May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Unfortunately, Montana traditionally falls below national averages, and is often near the bottom of many mental health metrics, including suicide rate. In a recent flash poll of our Incentive Program participants we asked, “How are you feeling today?” Here are the results of that snapshot:

Awesome!26%
Pretty good55%
Just OK15%
Not so great4%
n=215

First off, for over 80% of our population to be feeling pretty good or awesome is, well, AWESOME! To be fair, the poll was administered on a Friday, so that probably helped. And, of course, our moods and dispositions shift all the time depending on a myriad of factors. It’s when we can’t get out of feeling stuck on “Just OK” or “Not so great” when more serious health issues can arise. I recently came across a simple journaling activity entitled Staying Sane in the Time of COVID. It was meant to be a mental health exercise for people in quarantine or lock-down. But I think this exercise could be useful at anytime, especially if you are feeling “Just OK” or “Not so great”. The practice is to write responses to these six questions daily:

  • What am I grateful for today?
  • Who am I checking in on or connecting with today?
  • What expectations of “normal” am I letting go of today?
  • How am I getting outside today?
  • How am I moving my body today?
  • What beauty am I creating, cultivating, or inviting in today?

If you need a little mental health or mood boost, give this exercise a try this month!

Speaking of exercise and getting outside, May is also National Bike Month, and I can tell you bikes are excellent for your mental health (physical health too)!

Here are some other mental health resources to explore this month:

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