If you’re having heart problems, you go and see a cardiologist. If you’re having a strange skin reaction, you go to a dermatologist. Each organ and system in the body has appropriate medical professionals we should all consult if troubles arise. However, even in today’s fast-paced intellectual modern world, we often forget to stop and seek treatment and help for the overall health of our smartest organ: the brain. It’s important to remember that our brain is just like any other organ—if it is having trouble, seek out care from a mental health professional. The days are past of viewing mental health unlike any other part of our body. In addition to seeking out care, here are ways to keep a brain fit:
- The brain is like a muscle so it’s crucial for the strength of the brain that we challenge and use our brain critically, sort of like a flexing motion1. You can do this by playing a stimulating game like chess or Sudoku, learning a new language or instrument, or even reading the morning news.
- Exercise is a great way to improve your mental health by spurring the development of new nerve cells and the connections between them. 2
- Eating a healthy diet and reducing the intake of tobacco and alcohol are both superb for mental health. Some brain foods include complex carbs like quinoa and sweet potatoes, lean proteins like chicken, eggs, tofu, and fatty acids found in fatty fish, nuts, and ground flaxseed. 3
- Socialization is also an essential part of a healthy brain. Socializing with others keeps your mind agile and can even improve cognitive function 4. Even just small amounts of socialization can reap many benefits. Humans are highly social animals!
The remedies mentioned above can help keep your brain functioning well, although if you aren’t feeling quite like yourself it may be necessary to seek assistance from a licensed mental health provider (see info below). However, you choose your next steps towards better health, don’t forget about your hard-working brain!
- The Conversation (2020). How Brains do what they do is more Complex than what Anatomy on its own Suggestions. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/how-brains-do-what-they-do-is-more-complex-than-what-anatomy-on-its-own-suggests-130637
- Harvard Health Publishing (2020). 12 Ways to Keep your Brain Young. Harvard Medical Schools. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young
- Sutter Health (2021). Eating Well for Mental Health. Sutter Health. https://www.sutterhealth.org/health/nutrition/eating-well-for-mental-health
- Asbury (2021). Why is Socialization Important for Brain Health? Asbury. https://www.asbury.org/blog/why-is-socialization-important-for-brain-health/
May is National Mental Health Month
Below are a few tips and resources from Mental Health America
What To Do When You Need Help
When living with a mental health condition or facing a mental health concern, it’s common to feel like no one understands what you’re going through. But many people overcome the mental health challenges they face. You aren’t alone – help is out there, and recovery is possible.
For more information, click on the links below.
- Use our interactive help-finding tool
- Need to talk to someone? Learn about warmlines
- Time To Talk: Tips for Talking About Your Mental Health
- How to Talk to Your Parents About Mental Health
- Preparing to Share: Talking About Hard Topics
- Self-Help Tools
For additional tips and resources, click here
IF YOU ARE IN CRISIS:
Text “MHA” to 741741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a trained crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year. Spanish speakers: 1-888-628-9454. Deaf & hard of hearing: TTY users, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255
Family Mental Health
Brought to you by: ON OUR SLEEVES
The Movement for Children’s Mental Health
Children don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves. With 1 in 5 children living with a significant mental health concern and half of all lifetime mental health concerns starting by age 14, we need to give them a voice. On Our Sleeves®, powered by behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, aims to provide every community in America with free resources necessary for breaking child mental health stigmas and educating families and advocates, because no child or family should struggle alone.
The Great Collide:
The Impact of Children’s Mental Health on the Workforce
How Supported Children Enable Successful Companies
Children’s mental health has always been at the forefront of what we do—so when the pandemic hit (less socializing, more stress), we knew we needed to spring into action. Partnering with the Nationwide Foundation, we surveyed 5,406 working adults across the county, and we found that children’s mental health has a large and direct impact on corporate success.
Inside this report, you’ll find parents’ concerns and challenges and, most importantly, ways employers can help. We all care deeply about children’s mental health—and the future of work and family depends on our ongoing commitment to it.
- Six in 10 working parents reported being “very” to “extremely concerned” about their child’s emotional health and development or behavior in the past two years.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), which represents more than 77,000 physicians and 200 children’s hospitals, declared children’s health a national emergency in October of 2021.
