Tips for Strengthening Your Mental Health
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brain heealth

Tips for Strengthening Your Mental Health

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

 

Here are 3 tips on how to observe mental health awareness month:

1. Take care of YOU!

Life is full of ups and downs. Some are solvable but others are not so much. When you are struggling, be sure to seek help to help you through the tough time, because, after all, life has much more to offer than just pain and suffering. With your III-A EAP Benefit (Employee Assistance Program), you receive 10 sessions with a counselor per event at no charge. You can also call the III-A Medical Telehealth line to see if medication might be helpful as well. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak; it shows you are strong and dedicated to feeling better.

2. Be there for your loved ones.

Check up on your friends and family often. Many times, all people need is a phone call or text asking how they are doing, or a shoulder to cry on. Support and encourage them if they are being treated for any mental health issues. And sometimes, they might just need an ear to listen.

3. Talk about brain health.

One of the best ways to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month is by talking about it with your family and friends. The more you talk about it, the more normalized it will become. This is one of the aims of the month as the stigma attached to mental health has led to countless delays in treatment. Instead of calling it “mental health,” try referring to it as “brain health.”  And just like you would seek care for a broken bone or other ongoing medical condition, be sure to seek care for a “brain” condition as well.

Did you know?

  • In the U.S., anxiety disorder is the most common form of mental illness.
  • Anxiety disorder is treatable in many cases, but only about 36% of people opt to seek treatment.
  • Multiple factors cause anxiety, from brain activities to genetics to life events, a host of factors can lead to a person developing an anxiety disorder.
  • Many studies have proven that a little boost of energy from exercise can help lessen the effects of anxiety disorder.

 

 

 

Things you can do to strengthen your brain health by releasing happy hormones:

 

Oxytocin

  • Spend time with friends
  • Cuddle (humans or pets)
  • Share a meal with a loved one
  • Be romantic with your significant other
  • Perform an act of kindness

 

Endorphins

  • Laugh
  • Take a hot bath
  • Group exercise
  • Eat dark chocolate
  • Meditate

 

Serotonin

  • Eat tryptophan-rich foods (turkey, chicken, tuna, oats, nuts, and seeds)
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Get outside in nature
  • Get a massage
  • Gratitude journaling

 

Dopamine

  • Listen to music
  • Meditate
  • Sleep
  • Eat adequate protein
  • Daily sun exposure (15 min)

 

For more tips and strategies on improving your brain health, contact Megan Smith, III-A Wellness Manager, at MeganSmith@iii-a.org.