Coping with COVID-19 Stress

Learning to cope with the stress of a pandemic

For the first time in 40 years, on June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization declared the start of a flu pandemic. The CDC estimated that between 151,700 and 575,400 people died worldwide from the 2009 H1N1 virus infection during the first year of circulation. This virus was detected first in the United States in April 2009 before quickly spreading throughout the rest of the world.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared another pandemic with it being called Coronavirus or COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 was thought to be serious enough for the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic, there were still some leaders that did not heed the warnings and take proper actions.

The same leader or leaders that did not take COVID-19 seriously, spent months saying it was nothing more than a hoax and then claiming it was not even as serious as the normal flu. I find the ignorance and shame it takes to call this deadly virus the Chinese virus simply because it began in China absolutely ridiculous. I mean, no one ever referred to H1N1 as the American virus because it began in the United States, so what gives anyone the right to call COVID-19 the Chinese virus or any other demeaning name they think of?

There is one leader in particular that continues to blame everyone else for the virus but fails to blame the person he sees in the mirror every day for the 129,545 American’s that died because of this virus. Worldwide there have been more than 511,000 people who lost their lives due to COVID-19. We will never know now if only action was taken sooner not as many people would have had to die.

There is no denying the fact that being faced with a pandemic, which has already taken the lives of many, is stressful. Most of us have been overwhelmed with distress and anxiety due to this virus. Although actions such as social distancing are imperative for safety reasons, it can cause additional stress and anxiety from being isolated and lonely.

As we continue undergoing the pandemic of an infectious disease outbreak, there are several other issues that we may experience, including but not limited to the following:

– Fear for your health and the health of your loved ones

– Worry for your financial situation and or job security

– Changes in your sleep and or eating patterns

– Troubles sleeping and or concentrating

– Decline in chronic health problems

– Intensifying issues of mental health issues

– Increased use of tobacco and or alcohol and other substances

Everyone responds to stressful situations differently. Even though we dealt with the H1N1 pandemic back in 2009, I do not remember being as concerned and terrified as I have been with COVID-19. The crazy thing is during 2009, I worked for a hospital system with the Employee Health Department. I had constant interaction with people that tested positive for the flu, but never really worried. Of course, I wore a mask and washed my hands multiple times a day and thankfully never got the flu.

I do realize I am not the only one that remains worried about COVID-10, but I can also understand there is no amount of worrying that will make this situation any easier. Granted even if we lived next door to each other, chances are we wouldn’t be able to see one another and would only be able to offer support virtually. We can do this now and help each other to lessen the massive burdens of stress we are all enduring.

I am going to share a few ideas I discovered that will hopefully help reduce the stress we have all been trying our best to manage.

1. Limit Media Time-

Most people have already proven the ability to practice social distancing to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. With already understanding the importance of social distancing for the good of our health, we should be able to understand why distancing ourselves from the media would be in the best interest of our mental well-being. It seems like the media has 24/7 COVID coverage, which can be beneficial in small doses but can also be very negative causing additional anxiety for those who already had concerns. If you are anything like me (I am so sorry for you), you are already feeling extreme anxiousness. When we are becoming more anxious, we should consider taking a break from all news outlets and the view the news only twice a day at most!

2. Stop Engaging with worry-

Regardless if you are worried about yourself or a loved one contracting the virus or being out of work, the more you focus your attention on the worst-case scenarios, the more anxious and stressed you will feel. Of course, we are not able to stop thoughts from entering our minds, but we can choose to not dwell on those thoughts and instead decide to take action towards solving the problems at hand. I think we are all logical enough to understand the enormous differences between worrying and solving the problems we face. Our mind will often try to bait us into worrying, so we need to avoid taking that bait. Our feelings of anxiety will try baiting us with the many “what if” questions that we need to try avoiding answering because it only leads us down dark and endless roads. During times like these, we need to focus our attention elsewhere and on the more positive aspects. I do know during these stressful times, finding the silver lining might be challenging, but it is there.

