27 Mental Health Resources to Support Whatever You Might Be Feeling Right Now

27 Mental Health Resources to Support Whatever You Might Be Feeling Right Now

It seems like almost every other day there’s another triggering event or headline in the news — mass shootings, systemic racism, political divide, and climate worries among them — making it hard for many Americans to focus on daily tasks. While clinical psychologist and CEO of Open Parachute School Wellbeing Program Dr. Hayley Watson says it’s normal to struggle with things like depression, anxiety, and anger issues that have been brought on by the things going on in the world, nobody needs to feel like they have to manage all of these big feelings on their own. Here are a few things she says can help and resources to guide your healing journey no matter what you’re feeling right now.

First: stop, breathe, and try to self-soothe.

If you are feeling extreme emotions right now, Watson says you should stop and sit down. “Take five slow, deep breaths and look at something that calms you down (out the window, at a solid object, etcetera). Notice the sensations in your body — describe them to yourself (for example: I feel a weight pressing down on my chest). Keep breathing, and remember that this is a feeling and it will pass,” she says, adding that engaging in a soothing activity that you know helps calm you for a few minutes (like doing something creative, giving yourself a massage, cooking something, or even taking a barefoot stroll in the grass). “If the feeling doesn’t subside, call someone who you trust to help you (like a family member, therapist, or helpline).” 

If you’re feeling depression or hopelessness:

If you’re feeling unmotivated, you don’t enjoy things that you used to, you feel that life is pointless, you can’t find the will to do things that you know are good for you, and/or you feel numb or distant from your life and the people around you, you might be suffering from depression or a feeling of hopelessness, according to Watson. She suggests seeking a professional to help you understand where your feelings are coming from so that you can work through them.

Perinatal or Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders Resources

If you’re having suicidal thoughts:

If you have begun to think about ending your life, you want a way out, or you don’t want to live anymore, you may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, according to Watson. These thoughts don’t have to be constant  — she says that they can come and go  — in order to warrant action. 

If you’re feeling angry or having issues with anger management:

If you lose your temper easily, you get overcome with rage, or you lash out with words or physically push, hit, or hurt others when you’re mad, Watson says you may be struggling with anger and anger management issues. 

Find an in person support group:

If you’re battling substance abuse:

If you feel a strong urge to numb your feelings, you are taking a substance most days (like drugs or alcohol), you feel shaky or overwhelmed when you don’t take substances, or your personality changes significantly when you take imbibe, Watson says you might be struggling with substance abuse.

Getting help is critical.

While acknowledging that you may not be feeling emotionally well is the first step, actually reaching out and seeking support can help to set you on a path toward healing. There’s so much going on in the world right now, know that you’re not alone in your feelings and that there’s someone out there who can help you if you reach out.

Lauren Wellbank

Contributor

Lauren Wellbank is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience in the mortgage industry. Her writing has also appeared on HuffPost, Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living, and more. When she’s not writing she can be found spending time with her growing family in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.

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How to Identify Your Roadblocks to Rest — and Finally Get Some More of It

How to Identify Your Roadblocks to Rest — and Finally Get Some More of It

As a busy, working mother in a bustling city that never sleeps, I confess that so often I don’t get much of it either. I talk a good game and think I’m doing all the things to relax: have a glass of wine, scroll social media and watch my current screen obsession (sometimes all at the same time). But inevitably when I close my eyes, my mind refuses to quiet down because I haven’t truly decompressed. But given life’s demands, prioritizing downtime is often much easier said than done — the kind of downtime that allows your body a chance to recuperate from the day.

Wellness entrepreneur and public speaker Christina Rice does practice what she preaches. OmNoire, her wellness company, helps women of color embark on global wellness retreats and set up personal and professional guardrails to ensure their total well-being is always a top priority. Rice centers this messaging in her own life, right on down to the automatic response you receive if you email her, which reads, “Thanks for your message! We’re humans first over here and dedicate our lives to spending time with our loved ones and indulging in rest and creative passions. Please allow up to 24-48 hours (longer over holidays and weekends) for a response as I carefully work through my inbox, attend meetings, and tend to timely projects.”

