Health / Mental well-being


Creating Harmony in Your Life

Woman writing in journal

Things are changing quickly right now, and it's a good time to think about how we can take care of ourselves. We often hear people talk about balance, but that can make it seem like everything needs to be equal to feel right. Harmony is about finding the equation that works for you—how you want to spend your days.

Melissa Cummings, Chief Customer Officer at BCBSRI, offers tips that help you reduce stress and create harmony in your life.

1. Consider which changes you made during the pandemic that you want to keep.
The last two years have really changed how we live our lives. So much about the pandemic has been difficult, but there have been silver linings for many of us. Maybe you started spending more time in nature—taking walks or biking. Maybe your family had dinner together more often when there weren’t as many activities. Or you became more involved in the lives of family and friends who live far away. As we move forward, it’s important to recognize changes that are meaningful to us and make them a permanent part of our life. We don’t have to go back to doing the same things—or all the things—we did before. 

2. Do one thing at a time.
So much of the time we are busy and may be multitasking to try and catch up. However, that can actually make us feel more overwhelmed. Doing one thing at a time can help us feel calmer and more in control. It’s about being present in the moment, whether you’re spending time with family or working on a project. Another word for that is mindfulness. If you’re feeling stressed and unable to be in the moment, it can help to stop and take a few deep breaths. It’s simple, but it can make a real difference. 

3. Focus on gratitude. 
The things you are grateful for could be big, like spending time with a loved one, or small, like a particularly good cup of coffee. And when you recognize what makes you happy, it can also encourage you to pay it forward—to call a friend or help out a neighbor. Or even volunteer your time with an organization whose work you value.

    Take 5 for You

    Small steps can make a big difference. At BCBSRI, we’re encouraging people to “Take 5 for You”—take 5 minutes to do something good for yourself. Here are some Take 5s to help you create harmony and be less stressed:

    • Reach out to one person you care about every day.
      This could be on the phone, over video chat, or in person. Even those few minutes of staying connected can lift your mood. 
    • Write down a few things every day that you’re grateful for.
      If you have kids, that might even be something you want to do with them.
    • Try a short online mindfulness program.
      Many BCBSRI health plans offer our wellness program, powered by Virgin Pulse, which includes the Whil mindfulness program. To get started, sign up at join.VirginPulse.com or by downloading the Virgin Pulse app from the Apple App Store or Google Play* and choosing Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island as your sponsor. Then go to "Benefits" and click on Whil – Mindfulness Basic Training.

    *Virgin Pulse is available to BCBSRI subscribers (the primary person on the BCBSRI health plan) and their spouses. Not available with all plans. Standard mobile phone carrier and data usage charges apply. The downloading and use of the Virgin Pulse mobile app is subject to the terms and conditions of the app and the online stores from which it is downloaded. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc. Virgin Pulse is an independent wellness company, contracted by BCBSRI to provide wellness services.