5 things you can do
for your mental health
It’s easier to prevent mental health problems than to treat them. Investing time to take care of yourself and your mental health now might prevent prospective mental health problems. When a crisis does occur, you’ll be able to intervene earlier if you’re paying close attention to your emotional health.
Your mind and your body are linked. Neglected mental health can lead to a higher risk for physical health issues, like diabetes or heart diseases. Emotional health is also for your quality of life. Your psychological well-being does not only affect your social life and daily routines, but your ability to motivate yourself, being productive and completing your work tasks.
Here are five top tips to improve your mental health from your Employee Assistance Program:
1 Value yourself and your mind
Treat yourself like a friend. You deserve the same kindness and respect as you would show your best friend. Try to avoid self-criticism, celebrate small achievements instead of boosting your confidence by activating the reward circuitry within your brain. Listen to your body and take a break if you need it. Make leisure a priority. Leisure time is a necessity for emotional and mental health. Take some time to relax, contemplate, and pay attention to the positive things as you go about your day. Write them down if you can, because they can be easily forgotten. Then you can reflect on them later if your mood is in need of a boost.
2 Get sufficient sleep
Sleep reenergizes your brain cells. Sufficient sleep helps to regulate the chemicals in your brain that manage your moods and emotions. Don’t cut back on sleep, just because you have a lot on your plate. Especially in stressful times, sleep is important to maintain your productivity, motivation and resilience. Also lack of sleep is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. One way to get sleep better is to avoid TV, phones, computers or other screens two hours before bedtime. EAP-Counselors can help you improve your sleep and overcome issues related to sleeping.
3 Learn how to deal with stress
It’s important to know how to relax both your mind and your body. In stressful times, you need good coping skills. You may want to learn yoga or meditation practices to really reduce your stress. In Sessions with your EAP Counselor you could also practice deep breathing or other relaxation exercises to help reduce the overall levels of stress. No matter what you try, incorporate some form of regular stress relief into your schedule. If you feel overwhelmed, try to organize yourself by making a list of your responsibilities and worries. Often if you break down your stresses and write them down, you realize that they are manageable after all.
4 Connect with others
Social support is a key factor in good mental health. So, it’s important to invest time into your social life. Make an effort to foster good relationships and talk to other people whenever you get the chance. Spend quality time with people you care about. Having social connections is important, not only for your self-esteem, but also for providing support when you’re not feeling great. In-person social interactions with a near person is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and relieve stress.
5 Ask for help
Seeking help is a sign of strength – not a weakness. One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognize when you’re not feeling good and to know when to ask for help. There’s no shame in asking someone for support if you’re feeling low or overwhelmed. Make contact with your Employee Assistance Program to get professional help – via chat, phone, online counselling or in person. A counsellor can help you figure out the cause of your problem, how to minimize it, and how to learn techniques to handle it in the future.
You have the power to take positive steps to improve your own mental health. Don’t wait until you’re in a crisis to make your mental health a priority.