Learn Ways to Improve Your Well-Being


January 17, 2023



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After the holidays is a good time to reflect on what’s important and make sure you are taking good care of your mental health. How do you feel? What is your stress level? Resolve to make healthy lifestyle choices that enhance your well-being.


Take 10 and Connect

Taking breaks throughout the day may help relieve stress, ease tensions, or lessen worry. But we often don’t take breaks. Even 10 minutes is enough to improve your mental health.


Connecting with others can help us cope with stress and become more resilient. Here are some ways to reduce stress by connecting with others:

  • Reach out to your community, family members, or friends. Talk with someone you trust about your feelings or any concerns.
  • Make time for cultural, spiritual, or religious activities.
  • Volunteer with organizations that interest you. Giving back to others can help you too.
  • Get outside with others, connect with nature, and explore green spaces.


Prepare for Mental Health

2022 was full of public health emergencies, including Hurricanes Fiona and Ian; over 1,000 confirmed tornadoes; mpox; and the triple threat of flu, RSV, and COVID-19. Disasters can be stressful and take a toll on mental health. Many of us make resolutions for the New Year, lose weight, work out more, read more, learn a new skill. Why not make one of your resolutions to be ready? Taking steps to prepare for an emergency can help ease your mind and preserve your emotional well-being.


It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing.


Involve your entire family in planning and practicing how to stay healthy, informed, calm, and connected during an emergency. Create an Emergency Action Plan. Review your plan every six months and update it as necessary; for example, if you move, change jobs, add to your family (i.e., a child or a pet), or experience another significant life event.


How to Help Children Process an Emergency

Regardless of your child’s age, he or she may feel upset or have other strong emotions after an emergency. Some children react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty much later. How children react or common signs of distress can vary according to age. Knowing how to help children cope after an emergency can help them stay healthy in future emergencies.


Setting a good example for your children by managing your stress through healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol, is critical for parents and caregivers. When you are prepared, rested, and relaxed, you can respond better to unexpected events and can make decisions in the best interest of your family and loved ones.


Many resources are available to help children and their families start a conversation and help navigate through a mental health struggle. CDC’s How Right Now online guide can help kids identify how they’re feeling at any given moment and points them to resources for handling emotions like fear, grief, anger, and sadness. It has links to advice, hotlines, and support groups. There’s also a section with ideas for practicing gratitude, which is a great way to reduce stress and boost your physical and emotional well-being.


Coping After a Natural Disaster: Resources and Information for Teens provides information, coping tips, and stories from other teens who have lived through a natural disaster.


Additional Resources


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1600 Clifton Rd   Atlanta, GA 30329   1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)   TTY: 888-232-6348
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