May is Mental Health Awareness Month
How to Prioritize Your Mental Health
Step 1. Recognize when you are on overload.
It's okay if you need a break. Take time to step away and have some personal "me" time. We all need to do this at some point in our lives and maybe we should do it more often. If you are starting to get more anxious, have trouble sleeping, have a change in diet habits, short-tempered, or suffering from physical distress-- now may be the time to listen to your body. Do something that puts you back in the right state of mind- balanced and healthy. Usually that's some form of exercise. You will be surprised how much better you feel after moving your body.
Step 2. Be willing to ask for help.
There is no shame in asking for help! Everyone feels overwhelmed or underequipped at some point in their lives. And you are no different. Are you in over your head on your job or have you bit off more than you can chew in your organization? Guess what? You are not alone. The good news is, there is usually someone available to mentor, guide, or help you when you need it. The catch is-- you must be willing to take the extra step and ask for help when you need it most. Make a decision that you will seek help and then look around you and see who is in the best position to help you now. Don't know anyone yourself? Ask a friend or someone you trust if they know of someone. Don't give up.
Step 3. Let Go of Guilt
Stop apologizing and agonizing about what you're not doing well. Instead, take some time to focus and position yourself to get back to optimal mental health. Spend time doing activities that build your mental strength and less time with those that tear you down. You can always be doing something better. Concentrate on the fact that you're doing the best you can at this moment. And figure what's your next best move- and do it. Without being judgmental and critical of yourself. When you stop giving in to the damaging thoughts and feelings you have about yourself, you will be amazed at the progress you're making moving in the right direction.
Yoshida J. Kirkwood, PA-C
AVOW Health and Wellness