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Mental Health(care) is for Everyone

Mental Health(care) is for Everyone

February 24, 2022

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, uncertainty, stress, discomfort and periods of isolation has increased across the world. This increased stress has resulted in amplified waves of anxiety, exacerbated depression, and even increased OCD. What many individuals may not realize is that almost everyone struggles with their mental health at some points, not just those who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. This means that even those without a diagnosable mental illness can benefit from comprehensive mental healthcare and implementing positive coping strategies.


When we find ourselves in these moments of uncertainty, here are a few basic concepts to keep in mind:

 

  • Sharing really is caring: Talking about how we feel is powerful. In many circumstances, speaking to someone who cares about you or a mental health professional can help you to feel supported and less alone. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to sharing your emotions and thoughts, a good place to start is using simple statements such as, “today I feel…” or “when this happens it causes me to feel..”
  • Sleep is your friend: Prioritize a good night’s rest. It’s no secret we aren’t at our best cognitively when we haven’t made time for quality rest. Sleep and mental health are closely linked and frequently affect one another. While it may seem challenging to relax and fall asleep when we have a lot on our mind, things like sticking to a schedule for sleep and ensuring that at least 30 minutes prior you are reducing or eliminating distractions such as TV, phone time, or working on projects can help prepare your body for a much needed rest.
  • Move: Stay active. Physical activity is not only good for your body, it’s also great for your mind. With the increase of online activities over the last few years, it has become increasingly easy to lose sight of the importance of moving our bodies. Staying active can mean anything from taking part in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout to doing some stretching or taking a quick 10-15 minute walk. As you consistently engage in even just a few minutes of physical activity per day, you will provide increased support to your mental well-being, effectively helping to combat stress, anxiety, depression, or anything else you may be struggling with.
  • Get help when you need: Talking to friends and family, sleeping well, eating well, and physical activity are strong steps that we can take to promote mental wellness. It is important to recognize however, that sometimes we need additional. Mental illness, just like any illness, sometimes requires the care of someone specially trained to treat it. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and a way to show yourself compassion and self-love. Professionals such as therapists and psychiatrists are trained to help you find and implement the best strategies for your unique circumstances and will support you on your journey to recapture your highest quality of life.

To learn more or request an appointment with one of our providers, give us a call at 512-777-2591 or visit us at headinghealth.com.

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Roses are Red, I Feel Blue

Roses are Red, I Feel Blue

Combatting Stress around Valentine’s Day

February 17, 2022

Hallmark’s holiday, heart shaped chocolates, flowers everywhere, table for 2 reservations, cupid’s bow, also known as Valentine’s Day. The holiday that was created to celebrate love has popularly also become known as “single awareness day” or just a day of dread for many whether or not they are in a relationship.


Let’s take a second to break down why there is such an unhappy feeling when it comes to the day of love. For starters, movies and TV shows and even Instagram feeds often display images of ‘love’ ‘romantic gestures’ or ‘happy couples’. This can make those of us on the other side of the screen question ourselves: if we are living up to that definition of love, if we are worthy of love, and even, for some of us, remind us of perceived failures- whether we are in a relationship or not. While love and romantic relationships are something to celebrate, such heavy saturation of media can also make us feel isolated and alone.

 

So how do you cope with Valentine’s day and its associated woes? Dealing with mental health challenges can be difficult, so we’ve compiled a few things you can do this year to make it a day filled with more joy (and less loathing).

 

“Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.” ― Rupi Kaur

 

Love YOU

Single or not, we all can feel lonely. Sometimes when we are in a relationship and dealing with mental health challenges, we can feel isolated from our partner, or when we are single and dealing with those challenges, we can feel lonely as well. The holiday is about love, why not start with loving yourself, after all the relationship with yourself is the most important.

 

This year on Valentine’s Day, start off by writing down three things about yourself you love the most, remember and praise those qualities that truly make you special. And then indulge in some self- love. Make sure you take a few minutes that day for yourself, whether its going for a walk, reading a favorite book, taking a relaxing bath, treating yourself to your favorite food, etc. Honoring the love for yourself is a great way to celebrate the holiday, single or not.

 

Can we just talk: Communication is often something we forget is a powerful tool. Whether it is talking to your partner about the emotions you are feeling leading up to the holiday, or some friends who are also single, share your thoughts and feelings with the people who care about you. And then together, make a plan for how you want to spend the holiday or not celebrate at all. Managing expectations is an easy way to alleviate some holiday stress and anxiety.

Remember the Meaning: social media and pop culture might have dubbed this day as one to be filled with fanfare but the reality is it was truly designed just to take a moment to honor the ones we love, including yourself. Be proud of that love most of all and honor the progress you make each day on your journey.

So if you find yourself mid-scroll on Instagram feeling a little melancholy about the chocolate covered strawberries filling your feed, remember that you have people in life that are important to you, including yourself….and it is one day only so maybe pause on the social media till then, after all by February fifteenth the candies will all be half off at the store and it’s back to business as usual.

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Just Add Water

Just Add Water

February 4, 2022

“Drink more water” we hear it everywhere, quoted on social media, designed on water bottles, a sign on the walls of gyms and spas, even the famous basketball star Steph Curry says, “drinking water is essential to a healthy lifestyle…”it seems simple enough, but does it merit all that exposure and hype?

 

The short answer is yes. While water is not a magical remedy to solve all the world’s problems, it certainly has the ability to improve our health both physically and mentally and make an impact on our day to day.

 

The Science

Our entire body needs water to function properly, in fact 70-80% of our brain tissue is made up of water which is why our levels of fluid and hydration can impact our mood. Research has shown a correlation between water intake and mental health. When we are dehydrated, we can increase the risk of anxiety and depression and experience other fluctuations like confusion and fatigue.

 

During the day we are constantly losing water through unavoidable bodily functions like breathing, sweating and urination. Meaning as much as we are losing, we have to replenish it to keep our body and mind’s equilibrium intact. A pair of studies published a few years back had researchers induce mild dehydration in their focus groups. The groups experienced fatigue as a result of dehydration and degraded moods and less ability to concentrate.

 

What can I do?

There is enough scientific evidence out there to prove the basic fact, our body needs water to function. So how can you make sure you are increasing your water intake throughout the day without having to devote tons of time and focus on it?

 

Start simple, here are some easy steps you can take each day to make sure you are giving your body what it needs.

 

Easy Access: make sure you have a water bottle with you that you can fill up throughout the day so whether it’s at work, in a class, in the car, at the gym or running errands you have the ability to fill up when needed. And to make it fun why not think about decking out your water bottle with a motivating quote or fun design to keep you motivated. Link here to some fun options

 

Gentle Reminders: Technology like our phones, smart watches, you name it has a way of keeping us notified throughout the day on our emails, texts, social media engagements, calendar invites you name it. We are being nudged about what needs our attention according to our phones so why not add in a notification that is helping our health. Add in a reminder on your phone throughout the day to check-in and remind you to take a sip or two.

 

Eat-up: Close to 20% of your water intake can come from food that you eat, so add in some delicious fruits and veggies that have a higher water content to help keep you hydrated and well fed. Some easy fruits and veggies to include can be strawberries, peaches, watermelon, cucumber, celery, zucchini, and lettuce.

 

Life can be full of challenges and dealing with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression can seem like another hurdle. The good news is that while you are on your journey to mental well-being there are simple things you can do each day to help you along the way, like just adding water.

 

Interested in other ways to improve your mental health? Reach out to us at Heading, our team is always available to talk and see what options are right for you.