Between health concerns, lockdowns and financial pressures, 2020 was difficult on the mental health of many people. According to the CDC, 42% of Americans had anxiety or depression last year, an increase of over 200% from the 2019 average.1
Fortunately, the year 2021 is looking up! Restrictions are lifting, and life is slowly but surely going back to normal. But just because your favorite shops and restaurants are returning to business as usual, that doesn’t mean your mental health will also immediately bounce back to where it was in 2019.
Recovering from the mental stress of a traumatic situation takes time, and it’s important to be patient and give yourself grace as you work on your mental health. As your daily life goes back to normal, here are five ways you can help support your mental wellness.
1. Have a positive attitude
Developing and nurturing a positive outlook on life, relationships and the world will help you improve your mental wellness. When you maintain a positive attitude, you experience fewer negative emotions, push aside troubling thoughts more quickly, and become resilient to setbacks. One way to improve your positivity is to keep a daily gratitude journal where you list things for which you’re grateful.
2. Sleep well
Your sleep habits and mental health are closely connected, with sleep problems common in patients who suffer from anxiety and depression.2 Adults should receive seven or more hours of sleep per night.3 If you’re having trouble getting enough Zzzs, talk to your doctor, and also ensure you’re practicing good sleep hygiene. This includes maintaining a regular sleep-and-wake schedule, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, and avoiding screens at bedtime
3. Practice self-care
As the world opens back up, you may suddenly find yourself busy once again. But don’t let a full schedule prevent you from taking time for self-care. Eating well, getting exercise and spending time doing the things you enjoy are important practices for maintaining your mental health.
4. Spend time outside
Research has shown a strong connection between vitamin D deficiencies and the risk of mental health disorders.4 That’s just one reason to make sure you spend adequate time in the sun! There are also benefits to your body, including cardiovascular, immune, respiratory and skeletal system function.4 Take advantage sunny days and nourish your mind and body with vitamin D—minding skin safety, of course!
5. Help ease financial stress with supplemental insurance
The pandemic forced many people to consider the financial toll that a serious illness or loss of life would take on their family. And while it’s good to be aware of your financial situation, stressing over the possibility of unexpected medical bills or the loss of a primary wage earner can impact your mental health.
- Supplemental health insurance helps cover the unexpected costs of critical illness, injury and hospital stays.
- Life insurance helps beneficiaries pay for final expenses and debts, or replace lost income.
What makes supplemental insurance different than other coverage you may own, is that it pays cash benefits directly to you or your chosen beneficiaries—not to doctors or hospitals. You can use the cash in hand for ANY need, including out-of-pocket medical bills, everyday expenses, income replacement and more. Benefits will help you stress less knowing they will be there for your family when they need it most!
We’re here for you!
Washington National is here to ease your stress! Let us know if you have any questions about supplemental insurance. Get in touch with your Washington National agent, or call us at (800) 525-7662.
1CDC, Symptoms of Anxiety or Depressive Disorder and Use of Mental Health Care Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic—United States, August 2020-February 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e2.htm, 2021.
2Harvard Health Publishing, Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health, 2019.
3Mayo Clinic, How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/how-many-hours-of-sleep-are-enough/faq-20057898, 2021.
4Verywell, The Mental Health Benefits of Sunlight, https://www.verywellmind.com/the-mental-health-benefits-of-sunlight-5089214, 2020. LIMITED-BENEFIT POLICIES. Supplemental health insurance policies have limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact your agent.