May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We hear all the time about how we can take care of our physical bodies. Doctors tell us to eat healthy, exercise, and even set aside time to get our annual physical. Understandably, we often forget to take care of our emotional and psychological state of mind. Our physical and mental well-being go hand in hand and lead to us being the best version of ourselves. In honor of this important topic, ELCO is bringing you tips on how you can improve your mental health.
- Write in a gratitude journal: Make it a habit of writing down three things you are grateful for and three things you accomplished each day. It can increase positivity, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem.
- Take a walk in nature: When in need of a pick me up, try taking a walk outside. Research shows that this can result in increased energy levels, reduced depression, and can boost our spirit. Also, vitamin D is known to be a natural mood booster.
- Quiet your mind with meditation: Whether it’s for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, meditation can make a massive impact on your mental health. It can lead to better focus, help you feel calmer, and improve self-awareness.
- Take time to slow down: Sometimes, it can feel like life is moving at such a constant, fast pace that we can’t even catch our breath. When this happens, our stresses can add up, and we can feel overwhelmed. It is essential to take the time to slow down and relax, so we can see the good in our lives when things get tough. There are many ways to relax. The key is finding what works for you. It can be yoga, breathing exercises, reading, doing art; the possibilities are endless.
- Take care of your body: As we said above, the mental body and physical body go hand in hand and, when given care, can help us be a happier and healthier version of ourselves. Remember to take care of them equally. Make sure to eat nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, get 7-9 hours of sleep, and find an exercise you love.
How ELCO Takes Care of Its Employees By Lori Lemme, VP of Human Resources
“Having our employees at ELCO come together more than just in the work environment is a great way to foster camaraderie among the staff.
Volunteerism is one way that our employees can show support for our community resulting in a sense of shared purpose.
For ELCO, it began when employees participated in a Catholic Charities Holiday Gift Drive for families in need. As a result of the positive feedback, ELCO began sponsoring other volunteer activities outside of work hours. Today we help Bernie’s Book Bank, Midwest Veteran’s Closet, among other organizations, and sponsor the Annual Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and the Alzheimer’s Association Annual Walk.
To foster employee health, an old file room was converted into an exercise room with treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, and a rowing machine. Over 20 years ago, ELCO enacted a 1:00 closing time on Fridays for all employees extending their weekend.
ELCO strives to promote a culture of open communication and dialog among all its employees and has always maintained an “open-door policy” between management and staff. The chief cheerleader for promoting this positive culture is ELCO’s President, David Bruce. He knows every employee, their children, their hobbies, and birthdays. Employee birthdays are celebrated in a monthly get-together.
We have a yearly event for all staff and their families, which helps us put a face to the names of family members that we so often talk about. As ELCO is growing and expanding, we will continue to find opportunities to promote the positive culture we have built.”