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Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as caring for the rest of your body. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we decided to pull together a guide of ways to ensure you are living mentally healthy while learning about the history of the day. Ready? Let’s begin!

History of Mental Health Awareness Month

Each May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, dating back to 1949. The Mental Health America organization, previously known as the National Committee of Mental Hygiene, was founded by Clifford Whittingham Beers. 

Growing up, Clifford was one of five children in his family who suffered from mental illness and psychological distress. All children spent time in mental institutions, and from those experiences, he realized that the mental health field had a bad reputation regarding malpractice, maltreatment, and bias. 

Beers wrote a novel, ‘A Mind That Found Itself’, an autobiography about his hospitalization and the abuses he suffered. This novel is still a bestseller today in educating individuals about mental illness and mistreatment in facilities.

Since then, Beers wanted to ensure mental health patients received proper care and felt supported in their fight against mental health diseases.

Each year since 1949, Mental Health America selects a theme to celebrate globally. Previous themes were Do More for 1 in 4, Nature, and Tools 2 Thrive

This year’s theme is Look Around, Look Within, encouraging individuals to dive deeper into their own genetics and neighborhood, learning how your environment influences your mental health. 

Learn More about this month’s theme on Mental Health American’s website here.

Five Tips to Live Mentally Healthy

Mental health is as important as physical health. Here are five tips to ensure you are taking care of your mind, as much as your body.

Manage Your Stress

Stress can lead to or heighten pre-existing mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders and depression. Learning how to manage your stress can help create a better lifestyle. 

Here are 10 tools the Mental Health America organization recommends to help manage stress.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest may be the last thing on your mind during busy seasons of life, but it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Setting a bedtime (yes, adults can have bedtimes, too), reducing caffeine consumption, and taking a short walk are all ways to improve your sleep quality.

Get Physically Active

Exercise is not just important for your physical health, but your mental health too. Exercise boosts your mood in several ways: it burns off stress hormones, relieves muscle tension, stimulates feel-good hormones, and more. A simple 30-minute walk can work wonders for your mental health!

Connect With Others

Feeling supported, valued, and connected plays a lot into your mood and mental health. This does not mean every connection has to be a tearful heart-to-heart; sometimes it is just laughing out loud with your friends. Scheduling lunch with a friend, volunteering, or joining a club are all great ways to strengthen relationships in your life. 

Stay Positive

Easier said than done: staying positive plays a huge role in your mental health. Constant worry-filled thoughts can drag down moods, actions, and even your health. Try to be optimistic in situations you may not have initially, show gratitude (especially to yourself and your accomplishments), and try to avoid negative thoughts, whenever possible. 

At Bryan University, we are here for you. 

At BU, students can connect on platforms like Yellowdig and Zoom to engage in course discussions and build relationships. Your faculty, staff, and peers are a support system here to help you every step of the way.

Learn more about Bryan U today!

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