Five Little Ways to Celebrate World Mental Health Day

Readers! Friends! People who stumbled across this post entirely by accident! Tomorrow (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day!


World Mental Health Day (#WMHD) is an initiative by the World Health Organization designed to raise awareness about mental illness, and to promote efforts that further mental health advocacy around the world. These are big goals, and–likewise–there are big ways to individually contribute to World Mental Health Day:  volunteering to work a crisis line, using your online presence to promote mental health awareness, educating your peers and colleagues about mental wellness, establishing mental health support systems in your workplace — all of these are wonderful ways to make a difference on World Mental Health Day.

But…they’re big ways. Some of which require a heck of a lot of time, planning, and effort. This, of course, shouldn’t stop you from pursuing them, but what about some smaller ways to celebrate WMHD? Things you can do right now? Things that might be a bit more realistic if you happen to feel overwhelmed by your own struggle with mental illness?

Well, we can help! Here are five little (but still impactful!) ways to make a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you on World Mental Health Day!

  1. Donate to a mental health organization (AHEM). This is something you can accomplish with just a few clicks, but it makes a BIG difference. Do it anonymously, do it for a big org or a small one, or maybe give a financial boost to a Kickstarter designed to spread awareness. Anything you give will be appreciated in spades.
  2. Read an article. Just one! Really. Education is huge when it comes to being a mental health ally, and we could all stand to brush up on our mental health knowledge. Do a quick Google search on a mental illness and read an article (from a credible source, of course), about a condition you are unfamiliar with. A few minutes later, you’ll be smarter and more aware. Awesome.
  3.  Do a virtual check-in with a friend. We’ve all seen those frustrated or vague social media posts that seem to suggest that the post-er is going through some Stuff. Instead of scrolling past and putting it out of your mind, send a quick DM. “Hey — saw your post. You doing okay?” is all it needs to be. Best case scenario, they were just venting about a messy roommate. But your expression of concern could mean the world to someone who is struggling with something much bigger.
  4. Compliment a stranger. “I like your earrings.” “What a cute baby?” “Killer bike, man.” Even a three-word compliment can lift someone else’s spirits, and it might be the most positive (and much-needed) moment of their day. Bonus: boosting a stranger’s self-esteem is always a surprisingly effective way to boost your own mood.
  5. Treat yo’self. Taking care of your own mental health is one of the easiest ways to contribute to World Mental Health Day. After all, a healthier you means one more healthy (and active) mental health ally in the world, and we always need those. Practice a small act of self care on October 10th, be it a yoga class at your favorite studio, ten minutes of meditation that you’d usually spend working, grabbing a cupcake at your favorite bakery, re-watching the movie that always puts you in your happy place, or calling a friend who always lifts your spirits. You are worth it.

Have any other tried-and-true (and simple!) ways to contribute on World Mental Health Day? Let us know in the comments!

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