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Mental Health Awareness Month: 8 Evidation expert tips to help take care of your mind

May 3, 2024
9 minutes
Personal Health
Seasonal health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to fight the stigma and stereotypes that are often associated with mental health struggles. Supported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to check in with yourself on your mental well-being and create new routines that can support your mental wellness. At Evidation, our team of experts is here to provide you with easy-to-implement tips and tricks to support your mental health. Here, we'll explore some simple steps you can take to feel your best during Mental Health Awareness Month and beyond.

1. Seeking support: a sign of strength

If you're living with a mental health issue or simply going through a stressful time in life, you're not alone. Reaching out to a mental health professional is a sign of bravery and strength, and helps you get the support you need to thrive.

Know your baseline

If you've never worked with a therapist or counselor before, today is a great day to start. Even if you don't have any current pressing issues, working with a therapist can help you understand your emotional baseline and discover new ways to cope with stress.

When something feels off, don't wait

When you feel your baseline beginning to waver, it's smart to reach out for support right away. If you notice that you're not coping with emotions well, or you encounter a particularly stressful situation, make an appointment with your counselor or therapist – and don't hesitate to let them know if the situation is urgent.

2. Self-care strategies: Practical tips for stress management and well-being

Taking care of yourself is vital for your mental health, but prioritizing consistent self-care is sometimes easier said than done.

Practice setting boundaries

While it can be hard to say no to people you care about, doing so can be vital for preserving your mental health. Letting friends, family members, and coworkers know that you'd love to help with their request or attend their gathering but are unavailable takes practice, but it gets easier over time. Check out these tips on how to set boundaries with the people you care about.

Stop putting yourself last

You've heard the old adage that you can't pour from an empty cup, and it's the truth: you've got to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. If you feel like you've been overwhelmed at home, at work, or with friends, it may be time to take stock of where some responsibilities can be shared.

3. Mindfulness practices: Cultivating presence and inner peace

Proactive stress management can help you stay centered when tough issues arise. Try adding one or more of these mindfulness practices to your day to bolster your ability to handle whatever life throws your way.


You can reap the benefits of meditation with less than five minutes of practice each day. According to meditation expert Vishen Lakhiani, "You can take a one- to three-minute dip into peacefulness, and you can see remarkable results. The biggest benefits are going to happen in the first few minutes."


Taking time away from your phone can help you de-stress, disconnect from work, and get better sleep. While it's not often feasible to take a full day away from your phone, taking an hour or two to fully focus on friends, family, or yourself can help you feel centered.

4. Managing emotions: Strategies for emotional well-being

Meeting your feelings head-on can be tough, but doing so can save you from the effects of chronic stress. If you're used to avoiding your feelings, this can be an adjustment. Be kind to yourself if you're working on managing your emotions for the first time, and don't be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, or a mental health professional if you need it.

Check in with yourself

Many of us operate on autopilot day in and day out, moving from one part of the schedule to the next with little time to reflect. Creating a few minutes in your day to check in with yourself can be a smart way to stay on top of your emotional needs. Setting a reminder on your phone or smartwatch to take a few minutes to do breathing exercises, take a quiet moment, or write in a journal can help you get in touch with your feelings.

Practice speaking up

If you fall into patterns of people-pleasing or otherwise struggle to stick up for yourself, starting to share your feelings with others can work to validate your emotions. A simple way to get started: answer the question "how are you?" honestly when you feel comfortable. Doing so doesn't just give you the chance to express your emotions – it also gives people close to you the chance to support your needs.

5. Creating healthy habits: Incorporating wellness into daily life

Making time to practice regular healthy habits can go a long way in protecting your mental health and helping you feel your best.

Start small

There's no need for a total lifestyle overhaul – incorporating a few wellness practices into your routine may be all that you need to feel happier and healthier. Going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break each day can give you time to enjoy some sun and quiet your mind's chatter about your work day. Adding a fruit or vegetable to two meals each day can provide you with the nutrition boost that you need to feel great. Give yourself time to establish one healthy habit before diving into another.

Check-in with your doctor

Depending on your mental and physical health, some wellness practices may carry more weight than others. Talking with your doctor can provide you with insight into what behaviors will best support your well-being. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a mental health professional, dietitian, or other health care professional who can work with you to help support your well-being.

Set achievable, effort-centered goals

When it comes to mental health, action matters! Setting goals based on effort – rather than results – can be helpful in keeping you encouraged to work on your mental health. For example, committing to talking to a therapist twice a month for the next few months can feel much more realistic than overcoming a lifelong mental health issue in the same period of time. Setting effort-based goals can also help you realize what works well for you when it comes to your mental well-being.

