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Posts in Mental Health

Girl blowing a dandelion and laughing

Help for Isolation Blues

May 26, 2020

A lot of us are getting tired of isolation, tired of masks, tired of virtual visits, just tired of life in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We each have our own set of worries and frustrations. Though we are all roughly going through the same thing some of us have complicating factors that simply make it harder (specific issues with health, finances, childcare, eldercare, etc.). It would be hard to argue that anyone is immune from the effects of living with all of the changes that have been brought about by the Pandemic. What can we do to make things a little bit better without putting...Continue Reading

Father teaching his son to play guitar

Soothing for an Anxious Time: Maintaining Perspective

April 29, 2020

It is hard to have a clear idea of when our need to practice social distancing will end and "normal" life will resume. The experts are trying to weigh the pros and cons of easing restrictions and many of us are having cabin fever. It isn't easy to have so many of our normal activities altered or postponed or simply cancelled. We are going to virtual meetings, attending virtual services, and having phone conversations instead of visits. We have times of great productivity and times of quiet inactivity. We may be struggling with the thought that we could be doing more. This can be a good time...Continue Reading

Senior woman talking on phone with her eyes closed

Soothing for an Anxious Time: Being Alone Can Be Hard

April 16, 2020

One of the side effects of Social Distancing is that people who live alone can become even more isolated. When people who live alone are very socially connected and have lots of technical ability to visit friends and family using virtual means (computers, phones, tablets) they can tolerate this "Shelter in Place" time fairly well. And there are a few people who actually enjoy alone time and feel quite nourished by it. If they have a phone they can connect with family and friends as needed. But there are people in our lives and in our communities who are particularly isolated. They may even...Continue Reading

Father with his two daughters who are drawing at a table

Soothing for Anxious Time: Dealing with Irritability

April 15, 2020

"Sheltering in Place" or staying at home day after day as we wait for the "All Clear" message to get back into the world is hard for most people. We are used to our freedom of movement. We enjoy going out and visiting, shopping, playing, hiking, exploring, etc. Though we love our families tremendously we also love our private time and our time away from home. And now we are isolating either alone (which has its own set of frustrations) or with our families. All of the togetherness can make us irritable especially if one or more family members is trying to work or study from home. This can be...Continue Reading

Dad waving to son during a video chat

Great Hope in the Midst of This Pandemic

April 8, 2020

We work hard to be in control of our lives. We have work plans, summer plans, retirement plans, house plans, yard plans, educational plans, worship plans, childcare plans and on and on. We are used to small interruptions in our plans that come from weather, or illness, or traffic jams. We are not used to dealing with the mighty disruption that a worldwide Pandemic has created. This is a whole new ballgame with new rules that are being created day by day. It is upsetting, mind-boggling, overwhelming, and at times downright frightening. We are all being challenged to let go of normalcy more...Continue Reading

Older woman looking at her cell phone and smiling

6 Practical Steps to Manage Stress

April 7, 2020

Manage your stress. It's great advice, but difficult at any time—and the COVID-19 outbreak makes the idea of managing stress an even taller order. Concern about your own health and the health of loved ones, coupled with an overwhelming amount of information about events around the world just add to the stress. Two major stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, can weaken the immune system. So learning to manage stress can support and boost the immune system to help keep you as healthy as possible is perhaps more important now than ever. Here are six practical steps you can take to manage the...Continue Reading

Woman sitting up in bed, stretching to wake up

Boost Your Immune System with a Good Night's Sleep

April 6, 2020

A good night's sleep is always important for a healthy immune system. The COVID-19 outbreak, though, has caused many a sleepless night for some. Sleep is a major time of repair, rebuilding, and processing for your body. Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact both your immune system and your emotional resilience. Here's some practical advice to help you get a good night's sleep: Try to establish a sleep routine : Going to bed at about the same time, getting up at the same time, and getting the same amount of sleep each night. For most, seven to eight hours of sleep is optimal. Exercise...Continue Reading

Man wearing earbuds and relaxing with his eyes closed in the woods

Mindfulness: Challenging Thoughts

April 3, 2020

We can have a lot of anxious thoughts on our good days. Add a Pandemic and our thoughts can really reach a peak. Like our reaction to the Coronavirus, we want to use all of our tools to get the peak back down. One of the ways we can do it is by challenging our very own thoughts. Have you ever had the thought in the past that, "This day will never ever end?" Well it did end. You got through it. You probably have gotten through lots of challenges in your life that you were not sure you would get through. The thought that this day will never end is just a thought. We can challenge our irrational...Continue Reading

Family reading in the park

Spring is Actually Here

April 2, 2020

In the midst of very real concerns about the many different ways the Coronavirus is interfering with "life as usual," Spring has arrived. All around us nature is going on as it does and the Winter has turned to Spring. It is lovely outside. The temperature is slowly getting warmer and the flowering plants are bursting into color. And many of us are missing it. We are more or less "in our heads" (more than usual) thinking about all of the things that we think about normally plus a host of additional concerns. We are worried about our children, our parents, our patients, our jobs, our...Continue Reading

Peaceful mountainside with a bench and path leading into the distance

Dealing with Uncertainty

April 2, 2020

by Rev. Dr. Chris Mason, Chaplaincy Program Coordinator at Augusta Health Uncertainty is a word that comes up often in regards to COVID-19. There is uncertainty about our health, the health of family and friends, economic and financial means, and probably some other areas of uncertainty as well. Uncertainty is one of those words that may conjure up feelings of apprehension, stress and anxiety for you, but here are a few important things to understand about our feelings in the midst of uncertainty. First, whatever you are feeling right now is completely understandable and normal. Second, we...Continue Reading