Women’s History Month: Putting Your Mental Health First

The month of March commemorates Women’s History Month, a time to honor women of the past and recognize the contributions made by women daily.

Celebrating others is important, but how often do we recognize our own achievements or even check on our own well-being? During busy times like Mardi Gras season, women often lack the energy to invest in their own mental well-being. Often, women feel guilty or selfish for prioritizing themselves.

Women often hesitate to put their needs first, despite the fact that they face some of the biggest risk factors for mental health conditions. Many unique factors contribute to poor mental health in women, from a higher prevalence of PTSD caused by violence to challenges associated with pregnancy, motherhood, and postpartum depression.

As we celebrate women this month, I encourage you to prioritize your health and wellness. To get you started, here are some tips.

  1. Set healthy boundaries with others. When you ignore your boundaries in order to benefit others, you can feel drained and unhappy. Self-esteem and healthy relationships can be improved by saying “no” to protect emotional and mental space.
  2. Practice positive self-talk. It is common for women to feel pressured to meet certain beauty standards. Mental health problems caused by negative self-image often lead to anxiety, depression, and unhealthy behaviors. Implement positive affirmations into your wellness routine. By using this tool, you can redirect negative thoughts and reduce stress.
  3. Prioritize mind-body wellness. Physical activities like deep breathing or short walks can have a big impact on mental health. It is common for women to feel overwhelmed, so activities that improve overall wellness can help ground you and reduce stress, improving your emotional well-being.
  4. Incorporate self-care. Though self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept, the concept of pampering benefits everyone. You can do this by watching your favorite show, lighting candles, or just getting some sleep. When you put yourself first, you find healthy ways to cope with stressors and maintain mental well-being.

Take this month to focus on your mental health. This can encourage healthy habits and improved wellness for the rest of the year.

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