May is Mental Health Awareness Month

​The past several years have been a challenge to our mental health. Social isolation, anxiety, depression, grief, substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicidal ideation have escalated. 

The demands of our jobs in healthcare, the political climate, the increase of safety concerns, and challenges in our lives impact all aspects of well-being: physically, emotionally, occupationally, economically, socially, spiritually, and culturally.    

The good news is that there is greater awareness that we all need to be incorporating regular self-care strategies into our lives for our own mental well-being. Here are five  recommendations for continued mental fitness. 

  1. Set daily attainable goals for your own well-being.
  2. Find a minimum of 10 minutes each day to devote to your resilience; more is even better.
  3. Discover the right match of self-care activities for you and do them regularly. Chose activities that give you a break from the constant stress. Try various exercise routines, walking the dog, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, prayer, gardening, connections with others, music, therapy, improved nutrition, reading, sleep, or other forms of restoration.
  4. Connect with friends and family. Having a support network of friends and family can help people get through periods of trauma and improve our ability to respond to stress
  5. Get quality sleep to recharge physically and mentally.

Assess your own mental health. Work/Life Connections-EAP has several online anonymous screening tools available for VUMC faculty, staff, and spouses by signing into your Health and Wellness Portal or by visiting our online screening tools.