Get help to focus on your mental health in the New Year

A new year often means a new start and a chance to focus on what’s most important to you in 2024. For many people, that may be a renewed focus on their mental health. 

In a recent poll, nearly half of those surveyed say they’re concerned about their mental health and for good reason. Mental health across the country is seeing a steady decline, with a record low 31% of Americans describing their mental health as “excellent.” Identifying that your mental health is struggling can be part of the challenge but understanding what actions to take to improve your overall well-being may certainly take some guidance.

“By prioritizing your mental health, you’re investing in yourself and your future well-being. A healthy mind brings strength, clarity and the capacity to navigate life’s challenges. But just like excising to stay fit, you need to continually work on your mental health to maintain it,” said Dr. Rhonda L. Randall, D.O., chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare, Employer & Individual.

Here are four ways to help you prioritize your mental health in 2024:

1. Find a support system

A solid support system can help provide a foundation of mental well-being and stability. Find your people – whether it’s friends, family, mentors or health care professionals. Having someone to lean on when going through life’s challenges can provide a safety net and help you improve your resilience through a stronger sense of belonging.

2. Reset your mind and body

Even though it may sound obvious, getting enough sleep can make a world of difference when you’re battling any mental health issue. Sleep is critical in cognitive function, emotional regulation and stress resilience. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of U.S. adults aren’t meeting the recommended amount of seven hours or more of shuteye a night. 

3. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional

Whether it’s your primary care physician or a mental health professional, finding a space to express thoughts and emotions without judgment can be incredibly beneficial. Both can provide valuable insights, coping strategies and evidence-based interventions that can be specifically tailored to your needs. Seeking out professional help is an important step towards bettering your mental health and can help you find the tools you need to cope with issues before they become worse.

4. Check your health insurance coverage

Your health insurance plan may offer many mental health benefits and resources to help you find the approach that works best for you. That may include digital self-help tools, in-person and virtual visits, behavioral coaching and employee assistance programs. Knowing what resources are available to you can help you access the support you need.

As you head into the new year, take time for self-reflection. Be honest about areas of your life that may be weighing you down and find ways to commit to bettering your mental health. You may be surprised how different you feel a year from now.

Get more information about mental health resources.

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