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5 min read

18 Ways to Take Care of Yourself and Others This Mental Health Awareness Month

May 5, 2021

DadandDaughterWateringPlants

So much has happened in 2020 and now into 2021 where we have faced new challenges, less connection, and larger division, which is impacting how we feel. With May being Mental Health Awareness month, it gives us the time to shift our focus to our own wellness and those around us whether at home, at work, or in our communities. Here are 18 ways to inspire you to do just that.

  1. Give yourself some space for self-care. The foundation of a kinder world starts with taking care of ourselves, then we are better equipped to take care of ourselves and others. Being a caring person during these challenging times, we can forget the importance of caring for ourselves. 
  2. Bring more wellness, joy and ease into your busy lives by listening to a recent panel of a diverse group of women leaders and experts and hear about their personal journeys and practices.
  3. Find ways to cope. Try things on and see what works.
  4. Explore ways to get healthier by helping others.
  5. See how COVID-19 has impacted employee wellness and find ways to engage virtual employees.
  6. Promote mental well-being at your work. See how you can be a part of creating a healthier environment at work.
  7. Give the gift of listening and provide an empathetic ear to people who need it.
  8. Find ways within your organization to utilize data and technology for social impact at Good Tech Fest.
  9. Get social impact tips, tactics and trends and learn from top brands and nonprofits and what they are doing during the pandemic to make a difference in their communities at Engage for Good. Save $35 off your ticket by using the VolunteerMatch discount code: VM35.
  10. Help uplift your community and yourself. According to The Doing Good is Good for You Study conducted by VolunteerMatch in partnership with UnitedHealthcare, 75% of U.S. adults reported feeling physically healthier by volunteering, 79% reported lower stress levels, and 93% reported an improved mood. With guides now available in 20 major metropolitan areas, explore ways to volunteer locally
  11. Lend a sympathetic ear. Given the additional pressures of the ongoing worry about the pandemic and its impacts which are disproportionately hitting BIPOC communities, many people are having an even more difficult time than usual. Become a virtual volunteer to help promote mental well-being and prevent suicide.
  12. Shop to donate and support the featured May Match Studio artist Lena Gray, who uses her creativity as a force for self-expression, and then turns the brush to uplift others. She began pursuing art as a method of expressing her gender transition and creates illustrations and paintings that provide empowering and reflective imagery of trans people of color that is often absent in popular media. The proceeds from your purchase support Trans Lifeline, a grassroots hotline and microgrants non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis – for the trans community, by the trans community. 
  13. Be inspired by stories of kindness, decency, and the power of community in America. Relax and spend some time with your family watching the movie THE ANTIDOTE
  14. Enjoy listening to a special recording of the iconic hit "Shine" from Ed Roland and Collective Soul on the Project Shine website and taking a little time to relax and reflect — and think about what you can do to be a beacon of hope in your community in 2021.
  15. Support those who are struggling. Suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ youth are higher. A study that looked at suicide rates among teens between 2009 and 2017 found young people who didn’t identify as heterosexual were more than three times as likely as those who did to attempt suicide. Find ways to be there for someone who needs it the most and help prevent suicide.
  16. Connect with a senior. As we honor Older Americans Month, you and your family can provide companionship to an isolated senior you don’t know with a short phone call, a letter, or virtual visit to brighten a person's day. They may give you and your family a new perspective that may brighten your day as well!
  17. Help end the isolation and fear that many people who question their sexuality and/or gender identity go through. Transgender people are up to three times more likely than the general population to be diagnosed with, or self-report, mental disorders, and a recent study found that transgender women of color reported an increase in depressive symptoms when exposed to transphobic and racist events.
  18. As we honor AAPI Heritage month and with the increase in violence we are seeing against the AAPI community, you may be looking for ways to stop #AAPIHate and creating a kinder world. Be a part of eGirl Power’s initiative to help #StopAAPIHate and #StopAsianHate with a focus on stopping hatred and violence against Asian women and girls.
Erin Halley

Written by Erin Halley

Erin Halley is the VP of Marketing & Advocacy for VolunteerMatch. She is passionate about making a positive impact and contributing to a better world. She has extensive experience in marketing from digital to events to tradeshows. Her background includes marketing for an international consumer electronics company, a leading national health advocacy nonprofit, a well-known healthcare institution and an arts non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bike and doing yoga.

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