Each year during the first week of October, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) raises awareness of mental illness.
As part of Mental Illness Awareness week, we asked Southern California residents on Instagram what they do to help manage their mental health during this difficult year.
Here are some of the responses:"Get outside and enjoy fresh air. Sunshine does wonders!""I take what I call 'mental health days' and do an entire day of things that I enjoy." "I watch a dessert or baking competition show. It's so relaxing to see the end result of the bake." "Find at least 3 things to be grateful and appreciative of each day." "Listen to music and look at the ceiling or just simply close my eyes." "Exercise is the most unused tool to fight depression. Walk, jog, run, lift weights and eat well.""Pray! Read the Bible." "I play with my son. Seeing him smile tells me that it will all be OK.""I have to imagine putting my problems in a box and shipping them out." "Meditation. At least 5 minutes a day makes a big difference." "By allowing myself to take breaks when things get stressful and practicing gratitude." "I am blessed with 6 children, so when I feel sad I call each one and that makes me happy." "I wrote down all of my thoughts and feelings and surroundings and turn them into poems. It's therapeutic." "I try my hardest to keep myself busy with different projects around the house." "Talking! Sharing our fears and thoughts with family and friends."
In addition to these tips, if you or anyone you know are feeling anxious or depressed, NAMI has compiled an extensive guide with information about how to support your mental well-being during the pandemic.
NAMI's HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). You can also text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.