I think we can all agree that mental health and wellness means a little something different to all of us this year.
We have all seen it, heard about it from our loved ones, and experienced the mental toll ourselves. Increased loneliness, remote working stress, caring for others as they battle illness, at-home daycare stress, the list goes on.
The impact of COVID-19 on mental health cannot be ignored. Mental Health America recently published their 2021 The State of Mental Health in America report using responses from over 1.5 million people who have taken an MHA Screening from January to September 2020. The results are astounding:
- The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed. From January to September 2020, 315,220 people took the anxiety screen, a 93% increase over the 2019 total number of anxiety screens. 534,784 people took the depression screen, a 62% increase over the 2019 total number of depression screens.
- More people are reporting frequent thoughts of suicide and self-harm than have ever been recorded in the MHA Screening program since its launch in 2014. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread rapidly in March 2020, over 178,000 people have reported frequent suicidal ideation. 37% of people reported having thoughts of suicide more than half or nearly every day in September 2020.
- Even before the pandemic, the prevalence of mental illness among adults was increasing. In 2017-2018, 19% of adults experienced a mental illness, an increase of 1.5 million people over last year’s dataset.
- There is still an unmet need for mental health treatment among youth and adults. 60% of youth with major depression did not receive any mental health treatment in 2017-2018. Even in states with the greatest access, over 38% are not receiving the mental health services they need.
- More results are outlined here.
Do you need more convincing?
It’s never been more important to take the best possible care of your mental well-being.
Where Do You Even Begin?
It’s easy for me to shout from the top of the mountain to anyone who will listen that now is the time to take action and care of your mental health. But for many of you, whose “normal” flow of life has been completely disrupted, it’s hard to even know where to start, where to begin.
From personal experience, I know that so many of you think immediately about your physical body at the start of a new year. Going to the gym, starting a new diet…these were all the things I started first when I began my health and wellness journey over 20 years ago.
But if I could do it over again, I would have started with my mind.
You see, your mind plays the biggest role in impacting what happens to your body. Not how many lunges you are doing, how many miles you plan to run, or your goal to lose however many pounds.
Priming your mindset through small, daily actions will have a greater impact on your overall well being than any amount of time spent in the gym. It’s a cascading effect – when your mindset is right, the rest of your body will follow.
Life Happens – Are You Ready for the Next Disruption?
I am crossing my fingers that this is the last pandemic I ever experience in my lifetime. Can I get an amen?
But the truth is, whether it’s illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a relationship breakup…the net of life challenges that you will experience this coming year (and for years to come) are bound to happen.
Life happens. Disruption is inevitable.
And when it does, will you be ready? Will your habits and routines prepare you for a healthy mindset to keep you on-track and joyful amidst the chaos? Or will you fall down a dark hole of depression, stress, anxiety, and/or addiction?
Mindset as a Priority in 2021
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that your life can change in the blink of a moment.
The only thing you can control is your response to challenges. Working out your mind muscle to be resilient, steadfast, and optimistic is what healthy looks like in 2021.
I would like to help you build the mental resilience to anchor yourself through times of challenge instead of knee-jerk reactions that will put your mind, body, and spirit into a downward spiral.
I am doing a webinar series throughout January on Epic Self-Care. January 14th is all about how your mindset matters and the small actions you can take every day to improve your mental well-being. If you’re ready to find ways to prioritize your self-care in 2021, this series was created just for you. They are all on Thursdays at 11am PST, here’s the schedule:
January 7th | Remove Obstacles – Register
January 14th | Mindset Matters – Register
January 21st | Tend to Your Body – Register
January 28th | Make Your Changes Stick – Register
I look forward to guiding you toward self-care habits that stick in 2021!
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