3. Do not react to physical symptoms-

Just because you or someone around you coughs does not mean it is because of COVID-19. People have allergies, bronchitis, post-nasal drip, or a common cold and these issues are the much more likely explanation. We all know the seasons can cause numerous issues, so it is best to not assume COVID-19 every time you so much as hear a cough, but being aware of your surroundings and following safety protocols should always be followed. For your mental health and well-being, do not continuously scan your body searching for COVID-19 symptoms. The only things this behavior will do is cause unnecessary worry and intensify our already high anxiety levels.

4. Focus on productivity and newer ways of enjoyment-

Unfortunately, we do not have any control over the crisis the world is experiencing currently and the only thing we can control is our response. How many times in the past were you overloaded with work and maintaining your home, but discovered something new you wanted to try? With how much our everyday lives have changed and we are now living our “new normal”, we might finally through no fault of our own have time for new adventures. We can learn a new skill or fine-tune something we used to do back before life got crazy with work and family. Now is the time to put our attention on creating and accomplishing, instead of the virus and or our employment status.

5. Seize the moment in stress-reducing activities-

There are numerous different things we can try that could help reduce the vast amount of stress we might be experiencing during these trying times. As few ideas may include focusing on the things we are grateful for, exercising our bodies, guided meditation, and yoga are things that may help us relax our minds. Anything we may want to learn can easily be found on YouTube; there are many simple videos to follow along with on just about anything we can think of. Just think, once we are finally past this crisis we will not only have learned something new, but also appreciate all the simple things in life we may have taken for granted before such as dinner out at our favorite restaurant, a night out at the movies, and even something as simple as a haircut.

6. Follow CDC guidelines, but do not go overboard-

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or sing happy birthday or twinkle, twinkle little star, whichever you prefer. This does not mean washing your hands until they are red and dry. In the event soap and water isn’t available, you can use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others outside your home. Wear face covering when around others out in the public. Despite what some might say, it is not necessary to remove all your clothing before entering your home.

7. Maintain a sense of normalcy-

During these crazy times, it may be challenging to continue your day as you normally would with some modifications, so this could require adding a little creativity. Before the pandemic, you may have gone to the gym for your workout, but now you have to work out in your home. Instead of dinner out with friends, maybe you have dinner or drinks by a video platform. Continuing life with a structure to our day and any type of an appearance of normalcy will help reduce any additional anxieties.

8. Show kindness for yourself and others-

During a time of national crisis, it is normal to feel anxious and worried. Remember while you are having these feelings, people you know are probably having the same feelings. Reaching out to family, friends, and neighbors who have been isolated, the same as all the rest of us may need a little boost in their spirits. Sometimes a simple phone call will not only heighten our spirits but also improve the person on the other end of the phone mood as well. If you are currently unemployed because of the pandemic, your new job is to have faith that this storm in life will pass and something new will come along and everything will work out for the best!

I meant to have this post out yesterday, but obviously wasn’t able to. For some unknown reason I had a lack in motivation and also continued getting distracted with many other things. I guess maybe it was the mixture of emotions I am feeling for starting my new job Monday. I am not overly nervous or excited; it is pretty much a good balance between the two. I have been out of work for many months now and honestly I have not ever worked from home on a permanent basis. I know I will be able to handle the work from home status well because I have always been extremely organized and disciplined. I did work in the same industry my work from home job is for several years prior to my husband and I relocated and did very well with it. If I am not mistaken the work I am going to be doing is almost exactly the same, but I have heard from a reliable resource that my new company is far more organized than the company I worked for previously.

Thank you for stopping by my site today and I do hope this information was helpful for you! I did only list 8 possible stress relieving ideas, but I do know there are many more and you probably already have some. I do hope you will share your thoughts on this important topic because it will help anyone that reads this. I hope your week is going well, you are feeling the best you possibly can, and you are continuing to remain safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Fanatic Organization

Good afternoon y’all! I hope you are having a great day and of course, you are staying safe! How many of you love spending time organizing? I have honestly been just a little obsessive about it, but I find it relaxing for some reason. I have tore one room apart, which includes the closet and have been reorganizing the entire area.

I have one pile of things that need to be thrown out and then the other piles I am putting like with like. At this moment, it looks like a tornado went through the room several times, but the end results will be great, clean, and extremely organized.

