Elevating Mental Health and Wellness

April 10, 2021 / Dr. Sasha Waring, Senior Behavioral Health Medical Director, Molina Healthcare of Washington

Elevating Mental Health and Wellness

Elevating Mental Health and Wellness

By Dr. Sasha Waring, Senior Behavioral Health Medical Director, Molina Healthcare of Washington

 

Mental health is an inclusive term for our emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. It dictates how we think, feel, and act, respond to stress, relate to others, and make choices in our lives.

 

Good mental health empowers people to manage everyday pressures and contribute productively to their families and communities. If you’re not mentally healthy, these tasks become challenging. It may even lead to more serious mental health struggles, like:

 

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Low or no energy
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Not being able to perform daily tasks
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Mood swings, confusion, forgetfulness, or nervousness
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others—in which case, please seek help immediately by visiting suicidepreventionlifeline.org or calling 800-273-8255.

 

Issues with mental health are more common among those with low incomes—who are up to three times as likely to experience depression and anxiety than those with more wealth. Unemployment and homelessness compound the problem. The pandemic has caused record job loss, with low-income communities hit hardest. Since COVID-related lockdowns started, 46% of low-income adults in the US have had trouble paying bills, which means it has been an especially tough time for many of us.

 

Small changes you can make today

 

Little adjustments may not solve big problems immediately, but they can help you elevate your mood, bring stability and balance to your life, and allow you to do more of what you need and want to do each day. Try these strategies, which research shows can quickly help:

 

  • Remember you are a one-of-a-kind treasure: Be kind and respectful to yourself and avoid negative self-talk.
  • Take care of your body: Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, get moving, get outside, and sleep enough to wake feeling refreshed.
  • Set realistic targets: Write down goals you’d like to achieve and take steps toward them each day. They don’t have to be huge or overwhelming. Maybe you want to exercise 20 minutes a day. Start with walking and see how it goes.

    Remember it’s not all or nothing—even if you achieve a quarter or a half of a goal each day, this is a great start and will still likely help you feel better. Each day presents a new opportunity to take aim at these goals.

     

    If you would like support to improve and stabilize your mental health, Molina covers many behavioral health services. To learn more, visit MolinaHealthcare.com. Additionally, Psych Hub is the world's largest online platform for mental health education and it’s free for Molina members.

     

  • If you or a loved one are in distress or danger, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free, confidential support 24/7. Visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call (800) 273-8255.

 

 

Sources: 

 

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/01/poverty-mental-health-covid-intervention 

https://uhs.umich.edu/tenthings 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

 

 

Category: Mental Health