This boundary is not only there so Rice can manage her business, but also so she can eliminate her own personal roadblock to rest — forgetting to take breaks. “I have been an entrepreneur since I was 21, so you’re talking about over 20 years, and I still struggle to this day with the concept of stepping away from the business,” says Rice, who’s based in Atlanta, Georgia. “Over time, I have been stricter with my boundaries for myself.”

Rice isn’t alone in needing to put herself in timeout so she can focus on her mental health and truly disconnect. According to the American Institute of Stress, 55 percent of Americans report having daily stress and 94 percent of workers report feeling chronic stress on their jobs. De-stressing can’t happen without time to rest your mind and body. However, doing so, for some, isn’t as simple — or as possible — as choosing to run off to a spa day, take a vacation or sleep more than eight hours. There are additional everyday factors preventing you from getting optimal rest, many of which have been normalized whether you realize it or not. (Raise your hand if you even feel guilty thinking about taking a break or a little time for yourself.)

Honestly, prioritizing rest in your busy life rarely feels possible when you’re juggling health or personal issues, jobs, family responsibilities and whatever else comes your way. But, like every journey, this one begins with a small step. Getting to good rest takes practice and with small, dedicated adjustments and commitments, some disruptive habits can slowly be changed over time. 

Because you don’t need more stress or worry in your life than what may already be present, remember there is no one-size-fits-all method for getting more rest. Here’s what some experts and self-care enthusiasts have to say about identifying and working toward eliminating common rest roadblocks. Find the one that feels most feasible for your lifestyle today and begin taking strides toward ultimately getting more of the rest you deserve.

Stop de-prioritizing sleep.

When I was returning to work from maternity leave, a colleague said I should cherish the 45-minute commute as “me time” because once I got home, the busyness of home life would swap for my job’s demands. For nearly 10 years, she was right. I would be fully engaged with my office or my daughter, neglecting sleep at night to stay up to get things done once she went to bed. I’ve rarely had more than 5 hours of sleep since I became a mom.

“When we’re busy, sleep is one of the first things that’s compromised,” says Stephanie Stahl, a physician and assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Indiana University. “It really seems to get pushed aside.” However, getting a minimum of seven hours of shut-eye should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. Says Dr. Stahl, “Sleep is a physiologic need, we have to have it to survive. While rest is important, sleep as a completely different state is absolutely important and essential.” Getting there doesn’t happen overnight, especially for parents or those battling health conditions or illness that don’t allow for a good or comfortable nights’ sleep. Simply acknowledging that you are de-prioritizing rest, will help to make you more aware of moments or opportunities when you can pay more attention to your sleep patterns and how to make more time for yourself in bed.

Be conscious of overworking yourself and set boundaries.

Mindy Kaling’s second book title, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns),” might be a reference to FOMO, but for me it’s a reminder of how much I worry about other things — work, domestic chores, family obligations — instead of what’s manageable in front of me. There is often a blurred line between work-related and personal responsibilities that keeps me in a constant state of doing something. “I think just mental chatter — the to-do lists that come up of everything you have to do during the day — and the work obligations are an obstacle to rest,” says New York based therapist Elisha Mudly, L.M.SW. “A lot of people are feeling a little bit enmeshed in their home/work environment and it’s a little bit harder to disengage from work.” 

Overworking, says Mudly, in many ways has become glorified and people are admired for burning the candle at both ends to get a job done, to no end. “It’s this thing that’s really elevated in our culture,” she explains. “We normalize not getting personal days, not taking mental health days. Those kind of archaic models of work are also obstacles because personal health and mental health days are still pretty new.”

Of course, just up and quitting a job isn’t a realistic or practical option, but you can start by searching for little pockets of your day where you block out time slots when you don’t check or respond to work emails or think about what’s waiting on your plate at the office the next day. Creating no-work zones in your life will allow you to be more mindful of when your professional life may be bleeding into your personal time. And, if you do work for a company where paid time off is available to you, make a point of holding yourself accountable to using the time you’re given. Admittedly, I’ve had a vacation day (or three) to roll over before because I just never stopped to take off the time. And, something tells me, I’m not alone.

Disengage from the day — your way.

