Time has seemed a little wonky in 2020. Days move slowly at home, but months seem to disappear. But one month that’s extra special to us at Sanvello is May. Why? Because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share a few ways to take care of yourself, all in the app.
Below are some of our favorite features in Sanvello — have you tried them all?
1) Hope Board
The benefits of gratitude are pretty astounding. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, one group of participants wrote about things they were grateful for during a week, a second group wrote about things that irritated them, and a third group wrote about neutral events. After 10 weeks, the group who wrote down the things they were grateful for were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
To feel these benefits for yourself, try the Hope Board. It allows you to not only write down the things you’re grateful for, but take pictures as well or instead. You can capture and keep anything. You can write down a compliment someone gave you, or a great dream you had. You can post pictures of your pets, meals you enjoyed, sunsets, memories with friends, whatever makes you happy. And you can come back to your private Hope Board any time you need a boost.
Find the Hope Boards in the Tools section of Sanvello.
2) A New Meditation
We have lots of meditations, so choosing which one to start with can be a little tricky, but there are two meditations that really stand out this month.
First is the “Your Five Senses” meditation. This meditation is based on the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique, which is commonly used to ease anxiety. You can pull up this meditation any time you’re feeling overwhelmed, and it can help to center you.
Second, if you’ve lost someone, lost a job, missed out on school or opportunities, or you just miss the feeling of normalcy, try the “Processing Grief” meditation. We often assume “grief” is something reserved for mourning a death, but it’s broader than that. Grief is the acute pain associated with all feelings of loss. Acknowledging that feeling and allowing ourselves to process it is how we get through it.
3) Make a Goal
Being stuck inside all day can make the days seem unstructured, and without structure, it’s easy to slip into a cycle of not exercising, not showering, and really just neglecting our self-care. Having a goal and writing it down can help.
The Goals feature is very adaptable. You can choose pre-set goals, like “Decrease Anxiety” or you can make one of your own, like “Feel More Connected.” Within each goal, you can set small challenges for yourself. You can choose from a drop-down menu of examples, or you can write your own. For “Decrease Anxiety,” you might choose mini challenges like “listen to my favorite songs” or “make myself a tea.” Whatever works for you, and then you can check off your challenges as you complete them.
You can find Goals in the Tools section as well.
4) Start a Journey
If you haven’t already started one of our Guided Journeys, we highly recommend it. These journeys are psychologist-approved and built using the methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You’ll learn how to apply the techniques used in CBT in your own life.
Journeys also make it really easy to understand what to do each day. We lay out the lessons, and you just follow along! No analysis paralysis. No wondering what to do next. Try one out by visiting the Home screen of Sanvello.
We hope these tools help. It’s our mission to improve mental healthcare. We thank you for being part of the Sanvello Community, and we hope for this Mental Health Awareness Month that we can provide you with the tools you need to feel better.
By Roxane Battle
Vice President Advocacy and Community at Sanvello
Roxane Battle works to raise awareness and destigmatize mental health issues. Prior to coming to Sanvello, she spent 20+ years as a journalist and writer, including work as an award-winning television news anchor and reporter for the NBC Minneapolis affiliate KARE-TV.
As a sought-after speaker Roxane presents on change, resiliency, and finding joy during times of transition.
Roxane was named an Architect of Change on mariashriver.com and has been featured in Working Mother and Ebony national magazines, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.
A Minnesota native, Roxane earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She completed her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia
Her self-help memoir, Pockets of Joy: Deciding to Be Happy, Choosing to Be Free (Whitaker House 2017), became an Amazon best seller in multiple categories.
Roxane lives near the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and has an adult son.
Follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. @roxanebattle