May was Mental Health Awareness Month. Below are some key takeaways to continue exploring mental health awareness and self-care. 

We are not alone 

My most important takeaway from Mental Health Awareness Month is that we are not alone when we are living with a mental health condition. The Wellbeing Partners reports that “…half of the people across Omaha and Council Bluffs have experienced a mental health condition, yet over 40 percent report they would hide this from friends and family.” What does this mean to you? How does this change the way you view people with mental health conditions? 

We have support and it is okay to ask for help 

If you are looking for local resources and support, The Wellbeing Partners has a list of local wellbeing resources for people across our region. 

Our stories matter and sharing them helps reduce mental health stigma 

WhatMakesUs is helping to reduce mental health stigma by normalizing conversations about mental health through storytelling. Another way to support mental health stigma reduction is to submit a photo of your pet to Spokesimals Midwest where your pet’s photo is paired with encouraging and supportive facts about mental health.  

We can trust the “little things” that help us 

The “little things” are the things we know nourish our mental health and wellbeing. For me, the little things are writing a gratitude list, tending to my garden, riding my bike on nature trails, expressing myself through an art project, connecting with a good friend, gently taking a deep breath, spending time with family, and caring for my home space. What are some “little things” that nourish your mental health and wellbeing? 

Quality rest is essential for our mental health and wellbeing  

After extended or intense physical activity, we need rest and recovery. The same is true for screen time on social media, streaming television and movies, listening to audio, or working at the computer desk all day. To get quality rest, explore simple activities like mindfulness practices, relaxation techniques, or taking short naps. What are some “little things” that provide you rest, allow you recovery, and promote your overall wellbeing? 

To stay informed on The Wellbeing Partners’ resources and activities for Mental Health Awareness Month next year, sign up for our newsletter at https://www.thewellbeingpartners.org/newsletter/ and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn

References 

1. Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health. Harvard Health Publishing
https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health. Published March 18, 2019.  

2. The social dilemma: social media and your mental health. McLean Harvard Medical School Affiliate
https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health. Published February 9, 2021.  

3. Mindfulness exercises: see how mindfulness helps you live in the moment. The Mayo Clinic
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356.
Published September 15, 2020.  

4. Sleep tips: 6 steps to better sleep. The Mayo Clinichttps://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379. Published April 17, 2020.  

5. Join the conversation: the time to talk about mental health is now. The Wellbeing Partners
https://www.thewellbeingpartners.org/time-to-talk-week/.  

Published July 12, 2021