May Flowers and Mental Health

Welcome to the month of May, also known as Mental Health Month.

Sure, maintaining mental health is an ongoing job, not just a 31-day campaign. But May is a jumbo-size national reminder, a billboard of sorts for mental and emotional wellness.Mental-Health-Month[1]

President Obama even signed a proclamation declaring May “Mental Health Awareness Month.” His statement included the following:

For many, getting help starts with a conversation. People who believe they may be suffering from a mental health condition should talk about it with someone they trust and consult a health care provider. As a Nation, it is up to all of us to know the signs of mental health issues and lend a hand to those who are struggling.

Well said. We might add that words like “suffering,” “struggling,” and “those”  perhaps perpetuate negative stereotypes. If we were President—which, of course, we’re not—we might play with the wording:

For many, finding support starts with a conversation. People who believe they may have a mental health challenge might talk about it with someone they trust and consult a health care provider. We all face obstacles at times, and knowing the signs of mental health issues allows us to help ourselves and others.

Our favorite aspect of Mental Health Month is the daily tip offered by Mental Health America. Click here to access all the tips for May. Consider writing each day’s tip on a sticky note and posting it on your bathroom mirror first thing in the morning. Then live the words.

Here are the tips for May 1-10:

1) Call or e-mail a good friend.

2) Reminisce about something hilarious that you’ve seen or done.

3) Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

4) Hold doors open for people.

5) Swap your normal cup of coffee for decaf.

6) Spend ten minutes on a funny website.

7) Eat a salad for lunch or dinner.

8) Take care of your spirit through religion, meditation, or connecting to what you find meaningful.

9) Try to identify the positive aspects of a challenging situation or circumstance.

10) Take ten minutes out of your work day to take a break; consider taking a walk.

And we’ll add one of our own, in celebration of May, spring flowers, and the beauty of growth:

Find a flower—breathe in the smell, notice the color and texture, touch the stem and petals; carry the memory of that flower for the rest of the day.

Tulips[1]

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