May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and it couldn’t come at a better time. In some parts of the country, shelter-in-place orders are being lifted and some folks aren’t happy about it. In other parts, the orders are being extended and people aren’t happy about that, either. And through it all, regardless of argument, the coronavirus pandemic continues to run its course while unemployment is at an all-time high. The country is collectively dealing with the anxiety of an uncertain future, the depression that comes with isolation and loneliness, and the mental fatigue and burnout from working in hazardous conditions. Here at Barn Life Recovery, the phones have been ringing off the hook with folks looking for help in navigating these strange times. In an effort to help as many people as we possibly can, we’d like to offer some simple self-care strategies to provide some much-needed relief.
Get Busy (and Organized)
During the beginning of the quarantine orders, it seemed like the lattice providing structure to many of our lives disappeared. Gyms shut their doors, work and eating schedules became erratic and disordered, sleep became difficult or far too easy. Let’s get back on track by establishing a new structure and a new routine. Sure, there are still activities that are still off-limits but there is also still plenty to do. Getting active and organizing is a great way to provide a sense of normalcy.
Find an Attitude of Gratitude
We hear this one a lot from our clients who have experience with the twelve steps but it’s something we all can benefit from. There are plenty of reasons to be negative right now but as long as we’re breathing, we also have things to be grateful for and awareness of those things can give us hope. An easy way to practice gratitude is by starting a gratitude journal. Every morning, take the time to write to five things you’re thankful for. You’ll be surprised at the change in feelings after only a few weeks.
Take a few deep breaths and acknowledge five things close to that you can see. Then four that you can touch, followed by three you can hear. Finally, finish by acknowledging two things you can smell and one you can taste. This is a grounding exercise we teach to folks who are prone to panic attacks and it’s an incredibly effective way to bring awareness and return oneself back to the present.
Cut Out the BS
The number one goal of cable news shows is advertising dollars and they reach it through sensationalism and agitation. While that’s great for their shareholders, it’s doing absolutely nothing for your mental health. Try to limit your intake and stick to local and reputable news sources.
Love Life Again
Barn Life Recovery, now offering telehealth therapy, combines an evidence-based approach with ancient Eastern healing methods such as tai chi and qigong. It’s all part of our holistic solution to mental health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression, please give our admissions office a call today. Find out if Barn Life Recovery is right for you. Call now and learn to love life again.