May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Good mental health means that we can find joy and positively deal with life's inevitable challenges. It is a time to assess the balance we have in our lives, despite today's dramatic and unexpected stressors. This year has brought so much more than the "normal stresses of life". The Middle Tennessee area has been impacted by tornados, COVID-19, powerful storms, and power outages. Paying attention to our positive emotional well-being is more important now than ever.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community".

Building resilience helps us manage these stressors and bounce back when there are life challenges. Here are some tips and resource to elevate your psychological resilience:

  1. Being effective at work: For those who are working remotely during this time, it can be especially challenging.
  2. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle can be a critical component for positive mental health. Health Plus supports good nutrition and exercise though their Nutrition Corner and  Move in May programs.
  3. Nurturing our social connections: During this time, we are aware of maintaining appropriate physical distancing and the need to recognize the importance and frustrations of connecting with colleagues, friends, and family. Phone, text, or facetime someone you have meant to touch base with but haven't made time.  
  4. Recovery, Recharging, and Relaxation. Quiet time is helpful to allow our mind to wander or simply relax, which helps our brain recharge through some mindfulness techniques.
  5. Get Sufficient Sleep. We need dedicated time to give our brain and body the rest it needs to consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day. "Sleep in the midst of a pandemic" can be difficult yet important for good mental and physical health.
  6. Address the Stress: Today, we are also dealing with uncertainty and that can be unsettling. Stephanie Dean LPC, CEAP, Assistant Manager shares some ways to cope in Resilience During COVID-19.  Stephanie offers some suggestions for taking care of your mental health during this time.
  7. Help is Available: If your mental well-being encounters significant challenges such as depression, addiction, problems coping, or other stressors including the many forces that are impacting us daily, Work/Life Connections-EAP is a resource that can be a helpful resource to elevate your psychological resilience. Call 615-936-1327 for a confidential appointment. Work/Life Connections (WLC) is currently providing counseling, coaching, critical incident stress management debriefings, and resilience skill training through our ConnectCARE option, offering confidential ZOOM telehealth sessions.
  8. If you have children, your mental health improves when we can help our kids: The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is offering a parent education group for parenting during a pandemic. 
  9. Become Aware of Well-being Resources: Your Well-being Navigator is a one-stop website that links you with resources for all your well-being needs, especially in this time of COVID-19. This digital resource houses links to resources that will support your physical health, mental health, social health, home life, and workspace.

During this month, consider your own mental health. Do one thing each day to supports your emotional well-being. It all adds up.