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Coping With the Times

stress pixabayThings can be stressful. Managing the regular ups and downs of life mean adjusting to the ebb and flow of things we cannot always prepare for or predict. Sometimes flexibility is one of the most useful tools we can cultivate. No matter what, we all have to learn to live within a world that has its distinct challenges.

Not only does this mean that we are holding our life circumstances in the balance, but we also have to balance out the greater challenges within the society and environment in which we live. No one exists in isolation and therefore we are often learning how to engage with the world despite the ongoing issues of a society that is in turmoil and disarray.

In today’s times this is very prevalent in the way we are experiencing the world and how our mental health needs adjust to what it means to be present. The increasing sociopolitical pressure pertaining to laws, politics, and our economic crisis has had a profound impact on many people. It is normal to surf social media and see our friends and family speaking about the feelings of devastation and confusion they feel as a result of the newest news segment about our nation. People are struggling with the political climate that feels disempowering and oppressive, in addition to the ongoing challenges around financial stability and lack of resources for survival. Today’s times have an increasing impact on what it means to strive in our modern society.

We can all anticipate that today’s culture and political climate will impact us all for years to come. Identifying supports and coping strategies to manage the ongoing pressure can be one of the most useful things we can do to support our ability to sustain the challenges.

What are you doing to support your mental health and what tools are you utilizing to cope with the ongoing pressures you are facing? These are important questions that each of us should be evaluating on an ongoing basis to support positive mental health. Utilizing strategies to “let air out of the ballon” could be some of the most useful and necessary things we have at our disposal.

 

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So let’s look at some ideas for positive coping strategies that anyone can try and utilize for these purposes.
    • Meditation: Whether 5 minutes or 30 minutes in meditation, it is clear that the benefits of spending time in meditation has amazing emotional, physical and spiritual enhancing qualities. Short moments of meditation can be just as effective as any other strategy of self care.
    • Mindfulness: Mindfulness activities can range from mindful walks, coloring, guided art activities, focused dance or spending time in nature. There are so many ways to incorporate mindfulness based activities into your daily routines.
    • Tapping: A technique used for a variety of healing or coping related purposes. Check out this link for information. https://www.thetappingsolution.com/what-is-eft-tapping/
    • Gardening: The activity of being in nature, cultivating life, and nurturing something that shows tangible signs of growth can be relaxing and rewarding. Connection with nature has an amazing calming and centering impact on the physical and emotional mind.
    • Exercise and movement: Physical exercise and movement can support the body with balance in a myriad of ways. Exercise supports the body with reaching homeostasis, including a positive release of adrenaline and other neurotransmitters. Movement and exercise can also have an amazing grounding effect on a person and support us with pulling our energy back to one’s self.
    • Audio-Based self soothing: Music has an amazing impact on the emotional and physical body. Utilizing music as a way to change mood and shape current experiences can be very impactful. Whether listening to Metallica when feeling angry, or using meditative music when feeling anxious. Music can be a useful tool to support emotional balance.
    • Adequate sleep and healthy eating: Nothing replaces good, quality sleep and a healthy meal. The body craves nutrients to support necessary chemical balance, and the brain needs sleep. The brains capacity to provide the very things that your body needs to manage the stress of life is dependent on getting enough rejuvenation during the process of achieving quality sleep. Just because we are awake does not mean our brains are actually functioning at capacity.
    • Art and creative projects: Get those creative juices flowing whenever you are able to. Throwing yourself into a project and tapping into the creative mind can be such a great distraction. It can also provide a very tangible and rewarding outcome when we are able to see our hard work manifested into an amazing final project.
    • Spiritual activities and connectivity: Reconnecting to routines and activities that support our sense of spiritual connectivity can be another useful way to cope during challenging times. Spirituality often provides a sense of purpose, understanding and inner knowingness that can be good for dealing with the things that often make little sense.
Allowing yourself an opportunity to expand your tools to cope with the current challenges you are facing, or engaging in personal activities for self-care, could make the difference between surviving and thriving.

What would you add to this list?

You Deserve to Thrive

 Ofmind fullten times therapy is considered a luxury that people cannot afford financially or make time for in their schedules. Despite the need for support, therapy can seem like an extra thing to manage, troubleshoot or figure out. In addition people are often pushed away from seeing a mental health professional due to fear of the stigma of getting help. People often suffer in silence to avoid these very things….. fear and lack of resources keep people from seeking support.

It is important for us all to remember that the impact of life’s stressors can take it’s toll on our emotional, physical and spiritual being; Stress can push us into directions that connect to anxiety, depression, isolation and excessive worry. Without gaining support when we need it the most, it can provide additional challenges in our relationships, families, careers and daily living.

More importantly than any of those things is the fact that everyone deserves support; everyone deserves an opportunity to thrive. Therapy is not a selfish act, and instead should be seen as taking care of the vital things that keep your mind and spirit running. It is a tune-up for our mental well being and supports our full functioning.

If you are considering therapy and looking for ways to make it work, here are a couple of things you might want to consider:

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  • Therapy or counseling charges are considered medical expenses for your HSA (Heath Savings Account), FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HRA (Health Reimbursement Account). https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List/C/Counseling-E186.aspx
  • There are options for therapy that include in person sessions and tele-sessions. Tele-sessions are video chat sessions that are done using HIPAA compliant software with a therapist or counselor. The expense for sessions like this are comparable to any other session and can be done from the convenience of your home.
  • Many health insurance companies have coverage for mental health services. You can call your insurance’s member service line and ask about the benefits for your particular plan. Some insurance plans will also allow you to pay out of pocket and will reimburse you the costs. Call your insurance provider for specifics about your benefits.
  • Mental health disorders are common among adults and adolescents, it is not an indicator of something wrong with a person. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 Adults have experienced a mental health disorder. In addition, 21.5% of youth ages 13-18 and 13% of children ages 8-15 have experiences a severe mental illness. No matter what you are experiencing, from a response to life’s challenges or a mental health challenge), you are not alone.
  • There are multiple search engines that allow one to look for a therapist that specializes in specific areas or with specific cultures. Whether you are looking for someone who works specifically with LGTBQI, African American, Spanish Speaking, or another other specific intersection of culture, you can search to identify a therapist. Psychology TodayGood Therapy, and Therapists of Color are some of the sites that are available to do this.