Be Kind to Your Mind

Strengthen your mental and emotional wellness with stress management, mindful meditation or professional support.

Strengthen your mental and emotional wellness with stress management, mindful meditation or professional support.

Use our symptom tracker to recognize common signs that you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health issue.

A Message from Karinn Glover, MD, MPH

There are multiple ways to address well-being. Having a good laugh, eating good meals that include vegetables and fruits, spending time in nature, and forms of exercise like dancing are all very important. Group therapy, individual psychotherapy, and in certain cases, medication, can play a vital role in maintaining well-being, too.

Photo: Oren Siddo

A Message from Karinn Glover, MD, MPH

We are still living through pretty remarkable times: a pandemic, violence and social unrest. As we weather these times, we try to manage our stress, our shock and our sadness. Some of us eat comfort foods and scroll through social media, while others disconnect and meditate or hit the gym. To each their own. No matter what you do, here are some things to keep in mind about common self-management techniques.

Above all, check in with yourself about what you’re taking in. Watching the news, engaging with social media, dealing with bullies in real life or people who routinely instigate conflict can be very taxing on our well-being.

Next, consider all you do in response to the stress of the day. Take a deep breath? Snack on some cookies? Surf the Internet? All of those, in moderation, are fine. But if you treat your stress-related insomnia with screen time or if the snacks are making your clothes uncomfortably tight, it’s time to integrate other techniques into your routine.

Coping Strategies

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Grief is a natural response to loss, but that doesn’t mean navigating it comes naturally. Here are some tips to help you cope.

Symptom Tracker

Most Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Issues

Fatigue

Fatigue is more than being tired – it leaves you feeling so drained that it disrupts your daily life. Fatigue can cause a vast range of mental, physical and emotional symptoms, including headache, dizziness, impaired judgment, moodiness, short-term memory problems, poor concentration and low motivation, to name just a few.

Behavior and habit changes

Sudden changes in personality and behavior unrelated to an event (such as taking a drug or losing a loved one) often indicate a problem.

Increased substance use/abuse

Substance misuse and mental health conditions are often interconnected. In fact, half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder, and the combination can make both conditions worse.

Drastic mood changes

It’s common to experience a change in mood occasionally or to go through short periods of feeling extremely happy or sad. But if your behavior is unpredictable for several days or longer, it may be a sign of something more serious.

Increased irritability

Irritability is a common emotion, but extreme irritability for an extended time can be a symptom of an underlying condition such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental health issue.

Isolation from friends/stopping previously enjoyed activities

With the advent of COVID-19, social withdrawal has become a bigger problem because it often leads to feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness and can be a symptom of anxiety and depression.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Mental Health?

Start by finding ways of reducing your stress levels and get the support you need.

For more information on boosting your emotional well-being, see "Your Mental Health Matters"

Self-care

Meditate/do yoga

Deep breathing, meditation and some yoga poses can help relieve depression, reduce stress and ease anxiety. The breath training found in yoga may be especially helpful with anxiety related to breathing problems, and may provide benefits beyond the immediate moment.

Practice mindfulness

Try to be more aware of and awake to each moment and be fully engaged in what’s happening both inside of you and around you – with acceptance and without judgment.

Get consistent sleep

Lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to stress, and it can also trigger symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder.

Eat a balanced diet

Unprocessed foods, like whole grains, vegetables, lean meats and fresh fruit are the foundation for a healthy mind and body. Eating well can also help stabilize your mood. Including brain-boosting healthy fats can help you go the distance.

Schedule some “me” time

Do something that makes you feel good. It might be reading a book, watching a movie, listening to some music or taking your dog for a walk.

Exercise

Enjoy a walk in the sun, bike, swim, join a dance class or anything else that gets you moving, but make sure it’s fun.

Physical activity can jump-start your feel-good endorphins and other stress-relieving hormones that enhance your sense of well-being. Exercise can also improve your mood and help erase the day’s irritations.

Learn more about gym discounts for 1199SEIU members and the BeFitNYC program.

Re-engage

Connecting in person with friends and family is more important than you think.

Your friend gets your joke. Your co-worker offers congrats. Your loved one gives you a hug. They all help alleviate stress and boost your well-being. Social connection can lessen anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions and lead to higher self-esteem.

Learn More

Connect

Don’t go it alone.

The most important step in treating a mental health condition sometimes feels like the most challenging one — finding the right mental health professional. Whether you get help from a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist, a trustworthy and knowledgeable professional can be a valuable ally. It may take a little time and persistence to find the right person for you but stick with it.

The Benefit Funds Wellness Member Assistance Program offers confidential support to help you or your family. Learn more or call (646) 473-6900.

Mental Health by the Numbers

87% of people in the U.S. believe having a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.

86% believe people with mental health disorders can get better.

84% believe people with mental health disorders can live normal lives.

Source: Mental Health America

Of those who have received in-person therapy for mental health conditions, 82% thought it was very or somewhat helpful, as did 75% of those who received prescription medication or other treatment.

Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America

~75% of people who receive psychotherapy treatment benefit from it.

improved emotions and behaviors

fewer sick days

fewer medical problems

increased work satisfaction

Source: American Psychology Association

Join Us for Mindfulness Classes

  • Retirees: Tai Chi

    Monday, September 26 at 11:00 am

    Experience a gentle breath and movement meditation to help you feel more open, limber and calm.

    Meeting ID: 810 9614 8014

    Passcode: 141598

  • Retirees: Mindful Meditation

    Tuesday, September 27 at 11:00 am

    This class encourages a healthy mind-body connection with meditation and breathing techniques.

    Meeting ID: 833 2075 8796

    Passcode: 010490

    Call in: (929) 205-6099

    Classes are open to all retirees and are free of charge. No registration is required.

  • Retirees: Yoga

    Tuesday, September 27 at 1:00 pm

    Classes are open to all retirees and are free of charge. No registration is required.

    Meeting ID: 838 8144 4241

    Passcode: 347758

Resources

Resources for Adolescents and Young Adults

Access free or reduced-cost community services and programs close to where you live or work with findhelp.org. Search for support in your community, including housing assistance, emotional well-being resources, child care, legal help and more.

Visit findhelp.1199SEIUBenefits.org to get started.

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The information contained in this site is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives. See terms of use.