It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and with the current state of the world, there’s never been a better time to create your own anxiety toolkit.
Stress and anxiety have recently taken on whole new meanings, and it’s important to keep your mental health a priority during these tumultuous and uncertain times.
Cook and eat well-balanced meals and snacks.
Fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods isn’t just good for your body—it’s good for your mind, too! Certain ingredients, like nuts, fatty fish or the dark chocolate used in these energy bars, have multiple mood-boosting properties. The act of cooking (if you enjoy it) has its own benefits, including the simple pleasure of savoring the aromas and being mindful as you chop, stir or roll.
Limit caffeine and alcohol.
Times of high anxiety may lead us to reach for things that, when we overindulge, can make uneasiness worse.
Regular exercise helps with happiness. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. Exercising outside gives the added benefit of getting some vitamin D. Aim for at least 30 minutes of walking, running or other aerobic exercise at least three times per week.
Practice healthy sleeping habits.
Quality sleep is important to overall physical and emotional well-being. Good sleep helps to regulate our moods while we are awake. A lack of sleep can lead to cognitive impairment and general foul moods. Consider developing a nightly sleep ritual: Turn off electronics, do a few minutes of light stretching and take some slow, deep breaths before climbing into bed. The ritual will signal to your body that it is time for rest.
Perform deep breathing.
According to a report from Harvard Medical School, deep abdominal breathing can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure, helping to minimize or overcome physiological responses to stressors. The report suggests breathing in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and belly to fully expand and exhaling out, slowly, through your mouth. Repeat until you’re feeling calmer.
Activities like meditation and yoga combine the anxiety-reducing techniques of exercise and deep breathing into one powerful practice. In a report for the American Osteopathic Association, Dr. Natalie Nevins explains that “regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention and sharpens concentration.”
But remember, just as anxiety affects everyone differently, so will these suggested approaches. What’s important is creating a custom anxiety toolkit that works for you.
Now more than ever your employees need emotional support and resources. The global quarantine has created a whole new set of stressors that have woven their way into the home & work and of course staying healthy. We can help!
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work-life balance and increase your happiness.
The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
To learn how we can help, give call us at 866-648-8326.