15Aug

    3 Tips to Handle an Anxiety Attack

    breathing on the beach

    1. Awareness

    Many therapists have agreed that when a patient feels a panic attack coming on, it is essential to craft a short checklist to keep in mind while the situation occurs. Although each individual experiences anxiety in a different way, following the below steps is important to maintain some calmness.

    Accept the anxiety and try to assess what is going on from an objective standpoint. Try your best to act normal and not let the anxiety overtake your mental state. As difficult as it may seem, do your best to gain control of what is happening.

    2. Consult a doctor

    Consulting a doctor may be necessary after you notice your panic attacks either increasing or becoming more frequent in your day to day life. It is in your best interests to meet with a doctor on a semi-regular basis. With this in mind, your doctor may prescribe you medication or refer you to a mental health physician for further evaluation.

    3. Deep Breathing 

    Taking deep, consistent breaths is one way to most effectively deal with a panic attack when it comes. While it is common for people to breathe very quickly due to stress, keep in mind that this actually augments the level of anxiety. It is important to practice taking deep slow breaths, even when you are not experiencing a panic attack. In other words, focusing on deep breathing will allow you to relax a bit.

    It is important to note that everyone’s panic attacks differ. Consulting a medical professional is highly encouraged as you experience any discomfort. Remember that you are not alone and thousands of other Americans across the country are going through the same issues and experiences as you are. Reading up on how other people cope with anxiety in their day to day lives will also help you try out other ways to improve your emotional or mental health.

    20Jun

    9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem

     

    9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem

    Regardless of the amount of time you took off to recuperate after a mental health crisis, you need to make sure that you take the necessary steps to maintain your well-being. Working your way back to become healthy again is just as, or sometimes more difficult than actually undergoing the mental health crisis you endured.

    However, taking the appropriate steps after an emotionally or psychologically draining event can be overwhelming as you figure out how to assimilate back into the workplace environment.

    Seek out help from professionals and stay connected until you have recovered 100%

    Gathering enough information from professionals in the psychiatric and psychological fields will allow you to access the point where you are seeing improvement in your day to day. Staying connected with the professionals that guide you in your life is absolutely essential when it comes to making strides to overcome the obstacle you had faced for so long.

    Positive thinking

    It can be helpful to think about future goals and think less about what happened in the past. Loehr works with a psychiatrist and life coach to focus on where she is trying to go in life, versus focusing on the hurtful situations she has gone through.

    As a result, one of the goals of her coaching company is to help spread kindness and provide actual solutions to help prevent people with mental health issues from suffering as much and as long as she did in her past.

    Take care of yourself

    Often overlooked, simple parts of your routine such as eating healthy (fruits & vegetables), exercising on a regular basis, and communicating with loved ones are vital during this stage of your life. Before attempting to respond to a thousand emails or hopping on an international conference call,

    Work is no space for your personal business

    While you may have become close with your co-workers, it is also important to maintain a healthy distance and create some boundaries. As the workplace is a professional environment in nature, adhering to this in general is the best way to keep your private life private.

    Slowly get back into it

    There is a strong chance that both stress and anxiety were primary causes of your work related mental health crisis. In terms of getting back into your job to start this process gradually on both micro and macro levels. Basically, don’t get frustrated or overcommit to tasks or events that you know are not feasible at the moment.

    Reach out to people who can help

    Although it may be quite difficult, be sure to touch base with loved ones when you are feeling alone or powerless. It is common for individuals to undergo these negative feelings throughout the recovery process.

    Getting support from these type of outlets are key ways to overcome any short-lived sadness or rough patch you are going through. Your loved are the emotional foundation in your life and you should receive support from them as much as you can during any hardship you are facing at the time.

    Solid work-life balance

    Although work is the main priority for many professionals across the country, keeping a solid mental health state by engaging in recreational activities or perhaps taking up a new hobby that you have been wanting to try for awhile. Engaging in activities not only improves your emotional health, but also provides you with a cathartic outlet to showcase another set of developed skills in a new area.

    Take medication on a regular basis

    If you’re taking medication to help keep your mental health in balance, it’s tempting to go off medication once you’re feeling fine. Although you may feel perfectly fine in the moment, this is no way reflects how the medication is helping you in terms of the bigger picture.

    Bad symptoms can come back quickly if you stop taking medication, which can be overwhelming. Not taking medication for a said amount of time can also sometimes lead to another crisis that essentially could be prevented by consulting a medical or healthcare professional.

