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Taking Care of Your Mind

There are steps we can all take to improve our mental wellness.

Like putting on a seatbelt, taking care of your mental health should eventually become second nature. A great place to start is just being aware. Ask yourself: What’s affecting me mentally? What brings me joy? What causes stress? Awareness of these influences can make a big difference.

From there, lay a foundation for your mental wellness by prioritizing these four things: enough sleep, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and social connections.

Next, pursue something that brightens your day. Pick up a new hobby. Practice gratitude. Try meditation through an app like Headspace. Reach out to an old friend. Or spend a Saturday morning doing something you love.

Self-care can also include reaching out for help when needed — for example, by identifying a therapist or attending a support group. The best way to help ourselves is being honest about what we need.

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Strengths, Stressors, and Opportunities

Address your stress from a place of strength.

One key aspect to self-care is relieving the stress in your life. Jogging, meditation, and breathing exercises are all great ways to do that. But it’s just as important to address the root causes of that stress as well. Professional or family responsibilities, finances, and social media can all be stressors at times.

As you make a plan for addressing these stressors, think about your strengths as a person. Are you super creative? Are you the one friends turn to for advice on health, money, or travel? Do they rely on you for your humor, your judgment, or your leadership?

As you focus on self-care, identifying the areas in which you excel can boost your self-confidence, reinforce your sense of purpose, and create opportunities for you to apply your strengths.

Unlocking Wellness

These six key categories are critical to your overall mental wellness. How are you doing in each?

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Emotional

Do you acknowledge and successfully manage your feelings? Expanding your vocabulary to more accurately name your emotions is a helpful starting point.

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Social

Do you feel connected with and supported by the people around you? Whether by sending a text, making a call, or mailing a card, initiate connections with friends and family.

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Intellectual

Are you curious and open to new experiences and adventures? Try something new. Take an online cooking or yoga class, or safely explore a new park in town.

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Physical

Do you find opportunities to move throughout the day? Take a 10-minute walk. Stand up and stretch every hour. Park farther away at the store.

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Spiritual

What are your core values? How would you define your purpose? Identify the values that are most important to you. Think about the mark you want to leave on the world.

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Professional

Do you find it easy to balance your career with other interests and goals? Be intentional about setting aside time for life outside work.

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Try It Out: Guided Imagery

Reduce tension in your body and mind by visualizing a place where you feel at peace.

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    Find your favorite chair, then sit back with your eyes closed.
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    Imagine a peaceful, relaxing place, such as a beach or a quiet park.
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    Place yourself in that image. Try to see and feel your surroundings as vividly as possible. For example, feel the warmth of the sun on your back or the breeze on your skin. Imagine what each of your five senses is experiencing in that place.
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Before games, what I do is I meditate. … Take a couple minutes to breathe, close my eyes and I think of good thoughts … and now I just know to go out there and have fun.

- Angel McCoughtry

Las Vegas Aces

Mental Health Highlights

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 & 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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Partners