- Even further, the U.S. Surgeon General declared children’s mental health a national crisis in December 2021 in his Protecting Youth Mental Health Advisory.
- 53% of parents have missed work at least once per month because of concerns for their child’s mental health.
- “How is it possible to focus 100% of your attention on work when you know your child is struggling? Answer: it is not.”
Resources from On Our Sleeves
For additional resources, click here
The Benefits of Exercise
Source: On Our Sleeves Behavioral Health Experts
Exercise can be a healthy way to help when kids feel sad, stressed or overwhelmed at times. It’s part of life and being a human. Research shows participating in aerobic activity can improve mood, boost confidence and self-image, and relieve stress.
Exercise can also help improve sleep, which may give your kids more energy. So, if exercise can do all these things for us – why not exercise? It is important to take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Here are a few ideas for indoor/outdoor exercises to get your family started on a path toward a healthier life:
- Take a walk or run around your neighborhood.
- Join your local gym or YMCA.
- Take an online or in-person class through your local gym.
- Get on Instagram – many professional athletes and trainers post workouts on their stories and pages.
- Find a YouTube fitness video to take you through exercises.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Hike nature trails.
- Climb the stairs a few times – it will get your heart rate up!
- Challenge a friend or family member to an activity. See how many jumping jacks or crunches you can do in a minute, for example.
There are so many ways you and your family can get out and move your bodies to help reap the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Get out there and practice some self-care!
Recipe of the Month
Healthy Breakfast Egg Muffins
- 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach chopped
- 3/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 3/4 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
- 6 large eggs
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt, dried basil and dried oregano
- Pinch ground black pepper
- Optional toppings: avocado salsa, hot sauce, freshly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray. Divide the spinach, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and tomatoes among the muffin cups (they will be about two-thirds of the way full).
In a large bowl briskly whisk together the eggs, egg whites, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper until well combined. Carefully fill each muffin cup three-quarters of the way to the top with the egg mixture. Sprinkle the feta evenly over the tops of the cups.
- Bake for 24 to 28 minutes until the egg muffins are set. Let cool for a few minutes, and then run a butter knife around the edges of each muffin to loosen it. Remove them from the pan and enjoy immediately or let cool on a wire rack and refrigerate or freeze for later.
- Reheat gently in the microwave (once thawed or directly from frozen) until warmed through to the center, about 30 seconds (from thawed) or about 1 minute (from frozen), depending upon your microwave.
Carrier News & Views
Kaiser Benefit Spotlight
Full access free for Kaiser Members click here
Preventing burnout with the help of Calm
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Many of us are not strangers to this experience, so let’s work together to learn how to recognize the signs and mitigate it.
While burnout prevention starts at an organizational level, we as individuals can take steps to create boundaries and build our own resilience. Try the following resources from Calm to address burnout early and give yourself a moment to rest:
- Listen to A Meditation on Burnout for some deep breaths and quick tips on tackling exhaustion
- Learn tips for Embracing Stillness in this masterclass led by bestselling author Pico Iyer, who helps you uncover the perils of busyness and learn tools to help you slow down
- Recognize the signs of burnout in this on-demand workshop led by a health coach, then create a plan for addressing it using the Minimizing Stress and Burnout workbook
Finding a balance between our obligations and self-care can leave us feeling more at peace. If you’re feeling burnt out and need additional support, please reach out to your manager or a trusted colleague.
Anthem Benefit Spotlight
Active & Fit Direct ™
EAT. BREATHE. DREAM. FITNESS.
Get a fitness center membership for $25/month
The Active&Fit Direct™ program allows you to choose from 10,000+ participating fitness centers nationwide for $25 a month (plus a $25 enrollment fee and applicable taxes).
The program offers:
- Online directory maps and locator for fitness centers (available on any device)
- A free guest pass to try out a fitness center before enrolling (where available)
- The option to switch fitness centers to make sure you find the right fit
- Online fitness tracking from a wide variety of popular wearable fitness devices, apps, and exercise equipment
Learn more: www.kp.org/choosehealthy
M966-001I-KP 7/19 © 2019 American Specialty Health Incorporated (ASH). All rights reserved. The Active&Fit Direct program is provided by American Specialty Health Fitness, Inc., a subsidiary of ASH. Active&Fit Direct, the Eat Breathe Dream Fitness logo, and the Active&Fit Direct logos are trademarks of ASH.
