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Our team shares their thoughts on World Mental Health Day.

In honor of World Mental Health Day, we spoke with a few members of our team to hear their thoughts on mental health and how they maintain a healthy lifestyle both inside and outside of the office. Take a look at some of the helpful tips and daily practices from Sara, Emily, Erica, and Taylor.

What do you do outside work to focus on your mental health?

I prioritize the things in my life that make me happy, like spending time with my family, spending time outdoors, making time for myself, and staying active and fit through exercise and healthy eating. It’s not always easy, but the benefits are proven time and time again. – Sara Root, senior project supervisor 

What do you do at work to focus on your mental health?

Depending on my workload, I like to take the full lunch hour to walk away from my computer and decompress. I think it’s extremely important to take that time to go outside, interact with friends and coworkers, and talk about topics unrelated to work. Also, in the morning, before I start going through my emails, I like to ask people how their night or weekend was. I think that little bit of friendly conversation is a nice way to start the day. – Emily Markarian, resource coordinator

What are some practices you recommend that have helped with your mental health?

Use positive affirmations! I learned this while on my college softball team and it still helps me to this day. The more I incorporated positive affirmations during games and practices, the more I found myself overcoming certain obstacles. Now I apply them to my personal and professional life, and they help me overcome negative thoughts and make positive changes. Just like we train our bodies to ride a bike or work out properly, we can train our minds to think differently for the better. – Erica Afanador, project coordinator

I recommend trying out a new fitness class. Even if you find it challenging or think it just isn’t for you, you’ll have spent at least an hour of your time focusing on something different – and you might just grow to love it! For me, I discovered a love for spin classes, and I teach barre classes two days a week. These activities help me unwind, and teaching helps me focus on creating a fun class for my students. – Taylor Kaiser, project manager

World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 with the objectives of raising awareness of mental health issues and supporting better mental health. For more information on World Mental Health Day and this year’s focus on suicide prevention, check out the event details on the World Health Organization’s website.