On Wednesday, May 15, many companies participated in a one-day campaign called the National Mental Health Break. Many prominent tech companies worked to bring this day into the spotlight. For the movement, more than 60 companies, including Lyft gave their employees some “me time” during work hours.

The campaign was launched by Shine, a startup known for its text-message service that is made to target and address negative mental health problems.

On the day of the mental health break, participating employers had staff take some time for themselves. Some employees organized group meditations while other firms will allow workers to go home several hours early. Some of the companies also agreed to review their mental–health policies during the day to help learn more about how to prioritize the issue.

The hope behind this day is to bring awareness to mental health and normalize taking a mental health break from work. With the advancements of technology, it makes it easier to stay in contact when people and coworkers need you even during these breaks.

Why Mental Health Is Important

Mental health is a blanket term to refer to emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we feel, act, and think. Mental health is vitally important at every stage of life, from childhood all the way through adulthood. Over your life, if you experience mental health problems, it can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior.  

There are a number of things that impact your mental health including biological factors such as genes and brain chemistry, life experiences like abuse or trauma, and current situation.

Some warning signs of mental health problems include:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people or hobbies/activities
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Apathy or feeling like nothing matters
  • Unexplainable aches and pains

It should also be noted that smoking, using drugs, and drinking alcohol can contribute to poor mental health. If the problem becomes severe it can even lead to addiction. Luckily, there are a number of resources available that can help teach you how to stop drinking and using other substances.

If you are dealing with stressful situations at work or at home, this can impact and even exacerbate situations related to mental health.

Mental Health Tips

Despite how problematic poor mental health can be, there are a number of ways that you can improve your situation. Obviously, one thing you can do is change some work habits. For instance, taking a brain break every once in a while from work can do wonders for your mental health. Taking some time for yourself and participating in a relaxing activity is a great coping mechanism that can help you. For example, meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and other gentle exercises.

Other relaxing activities that can help you manage stress include:

Talk to your doctor — If the problem is severe enough, it can lead to a number of serious problems. If this is the case, seeking professional help may be the best thing that you can do to help your situation.

Exercise — Getting moderate exercise, even just 30 minutes a day by walking is enough to help boost your mood and reduce the stress that you may be feeling. In fact, there is some evidence that exercise can have a number of positive impacts on mood disorders such as anxiety or depression.

Set goals — It is important that you decide what you need to get done and what can wait. This will help you not only achieve the goals that you need to achieve but make stress and problems more manageable. It will also give you a sense of accomplishment once you complete the tasks that you set out for yourself.

As you can see, there are a number of ways that you can improve your mental well-being and help to stabilize your life if you find something is off.