One in five people will experience mental health challenges in their lives. For Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we’re presenting five topics — one per week — to discuss and share. The focus this week is on self-care.

During a recent Westside Los Angeles Family-to-Family class, self-care was the topic of discussion, and a point was made about the instructions we’re given on airplanes about the oxygen masks that drop down in the event of an emergency. We’re instructed to put on our oxygen masks first, before helping others. While that’s an emergency we hope we won’t have to face, it’s a good example for us to follow in our everyday lives. If we take care of ourselves, we can be our best selves, which can mean maintaining our own mental health and being strong when we are called upon to help care for others.

NAMI Westside LA’s Mental Health Awareness Month Challenge for Week 3: Prioritize Self-Care

Repeat after us: self-care first! Self. Care. First. We know it can be a challenge and we’ve heard the excuses. (No, you’re not being selfish. Yes, you can find the time.) We also know first-hand what a difference it makes when we are taking care of ourselves.

During a recent NAMI WLA staff meeting, these 5 favorite self-care activities were discussed: yoga, meditation, gardening, hiking, dancing. That’s just a start… NAMI has more on the subject, as well as a checklist of actions and activities for you to review how you’re doing.

Have you been giving yourself the care you need and making time for the self-care activities that work for you? Are there activities you’ve been wanting to try? Move it closer to the top of your to-do list. And share with friends and loved ones, to set an example. (And if you happen to share photos of these activities on social media, tag us!).

5 Weeks, 5 Ways to Share: Prioritize Self-Care

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