Mental Health Awareness

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Mental Health Awareness

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health is always a priority, and perhaps even more so in times of COVID-19. Many people right now are feeling more isolated due to social distancing, but it is important to remember that you are not alone! 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness in the course of their lifetime. With that in mind, here are some holistic ways to improve your mental health:

Meditation. Researchers at MGH have found that after only 8 weeks of daily meditation changed the brain’s grey matter, which is part of the central nervous system. Meditation has also been found to significantly reduce stress and improve emotional and physical responses to stressful situations. We have a new Wellness Manager, who offers meditation and yoga classes. Book an appointment with him and enjoy a virtual mindful meditation! We also recommend meditation apps like Calm, and Headspace.

Movement. Even just 20 minutes of daily movement increases blood flow and can help boost your mood thanks to endorphins! Exercise helps lower your stress levels, improves your sleep quality, and reduces your risk of depression and other ailments, such as heart attacks and cancer. But if you find yourself dreading working out, try making it more fun! For instance, blast some music and dance around your kitchen! We highly recommend the song Come on Eileen. Or do as the Gen Zers do and learn a Tik Tok dance challenge! Don’t feel like dancing? That’s okay– try taking a walk around your neighborhood and get some sunshine and fresh air. As long as it gets your heart rate up and makes you move, it counts! Take the pressure off yourself and focus on having fun!

Self Care. Self care is more important than ever. Do what makes you happy. Whether that is taking a bubble bath, or playing the piano, make sure you carve out time to feed your soul daily. Remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup. You deserve to be taken care of, and taking the time to honor yourself will help your overall health and happiness.

Connect. Although now is not the time to host gatherings, there are still plenty of ways to connect with loved ones! Use technology wisely, and FaceTime with friends! Download the Netflix Watch Party Chrome extension and enjoy your favorite shows with pals. Go the old school route and use your landline to call up someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. There are numerous ways to feel connected despite being socially distant. In fact, putting energy into these relationships now will strengthen your bond with them in the long run. So go ahead and call someone up! Tell them about this blog post!

Sleep. As Peter McAllister, neurologist at New England Institute for Neurology and Headache says, “Sleep is your secret weapon.” It’s true! Sleep hygiene is incredibly important to maintaining good mental health. Regulate your sleep schedule by limiting your caffeine intake before bedtime, creating a nightly routine, including a sleep and waking routine that you stick to and avoid using devices like your phone when you are trying to sleep.

Taking care of your mental health will help you show up as your best self. Hopefully this helps! Remember, as always, to be kind to yourself and others.