Embracing Self-Reflection during May Mental Health Awareness Month

| Written by Allison Rosa, MA, LAC

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As May’s Mental Health Awareness Month unfolds, it is an opportune time to pause and ask ourselves: How have I truly been taking care of myself lately? In the hustle and bustle of daily life, amidst all the responsibilities and obligations, it’s easy to lose sight of our own well-being. When was the last time you stopped to check in with yourself, to truly assess how you’re feeling, both mentally and emotionally? Self-reflection isn’t merely about introspection; it’s a powerful tool for fostering self-awareness and promoting positive change.

Let’s take a moment to delve into various aspects of self-care and reflect on how you’ve been tending to your mental wellness:


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Nutrition forms the foundation of our well-being, influencing not just our physical health but also our mental state. Take a moment to reflect on your dietary habits, going far beyond calorie intake and diet culture.

  • Have you been nourishing your body with wholesome foods, or have you found yourself reaching for quick-fix snacks on a time crunch?
  • How does your diet impact your energy levels, mood, and overall sense of well-being? 
  • What foods make you feel nourished to progress through the day? 
  • Could preparing meals for the upcoming week make you feel as though you have done something to demonstrate your love for yourself this week? 
  • What is the culture your family has cultivated around food? Is it a way your family would show love and appreciation towards one another, or a tool used for self-criticism?
  • What is one thing you can do this week to show yourself love, and foster your mental health through meals and nutrition?


Quality sleep is essential for cognitive function, emotional regulation, and overall mental health.

  • Consider your sleep habits—are you prioritizing restful sleep each night, or are you sacrificing it in favor of other activities? Reflect on the quality and quantity of your sleep and explore how it affects your mood, productivity, and resilience to stress.
  • What are your bedtime rituals or habits before sleep? Are they conducive to relaxation and restfulness?
  • Are you aware of any factors that may disrupt your sleep, such as caffeine consumption, screen time before bed, or excessive stress?
  • How do you feel mentally and emotionally after a night of quality sleep versus a night of poor sleep?
  • Have you considered seeking professional guidance or support if you consistently struggle with sleep issues that impact your mental health?

Stress Management:

Life’s demands can often lead to stress, but how we respond to it makes all the difference. Reflect on your stress management strategies. 

  • Do you have healthy coping mechanisms in place, such as mindfulness, exercise, or relaxation techniques? 
  • How do you navigate challenges and setbacks while preserving your mental well-being?
  • Are you able to recognize the signs of stress in your body and mind, such as muscle tension, racing thoughts, or irritability?
  • How do you typically respond to stressful situations? Do you tend to engage in healthy coping mechanisms or unhealthy habits?

Mindfulness and Taking In the Moment:

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In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of doing for others without pausing to care for ourselves. Mindfulness offers us a powerful tool for grounding ourselves in the present moment and reconnecting with our inner selves. Take a moment to stop and breathe. Allow yourself to be fully present, without judgment or expectation. Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your own needs and take time for self-reflection and self-care.

  • Mindfulness practice is different for everyone, but how often do you prioritize your mindfulness practice for your mental wellbeing?
  • Do you find it challenging to maintain a consistent mindfulness practice, and if so, what obstacles do you encounter?

Body Movement and Mental Well-being:

In addition to sleep, stress management, mindfulness, connection, and setting boundaries, the role of body movement in fostering mental health cannot be overstated. Engaging in physical activity not only benefits our physical health but also has profound effects on our mood, stress levels, and overall well-being. Whether it’s going for a run, changing scenery, or stretching our bodies, incorporation of any type of body-movement is always helpful to feel connected to ourselves.

  • What types of movement or exercise do you enjoy, and how do they make you feel?
  • How do you incorporate movement into your daily routine, and are there opportunities to add more?
  • Are there any barriers or challenges that prevent you from engaging in regular physical activity, and how can you overcome them?
  • Have you considered exploring new forms of movement or exercise that align with your interests and preferences?
  • How do you feel emotionally and mentally after engaging in physical activity? Do you experience a sense of release, clarity, or increased energy?

Negative Thinking Patterns:

Our thoughts have a profound impact on our emotions and behaviors. Take a moment to observe your thought patterns. 

  • Are you prone to negative self-talk or rumination? 
  • How do these patterns influence your mood and self-esteem? Reflect on ways to challenge and reframe negative thoughts, fostering a more optimistic and compassionate mindset.
  • Are you able to challenge or reframe negative thoughts when they arise, or do they tend to spiral out of control?
  • Have you noticed any triggers or patterns that tend to exacerbate negative thinking, such as specific situations or environments?

Self-Care Practices:

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a vital aspect of mental wellness. Consider the self-care practices that bring you joy and rejuvenation. 

  • Are you carving out time for activities that nourish your soul, whether it’s reading, painting, or spending time in nature? Reflect on how these practices contribute to your overall sense of fulfillment and balance.
  • What are your more thought-out and intentional self-care strategies (i.e: reading a book, walking for 30 minutes, getting a facial, etc.)
  • What are your micro and quick-pinch self-care strategies (i.e: short breathing technique, body stretch, short visualization exercise, etc.)

Connection and Support:

Human connection is a fundamental need, yet it’s often overlooked in our fast-paced lives. Reflect on your social connections and support networks.

  • Do you prioritize meaningful relationships and invest time in nurturing them? 
  • How do these connections contribute to your sense of belonging and emotional well-being?
  • How do you feel when you spend time with supportive and understanding individuals who uplift and validate you?
  • Are you able to express your thoughts, feelings, and vulnerabilities openly with trusted confidants, or do you struggle to ask for help and support?

Setting Boundaries:

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Boundaries are crucial for preserving our mental and emotional health. Reflect on your boundaries—both with others and with yourself. 

  • Are you able to assertively communicate your needs and limits, or do you find yourself overextending and feeling drained? 
  • How can you establish healthy boundaries that honor your well-being while fostering positive relationships?
  • What are some common boundary violations you encounter in your interactions with others, and how do they impact your well-being?
  • Are you open to exploring the underlying beliefs or fears that may be contributing to difficulty in setting boundaries?
  • How do you feel when you establish and enforce healthy boundaries in your relationships? Do you experience greater feelings of empowerment and self-respect?

Seeking Professional Support:

Lastly, if you’re navigating significant challenges or struggling to prioritize self-care, know that seeking professional support is a sign of strength. Reflect on your willingness to reach out for help when needed and consider the potential benefits of therapy or counseling in supporting your mental wellness journey.

As we embrace the practice of self-reflection, let’s approach it with kindness and curiosity, recognizing that growth often arises from moments of introspection and self-awareness. May this month of mental health awareness inspire you to prioritize your well-being and cultivate a deeper connection with yourself.

As Mental Health Awareness Month progresses, let us carry forward the spirit of self-reflection and self-care that this month has inspired. In embracing self-reflection, we empower ourselves to take ownership of our mental health journey. We acknowledge the importance of nurturing ourselves with compassion and kindness, recognizing that self-care is not selfish but essential for our overall well-being. Together, let us foster a culture of mental health awareness and self-reflection, where every individual feels seen, heard, and supported on their journey toward wholeness and well-being.

Allison Rosa

Allison Rosa is a Certified Trauma Professional, who specialized in Victim Counseling during her graduate program. Using person-centered techniques, Allison helps others to rewrite their trauma narratives. Allison is also an EMDR-trained therapist. 

Check out Allison’s professional bio here.

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