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Mental Health and Recovery Resources

National Alliance on Mental Illness in San Diego (NAMI San Diego) is the community’s voice on mental illness. Their mission is to support people with mental illnesses and their families by helping them find coping mechanisms for their daily struggle with brain disorders, educate people who have mental illness, their families, and the general public about mental illness with the goal of dispelling ignorance and stigma, and advocate for more research and an improved system of mental health services across the nation. NAMI’s calendar for virtual events can be found at NAMI San Diego (linked).

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has also created a tip sheet and resource guide that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental/substance use disorders. It provides resources to help local recovery programs create virtual meetings. The SAMHSA resource guide can be found at  Virtual Recovery Resources (linked). They state that in an infectious disease outbreak, when social distancing and self-quarantine are needed to limit and control the spread of the disease, continued social connectedness to maintain recovery are critically important. Virtual resources can and should be used during this time.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones during this challenging time.

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Gratitude Journaling

Keeping a gratitude journal is a popular practice in positive psychology - the scientific study of happiness. By writing at least 3-5 items or lines describing what you’re grateful for every day, you can give yourself a lasting mood boost that can take you from feeling “okay” to feeling “great” on a more regular basis.

No one can tell you what makes the cut for you and your particular circumstances, but there are some suggestions that might help if you are struggling in the beginning. As you will see, you can write about anything!

List five small ways that you can share your gratitude today.

Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why.

What skills or abilities are you thankful to have?

What is there about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for?

How is where you are in life today different than a year ago–and what positive changes are you thankful for?

List five body parts that you’re grateful for and why.

What about the city you live in are you grateful for?

What are you taking for granted about your day to day that you can be thankful for?

List 5 people in your life who are hard to get along with—and write down at least one quality for each that you are grateful for.

Practicing gratitude may increase overall feelings of happiness and reduce stress and depressive symptoms, particularly when the habit is maintained for at least a month.

Happy journaling!

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Self-Care during COVID-19

What is self-care?

Self-care is any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. At the same time, it is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we do not enjoy doing. It can take many different forms, as seen in the graphic below. Not all of these acts need to be accomplished, but notice what interests you, what you might be missing, and what may be manageable for you for to start doing. Benefits of self-care are improvements in our immunity, increased positive thinking and it makes us less susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues.

self care

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Free Meditation, Mindfulness & Yoga Resources

This can be a stressful time for many, so today we are focusing on ways to take a step back and reconnect with the body and mind.

Meditation & Mindfulness

When someone meditates, their body’s relaxation response helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing, and brain waves. The muscles are relieved of tension and tightness as the body receives a quiet message to relax. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them. Identified benefits of mindfulness are decreased stress, enhanced ability to deal with illness, facilitation of recovery, decrease depressive symptoms, and improve health in general. 

If you are interested in trying meditation or mindfulness, a couple free apps and listening can be found at:

https://www.headspace.com/covid-19

https://psychcentral.com/blog/1-minute-mindfulness-exercises/

https://www.aurahealth.io/blog/fighting-mental-health-crisis-from-coronavirus

https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations

https://blog.calm.com/take-a-deep-breath

Yoga

Yoga isn’t just for people who can touch their toes or want to meditate. Different practices can focus on relaxation, strength, or flexibility. Common benefits of yoga include better posture, attention to your breathing, reduced stress, and lower blood pressure.

Some apps are offering free use for a limited time or below is a link to a popular YouTube channel.

https://www.downdogapp.com/

https://portal.dailyburn.com/?property=yoga

https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

These skills and practices aren’t just for adults either! Try one alone or with your family or friends.

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How to Stay Active During Social Distancing

Since many of us don’t have our ergonomic office chairs at home, our other set-ups might be starting to wear on our bodies. The following are a few activities to keep in mind to help you feel better and, hopefully, be more productive.

Get up from your work spot every 30 minutes, or at least every hour. Even a quick loop around the house helps. Staying sedentary makes our muscles tighter and more uncomfortable. Getting up also helps ease eye strain from looking at the computer all day.

Stretching works wonders. This can be a longer practice, like yoga, or even just doing the following stretches a couple times a day.

  1. Put your chin down to your chest and then look up to the ceiling.
  2. Slowly turn your head to the left, then turn your head to the right.
  3. Put your left ear to your left shoulder, then your right ear to your right shoulder.
  4. Interlink your fingers in front of you and stretch forwards.
  5. Interlink your fingers behind your back and stretch backwards.

Maintain hobbies that keep you moving. For example, knitting is good for arthritis and keeping dexterity of movement (but note that if you haven’t knitted for some time, start slowly to prevent aggravating some symptoms). Other hobbies that help you to move are baking, making music, restoring furniture, making origami, sewing, and many crafting activities.

For those who enjoy exercise classes, YMCA 360 is offering free, online group exercise classes like Boot Camp, Barre, Yoga and low impact programs for seniors. Many other companies have also switched to online services you can try for free via streaming services and wellness apps. Plus, several fitness coaches have taken to social media to share their classes.

We hope you try some of these activities to make your working from home time more enjoyable!

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