Mental Health: Stigma of the Past

Have you ever experienced a moment of feeling down? You can’t quite pinpoint the reason, but, for some reason, you might have the urge to lie down, have trouble focusing or just aren’t excited about something that used to make you happy. What you’re experiencing is often directly linked to your mental health.

In the past, mental health was overtly stigmatized, especially in minority communities. This was due mostly to the lack of resources and knowledge available to become more informed. Today, even though the stigma is still around in some areas, there are more resources available for all people, both in person and virtually. The progression of mental health from the dark stigma of the past has made it a more regular conversation topic to bring forth more knowledge and help those who may be unsure of what to do.

Managing your mental health is just as important as regular check-ups and screenings for the rest of your body. Not everyone shares the same experiences when it comes to mental health management such as stress, anxiety and depression. Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down of 2020, there has been an increase in stress and depression amongst people, especially due to being more isolated from their loved ones. If you happen to have a pet, they can bring many emotional benefits during such times. However, there are still many options to keep maintenance of your mental health at home.

Balancing your mental health

Practice mindfulness

Practice sitting with your emotions: Acknowledge your emotions as they come by taking a moment to pause to breathe and process the root of this feeling. As you exhale, let it go as only a moment and not a permanent place to be.

Stress management

If stress is left unmanaged, it can begin to affect not only your mental health but your physical health as well. Stress can appear physically in many ways. Learn how and more about stress management.

Shower meditation

Who doesn’t love a warm shower? Throw on your favorite tunes and turn on the faucet. As the water rushes over you, think of the water washing away the stress your body may be holding onto throughout the day. If a shower isn’t your favorite way to relax, try a bubble bath with lavender.

Words of affirmation

For some, identifying a mantra you can repeat to yourself each morning or call upon when you’re in a stressful situation has helped realign their mental health. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat positive words of affirmation aloud. Here’s one you can try:

“I am only responsible for me. I will do my best to be the best version of myself every day.”

If looking at yourself in the mirror is too intimidating, try leaving a sticky note of words of wisdom or words of affirmation around you to give you a boost of motivation. 

If you have more questions about managing your mental health, consider speaking to your primary care physician or contacting UofL Health – Peace Hospital. Peace Hospital has an Assessment and Referral Center that offers a no-charge assessment, call 502-451-3333 for more information. You can also contact the 24-hour crisis and information center line at 502-589-4313 or 800-221-0446.