It’s been a challenging couple of years navigating a global pandemic, economic challenges and traumatic events. Many people have struggled and our collective mental health has taken a hit.
May is Mental Health Month – a moment to raise awareness of mental health, individual struggles and the need for collective actions. More than one in five women are living with mental health conditions in the U.S. What does this tell us? Mental health challenges are more common than you think and you’re not alone.
For many, recognizing the symptoms of a mental health issue and asking for help can be the biggest hurdle. Many people spend too long trying to “tough things out” or simply ignore the warning signs.
Symptoms don’t always seem like an emergency and can be subtle, like insomnia, a change in your eating habits, reduction in activities or social withdrawal. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety, depression, excessive worrying or generally feeling overwhelmed, these may be indicators it’s time to check up on your mental health. Here are some ways to stay on top of mental health and determine if it’s time to seek help.
Have you been feeling like yourself? Increased stress or anxiety is understandable during difficult times, but knowing when these symptoms are warning signs is critical. Check in with yourself often and monitor how you’re feeling. If you’re noticing persistent problems like trouble sleeping, feelings of hopelessness or more, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider for mental health resources or extra support.
Losing interest in things or people you love. Have you become less interested in activities you previously enjoyed or find yourself withdrawing from loved ones? This may be a sign of depression. Losing motivation to do things that once made you happy or avoiding social situations you’d normally like can signal it’s time to seek help.
Struggling to regulate thoughts and feelings. If you find yourself snapping at loved ones more easily or becoming irritable over small things, these mood changes may be connected to your mental health. It’s normal to have bad days, but if these mood swings are beginning to affect your daily life and relationships they could be a warning sign of depression or anxiety.
The first step to regaining your mental well-being is reaching out for help. Talking about our mental health isn’t easy. But it’s okay to not be okay, and you deserve to feel better.