Monitoring Your Mental Health
As you know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How are you taking care of your mental health? Remember, self-care isn’t selfish! Here are some recommendations that could be helpful for you or employees in your organization for mental health and well-being.
Consider taking a social media break. Many of us feel the pressure of being “on” all the time. Social media is another way we can tend to feel “on”, whether that is due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), feeling like we have to keep up with the “perfect” life of our friends, wanting to be informed, or just plain habit. A 30-day social media break can be a welcome respite and help you get back to the basics of the present moment and what matters most to you. Does a social media break sound too extreme? Try removing the social media apps from your phone for a week or for a full 30 days. Removing the notifications from your phone is another tool to help you cut back on the habit of checking social media.
News cycle getting you down? Between the war in the Ukraine, political news, the continuing Covid pandemic, and more, it’s important to know your limits. Hubs is a journalist, so it’s impossible to enforce a no TV rule, however, I have learned other ways to take a break from the news. What has worked for me includes monitoring when I get my news (never first thing in the morning or right before bed), limiting how much time I spend watching or reading news, and removing news apps from my phone. We also learned to negotiate when the TV is on news channels, which sometimes means Hubs watches news on his laptop with earbuds. He gets his news fix, I get my news break.
If you have been following me for a while, you know I am a big believer in gratitude. Each morning I start my day by writing in the Five Minute Journal. I end my day with the same practice. Research shows that expressing gratitude improves our mental health. Journaling, writing letters of gratitude (even if you don’t send them!) and spending at least 20 seconds thinking about who and what you are grateful for are all ways to help reset your mental health through gratitude. In workshops I often ask participants to type something they are grateful for into the chat. You can create a Gratitude Wall on a whiteboard in a conference room and the break room, where people can write something on a sticky note or whiteboard. Expressing gratitude for the WINS of colleagues is also a wonderful way to recognize one another while also getting the great personal benefits of expressing gratitude. At staff meetings you can ask everyone to briefly share a WIN or something they are grateful for about one or two colleagues.
Meditation is also a wonderful mental health reset. All you need is your breath. No special equipment required. Try 16 seconds to clarity. Breathe in to the count of four, hold for four, exhale to the count of four, and hold your breath out to the count of four, all while observing your breath flow into, through, and out of your body. Just a few rounds and you’re experiencing a one minute meditation! Research shows that regular meditation increases the gray matter in the hippocampus in the brain, reduces blood pressure, and reduce anxiety. I meditate to help me remain calm and focused, to help with sleep, and manage stress. Scroll down to a link to one of my guided meditations!
Which of these tools for managing your mental health will you try this month? Which will you share with your team and employees? Let me know what resonates and works for you! Do you know someone who would benefit from reading these tips? Please forward my newsletter by clicking here.
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