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How to maintain your mental health while social distancing

How to maintain your mental health while social distancing

As a society, we’re experiencing truly unprecedented times together. With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), our normal daily schedules have been completely altered. Social distancing may be our best way to prevent further spreading of COVID-19, but we realize that at times, this can be a difficult process. South Bay wants to encourage you to take some time and find ways to best cope with stress and anxiety while practicing social distancing. Below we’ve outlined ways you can continue to care for your mental health during isolation. 

Take a short break from the news 

We understand that paying attention to news updates is more important than ever at this time, and you should stay informed. However, we encourage you to take some time away from your television, computer or phone screen each day. Listening to news cycles and scrolling through social media for long amounts of time can be upsetting and unhealthy. Read a book, try a new recipe or take on a new project at home to pass the time. 

Take care of your body

Take breaks throughout the day to go on a walk or exercise in your home. When you begin experiencing feelings of stress or anxiety, relax your body by doing things that work for you – take deep breaths, stretch, meditate or engage in activities you enjoy.

Virtually connect with others

Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Connect with those who you trust, and let them know how you’re feeling. Community is extremely important in times like this, and you can still feel connected via phone calls, video chats and texts. 

Social distancing in a time like this can be extremely difficult, but it’s not impossible to manage your stress and anxiety during this time. If you or someone you know is struggling to maintain good mental health while social distancing, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We are offering telehealth services, and we are happy to set up a call if you have any questions or concerns. 

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Debunking myths about the grieving process

Debunking myths about the grieving process

When tragedy strikes, we stop to reflect on life and the realization that any moment could be your last day to spend time with a loved one or family member. Coping with the loss of someone or something you love and admire is one of life’s biggest struggles, but everyone deals with feelings of grief in different ways – and that’s completely normal. Below, we break down a few common myths surrounding the grieving process. 

Myth #1 – If you don’t cry, you’re heartless. 

Although crying is a recognizable sign of sadness, it’s certainly not the only one. People express pain in many different ways, and just because you don’t outwardly show it, doesn’t mean you feel nothing. It is valid to express your emotions in whatever way you see beneficial for you throughout the grieving process.

Myth #2 – The pain will go away if you ignore it.  

Choosing to avoid emotional pain could only allow it to fester and become worse. For true healing to take place, try confronting your pain and proactively dealing with it. Consider talking through your emotions with a clinician, family member or friend if you feel that the burden is too heavy to bear alone. 

Myth #3 – You should stay strong and brave in the face of loss and pain. 

It’s normal to experience feelings of sadness, loneliness or fear when you lose someone or something you deeply care about. Take the time you need to feel those emotions. This does not make you weak. Working through those feelings will only assist in your journey toward coping and healing. 

Myth #4 – Moving forward with life means you’ve forgotten about your loss. 

Moving forward after a traumatic loss doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten about your loved ones – it means that you’ve accepted it. The memory of a lost loved one can remain with you forever, and this is important. These memories may become the things that shape who we become later in life.

We understand that the grieving process is different for every person, and if you or someone you know is looking for assistance in establishing healthy coping mechanisms, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We provide many services, talented clinicians and proper programs that help guide clients through these emotions. 

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners

How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners

As we begin a new year and a new decade, we encourage you to establish healthy coping mechanisms that you can use to ease the stress of the daily struggles life throws at you. If you haven’t given meditation a try, we strongly suggest it! Many first-time meditators find it difficult to focus and find it strange to sit in silence. However, with a little practice, meditation is a wonderful way to calm your mind and to feel at ease. Below, we offer a few tips on how to get started.

Step #1 – Find a quiet space

First, find a quiet area in your home, office, car or wherever you’re comfortable. If a completely silent atmosphere is uncomfortable for you, play meditation music on your phone or turn on a white noise machine. Before beginning, it may be beneficial to set an alarm on your phone to avoid having to check the clock.  

