May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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During May, the MEND program joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Emotional well-being is especially important during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has put the world on hold and forced most of us to stay indoors.

According to a recent Kaiser Foundation poll, more than half of Americans feel that the pandemic is harming their mental health.  The impact on our emotional health stems not only from the fear and losses we may have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic itself, but also from being home-bound and away from our daily routines.

Below, are practical, attainable tips for how to tackle stress and stay emotionally healthy during these months of uncertainty.

Creating Healthy Habits

  • Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day. The link between physical movement and psychological health is well-established, and everybody “knows” they should probably exercise more. Now that much of the world’s population is forced to stay home, this is probably truer than ever before.
  • Stay away from toxic thoughts, toxic people, and toxic conversations. Engage in positive emotional connectiveness through virtual activities such as joining a virtual book club, or having a virtual lunch with a friend or family member.
  • Reflect and redefine how to bring fulfillment and meaning into your life through connections to what is meaningful to you and by creating new ways to fulfill those desires.
  • Maintain structure by creating a schedule of your sleep habits and daily activities. By creating a schedule, you will be accountable for your own time.
  • Being safe is about physical distance, not social distance. Feeling connected to other people goes beyond mere physical contact. Instead, it’s about being emotionally available for others, having people who are emotionally available to you, and knowing you share the same humanity and the same human experiences with billions of people all around the world.

If you are struggling to manage your emotional health, reach out for support. You are not alone!

For assistance with referrals and resources, contact MEND at (212) 366-7590 or MEND@NYCCBF.org. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

For more information about mental health, you can visit www.mhanational.org/.