Originally, I had a nutrition post ready to go for today, but as I combed through my social media feeds this morning I was drawn to the fact that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and the importance of that just takes precedence.
We regularly go to the doctor for annual exams, to get concerning symptoms checked out, and to maintain our physical health. Most of us don’t think twice about it; to be healthy means that we check in with professionals who can ensure that for us. We eat well and make sure we are getting adequate movement, or if we aren’t, we know we should be. We generally understand how and why it is important to take care of our physical bodies.
Did you know that 1 in 5 American adults (approximately 43.8 million) deal with a mental illness of some kind in a year? This includes depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal thoughts, and more.
Our minds and mental wellness require maintenance and special care, too! The unfortunate truth is that our minds get sick as well, but since the symptoms aren’t always as obvious to us as a physical symptom, and certainly not as obvious to the people around us, they tend to get pushed to the background and to the bottom of our priority list.
HigherRing family, we cannot encourage you enough to not allow that to be you! Do not allow your mental wellbeing to be your last priority. If something isn’t feeling right, talk to somebody -- a close friend or trusted family member first if you need. If things feel more serious than an encouraging chat or walk outside in the sunshine can fix, find a healthcare professional or mental health professional that can help you. Remember, you’d go to the doctor if you were having some concerning physical symptoms, and mental health care is no different.
Mental wellness isn’t always about big diagnoses, either. Self-care can be important in maintaining your mind too. Life is hard and full of pressures; none of us are unscathed by them. It is not selfish to prioritize doing things that bring you joy, that fill your cup so that you can continue to pour out into the areas of your life that require it. Find out what clears your mind: maybe it’s a hot bath with magnesium salts at the end of the day, maybe it is regularly meeting with a friend who speaks life into your heart, maybe it is a walk in the sunshine or a hike in the woods. Whatever it is, it is important that you make time for these things.
We think it's important to note our unique work situation here at HigherRing as well. Whereas home is a sanctuary most of the time to many of us, a place we can go to shut out the outside world, when we are working from home, lines can be blurred and it can be hard to separate ourselves from work. Taking time then for self care is even more important! Being intentional about creating a separate work space that you enter with only the purpose of working is a very important measure we can take to make sure we're getting the separation between work and home life. Making sure you get up and leave your desk during your breaks and lunches like you would if you were in an office is also very important for maintaining your mental and emotional health during your work day. Logging off at the end of the day, tidying your work space, and then leaving it be until you next have to clock in will also help create that division that you need.
Mental health is every bit as important (if not more, even!) than your physical health, and the two depend on each other! When your mind is sick, your body suffers as a result. When you are not maintaining your physical wellness, being ill takes a toll on your mind. It isn’t a suggestion: Take care of your mind, of your mental wellness. Do what you can to be well mentally, and if things are not right and you need help, seek it urgently. You must be your own advocate and nobody else can speak for you.
Please take care of you -- there’s only one and you are NEEDED.