To learn more about what your health insurance carrier offers, create an account using the information below
- Log on to www.anthem.com/ca
- Click Health & Wellness
- Log on to www.kp.org
- Click Health & Wellness
Welcome to Principal, Covenant Care’s financial wellbeing and 401K partner
Free Webinar Series – Webinars are held the third Wednesday of every month.
Financial education in under 30 minutes
Your financial goals are unique and so is your path to get there. Our award-winning* webinar series is here to help along the way. In less than 30 minutes, you can learn more about a financial topic that matters to you. Register for an upcoming webinar or catch up on your time with a library of replays.
May Webinar – A beginner’s guide to investing
If you’re just getting started or looking to polish your investing know-how, this session is for you. We’ll cover types of investment accounts, how to diversify (and why it may help you), understanding risk tolerance, and market volatility. Join the May webinar to learn investing basics (in plain speak) and four key concepts to help you become a more confident investor.
May 18, 2022 Register for this webinar
Looking for a replay?
Couldn’t make the live event or want to watch the webinar again? View available topics for replay. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Company®. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., member SIPC and/or independent broker/dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, Iowa 50392. © 2022 Principal Financial Services, Inc.
- Calm Meditation App
Free section for all, to access, click here
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)- from UNUM & Health Advocate. We are here for you 24/7 – 1-800-854-1446; www.unum.com/lifebalance – The EAP can help provide COVID-19 support, grief counseling, stress/anxiety relief, and more, and is available to all employees
- Medical Bill Saver Advantage via your EAP – 1-800-854-1446; www.unum.com/lifebalance and is available to all employees
- For the latest on COVID 19– CDC website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
- Financial Education Webinars from your 401K provider. View what’s coming up or watch a replay anytime at Principal.com LearnNowOnDemand
- Kp.org is a valuable resource for information and member communications, as well as a link to any telehealth services. If you have already done so, please register on kp.org. https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/register
- Calm Meditation App
Full access free for Kaiser Members click here
Free to Kaiser Permanente members
to help support their emotional well-being.
Members can simply go to kp.org/selfcareapps and click ‘Get Started’ to register and use myStrength on their desktop, tablet or smartphone.
- Class Pass – Learn More
- For COVID-19 Information and updates visit: CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19: Learn how to protect yourself and get care
- Kaiser Coronavirus Hotline (available 24/7) – (877) 813-7297. After speaking with a Kaiser Permanente representative, you will be directed to the appropriate care options.
- Kaiser Members- Getting Care: It’s important to contact KP before coming in. Members should call the Appointment and Advice Call Center if they are feeling sick. They will be guided through a specific screening protocol over the phone. Depending on the answers provided, the member will be directed to the most appropriate care, while protecting other members, patients and employees.
- Kaiser Virtual Care – Manage your care with kp.org
No matter what life throws your way, you can connect to care where and when you want it. E-visits, telephone, and video appointments are simple and secure ways to get care and save yourself an office visit. They even be tracked in your electronic health record. All you need is a computer, smartphone, or mobile device. Click here to get access to care.
- Kaiser Members- access to E-visits- Log in at kp.org/appointments or go to Get Care on the KP mobile app
- Member Login
- Anthem Coronavirus Information – www.anthem.com/ca/coronavirus
- Anthem Sydney Care mobile app. Download the Sydney Care mobile app from the App Store or Google Play click here to learn more
- Prevent Diabetes Virtual health coaching through Sydney Health – click here
- Anthem/Aunt Bertha social support services
Our partnership with Aunt Bertha provides you with a solution to help connect you and your family to social services in your communities if you need it. You can find services such as help with food, housing, job training, and transportation by visiting Aunt Bertha and entering your ZIP code.
- Anthem Skill – Ask Alexa for your health plan info.
Get quick, hands-free help with the Anthem Skill. Whether you need a new ID card or get curious if you’re about to reach your deductible, just say the words, “Alexa, ask Anthem…” to get quick answers about your health plan. The Anthem Skill works through Alexa-ready devices, like an Amazon Echo or on your mobile device using the Amazon Alexa app.
Enable the Anthem Skill today!
Live your best life!
Senior Director, Human Resources and Benefits
Covenant Care California, LLC