Mental Wellness

Your mental, social and emotional health is essential to your overall well-being. Learn about the factors that affect your mental wellness, and ways to improve it.


Stress is a normal response to challenging situations. However, stress can negatively affect your mood, appetite, sleep and overall mental and physical health. Learning healthy ways to cope can help you better manage stress.

Goal setting can help you manage stress related to everyday challenges, such as problems with work, family and relationships. Goal setting can help you build a sense of control and optimism.

Maintaining healthy habits is important to reducing stress. Eat healthy meals with whole foods and plenty of plants, get at least seven hours of sleep each night and exercise at least two and a half hours each week.

Connect with others. Talking with friends, family or a mental health professional can help you process feelings of stress.

Make time to unwind with activities you enjoy. Relaxation activities meditation and yoga can reduce your body's stress response. Limit news intake to a couple times a day. Consider disconnecting from or limiting social media when you are stressed.

Lastly, avoid using alcohol and drugs to cope with stress. Drink alcohol in moderation – one drink or less each day for women, and two drinks or less each day for men.

Social Connectedness

Social connectedness involves having a variety of meaningful and supportive relationships. It is a key part of your mental and physical health.

Social connection can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, depression and anxiety. It can also help improve your sleep, your ability to manage and recover from stress and your ability to keep up healthy habits around eating and physical activity.

Consider some ways to improve your social connectedness:

  • Devote time and attention to strengthening your social network. Spend time with family and friends or join a group, club or class that interests you.
  • Connect with your community. Be friendly with your neighbors, or volunteer with a local organization.
  • Reach out to others when you need support. Check in with the people around you and see if they need help or support, too.
  • See tips and resources to reduce loneliness.
  • Talk with a doctor or mental health professional if you are concerned about feelings of isolation and loneliness. They can find ways to help.


Adults should get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Sleep is essential to your brain health. Not getting enough sleep is associated with poor mental health, including depression. It is also linked with health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Many people have trouble with getting enough sleep. Talk to a health care provider if you have symptoms of a sleep disorder like insomnia, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. Everyday stress and anxiety can also interfere with sleep.

These habits can improve your sleep:

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Set a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading or journaling before bed.
  • Do your best to keep your bedroom dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature.
  • Turn off your electronic devices at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
  • Avoid having caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
  • Avoid having alcohol before bed.
  • Do not eat a large meal before bed. If you get hungry at night, eat a light snack.

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