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How to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month with Blissy
How to Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month with Blissy

Ah, the month of May. The birds are chirping, the flowers are in bloom, and it's Mental Health Awareness Month! We may have weathered our winter blues and welcomed spring. Yet it's important to remember that mental health problems can happen any time of year.

Did you know that women are especially at risk of mental health conditions? At Blissy, we're committed to raising awareness to address mental health challenges. That's why we're dedicating time to sharing valuable information this Mental Health Awareness Month.

In this post, we'll cover how you can celebrate this important holiday. You will learn more about the following:
  • Various mental health terminology and mental health resources
  • What to do if you think you may have a mental health condition
  • How to practice self-care to improve your mental well-being
  • How to provide support to loved ones who may be facing mental health issues
  • Mental health concerns that affect women's health

Remember that understanding and addressing mental health is crucial for well-being. By educating ourselves, we can become aware of signs to look for in ourselves and others when it comes to mental health. Not just during Mental Health Awareness Month but all year round.

Understanding the Nuances: Differentiating Mental Disorders, Illnesses, Conditions, Problems, and Challenges

First, let's define some terms. What's the difference between a mental disorder, mental illness, mental health condition, mental health problem, and mental health challenge? These all sound similar and are often used interchangeably. But there are some important differences to know before you add these terms to your vocabulary.

mental health america letters

Mental Disorders, Mental Illnesses, and Mental Health Conditions

The term mental disorder generally refers to a wide range of diagnosable mental conditions that significantly affect a person's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Mental illnesses can disrupt an individual's ability to function. They can impact relationships, work, and well-being. Examples of mental illnesses include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

The terms mental illness and mental health conditions may be used more broadly to refer to a wide range of conditions that affect mental well-being. Even if they do not meet specific diagnostic criteria.

In everyday usage, it is generally okay to use these terms interchangeably.

Mental Health Challenges

Mental health challenges are a general way to describe any emotional, psychological, or behavioral issue that impacts someone's mental well-being—regardless of whether it meets the criteria for a specific mental illness or disorder.

Mental health problems can range from mild to severe, and they may be temporary or persistent. Examples of mental health problems include stress, grief, relationship difficulties, or low self-esteem.

Think of the term mental health challenges as an umbrella term that can cover mental disorders, too. If you're not sure which term to use, this one is the right choice!

What to Do if You Think You Have a Mental Illness or Condition

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. Aside from mental illness, almost everyone will face some sort of mental health challenge during their lifetime. So, if you are struggling with your mental health, know that you are not alone.

woman on therapist's sofa

It's important to recognize the warning signs of a mental health crisis or condition. That way you can catch them as soon as possible so that you get the resources, support, and treatment that you need.

It's important to note that signs and symptoms of mental health issues can vary widely depending on the specific condition, individual factors, and the severity of the problem. That said, here are some general signs that someone may be experiencing a mental health issue:

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  2. Excessive worry, anxiety, or fear
  3. Irritability, anger, or mood swings
  4. Changes in appetite or weight (either significant weight gain or loss)
  5. Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  6. Fatigue or lack of energy
  7. Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  8. Withdrawal from social activities or loss of interest in hobbies
  9. Persistent physical symptoms. These may include such things as headaches, digestive problems, or body aches, without a clear physical cause
  10. Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances to cope with emotions or stress
  11. Feeling detached from reality, experiencing hallucinations or delusions (in severe cases)
  12. Thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or engaging in risky or self-destructive behavior
  13. Unexplained shifts in performance at work, school, or in daily activities
  14. Sudden or extreme changes in personality or behavior

Reaching out for support and care

If you suspect that you may be dealing with a mental illness or facing a mental health challenge, don't hesitate to seek help. Reach out to friends, family, or community support groups to share your experiences and gain encouragement.

women celebrating national women's health week

Professional help is also vital. Consider consulting with mental health care providers, such as therapists, psychologists, or psychiatrists. These licensed professionals can help diagnose and treat your specific concerns.

Remember—managing stress, engaging in physical activity, and seeking preventive care can also play a significant role in promoting better mental health.

