Earlier this month, people around the globe acknowledged World Mental Health Day.
It occurs every year on October 10th. However, every day should be Mental Health Day—a day for global health education, awareness, and advocacy against the social stigma of mental health issues.
There is a need for a call to action, especially due to the mental health stresses of COVID-19 and how it has been affecting our overall mental health. The added addition of forced lifestyle changes from social distancing, wearing masks, and changes in work and school habits, has created an added burden on our mental health.
Statistics are staggering. Close to one billion people have a mental disorder, and anyone, anywhere, can be affected. Depression, anxiety, and substance use are some of the most common mental health conditions.
The theme for World Mental Health Day 2020 was: Greater Investment—Greater Access.
The importance of mental health and well-being has been brought to the forefront this year with the worldwide consequences of COVID-19. The stressors and fears are heavy burdens.
One of the greatest investments we can make is our own mental health practices. That is where mindfulness comes in to play. A daily practice of simple mindfulness techniques can bring forth change faster than any other action you can take.
Mindfulness is simply being aware of your thoughts—without judgment. That, right there, is the beginning step to breaking the stigma of mental health issues. It is the judgment and shame that creates barriers, especially within ourselves.
The more we practice, the more we invest in ourselves. It is one of the best self-care tools we can maintain on a daily basis. Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness through a gentle and kind lens of focus.
We pay attention to our thoughts instead of following the runaway train that drags us down the tracks of stress. We can halt the anxiety and stress from the things that are out of our control.
Mindfulness is an easy-access method for mental health and the greatest investment we can make.
Today is the day for a call to action—to do your part.
It is as simple as sitting still with yourself for just a few minutes. Take a deep breath. Notice your thoughts. Notice what you say to yourself.
Now how can you change that to non-judgment? Be kind, be compassionate, and be aware of this moment.
It all starts with you!
“Be the change you want to see in this world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi