May is Mental Health Awareness Month and here at ContinuumCloud we recognize the importance of practicing self-care in order to maintain mental wellness. We recently polled employees to see how they take care of themselves both mentally and physically and here are some of the suggestions.
Being physically active can help release endorphins that have been shown to boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Maggie, Marketing Coordinator here at ContinuumCloud says, “I try to move my body, whether it’s a walk, run, weight workout, or tennis, at least 30 minutes every day. I also try to take my dog on a quick walk during lunch to get up from my desk and refocus for the afternoon.”
Our Digital Marketing Specialist, Kirsten, says she exercises every day after work. She prefers going to the gym and lifting weights saying, “My time at the gym is my ‘me time’ and gives me about an hour in the day where I focus on nothing else except improving myself.”
Amanda, a Senior Account Executive, says “I will go for walks with headphones when I'm keyed up or I'll have an impromptu dance party with the dogs. It has been known to happen in the office at times as well!”
Movement and physical activity can look like a lot of different things: biking, hiking, dancing, or swimming – whatever you feel most comfortable and physically able to do – are all beneficial to both your physical and mental health and wellness.
Meditation can help relax the body and mind. Mindfulness exercises, deep breathing, and yoga are all ways to help your body stay healthy and calm, while reducing stress and tension, and promoting mental health.
Shawniece, an Implementation Manager here at ContinuumCloud, says, “I do five to ten minutes of meditation or yoga before a major meeting, if time allows. This helps me to be calmer and have peace during difficult meetings.”
Brian, our VP of Product, is a big fan of mindfulness apps and meditation as well. He recently switched from Headspace to the Calm app a few years ago, but thinks that both are excellent guided meditation tools.
There are so many options these days when it comes to apps that provide mindfulness exercises and guided meditations. These can be great resources for people just starting out or new to meditation and yoga practices.
Eat Healthy + Sleep
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help tremendously when it comes to your mental health. Diets high in processed foods, sugar, and alcohol have been shown to cause anxiety, depression, and irritability as well as alter your mood and concentration. Being overweight or obese have also been directly linked to feelings of anxiety and depression. Maintaining a healthy weight can help promote a healthy mind.
Along with diet and lifestyle choices, sleep is another key component to maintaining your mental health. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep and are well rested to prevent fatigue which can negatively impact mental wellness.
CEO, Mark Belles, recommends eight hours of sleep, eating healthy, getting outside, and the Peloton as ways he stays mentally fit. Business Development Representative Karli agrees, “Now that the sun is up early, blackout curtains protect my eight hours of sleep, but I also agree, eating healthy, getting enough rest, and team Peloton all the way!”
Being in nature and sunshine have been shown to boost mood and promote sleep at night by helping the body’s natural melatonin production. Sunshine also triggers production of Vitamin D, which has a wide variety of health benefits as well.
Cara, a ContinuumCloud Implementation Analyst, says, “Being outside is key for me, especially if it’s sunny. Sometimes I just take a ‘sunshine break’ and stand outside for a few minutes with my coffee.”
Even a little bit of fresh air, as Eva recommends, can help boost your mood. She often rolls the windows down, turns up the radio, and enjoys fresh air on the way to pick up her little one from daycare at the end of the day.
These are just a few of the self-care tools, tips, and ideas that some of our ContinuumCloud employees use to help maintain their own mental health. There are plenty of other options out there, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to maintaining mental wellness. We’d love to hear what self-care practices work best for you!