    Take time off as you need to

    Keep in mind that taking time off work to battle with a mental illness is no different from taking time off to recover from a condition that affects other parts of the body. Healing one’s mind takes a fair amount of time and convey the importance of personal time off as an essential need when communicating with your employer.

    Applying all the above tips will not only guide you to most effectively overcome your most recent mental health crisis, but this will also allow you to better prepare or better yet, prevent a similar crisis moving forward. Be sure to remember that nothing is more important that your health, and it is therefore absolutely essential to take care of yourself in every way possible.

    31Jan

    Dealing with Depression

    Depression is bound to lower your emotional and physical energy levels. While it can definitely feel like overcoming depression is close to impossible, it’s not. Even though you may not feel it now, you still have some control. Here are a some self-help tips you can use to overcome depression.

    Cultivate Supportive Relationships

    Support will go a long way when it comes to dealing with depression. Being alone can actually worsen depression. You need to surround yourself with people who will provide positivity, hope, and light in your life. Naturally, these relationships need to be emotionally stable; keeping close contact with toxic dynamics will also worsen depression.

    Keep in mind that reaching out for support and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. The moment that thought comes into your head, remind yourself that that is just the depression talking. Depression is a natural thing to experience. Many of us go through it at some point in our lifetime.

    So turn to your loved ones and give the opportunity to build a solid support system. Some of the people you may consider contacting are friends, family members, and depression support groups. You can also consider getting involved in miscellaneous social activities. While you won’t necessarily dive into personal conversations during these events, you can still run into people who can lighten your mood.

    positivity

    Get Moving

    Depression can make it really hard for someone to get out of bed, but making the effort to do it will totally be worth it. Many studies show that physical activity can act as an antidepressant as increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins. It also reduces stress and relieves muscle tension. In other words, physical activity will increase your energy levels and decrease your feelings of fatigue. Some activities you may consider are: going for a walk (if you have a pet this can be even easier to accomplish), going for a jog, going to the gym, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and even better, finding an exercising partner who can keep you motivated.

    Challenge Negative Thinking

    Depression will make you look at everything from a negative point of view. This includes the way you see yourself, the way you perceive others around you, and the way you see your future. Forcing yourself to “think positive” or “think happy thoughts” won’t do the trick. Breaking free from negative thinking is no easy task, perhaps one of the hardest when battling depression.

    Instead shifting from one end of the spectrum to the other, consider replacing those negative thoughts with more balanced thoughts. For example, allow yourself to be less than perfect. Instead of damning yourself for not fulfilling your own expectations, cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to realize that you are not perfect, and that’s okay. Another thing you can try is when you catch yourself obsessing over something you weren’t able to, try to think outside yourself.

    book on the grass

    Ask yourself what would you say to someone who is going through what you’re going through. Would you be that tough on them? Would everything be so gloomy when you look at it from outside? Lastly, keep a “negative thoughts log.” Sometimes, when you are able to externalize your looming internal thoughts, you are able to put things into perspective. When you’re in a good mood, re-evaluate those recorded thoughts on the log, and see if there was a better, more healthier way of coping with the issue.

    When dealing with depression, you will have your good days and you will have your bad days – and that’s totally okay. Just keep in mind that coping with depression takes time, but you can and you will make it.

    29Jul

    A Screening for Mental Health

    The concept of checking in on your physical health has been ingrained since childhood; the yearly check-up with a general physician, the six-month check-ups with a dentist, and annual blood-work. We know the drill. But what about screening for mental health and depression, in particular?

    Richard Battista Quincy

    With nearly 350 million people suffering from depression globally, and more than half of people who commit suicide experiencing some form of depression, it seems screening for this, among other mental health disorders, is rather pertinent. Most, if not all of us, have experienced some overwhelming situations that cause extreme stress and sadness. And knowing the difference between what’s a transient episode and a chronic mental illness could be potentially life saving.

    That’s why Screening for Mental Health, Inc. created the National Depression Screening Day twenty-five years ago. Pioneered as the first, voluntary mental health screening initiative, it has now expanded to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations providing the program to the public each year.

    The goal is by offering ways to get free screenings, people will start taking their mental wellness more seriously. “A check up from the neck up…makes a difference,” said Michelle Holmberg, director of programs at Screening for Mental Health, Inc. These screenings are paramount in not only helping individuals understand their mental ailments, but also understand, that while it won’t be overnight, there is a treatment for it.

