World Mental Health Day is a reminder to us all to intentionally pause and reflect on the importance of nurturing our emotional well-being. In our busy lives, it can be easy to overlook and even deprioritize our own needs. Over time, this lack of self care can manifest as increased irritability, fatigue, anxiety, depression or even burnout. Today, take a moment to reflect on how you can prioritize your mental health through mindfulness practices, connection to others and accessing therapy.Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, without judgment. By routinely engaging in mindfulness, you can reduce stress, anxiety and improve your overall well-being.
- Meditation. By sitting for a few minutes each day and drawing your focus to a single object, thought or activity you can gain greater emotional and mental clarity. If you’re having trouble focusing, try looking up “Guided Meditation” on Spotify or Youtube and simply listen along!
- Deep Breathing. Did you know that how you breathe changes based on how you feel? By taking a few minutes to practice slow, deep breaths, you can “hack” your nervous system into feeling more calm and relaxed.
- Gratitude Journaling. Try writing down 3 things you’re grateful for each day to promote a positive outlook.
Human connection is a fundamental need and greatly impacts your mental health. Here are ways to nurture the relationships in your life or find opportunities to form new relationships.
- Reach out. Make an effort to connect with people you care about regularly. If you’re a big texter, try calling or writing a letter. If you’re used to phone calls, try scheduling a time for an in-person visit. If you often forget to follow up or reach out to loved ones, try setting calendar reminders.
- Ask a new question. In long term relationships, it can be easy to feel like you know everything about a person. Try to ask your friends/loved ones a new question about themselves. “When was the last time you felt proud?” or “What makes you smile every time you think about it?” are some examples you could try.
- Join supportive spaces. If you find yourself wanting to develop new connections try joining a club or taking a class. If you have trouble finding one – consider starting your own by using a social media platform like Facebook Groups.
Everyone benefits from having a safe and unbiased space to talk about their experiences. A therapist can help you build better self-care practices and navigate stressors without judgment. Here at Goodwill, all full-time and part-time employees have access to 15 free counseling sessions each year through TAVA Health.
In addition to TAVA, Goodwill employees have access to free, emergency mental health services through the Employee Assistance Program as well as nurse health coaches and mental health specialists on the Goodwill staff. Life coaches also help Goodwill employees identify other resources to support their overall well-being and personal and professional development.
Your mental health matters! Use the tips above to start prioritizing your own emotional well-being on this year’s World Mental Health Day.
Sarah Ash, LCSW, is the Mental Health Strategist at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. If you’re interested in employment at Goodwill, visit our careers page.