Self-love

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in 2021

Society places such a heavy emphasis on physical health that sometimes mental health falls into the background, or worse, it isn’t discussed at all. Luckily, this May is Mental Health Awareness Month 2021, which gives us an opportunity to put the spotlight on mental health and wellbeing. This allows us to talk about topics that aren’t often talked about, break stigmas, and provide mental health resources to anybody who may need them.

Here’s some more info about Mental Health Awareness Month 2021 as well as resources such as mental health activities and guidelines for finding a therapist.


What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a very broad term – but basically, it encompasses everything that has to do with our mental wellbeing, including our emotions and behaviors. There is no “perfect” example of what great mental health looks like. It varies from person to person, and even within one person, mental health can fluctuate.

Many people also struggle with mental health conditions, although not everyone is open about them. However, Mental Health Awareness Month 2021 is an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health conditions to make those who suffer feel less alone. Here are some statistics that might surprise you:

So, if you’re dealing with one of these common mental health conditions, know that you’re not alone, even though it may feel that way sometimes.

Mental Health Month 2021 is a great chance for you to really focus on your own mental health, whether or not you have a mental health condition. Everybody can benefit from giving their brain a little extra TLC, whether that means practicing self-care, meditating, or seeking therapy.


Positive Mental Health Activities to Practice 

There are many ways that you can nurture your mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month 2021. Here are just a few examples of positive mental health activities you can participate in this month (or all year).

  • Taking care of yourself physically: Mental health and physical health are linked. If your mental health is struggling, go back to the basics when it comes to health and see if you can make any connections. For example, are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating healthily? Are you exercising regularly? If you’re not, this could be affecting your mental health. Getting these three things in order (sleep, diet, and exercise) can positively benefit your mental health.
  • Meditating: Meditation is one of our favorite ways to nurture mental health. Meditating can help relieve stress and boost your mood. It can also help you learn to keep your cool in other situations, even when you aren’t meditating. If you’re a beginner, you may want to try using a guided meditation script
  • Journaling: If you don’t already own a journal, Mental Health Month 2021 is the time to buy one! Writing in a journal is a great and healthy way to process your emotions, whether they be good emotions or stressful emotions. You can also journal as a way to outline your goals and track them.
  • Doing something creative: Getting your creative juices flowing can be really beneficial for mental health. It can get your mind on something else other than your stress. Do what feels the most fun for you: whether that’s doodling, painting, doing a puzzle, dancing, singing, or playing an instrument.
  • Unplugging from social media: Between work and play, we spend a scary amount of time using technology, especially social media, which lends itself to endless scrolling. However, social media can be harmful to our mental health, especially if we spend a lot of time on it. That’s why it’s important to unplug from social media once in a while – whether it’s putting your phone in another room for an hour at the end of the day or taking the weekend off from social media altogether once in a while. 
  • Using affirmations: If your mental health is taking a toll due to a lack of self-esteem or confidence, using affirmations may help. If you aren’t familiar, affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself every day. Check out these affirmations for self confidence and affirmations for success.


Breaking the Therapy Stigma During Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

Perhaps one of the most valuable mental health activities you can do is therapy. Seeing a therapist can be literally life changing. Unfortunately, there is still some stigma surrounding therapy. For example, some people may falsely think that therapy is only for “crazy people” or that you need to have a serious mental health condition in order to go to therapy. However, this is absolutely not the case. Anyone can benefit from therapy. People see therapists for all sorts of reasons: anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, relationship problems, eating disorders, work stress, social anxiety, you name it.

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of if you go to therapy. If anything, you should be proud of yourself for taking your mental health into your own hands and making positive changes in your life.


What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

One of the most popular types of therapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT.  Mental Health Awareness Month 2021 is a great time to learn about this life-changing therapy. While some therapy is mainly just focused on talking things out or focusing on past experiences, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of therapy treatment that involves identifying and changing your current negative thought patterns and behavioral patterns. The basis of CBT is that your thoughts and behaviors are linked, and that by actively working on your thoughts and behaviors, you can improve your mental health.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy isn’t easy work, and it can take some time to get comfortable with these changes, but it can be very effective. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be equally effective or even more effective than psychological medications for mental health conditions.


How do I find a Therapist Near Me?

Finding a therapist is easier than you think, and what better time to find one than during Mental Health Month 2021? In this day and age, you have two options: an in person therapist or an online therapist. If you want to find a therapist through an online platform, check out Talkspace or BetterHelp. With these services, you sign up and will be matched with a therapist after filling out a questionnaire.

If you want to find an in person therapist near you, check out therapist databases online, such as Psychology Today. There, you can filter based on location and other things, such as gender, specialty, insurance type, and more. Other resources for finding a therapist near you are:

For more info about choosing a therapist who’s right for you, check out THIS blog post. 


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If you’re looking for additional tools to use on your mental healthy journey during Mental Health Awareness Month 2021, try out our app! The Daily Shifts app can help you create and maintain positive mental health habits. You may also want to check out our 21 day challenge which can help you get out of a funk and get your life on track.

No matter how you celebrate Mental Health Month 2021, enjoy it, and remember to take care of your mental health all year long, not just during May!

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