May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Let’s talk about mental health. With anxiety disorders affecting more than 40 million adults nationwide, it’s important to keep an open dialogue on the topic, rather than brushing it under the rug out of discomfort. Mental health plays such an important role in our physical health, but in our go go go culture, we often neglect that aspect of wellness in favor of doing more and shoving our feelings aside until we can’t ignore them any longer.

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Of course, we know from research that anxiety, depression, and even loneliness can take a toll on our physical well-being. According to Mental Health America, “being lonely can cause the same amount of damage to your lifespan as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is more dangerous to health than obesity.” Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

I was excited to learn that Mental Health America offers a variety of resources to help, whether you struggle with mental illness or you are simply trying to make small, positive changes in your life. Their #4Mind4Body Challenge pertains to several areas of mental health, including fitness, mindfulness, sleep habits, and more. I have not yet participated, but I’m excited to incorporate some of these into my life as needed, especially with my Happiness Project nearly at the halfway mark. They also offer an online toolkit that you can download with other resources that may be helpful for you, as well as free and confidential screenings online to check your symptoms (especially if you’re dealing with chronic illness).

No matter what you’re struggling with, please know that you are not alone. You are a light in the world and you matter. You can always call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support regardless of what you’re going through. Someone is always there to help.

I write a lot about self-care on my blog, and wanted to point back to a few previous posts that may be a helpful resource.

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