May is certainly a very busy month for spreading awareness and celebrating cultures, but today we’re going to be talking about Mental Health Awareness. Not to sound like a cliche fast food ad, but the past year was real trying times, and I know that keeping up with your mental health has been a difficult thing to do. (Especially when it can be difficult to get access to mental health care.) This post is not going to be a substitute for seeing a real mental health care professional, but I want to be able to give you some tools to check in with yourself and ways to try to keep your mind healthy.
- Learn to recognize when your internal monologue is being negative and remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Learning to switch the voice in your head from negative to positive can be difficult, but can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.
- Eat healthy and drink water. I’m not saying you have to chug the jug all day, in fact it’s not healthy to be over hydrated, just drink water when you’re feeling thirsty. Your kidneys know what’s best for you.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. On average someone between the ages of 13-18 needs about 8-10 hours of sleep a night, which I know can be hard with trying to juggle school, a personal life, and sometimes a job. Your body still needs rest and keeping your body rested can help keep your mind clear.
- Take up a hobby! Something that is either just for you or something that can be shared with others, just as long as it is something that makes you happy or keeps your mind engaged.
- Surround yourself with good people. If the friends around you are making you feel bad or are not supportive, that can make it difficult to keep yourself happy (and honestly they sound like bad friends to me).
- I know it may be hard, but if you feel yourself struggling, reach out to someone you trust. There is no shame in asking for help when you’re in a bad place and there is always someone out there who will want to help you.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s important to keep an eye on both. If you’re ever in the library, we just started carrying mental health kits in the teen areas so you can read about different mental health issues.
Shifting the tone a little bit, all of the libraries are open again! You can check out the temporary hours on the homepage, but we’re going to be starting up in-person programming in June (just in time for our Summer Reading Program!) The whole teen department here is so excited to see you all again, and we hope to see you soon!