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Shape Your Environment

Mikayla Borchert

Benovate’s Expert Blogger

Mikayla Borchert

Benovates’ Expert Blogger

Healthy Ways to Improve Your Own Mental Wellbeing

When talking about mental health, the discussion often revolves around winter and dreary weather. Since May is Mental Health Month, Benovate is here to help you improve your mental wellbeing at work and at home now that warmer weather has arrived. While it’s true that sunshine and fresh air can boost your mood, keep in mind it’s important to work on your mental health year-round.

Working for Wellbeing

Career satisfaction can be great for mental wellbeing; everyone enjoys feeling purposeful and valuable! If you’re already happy at work, there are still steps you can take to improve your mental wellbeing, and if you’re unhappy, there’s an even greater opportunity to cultivate healthy habits.

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Take advantage of the resources provided by your employer.

This might include health insurance coverage of mental health services or even telecommute opportunities for days you have doctor’s appointments. Consider speaking with your supervisor about possible accommodations to fit your needs.

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Focus on your work-life balance

Do you respond to emails at all hours of the night and over holidays? 24/7 availability can seriously take a toll on your health. Be clear about your online hours, and stick to your schedule. If being away makes you feel anxious, try setting up an “out of office” reply for evenings and weekends.

Doing so will give you the freedom to check your emails when you’re feeling worried, but it’ll let the sender know not to expect a response right away. Many messaging applications like Slack have customizable mute settings, so look into whatever your workplace uses and adjust accordingly.

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Eat well and move often throughout the day

The things we associate with physical health can have a big impact on our mental healths—specifically, nutrition and exercise. These are often placed on the back burner during an eight-hour workday, but you can incorporate them into your workplace healthy habits! If you tend to sit all day, try using an adjustable desk so that you can stand intermittently. If you don’t want to buy a new desk, you could purchase an adapter or make one out of cardboard.

Another idea is to use resistance bands to lightly exercise at your desk or to take a walk on your break. In addition to moving throughout the day, pack a healthy lunch instead of going out to eat. It’s much better for your health and your wallet.

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Do your Homework

When improving your experience at work, you have to work with what’s available. When improving your time at home, you have much more freedom to make changes. Here are a few healthy habits to live by to improve your mental wellbeing at home.

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Once again, taking care of your body is also taking care of your mind, so incorporate more healthy activities and foods into your life.

Make a weekly schedule of fruits and vegetables you want to try cooking with, and take your leftovers for lunch. Write a list of things you want to do outside. Have you ever gone kayaking? Is there a bike path near your home you’ve always wanted to explore? Enjoy the warm weather while it’s here! Swapping out TV time for exercise can be even more fun, especially if you invite some friends.

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Take some time for yourself

Do you struggle to turn your brain off after a long day? Stress is hard to deal with, so it’s important to practice healthy management strategies. Over time, you’ll get better and better at relaxing when you need a break. Focused breathing is one of the easiest ways to lower your stress level. According to the University of Michigan, “With your eyes closed, shift your attention to the tip of your nose. As you breathe in, become aware of the air entering your nostrils. As you breathe out, be aware of the sensations of air passing back out. Do this several times.” Visit their website for a list of one-minute stress strategies.

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Don't be afraid to get help

You don’t have to be severely struggling to benefit from a professional. In fact, it can be beneficial to learn coping strategies and build a trusting relationship before a time of hardship. If you find that simple stress strategies and healthy habits aren’t quite doing the trick, ask your primary healthcare provider for recommendations.

Building mental wellbeing is a full-time adventure, so take advantage of the upcoming summer activities and seasonal foods. When your work and home lives work together, your health will follow suit.

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