When y’all get the urge to organized and rearrange, do you have a process you use? It would be helpful to know what other’s do when they go through the insanity and desire to redo everything in one room, well for now it is just one room but that I am sure is going to change. I think it is possible I have had just way too much time feeling trapped in the house without being able to do much of anything. I guess the positive part of this is I will have everything look less cluttered. When things are cluttered and unorganized it makes me anxious, which is the last thing I need.

Even though I am taking at least half of the day organizing, I do still have a few posts that will be published soon. One is my second post about migraines and headaches, the other one is about how we need to just say “NO” to racism. I think that is a pretty good slogan to have, what do you think? Things have gotten a little out of control with so many people in 2020 still being racist. I strongly believe we should all be treated equally and with the respect we all deserve. I am not sure if this has gotten where it has because of some country leaders setting an example that it is okay or if it goes deeper than that. My opinion is and please forgive me our country leaders (President, Prime-ministers, Chancellors, and whatever else they are called) should set the example to treat others as they want to be treated. It seems many are followers and behave in the same manner they see powerful people behave and it is plain and simply WRONG!

I am sorry for my little rant, but this is something that bothers me greatly. I grew up in an area that wasn’t diverse at all, but after moving to a big city at 19 I learned a lot about people from different backgrounds and I am thankful for that! In my eyes, it doesn’t matter what people look like, who they love, who they worship, nothing matters but how they treat others.

Thank y’all for visiting my site and reading my half rant and other half about organization. I think the organizing part was a lot more positive, but everything matters! I hope you are having a good day and I look forward to reading about ways y’all organize rooms of your house. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Breakthrough the Barriers of Social Distancing

92101563_1597447863745824_3525203181490511669_nIt was not that long ago when simply going to the grocery store did not involve the fear of a new and potentially deadly virus. For the past several months we have been faced with a world-wide pandemic, stay at home orders, businesses closing their doors (hopefully temporarily), job losses, widespread fear for our health, mask, and gloves for protection, social distancing, and many other issues that have caused panic. Truthfully, I can’t even remember the last day I wasn’t terrified to leave the house or when social distancing was not practiced by most people and then getting frustrated when some do not respect the social distancing.

I feel confident saying that while I do understand the reasons behind social distancing, it Screen-Shot-2020-04-01-at-2.23.33-PMhas been very challenging and isolating. Granted, I do have my husband and two cats home with me (24/7), but let’s face it being home all the time with no changes can make anyone get irritable. I do love my husband and cats dearly, but sometimes I need a break.

I have found some ideas for activities that could help heighten our moods and encourage Boost-your-moodmotivation.

  1. Express and stay in touch-

Acts of kindness should always be something we try doing. With all everyone around the world is dealing with today a simple email or handwritten note to someone you know could offer a positive boost to their day. Think about memorable previous bosses or co-workers and send them a note. I know some previous bosses we were glad to be rid of, but I know I have at least one that I still miss and really enjoyed working with her. This person’s name is Mary Close Hall and she really was amazing! Offer to go to the grocery store or pharmacy for an elderly neighbor that struggles with getting out of the house during normal times. While in a store, either for yourself or a neighbor, thank those on the frontline and essential workers for what they are doing for the community.

  1. Stay connected digitally-Resources+2

Today’s technology has had extensive changes over the years. Millions of people around the world already rely heavily on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The social media platforms offer positive ways to stay connected virtually, while we continue to practice social distancing. People from various locations can interact with one another face-to-face, well a better way to say it is screen-to-screen. The possibilities are endless to stay connected safely with family and friends.

  1. Discover your creativeness-

creativenessTasks that are repetitious such as knitting or crocheting can create a meditative state of mind and relaxation in the body and brain. These meditative and relaxed feelings have also been known to decrease worry and negative thoughts. You do not need to have or run out and buy needles, crochet hooks, and of yarn there are many other forms or art that can reduce anxiety and even be uplifting for our moods.

  1. Learn a new language-language-2

While we are stuck at home with very limited interaction with others, we can be getting prepared for future travels. There are numerous apps and YouTube videos to help teach us a foreign language. We can make the most of the times of isolation and be thankful for the time we had to learn something new!

