Have you followed us on social media? Check out what we are posting! We are on Instagram at the tag @we_are_mhwwc and our up-and-coming nonprofit is found at the tag @we_are_mindfulhealinghaven You can also follow us on Facebook, just search Mindful Healing Works Wellness Center to find our page.
Stress is a normal part of life but having too much of it can impact people’s wellbeing. According to a stress study conducted by the American Psychological Association in 2015, stress is increasing and affecting the wellbeing of many people. Stress can lead to mood changes, feeling overwhelmed, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, jaw pain, and headaches. With the many ways that stress can affect us, there are some ways to try reducing it. The American Psychological Association and NAMI recommend talking to friends and family and building strong social support. In addition to talking with others, some tips include managing your time, exercising, taking time for yourself, and getting enough sleep. (https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/manage-social-support , https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Individuals-with-Mental-Illness/Taking-Care-of-Your-Body/Managing-Stress)
Sleep and Your Mental Health:
March 13 – 20 is Sleep Awareness Week
Sleep has such a meaningful impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Many people have heard the saying “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” and there’s more to that saying than meets the eye. During times of deep sleep, our brains are able to process emotional information, and a lack of sleep can hinder the processing of such information. In a constantly moving and ever-changing world, it is important to give our brains as much support as we can. And a big part of that comes from sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults age 18 and older require 7 or more hours of sleep per 24 hour period. Sometimes getting good sleep can be a challenge, but striving to have good sleep habits can improve overall mental and physical wellbeing. Listed below are some tips from the American Sleep Association for improved sleep hygiene:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule – go to bed and wake up within similar time frames.
- Avoid lengthy daytime naps – 20 minutes is best if you absolutely need one!
- Don’t stay awake in bed for more than 5-10 minutes.
- Don’t watch TV, use the computer, or read in bed – try to only associate your bed with sleep rather than activities that signal ‘wakefulness’.
- Drink caffeinated drinks with caution – especially within close time ranges of when you go to sleep.
- Exercise earlier in the day – exercise releases endorphins that can create challenges in slowing the body down and promoting sleep
- Have a set pre-bedtime routine – whether it be skincare, meditation, or something else to help you relax, try to establish a routine that allows you to slow down and be ready for sleep.
Women’s Support Group:
Have you or someone you know ever been in an abusive relationship? Abuse can take many forms, such as physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual, and all types can cause trauma disorders and symptoms. Group therapy can be such an important way to heal from this trauma—community with others who have been through similar experiences is a way to find connection and validation, as well as to learn coping strategies from others who might understand some of what you have been through. MHWWC is holding a support group starting in March for women who have experienced any form of sexual assault, domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence. A range of activities, including discussion points, resources, and expressive arts will be used for group members to connect with each other, find healing, and learn new ways of coping.
Mindfulness Activity of the Month:
You can start doing this meditation for 1 minute as you walk from one room to another, or from your front door to your car. Later, you might expand walking meditations to include part or all of a daily walk. This version of a walking meditation comes from the Buddhist mindfulness teacher Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices.”
- As you begin walking, pay attention to each step.
- Notice how many steps you take during each inhale and exhale, and at the speed you’re walking. Pay attention to your lungs, and do not force your breathing or the number of steps you take.
- Match your steps to your breath. For example, as you breathe in, count 1-2-3 steps. As you breathe out, count 1-2-3 steps. Let your lungs and feet come to a happy equilibrium.
- As you walk, you may wish to say a phrase that approximates the rhythm of your walking. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests: “With each step, a gentle wind blows.”
What is an IOP?
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are programs designed to treat addictions (depression and eating disorders). They target dependencies that do not require detoxification or around the clock medical supervision. IOPs allow individuals to get intensive treatment with maximum support while they continue to reside at home and are able to attend to other responsibilities, such as jobs and families. MHWWC will be starting an IOP that will focus on addiction. Sessions will be 4 hours long, 3 days a week. More information to follow.
Take a moment for mindfulness with this word search! Focus on having your mind and body in the same place at the same time. Try to notice any judgmental thoughts that come up, acknowledge them, and return your focus back to the activity. Be sure to share your experiences with your mental health provider! The words can be found left to right, backwards, diagonal, up, and down, so look carefully! For kids and adults alike, this activity is fun and challenging. If you need a hard copy, ask for one at the office! We have plenty of extras.