Back To Basics: How to Support Your Mental Health In Stressful Times
Mental health has been a hot topic over the last few years. That’s for good reason—1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental health conditions each year, and half of all U.S. adults will have one in their lifetimes. Right now, mental health statistics show about 44 million adults in the U.S. are living with mental illness.
Each year in May, groups nationwide join forces to commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal is to shine a light on mental health issues and help reduce stigma, which makes people hesitant to seek help or even bring up the subject with family or friends.
Since the start of the pandemic, mental health has gotten more and more attention. The anxiety stress, isolation and uncertainty of the last two years have taken a toll on our collective emotional wellbeing.
Read on for tools and tips on how to support your own mental health and help those you care about.
History of Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S.
First celebrated in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month grew out of an effort by Clifford Whittingham Beers. Beers founded what is now known as Mental Health America and wrote the bestselling book, “A Mind That Found Itself.”
Each year, the organization selects a specific theme to highlight. For 2022, the theme is “Back to Basics.” This theme was chosen to provide foundational knowledge about mental health and information on what people can do if they’re concerned about themselves or a loved one.
Mental Health America identifies the following risk factors for mental health conditions:
- Trauma, either a one-time event or ongoing
- Your environment—financial stability, health care access, etc. and how that impacts your health and quality of life
- Brain chemistry
- Habits and lifestyle, such as lack of sleep
4 Questions to Self-Assess Your Mental Health
It can be tough to talk about mental health, but acknowledging you may have a problem is the first step. Mental Health America recommends asking yourself these questions if you’re concerned about your mental health:
- Have things that used to feel easy started feeling difficult?
- Does the idea of doing daily tasks like making your bed now feel really, really hard?
- Have you lost interest in activities and hobbies you used to enjoy?
- Do you feel irritated, possibly to the point of lashing out at people you care about?
Other early warning signs of mental illness can include:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from people you usually spend time with
- Having lower energy
- Feeling hopeless
- Using alcohol or drugs more than usual
- Having thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices you know aren’t there
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
The organization also offers a free online screening at https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools/ to help you evaluate how you’re feeling and connect with resources to help.
How to Find Help
If you’re experiencing signs of mental illness, take it as seriously as if you had signs of a physical illness. Ask a trained professional for help. Your primary health care provider can connect you with local resources.
Additionally, organizations like NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Mental Health America, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing have online resources and tips for supporting mental health.
7 Tips for Supporting Mental Health Naturally
Stress management is an important part of mental wellness. There are many natural methods that can help with stress and anxiety relief. These stress relief tips are typically safe to use along with conventional medical treatment for mental illness, but always talk with your health care provider first.
- Exercise to burn off anxious energy and get an endorphin boost.
- Meditate to slow racing thoughts and increase mindfulness.
- Journal your thoughts to help cope with anxiety.
- Try aromatherapy, especially lavender, to promote relaxation and sleep.
- Get massage therapy to loosen anxiety-tightened muscles.
- Spend time with pets, which research has shown can benefit people with anxiety and other issues.
- Drink herbal teas or supplements, especially chamomile tea, to help with anxiety and promote sleep.
Natural Supplements for Mental Health
People seeking a safe, natural approach to mental health have many options, including homeopathic medicines and herbal remedies.
Mindsoothe™ is one of our favorite herbal supplements formulated to support moods. It supports the brain’s ability to maintain production of important brain chemicals and hormones that promote mental well-being. MindSoothe™ is 100% safe and natural, with no harmful side effects or risk of addiction.
Other natural favorites include Cali-Brate™, an herbal supplement for brain and emotional balance, and MoodCalm™, a homeopathic remedy for emotional outbursts, mood swings and agitation. See all our favorites for mental health support here.
Hemp/CBD tinctures support the endocannabinoid system, which supports bodily functions including mood, sleep and memory. Native Remedies CBD products can be found here.
Positive mental health helps people cope with everyday stress, work productively, contribute positively to their communities and reach their full potential. May is a great time to refocus on staying mentally healthy all year long.
5 Herbs for Stress and Anxiety https://nativeremedies.blog/2020/09/14/5-herbs-for-stress-and-anxiety/
January is National CBD Month! https://nativeremedies.blog/2022/01/01/january-is-national-cbd-month/
- “Mental Health Awareness Month.” NAMI, National Alliance of Mental Illness. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Awareness-Month
- “Mental Health Awareness Month 2022.” National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/mental-health-awareness-month/
- “Mental Health Awareness Month – May 2022.” National Today. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://nationaltoday.com/mental-health-awareness-month/
- “What Is Mental Health?” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health
- Villines, Z. “How To Treat Anxiety Naturally.” Medical News Today. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322396
- “Back to Basics.” MHA Mental Health America. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.mhanational.org/mental-health-month