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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Be Mindful of Your Mental Health

Janick Hickman, MS, is a mental health counselor with the Center for Hearing and Communication in Broward County, Florida.

Janick Hickman of CHC-FL is a mental heath counselor

Janick Hickman, Mental Health Counselor

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), millions of Americans live with a mental illness. The reality is that everyone may, at one time or another, face challenges that can negatively impact their mental health.

During these unprecedented and difficult times, physical distancing, isolation, financial strains, health fears, and family relationship strains can lead to an increase in anxiety, depression and stress. As such, it is so important, especially now, not only to be mindful of your physical health, but your mental health as well.

Acknowledging that there is a mental health concern, educating yourself about community resources and counseling available to you and connecting with local agencies such as the Center for Hearing and Communication for services and support are key steps to improving your mental health. Say “goodbye” to the stigma associated with talking about and addressing mental health and mental illness; empower yourself.

Role of Self-Care

Additionally, self-care cannot be ignored. Self-care is an activity that we do to take care of ourselves. It is done deliberately, the activity chosen brings with it joy and calming, and it addresses our mental and emotional health. Self-care techniques can be used to help you conquer the difficult moments to get you through the day.  Below are self-care tips from ADAA.

  1. Take a time-out. Listen to music, read a chapter of a book, meditate, do yoga, cook, or get crafty. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.

  2. Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.

  3. Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.

  4. Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.

  5. Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.

  6. Accept that you cannot control everything. Explore and identify things you can control and the things you cannot.

  7. Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.

  8. Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

  9. Learn what triggers your… (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression). Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal or take video notes about what was happening when you started feeling stressed or anxious and look for a pattern.

  10. Connect/talk to someone. FaceTime, video chat, text, email, phone call can all be used. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

  11. Be patient with yourself. It is okay to not be okay sometimes.

Have you self-cared today?

More information

For additional information and resources on coping skills during this difficult and unprecedented time, please click below to submit an inquiry to CHC in Florida or New York and we will direct it to the appropriate clinician who will get back to you.

Janick Hickman, MS, is a mental health counselor with the Center for Hearing and Communication in Broward County, Florida.

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