Are you tired of missing family and friends, not having a routine, or not being able to go to places or do things you once did? Do you find that you have increased stress and feelings of loneliness due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Has your life or the life of a family member or close friend been affected by infection or exposure? Perhaps you are trying to follow the safety guidelines and are irritated by people that do not. Our mental, emotional, and physical state directly influences our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding safety precautions and vaccination. With infection and hospitalization rates on the rise this winter, it’s important to take active steps as individuals so that collectively we can drive down the virus spread. For more on reasons why it is hard to follow the recommendations from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), read on.
Life during 2020 has been very challenging. We were forced to make changes to our routines that we weren’t expecting, we experienced significant losses, and we continue to live with unnatural, difficult, and scary circumstances that are in many ways beyond our control and without a clear end in sight. Researchers are studying how people around the world are thriving and preventing problems with depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol abuse, etc. that are becoming more common due to the pandemic, its effects, and coronavirus or health-related worries. How do people successfully cope?
Life during the COVID-19 pandemic creates so many different emotional reactions, including disappointment, fear/anxiety, and frustration. Under normal circumstances, when we strive for growth, change or achievement, we may encounter challenge and adversity. With the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining normalcy and stability and just surviving is difficult. Whatever your current circumstance, here are some ways to cope when things don’t go as planned.
As a therapist that takes a lifestyle medicine approach, I believe in helping you be as healthy as you can be. Diabetes is a common chronic illness which can be prevented. A UCLA study (2016) found that nearly 50% of California adults, including 1 out of every 3 young adults have either prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. Another 9% of adults have a diabetes diagnosis. In this post, I share general tips and resources on how to protect yourself and loved ones from chronic illness and how to develop a healthy workplace culture.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how 2020 has been a year of change and growth. For most people, the challenge to adjust creates stress and worry. As time passes by, we may have a sense that there's not enough time to do everything we need and want to (which can add to stress and feeling discontented). How can we avoid these time pressures and feel satisfied with the moments we live? For this reason, I want to offer 3 ways to continue building hardiness and resilience (in other words, the ability to remain calm in the face of crisis and recover quickly) so that stress levels stay manageable and not overwhelming. This important conversation also applies to the anxiety and worry we may feel with the holiday season/end of year, ongoing pandemic & prolonged stay at home/distancing recommendations, and presidential election.
Stigma around mental illness conditions has troublesome consequences for persons living with mental illness. Stigma continues even though public awareness is growing and persons living with symptoms are seeking help more often.
Examples of mental illness stigma beliefs include:
Social comparisons can lead to strong anxious feelings, low self-esteem, and hesitation to take risks or engage in personal growth. At the same time, social comparisons can help us determine what is normal or healthy and help us to improve our performance and behaviors appropriately. When does comparing ourselves to others become harmful and unhealthy? How can we stop comparing ourselves in unhelpful ways?
Moderate to high levels of stress over time affects our health and quality of life. Stress is a factor in health symptoms and conditions such as heart disease, glycemic control, weight management, immune system functioning, and all types of pain. It can affect moods, behaviors, attention and concentration, and performance related outcomes. When we are stressed and not well, we aren’t able to participate in our daily lives as we would like.
Announcing "Discovering Our New Normal, Together: Conversations for Whole Person Health" video series
Recently, I had the privilege of partnering with RiseOC Church in Costa Mesa, California to create the 5 part video series, "Discovering Our New Normal, Together: 5 Conversations for Whole Person Health in 2020 and Beyond." In this series, Pastor Jenny Switkes and I review tips and experiences for the areas of stress management, physical & emotional health, social lives, and the work environment. The videos are being released weekly from September 8-September 29. There will be a live question and answer session (unrecorded) on Saturday, October 10 to review questions and comments from the series topics. To view the videos and for more information, visit https://riseoc.church/resources. <3 Be well !!