Increase your daily mental health
Observed every May, Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to raise awareness and break the stigma around mental health and support people with mental illness. In fact, more than half of US adults will be diagnosed with a mental illness—a variety of conditions that affect one’s mood, behavior, feelings, or thinking—at some point in their lives. But we’re here to help you live well and work well – May 2023!
Mental health plays a big role in your overall health and well-being. It affects everything, including how you think, feel and act, and helps determine how you make healthy choices and manage stress. Because it’s such a crucial part of your well-being, it’s important to focus on maintaining or improving your mental health. Here are five ways to boost or prioritize your mental health every day:
- Express gratitude. Taking five minutes daily to write down the things you are grateful for has been shown to lower stress levels and can help you achieve a more positive mindset.
- Start stirring. Exercising regularly can benefit your brain function, reduce anxiety and improve your self-image.
- Spend time outdoors. Getting outside, especially when it’s sunny, can significantly improve your mood, which benefits your mental health.
- Please. Helping others and being kind not only helps the recipient, but can also benefit your mental health. Just holding the door for someone or paying a compliment can go a long way.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigued individuals typically experience drowsiness, mood swings, loss of energy and appetite, headaches, and lack of motivation, concentration, and alertness. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Seek help from your primary care physician or a mental health professional if you are concerned about your mental health. If you need mental health crisis support, or are worried about someone else, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available by calling or texting 988 and chatting online at 988lifeline.org.
Caffeine withdrawal symptoms? Decaffeinated can help
According to Drive Research, about 75% of Americans drink coffee every day, and half of adults surveyed drink three to five cups daily. Unfortunately, too much coffee can have negative side effects on your health. However, if you reduce your coffee intake, you may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms, making it more challenging to cut back. Common symptoms are headache, fatigue and irritability.
Fortunately, new research from the University of Sydney has a tip for people trying to drink less coffee. Researchers found that drinking a cup of high-quality decaffeinated coffee temporarily reduces withdrawal symptoms. The study noted that the cup of decaffeinated coffee should taste like the real deal to have an effect. The point was that some study participants were unaware that they were drinking decaf. This is due to conditioning. Many people associate coffee with its surrounding stimuli (eg taste and smell). Therefore, a quality cup of decaffeinated coffee can offer the same experiences without caffeine.
If you are concerned about your coffee consumption, talk to your doctor.
Improve your relationship with your phone
Smartphones have made our lives so much easier, but they can also affect our physical and mental well-being. To build a healthier relationship with your phone, try the following strategies:
- Turn off notifications. Disable notifications for social media apps or mute group chats to avoid being tempted by distractions.
- Check at specific times. Create achievable boundaries by checking your phone at certain times or leaving the phone in another room.
- Avoid use before bedtime. Try to cut down on phone use in bed or just before going to sleep. The bright screen can signal to your body that it’s time to be awake, so you may have trouble falling asleep or experience lower sleep quality.
Start small to create an action plan that works for your life and schedule.
Check out last month’s edition of Live Well Work Well – April 2023.
All of us here at CoverLink Wishing you continued health and safety this year!