April showers bring May flowers. You know the phrase. What you may not know is that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.
April showers bringing May flowers may be a cliche but it fits so well with what bringing awareness to mental health is about. What may be pain has a purpose. What was a difficult season, can turn into overcoming adversity. What may be a gloomy, rainy day of anxiety, depression, or other mental health struggles, can turn into healing from it and a brighter day with joy, freedom, and peace.
According to The National Alliance on Mental Illness,”each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. …Together, we can realize our shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives — a nation where no one feels alone in their struggle.”
US gymnast, three-time gold medal, two-time silver medal, and bronze medal winner Aly Raisman realizes the importance of talking about mental health, raising awareness for it.
“Mental health is such an important & crucial conversation,” Raisman tweeted the day before May. “Anyone else struggle with people pleasing!?”
According to People’s Nicholas Rice: “Raisman (spoke)…about her own mental health struggles ahead of Mental Health Awareness Month…on CBS This Morning…the…Olympic athlete opened up about how she keeps her mental health in top shape after retiring from gymnastics. When asked by co-host Anthony Mason how she has reconnected with herself since her retirement, Raisman began by noting that it is a ‘work in progress and healing is not one-size-fits-all.'”
“I feel differently each day, but it’s been really interesting because I went from being in the best shape of my life, working out six to seven hours some days, to honestly, some days, not even being able to go for a 10-minute walk outside,” Raisman said to CBS This Morning as transcribed by People.
“I’m still kind of trying to navigate how to fully recover, but I’ve learned the importance of being kind to myself…Because I’ve realized that when I’m really stressed out, when I’m having a lot of anxiety, I’m often really hard on myself and it is exhausting. I’m sure anyone who’s watching who can relate to experiencing some type of trauma or anxiety, can recognize just how exhausting it can be. So I’ve learned the importance of taking time for myself each day and prioritizing my mental health.”
Raisman also gave some more tips in a tweet last year.
Prioritizing mental health should be an everyday objective during mental health awareness month and every other month as well.
There’s no shame in talking through what you’re going through to your spouse, a close friend, a loved one, or someone you trust. And there is absolutely no shame in talking to a counselor or therapist to help navigate some of the mental battles you may be facing.
If you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health struggles, just know you are not alone. As NAMI states on the HelpLine page on its site, “Because we’re in this together, you are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help or someone to talk to about what you or your loved one is going through, you can “call the (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Helpline at 800-950-NAMI…Or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741.”
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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