31 Ideas to Support Mental Health Throughout May

mental health awareness month may

Since 1949, May has been designated as Mental Health Awareness month. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), over 1 in 5 people in the United States suffers from some form of mental illness. Given the stressors in society today, it’s more important than ever to check in with how you are doing mentally and emotionally and be proactive in supporting your own well-being. 

Therapy can be a great resource to help those who are struggling. Services like BetterHelp and TalkSpace can be good starting points, or simply reaching out to a trusted friend or community member. 

Additionally, there are a number of “little things” that you can do to support your mental health. In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, here are 31 ideas-a-day you can easily do to help. We encourage you to try at least one each day this month! 

  1. Take an evening (or longer!) off of screens

  2. Make a gratitude journal

  3. Draw, color, or do something creative

  4. Call up / video chat with someone you haven’t connected with in a while

  5. Do a little gardening

  6. Play with a pet

  7. Enjoy your favorite flavor of ice cream

  8. Enjoy 30 minutes of exercise

  9. Try meditation for a week straight (or longer!)

  10. Eat a healthy, delicious meal including foods high in omega-3s & vitamins (fish, nuts, spinach, kale, blueberries)

  11. Try a new recipe

  12. Listen to some uplifting music

  13. Skip the news (and social media) for a day

  14. Go for a walk (or a hike)

  15. Volunteer for a local organization

  16. Sit quietly in a park of the woods for 10-20 minutes

  17. Pick one dresser (or one drawer!) or closet to organize

  18. Teach a young person a skill you know (or just read to them!)

  19. Hug someone

  20. Speaking of hugs, get out in nature and hug a tree

  21. Take at least 30 min for leisure / “play” time

  22. Touch the earth with your bare feet for a while

  23. Smile to a stranger, smile to a friend

  24. Try yoga or get a massage

  25. Buy a new house plant

  26. Go to bed earlier than normal to get a better night’s rest

  27. Smile to your heart

  28. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset

  29. Take in a live musical performance

  30. Give someone a heartfelt compliment

  31. Make a list of 5 things that bring you peace (and do them!)

hugging a dog
Image by Eric Ward
enjoy nature
Image by Valentin
ice cream cone flavors
Image by SilviaEmilie
daisy barefoot walking grass
Image by Lisylia