Mental Health Resources

My Pandemic Survival Plan? More Mindfulness Less Anxiety

In the “Before Times” - otherwise known as “Pre COVID”, 1 in 5 Americans reported being affected by mental health conditions. (NAMI) A Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July, showed that 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. 

All of us are dealing with more anxiety and emotional trauma. I don’t work on the ‘frontlines’ like many of my nursing and public health colleagues. As a nurse advocate & community builder, I DO collaborate with many frontline leaders on complex public health initiatives….and I have held space and listened to massive trauma for months. I grieve daily and together with trusted partners, have used all my creativity (and sometimes desperately) sought ways to help.

This year has taught me unlike any other how powerful words, stories and facts -based on evidence- are to those around us. So, I am:

  • TELLING others how common mental illness is.
  • WATCHING for mental illness injustice.
  • TALKING openly about mental illness.
  • CONNECTING others to resources.
  • ENCOURAGING other health pros to Take Action.

It’s time to spread the word, stop the silence and Make It OK to talk about this serious reality AND support one another through this crazy time.

Stigma is toxic to our mental health because it creates an environment of shame, fear and silence that prevents many people from seeking help and treatment. The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.  

Anxiety can mentally exhaust you and have a real impact on your body. But before you get anxious about being anxious, know that research has shown you can reduce your anxiety and stress with a simple mindfulness practice.

How do you practice mindfulness?

  1. Settle in. Find a quiet space. 
  2. Now breathe. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax.
  3. Stay focused. Thoughts will try to pull your attention away from the breath. 
  4. Take 10. A daily practice will provide the most benefits.

What are the three components of mindfulness?

  • Intention – Your intention is what you hope to get from practising mindfulness. …
  • Attention – Mindfulness is about paying attention to your inner or outer experience. …
  • Attitude – Mindfulness involves paying attention to certain attitudes, such as curiosity, acceptance and kindness.

What is mindfulness in psychology?

Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. … When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

What is mindfulness for anxiety?

Mindfulness is about paying attention to daily life and the things we typically rush through. It’s about turning down the volume in your mind by coming back to the body. Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend an hour’s pay on a class or contort your body into difficult positions.

Ready to Take Action?

Take the #MakeItOk Pledge - I did.

By signing the pledge, you’re taking a stand against the mental illness stigma. Pass it on. Print it out. Tape it up. It can serve as a reminder to start more conversations and stop the labeling. Together, we can #MakeItOK.

Join me for FREE #MCAMindfulnessMoments in December! 

My friend and trusted community health partner, Karin Denes-Collar, Psychosocial Services Director for MCA (Masonic Cancer Alliance) is hosting these sessions FOR FREE!  The 15 minute trainings are held Monday-Wednesday-Friday.  We connect via Zoom and learn about one mindfulness practice and review one short skill that we can easily apply to our lives.

The first time I joined…OMG! Amazing how 15 minutes can change your mindset and the day!

Register by clicking on the image below to receive the Zoom link & marrvy mindfulness tips!  I hope to see you there. And please, pass it on. Especially to fellow healthcare pros….we need this now more than ever!

Learn more about MCA IMPACT and follow them on Facebook!

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Resources - (#BecauseFacts)

Mindfulness Definition

The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental Wellness - Mental Health Toolkit

Understanding the Three Aspects of Mindfulness

Less Stress - Clearer Thoughts with Mindfulness Meditation

About Carol:

I’m an Oncology Nurse Activist, Community Builder, Connector, #CrazyMemaw, #GardenGeek and proud Kansas Farmer’s Daughter.

I help purpose-driven communities and Healthcare leaders build communities of practice and learn to translate their work into words and images to elevate their visibility, broaden their reach and leverage their IMPACT. 

Let’s connect on LinkedIn! Follow me on Twitter @TheSocialNurse.

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