    Not only will it be an illuminating experience for those participating in the screening, but for their loved ones as well. Experts stress the importance of persistence when it comes to encouraging others to get help and support is vital to success, and being there for that initial screening is the first step. “By offering to go with them, you’re not only being supportive, but you’re telling them that what they have is treatable and not just brushing it off as something that’s no big deal,” said Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

    National Depression Screening Day, which will be on October 8th this year, is held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week. While it offers a range of clinician-created evaluations as well as potential further evaluations and treatment options, the NDSD has a goal of addressing mental illness stigma in a more productive way. By creating awareness, a message of commonality amongst those diagnosed with disorders and a community of support will be perpetuated to the public.

     

    26Jun

    5 Ways to Treat Depression, Naturally

    1.  Consider the reasons why your depressed. Being depressed can be a richard battistaresult of the circumstances in your life. Depression is a symptom of the people and things around you, rather than biochemical imbalances. Being honest with yourself about what might be off putting in your life might be the first step into understanding why your are feeling depressed.

    2.  Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins that produce happier emotions happy-making endorphins. These endorphins act like natural anti-depressants. This process is casually known as “Runners High”.

    3. Breakfast is Important. Never skipping a meal will result in keeping your blood sugar stable and reducing mood swings.

    4. Enhance your diet with serotonin. You can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally. Anti-depressants are not needed to enhance the serotonin level sin your diet.

    5.  Avoid Caffeine. Supplement coffee with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg). Caffeine reduces serotonin levels.

    Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201103/11-natural-treatments-depression-md-s-tips-skipping-the-prozac

    15Oct

    Senior Healthy Living Classes Encourage Not Sitting Down

    YMCA Senior Fit Classes

    YMCA Instructor, Nancy Johnson, advises her seniors to “never sit down” if they want to practice best health.

    The Stateline Family YMCA offers a variety of senior fitness classes, for a variety of fitness levels. Their Senior Fit class accommodates more active seniors, requiring a fair share of standing during the various exercises. Alternatively, the Silver Sneakers class is tailored to those seniors that wish to stay active, yet struggle to maintain overt exercises for extended periods of time; most or all of the exercises are completed from within a chair. The YMCA has such a large senior population in its membership, they have decided to dedicate October to celebrating said senior members, as they host Senior Appreciation Month. During the event, the staff will work with seniors to develop healthy lifestyles. In the process, the employees will use social media to promote their message of senior fitness and honor several of their active members.

    According to an article recently completed by Beloit Daily News, Nancy Johnson instructs one such class that consists of some of the YMCA’s regular senior members. Johnson is a fighter in her own right, having survived breast cancer, which has now been in remission for eleven years. In addition to this, Johnson is a recipient of open-heart surgery. The combination of these two experiences equips Johnson perfectly as the instructor of the class. Her motto, which results directly from her struggles, is to “never sit down.” To Johnson, this motto is the best means of living a healthy lifestyle and, as a result, she applies this belief to every single class she instructs with her seniors.

    The class, therefore, relies on quite a bit of movement. The instructional period starts with some low-key aerobics walking, before carrying on to more intensive practices, such as weight training, balance exercises, stretching, jumping jacks and other various practices in leg work. Through her dedication, Johnson has helped the class grow significantly; in the ten years she has been teaching it, the class has grown from eight participants to over forty students, all by way of word of mouth.

    31Jan

    Sleep More. Eat Less.

    Midnight Snack

    Midnight Snacking has direct and indirect consequences for dieters.

    People who struggle to lose weight know one of the mortal enemies of the dieter is the late night snack.  Everyone from your mother to Oprah has probably told you that eating late into the night is one of the worst things you can do if you are trying to drop those extra pounds.  A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania has confirmed the idea.  Some of the reasons are extremely obvious, but others are more opaque.

    Perhaps the most obvious reason is that the more hours you are awake, the more actual time you have to consume food.  The study found that the average person who is awake between 10PM and 4AM takes in almost 600 more calories than their early-to-bed counterparts.

    One of the less apparent reasons to hit the sack early when dieting is that you pay for your late night on both ends.  People who get less than 8 hours of sleep generally wake up hungrier.  Your body hasn’t replenished the proper amount of nutrients with rest so your body will try and compensate by telling you that you’re hungry.  Specifically, the study found that those people deprived of sleep have more ghrelin, a chemical that induces appetite, in their systems.

    Lack of sleep also affects your willpower.  When your body is tired, you have less control of your impulses.  You are more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, but the damage doesn’t end there.  Eating unhealthy foods begets a greater desire for unhealthy foods.  You will condition your body to crave junk making it even harder to resist.

    If you haven’t gotten it yet, the moral of the story is make sure to get your full eight hours of sleep, especially if you’re working to drop some weight.  You can check out a full recap of the study on Yahoo.com’s Healthy Living blog.