Mental Health Month 2020
Rippon Middle School Recognizes Mental Health
Raising Awareness Through History
There's a lot of info in this newsletter - take what you need!
Quick Vocabulary Check: Words Matter!
HELP BREAK THE STIGMA!
Read more on https://medlineplus.gov/mentaldisorders.html for more information.
Beyond Mental Health: A Holistic Approach
Holistic Health: Mind, Body, Spirit
When we focus on our mental health, it's best to look at it from a holistic point of view. For example, our brains are just one working part of our WHOLE-selves. Mental health encompasses so much more than just our mind: but also our psychological, emotional, social, and physical well-being. This means it affects how we think, feel, and behave each day. Our mental health also contributes to our decision making process, how we cope with stress, and how we relate to others in our lives. Often times, just one area of our health can greatly affect other areas as well. Always remember that not all injuries, deficits, and illnesses are visible to the eye. Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it's not occurring. On the other hand, mental illness, stress, and poor coping mechanisms can often manifest into physical illnesses as well. Because of these reasons, we never truly know what's going on in someone's life, body, and mind. This is why it's so important to practice kindness to ALL, and remember: you are NOT alone.
Watch the video below to get a deeper understanding of the holistic health continuum.
A Deeper Look At the Way We Think
With the previously mentioned in mind, let's touch on how our all of these aspects come together:
Our behaviors are driven by our emotions > our emotions are driven by our thoughts, which is why it's important we support our mental health to the best of our ability. Everything boils down to the way we think! If we can control our thoughts, we are fully capable of controlling our emotions and behaviors. How can we do that?
- Noticing and correcting our self-talk: self-talk refers to the things we tell ourselves and think to ourselves in our heads - call it your inner voice. By paying close attention to the things we tell ourselves, we can reframe it in a more positive and constructive mindset. You may have heard people refer to this as growth mindset.
- Practicing mindfulness: mindfulness is the state of purposefully paying attention in the present moment without judgment. In other words, practicing acceptance of your thoughts and feelings. Often if we neglect our thoughts and feelings, they have no where to go. This is why we sometimes find them coming out in inappropriate times and settings and even towards the wrong people.
For more information on how the brain works, check out our mini series of lessons on Rippon Middle School's Counseling webpage. New lessons come out each week!
Mental Health Statistics
Establishing a SELF-CARE ROUTINE
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the deliberate practice of taking action to preserve and nourish your health and whole-self. Consistency is key! Like many things in life, building a strong foundation for mental health takes time, practice, and patience. Developing a routine is a great way to help incorporate small things in your day-to-day routine that will help you maintain your mindset and well-being. Self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for you may not work for someone else, which is why developing a tailored plan that benefits your needs is best. Ask yourself these questions to start:
What do I want to focus on?
Where could I use some improvements in my overall health?
What has worked for me in the past? What hasn't worked?
More Than One Type of Self-Care
Developing a Plan
Be REASONABLE with your intentions. Set GOALS, not EXPECTATIONS or harsh criticisms of yourself. We are all a work in progress.
- stretch 10 minutes every morning
- talk a walk around the block after dinner
- eat a nutritious breakfast, pack healthy snacks for lunch
- add more nutrients, vitamins, and proteins to your diet: check out recipes on Pinterest!
- develop an exercise routine
- go to bed at the same time every night
- park farther away from the entrance to places
- dance to your favorite song
- take breaks when needed
- give yourself permission to feel and express yourself and your emotions
- journal what's on your mind
- practice forgiveness
- weigh the pros and cons of your choices
- take 10 minutes to reflect on your day before going to bed
- create healthy outlets for your emotions: stress balls, yoga, art, running
- speak up! connect with a friend a few times a week to check-in with each other
- practice giving yourself and others compliments
- learn and practice deep breathing exercises before tests or stressful situations
- ask yourself: do you need more or less social time?
- practice saying 'no' if you need some alone time
- practice saying 'yes' if you need some social time
- follow positive social media accounts
- turn off all social media every night at 7pm or take a week off from it altogether
- call a family or friend a few times a week
- plan an outing
- cleanse your contacts: get rid of phone numbers, messages, etc of people that are unsupportive, unkind, and toxic for you to be around
- say a quick prayer, verse, mantra, or affirmation in the morning and at night
- practice meditation twice a week
- learn yoga poses
- spend time in nature: go outside, sit by a body of water, breathe in fresh air, listen to the birds
- set a goal to grow in your faith or beliefs
- read books about self-growth
- set aside time for FUN! a few times a week
- take some time to do some self-exploration: take a personality test, reflect, day dream
- do your hobby twice a week or learn a new hobby
- pamper yourself, spend 10 more minutes in the shower
- wear what makes YOU feel good
- plan to yourself once a month to a special meal, purchase, activity, etc.
- cleanse your environment: diffuse essential oils
- clean your room once a week
- make your bed every day so it's inviting every night
- organize your personal belongings
- clean your closet out every 3 months, get rid of things you no longer need or use
- surround yourself with kind people
- prioritize your safety
- take notice of your environment and reflect
- plan an hour twice a month to look through your spending/expenses
- adjust budget accordingly and allow yourself acceptance to do so
- practice healthy and positive statements when reviewing finances
- set aside some spare money when you can
- invest or donate to a charitable cause
- reflect on what money, wealth, financial security actually means to you
- practice restraint spending on unnecessary purchases: ask yourself it's a want or need
- clean off your desk once a week
- compliment your coworkers
- ask for help when needed
- break up large tasks into small chunks
- be proud of your work
- leave on time and accept that not all things will be resolved in a day
- plan to arrive 10 minutes early to take some deep breaths
- take some time to go through those emails!
- remind yourself that it's okay to take a mental health or sick day when you need it
A Word About COVID-19
Tips for Resilience During the Pandemic
1. Take a deep breath
2. Focus on what you CAN control
3. Participate in activities that make you happy
4. Stay in touch with your loved ones
5. Try to disconnect from social media and the news for a bit
6. Help others
7. Do what you can. It's okay to not have all the answers
To read the full article visit https://wtop.com/medstar-washington/2020/03/how-to-support-your-mental-health-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
For more information and answers to some of your questions regarding COVID-19, check out the link below.
Mental Health Resources
Help in PWC
Clicking here will take you to another newsletter outlining PWCS Family Support during the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Neutralize your tone when speaking with your child. Park the judgement at the door and listen with an open mind.
2. Ease into the conversation. Keep in mind, it's not an interrogation. Offer up something about your day first.
3. Steer clear of distractions. This means phones, video games, TV, etc!
4. Use props or examples. It's helpful to keep in mind that adolescent brains are NOT fully developed. Logic, reasoning, and emotional regulation doesn't come organically. Help them connect the dots through things that they can relate to in their world.
5. Struggling? Enlist outside help. Speak with your child's school counselor or encourage your child to speak with them. Sometimes kids feel more at ease having someone outside of the picture to help talk things through. School counselors can also help connect you with resources!
If it takes a village to raise a child, imagine what a community could do...