  1. Become Cultured-

WHAT'S_YOUR_LIFE_EXPERIENCES_SCORE-_(2)Now is a great time to explore art institutions and cultural events virtually. Back when things were not so complicated, did you ever think of or find the time to visit a museum virtually? I know that it never crossed my mind to expand my worldly knowledge from my living room, but now we all can try this. Google is a fantastic tool that can act as our tour guide to these exciting new experiences.

  1. Passion Projects-passion-project_4x

Is there anything you have wanted to try, but never found the time to do so? Maybe you want to write a short story, or a book, or learn more about your ancestry. Now is a good time to pursue these projects you have thought about for so long. While we are stuck at home and feeling beginning to feel anxious, diving into a long-term project can offer us a sense of purpose.

  1. Attend a virtual class or event-

physicalMany local attractions and studios are becoming creative and offering options for enjoyable free and digital experiences. I am listing a few free options for you and your family to check out and hope you enjoy them!

https://www.facebook.com/philadelphiazoo/

https://www.amrevmuseum.org/education-museum/students-and-teachers/virtual-field-trip

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en&tab=pop

https://www.instagram.com/artwellphilly/

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/a31784720/best-virtual-tours/

These are just a few examples of fun things we are able to do from the safety of our we are in this togetherhomes. Do you have any other suggestions of things we are able to do from home? I would love to read your thoughts and any advice you might have!

downloadThank you for visiting my site today. I hope your day is going well and you are feeling the best you can. Please continue to stay safe and take care of your health! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

childabuse-prevention-monthApril is child abuse awareness month and it is extremely important to spread this message to as many people as possible. Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver either by action or lack of action causes injury to a child. This is an awful and widespread situation causing inexcusable physical and emotional pain to innocent children. Sadly, each year there are more than three million cases of either physical, emotional, sexual, or neglect in the United States. The following information will describe each type of abuse and the signs to each.

Physical abuse is when a parent or caregiver inflicts non-accidental physical injuries to aunnamed (2) child. Approximately, 28.3% of adults have disclosed being physically abused as a child. Physical abuse can involve striking, kicking, burning, choking, throwing, shoving, and any other activity that can injure a child. Unfortunately, the outcomes of physical abuse can be any of the following:

  • Internal injuries that can result in brain damage
  • Broken bones, sprains, and dislocated joints
  • Emotional and psychological harm

images (8)The majority of people abusing a child do not realize some of their actions and mannerisms show there has been abuse in the home. The following are signs of abuse the parent or caregiver can display:

  • Unable to explain a child’s injury or attempt explaining the injury, but it doesn’t make any sense
  • Exhibits aggression towards a child or becomes extremely anxious about a child’s behavior
  • Tries saying the child isn’t trustworthy and lies
  • Hinders or prevents the medical care of a child

There are many signs of physical abuse a child may without knowing is showing. It is important to be aware and pay close attention to the following possible signs:

  • Visible and severe injuries
  • Injuries are at different stages of healing
  • Child is not able to explain injuries in a way that is clear and makes sense
  • Frequency of timing and history of injuriesimages (6)
  • Bruises have distinctive shapes

When a child is being abused it is very common for the child to have some behavioral changes. Most often the child does not understand what and why this is happening to them and can become angry causing them to behave in uncommon ways, which can include any of the following issues:

  • Aggression towards peers, pets, or other animals
  • Displays the fear of parents or other adults
  • Wears long sleeve shirts, no matter the season
  • Develops feelings of fear, depression, and anxiety
  • Experiences nightmares and or insomnia
  • Self-destructive behaviors or attitudes
  • Acting immaturely, emotional and extreme behaviors

images (7)A child is being sexually abused when an adult has sexual intentions or the child or involves the child in sexual acts.  Sexual abuse can also be when an older or stronger child uses a younger or less strong child for excitement or sexual gratification. About 20.7% of adults have reported they were sexually abused when they were a child.

