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The Friday Rundown

The Power of Mindfulness: How Practicing Presence Can Improve Mental Health

Mindfulness is a practice that involves paying attention to the present moment. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. There are numerous mental health benefits associated with mindfulness. Here are some of the ways it can improve your mental health:

1.       Reduces stress: Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress levels. By focusing on the present moment, rather than worrying about the future or thinking about the past, individuals can reduce their stress levels and experience greater peace of mind.

2.       Improves mood: Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness can increase positive emotions such as happiness and contentment, while decreasing negative emotions such as anger and frustration.

3.       Increases self-awareness: By paying attention to their thoughts and emotions, individuals can better understand their own patterns of thinking and behavior which can help them make positive changes in their lives.

4.       Enhances empathy and compassion: By practicing mindful presence, individuals can develop a greater sense of understanding and empathy for the experiences of others.

5.       Boosts resilience: mindfulness can help individuals cope with and bounce back from challenges and setbacks. Individuals can learn to observe their thoughts and feelings which can help them develop greater emotional regulation and resilience.

Why not give it a try? Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on the present moment and see how it can benefit your mental health.

Contact our Care Crew if you need some help understanding your mental health benefits or need assistance in finding a doctor.

Tips for Coping with Transitions and Change

Spring is officially underway! As the weather warms up and the days get longer, the school year is ending, and family vacations are beginning. We often find ourselves in a natural state of transition, while this transition can be exciting, it can also be challenging for some trying to cope with change.

Embracing change as a natural part of life can help you cope with the discomfort and uncertainty that comes with it. Recognize that transitions are sometimes challenging, but they can also bring new opportunities and growth and that can be very exciting!

Staying present and grounded during times of transition can help you reduce anxiety and worry about the future. Connect with others, reach out to friends and family and enjoy their company. This is called practicing mindfulness and in addition to helping you cope with change it has many other mental health benefits.

Don’t forget to take care of your physical health. It’s easy to get distracted during times of change so be sure you're getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. It is also important to remember to give yourself some grace, be kind and understanding with yourself during this time. Remind yourself that it's okay to struggle with change.

Remember, change is a natural part of life. While it can be challenging to cope with, it can also bring new opportunities and growth. By using these coping mechanisms, you can navigate the transitions in your life with greater ease and resilience.

The Friday Care Crew is available to assist you if you need help finding a provider or understanding your mental health benefits.

6 Easy Lifestyle Changes to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common condition that can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to reduce your blood pressure naturally. Here are some simple lifestyle changes you can start today to lower your blood pressure:

1.       Exercise regularly: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.

2.       Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower blood pressure. Try to limit your intake of salt, processed foods, and saturated fats, which can increase blood pressure.

3.       Manage stress: Finding ways to manage stress is important. Try techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help reduce stress levels.

4.       Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase blood pressure, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, try establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

5.       Limit alcohol intake: The recommended limit is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

6.       Quit smoking: There are many resources available to help you quit, such as nicotine replacement therapy, support groups, and counseling. Many of those resources are available to you for free!

By making these lifestyle changes, you can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. With Friday Health Plans you have access to a free health exam every year. During that exam your doctor can check if you have high blood pressure, and they can talk to you about the best ways to manage it. We can help you find a doctor in our network who can perform your free exam and keep you on track with your blood pressure.

Mother’s Day: For Some It Means Navigating a Difficult Holiday

Mother's Day is a special day dedicated to honoring and celebrating mothers all over the world. It is a time for expressing love and gratitude to mothers for their tireless efforts in raising children and making sacrifices to ensure their well-being. However, for some people, it can be a difficult day to navigate, especially for those who have lost their mothers or children, or those struggling with infertility.

Losing a mother can be one of the most traumatic experiences in life. The loss of a mother can leave a deep void in someone’s life, and the pain of not being able to celebrate the day with them can be overwhelming. Grieving can be a long difficult process and the pain can resurface on occasions like holidays, triggering a range of emotions like sadness, anger, and loneliness.

Similarly, losing a child is a devastating experience for mothers and this day can be a painful reminder of their loss. It may cause feelings of guilt, sadness, and even depression. Coping with the loss of a child can be an ongoing process and is essential to seek support from loved ones, friends or a mental health professional.

This day may also be hard for those struggling with infertility. Dealing with infertility can cause significant stress, possibly leading to anxiety, depression, and shame. This holiday can be a stark reminder of what they do not have, launching feelings of inadequacy, isolation and disconnection from the world.

There are many ways to support those who find this day challenging. Simple gestures like sending a message or card acknowledging their feelings, offering to spend time with them, or giving them space to grieve can make a significant difference. Seeking professional guidance can be helpful for those who are finding it challenging to cope with their emotions related to this day. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, below are some resources that can help.

American Psychological Association, Grief
American Psychiatric Association, Infertility: The Impact of Stress and Mental Health
National Alliance of Mental Illness, Support Groups

Not everyone has the same experience on Mother's Day and while it can be a day of celebration, for many it can be a day of pain and sadness for others. It’s important to be mindful of people's experiences and offer support and compassion to those who may be struggling. Friday Health Plans is proud to include free mental health benefits on most plans. Please review your health plan to see what free or low-cost mental health services and resources are available.

Teen Mental Health Awareness and Resources

Did you know that one in every five teens struggles with at least one mental health disorder? Teens in today's world face a lot of pressure, whether that be from school, friends, parents, or the outside world. Combined with raging hormones, those factors make being a young adult hard enough. Friday would like to share information, resources, and benefits our plans have for getting teens the help they need.

Ways to Support Teens with Mental Health Be understanding. Whether you're a parent, a teacher, a family friend, or something else, if a young person is acting out or struggling, try to put yourself in their shoes. If you know they have a diagnosis, this can help you understand their behavior. While struggling with mental health isn't an

Free Birth Control Coverage Explained

Here at Friday Health Plans, we understand that birth control is an important option to consider for varying reasons at different life stages. Since we’re an Affordable Care Act plan, birth control is available to all of our members for no cost, because it’s preventive care.

Besides working to prevent pregnancy, birth control can help you regulate your menstrual cycle, aid with cramps and other aches and pains, relieve endometriosis symptoms, clear up your skin and even help prevent some cancers. Covered Birth Control Methods