8 tips for building resilience during Mental Health Awareness Month

By Jim Kendall, manager, Work/Life Connections

Good mental health means that we can find joy and positively deal with life’s inevitable challenges. May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, is a time to assess the balance in our lives despite today’s dramatic and unexpected stressors.

This year has brought so much more than the “normal stresses of life,” and paying attention to our positive emotional well-being is more important than ever. Building resilience helps us manage these stressors and bounce back when there are life challenges.

Here are some tips and resources to elevate your psychological resilience:

  1. Be effective at work. Working remotely during this time can be especially challenging. Keeping a morning routine, setting up a dedicated workspace in your home, creating to-do lists and following set office hours can help.
  2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Health Plus supports good nutrition and exercise through its Nutrition Corner and Move in May programs. Remember to nurture your social connections despite physical distancing.
  3. Recharge. Quiet time is helpful to simply relax. You also can use mindfulness techniques.
  4. Get sufficient sleep. Beth Malow, professor of neurology and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, says that being mindful of your actions throughout the day can help you sleep better in the midst of the pandemic in this “Ask an Expert” video.
  5. Address your stress. Uncertainty can be unsettling. Stephanie Dean, a clinical counselor and assistant manager of Work/Life Connections, shares some ways to cope in “Resilience During COVID-19.”
  6. Accept help. Work/Life Connections-EAP provides counseling, coaching, critical incident stress management debriefings and resilience skill training through its ConnectCARE  telehealth tool.
  7. Sharpen parenting skills. The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences offers a parent education group.
  8. Know your well-being resources. Your Well-being Navigator is a one-stop website that links you with resources for all of your well-being needs, especially in the time of COVID-19.

During this month, consider your own mental health. Do one thing each day to support your emotional well-being. It all adds up.

Work/Life Connections-EAP is a part of Vanderbilt Health and Wellness.