Finding Balance in the "New Normal"

mother working


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everything changed
– how we work, if we work, how our kids attend school, how we shop, where we can go, and what we can do. And it all happened almost instantly. No time to plan and little choice in the matter. We all gave up our old lives and we all gave up control. 

That’s a big-time recipe for STRESS.

And so here we all are, living life in new ways. Perhaps wishing things could be the way they were. Right now, we can’t go back to the way we lived but we can get back to how we felt. We can take back some control of our lives; we can find happiness, connection and relaxation.

And that is not just good for you – it’s good for your family, your friends and your community.


Here are some tips for feeling back in control:

Plan your time

  • Keeping to a regular schedule helps keep days more predictable and calm, especially for children.
  • Take regular breaks during the day. If you're working from home, take advantage of things you might not be able to do in an office, like taking a dance break with your children or walking your dog around the block.
  • Try not to schedule too many Zoom meetings in a day - they often take more energy to process than talking in person or on the phone.
  • Are you a "morning" or "evening" person? As much as possible, plan projects and meetings that require focused thinking during the time of day when you feel most alert.

Relax - let your mind refresh

  • Unplug from social media and email. Even just being able to see your phone has been shown to distract some of your attention. Keep it out of sight when you need to focus or relax.
  • Plan a regular time during the week that's just for fun activities. If you feel too busy, find time that's just for yourself. If you've been feeling isolated, schedule time to connect with others, either at out a safe distance, online or on the phone.
  • Close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Take 6 slow deep breaths in and out. Check in with how you feel. Click here for more examples of calming breathing: www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/anxiety-breathing#breathing-exercises

Share your feelings

  • Stay connected – reach out regularly to friends or family. Even a 5-minute check-in can make a difference.
  • Let people know you appreciate them – at home, when out shopping, when you see someone doing something kind.
  • Still feel like too much? Try calling the new free CalHOPE Warm Line at (833) 317-HOPE (4673) for emotional support. calhope.dhcs.ca.gov

 Learn more – see Coping during Coronavirus >


 

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Express Yourself - May is Mental Health Matters Month

Each Mind Matters

 

This year’s theme is “Each Mind Matters: Express Yourself.” As we celebrate Mental Health Matters Month, we are focusing on how expressing ourselves in different ways can raise awareness about mental health, break down barriers between people, build our own wellness and strengthen our communities.

The effects of self-expression and creativity on our mental health and well-being have been widely documented. Everyone can benefit from incorporating creative self-expression into their wellness routine.

Activities as simple as doodling have been shown to activate the reward pathways in our brain: elevating mood and making us feel better. In addition, creative self-expression can be a powerful tool to help us heal and maintain our mental wellness.

Learn more: www.eachmindmatters.org/may2020

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May is Mental Health Month

1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime.

Did you know that Mental Health America (MHA) founded May is Mental Health Month back in 1949? That means this year marks MHA’s 70th year celebrating Mental Health Month! This May is Mental Health Month is raising awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help people recover from these conditions. For those dealing with a chronic health condition and the people who care for them, it can be especially important to focus on mental health. When dealing with dueling diagnoses, focusing on both physical and mental health concerns can be daunting, but critically important in achieving overall wellness.

During May, NAMI and the rest of the country are raising awareness of mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. Ventura County Behavioral Health wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.

 

2019 MHM Social Media Profile Pic 1

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From Mental Health Crisis to Stabilization: Crisis Stabilization Unit

Kids and teens having mental health emergencies in Ventura County have a resource: the Crisis Stabilization Unit. Previously, youth in crisis ages 6-17 might otherwise have been immediately admitted to psychiatric hospitals. Now the Crisis Stabilization Unit provides the opportunity for intensive assessment and stabilization, which is often all that is needed before returning to the community.

While at the Crisis Stabilization Unit, a comprehensive stabilization team that includes psychiatrists, registered nurses and mental health crisis counselors provide risk assessment, therapeutic activities and aftercare planning with youth and caregivers. Within 24 hours, they will either return home or transfer to a psychiatric hospital if further care is needed.

If your teen or child is having a mental health crisis, call the Ventura County Crisis Team now: 
1-866-998-2243 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Learn more about the Crisis Stabilization Unit.

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