Three Ways to Take Care of Your Emotional Health
The pandemic has been hard on all of us.
Things are getting better, but many people still feel stress, anxiety and loneliness. If you’re out of work, your children are behind in learning, or you’re worried about someone you love getting sick, you may feel overwhelmed at times. If you had depression, anxiety or substance use issues in the past, you may find that the pandemic has made things harder.
It’s never been more important to take care of your mental health. It not only helps you, it also helps those you love.
Here are three simple ways to do it.
Take time to take care of yourself
We all have busy lives. Taking a break from work or family to take care of your mental health may seem selfish—or simply impossible. But even just a minute or two each day can help you feel more relaxed. Try one of these tips:
- Get outside. Fresh air, light and a change of scenery can make a world of difference. Take a ten-minute walk or just stand in the sunshine (make sure you wear sunscreen) and take some deep breaths.
- Meditate for a minute. Meditating doesn’t take any special skills. Just sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus on your breath for a few minutes. Notice the sound and the feel of the air in and out of your nose. If your mind wanders, gently guide it back to your breath. That’s all there is to it!
- Say thank you. Many people find it helps their mood to write down things they’re grateful for every day. It can be something as important as your kids or spouse or as simple as your morning coffee.
Use your health and wellness benefits
You’ve probably heard people joke about gaining the “COVID 19.” It’s human nature to turn to not-so-healthy food to cope with difficult feelings. With our daily routines disrupted, many of us are less active, too. But eating healthy foods and staying active are key to your emotional health.
Our nutrition coaching program, called Good Measures, may be a great option. You can work one-on-one with a registered dietitian, who can create a meal plan for you. You may be surprised by how much better you feel when you’re eating healthy foods!
Visit Good Measures* online or call member services at 866-738-4116 (TTY: 711) to see if you qualify.
* Tufts Health Plan has a minority ownership interest in Good Measures.
Get help if you need it
If your feelings of anxiety or sadness are so strong that they’re making everyday life difficult, it may help to talk to a behavioral health professional. There’s no shame in getting help. A counselor or therapist can talk with you about how you’re feeling. He or she also can give you strategies to help you cope and connect you with other resources.
Your plan covers outpatient and inpatient mental health and substance use disorder services. Use our search tool to see a list of in-network providers in your area. Many providers are offering telehealth visits, so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.
It’s been a tough year, with lots of ups and downs. At Tufts Health Plan, we’re here for you, ready to support your emotional and physical health.