Take Time for Mental Health: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Kristy Pinedo, Managing Editor

May brings warmer weather, flowers in bloom, and the start of a new season, but it also marks the beginning of a more serious theme: mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been organized since 1949.

This is a time to show gratitude, check-in, give a little love to those who need it most, and celebrate healing from mental illness. It’s a month when “not being okay” is okay. We honor people who have been through hard times, improved their well-being, and learned how to make life better.

Raising awareness reduces the stigma and discrimination that come with having a mental illness and getting help for it. Good mental health is important for a healthy life, and if you don’t pay attention to your mental health, the problem(s) can get worse and worse. Awareness of mental health is a great way to learn more, get help, and help others. 

It’s important to discuss mental health. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

This year’s theme is  “Look Around, Look Within.” The goal for this year is to show how our homes, neighborhoods, cities, and nature can all affect our mental health. The world around us constantly influences our lives, and people naturally seek happiness by following the crowd and losing themselves in the process.

In reality, we end up disliking ourselves even more.  People often think they should change who they are in order to make other people happy instead of just being themselves and liking themselves without caring what other people think.

Some think the saying “Be You” is corny, but it’s important to realize that being yourself is the healthiest way to live. Some people will definitely not like you, but that’s okay. You should instead think about the people who love you for who you are. Instead of constantly caring about what others perceive you to be, you should instead seek groups where people will accept you and not judge you.  Take Action LA does exactly that. 

Take Action LA helps you find events where you can talk about your life and feel welcome and important. Take Action LA gives people a list of places where mental health awareness events will be held. Take Action LA is helping keep a supportive and conscious community when it comes to mental health. The events are different in various city locations. At “take action” events, people read poems, play games, eat food, talk about issues, make art, and share their experiences.

Mental Health Awareness Month is a great way for people to be noticed and cared for, but if you want to improve your mental health on your own, here are some things you can do. Thanks to technology, you can help yourself all while being in the comfort of your own home. You can now improve your mental health with just one click. Podcasts are a great and easy way of getting informed and finding relatable content. Podcasts, playing in the background, allow you to go on with your busy daily life while you are listening to new content. 

The green ribbon is the international symbol of mental health awareness
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Another great way to improve mental health is to meditate. Looking up sessions of self-care, love, and appreciation on YouTube (like this one from Headspace! Mini Meditation), meditating can make you feel better and give you a little more confidence.

Headspace is also one of the very cool apps that focuses on maintaining a healthy mental mindset just like the apps Calm and Breathe.

“Taking time to smell the flowers” is also a great way to improve your mental health by spending time in nature or a nearby park–being aware and being present is the best way to feel good.

Even though people don’t talk much about mental health, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If you don’t feel your best, that’s okay, but don’t think that you can’t get help. Many people with mental illnesses feel like they are the only ones who feel that way, but in fact, there are a lot of other people who feel the same way.

This month is very important because it helps people see that they’re not alone and that it’s okay to feel the way they do. Understanding one another is the most critical step toward a healthier, happier future for everyone, beginning with ourselves.