Before we go too deep into sexual abuse, I want to forewarn you this part was extremely difficult to write, so it may also be troubling to read. I am fairly sure, especially with the present company, I am not the only one that finds sexual abuse both degrading and appalling. If only this topic wasn’t grotesque enough, it gets much worse because of all the different types of sexual abuse, which includes the following:

  1. Non-contact abuse– happens when a child is abused without being touched, This downloadcan occur both in-person and online, which includes
  • Exposing or flashing
  • Showing child pornographic videos
  • Improper sexual talking
  • Pressure child to make, view or share child abuse images or videos
  • Force the child to masturbate
  • Threaten and coercions child to take part in sexual activities via phone or online
  1. Contact Abuse is when the abuser makes physical contact with the child victim and can include:

POSSIBLE+PHYSICAL+SIGNS+OF+SEXUAL+ABUSE– Sexual touching to any part of the child’s body, with or without clothing

– Uses part of a child’s body or another object to rape or penetrate a child

– Child pressured and forced to take part in sexual acts

– Forcing a child to undress and or touch someone else

Parents and caregivers typically have no idea how their behavior can display signs of sexual abuse. By being aware and paying attention, signs you might be able to view are the following:images (2)

  • Parent or caregiver neglects to look after a child
  • Unstable adult presence
  • Parent is jealous and possessive
  • Sexual relationships are problematic, unhealthy and dysfunctional
  • Parent depends heavily on a child for emotional support

When a child is or has been sexually abused there are many signs that should be noted. Again, the signs I am listing are unspeakably odious, but they do include the following:

  • Struggles sitting, walking and with bowel problems
  • Torn, stained, bloody undergarments
  • Bleeding, bruising, painful, swollen, itchiness of the genital area
  • Reoccurring urinary tract infections or yeast infections

sexual-abuse-749x1024Sexual abuse is an awful situation for anyone to go through, but children are innocent and do not understand what is happening. The child was likely told by the abuser not to tell anyone because no one would believe them and even threaten them to not say anything.  A child might be scared and angry making behavioral changes to be relatively common. Below are some behavioral changes that may be noticed:

  • Child does not want to changes clothes, especially during gym class
  • Withdrawn, depressed and anxiousness
  • Aggressive, poor relationships with peers
  • Negative self-image
  • Lacks confidence and self-care
  • Performance in school declines
  • Substance abuse, recklessness, suicide attempts
  • Sleep disturbances, such as nightmares, fear bedtime and bedwetting
  • Acting out sexually at a young ageimages (5)

Child abuse can leave behind more than bruises from physical abuse and or the inexcusable effects of sexual abuse. Emotional abuse can cause many other scars not visible to the naked eye. Emotional abuse is commonly called psychological abuse because it involves persistent emotional mistreatment of a child causing irreparable damage over time. Approximately 10.6% of adults reported they were emotionally abused as a child.

Emotional abuse is not always easy to detect because it is normally part of other forms of abuse. The issues that are involved with emotional abuse may include:

*Rejecting or ignoring- examples include showing lack of interest in a child, no initiating child-abuse-physical-emotional-sexual-9-638or returning the affection

*Shaming or humiliating- Example include name-calling, mocking, belittling

*Terrorizing- Examples include blaming, accusing, threatening, manipulating, screaming or yelling at the child

*Corrupting- Examples include encouraging bad behavior, pressuring a child into a criminal act

Whether the emotional abuse is being imposed on a child by a parent or caregiver, there are helpful signs to be aware of. I am not including all the signs because there is already a lot for you to read. Below are the signs a parent or caregiver may show:images (10)

  • Plays favorites between siblings
  • Atrocious anger management or emotional self-regulation
  • Terrible relationships with other adults
  • History of violence or abuse
  • Untreated mental illness, alcoholism or substance abuse

When a child is being emotionally abused they could display physical and behavioral images (9)signs. The physical signs may include the following:

  • Developmental delays
  • Speech disorder
  • Health issues such as ulcers and skin disorder
  • Weight problems

Examples of a child’s behavior change are as followed:

  • Learning disabilities and developmental delays
  • Excessively complaint or defensive
  • Intense emotions, aggression, anxieties
  • Destructive or anti-social behaviors
  • Inappropriate behavior (either too childlike or too adult-like)

Child neglect is a form of abuse where the parent or caregiver does not offer the care, supervision, affection, or care necessary for a child’s health, safety, and well-being. This can include physical, emotional, medical, and educational neglect. Child neglect signs are as follows:

  • Deserting a childneglect
  • Continuing to leave a child in another’s care for hours, days, weeks at a time
  • Not providing food and drink, or clothing appropriate to the weather
  • Failing to supervise child for valid safety concerns
  • Allowing a child to be around an inappropriate caregiver
  • Exposing a child to an unsafe or unsanitary environment

Although some states that will not prosecute parents because of religious reasons, the parent can still receive a court order to protect a child’s life. Parents and caregivers are 2ee34a5f1acb222e256a76f8f088f420required to get a child-appropriate medical treatment for injuries and illness. Basic preventative care to ensure children remains safe and healthy is necessary.