Step #2 – Focus on your body and breathing

Close your eyes and take two deep breaths to begin. It’s important to mentally scan your body for areas of comfort, discomfort and tension. While doing so, take deep breaths in and out – familiarize yourself with the natural rhythm of your body. 

Step #3 – Count your breaths

Follow the rising and falling of your breaths to calm your mind. Our mind is bound to wander while trying to relax, so we suggest silently counting your breaths until you’ve mastered focusing on just your breathing. Don’t become discouraged if you find your mind wandering to your to-do list for the day – this is normal! It takes time and practice to achieve a focused meditation session. 

Step #4 – Ease back into your day

After turning off your timer, let your mind adjust back into your daily routine for a few seconds. Notice your surroundings as you bring your focus back to your body, and open your eyes. 

Quieting the mind can be a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. If you or someone you know struggles with stress and could benefit from learning how to establish healthy coping skills, we encourage you to contact South Bay Community Services. We strive to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.

Three ways to beat seasonal depression

Three ways to beat seasonal depression

The winter months are usually considered a time of happiness and joy, but for some, it can be a tough period of time to get through. Whether you’re battling anxiety over having to socialize during the holidays, depression over thoughts of a loved one you’ve recently lost, etc., know that you’re not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause a change in your mood, appetite or sleeping habits, and it’s extremely common during the colder, darker winter months. Below, we offer a few tips on how to overcome seasonal depression. 

Spend time in the sun

Take at least a few minutes every day to spend time outdoors or sit near a window. Bright light – both natural and artificial – can improve health outcomes, such as depression and anxiety. So, take a walk when it’s sunny out or purchase sunlight imitators for those dreary days. 

Stay active

Although it may be hard to leave your warm bed during the winter, consider partaking in winter sports, holiday shopping with friends or sightseeing to improve your mood. Exercise is a great way to produce endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. Find positive activities that will help you express and control your emotions.  

Set limits 

During the holidays, there’s a large demand for you to spend time and resources on others. Know your limits! You can steer clear of overcommitting by learning how to say no. Now, don’t say no to every opportunity you’re presented with, but ensure you’re leaving enough time for yourself to relax and enjoy the season. 

Staying positive during the winter months can be difficult but definitely not impossible, and regularly talking with someone about it can help. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, our Mental Health and Substance Abuse counseling services might be what you need this winter. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.  

 

Mental health benefits of expressing gratitude

Mental health benefits of expressing gratitude

The holiday season can bring a mix of emotions to those battling mental health challenges. However, if you choose to reframe the way you look at and respond to certain situations, you might find that you feel recharged and rejuvenated. We encourage you to choose gratitude this holiday season, as allowing yourself to have a grateful mind can positively impact your mental health and well-being. Let us explain! 

Gratitude can boost your relationships. 

Expressing your appreciation for the relationships you’ve cultivated will make a difference in both your life and theirs. If this makes you feel a little uncomfortable, just remember – chances are they need to hear it more than you know. Text them. Call them. Direct message them. Email them. Visit them in person. The way in which you show your gratitude for others doesn’t matter – just make sure you’ve made it known. Your message of thanks can be as detailed or as brief as you want it to be. A little gratitude can go a long way. 

Gratitude can enhance your self-esteem. 

Think about how empowered you’ll feel if you stop comparing and begin appreciating. Everyone is following their own path, and grateful people are able to acknowledge and appreciate other people’s milestones and accomplishments. Once you’re able to respect others’ strengths, you’ll be able to cherish your own.  

Gratitude can improve your sleeping patterns. 

Here’s the challenge: Every night for one week, jot down a few grateful sentiments before bed. Typically, the struggle to fall asleep is due to feelings of stress and anxiety. So, re-route your thinking by taking time to write out the positive things, experiences and people that were part of our day. You’ll likely find that this allows you to end your day feeling optimistic and encouraged.  

Staying positive during the holidays can be difficult but definitely not impossible, and regularly talking with someone about it can help. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, our Mental Health and Substance Abuse counseling services might be what you need this winter. South Bay strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here