Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues have been on the rise and in Fishers, the work of the Mental Health Initiative (link to stigmafreefishers.com) exists to break down the stigma associated with mental illness while providing education and support to create a mentally healthy community.
Here are some tips to help us with our mental health during dreary winter days.
Deep Breathing (Box Breathing)
Engaging in breathing techniques can help calm body and mind. Box Breathing, Four-Square Breathing or Controlled Breathing is a technique used by Special Forces, surgeons, or public speakers. Box breathing can reduce stress and improve your mood 1. How to do it: Breath in through your nose filling up your belly for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Exhale through your mouth for four seconds. Hold for four seconds. Repeat at least four times.
Mindful meditation, mindful coloring are a few of the activities to refocus on present moment and aid in reducing stress and worry.
Listing at least three good things you are grateful for when you wake up or before you go to bed can help you tap into positive emotions. 3
Collect items that taps into your five sense like scented candles, squishy balls, a favorite picture etc. When in time of distress, take this box to help you calm your nerve.
Organize your week by planning to decrease stress.
Get Active, Stay Active
Whether it is a high intensity exercise or simple stretches, it helps boost mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
Expose Yourself to Positivity
Enjoy positive podcast or read books that help boost your mood.
When to Seek Help
Our partners at Campaign to Change Direction provide an easy guide to assess when yourself or a loved one may need to seek additional support or help.
- Personality change in a way that seems different for that person.
- Agitation or displaying anger, anxiety or moodiness.
- Withdrawal or isolation from others.
- Poor self-care and perhaps engaging in risky behavior.
- Hopelessness, or feelings of being overwhelmed and worthless.
- Box Breathing. (2019, February 22). HealthLine.https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing#benefits
- Keng, S. L.,Smoski, M. J., & Robins, C. J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: a review of empirical studies. Clinical psychology review, 31(6), 1041–1056. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2011.04.006
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, June 5). In Praise of Gratitude. Harvard Health.https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-praise-of-gratitude