How to Practice Self-Care to Improve Your Mental Well-Being During and After National Women's Health Week

Women's Health Week begins on Mother's Day each year. This makes it the perfect time to talk about mental health and self-care techniques.

woman improving overall health with sleep

At Blissy, we believe it's important for everyone to get into the right head space. One great way to do that is by getting a wonderful night's sleep. Consistently getting the right amount of sleep each night is essential and can lead to a reduced risk of mental illness.

Of course, sleep isn't the only thing you need to think about. Some of the great self-care options include:

  • Prioritizing your mental health to reduce stress
  • Sleeping and waking up at regular times every day
  • Going for regular checkups and well-woman exams
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Getting active and exercising more regularly

When you don't sleep well, there is a greater risk of feeling anxious depressed, or paranoid. A lack of sleep can also lead to psychotic episodes and suicidal thoughts.

Sticking to a consistent bedtime, along with your mental health treatment plan (if applicable), can help prevent mental health problems and contribute to improved well-being.

Even taking micro naps can help. These 10 to 20-minute-long naps can help you feel less fatigued, more alert, less stressed, and more productive, which is perfect for any busy person.

How can Blissy's products help? Blissy's products, such as the silk Sleep Mask and Sleep & Pillow Mists, can help contribute to better relaxation and rest. Add them to your self-care sleep routine, and get ready for a good night's sleep.

Supporting Loved Ones with Mental Health Issues

Now that we've talked a little bit about Mental Health Awareness Month, Women's Health Week, and general awareness of mental health topics, it's time to think about what you can do to support loved ones who are dealing with mental health concerns.

prevention begins with family and community

Remember, mental health issues are serious health problems. Those with depression, anxiety, or other conditions need to seek good health care from providers in the mental health field. Yet there are a few steps you can take to help them, too.

For example, if you are friends with any postpartum women, remember they may be at risk for postpartum depression (PPD). Check in with them and make clear you are willing to support them if they need to seek medical health care.

You can also help by letting others know that you are thinking about them and prepared to support them. One good way to do this is by giving thoughtful self-care gifts to help them get better sleep and rest.

Some of the gifts we suggest include:

  • Blissy Pillowcases made from 100% mulberry silk. These pillowcases are soft, smooth, and relaxing to rest on. They are also breathable, so those who get too warm at night can stay cooler.
  • Blissy Dream Sets, which include a silk pillowcase, silk hair scrunchies, and an eye mask to help block out light.
  • Blissy Sleep & Pillow Mists, which help soothe anxiety and aid in deeper sleep.

These are excellent gifts to give during National Women's Health Week to any friends who you know are experiencing a lot of stress or are otherwise going through a tough time.

Women's Mental Health Concerns

There are many mental health concerns that are particularly common among women. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders tend to occur more frequently in women compared to their male counterparts.

young woman on national women's health week

There are also some disorders that are specific to women's health. For example, significant hormone changes happen during or after pregnancy. This can cause pregnant (or formerly pregnant) people to struggle with perinatal depression and/or postpartum depression. Later in life, women may deal with perimenopause-related depression.

Any mental health condition has the potential to affect women. Yet many women don't realize the importance of seeking mental health support when it's needed.

For better overall health, it's important to reach out to your primary care provider or therapist, if you have one. Make sure to schedule regular exams and discuss issues you may be dealing with a professional.

Some extra resources you may learn from include:

  1. The National Institute of Mental Health
  2. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  3. The Office on Women's Health
  4. Mental Health America
  5. Center for Women Veterans

Remember, you are not alone with mental health concerns. Whether you or a loved one are going through a hard time, there are resources that can help you get back on track.

Various resources, such as Mental Health America and federal government resources, offer help. You can seek and receive assistance through these channels to address mental health concerns.

Prioritize Your Mental Health and Get a Better Night's Sleep with Blissy

woman sleeping on blissy for good health

Now is the time to start thinking about taking care of yourself and improving your sleep hygiene. Whether you may have mental health concerns yourself or are worried about someone else, the reality is that getting good sleep can help make a difference.

Make sliding into bed with your favorite silk pillowcase part of your self-care routine each night. Spritz it with a Blissy Sleep & Pillow Mist, and drift off to sleep. And, if light bothers you, slip on your favorite Blissy Sleep Mask to block it out, easy-peasy.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, share these tips, tricks, and facts, with those around you to get the conversation started. Together, it's possible to improve your sleep, health, and mental well-being.

 

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