Improving Your Sleep For Mental and Emotional Resilience
According to the Sleep Foundation, there is a bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health. Each affects the other.
February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month, and this week I want to highlight important ideas from Black leaders that support your mental health. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright-daybreak-of-peace-and-brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Smartphones, Social Media, and Mental Health
Social media is a way we can stay in touch with our friends and family, but overuse and overreliance is strongly correlated to poor mental health.
January is Stalking Awareness Month
Being stalked by another human being is a frightening and traumatic experience. Stalking victims suffer higher rates of depression--anxiety-insomnia-and-relationship issues.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month
According to HumanTrafficking-Hotline.org, Human trafficking can happen to anyone but some people are more vulnerable than others.
Martin Luther King Jr
Today we remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many things he said over the course of his life can help us all live more fulfilling and resilient lives.
Healthy Relationships and Mental Health
One of the most important and powerful ways to improve your mental health is to work on improving your relationships.
November is Gratitude month
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The Greater Good Science Center reports that, “people who practice gratitude report fewer symptoms of illness, and depression, have more optimism, happiness, and stronger relationships.”
Anger is a normal part of life. Things happen that irritate and frustrate us. When you or someone else is wronged. anger is a natural emotion. But allowing anger to fester and smolder rather than using appropriate and healthy ways of expressing it can be detrimental to everyone.
International Stress Week
What are some things that give us a sense of purpose? Caring for someone who needs your help. Community volunteering. Or being part of a group that connects you with others such as a service club or a church.
Make sure you prioritize mental health by getting the sleep your body needs to do well. When you burn the candle at both ends you wind up lacking the bandwidth to be your best.
Since it's family story month I encourage you to strengthen practices in your home that foster a sense of belonging and emotional security. Make a safe space for family discussions. Eat meals together. Have a family game night once a month.
Sharing with others, being silly, being part of a community activity, being creative, are things that promote Good Mental Health. So I encourage you to celebrate now or anytime you get a chance. Have a party. Dress up. Be generous. Smile and enjoy yourself.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Victims are often told by their perpetrators that there is something wrong with them. This leaves the victim feeling as though they don't deserve to be loved and treated well. The reality is we all are lovable, and we all deserve to be respected and cared for.
Safe Schools Week is Oct 16-22, and I want to say a word about the important topic of bullying. The CDC defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times. It results in physical, psychological, social, or educational harm on the targeted youth.
October is ADHD Awareness Month
Like any other challenge in life, ADHD can be overcome with the right interventions, training, patience, persistence, and love. Families that have a child who meets the criteria, need support, understanding, and skill building. Early intervention can make a huge difference so reach out to your pediatrician or trusted mental health provider and get the help you need.
Being frustrated with something or someone is a common experience. It is important that we learn to recognize and manage frustration, so it doesn't become the feeling that is driving all our decisions or actions. Maybe there is a change at your work that-you-have-a-hard-time accepting or something unexpected happens and your vacation plans get put on hold.
September is Suicide Awareness Month and Recovery Month
Often suicide and addiction are manifestations of dealing with the self-incrimination that occurs as a result of childhood trauma. Sixty six percent of adults have experienced an adverse childhood experience meaning they lived with abuse, neglect, parental separation, or loss. A negative self-image, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression can all stem from childhood trauma. These behavioral health issues then, correlate with both suicidal thinking and addiction.
National Recovery Month
One of the most common catalysts for substance abuse is adverse childhood experiences. In fact, for every adverse childhood experience encountered, the risk of substance use increases. Experiencing some form of abuse, neglect, loss or lack of stability in childhood happens to most people. Research indicates 66% of us have had at least one childhood trauma.
September is National Recovery Month
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking that is difficult to control, despite its consequences. Repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist urges to take drugs.
Back to School
A new school year is here. With it can come anxiety about the unknown, but also comes opportunities for developing problem solving and life skills. One of the best ways to manage anxiety is to get organized. Parents...Work with your children to plan their time. Make a plan for each day about when they will do their schoolwork, when they will do chores, when they will do hobbies or extracurricular activities, and when they will have down time.
Overdose Awareness Day
Governor DeWine has declared today Overdose Awareness Day. If you have an addiction to opioids or drugs of any kind, you already know that recovery is going to require change. You may fear both the physical and emotional withdrawal you'll experience from not having the substance.
Caring for Someone Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol
Caring about someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can be very emotionally painful. If you're in that situation, there are things you can do to help yourself…and also possibly help the person in your life who is addicted.
Journaling for Mental Health
Journaling is one of the best tools you can put in your mental health toolbox. Researcher Silvia Bastos writes, “Many of us, when we face anxious thoughts, try to deny them — push them away, and think of something else.” and “You probably know how it feels to lie in bed for hours unable to sleep because you’re worried about problems, commitments, or the future.”
Sleep is Essential to our Mental Health
Working on your sleep hygiene is something to take seriously and be intentional about. According to Helpguide’s resource on getting better sleep, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimizes the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn.
July is BIPOC Mental Health Month
Today is the Fourth of July, Independence Day. Our country is known as a melting pot because of the important role immigration and diversity has had on our history. July is BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Mental Health Month. This year’s theme for BIPOC Mental Health Month is #BeyondTheNumbers.
June is LGBTQIA Pride Month
It is important to recognize the mental health needs of the LGBTQ+ members of our community. According to NAMI, LGB youth are more than twice as likely to report experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness than their heterosexual peers. Transgender youth face are twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms, seriously consider suicide, and attempt suicide compared to cisgender lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning youth.
Being mentally healthy requires us to take a holistic approach. As Mr. Miyagi said in the 1st karate kid movie, “our whole life is a balance”. We need to make sure that we are taking care of our mind, body and spirit. We do that through activities and exercises that connect us to those domains of our life.
Mental Spring Cleaning
As we watch things start to grow and enjoy more and more daylight, it's a good time to recommit ourselves to our mental health care. Do some mental health spring cleaning.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Everyone has a role to play in preventing or being an active bystander in instances of sexual assault. There are many different ways that you make a difference.