I got my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday. Before this event, I was very excited to be getting a shot--and excited that I’d managed to finally ace an appointment. But my schizoaffective disorder made me anxious as well as excited. Here’s why I was anxious.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
The following two powerful mindfulness techniques can reduce anxiety's strong grip. Living mindfully is about being present in your moment and with yourself no matter what that moment is like or how you feel.
I've learned how to self-care in 30 seconds or less because the last few months have been really hectic for me. I've been getting up to speed on several projects in my Ph.D. program, learning new statistical techniques, keeping up with coursework, and it's been really tough to build in time to focus on my own wellbeing. For me, it's been difficult having most of my work time at home because I really like working in a designated workspace and just using my home as a place to relax, so having my work and relaxation spaces completely overlap has made it even more difficult to create a space for self-care for 30 seconds or any other length of time.
Life is tough when your child has a mental illness. It gets even tougher when you do, too.
I’ve mentioned my cat in passing before several times on this blog, often in the context of discussing how owning a pet can help with anxiety.
Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC, DAIS
Healthy relationships, whether they're friendships, romantic relationships, family ties, or connections with coworkers, are important for our mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, not all relationships are healthy and positive. Some are downright abusive, and others, while falling short of abuse, are toxic. Here are six early warning signs of toxic behavior to help you spot dangerous actions and attitudes before they escalate or you become trapped in a relationship that may harm your wellbeing and interfere with your quality of life.
Making time for self-care is necessary, although it has never been at the top of my list of priorities. I'm a wife and mom, I run my own small business, and I'm often so consumed by things like potty training or launching a new product that taking time for self-care sounds ridiculous. Why would I take the time to do my skincare routine at night when I could get an extra three minutes of sleep? Why would I exercise for half an hour when I could be using that time to catch up on emails? For a long time, self-care has lived at the bottom of my to-do list, constantly shuffled around and ignored.
Anxiety and anger feel a lot alike. An increased heart rate, feeling flushed, tense muscles, uncomfortable stomach issues -- these symptoms may be familiar to you if you experience chronic anxiety. They may also sound like things you felt the last time you were angry.
Practicing gratitude may not seem like an effective tool for preventing self-harm. Indeed, when you’re in distress, feeling thankful for seemingly trivial things can feel nearly impossible or even aggravating to your self-harm thoughts. However, research shows that expressing gratitude regularly can rewire our brains and improve mental health. It can also serve as a protective factor for suicidal ideation and self-injury.
Respecting the boundaries of mentally ill loved ones should be a given, but sometimes we push these boundaries -- I've certainly been guilty of this in the past. Even when this is done out of good intent, I don't believe it is a fair thing to do. I have learned a lot on this topic through my experience with my brother, who has chronic mental health problems. Here's a bit of a reflection on those learnings.