Head Outdoors for Your Mental Health in May
Spending time in nature is linked to many positive mental health outcomes – improved focus, lower stress, better mood, and reduced risk of developing a mental health condition. During Mental Health Month this May, ALLtech Benefits encourages you to take advantage of the healing power of nature by heading outdoors.
Green Space Abounds
You don’t need a picture-perfect outdoor experience to get the benefits of nature. Even being in the presence of indoor plants is worthwhile – studies have found this to improve focus, memory and stress tolerance.
- Take a walk in the park. While being in the wilderness is especially nice, even city parks, a small garden, or sitting under a tree can support your mental health.
- Bring the outdoors in. Adding greenery to your space can have a similar effect to seeing plants outdoors – and some, like snake plants and bamboo palms, can purify your air.
Seek Natural Light
Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and vitamin D, which are associated with boosting mood and focus and reducing stress. Without enough sun, these levels can drop, leading to symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. Light exposure also has a direct impact on your body’s sleep-wake cycle, and consistent sleep is one of the most important factors in your well-being.
- Enjoy the sunshine. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of sun on your arms and legs a few times a week allows your body to generate all the vitamin D you need.
- Try a light box. Light therapy can help with symptoms of depression and sleep disorders. The bright light from a light box mimics natural sunlight, causing the brain to produce serotonin and regulate your internal clock.
More Wellness Resources
Dedicated to improving the wellness of the tech community, ALLtech’s diverse plan designs feature virtual care resources that are focused on mental health, including 24/7 virtual care through MDLIVE that includes confidential, convenient online therapy at $0 co-pay on most plans.
ALLtech also partners with Seattle-based nonprofit Wellspring EAP to offer an employee assistance plan (EAP) that includes one-on-one meetings with a counselor and an extensive online platform, featuring stress-reduction webinars and videos, legal and financial resources and more.
To learn more, fill out our Request a Quote form or call 206.602.3558. For more Mental Health Month resources, visit Mental Health America.