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As we move into May and Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to take a step back to appreciate what this means. Mental Health Awareness Month is all about recognizing the reality many people face in living with a mental illness: This includes the often challenging routes to improving one’s emotional and mental well being, the stigma associated with mental health issues, and the path to receiving support. This month is a great opportunity to share stories of struggles, reach out to those in need, and take positive steps for your own mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness

What exactly is mental health awareness? Simply put, it’s recognizing that some people struggle with mental health problems, and reducing its associated stigma. After a difficult past year for most, many people can relate to feelings of stress and anxiety. Here at LivBar, we can understand how stressful everyday life can be for many and how challenging it can be to manage this stress.

The National Alliance on Mental Health, NAMI, dedicates May as Mental Health Awareness Month in an effort to, quite simply, raise awareness about mental health. As many people deal with stress on a day-to-day basis, this can take a toll on your mental health. Managing stress, anxiety, and resulting irritability in turn will manage and maintain your mental and emotional well being! Mental health awareness includes fighting the stigma associated with mental health struggles, which hinders some people from reaching out for help.

For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI is focusing on the message “You Are Not Alone,” in that many people struggle with anxiety. It's ok to not feel ok— and to reach out for help and connections with others who can relate. 

Stress Management In Your Life 

When considering the stress management in your life, simply take it one step at a time. Reducing stress is likely easier said than done, but there are steps you can take to ease your anxiety and overall improve your mental and emotional wellbeing.

  • Get outside: Imagine that fresh air, beautiful blooms and greenery, and the sound of chirping birds! Spending time outdoors and in nature has long been a good stress management tool because you can simply slow down and enjoy the little things in life. 
  • Talk it out: Here at LivBar, we understand the challenges that come along with talking it out, and encourage you to do so regardless! Talking about what’s bothering you or how you’ve practiced stress management is important to making positive changes in your life. This can be with friends and family, or a professional through teletherapy, which is simply talk therapy over the phone or internet rather than in person.
  • Move your body: Exercising is widely popular as a stress reliever and anxiety reducer. A short jog, slow walk, or your favorite sports activity is all you need to get your body moving and feel stimulated! You can even double-down on your stress by taking a walk outside (remember that fresh air and blooming flowers?).
  • Try a mindless hobby: When some people feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed, even the hobbies they tend to enjoy may seem like too much to handle. Try settling down with a small puzzle, a coloring book (they’re certainly not just for kids!), or an entertaining podcast for something new and refreshing.

For some tips on maintaining your overall health and wellness in a challenging time for many, take a peek at LivBar’s still-relevant 10 Tips for Staying Healthy In a Pandemic

Where to Find Mental Health Resources

As it becomes more common for people to talk about being stressed and struggling with mental health, there are a variety of mental health resources available for help. Dealing with mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, and more doesn’t have to be lonely or an even more stressful struggle. While many health insurance companies offer such associated services, you can find alternatives online or within your own community. 

If you’re not interested in talking to a counselor, NAMI encourages you to share your story and read about others so everyone knows they are not alone. But several hotlines and ‘warmlines’ are often available for you to simply chat with someone over the phone or via text chat. For emotion support warmlines, check out this list by NAMI. And for additional resources and information, check out the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. This includes other mental health resources like group message boards, literature, and other approaches to improving mental health.

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