As May comes to a close, so does mental health month. However, this does not mean the conversation about mental health should come to a close. Battling breast cancer takes a toll not only on one’s physical health, but also one’s mental health. It can be draining spending days, weeks, or months in hospital rooms during times of such uncertainty. It is important that during this period one can lean on support from family, friends, and the community, as well as access plenty of mental health resources. UBCF wants clients to feel empowered and supported on their journeys, not powerless and isolated.
That being said, here are some tips to practice good mental health habits this month and every month.
- Get enough sleep! Engaging in restful behavior during the night can rejuvenate your mood throughout the day. Additionally, your body repairs itself during sleep so you can wake up refreshed. They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason!
- Have a list of people you can count on: friends, family, and everyone in between. These are the individuals you can share your struggles and triumphs with. Putting energy towards strengthening these relationships is one of the best ways to ensure your mental health is taken care of.
- Hydrate! While we are always reminded of the importance of drinking enough water, oftentimes it can slip our minds. Lack of mental clarity, or brain fog, can result from dehydration. Increasing water intake lowers stress hormones and elevates mood boosting hormones like serotonin–who doesn’t want more of that?
- Remember that food is fuel! Added sugars can result in a groggy, heavy effect on the body. Instead, focus on eating whole, fresh, non-processed foods. This will leave you feeling better and ready to conquer the day. As Michael Pollen once said, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
- Keep a gratitude journal. Remind yourself of the little things you enjoy, such as a good book you’ve read or someone in your life you are grateful to keep close.
- Treat yourself- whether it is food from your favorite restaurant, or that new purse you may be eyeing, treating yourself every now and then is a simple gesture that can make a huge difference.
- Find a relaxing hobby: crocheting, reading, cooking, you name it!
- Join a community- online or IRL! Having a welcoming community or support group to share your thoughts, experiences, and jokes with can be a great outlet.
- Enjoy the outdoors.Try sitting on your porch and soaking up some vitamin D or go on a walk with a friend. Spending even just a little bit of time outdoors each day can brighten your mood.
- And lastly, do not hesitate to ask for help. It can be daunting to admit you need other people, but once you take that step, it can be a great relief to know you have a support system to turn to.
Here are some online mental health resources:
Crisis Text Line: Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling
Remember: You are not alone!
To learn more about UBCF, visit ubcf.org