Tips to Support Your Mental Health and Well-being

Aug 27 • 2018

3 Tips to Achieve Mental Health and Wellness

Just as diet and exercise contribute to physical wellness, managing stress and work hours can improve mental health and happiness. Seeking out trained or licensed mental health professionals also can help prevent burnout and emotional distress—in and outside of the workplace. To identify three simple strategies that most people can try to help improve their mental and physical health, we consulted with Melissa Wilkes, director of the CONCERN Group Employee Assistance Program.

1. Confide in a Loved One

Medical professionals often recommend talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, as part of treatment for depression and stress-related anxiety. When working with a mental health professional, talk therapy provides an outlet to speak honestly and offers individuals guidance to solve problems.

Similarly, speaking with a loved one and sharing thoughts, feelings and fears help alleviate stress. According to Wilkes, it’s also helpful to seek out someone you can comfortably speak with and who can be honest with you.

 “A one-on-one conversation offers the opportunity to get another perspective on a stressful situation and find solutions to difficult problems,” said Wilkes.

For individuals who witness trauma or hardship, talking candidly with others in similar fields or environments also can be helpful. Speaking with others in similar positions or roles allows you to express your feelings or thoughts in a safe and understanding space.

2. Balance Personal and Professional Life

Reduce stress and anxiety by practicing a healthy work-life balance. Juggling the demands of a career and a personal life often causes stress. Continual stress and anxiety easily affect both mental and physical health.

“Without realizing it, issues from work may cause problems at home, and issues at home may break your concentration at work,” said Wilkes. “A healthy work-life balance helps you identify and address personal or professional issues before they cause more stress in your life.”

In line with your employer’s policies, take steps to achieve a positive work-life balance and regularly practice them. At work, set manageable goals, proactively communicate and take breaks to clear your head. At home, unplug from mobile devices, practice self-care and take advantage of your company’s employee assistance program to find useful resources.

3. Eat Right and Exercise

Research shows a healthy diet and exercise have a strong and positive impact on physical health and well-being. Studies indicate that the same is true for mental health. Eating right and exercising improve physical and mental health, make you feel better and reduce stress.

To prevent disease and promote mental clarity, eat fruits, vegetables and meats high in protein but low in fat, such as chicken and fish. Avoid processed foods and foods high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates. Engage in some form of exercise or physical activity every day to achieve a sense of accomplishment and increase your confidence.

For many, the hardest part of eating healthy and exercising is getting started. To launch healthy eating habits and effective exercise routines, Wilkes recommends setting reasonable expectations.

“Don’t get discouraged if you need to modify meals or skip a segment of your workout,” said Wilkes. “Find what works for you and gradually make adjustments as you challenge yourself.

Access to Employee Mental Health Resources at Baptist

Through the CONCERN Group Employee Assistance Program, mental health professionals provide free mental health services, guidance and resources to Baptist employees, including unlimited confidential counseling, conflict resolution services and referral assistance.

According to Wilkes, Baptist staff members learn how to effectively manage both personal and professional stress and address mental health issues privately and confidentially.

“Just like exercise, no one ever regrets getting mental health assistance,” said Wilkes. “You’re already getting counseling from relationships with friends and family members, so why not speak with an expert and get more guidance.”

Learn more about the CONCERN Group Employee Assistance Program at Baptist and view the full range of mental health services for Baptist employees. Meet counseling staff by visiting the Meet Our EAP Counselors page.