For Rice, getting to a place where she could stop the digital distractions from life and work came with the simple use of her phone’s feature. “My Do Not Disturb is on from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m.,” she explains. “​​Even if I start work at 7 or 8 a.m., I still have that peaceful time in the morning, but from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., that thing is set every night.” Recognizing that there’s no one right way to reclaim rest is key, especially when you’re off the clock. “Start experimenting with boundaries about ending the workday, or even thinking about how much you want to engage socially: figure out when it feels like too much or when you feel like you need alone time,” says Mudly. “What’s been useful for me is trying to tune in and ask myself, what kind of rest do I need right now? Like do I need a little Netflix, chips and chocolate? Or do I need to go for a walk and move my body, get my blood flow moving?”

Instead of scrolling social media, relax with an app.

Whoever needs to hear this: scrolling through Instagram in bed isn’t resting. As Mudly puts it, our smartphones are one of the common “false comforts” of what brings us rest. “It’s so tempting to just pick up the phone and engage an hour before bed,” says Mudly. “But often screens can be overstimulating so that can sometimes prevent rest.” Thankfully there are other ways, including through apps, that can help your body begin to wind down. “Mindfulness meditation can be helpful just to get our mind to calm down and think about one thing. There are some good phone apps that can help out —  Headspace and Ten Percent Happy are good ones.” For those looking for a few more budget friendly options, Mudly says mental health apps like Shine, Lofty or Calm have tools that “help you regulate your anxiety levels, calm your nervous system down and self-soothe.”

Rethink that glass of wine.

Like many people (myself included) having a glass of vino before bed is simply adulting. “I would work late, until nine, 10, o’clock up until it’s time to go to bed. Then I have that glass of wine and whatnot,” recalls Rice, who’s also a yogi. “But I stopped doing that a couple of months ago. My sleep has greatly improved and I can never go back.”

Even if you’re choosing to drink earlier in the day, the impact it could have on your sleep health remains the same. “There’s research out there that light afternoon alcohol intake, where the blood alcohol level is 0.00 percent at bedtime, still causes sleep problems,” explains Dr. Stahl. “It can make people feel a little bit more tired, so that gives people that perception that, ‘oh, it’s helping me go to sleep,’ but in reality, it ends up causing more awakenings over the course of the night and less total sleep time. And another problem with alcohol is it can worsen or contribute to other sleep disorders, like obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.”

Create a wind-down ritual.

On the most recent season of “Ted Lasso,” brutish Roy Kent drew his emotionally-wrought girlfriend Keeley Jones the most epic rose petal bath, complete with a “Roy Is Sorry for Not Understanding Keeley” playlist (which is available on Apple Music.) Little did Roy know, he was also helping to guarantee her a solid night of deep sleep. Relaxing soaks in the tub or stints in the shower aren’t just self-care treats, they can actually help your body prepare for bed. “A warm bath or shower taken a couple of hours before bedtime can improve our drive to go to sleep, because it drops our body temperature afterwards, and then sends those cues to our body that it’s ready to wind down and be ready for bed,” explains Stahl.

Myleik Teele, an entrepreneur and the founder of CurlBox, a subscription-based beauty product service, is a big advocate of a luxurious soak before bedtime — which is after she puts down her two young kids. It’s a hack she learned from a friend who challenged her to, each night, after her kids were in bed, just prioritize 45 minutes for herself. Now Teele uses that decompression time to indulge in a full self-care ritual complete with mood setting scents, music, and wait for it: steamed pajamas. “I started putting together my going-to-bed wardrobe,” explains Teele. “I have a section of my closet, that’s closest to the side of the tub, and it holds all of my favorite jammies hung up to slip on,” she says. “Now it’s this loving ritual, like just a big hug for all the stuff that I’ve done for the day.” Excuse me for a moment while I go start putting together my new, most-comfy bedtime wardrobe. 

Remove obvious distractions from your bedroom.

When my partner and I decided to move in together, he was adamant about not having a TV in the bedroom. I balked at this initially because one of my nighttime rituals is falling asleep to a romantic comedy. However, it seems he was on to something. “We really want to use our bedroom for sleep and sleep only. That means not watching TV in bed, or reading in bed, or doing much other than trying to sleep, because you want your brain to think that, when you go into the bedroom, it’s a place to sleep, and sleep only,” explains Dr. Stahl. The room should also be as dark as possible, cooler as a reduction in bedroom temperature is ideal for better rest, and quiet. “Any kind of sound can disrupt our sleep.” Opting for room darkening window treatments for your bedroom is a simple solution that can instantly help you block out light and sound at bedtime.

