Mental Health Month: Here are tips for taking care of yours
At Springfield Wellness Center, we know from experience that natural disasters, epidemics, and other large-scale social disruptions can take a tremendous toll on mental health. Because most people survive the actual disaster, the collective trauma it generates often ends up being its longest-lasting and most debilitating effect! With May being Mental Health Month, it’s an excellent time to address your issues.
Here in Louisiana, the Covid-19 pandemic is triggering the anxiety and post-traumatic stress symptoms of many Hurricane Katrina survivors. Moreover, the leading Covid-19 preventive measure—quarantine—is known to generate trauma and depression all by itself, especially among people who already struggle with these issues.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to take proactive care of your mental and emotional well-being. And because May is Mental Health Month, why not make a promise to yourself to start a mental health practice, just as you might a physical health program?
May Is Mental Health Month
Here are some suggestions to look after your mental health:
- Begin each day with a calming activity: read something inspirational; pray for comfort, protection, and guidance; write in your gratitude journal; or meditate—even two minutes of sitting still and upright, taking long, slow, deep breaths can have noticeable results.
- DON’T turn on the news or check social media first thing. Limit your news intake to once or twice a day. The 24-hour news and commentary cycle is a constant drumbeat of negativity—most of it we can do little about. You can stay informed through reduced media consumption.
- Be good to your body. Eat a healthy diet. Take your supplements. Build your immune system. We like Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.” Remember that alcohol is a depressant and that sugar and processed foods will spike your blood sugar—which then will crash. Stay off that roller coaster.
- Develop a simple routine and follow it. Feeling in control of your day will help to balance the lack of control, we all feel in the face of the world’s pandemic response.
- Include exercise, outdoors if possible. Nature has well-known healing properties, and fresh air and sunshine will do you good, even if you’re in an urban environment. Plus, getting outside reminds you that the world is bigger than the four walls of your house or the four sides of your electronic device. We’re still living in a big, beautiful world, with or without the coronavirus.
- Choose a purpose. One of the most disorienting qualities of the quarantine is that, for many of us, it has disrupted our work—the activities we believed gave our lives meaning. So perhaps it’s time to choose a new way of contributing. Sew masks for frontline healthcare workers. Grow food for the local food bank. Contribute money to one or more of the many relief agencies working to support people whose incomes have taken a hit. Volunteer to shop and deliver food to a shut-in. Bake cookies and mail them to your grandkids. Get trained to staff mental health or domestic violence hotline. One of the best ways to feel better is to help someone else feel better!
- Play music. Crank up the stereo or insert your earbuds. Studies have shown that relaxing music reduces stress while listening to upbeat, danceable music is perhaps the fastest way to induce joy.
- Stay connected. Call your mom, your siblings, your children, your friends. Facetime, Skype, or Zoom. Write a letter. Take a socially-distant walk with a neighbor. Especially if you’re feeling despondent: reach out! You are a vital part of our human community, even if it doesn’t feel that way now.
- End as you began. Reflect on the day and take stock of the good that was in it. Read something inspirational—whether it’s a spiritual book or a true-life tale of others who have survived great challenges. End the day with a prayer. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and with the Divine’s help, we will make it through.
Springfield Wellness Center
At Springfield Wellness Center, we have several ways to support you in maintaining positive mental health. We invite current or former patients to participate in our twice-monthly Wellness Empowerment (WE) meetings, which are now conducted online. To join, email us at [email protected]. We “meet” virtually on the second Tuesday evening of every rotation from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
I, Paula, am making a video addressing stress and the brain and plan to offer a free weekly call through May for anyone who would like to talk to me privately. We’ll create another blog post and send out another email when the video is live. In the meantime, to schedule an appointment, call the office at 844.334.4727. I look forward to talking with you!
We encourage anyone who is feeling re-traumatized or needs additional support to call for an appointment for a BR+NAD booster treatment.
Finally, we are offering a trio of immune-boosting, stress-reducing supplements. The Super Pack includes a 30-day supply of NAD sublingual melts, liposomal vitamin C, and Kavinace OS, a blend of zinc, selenium, L-theanine, resveratrol, magnesium, and melatonin (the sleep supplement). So call 844.334.4727 or email [email protected] with your name, mailing address, phone number, and credit card information. $175 includes shipping and tax.
We are here for you! Your well-being is of the utmost importance to us. Thus, if there’s anything we can do, please don’t hesitate to call.