Live with Dignity, Not Stigma – World Mental Health Day
October 10 is recognized globally as World Mental Health Day, with the goal to raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with mental health issues. Here’s a look at the toll COVID-19 has taken on mental health, and how you can find resources to help when you feel a change in your mental well-being.
COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health
The stress and isolation of COVID-19 has taken a toll on many, with some very significant patterns emerging as the pandemic continues. Kaiser Family Foundation polls showed 53% of US adults reporting the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and stress, up from 32% in pre-COVID March. For Americans already managing mental health conditions, COVID-19 increases challenges to their quality of life. And for those who were previously unaffected by chronic mental health issues, many are now coping with depressive episodes, anxiety, and panic attacks. The goal of World Mental Health Day is to end the social shame associated with mental health, making it easier for people to talk about it.
Be Aware of Your Mental Health
It’s important to recognize changes in your mental health and when to know it’s time to reach out for assistance. Here are some ways to stay on top of your mental well-being or know if something’s wrong that might need the help of a professional.
- Know what your mental health baseline feels like, so you can know when you’re experiencing something outside of your norm.
- Check in regularly with friends and loved ones who know you well. They might notice a change in your behavior, personality, or moods.
- Take note when you feel different in a journal, calendar, or message to a trusted person. Documentation can help mental health professionals decide on a course of action.
- Try to stick to your routines, like daily hygiene, eating regular meals, and maintaining sleep patterns. Note any significant changes to your routine, especially if they persist.
Prioritizing Your Mental Wellness
Mental wellness is a journey, one whose path changes every day. Which is why it’s good to know what your baseline feels like – and how to know when something is different. Here are some tips to help when you feel a change in your mental health.
- Try quieting some of the “brain chatter” with meditation.
- Take a moment for gratitude to re-center yourself.
- Give yourself – or someone who’s struggling – a little positive boost.
- Try a live stream to combat “COVID-19 Fatigue.”
- Physical health affects mental health – keep your immunity strong heading into flu season!
- Make sure to get enough rest, especially as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter.
- Switch up your diet to give your brain the nutrients it needs for optimal mental health function.
- Don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional when something’s wrong!
Use the resources below to explore how you can advocate for mental health issues and raise awareness. Little changes can add up to make a big difference – for you, your family and friends, and the customers you welcome to your business. Create “safe spaces” to listen without judgement, learn stress-management techniques, and get tips for COVID-coping. And don’t forget – there are wellness businesses, counselors, and life coaches offering one-on-one appointments, group sessions, and other services listed on the Vagaro Marketplace. Here are a few reputable sites with information to help you get started!
- World Health Organization (WHO) – Mental Well-Being Resources for the Public
- WHO Campaign – Healthy at Home, Connecting the World to Combat Coronavirus
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – Coronavirus Daily Life & Coping: Managing Stress and Anxiety
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – 9 Ways to Fight Mental Health Stigma
- Mental Health America – Screening Tools
- Michigan Medicine Depression Center – Self-Assessment Tools
Did you know that you can search the Vagaro Marketplace for mental health counselors, live stream guided meditations to combat anxiety, life coaches, and more? It’s true! More and more wellness professionals are taking a holistic, integrative approach to health care and offer complementary services – find them and book today!