Ways to care for your mental health during a pandemic

coronavriusOn March 11, 2020, both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic due to the coronavirus. The coronavirus has affected 192 countries and territories worldwide and 1 International conveyance, the Diamond Princess Cruise ship. It has steadily been causing vast amounts of turmoil in most households around the world.

Only to add the apprehension things have occurred, no one ever thought they would see in their lifetime. Starting with sporting event cancellations, school closings, mass ppe-graphicshortages of personal protective equipment in hospitals, delaying elective surgeries, borders closing to International travelers, malls with either adjusted hours or closing altogether, restaurants only offering take-out, grocery store’s shelves are pretty much empty, employers being forced to allow employees to work from home if the work permits or laying employees off because they can’t afford them,  and I am sure there is more that I didn’t remember.

Even though it will not be easy, we all need to find ways to calm our overactive anxiety and feelings of distress. First, how many times do you check for updates regarding the coronavirus? Second question, how many news outlets, whether it is TV or online news CoronavirusAMUpdatesources? It may help your anxiety and stress levels if you try limiting the number of times you check for updates, such as no more than 2 times a day and NEVER right before bed. It is also very important to choose a credible news outlet for your source. It could provide you additional security to have at least two trustworthy sites because it will allow you to fact check the information.

No matter where we live, we are all in this together and will be until things start to improve. Not to sound negative, but things will probably get even worse before they begin to get better. It is critical to listen to and rely on trustworthy news outlets and WEBREADY_Free-Press-Editorial_Oped_Hannah-Riseman-900x600actual public health experts. It doesn’t matter who the politician is, they did not dedicate their lives to healthcare.

What does your body go through when stress and anxiety reach extremely high levels? What exactly is causing you the most worry? What do you fear the most right now? Is there anything you can do to make what you are worried about easier or end altogether? Allow your mind the time and honesty to answer these questions. Maybe this will distract you some and provide you clarity of your feelings.

The unfortunate truth is we have no control of this virus, but we do have control of what copingwe do and how we cope with major situations. I am going to share some ideas that may provide distractions to relieve your anxious mind.

  • Connect with family and friends via video chat, phone calls, emails, and social media.
  • Yoga- If you have not practiced yoga before and want to start, now might be a good time because learning and trying new things could be enjoyable and a healthy distraction.
  • Meditation- If you have never meditated before, that’s okay because there are numerous apps available that are easy to follow, such as https://www.headspace.com/ and https://www.calm.com/. You could also visit Bella’s website https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/. Bella has many posts about meditation that are absolutely amazing and helpful.
  • Controlled breathing, which is called square breathing. Imagine your breathcoping traveling along a square. Inhale up the first side of the square, count to 3, and exhale. Do this on all sides of the square!
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a comedy
  • Eat familiar foods that you enjoy
  • Free yourself from stress by coloring
  • Form a calming atmosphere with sweet aromas
  • Get out your knitting, crocheting, sewing or any other creative craft you enjoy
  • Take a warm bubble bath to drown your stress away
  • Contemplate with your journal. If you do not have a journal, it might help you to EPIDT6GUCNBRLE5PF4CDD73D4Ystart one now
  • Pour yourself a warm cup of tea
  • Refresh yourself and skin with a facial mask
  • Get a deck of cards, puzzle or board game out to play

We do not really know how long we will continue being in monumental amounts of turbulence. We realize there is so much we do not have control over, such as how long we will be dealing with this pandemic, how many people will suffer because of it, or how our communities will be affected. None of this is easy to accept or even understand, but there are several ways we can reduce our personal risks of obtaining the virus.

