By Niku Sedarat
By now, many of us are aware of the importance of mental health in our daily lives. Not only does mental health impact our mood, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, but it also significantly impacts our physical health due to the tight-knit mind-body connection. Although it may be obvious to some people that our mental health is critical, many individuals don’t know how to prioritize their mental health in their own lives.
If that’s the case for you, you’re in the right place. As young children, we are naturally taught about how to prioritize our physical well-being. When we catch the flu, we are told to drink fluids, eat soup, and rest our body. Interestingly enough, we are not only taught to take care of ourselves when we are ill, but we’re also well-equipped to prevent such illnesses by caring for our physical health on a daily basis, from washing our hands to eating our fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, because of the stigmas attached to mental health, many of the conversations about prioritizing our mental health are nonexistent.
Now, it’s time to change the conversation and learn how to care for our mental health with the same affinity as our physical health using the “Three S’s of Prioritizing Mental Health.”
#1) Self Awareness
Self-awareness is the foundation of mental health and involves a deep understanding of your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is the conscious understanding of oneself, including your strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations.
#2) Self Care
In addition to practicing self-awareness, it's equally important to embrace yourself without judgment, acknowledging that everyone has strengths and areas for growth. Cultivate self-compassion, understanding that imperfections are a natural part of the human experience. Take deliberate actions to nurture your physical and mental health.
Rest and Nutrition:
Boundaries in Relationships:
Hobbies and Fun
#3) Self Advocacy
Self-advocacy involves actively speaking up for your own needs, desires, and well-being. It is a vital skill in prioritizing mental health, empowering you to be assertive, seek support, and navigate challenges effectively.
Identifying Your Needs:
Educate Yourself and Others:
Prioritizing mental health can be portrayed as a very intricate task, requiring tools such as money that not everyone has immediate access to. But, by using the “Five S’s of Prioritizing Mental Health” by Unité, we can easily implement mental health as a pillar of our daily lives.