Examples of medical negligence include, but not limited to the following:

  • Not taking a child to the hospital or medical professional for serious illness or injury
  • Withholding child from getting treatment
  • Failing to provide preventative medical and dental care for a child
  • Refusing to follow medical recommendations for child

Unfortunately, only one instance of neglect can cause lifelong distress to a child. Neglect tends to require a pattern of behavior over some time. Some signs suggesting a parent or caregiver needs assistance with nurturing and how to protect a child while they are in your care, which includes:unnamed (3)

  • Shows indifference or lack of concern for a child
  • Depression, drug and alcohol abuse or a mental health issue
  • Perceives child negativity
  • Expects a child to take care of themselves

 A child being neglected may show any of the following signs:

  • Clothing does not fit, clothes are dirt and not weather appropriate
  • Often hungry seeks out where the food is, shows signs of malnutrition
  • Low body weight
  • Often overtired and falling asleep during the school day
  • Hygiene problems
  • Untreated medical and dental issues and or incomplete immunizations
  • Frequent changes to schools and or physician

General_Facebook_f1Any form of abuse leaves traumatic memories that can’t be erased. The scars left behind may be a visible daily reminder and the deep-rooted emotional effects throughout life can and do damage a child’s sense of self-esteem. Current and future relationships can be impacted and the ability to function at home and school can be challenging. Effects from child abuse may include the following:

  1. An inability to trust and relationships can be a struggle. The ones a child should be able to trust, a parent or caregiver, so if it is one of these people abusing the child, it is understandable why the child will find trusting almost impossible.
  2. Deep feelings of worthlessness. When a child hears repeatedly negative words used to describe who they are, it becomes extremely difficult to overcome. As abused children grow up, they may neglect their education and settle for jobs with low pay because it is all they feel they are worth. Sexually abused children feel shame images (4)surrounding the abuse and battle with feelings of being damaged, which may allow people in their lives that have bad habits and intentions.
  3. Struggle with balancing emotions. Abused children do not feel safe expressing their emotions. This can result in burying emotions deep down so the emotions can be ignored. Adults that were abused struggle with anxiety, depression, and anger they can’t explain. Often adults that were abused will lean on alcohol and drugs to numb the painful memories.

If a child feels comfortable enough with you to explain what they have experienced, pay very close attention to the child and be compassionate. Of course, it will never be easy to hear about a child being abused, so there are some crucial things to remember and 7686078_0follow:

  1. Avoid reactions of denial and remain calm. If a child senses shock or disgust at what they are telling you, the child will become fearful to continue their story and shut down completely.
  2. Do not interrogate. It is very important to allow the child to explain what they experienced in their own words. If you ask the child leading questions they may get confused and flustered making it difficult to finish their story. The child has shown already they trust you, so trust them to continue.
  3. Reassure the child they did nothing wrong. Explain to the child it took a lot of courage to be willing to share their story with you. It may help the child if you thank them for trusting you and that you are there to help them.
  4. Safety needs to come first. If you feel you or the child is in danger, especially if you child-abuse-survivorsintervene further, leave any more intervention to the professionals.

First, I want to thank you for visiting my site today. Second, I know this information can be very disturbing, I mean it took me several days to complete allowing myself breaks from this painful topic. I think it is important to be aware of what can happen to children and also have ways to offer children comfort. I would love to read any fposter,small,wall_texture,product,750x1000.u2comments you have about the information I have provided.

I hope you are having a good week so far and staying safe! I know someday the new cases of coronavirus will level out and the fatalities will end. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love ❤, comfort, and many positive vibes!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

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!

heart

❤Always, Alyssa❤

 

                                                                                                                                                            .

 

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!

heart

❤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!

love-2-e1526867753936

❤Always, Alyssa❤