COPE CopeLine Supervisor

May 2018

Your Wellness & Work-Life Newsletter

Minding Your Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it is also the when the NBA playoffs hit their white-hot intensity. If those two things seem unconnected, guess again. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder can strike even the mightiest among us. That point was driven home recently by Kevin Love, a power forward for the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Love is a 6’ 10", 250-pound mountain of a man, but he recently wrote an eloquent account of his battle with anxiety. Click here to read the article.

It's a good reminder to us all to look out for each other, and to reach out when we need help. One in five Americans is affected by a mental health condition in their lifetimes and every American will know someone, be it a friend, colleague or family member, that struggles with mental illness. It could be short-term depression brought on by a divorce or the loss of a loved one. It could be a chronic condition that you learn to live with. Whether fleeting or enduring, research has identified ways in which to stay healthy:

1. Be Your Own BFF. Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for hobbies and favorite projects, and broaden your horizons by embracing new experiences.

2. Take Care of Your Body. Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. The basics are:

Eat regular and nutritious meals. As well as its impact on short and long-term mental health, research indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer's disease.

Avoid tobacco and too much alcohol. Do we really need to say more?

Drink plenty of water. According to Psychology Today, your brain cells require a delicate balance between water and various nutrients to operate, and when you lose too much water, that balance is disrupted.

Get exercise. The Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of physical activity each week to improve your health. Break it up to suit your abilities and make sure your workout includes aerobic and muscle-strengthening work. Read their guidelines.

Get enough sleep. The Harvard Medical School reported in a recent article that, "Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population. Sleep problems are particularly common in patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)."

3. Surround yourself with people you enjoy. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Make plans with supportive family members and friends, or seek out activities where you can meet new people, such as a club, class or support group.

4. Get help when you need it. Thanks to the younger generation, mental health is understood to be part of overall well-being. People who get appropriate care can improve mental illness and lead full, rewarding lives. So if you'd like to find a professional, contact us at

Good Night, Sleep Tight

For the vast majority of people, the benefits of a good night's rest---a solid seven or eight hours for adults, nine for teenagers---include longer life, better memory, curbed inflammation of the type that leads to heart attacks and diabetes, lower stress and greater creativity. The lack of sleep, on the other hand, leads to drowsiness and irritability, a decline in physical performance and reaction time. Unfortunately, many adults struggle with insomnia.

In this COPELine we look at current sleep research and offer some suggestions for getting a good night's Zzzzzs. Click here to read full article.

Recent Posts on COPE's Facebook Page

• Although the construction industry may be about the last place you'd expect workers to talk about depression or anxiety, they're becoming industry leaders in mental health awareness. They're doing some incredible work to reduce the stigma attached to mental health and they're saving lives. READ

• Mental health is an enormous issue in the world today. Many of us know someone or are someone with a mental illness. The National Institute for Mental Health reported 9.6 million adults in the U.S. have a serious mental illness, one that interferes with their daily lives, requiring medication and therapy in order to overcome its effects. But there are at least 10 ways to help someone with menal illness. READ

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