Mental Health Awareness Month: Setting Self-Care In Motion

Hand holds a cutout of a brain with the word trauma, centered within a chalk outline of a head. San Jose Public Library logo.

BREATH.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  Adapted from one of Oprah’s daily self-care insights, this quote reminds me to breathe!  Just breathe!  Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), "mental health conditions are some of the most common health conditions in the United States?"  Since May is National Mental Health Awareness Month,I want to invite you to take a short reflective-reading journey with me.  Let us go!

How are You?

Do you recall the last time someone asked about your well-being?  Humans have an innate need to belong (family, community and the workplace); which is a key component of self-care.  Perhaps for some, self-care looks like taking time to do things that make you well mentally and physically.  If we incorporate self-care in our daily routines, we are more likely to improve our physical, emotional and psychological health.  In a national survey (Harvard Business Review: Karyn Waronite), Americans cited benefits of self-care as:

  • Enhanced Self-Confidence (64%)
  • Increased Productivity (67%)
  • Happiness (71%)

From a physical health perspective, the study revealed the benefits of self-care to include a reduction in heart disease, strokes, and cancer related illness.

Before we say goodbye, let us pause together and consider a few “take-action” steps.  We can begin today!  Your self-care goals might include taking care of your physical and psychological health.

Here are a few tips to consider as you create your self-care tool tote:

  • Practice Mindfulness
  • Take A Break
  • Practice the Power of No
  • Create a Self-Care Plan Checklist (use colored pencils)
  • Stretch and Tell Your Body: “I Gottchu!”

Where is Your Happy Place?

No need to answer right away.  Let us park right here and breathe.  Self-care is an ongoing journey.  I understand that rediscovering your creative confidence (Tom & David Kelley, Harvard Business Review) leads to a more peaceful and healthy mental state of being.  According to the research, most folks are born creative.  Perhaps creative thinking helps us deal with the “messy unknown” (fear).

If you are curious about accessing helpful information and resources on a variety of self-care and mental health topics, consider the following:

  • Your Local Library’s Collection & Database
  • Free Community Events (Libraries, Churches, Community Centers and Non-Profit Agencies)
  • Your Primary Doctor or Health Clinician
  • NAMI Mental Health Education

Did you know as a member of the San Jose Public Library TIROC (Trauma Informed Resilience Oriented Care) Team, I have opportunities to contribute to the development of responsive programs and services to meet the needs of our diverse patrons and staff?  Life is a journey, and approaching mental health as a journey (ebb & flow) may help you build resilience.  Let us practice self-awareness and learn!  Let us practice self-expression and grow!  Make self-care a priority and build connections along the way!

Happy Mental Health Awareness Month!  It's time to breathe...

Reading for Your Self-care Tool Tote!

Seasonal Self-Care Rituals, book cover
The Liberation Project, book cover
Healing With The Arts, book cover
Play Therapy Activities for Mindfulness, book cover
TRAUMATIZED, book cover
The Upside of Being Down, book cover

TIROC Blog Series

This blog is part of a series that focuses on being Trauma-Informed and Resilience-Oriented as part of the Library's efforts to embrace the TIROC principles in our interactions with you and with ourselves.