May: Mental Health Month

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 53 – 5/4/15

May is Mental Health month, sponsored by the Mental Health America website. This is a subject that is dear to my heart – not only did my father struggled with an undiagnosed mental illness throughout his life (along with the additional burden of alcoholism); but I’ve suffered from dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder) in the past. 

The theme for this year’s observance is B4Stage4, focusing on early intervention for mental health problems.  

This month, I plan on devoting several posts to mental health topics.  Please help me, along with Mental Health America, spread the word about taking care of our mental health, and helping loved ones when they need it.   

Check out this YouTube video to find out more about MHA’s B4Stage4 campaign. 

Do you tweet?  Please spread the word at Twitter:  

  • May is Mental Health Month #mhmonth2015 Let’s raise awareness! #B4Stage4
  • Don’t be afraid to ask 4 help, get #screened & start the conversation early: mhascreening.org  #B4Stage4 #MHMonth2015

Are you on Facebook? You can create awareness by posting:

(1) Learn the early warning signs.  When you or someone close to you starts to experience the early warning signs of mental illness, knowing what these changes are will help to catch them early. Often times, parents, teachers and mentors are the first person to step in to support a person through these early changes. Learn the warning signs #B4Stage4 http://bit.ly/1Agy9v3

(2) Intervening effectively during early stages of mental illness can save lives and change the trajectories of people living with mental illnesses. Support @mentalhealthamerica and the #B4Stage4 campaign Get #screened, www. mhascreening.org

Visit the Mental Health America website for more FB and Twitter options. 

 

7 Ways to Enhance your Mental Health in 2015

Bea’s Wellness Project – Day 6 – 1/16/15

  •  Learn something new. Bea recently decided to learn how to play the keyboard. There was a perfectly good keyboard sitting in her basement, just taking up space. So Bea thought, “What the heck; I always wanted to play the piano as a kid, why not give this a whirl?” So far, she’s gotten the keyboard upstairs and now it’s taking up space in her computer room. Little steps, folks, little steps.
  • Get a good laugh each day – and by good laugh, I mean a belly laugh! We grown-ups just don’t laugh enough. What’s not to like about laughing? It’s good for our mental and physical health, and reduces tension and stress.  At Funnywebsite you can sign up for a daily newsletter.   If you enjoy work humor, try Dilbert.  You can also find some funny boards at Pinterest.
  • Sing in your shower or out loud in your car along with your favorite music. There’s no research on it (or maybe there is, but Bea has never googled it), but it’s simply fun and who the heck cares if people in other cars look at you like your crazy? At least you’re not road raging!
  • Feeling down in the dumps? Give a friend a call!  It seems like more of a woman thing, but friendships are important for men, too. Friendship is good for your social wellness; isolation is bad for our mental health, especially as we age.

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  • Do something kind for someone without them knowing it. Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, found in her research that performing acts of kindness promotes social wellness not only in the receiver, but the giver as well.
  • Avoid gloom and doom people (admit it, you know at least one who drives you crazy with their whining) and people who make you feel lousy about yourself. You deserve better.
  • Did you know that being productive can make you happier? Simple things like getting outside in the winter to shovel the snow; planting a garden in the spring, or making a pot of homemade soup can lower stress levels and give us a sense of well-being, according to researchers.

Sources:

Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The How of Happiness. 2007. Penguin Press. New York, NY.

Newman, Catherine. Want to be Happier? From Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. July 2011.

For further reading:

How can you improve your mental health and well-being in 2015?