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May is Mental Health Awareness Month! (what that means & why it’s important)

Welcome back Zesties! Happy Friday/Saturday. I hope you are all continuing to hang in there and continue to get it done! This week I am back on the lifestyle track to focus on a very important topic to me (and should be for literally everyone during this time):

Even though I don’t work for the Department of Behavioral Health anymore, this is still close to my heart and I still consider it a job to talk about this and raise awareness to do my part. With our current situation, it is so important to bring your mental health to the forefront. Each day this week on Instagram, I posted one quote/reminder and explained a little bit more behind that quote. It sparked discussion and encouragement and I think raising awareness in that way helps connect people and bring about community in a time when we are all separated.

Quarantine and enduring a pandemic has absolutely wreaked havoc on my mental health (who can relate?? πŸ™‹πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ) I am just now feeling like I am getting control over my thoughts and emotions and I think coming into May and being reminded on what Mental Health Awareness is has really helped speed this up (also can’t stress enough how amazing my support system has been lately).

Mental Health Awareness (let me claire-fy) is:

  • Recognizing mental illness is exactly that: an illness, and should be treated as one
  • Educating myself and others to reduce the misinformation and biases around mental health and mental illness
  • Breaking the stigma!
  • Finding ways to discuss my mental illness to raise awareness and create understanding with others around me
  • Surrounding myself with experiences and opinions and people I trust because I recognize that all mental health experiences can be different for each person

I basically just try to be as educated/understanding as possible, because each persons’ experience may be different and can be handled differently. What I encourage you to do is to step outside of yourself (every once in a while) and really examine your feelings/thoughts/opinions toward mental health and mental illness.
Understanding that:

  • Self-love/care takes many forms (as little as doing a face mask, spending some alone time, or eating your favorite foods; to more complex like finding yourself a therapist, opening up to a trusted/loved one, and discussing treatment with a doctor)
  • It is okay to feel ALL the emotions, you are validated in how you feel (take it from someone who cries all the time, sometimes over the most inconvenient detail, expressing yourself is healthy)
  • Each person may experience/display mental illness in varying forms and the best thing you can do is just be a support system and understanding/listening
  • You are not alone and there is help and hope

Being self-aware is also a really great step toward raising awareness, knowing what you say and how you may say things to others and the impact your words and information may have can be incredibly empowering. But not only on others, but yourself as well. Be kind to yourself just as you would be kind to others.

Thank you for checking back this week, if you have any questions/comments/concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out! Also if you are looking for any resources/tips/help, also please reach out. I am very familiar with the mental health services in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles County(ies) and familiarizing myself with Australia’s standards and resources. I will do my very best to educate/research on any other places or resources available worldwide.


Author: Claire Elizabeth

My name is Claire Elizabeth and welcome to my lemon zest life! It all started back in 2015 when I began creating healthy recipes to support my busy lifestyle between the gym, full-time work, and full-time university. Four years later I have updated my healthy recipes but am still living that busy lifestyle. This is catered for the full-time employees, students, parents, and everyone in between that lives a lemon zest life, like me. xo.πŸ‹ ​

2 thoughts on “May is Mental Health Awareness Month! (what that means & why it’s important)

  1. Very caring and wise words, as usual! When I ride the Roller Coaster I am always prepared for the long drop but I realise that that it will end and there will be a sense of relief that follows.

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