It’s more important than ever to pay attention to your mental health. Nearly half of Americans will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime, and the effects can be overwhelming for the individual as well as those around them. Whether you are struggling with mental health, or you are watching a loved one go through their own journey, here are some ways we can support ourselves and others:
- Don’t ignore it. We may think ignoring something will make it go away, but it usually leads to feelings of isolation. It’s important to open and maintain a supportive dialogue.
- Remember to be sensitive. Whether it’s you or a spouse who is struggling, phrase what you say and think more delicately so the atmosphere remains caring and supportive.
- Avoid toxic positivity. Being an ever-positive ray of sunshine will not make the negative feelings go away. Instead, it can foster feelings of shame or being misunderstood.
- Resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. If someone you know is coping with mental illness, giving advice that is not asked for can come off as patronizing, abrasive, and unhelpful. Sometimes lending an ear is all they are looking for.
- Validate. Whenever people are facing hardship of any kind, they want to feel seen, heard, and loved regardless of anything. Be understanding of those around you, and yourself when things get tough.
- Get vulnerable. Sometimes it can be hard to open up about mental health struggles. It’s important to seek help from professionals and loved ones.
- Make plans for something enjoyable. Sometimes depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can tell us lies about what will make us happy. Try simple, low-maintenance things you might enjoy, like going for a walk, playing a board game, or going for a massage.
- Know your limits. Struggling with mental health is never easy, be sure to seek help if it is more than you are able to cope with.
We know that mental illness can stem from many different things, or it can be the cause of an underlying problem, such as a hormonal imbalance. If you are struggling and aren’t sure where to turn, our office is here to help.