{Guest blog} Maintaining your mental health

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas partners with New Directions to provide behavioral health screenings, resources and support to our members and employees.

Eating healthy foods and exercising can make you feel good and live longer. Another key part to this is your mental health. Good mental health is just as important as good physical health. But we all face changes in life that can challenge our emotional well-being. Whatever happens in your life, make your mental health a priority.

These ideas can keep your spirits up:

  • Stay in touch with family and friends. Maintaining relationships is good for your mental health.
  • Give yourself time to adjust to major life changes. This includes not only obvious negative events, but also positive events like moving or retiring.
  • Keep busy with mentally stimulating activities. Consider volunteering or taking a class.
  • Consider getting a pet. A pet can be a wonderful companion. Pet owners get more exercise and have more social contact than those without a pet.
  • Exercise. Take a walk or ride a bike. Exercise improves how you feel mentally, as well as physically.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can contribute to depression. Although we often say that a person needs about 8 hours of sleep per night, this is only an average number.
  • Practice optimism and good humor. A positive attitude and laughter boost your mood.
  • Spend time with people who make you laugh. Rent funny movies.
  • Be open to learning about new technology and what aspects of it may fit with your lifestyle and interests.

Keep this list handy and add ideas of your own. It’s worth putting good mental health on the top of your “to do” list every day.

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