And just like that, July is over!
A whole month has passed by and there so many things we covered in regards to mental health. July was BIPOC Mental Health Month, which is why we chose this as our theme for the month.
The BIPOC community is greatly impacted when it comes to mental health due to a continuous lack of resources and guidance.
Every Monday in July, Christina Broderick, hosted an Instagram live to discuss topics that impact the BIPOC community.
During our second Mental Health Monday, we discussed more in depth about the importance of this month. In particular, three things you can do to support mental health among the BIPOC community:
1. Educating others
2. Destigmatizing & normalizing mental health
3. Knowing what to look for in providers when you are ready to seek help.
It is important to recognize the issues faced by the BIPOC community in terms of mental health and how there are things you can do to help them out.
Another topic we covered during this month was stress reduction.
Stress is always around us. As students, we are worried about schoolwork, jobs, extracurriculars, family life, and now add a global pandemic on top of these other things, and we are stressed to the max! It’s important that we know how to handle this stress so that we don’t suffer the consequences.
During the live, Christina said “Stress is inevitable, it’s how you respond that makes the difference.” Well said!
Many of us when faced with stress, tend to respond in negative ways either by binge-eating, procrastinating, or refusing to talk to anyone. However, if we learn to respond to stress in a positive way, we’ll have more control over those stressful situations.
Some positive stress responses include journaling, exercising, meditating, deep breathing, and action planning, among others.
Remember, stress is inevitable, but the way that you respond makes a huge difference!
We also talked about the negativity bias. Who hasn’t been negative at one point in their lives? I know I have! Many people say be positive, but it’s so hard. Take the current situation we are living in right now as a prime example.
The global pandemic has many of us thinking about some of the worst situations possible. Negativity is one of those feelings and thoughts that will always want to take over, but we can’t let that happen.
Did you know that it takes 3 positive experiences to combat just one negative experience? Crazy right!
For example, if someone comes up to you and says you are dressed nice, you feel good about yourself. Then, another person comes up and says you are dressed horrible. Then, you completely forget about that one person that said you look nice, and start ranting about that one person that said you look horrible.
That is the negativity bias at work!
Lucky for you, here are four tips you can practice to help combat the negativity bias:
- Increasing Awareness
- Naming the occurrence
- Challenging your thoughts
- Reframing & Shifting Focus
Positivity is one of those feelings that we constantly have to practice. This doesn’t mean we have to hide and ignore our negative thoughts and be happy all the time. Don’t let the negativity bias take control of you, and instead recognize those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
One last thing we discussed this month is support systems in your life. Christina gave three tips on how to help someone who is dealing with anxiety.
- Listen with the intent to learn
- Understand from their perspective and experience
- Ask them what support looks like for them
Anxiety can manifest itself in many different forms such as procrastination, perfectionism, anger, sadness, body aches and pains, among other forms. It is important that you are there to help them understand what they are experiencing and ask those questions to find the root cause of the problem that may be causing their anxiety.
Also, remember you are not there to diagnose them but just to be their support system. If you or someone needs help, seek out help from a licensed professional.
Now, just because our theme of the month is over, doesn’t mean it ends there. BIPOC Mental Health Month is all-year round, and here at IgnitEDU we are committed to helping this community continue to work on their mental health.
Make sure you follow all of our pages to find out the theme for this month, exciting surprises, updates, and announcements.