How to build the right mental health routine for you

How to build the right mental health routine for you

Another year has come and gone, leaving many of us reflecting on what we would like for ourselves in 2022 and beyond – whether that’s physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally etc. If you’re looking to focus on improving your mental health, one way to begin that process is building a good routine with a solid foundation. 

Routines promote structure and organization. Certainty of a routine can help minimize the uncertainty of the world around you. While it may not seem like a big deal to stick to a routine daily, it can actually represent expectations and patterns that are important components of good mental health. In fact, routines can create a positive level of stress, helping us stay focused and avoid negative thoughts and feelings.

Below, we break down ways you can begin laying the foundation to establish a routine that works for your life. 

Start small

Creating a routine doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul to your current lifestyle. Start small by implementing simple adjustments to your current lifestyle. It could be going to sleep at the same time every day, setting aside 15 minutes to work out twice a week, picking up a few things in your room …

Expert Q&A: Discussing the impact of ADD/ADHD on children

Expert Q&A: Discussing the impact of ADD/ADHD on children

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are neurodevelopmental disorders affecting children and adults around the world. In the U.S., it’s estimated that about 10% of children and 5% of adults have ADD and/or ADHD. In honor of National ADD/ADHD Awareness Month, we sat down with Matthew D., a Behavior Management Therapist at MENTOR South Bay, to break down important information about the two disorders.

Matthew D., Behavior Management Therapist at MENTOR South Bay

Is there a difference between ADD and ADHD?

There is a slight difference. Usually with ADHD, you have a combination of inattentive and hyperactive behaviors. Whereas with ADD, the child’s behavior is mostly inattentive in nature – you typically don’t see hyperactivity. Everyone deals with a wandering mind from time to time, but children with ADD deal with daydreaming and a wandering mind pretty frequently throughout the day. Both of them do need to be treated equally, and the interventions we implement at MENTOR South Bay can be effective for both. 

National ADD/ADHD Awareness Month is a time to talk about these disorders and debunk myths. What is the most common myth you’ve come across when it comes to ADD and ADHD?

From …

Mental health concerns have arisen from quarantine: Let’s talk about it

Mental health concerns have arisen from quarantine: Let’s talk about it

Over the past year and a half, the pandemic has shed an immense amount of light on the importance of maintaining, caring for and talking about mental health. Celebrities, political figures and everyday professionals have opened up about challenges and successes surrounding their mental well-being, which was not common in the years leading up to 2020. It’s relieving to see that this openness has reduced much of the stigma attached to mental illness and seeking help from a professional. 

As the ways we navigate the world during the pandemic continue to evolve, so do our mental health needs. Below, we break down a few current challenges.

Unhealthy habits 

The pandemic puts a strain on our ability to healthily cope, as many coping mechanisms just aren’t available during lockdowns. Without access to gyms, yoga studios, coffee shops, live music and more, many have turned to coping mechanisms such as drinking excessively, eating excessively, scrolling social media excessively, etc. It’s difficult to surrender those unhealthy habits after you’ve grown dependent on or even addicted to them. 

Lost time

More than an entire year passed while we were in quarantine, and many are starting to feel the need to potentially go overboard in …

Back to school: Should I be worried about my child?

Back to school: Should I be worried about my child?

This past year, families have navigated altered routines, lockdowns, lack of social activities and so much more – we’ve been in a constant state of flux. As children across the nation return to in-person learning, they’re likely going to experience social hurdles. For many, the behavioral patterns and routines that were taught to them pre-pandemic must be remodeled, retaught and relearned. 

After months of remote learning, students’ routines are now taking another 180º turn. This change may be upsetting and scary for children – and that’s OK. There are steps you can take to ease your child’s stress, fear and anxiety as they embark upon a new, unfamiliar school year.

Create a safe space for open communication. 

Above all else, your child needs to know that they are loved and heard. Ensure they know they can come to you with any concerns – no matter how large or small. By instilling this practice from a young age, your child learns how to appropriately recognize and express emotions in the moment. If your child has developed unusual behavior tendencies, take the time to break down the problem and find effective solutions and coping mechanisms. 

Remain consistent. 

All positive behaviors need continued practice …

Pinterest’s mental health portal: How social media can be used for good

Pinterest’s mental health portal: How social media can be used for good

One in five American adults experience a mental illness, and nearly one in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness. With so many Americans impacted, social media platforms and users have joined the effort in raising awareness and acceptance. From more positive content to quick, in-the-moment exercises, platforms are realizing the benefits and resources they can provide users. 

And one of the leading platforms in these efforts? Pinterest! As the platform saw more and more searches related to mental well-being and emotional health over the past few years, they’ve created a way to help users in the app or online through a private portal that won’t show recommendations or ads based on your use of this portal. When you search topics such as “work anxiety” or “depression,” Pinterest automatically places a link to these resources at the top of the page. We’ve broken down a few of its activities and resources below for you to take advantage of. 

Relaxing exercises 

Have you tried breathing, meditation or relaxing exercises during the work day or in stressful moments? We encourage you to take a few minutes to explore Pinterest’s activities. In the portal, there are two-minute relaxation exercises, two-minute guided sessions …

The relationship between social anxiety and life following COVID-19

The relationship between social anxiety and life following COVID-19

During the pandemic, social isolation brought about a wave of mental health challenges for us all. In fact, nearly 31% of those surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that they experienced anxiety or depression symptoms in the midst of the pandemic. For some, the return to normal life is terrifying. As restrictions continue to lift across most states, it’s natural to feel anxious to reconnect. To ease your process of reentering society, we’ve outlined a few tips on how to cope below. 

Reintroduce social activities slowly

We’ve been out of practice when it comes to socializing, so easing back into social events may relieve the anxiety you’re feeling. While you may feel pressure to do everything at once, remember to take as much time as you need. You don’t want to exhaust yourself and overdo it too quickly. Easing back into a social routine will take time – allow yourself to readjust at your own pace. 

Remember what’s in your control 

Oftentimes, anxiety is a result of uncertainty. But now that we have a better grip on how to handle COVID-19, there are practices you can do to ease stress when seeing friends or family …