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or handCoronavirus-Twitter-card-pic.xc9f75d90 sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth in particular
  • Even if you do not feel sick, stay home as much as you can
  • Avoid crowds and gathering with more than 10 people
  • Avoid all non-essential shopping and travel
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out
  • To help support your immune system, get plenty of sleep
  • Follow ALL recommendation from health establishments

self careWhile we remain in distressing time we need to not forget to care for our body and spirit. The following ideas are ways we can tend to our self-care while we deal with disturbances caused by the coronavirus

  • Be kind to yourself:

If you’re experiencing depression and or anxiety, go easy on yourself and know you are not alone

  • Maintain a routine as much as you can:

Even though you might be confined to your house, continue your normal sleep, meals, and work schedule

  • Make time for the activities you enjoy:

Read that book you’ve been meaning to start, play games you find enjoyable, cook julyselfcaresomething, and create something or anything else to occupy your mind from the stress you have been feeling

  • If possible get out in nature:

Sunshine and fresh can be beneficial for our mental and physical health. Whatever you do, obey the restrictions that have been put in place, keep your distance from people you may encounter, and avoid crowds

  • Find ways to exercise:

Of course, all gyms and exercise classes will be closed, but you can find alternative ways to exercise. Staying active will help relieve stress, anxiety, and even manage our moods. Get creative with what you are images (2)able to do without equipment, such as using your own bodyweight to exercise

  • Avoid self-medicating:

Be cautious about using alcohol or other substances to control your anxiety and depression

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I hope the information provided will be beneficial for you and your family. Times are anything but easy right now, but hopefully things will start improving very soon. I hope you have a great afternoon and you are feeling the best you can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

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Finding Inner Peace

inner-peaceDo y’all know what does inner peace means? Inner peace is a state in which you are mentally and spiritually at peace, despite the potential of any stressors that might arise. When you truly have inner peace, you have fully accepted yourself and therefore, do not waste your precious time, energy, and attention on unimportant thoughts. Inner peace is the direct opposite of anxiety and worries.

There are things we can do to find our inner peace.

  1. Set your limits-set limit

By knowing when to stop, we can minimize being preoccupied with certain things that do not matter in the bigger picture of life. What this means is we can set a certain amount of time to spend on social media because that is something we do not need to spend unnecessary time on. I am sure many people will disagree with me on this, but we can live without social media, we can survive!

  1. Try to relax-

take breathExperiment with deep breathing exercises to help release your tension. Deep breathing is something that can be done anytime and anywhere. You can practice breathing in through your nose slowly, allowing your chest and belly to rise as your lungs fill with air, hold inhale for 4 seconds. Then slowly exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds.

If this doesn’t work for you, do a little research on other relaxation techniques until you find the one that works best for you.

  1. Don’t make any issue bigger than it is-

When facing an issue you think is huge, take a break and ask yourself if this situation will still matter in a few days, weeks, months, or years. Asking and answering this question will help you to keep things in perspective.

  1. Slow downslow down

Constantly being stressed and panicked can have many negative effects on your mind and overall health. Most often by simply slowing down, you will have a chance to lower the feelings of stress.

  1. Unclutter your life-

If your workspace or home is cluttered, it may keep your mind preoccupied. Personally, when my house is a mess, my thoughts remain fixated on everything I have to do. I tend to make a to-do list with everything I need to-do in order of importance. The issue with this is, I only make the to-do list in my mind and then feel keep-calm-and-be-a-minimalistoverwhelmed, which nothing gets done.

  1. Be a minimalist-

This can remove the unnecessary distractions from your life, allowing for peace of mind, clarity, and focus on a welcomed new thought process.

  1. Be prompt-

Even though being prompt might be a small and easy habit, it can be a huge help for our schedules. Maybe being 10-15 minutes early will only give you those extra minutes to relax and recharge, but you will be amazed to how much it helps our mental status. Every free minute we have in this unpredictable and stressful world is very beneficial to our body!

  1. Learn to accept and let go

We all have heard that saying, the past should stay in the past. It seems that this notionlet_go_expectations has been lost, but we need to try to bring it back into our thoughts. Nothing will ever change, no matter how much we stress or constantly think about it. It will be in everyone’s best interest to focus our attention solely on the present, never the past or even the future.

