May is Mental Health Awareness Month so I thought that it would only be appropriate to have the mental health discussion here on the blog!
It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year for everyone and while this year feels more hopeful it has still been a challenge with the global pandemic and the state of affairs in the U.S. And while I realize that this is mostly a fashion blog I believe that we can’t shy away from difficult topics especially since mental health affects each and every aspect of our lives. Not to mention it’s a topic that is often avoided because of the stigmas surrounding it. This is wild to think about since 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness over the course of their lives and literally, everyone faces challenges in life that will affect their mental health!
I’ve def had my share of anxieties throughout my life which have def been heightened over the past year. Sometimes I even think why am I feeling so anxious? I’m so lucky to have so much especially during a time when so many have lost things that matter to them. I try to remind myself that it’s OK to have these feelings and to give myself grace with them. There’s absolutely no reason to feel bad about feeling bad! Let yourself feel all the feels and seek professional advice when needed!
“This year, our slogan for Mental Health Month is #BeKindtoYourMind. We encourage you to join us as we highlight the significance of mental health awareness and how counselors are able to help!” –Via https://www.counseling.org/
Mental Health Awareness Month
So in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month I’ve put together a few ideas on how you can take better care of YOU! Remember this isn’t a to-do list rather a list that you can pick and choose from whenever you feel necessary. It’s also not a replacement for traditional therapy or treatment from mental health experts. If you or someone you know is experiencing serious deep struggles with mental health seek a professional. Below are some resources to help you do just that!
I’ve mentioned how helpful meditation has been in my life in previous blog posts but I have to bring it up again. I used to believe that meditation wasn’t for me because I had such a difficult time sitting still (and I still do!) but then I realized it’s a practice that gets easier over time. You can let your thoughts go in and out of your mind and you don’t have to meditate for hours at a time. Even just 5 minutes of mediation a day can be enough to help you clear your mind. Not only that but meditation actually helps to rewire your brain. Check out this interesting article for more on that!
Below are some of my favorite resources for guided meditations:
- Calm App
- 5 Minute Meditation You Can Do Anywhere
- 5 Minute Guided Morning Mindfulness Meditation – Focused, Calm, and Centered
Moving my body always helps to relieve stress. Whether it’s hitting the gym (usually just my home gym lol), doing yoga, going for a walk, or just dancing it out it always feels good to get those positive endorphins going. Just move in whatever way feels good for you. It’s such a game-changer for your energy and your mind! Aside from working out in the mornings, I love to dance so I’ve linked a few of my favorite dance videos below!
- 15 MIN DANCE PARTY WORKOUT – Ariana Grande (Full Body Cardio)
- Ariana Grande – 34+35 (Remix) ft. Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion| Caleb Marshall | Dance Workout
- 20 Min Soca & Afrobeats Dance Workout | 28 Day Challenge | Afrifitness
Getting out into nature can be so helpful when it comes to dealing with anxiety or depression. Not only do you get the benefit from sun exposure (such a mood booster!) but there have actually been studies that show that getting out into nature can help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression. I’ve always enjoyed going for walks but over this past year, I think my daily walk has really been what has saved me! Even just sitting outside for a few minutes is a mood booster. If you’re lucky enough to live near the beach then hanging out there is also a great option.
Feeling like you need a little extra self-love? Why not go out on a spa day or create one at home. Fill up the tub with some bubbles, slather on your favorite face mask, pour yourself a glass of wine, and just relax. I also love treating my feet to a peeling mask while doing a little gua sha or cupping on my face while I watch a T.V. Show. Maybe you can even get your S/O to give you a foot massage!
Take a Mental Health Day
Now I know that not everyone will be able to do this next one but if you can take a mental health day off of work. I mean think of it. When is the last time you took off of work just because? If you’ve been feeling extra stressed out and have a sick day you can use why not put it to good use. You can use the time off to recharge and relax so that you can show up to work the next day the best version of yourself. If this one isn’t possible maybe you simply take your next day off to do whatever it is that you want. Stay at home, sleep in, go shopping, spend time with a friend, spend time alone….you get what I’m saying. Make it a day all about you!
These are just a few of the ways you can take care of yourself for Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond. Prioritizing yourself and your mental health is so important all year long.
Let me know in the comments below how you like to take care of your mental health.