A health fair offers excellent self-care

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May has arrived, and as we welcome the warmer weather and blooming flowers, let us also take a moment to recognize the importance of mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Alaska Health Fair, Inc. is dedicated to raising awareness for mental well-being.

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, as it encompasses our emotional, psychological and social wellness. Our mental health influences how we think, feel and act, and plays a significant role in our ability to cope with stress, relate to others and make decisions. As we navigate through life, it is essential to prioritize our mental well-being, just as we would our physical health.

The Gratitude Exercise

One of the simplest yet most effective practices you can incorporate into your daily routine is a gratitude exercise. Practicing gratitude can have a profound impact on your mental health, helping to reduce stress, increase happiness and promote a more positive outlook on life.

This exercise can be done in a matter of minutes and can be easily incorporated into your morning routine, whether you’re still in bed, enjoying your morning coffee or taking a break at the office. Follow these steps to practice the gratitude exercise:

1. Find a comfortable position. Sit or lie down in a relaxed posture, allowing your body to feel at ease.

2. Close your eyes. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

3. Reflect on your blessings. Bring to mind three things that you are grateful for in your life. These can be big or small, and can range from personal accomplishments to relationships, or even the beauty of nature.

4. Visualize your gratitude. As you think of each blessing, visualize it in your mind’s eye and feel the warmth of gratitude in your heart.

5. Express thanks. Silently or out loud say “thank you” for each of these blessings, allowing the feeling of gratitude to fill your entire being.

6. Return to the present moment. Take a few more deep breaths and gently open your eyes, bringing your awareness back to your surroundings.

By practicing this gratitude exercise daily, you can cultivate a more positive mindset and experience the many benefits of gratitude on your mental health.

By practicing gratitude, you can nurture your mental well-being and face life’s challenges with greater resilience. Remember, taking care of your mental health is just as important as maintaining your physical health. So, embrace the month of May and make your mental well-being a priority.

Visit a health fair for affordable blood tests

Pre-scheduling an appointment online is preferred at http://www.alaskahealthfair.org or by calling one of our offices. Walk-ins are accepted at spring events as space and time permits.

May 9, Fairbanks Alaska Health Fair Fairbanks Office Draw, 725 26th Ave., Suite 201, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

May 13, Anchorage St. John Methodist Community Health Fair, 1801 O’Malley Rd., 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

May 13, Sitka Community Health Fair, Harrigan Hall 330 Harbor Dr., 8 a.m. to noon.

May 20, Central Central Community, Circle Historical Museum, Mile 128 Steese Hwy., 8 to 11 a.m.

May 20, Nikiski Community Health Fair at Nikiski Community Rec. Center, 50097 Kenai Spur Hwy., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

May 23, Fairbanks Alaska Health Fair Fairbanks Office Draw, 725 26th Ave., Suite 201, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Plan a health fair of your own

Don’t miss the opportunity to bring affordable blood tests, free screenings and vital health education to your community or organization this fall. Partner with Alaska Health Fair, Inc. to encourage your constituents to prioritize their well-being. To reserve your spot and schedule a community or worksite health fair, contact our team at 907-278-0234 for Anchorage and statewide inquiries, 907-374-6853 for Fairbanks, or 907-723-5100 for Juneau. Let’s catch the wellness wave together and make a positive impact on the lives of Alaskans.

Sharon Phillips is the Alaska Health Fair, Inc. Tanana Valley/Northern Region program director.