This Popular Wine Brand Is Removing Millions of Plastic Bottles From the Ocean

This Popular Wine Brand Is Removing Millions of Plastic Bottles From the Ocean

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Wine fans can now enjoy their favorite summertime sip knowing that they are giving back to the planet. Thanks to its work with ReSea Project, The Hidden Sea wine offers an eco-conscious solution.

For every bottle of wine purchased across its three varieties—Rosé, Chardonnay, and Red Blend—The Hidden Sea removes the equivalent of 10 single-use plastic water bottles from oceans and waterways around the world. Since July 2020, The Hidden Sea has removed over 13.7 million bottles from waters and with the recent U.S. debut, the brand now anticipates an even larger impact as it works towards its ultimate goal: to remove one billion single-use plastic bottles from the ocean by 2023.

The Hidden Sea is also committed to being fully transparent with its customers. Working alongside ReSeas Project, one of the only companies certified to DNV’s Chain of Custody Standard, it means that they must provide proof of the plastic’s source and authenticity and allow anyone to trace the plastic back to its extraction site.

“The Hidden Sea is not creating another drinking moment, we’re creating a movement with measurable impact,” says Justin Moran, Co-Founder of The Hidden Sea, in a press release. “On the heels of a wildly successful debut in the UK market, we’re excited to invite socially-conscious wine lovers in the US to join us as we sip our way to a better tomorrow.”

The brand’s commitment to sustainability stems from the founders’ personal experiences and the vineyard’s provenance. Australia’s Limestone Coast, where The Hidden Sea’s vineyards are based, was once covered by a vast ocean and home to a thriving marine ecosystem. In addition to helping to combat plastic waste in our oceans, The Hidden Sea is solar-powered operated and is dedicated to becoming a carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2022.

To learn more, visit www.thehiddensea.com.

Transform Your Home Office with FlexJobs’ $1800 Giveaway

Transform Your Home Office with FlexJobs’ $1800 Giveaway

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Whether you’re still working from home Mon. through Fri. or are embracing the hybrid working lifestyle, you may have started to feel a little uninspired by your work from home space. Or, you might not have a set work area at all, bouncing around from room-to-room ever hour or so. As someone who works for home full-time and started to do so just before the COVID-19 pandemic told hold, I know all too well the struggles of staying inspired while working from home in a small space.

For those who are on the hunt for a new flexible career, FlexJobs is giving away a work from home bundle that’s worth $1800. From furniture and accessories to workout gear and expert advice, the prize includes everything you need to help you get motivated and to give your home office a new lease of life.

Two runners up will win a FlexJobs career package, valued at $280, and including the FlexJobs career coaching and resume bundle and a FlexJobs one-year membership.

To be in a chance of winning, all you have to do is head to the FlexJobs website and answer one simple question: How would you spend $1,000 on your dream home office?

Fill out the entry form between now and June 30 to enter the draw to win one of the three fantastic prizes. Winners will be chosen at random and will be notified shortly after the closing date. Note: entrants must be 18 or older and must be a U.S. resident.

Panera Bread Has Designed a Water Bottle That Doubles As a Phone Charger

Panera Bread Has Designed a Water Bottle That Doubles As a Phone Charger

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

One thing about me is that I’ll carry my reusable water bottle around with me everywhere I go. It has become such an essential for me that I often tend to take other important things out with me, like my house key, or a phone charger. And for those who, like myself, often find themselves with a cell phone that has no more than five percent battery charge, Panera Bread has come up with a solution to keep your phone—and you—charged up.

To celebrate the launch of the new Charged Lemonades—a refreshing summertime sip with plant-based caffeine for a burst of energy—the brand has launched a reusable cup that doubles up as a portable phone charger. Game changing, if you ask me.

The base of the 17oz bottle pops right off and acts as a charging base for your phone to rest on and get some juice, no power outlet needed. It’s the ideal way to make sure both you and your phone are staying hydrated all summer long.

There are only 480 of these genius bottles available, and Panera fans can get their hands on one via the website. To be in with a chance of winning simply fill out the application form by 20 June. The sweepstake is open to all U.S. residents nationwide, but any winners located in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles or St. Louis will receive their prize via courier service on June 21—the longest day of the year, and the official start of summer.

Looking for a summertime adventure to remember? Get inspired with hikes, national parks, and more.