May is Mental Health Month, and this year the Mental Health America (MHA) wants us to focus on resiliency.
↬ As the number of cases of COVID-19 increases, so does the associated anxiety. Just weeks ago, we had no idea that all our worlds were going to be turned upside down by the coronavirus. Some realized that their day to day was lacking purpose or just wasn't making them happy, while others reported feeling happier due to the change in their routine.
↬ While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as essential to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them – we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them.
This is why we wanted to share some tools for you:
↬ A breathing exercise to calm your nervous system and become more present:
You can do box breathing anywhere, including in
the car or outdoors at the park.
Begin seated with the back supported, feet on the floor. Close your eyes.
Slowly exhale all air from the lungs. Pause.
Inhale through your nose while slowly counting to 4. Feel the air inflate the lungs.
Hold your breath while slowly counting to 4. Don’t strain; simply don’t breathe for 4 counts.
Slowly exhale for 4 counts.
Hold the exhalation for 4 counts.
Repeat at least three times, or until you feel calm.
↬ The Total Wellness Continuum worksheet #CHECKPOINT:
Our overall Wellness is based on the balance of all 5 Health Aspects: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
The Total Wellness scale is an average of each of the components.
Take a moment and check-in with yourself today.
On a piece of paper, score each area of Wellness from 0-10.
✓ Check your findings:
1. Are your views skewed more towards one or the other?
2. How could you improve an area of Wellness today?
Share with a friend and encourage them to take a moment to check-in with themselves and BE ⚖
↬ Movement options:
Introduce some movement into your daily routine.
If you need ideas on how to move today, try one of our at-home workouts.
↬ Reaching out:
It’s possible to be surrounded by people and still feel alone. It’s the connections we make with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to make those connections.
✓ Connect with others at places you go to.
✓ Use shared experiences as a topic of conversation.
✓ Give compliments.
✓ Accept invitations.
✓ Not all invitations have to be face-to-face.
✓ Organize activities.
↬ Taking a mental health screen:
The Mental Health Association is providing quick, free, and private way here to assess your mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems. Screening helps catch problems early - before a crisis.
MHA - If you are in crisis or or thinking about suicide, get connected to a local crisis center and get in
touch with someone immediately. Call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or text “MHA” to 741741.
Talk to someone online - If you're thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline - HelpLine staff are prepared to answer your questions onmental healthissues. Contact us Monday-Friday, 10am–6pm ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
NYC Well - Talk.Text.Chat. 24/7
MHA, B4Stage4. mhanational.org/covid19.
Hall, J. A. (2019). How many hours does it take to make a friend? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(4), 1278–1296.
US Dept. of Labor. (2018). American time use survey. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/tus.
Carmichael, C. L., Reis, H. T., Duberstein, P. R. (2015). In your 20s it’s quantity, in your 30s it’s quality: The prognostic value of social activity across 30 years of adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 30, 95–105.