Try Some Mental Wellness First Aid

Prevent Issues Before They Happen

Be proactive: If you know you’re at risk for (or starting to struggle with) the issues listed below, talk to a counselor to develop a strategy to stay mentally strong before an issue can interfere with your work, health, and relationships.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This form of depression is thought to be caused by a chemical change in the brain linked to less sunlight and shorter days, but you can take steps to minimize its effects.

  • Spend time outside every day, even when it’s cloudy. Or try a light therapy box that is designed to treat SAD.
  • If you experience SAD every year, talk with a counselor before it begins to reduce your symptoms.

Holiday Stress. The holidays are supposed to be happy and bright…but if you’re dreading them, make a plan to avoid stress before it begins.

  • Schedule all of your holiday activities, such as decorating, shopping, cooking and entertaining—and be realistic about what you can and can’t do.
  • Talking with a counselor can help you recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial pressures or personal demands, so you can deal with them before they lead to a meltdown.

Anxiety. Everyone feels anxious now and then. But if you are in  state of constant fear about what the future might bring, relaxation techniques can help.

  • Controlling physical responses like rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and sweaty palms through deep breathing, exercise, and positive self-talk can help get you through an anxious moment.
  • A few sessions with a counselor can help you learn these techniques before you’re overwhelmed with anxiety.

Worry. The pandemic, world events, political issues, and natural disasters alarm everyone. But if you’re constantly worried and can’t concentrate on anything else, take action.

  • Limit the time you spend thinking about topics that worry you. For example, view news only once a day (also turn off notifications) and make some topics “off-limits” at the dinner table.
  • A counselor can help you manage worry before it disrupts your life.

Let’s Talk About It

A few sessions talking with a mental wellness professional may be all it takes to prevent issues before they begin. Your benefits allow you to choose whether to meet with a counselor via video chat, by phone, or in-person.

  • MDLIVE: Talk to a therapist from the privacy of your own home. Get started at, download the app on your smartphone, or call 1-888-725-3097.
  • An in-network provider: Meet in person, by phone or online (if offered by the provider). Search for an in-network counselor.
  • Get self-care tips from mental health experts, benefit information and other resources at
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