You’re reading this because you want tips on how to be an advocate of mental health and wellness, and you’ve come to the right place! With May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, more discussions regarding mental health are happening.
Before you dive in, there are some do’s and don’ts you should know about whether you’re simply trying to spread awareness or you’re trying to spread awareness through your own experiences.
Here are 5 tips for advocating mental health and wellness mindfully!
1. Avoid invalidating emotions and experiences by centering yours.
When you enter a discussion that calls for you to answer or are reached out to for advice, it’s so easy to try to match your own experiences to the situation. For example, let’s say that Jenny saw a comment from someone who is struggling with depression. Jenny decides to reply with a paragraph about how she was in a similar situation along with a self care plan that worked for her.
The thing is, while circumstances may be similar, what each person processes emotionally and mentally is different. To center your own experience with unsolicited advice can alienate others because it begs the question, “Well if they were able to get through it like that, how come it’s so hard for me?” Additionally, offering unsolicited advice can give the idea to the reader that there’s no reason for them to be in the spot they are which is incredibly discouraging.
2. Do not force healing and forgiveness on others.
Every path has its stages that are unique. True healing comes from within and not at the drop of someone saying, “It’s time to let go.” That’s why, at Lovet Planners, when we’re sharing uplifting, positive content online, we do our best to clarify that the choices made on your path in self love and mental wellness are your own.
3. Remember the mind is more complex than a yoga pose.
For years, individuals struggling with mental health have all heard at least once some variation of “exercise is the best form of therapy”. It’s almost been treated like the default advice for people who are depressed but where does the energy to workout come from? Your mental wellness. The mind is more complex than a workout plan, and understanding that makes you a valuable advocate for mental health and wellness.
4. Be transparent when you’re taking care of your own battery.
If you’re advocating mental health and wellness online, authenticity is even more vital here. People want to know that they’re not alone in their struggles, and when you feel your own battery draining, it’s okay for you to step away. If you have the spoons for it, share your story with your followers.
5. Learn more about how you can advocate with NAMI.
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and they provide a range of sources for you to help spread awareness of mental health and stop stigmas. For 2021, NAMI invites you on the #NotAlone campaign asking you to share what makes you feel #NotAlone. More at this link.
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