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Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Awareness Month May

The month of May is dedicated to raise awareness of those living with mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience. Mental health impacts how you feel and act, how you handle stress, how you relate to others, and your ability to make healthy choices. It is important to take care of your mental health just like you do your physical health.  Find out more at Aha.org/mental-health-awareness-month

What Is Stress? 

Stress is a physical or mental response to an external source or event. It is important to learn how to cope with stress as having long periods of stress can lead to poor health outcomes such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.  
Physical signs of stress:

  • Headaches 
  • Low Energy 
  • Upset Stomach 
  • Trouble Sleeping 
  • Aches and Pains 

Strategies For Personal Self-Care 

It is important to take time for yourself. Self-care looks different for everyone, but it should be something you enjoy! 

  • Deep Breathing: There are many benefits of deep breathing such as reduced stress and anxiety. Deep breathing does not take much time and can be done throughout the day to help you reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Meditation: Mediation is a great way to calm your body and reduce stress. 
  • Exercise: There are many benefits of physical activity such as improved sleep, decreased depression or anxiety, and improved physical health.

Exercising Empowers the Body

Exercise and physical activity levels are different for everyone. Find what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine. Ideas include:

  • Walking 
  • Running 
  • Workout Videos: on platforms such as YouTube
  • Community Workout Classes: Lee Health provides several low-cost classes at their Healthy Life Centers 
  • Journaling: Taking time to journal your thoughts and experiences can help reduce stress and anxiety. Journaling your experience during your stay and transition home can give you another outlet to express and process information. You can look for specific prompts or simply just write what you are feeling. 

Finding Time for You 

  • Self-Care: is important but also very difficult because as a parent you have a lot of roles and responsibilities. 
  • Start Small: self-care does not have to be extravagant. If you are having trouble finding time for yourself start small. Set aside 10 minutes of the day and do something that you enjoy. 
  • Use a Calendar: Keep track of how you participate in self-care or use a calendar to help plan out your time. Block off a short period and try to stick to it. 
  • Seek Out Help: Family, friends, and community members are often willing to help and provide support when you need it.   
  • Support: Some caregivers find it meaningful to connect with others who have had similar experiences. When getting involved in a support group or community it is important to be surrounded by people who lift you up and not people who drain you. If you join a support group and decide it is not for you, it is okay to seek out other sources of support. This could be listening to a podcast, joining an online forum, or attending a support group. Check out our caregiver support resource.