May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health is important for adults and youth. As we go into this month, we will be focusing on the youth aspects of Mental Health and talking mainly about Self-Maintenance. A huge part of Self-Maintenance is taking care of one’s mental health. We previously posted an article aimed at parents discussing what they can do to help ease their child’s anxiety about COVID19 (you can view that article here). But what about you, the youths? What can you do?
First, it is important that you stay connected to the people important in your life. Now, we are NOT recommending going against social distancing rules, but technology can ease that divide for us. FaceTime your friends. Don’t have FaceTime? Skype, Zoom, or actually call them! Spend time with your family. You will never get more time with your family than you do right now, try to enjoy it. Come up with family game nights or movie nights and discuss them with your parents. Have family you can’t hang out with right now, try setting a virtual meet up with them. I love doing a Netflix Watch party with my sister. If you have Netflix, you just have to download an extension on your computer and you are ready to watch.
Next, it is important to focus on the positive. We know that there were a lot of important and fun things that you had planned for March, April, and May that probably didn’t or won’t happen – believe me, we had plans too – but we have to look for the positives. Virtual classwork is, most of the time, a lot more flexible that actually going to school. Plus, you can stay in pajamas ALL DAY LONG! All those end of course exams and standardized tests – they have all been banished for the year! Are you healthy? That’s a win – focus on that! Everyday find something positive to focus on.
Finally, we suggest making Mental Health a priority when you are doing your self-checks. Are you mentally where you want to be? If not, engage in some maintenance to bring you back into your “normal” mental health range (get more information on self-checks and maintenance by checking out our Student Home Page). And remember when we are talking about maintenance, sometimes we are so far from our normal that we need to get the experts involved. There is nothing wrong with that. If your self-check shows you need to get someone else involved to get you back to your “normal” or acceptable range – find the right expert and let them do their job. We all have areas we need expert help on.
Our partners in health, Peace River Center are highlighting Mental Health Awareness month too. We invite you to follow them on social media and check out their Streamlines publication. Also, we encourage you to participate in #weargreenforPRC by wearing green on May 6th to promote the importance of Mental Health. Make sure you take pictures of yourself in your green and post it on social media using #weargreenforPRC #hrhniMAD #MentalHealthMatters #MentalAwarenessMonth so we can see your beautiful faces!
Got any more suggestions for caring for your Mental Health? We would love to hear them. Drop them in the comments below or send us a message! Stay well!