Four things you can do right now to guard your mental health
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and advocates across the Gulf Coast are reaching out to help those in need. Mental health professional Charlotte Terrell joined us on Good Morning Mississippi to talk about this important topic that we’ll be touching on all month.
“I think that right now people are afraid, they’re feeling unheard. Because of the pandemic, they’ve been isolated... so whatever feelings you had before, now you’re feeling stuck,” Terrell said. “People are really apprehensive about sharing what’s going on and they’re just saddling the burden alone.”
Often times, people don’t want to be labeled with depression or anxiety, but acknowledging what exists can be the first step to healing.
“It’s okay to not be okay. We have this perception that we have to be perfect. Honey, Perfect Patty died, so let it go,” Terrell said with a smile.
“Understand that we’re not perfect, we do go though things, we do experience tense moments. We do have things that we’re fearful about and we’re concerned about, and it’s okay. Reach out and get some help. And give yourself some grace, as well.”
So how do you know if or when to ask for help? Terrell says there are some signs you should look for. Seek help if...
- You’ve had prolonged instances where you are down in the dumps and feeling blue, or feelings of sadness for a long period of time.
- You lose interest in, or aren’t enjoying activities that you used to enjoy.
- You feel you’ve checked out and just want to stay in bed.
Some first steps you can take on your own include:
- Take notice of the good things in your life, and be thankful. “I like to say, live a life of thanksliving,” Terrel said. “There are so many things we can complain about, but so many things we can be thankful for. So let’s start with being thankful.”
- Breathe and ponder your feelings. Think about not just what you’re feeling, but why you may be feeling that way.
- Pray or meditate. This is about being mindful, not necessarily religious, although many people may find comfort in practicing or studying their religion.
- Do something you enjoy, even if it’s just for five minutes a day. For example, blast a favorite song in your car and sing along.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional, coach, or counselor for help. WLOX has compiled a list of South Mississippi Mental Health resources to make finding the right person a little easier. See the full list here: https://www.wlox.com/page/south-mississippi-mental-health-resources/
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