Mental Health Month: 4 ways to virtually care for your mental well-being
From video chats to meditation tutorials, there are plenty of ways we can prioritize our mental health from the comfort and safety of our homes.
May is Mental Health Month, a month-long campaign that brings awareness to the importance of prioritizing mental health and break the stigma often associated with it.
In times of uncertainty, such as during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s natural to experience heightened stress and other difficult emotions. While many continue to stay home and physically distance ourselves from others, there are still ways we can prioritize our mental health.
Connect, don’t disconnect
For many, friends and family are our best built-in support systems. Consider setting up time to regularly connect over phone or video chat, ideally during a time in which you are most likely to experience feelings of loneliness and despair, such as the evening hours.
As many of us continue to adjust to a new working environment, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers helpful resources, including tips on managing your mental health while working from home and inspirational e-cards that you can share with your coworkers.
Finally, if you are looking to form connections with a new community, there are many COVID-19 support groups available on social media, including support groups specifically for parents, and other online platforms.
Try meditation (virtually)
Practicing meditation is a simple way to bring yourself back to the present moment and reduce stress. Many organizations now offer yoga and meditation classes on their websites or streamed through social media. Taking advantage of these virtual, instructor-led classes can help keep you on track and connect you to virtual communities online.
If meditation isn’t for you, consider breathing exercises which can help calm your body and mind and manage feelings of anxiety and panic. Box breathing involves a very simple technique and online tutorials can help you get started.
Let technology help you
Overconsumption of technology can enhance feelings of stress and anxiety, but when used correctly can also act as a helpful tool:
- If you can manage your symptoms at home, there are many apps that can help you make your mental health a priority.
- For those who need additional support, many mental health providers are also offering virtual sessions through telehealth, which can allow you to connect with a licensed therapist or mental health provider from the comfort of your own home.
- For those struggling with addiction or substance misuse, leading provider Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation offers free recovery resources and apps to keep you on track with your recovery journey.
- Finally, if you are experiencing a mental health emergency, know that there are resources available to you, 24/7, including anonymous crisis hotlines and text lines.
To learn more about Mental Health Month and how you can get involved, visit Mental Health America’s website and stay tuned for more helpful content from our experts on the Regence blog.
We’re here for you, however you need help.
If you need support, Regence is here to help. All Regence members can access COVID-19 resources free-of-charge through Regence Empower, a well-being platform that includes self-guided programs on managing stress, building resilience, and boosting nutrition. Members can also access a specialized behavioral health Customer Service call queue, trained in Mental Health First Aid.
To learn more about what Regence is doing to support our members, our providers and our communities, please visit http://www.regence.com/go/covid-19.