Ever wonder what happens in our brain when we are dealing with intense emotions? Here is a great clip showing Dr. Dan Siegel's Hand Model of the Brain.
I'm sharing the helpful resources put together my MGH Psychiatry Services here.
Online Support Groups
Self-Guided Virtual Resources
Apps and Materials
This vulnerable and unpredictable time we are living is testing us in many ways. We are all in different situations, negotiating an assortment of challenges. For some, the fear of scarcity and daily uncertainty is not a novel experience, for others it challenges the safety net they’ve been privileged to not even think about until now. However, this time we are experiencing what Brené Brown calls “an experiment of collective vulnerability”-- one in which directions haven’t been written for. We are narrating this time as we adapt to this new reality of living during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve been digging large holes in my backyard, 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. The soil is a rich brown, earthworms pop through as the shovel awakens their winter slumber. I dig until I hit the sandy layer, an indication that I’ve dug deep enough. I battle with the many roots, old, gnarly and some sustaining the large oak tree nearby. A row of deep green arborvitae trees await a spot in their new home where their roots can settle in and grow.
The “stay home” order allows me the time for this home project, sooner than planned. When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I go outside, take a walk, dig in the garden, take photos of the emerging blossoms or sit, take deep breaths of fresh air and listen to the orchestra of sounds around me. This is what “self-care” looks like to me as a middle-aged adult and parent.
There are many suggestions out there for self-care these days. I challenge us to take this time to appreciate the variety of ways people are coping; the small moments, the simple and the undiscovered. Below is a list of collected “self-care” recommendations and links to exercises and resources.
Mental Health Care:
All this is to say these are stressful, unpredictable times and you need to take care of yourself. Remember there is no correct way to be feeling right now, what you feel is what you feel. It’s helpful to recognize that your feelings aren’t who you are. (“I feel angry” vs. “I am angry”) Within your control are some of the choices you can make to care for yourself in this challenging time. In the meantime, while there is a break in the rain, I’ll take some deep breaths, go back outside with my shovel and continue digging in the dirt.
Stay safe out there.
"My body is not an ornament. It is the vehicle to my dreams" - TB
There is a powerful documentary that all women should see. EMBRACE, directed and produced by Taryn Brumfitt. Taryn is the founder of the Body Image Movement and an activist.
There is an upcoming screening of EMBRACE in the Boston area:
April 30, 2017 at 1 PM, Showcase Super Lux, Brookline, MA
Please order tickets here
The documentary may also be viewed by purchasing or renting on iTunes.
Mindful Eating can be a good beginning space to integrate mindfulness into your daily life. First, practice eating mindfully a least one meal a week and increase frequency as it allows.
There are several publications on Mindful Eating that may interest you:
NY Times Article:
Savor: Mindful Eating Mindful Life. by Thich Nat Hahn and Lilian W. Y. Cheung, D.Sc., R.D.
Eating Mindfully: How to end mindless eating and enjoy and balanced relationship with food. By Susan Albers, PsyD and Lilian W. Y. Cheung, D.Sc., R.D.
Dr. Cheung's list 7 main principles for Mindful Eating Practice:
1. Honor the Food
2. Engage in all your senses
3. Be mindful of portion sizes
5. Eat Slowly
6. Do not skip meals
7. Eat a plant based diet
Mental Disorders: People struggling with depression, anxiety, phobias, addiction, PTSD, ADHD, etc. may seek therapy to treat the problem and/or learn healthy ways to cope. In many cases, disorders are treated medically in conjunction with therapy.
Distress: One way therapists determine the severity of an issue is to look at how much distress it causes the individual. For example, one young woman may be distressed about leaving home for college, while another is delighted. If the level of distress is prohibiting her ability to sleep, eat, study, socialize or enjoy life, therapy may be a healthy option.
Support/Coping: Loss is a common reason for people to seek therapy. Therapy can provide a safe, supportive place for people to talk about grief, adjustment to physical illness, the end of a relationship or job, abuse issues, or any change in life circumstances that cause distress. Therapists help clients learn coping skills to get them through these times.
Communication: Many people come to therapy looking for help with their relationships. Individual, couples or family therapy can address a common source of distress: poor communication and difficulty resolving conflicts. Some therapists are highly skilled at helping people communicate their needs and feelings constructively.
Self-Exploration: Some people come to therapy to gain a deeper understanding of self. They want to know why they do what they do, why they feel what they feel and determine how much control they have over those areas. Sometimes this exploration is used to determine career, relationship and personal goals.
Surviving the Storm
The Seven Habits of Highly Emotionally Healthy People
From Psychology Today
Transgender ResourcesThe following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health care information and counseling resources.
Addiction and Recovery
Center for On-Line Addiction
Drug and Alcohol Recovery Guides
Infographic: The Twelve Steps of Recovery
Infographic: Drug Abuse and your Body: Exposed
SAMHSA's Substance Abuse/Addiction
SAMHSA's Treatment and Recovery
Web of Addictions
Answers to Your Questions About Panic Disorder
National Center for PTSD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Mayo Clinic
Tools for Anxiety
Associations & Institutes
National Association of Social Workers
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Counseling Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
Association for Psychological Science
Center for Mental Health Services
National Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health America
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADDA - Attention Deficit Disorder Association
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, NIMH
Born to Explore: The Other Side of ADD/ADHD
Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
SAMHSA's Children and Families
SAMHSA's Protection and Advocacy
Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse
The National Domestic Violence Hotline Website
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Bipolar Disorder News - Pendulum.org
Depression and How Therapy Can Help
Depression Test, Symptoms of Depression, Signs of Depression
Yale Autism Program
DSM-IV-TR: Diagnoses and Criteria
Dissociation and Traumatic Stress
Sidran Traumatic Stress Institute
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
APA Transgender Information
Journals & Magazines
Anxiety, Stress and Coping
Depression and Anxiety
Drug and Alcohol Review
Early Child Development and Care
Journal of Gambling Studies
Journal of Happiness Studies
Journal of Mental Health and Aging
Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Language and Cognitive Processes
Loss, Grief & Care
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Metaphor and Symbol
Personality and Individual Differences
Psychology of Men & Masculinity
Stress and Health
Studies in Gender and Sexuality
Trauma, Violence & Abuse
Mental Health Care General Links
Internet Mental Health
Let’s Talk Facts, APA
Mental Health Counselor Resources, About.com
Mental Help Net
Web Sites You Can Trust, Medical Library Association
Obesity/ Weight Management
Kids Eat Right
Body Image Movement
Mental Help Net - Personality Disorders
Personality Disorders - Focus Adolescent Counselor Services
Developing Positive Racial Identity
Suicide Awareness and Hotlines
SAMHSA's Suicide Prevention
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
Suicide: Read This First
Additional Mental Health Care & Counseling Resources
Interpretation of Dreams
Keirsey (Myers-Briggs) Temperament Sorter
Signs of Menopause, Symptoms of Menopause
Note: Not responsible for the content, claims or representations of the listed sites.