By Nicole Milton, Training Manager, MHA of Greater Houston

In 2008 the US House of Representatives named July National Minority Mental Health Month to promote Mental Health/Mental Illness Awareness and improve access to mental health services among minority (marginalized) communities. As the month draws to a close, I wanted to share a quick reflection about taking care of my mental health. I serve as the Training Manager for MHAGH and am uniquely positioned to facilitate sessions under the umbrella of Mental Health to various audiences, including the food/beverage industry, faith-based organizations, and social services. One of my favorite sessions to facilitate is “Prioritizing Your Self-Care”. Learning to keep Self-Care at the top of my Must-Do list has been the most effective strategy to help me maintain my mental health.

Self-care is actively (intentionally) looking after your own well-being, which can look different for each person.  It may be a quick 5 min meditation, a walk around the neighborhood, or as simple as saying no. Typically, we are socialized to believe that being selfish is a less-than-desirable character attribute, however, we are not taught how to set boundaries and promote self-preservation. Essentially, there are times when we are required to be selfish with our most important asset, ourselves.  One of my favorite tips to share with audiences is that self-care does not have to be a daunting overhaul of your daily routines, it is as simple as doing what you need to do to be your best self. Here are 3 quick question prompts/actions to help you start or edit your journey to prioritizing your self-care:

  1.  What can my current self do that will set my future self up for success?

   “I am always stressed trying to get to work on time, but I can prepare my lunch and select my attire the night before to make getting up and out of the house easier.”

2. What is my locus of control?

“I cannot control the traffic, but I can control how I experience it. I will find a relaxing playlist, call my favorite people, or listen to a podcast to help me navigate the 610 traffic.”

3.  Take a Self-Care Inventory

There are about 8 different types of self-care areas including Work, Financial, and Social Self-Care. Taking an inventory of your current practices highlights areas of opportunity in your current self-care regimen.

I hope you do something great for yourself today and every day. If you are interested in more information or resources about Mental Health, please visit our website at  Happy Minority Mental Health Month!

By: Nicole Milton, Training Manager,