6. Balancing work, life, and self-care

You already know that your workplace can affect your mental health, and it's important that you balance your time at work, at home, and at rest. It can be tough to speak up at work when your workload becomes unfair or unmanageable, but doing so can help you preserve your mental health while you work.

In order to get the support you need to thrive while balancing work, home, and self-care, try these tips.

Speak clearly about your workload

It happens all too often: you take on a position with a manageable workload, and over time, your duties begin to pile up. You find yourself working late, checking your email on weekends, and struggling to figure out how you'll complete all that's expected of you. There's a fine line between being a team player and keeping your sanity, and it's important to talk to your supervisor if you feel that your workload has crossed into dangerous territory. If you're feeling like you've been taking on too much, schedule a time to talk with your boss about solutions.

Remember, explanations aren't always necessary

If you're being asked to go above and beyond the duties of your job at work, with family, or with friends, remember: an explanation isn't always necessary. It can be tempting to bolster a "no" with reasoning, but doing so takes away your power to simply refuse a task.

Some polite ways to decline an invitation or request include:

  • I wish I could make that work, but I'm afraid I'm not able to.
  • Thanks, but I can't fit that into the schedule today.
  • I appreciate the invitation so much, but I already have something else going on this evening.
  • Thanks so much for thinking of me, but I can't add anything else to the calendar this week.

Schedule weekly self-care appointments

Life gets busy, and it's all too easy to put yourself on the back burner. Making your self-care a priority can go a long way in helping you feel your best. Self-care isn't all about getting a haircut or enjoying a dinner out with friends (even though those activities can certainly be a part of your self-care routine). Self-care is also about making time to prepare healthy foods, keeping up with regular dentist and doctor appointments, and discovering ways to feel and express your emotions.

7. Nutrition tips for optimal mental health

Just like the rest of your body, your brain requires balanced nutrition in order to maintain optimal health. While it can be easy to let healthy eating go by the wayside when things get stressful, doing so can make it tough to keep stress levels low and utilize effective coping strategies.

Some ways you can use your nutrition to support positive mental health include:

Eat regularly

When you're running from one task on your to-do list to the next, it can be easy to skip a meal, or try to run on caffeine. Some people also find it tempting to skip eating throughout the day, only to enjoy a large dinner immediately before bed. While different eating styles work for different people, it's important to pay attention to what type of eating schedule lets you feel your best. Many people find that eating regularly throughout the day allows them to maintain blood sugar homeostasis, guarding against the mood swings and energy dips that can come with serious blood sugar highs and lows.

Enjoy the rainbow

Ever find yourself stuck in a rut when it comes to the produce in your diet? You're not alone. There's nothing wrong with settling into a routine when it comes to eating well, but adding variety can serve both your physical and mental health. Foods from different color families offer different benefits. For example, red fruits and vegetables are typically high in lycopene, a nutrient that can support healthy brain function. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables contain compounds that can improve memory and brain health.

Create a weekly menu

Planning your meals in advance can help you get the variety you need in your diet, as well as relieve some of the stress that can come with figuring out what to make for dinner each night. Taking a few moments each weekend to decide what you'll be eating for the week can help make eating well exciting, and knowing what you'll need to prep for the evening can help you get through some of the chopping, slicing, and dicing in advance.

8. Sleep routine for improved mental health

Getting plenty of high-quality sleep is important for maintaining positive mental health, but getting the rest you need to thrive is sometimes easier said than done. Try these sleep-easy tips to help you feel great each morning.

Maintain a regular sleep schedule

While it can be tempting to get some extra shut-eye on the weekends, serious sleeping in can do more harm than good, according to experts. While getting an hour or so of extra sleep isn't likely to do much harm to your brain's Circadian rhythms, adjusting your sleep and wake schedules by more than an hour can throw you off for the work week ahead.

Create the right environment for rest.

Your bedroom should be an oasis of calm, and taking a few simple steps can help set the scene for a fantastic night's sleep. Making your bedroom as dark as possible, de-cluttering your space, and using a white noise machine if you live in an area where nighttime noise is unavoidable can all go a long way in helping you get the rest you need.

Cut back on caffeine

We get it – it can be rough to get through the afternoon without a caffeinated pick-me-up. Enjoying caffeine in the afternoon, however, can wreak havoc on your sleep hygiene. If you're having trouble falling and staying asleep at night, keep the caffeine to morning hours only, or consider switching to decaf altogether.

Evidation: Here to help you track habits to maintain positive mental health

At Evidation, we're here to support all aspects of your well-being, including your mental health. Take your time implementing the tips above, noting what works well for you and what doesn't. Mental health can be complicated, and there's nothing wrong with reaching out for help when you need it. If you aren't using our app yet, we're excited to help you get started. Click here to learn more about Evidation and download the app today.

Seasonal health
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