Five Ways to Prioritize Mental Health

With World Mental Health on October 10th this year, we wanted to highlight this international day of significance which raises awareness of mental health issues and encourages their support. Mental health is different for everyone and can be impacted by things such as jobs, relationships, schooling, and just about anything else. At Med-Scribe, it’s extremely important to us that our candidates are in an environment that will support them taking care of their mental wellbeing. 

Healthcare professionals have felt the brunt of mental health wear and tear over the past eighteen months with the rise of Covid. Also, with the change of seasons in upstate New York, it’s not uncommon for some individuals to be impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder as the daylight hours get shorter. 

With constantly shifting external factors, it’s important to have practices in place to support your own mental health and also the mental health of your peers and coworkers. Here are a few tips for doing so in whatever capacity feels manageable.

  1. Keep a list of always-accessible things that bring you joy.

    Not everyone has the ability to take time off or get away, especially those in the healthcare field. Instead, try keeping a list with your favorite movies, foods, and activities. If you enjoy reading, maybe it’s setting aside ten minutes after work to do that every day. Having accessible comfort options can be a micro stress reliever

  2. Take breaks from social media and the news.

    When feeling unmotivated and stressed, many of us fall victim to “doom scrolling,” which is when you spend large amounts of time on your phone or computer. While okay in moderation, this can lead to feelings of unproductivity and hopelessness. Unplugging even just for a few hours can make a huge difference.

  3. Facilitate open communication.

    This is especially important between employers and employees. Ask questions and don’t shy away from the tough topics like stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and depression. Your employer will want to know how you’re doing, and having regular check-ins helps keep the two-way conversation going. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for support. Creating open dialogue will help you and your employer work together better in all facets of your working relationship.

  4. Prioritize a healthy work-life balance.

    Nothing leads to burn out faster than when work consumes every aspect of your life. You deserve to set boundaries and stick to them, and employers should do the same. Coming home should be an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. If you feel stuck and burnt out, consider bringing your concerns up to your employer. They might not realize how many extra hours you’re putting in and can help guide you toward better boundaries. 

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for support.

    Whether it be from an employer, family member, or friend – don’t be afraid to let someone know how you’re feeling. Coworkers and employers especially might know of free resources within the company that can help. Sometimes, all it takes is letting someone else know and not carrying that burden alone. 

These are some tried and true methods that have helped us personally, but remember that everyone is different and there is no strict formula for maintaining good mental health. Check in on yourself and check in with your friends, and most importantly know that you are never alone, even if it feels that way for a moment in time. 

For help finding mental health resources, call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or in a crisis, text “NAMI” to 741741. If you’re in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.