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Like very few things in life, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate—and nor do the subsequent mental health problems it’s brought about. According to research from the CDC, although the pandemic has impacted different people to differing degrees, pretty much every group of society has faced some sort of mental health struggle during COVID. 60% of adults have reported struggles with their mental health, while 67% of young people believe the pandemic will have a long-term negative effect on their mental health. But if COVID has brought us one positive among so many negatives, it’s increased awareness of exactly how important mental health and wellbeing is across all levels of society, and all aspects of life.
At Koa Health, we know that balanced wellbeing makes an impact on us all, at work, at home, and basically everywhere. And while no one of us can solve the worldwide issues of limited access to care, we can, however, commit to taking care of our own wellbeing, on our own terms.
We know it’s not a world-changer, but in case it helps, here are three simple tips (inspired by activities from our evidence-based wellbeing app), Foundations, you can use to support your own wellbeing, in 5 minutes or less.
3 ways to manage your wellbeing today
1. Try mindful breathing
When we’re stressed, many of us have a tendency to hold our breath. When this happens, deep breathing is a good way to get the oxygen flowing again (and the science indicates it should help you to start to feel less stressed fairly quickly, fingers crossed).
If you’d like to give it a go, start by finding a comfortable place to sit and focus on your breathing. Take three seconds to inhale through your nose, and four seconds to exhale through your mouth. Repeat the process until you start to feel calm and relaxed.
2. Record your negative thoughts
When your brain is cycling through negative thoughts over and over, getting those thoughts down somewhere may help get them out of your head. One approach is to start a “thought record” of all the emotions that you’re feeling.
Interested in testing this technique? Write down whatever’s troubling you, and describe how you feel. Just the act of paying attention to your thoughts this way can help you reduce stress. Afterwards you may find it easier to focus on the task at hand without negative thoughts breaking your concentration.
3. Boost your mood by focusing on the positives
Everyone has good days and bad days. And healthy mental wellbeing isn’t limited to one feeling—it encompasses the ups and downs of everyday life and happy and not-so-happy goings on. That said, feeling down can make a busy day or long to-do list extra hard to face. Fortunately one of the best ways to give yourself a boost is easy, fast and free. Positive thinking may sound trite, but gratitude and appreciation have a real impact on how we feel.
To try it out, spend a few minutes thinking about the positive things in your life, what you’re grateful for, the people who are closest to you (and what you appreciate about them) as well as your own talents. Depending on what you’re feeling down about, you can tweak this—feeling overly critical of colleagues? Think about the ways they’ve supported you in the past and what you appreciate about their personalities. Feeling like everything is going wrong? Move your focus to the things that have gone right, however small.
Whatever you do this World Mental Health Day, we hope that you’re able to make some time for your wellbeing. Take lots of care and if you have any comments, or questions, or would like to know more about how Koa Health can support mental wellbeing at your organization, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you take care of your mental wellbeing? We'd love to hear at email@example.com.
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The Team @ Koa Health
Our diverse team of developers, researchers, psychologists and behavioral health experts work together to create practical, thought-provoking content to accompany our range of digital therapeutics.