  1. Ask, don’t guess-

Most of what causes our stress is our assumptions. The truth is, no one can read minds, but too many still try which only causes too much unnecessary anxiety. Instead of assuming anything, we need to have much more open communication and ask escapequestions!

  1. Escape for a short time

       What this means is to allow yourself time to recharge and even some soul searching. This isn’t quitting anything; you are just enhancing your life!

  1. Quit Procrastinating

      I know not all problems can be solved quickly, but we can’t procrastinate trying to solve our problems. Honestly, the longer we wait, the more tension and stress we will feel.

  1. Disconnect from work-

Your work life should never belong in your home. Weekends and time not at work are offline-is-peace-of-mindyour time to recharge and not think about deadlines. I was never good at this when I had a job and wish I had adopted this thought process a long time ago, but I will when I do have a job again.

  1. One thing at a time-

There are times when multitasking can be a great quality. However, multitasking can also cause too much stress. The thought process of focusing on one thing at a time can be healthier for your health because it will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Everything will still get done in time.

  1. Focus on good memories-

focus-on-a-positive-memoryWe tend to focus too much on our bad memories, instead of all the good memories we have. Maybe we do this because those bad memories caused some trauma and we will rethink what we could have done, but that isn’t going to fix anything. If we try replacing our bad memories with good ones, we will hold onto the strength we felt during the good memories. This might take time, but it will be beneficial to our mental and physical health.

  1. Meditate daily-Daily-Meditation-1-735x675

Meditating is the most common way to discover your inner peace. By meditating even for just 15 minutes a day, it will help you discover and hold onto your inner peace. A fellow blogger shares some pretty amazing meditation ideas, so I will encourage you to check out her site. Bella’s site is https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/

positive vibesThank you for stopping by my site today. I do hope, if you haven’t already visited Bella’s site, you will do so soon. I promise you will not be disappointed because she is pretty great!! I am looking forward to reading your comments about this post because I know you will provide great insight! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

 

                                                                                                                                                             

Anxiety Disorders are REAL!

REAL-18-percent-anxiety-1-e1470236666901Anxiety is a very real issue that affects 40 million people in the United States. Anxiety disorders are the most common and prevalent mental disorders in the United States. Of course, some people experience anxiety for reasons that are not at all life-threatening, but others do feel like they are in danger. When a person faces something that is potentially harmful or other worry triggers, the feeling of anxiety is not just normal but needed for survival. When there is an incoming danger, alarms are set off in our body, which may include an elevated heartbeat, sweating, and increased sensitivity to surroundings.

Anxiety is a body’s natural response to stress and a feeling of fear or uneasiness aboutAnxiety-Blob-anxiety-disorder-is-real-Nanea-Hoffman-Sweatpants-Coffee-940x450 what is to come next. Anxiety disorders are characterized by a variety of symptoms. The most common symptoms are excessive and intrusive worrying that disrupts daily functions. Other signs include agitation, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, tense muscles, and trouble sleeping.

There are six types of anxiety disorders I am going to explain. The first is Generalized dsm-5-criteria-for-generalized-anxiety-disorder-1393147_v2-902be69757414cc7a517ef3ca9838b59Anxiety Disorder (GAD). With this type of anxiety disorder, a person will feel anxious on most days and worry about numerous things. They will also overly worry about money, health, work, and other random issues. This affects 6.8 million adults in the United States, which is about 3.1% of the population. Of those that have been diagnosed with GAD, only 43.2% received treatment. Women are twice as likely to develop this disorder as men are.

