We all know the importance of regular physicals and check-ups, but when was the last time you checked in on your mental health?
May is Mental Health Awareness month, serving as a good reminder of how crucial a healthy mind is in the overall map of our wellbeing. This list and infographic can get you started.
1. Appreciate yourself
The first thing you can do is appreciate yourself. Recognize how valuable you are! Make it a habit to treat and see yourself positively, especially if you begin to feel self-doubt rising. Just as you would praise a colleague or family member, compliment yourself. Be grateful for what you have instead of focusing on the things you haven’t obtained or accomplished.
2. Manage your stress
Like it or not, stress is unavoidable. But what you can do is manage your stress. Spend time with loved ones, listen to your favorite song, watch a funny movie, take a walk, work on a hobby; do whatever it takes to bring your stress levels down. It may also help to recognize the difference between good stress, which is exhilarating and can fire you up to finish an important project, and bad stress, which can be debilitating.
3. Daily positive affirmation
The way you think about yourself can have a powerful effect on your psyche. Get used to using words that put yourself in a positive light. When you feel your thoughts turning to a dark place, train yourself to think in more optimistic terms. This step may require professional help since it is a significant change in thinking. Employees of our clients who offer Nextep’s medical plans can contact their Health Advocate and get guidance on where to find qualified cognitive behavioral therapy.
4. Move to improve
Exercising will help your body release endorphins, get rid of stress, and improve your mood. Try to exercise at least 15 minutes every day, even if it’s just a leisurely walk. Medline.gov offers a wealth of information about the importance of exercise, as well as easy-to-follow plans to get started.
5. Catch some Zzz
Did you know there’s a correlation between depression and not getting enough sleep? In fact, people with sleep apnea are five times more likely to also suffer from depression, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. It’s safe to say that lack of sleep can have a negative effect on a person’s mood. Try to set your bedtime and sleep regularly every day, and seek help if your sleep is regularly disrupted or shortened.
While many of these steps are small, they may seem overwhelming to someone in the midst of a depressive episode. Consulting a qualified, certified professional is an essential piece of this puzzle. Again, Nextep clients and their employees can contact their Health Advocate for person-to-person advice on providers in the insurance network.
Let’s keep the wellness party going! Visit our online wellness center today for tons of free mental health resources!