I know what you’re thinking. I do – I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again (and again) – I know what you’re thinking, because I’m psychic. Or am I psychotic? I keep forgetting (damn you brainfog!)…
In all serious, you’re probably wondering “What the f-k does WMHD mean?” Ok, maybe not, because not everyone has a potty mouth, and at least one of you is already familiar with the acronym (I’m talking to YOU, smarty pants) – but just in case you didn’t know, it’s not What Might Help Daddy or Where Mom Hides Drugs (not that I have any to hide, in case you were wondering). Today is World Mental Health Day. From Wikipedia:
“World Mental health Day (10 October) is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide.” Today also marks the last day of Mental Illness Awareness Week.
In 2017 the National Institute of Mental Health estimated that nearly one in five U.S. adults lived with a mental illness – but, as reported in this GMA article, experts are worried about the recent rise in mental health issues. According to a nationwide poll by the Kaiser Family Foundations, “more than half of U.S. adults (about 53%) reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the pandemic” (and layoffs, and global warming, and increased hate crimes). The article goes on to say that “13% of adults had started or increased alcohol consumption or drug use to help cope with the pandemic and 11% of all adults, and 25% of those 18 to 24 had seriously considered suicide in the past month.”
The numbers in the UK are’t any better. Mind’s latest research showed that more than 60% of adults and 68% of young people in the UK felt their mental health deteriorated during the Coronavirus pandemic and lock-down.
I know what you’re thinking (I do – haven’t you forgotten already?). “Thanks for the dose of doom and gloom” (told you I’m psychic).
While the data from their first article is depressing, today’s post by Katie Kindelan lists 9 ways to boost your mental health. Here are my top 4:
- Set a time limit for news (better yet, watch Some Good News with John Krasinksi again).
- Designate a daily worry time. “I’ll give myself 20 minutes a day where I’m allowed to think about whatever I want and worry about whatever I want…if any worries or anxieties come up at other points of the day, I’m not allowed to dwell on them..I save them for the next day’s worry time.”
- Connect to your senses. “Do activities that connect you with your senses, whether that’s exercise or it could be meditation or even cooking…anything that has you connect with your body is going to help you get out of your mind and reduce anxiety.”
- Know when to seek help. “Depression and anxiety can show up in many different forms, but some of the signs can include difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, changes in appetite, a sense of hopelessness or meaninglessness, or even thoughts that you don’t want to live any more.” If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
In my research for today’s post, I came across a video that made me cry and I hate crying alone, so I had to share:
It’s vital that we work together to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. To paraphrase (ok, steal) from the video, too often people suffer in silence, die in silence, life in silence, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Together we can make life more manageable, but we still have a long way to travel.
The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day is “Do One Thing” for better mental health – either by doing something for yourself or reaching out to someone else. Abintergro suggests we start small, either by going for a walk or trying a new hobby.*
I believe the “something small” should be remembering that our perceived differences are so much smaller than the things we have in common. We need to remember that We Are All Human and that Love is Love.
obsession hobby is drawing. Here is my morning Pooh (capital P – not that I’m judging, everyone poops).
One last video on WMHD from two of my favorite men