pay it forward. Stick motivational notes on fences, at bus stops, or on someone's desk at work .... There is no better way to put a smile on someone's face than by leaving a random sticky note that says, "You Matter," "You're Awesome," or "You Can Do It." What are the types of phrases that would encourage you? Start there, and have some fun making random people's day.
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6. Help Raise Awareness for Mental Health.
Help promote awareness of mental health issues by talking to someone about them, sharing about them on Facebook or other social media platforms, or handing out information packets. Each one of these is an effective way to spread the word and inform others of the issues some people are dealing with. Education is key and only leads to more compassion.
Courtesy of New Orleans Public Library
How will you be promoting self-care during Mental Health Day? Which activity appeals to you the most? Tell us your plans in the comments!