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Prioritize Your Mental Health Year-Round

When it comes to improving your physical health, one of the most important steps is simply getting into a routine. Whether it’s eating healthier, or setting a schedule for going to the gym, you can set yourself up for success by making something a consistent habit. 

The same goes for addressing your mental health. It can’t be a one-time thing. It’s important to check in with yourself, then keep checking in with yourself throughout the year. How are you feeling? What’s causing stress? What’s bringing you joy? 

Let’s work to maintain this awareness of our well-being and the well-being of those around us. And let’s start making plans that promote our wellness, as a way of life, day in and day out.

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Make a Plan

As we look to the future and identify the various ways we can all improve our mental wellness, here are five things to prioritize:

Sharpen Your Skills

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Goal Setting

Setting goals directs your focus and gives you something to work toward. Achieving goals increases your motivation and confidence. Set short- and long-term goals, write them down, and review them often to assess your progress.

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Be mindful of what you say to yourself, because you are always listening. Self-talk influences confidence, attitude, and how you interact with others. Self-talk can also be contagious, so ask yourself: Are you spreading positive energy?

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Mindfulness helps you see things more clearly by allowing you to focus on what’s important right now, shut out distractions, and maintain your mental poise and clarity. Practice being still and focusing your attention on the present moment.

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Motivation is your drive and desire to perform activities. There can be internal and external sources of motivation, but finding internal motivation is key for maintaining your effort and persistence.

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Self-confidence refers to a person’s degree of certainty about themselves and their abilities. It can significantly affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You can develop your self-confidence through repetition and persistence.

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Attention and Focus

These refer to your ability to identify and zero in on what’s important. They can help you avoid distractions, determine the best path forward, and optimize your performance.

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Give It A Try: Box Breathing

Box breathing is a simple technique that you can use to calm your nerves and regain focus. Here’s how to do it:

  • 1
    Inhale for four seconds.
  • 2
    Keep your lungs full for four seconds.
  • 3
    Exhale for four seconds.
  • 4
    Keep your lungs empty for four seconds.
  • 5
    Repeat for 1 minute.
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Navigating Your Tomorrows

"You don’t have to directly experience something in order to extend compassion and empathy for an experience that a community is going through."

– Dr. Kensa Gunter, Director, NBA Mind Health

A wide range of things can affect our mental wellness, including the world around us.

Take a moment and recognize that we have navigated several challenging realities over the past two years, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight for social justice. These realities have had a profound impact on people around the world.

As we move forward together, show compassion both to yourself and to those around you, and also practice humility when trying to understand the experiences of others. Our connections are a tremendous source of strength, so reach out. Let someone know you are thinking of them. That you see them. And remember: Our shared experiences affect all of us differently.

Humanizing mental health is about understanding that beyond symptoms, stressors, and skills, it’s truly about people’s lived experiences.

Our overall well-being is impacted by who we are, the interactions and experiences we have, and the contexts in which we live. A’ja Wilson, of the Las Vegas Aces, describes the racism she experienced as a child and how it has inspired her to become a prominent role model for Black girls.

Mental Health Highlights

U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory: Protecting Youth Mental Health

Mental health is an essential component of every child's overall well-being. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Youth Mental Health Advisory is a call-to-action with steps we can all take to support our youth.

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Next Level Mentality Series

Powered by the Jr. NBA and NBA Academy, the series covers 10 mental performance topics, with facilitator guides and videos targeted for kids ages 9-14.

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Next Level Mentality Conversation

Dr. Kensa Gunter, NBA Mind Health director, joins Dr. Alex Auerbach and Aidan Wing for a conversation at the Jr. NBA Conference powered by Under Armour.

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Beyond28 Podcast

The May 19th episode recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month, exploring personal narratives and the relationship between mental health and the Black community.

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The Steve Fund Community Conversations

This free series features conversations about timely issues involving mental health and the emotional well-being of young people of color.

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The Me You Can’t See

This new docuseries, co-created by Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry, examines mental health and issues of well-being around the world.

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Mental Health Awareness Conversation:  Dr. Vivek Murthy and Kevin Love

Kevin Love sits down with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy to discuss mental health, struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation, and the important lessons COVID-19 has taught us.

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NBA G League Mental Wealth series

Conversation series between Dr. Yaeger and G League players who prioritize mental health as an essential element of wellness

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Explore Your Mind Health

NBA Mind Health

Building a community of support.

NBA Mind Health is guided by the central idea of humanizing mental health. Our mission is to engage, educate, and serve the NBA community and to position mental health as an essential element of wellness and excellence – both on and off the court.

We see mental health as a part of our lived experiences and are here to help you navigate challenges but to also help you identify mental health-related opportunities and strengths.

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Explore your mind health
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