When doctors diagnose a person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the person must have experienced excessive worry and anxiety about several different events or activities for more days than not and for at least six months. The person will also express they have a difficult time controlling their worry.social-anxiety-disorder-symptoms-and-diagnosis-4157219-5c5db04146e0fb000127c7e9

Social Anxiety (SAD) is a very common anxiety disorder that affects 15 million adults in the United States, which is about 6.8% of the population. This is when everyday social interactions cause a person an irrational fear, self-consciousness, and embarrassment. A person may have trouble in common situations, for instance, talking to a stranger, making eye contact, using public restrooms, and eating in front of people.

images (2)Specific Phobias affect 19 million adults, being 8.7% of the population in the United States. Women tend to be twice as likely to develop this disorder as men. The average onset for this condition is around 7 years old. This type of anxiety disorder amounts to an unreasonable or irrational fear related to exposure to a specific object or situation.  A person will avoid contact with a specific object due to their fear of such an object.

Panic Disorder is a type of disorder that causes panicPanic-Disorder-Symptoms attacks. A panic attack is a sudden feeling of terror, even when there is no danger around them. This affects 6 million adults in the United States, which is about 2.7% of the population. This does tend to be inflicted on women twice as much as men.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder that causes excessive thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviors. There are 2.2 million, being 1.0% of the population of adults in the United States that are OCD. A person that lives with this disorder gets caught up in a cycle OCD-cycleof unwanted obsessions, instructive thoughts, images, or urges that trigger intensely distressing feelings. For example, when a person that is OCD is leaving their house, they need to turn the lights on and off a certain number of times or check the door is locked a specific number of times before they feel comfortable leaving the house.

Post-Traumatic- Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder in which a person has a hard time recovering after experiencing or witnessing imagea terrifying event. This disorder plagues 7.7 million adults, being 3.5% of the population in the United States. This does occur in women more than men, but it does happen to both. Rape triggers PTSD in 65% of men and 49.5% of women. It is believed a person that experienced childhood sexual abuse, will develop PTSD in their lifetime.

manage-your-anxiety-2584184-01-07daf91ba6de41d19f827cf65ceef07aTreatment consists of a combination of psychotherapy, behavior therapy, and medications. Some people can avoid therapy sessions to treat their anxiety disorder by doing things at home; after all, going into a clinician’s office can be stressful alone and causes unnecessary stress to a person already dealing with stress and anxiety. If a person decides they prefer to try self-treatment at home, they will need to understand this type of treatment helps those cope with mild and more focused shorter-term anxiety disorders.

There are five self-treatment options that are available. One is stress management Stress Management mind mapwhich will include learning how to manage stress to limit those potential triggers. You can organize upcoming events and deadlines in order and compile lists with daunting tasks in order to make them easier to manage. It is always important to commit to taking time off from work and or school.

Another self-treatment plan is to practice relaxation techniques. Straight-forward activities have the potential to calm our mental and physical anxiety signals. Other options, are to meditate (which I am awful at), deep breathing exercises, long hot baths, resting in a dark room, and yoga.

breathing-for-relaxation-4-7-8.jpg?w=1000Another self-treatment option is practice replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Start off by making a shortlist of five negative thoughts that are running through your mind. Next, write another list, next to your first list, with positive thoughts to replace those negative thoughts with. When we have a mental image of successfully facing our negative thoughts or conquering a specific fear, this can provide benefits if the anxiety symptoms are related.

You can also utilize a support network by talking with a friend or family member whosupport is supportive. There are probably local support groups near where you live, but there are also plenty of online support groups. If you want to find local support groups, I am more than happy to help you find as many as I can, just let me know!

This is the last self-treatment plan I can share with y’all. Establish an exercise regimen; physical exertion can improve the self-doubts you might have and release chemicals in the brain that trigger positive feelings.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I believe there are many people that shy away from talking about any kind of mental illnesses because others shame them. I feel we should text-art-believe-in-your-dreams-follow-your-heart-melanie-violaall feel free and comfortable to talk to others about what we are dealing with and we should never be judged. We are all human-beings with a strong beating heart and we have feelings. I will be completely honest with y’all, I have not been formally diagnosed with anything, but I feel stress and anxiety most of the time and I can not turn it off. I do not know how to not worry because I have done it for 38 years and like that old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”  I would love to read your thoughts on this information because I know y’all are amazing with brilliant thoughts. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

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❤Always, Alyssa❤