Take Advantage of Mental Health Awareness Month!

Not only is summer just upon us, but May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to take just 15 minutes out of your morning to improve your mental health and start your day off right! “Whether you have a specific concern or are just trying to get through your day a little better, taking about 15 minutes each morning to maintain your mental health is something everyone could benefit from,” said Broderick Sawyer, who is a clinical psychologist in Louisville, Kentucky (CNN).

There are so many activities to try that promote calmness and lower cortisol levels, which is the main stress hormone. One way you could use your 15 minutes is by meditating or doing yoga in the morning to really focus and lock in on your inner well-being. If you are more of an active or outdoors person, try going for a morning walk, or even a run. That time will allow you to clear the thoughts in your mind and focus on what is happening in the moment. Though what you just read might sound like something you would enjoy, everyone is different, so the important thing to remember is to keep trying new things until one becomes comfortable for you. 

When starting this new morning routine, journaling can help as well. After trying a new activity, write down how you felt during and after the activity and record how you felt the rest of the day. By doing this, you will find what works best for you. Journaling can also be beneficial by acting as a personal therapist whenever you need it. Using your journal to rant and express feelings, even if it’s just on paper, can help you overcome stressful situations and have an overall more positive mood throughout the day. 

Soon enough, that 15 minutes will feel like nothing and just be a part of your daily routine. And once you feel comfortable with your morning routine, you should think about your nightly routine. Establishing a wind-down period before you fall asleep, like turning off the screens, will help your mind and body decompress from the day and allow you to get a good night’s rest so that you are ready to do it all again in the morning!