As the holiday season moves into full swing, shifting focus to family and helping your neighbor can be emotionally beneficial. However, for some the hype, commercialization, and nostalgia of the holiday season brings added stress which can lead to problems with anxiety and depression. These are times when family and community support can make a huge difference.
Children, youth and adults all experience life events that can create symptoms of mental illness such as anxiety or depression. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1 in 5 American adults age 18 and older has a mental illness. Many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Research shows that the best environment to maintain mental and emotional well-being is with support of family and friends. Unfortunately, misperceptions about mental illnesses can prevent families from learning about signs and symptoms and from seeking help. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the following strategies can help those coping with stress and anxiety:
Talk with someone - Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you Take a time-out - Listen to music, meditate, get a massage, practice yoga, or learn relaxation techniques. stepping back from a problem helps clear your head Get enough sleep - When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest Eat well-balanced meals – Prevent extremes like binge eating or skipping meals Exercise daily – Moderate exercise (jog, walk, bike, or dance) 30 minutes 5 days a week Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine - These can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks Take deep breaths - Inhale and exhale slowly. Accept that you cannot control everything - Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think? Learn what triggers your anxiety - Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern Welcome humor - A good laugh goes a long way Maintain a positive attitude - Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones Get involved - Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community Mental and emotional well-being is vital to achieve good health. Overcoming difficult life events such as stress from work, financial issues or the loss of a loved one is best done in the company of friends and family. If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent severe anxiety, depression, grief, or mourning, seek out professional help. People can often benefit from group therapy, psychotherapy, self-help, medication, rehabilitation, or a combination of these. Make the most of this season of good will. Take time to reach out to those around you with compassion, empathy, and understanding.
To learn more about mental illness and emotional health support for families:
Emergence Health Network: (915) 779-1800 www.emergencehealthnetwork.org
NAMI El Paso at: 915-534-5476 www.nami.org
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America www.adaa.org
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (800)662-4357 www.samhsa.gov
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255 - www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
For more information on child and teen emotional health:
Project Launch El Paso: (915) 533-3132 aliviane.org
Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center - (915) 915-544-8484 pdnchildrens.org
Teen Line Hotline - 800-852-8336 - teenlineonline.org
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March 14, 2018
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone follow you through a grocery store and assist you with information and support on how to live a healthy and productive lifestyle?
With support from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Initiative, the Kelly Memorial Food Pantry’s Fresh…