20 Maternal Mental Health Activities for Mental Health Awareness Month

mental health month activities for moms
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Lauren Hays

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

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20 Mental Health Awareness Month Activities for Maternal Mental Health

Mental health should be at the top of the priority list for new mothers and, in fact, all mothers. The transition into motherhood is beautiful, yet it can be overwhelming, leading to anxiety and stress. The month of May is not only Mental Health Awareness Month but we also celebrate Maternal Mental Health Week. It’s a perfect time for new moms to slow down, reflect, and focus on improving their mental health and well-being. This listicle offers 20 compelling mental health activities for new and busy moms to incorporate into their daily routine. 

Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month

May isn’t just a month for blossoming gardens and sunny weather; it’s also a critical time for mental health awareness. For mothers, this month is a vital reminder to prioritize their mental health, as a strong mother’s mental well-being positively impacts the entire family. By engaging in these 20 activities, you can pave the way for a calmer, more centered existence, ready to tackle the joys and challenges of motherhood.

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week

This week provides an annual opportunity for mothers to engage in mental health activities that enhance their emotional and psychological resilience. From guided meditations to creating family art, every activity aims to foster a supportive and positive mental health environment for both mothers and their loved ones.

Mental Health Awareness Month Activities to Make Time for Yourself, Mama

Recognizing and addressing one’s own mental health is not a luxury; it’s a necessity to be the best mother you can be. These activities have been curated to fit seamlessly into your life while supporting mental health and wellbeing.

1. Guided Meditations

Find a few minutes in your day to incorporate guided meditation. Apps like Headspace, and Calm offer a wide range of meditation topics and types.  While The Matrescence® contains specific meditations for new mothers to cope with anxiety and exhaustion. By focusing your mind, these brief sessions can help you approach your day with a clear and positive mindset.

2. Mindful Breathing

Whether squeezed in between diaper changes or grocery runs, take a few minutes to practice mindful breathing. This is one of the best ways to center yourself and combat the stress that can build up throughout the day.

3. Postnatal Yoga

Join a postnatal yoga class or find a quiet corner at home to practice. Postnatal yoga can be a gentle and effective way to improve physical health while also offering mental health benefits.
yoga mental health activity

4. Take a News Break

With the media often causing stress, consider taking a break from news that might be alarming. Your energy will reflect on your family’s mental health and reduce the tense atmosphere at home.

List of Mental Health Awareness Month Ideas for the Family

The family unit is integral to a mother’s mental health. Engaging in these activities together not only fosters a supportive family environment but also allows for growth and transformation, while addressing any mental health issues.

5. Meditate Together

Meditating with your family can be a powerful bonding experience. Choose a quiet time, sit together, and meditate. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, such sessions can enhance your family’s mental health by promoting relaxation and connection.  With little ones we find this easiest to do at bedtime.  Goodnight Toes, from our Mama & Me collection, is the most downloaded meditation in The Matrescence® App!

6. Art Activities

Creating art is a wonderful outlet for emotions and a fun family activity. Set up a family art session where each member expresses themselves through art, allowing for conversations about mental health.

7. Group Exercise for Mental Wellbeing

Exercise as a family can improve mental wellness by releasing endorphins and reducing stress. Take a family walk, go for a bike ride, or have a dance party. The key is to engage in physical wellness activities that brings joy to all.

8. Get Outside

Spending time in nature is a well-documented mood-booster. Plan outdoor activities as a family or enjoy a meal in the yard. The fresh air and change of scenery can do wonders to promote mental health and well-being.

9. Attend a Mental Health Awareness Month Event

Participate in local events that promote mental health awareness, offer mental health screenings, or provide mental health resources for support. Sharing these experiences as a family can foster open communication about mental health, raise awareness, and reduce the stigma around mental health.

Activities to Improve Mental Health

Implementing a self-care routine is not only beneficial for your mental health but it also teaches your children the importance of self-love and care.

10. Establish a Self-Care Routine

Set aside time each day for self-care activities that prioritize your mental health such as reading, taking a bath, or enjoying a cup of tea. This routine can become a sacred time for you to relax and recharge.

11. Take A Mindful Walk

Savor a solo walk in the early morning or twilight. Enjoy the sound of birds, smell the flowers, and feel the breeze. Your senses will come alive, grounding and soothing your mind.

12. Journaling

Spend time reflecting on your day through journaling. Write about your highlights, challenges, and feelings. Journaling can provide a much-needed outlet for your emotions and a means to track your mental health state over time. Make this practice a habit with the 5-Minute Journal.

13. Connect with Other Moms

Building a network of other moms can be very supportive. Share experiences with mental health, offer and receive advice, or just enjoy a casual chat. Connecting with others who understand your struggles can be incredibly validating. The Matrescence® App + Community is a fantastic resource to connect with other mothers prioritizing their mental health and wellness.

14. Prioritize Sleep

New mothers often miss out on sleep, and it’s vital to prioritize rest. Make adjustments to get more sleep, whether it means going to bed earlier, taking naps, or enlisting help to care for your baby at night. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious mental health concerns.  Our guide How to Get Sleep With a Newborn will help you create a game-plan to get the rest you deserve!

15. Reflect on Gratitude

Each day, take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Practicing gratitude can shift your focus from stress to appreciation, improving your mental outlook and emotional resilience. 

Creative Activities for Mental Health Awareness

Creative expression is a powerful form of release. These activities encourage you to explore and communicate your innermost thoughts and feelings.

16. Create A Vision Board

Gather images and words that represent your dreams and aspirations. Arrange them on a board to create a visual representation of your future, giving you a clear focus and renewed motivation.

17. DIY Projects

Engaging in do-it-yourself projects can be a fulfilling way to spend your time. They offer a sense of accomplishment and can be a great way to express your creativity.

18. Learn a New Skill

Challenge yourself to learn something new, whether it’s a language, an instrument, or a craft. Learning can be invigorating and can boost your confidence, a key component of mental health.

19. Engage in Music Therapy

Listen to or play music as a form of therapy. Music has the power to uplift and soothe, providing you with an emotional outlet and a means to shift your mood.

Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month at Work

Fostering positive mental health at work is not just beneficial; it’s essential for creating a thriving work environment. Encouraging employees to have open dialogues about mental health breaks down stigmas and builds a culture of understanding and support. Check with your company’s HR to see how your company supports employee mental health in the workplace or if you have access to a mental health professional.

20. Create or Attend Peer Support Circles in the Workplace

Establish safe spaces where employees can share their experiences with mental health, listen to others, and provide support for each other in a non-judgmental environment.

Benefits of Mental Health Activities

In conclusion, mental health activities are crucial in navigating the rocky waters of motherhood. By carving out time for activities that nourish your mind and soul, you’re not only fostering your own mental health but also setting a powerful example for your family. This Maternal Mental Health Month, take a step towards a more mindful, joyous life by engaging in these 20 activities to prioritize mental health. You deserve it, mama. If you’re struggling with mental health conditions don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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Picture of Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren was a licensed and trained registered nurse in the NICU and has since made a career shift to focus on mental health. Lauren is now a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, focusing on women’s health and wellness. She is a mom of three precious little men who has turned her pain into passion.

mother with eyes closed pressing her face up against her infant to calm her anxious feelings

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