World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.
This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Investing in our mental health is now more important than it has ever been.
In Bermuda, we join Bermuda Hospitals Board’s campaign in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week, with the theme of Kindness and its connection to good mental health. Read more: #BeKindBDA
Family Centre wants to share healthy tips for the whole family for taking care of your mental health.
Celebrate Mental Health with us. We invite you to use these tips all year round!
Think positive, talk positive, feel positive.
Positive affirmations are a great way to practice positive self-talk, which makes you feel good about yourself and the things that are going on in your life.
Creating Affirmation cards can be a fun activity for the whole family. Download and print one of the sets below, or grab some index cards and markers, crayons or paint to create your own. Add positive affirmations to your daily routine – stick an affirmation card on your child’s mirror, or slide one into their lunch box.
Sharing affirmations with others is a great way to practice being kind. #BeKindBDA
Overwhelmed is defined as experiencing a strong emotional effect and a feeling of being flooded by a series of emotions. To add to this definition, it is also feeling numb and disengaged as a response to a series of emotions. How one person’s overwhelm shows up likely looks very different to how another person’s overwhelm shows up.
1. Name it to tame it
Describe the overwhelm using a feeling(s) word.
Naming the feeling doesn’t add fire to the flame, it smothers it. In other words, stating your feeling(s) for what it is doesn’t make you feel worse. By labeling your feeling(s) it allows you to feel less engulfed by it so that you’re able to move forward.
2. B R E A T H E
Breathe through a couple of rounds of the 4-7-8 breathing technique to help you move from a place of overwhelm to a place of calm. Mindful breathing quite literally allows a person to access the place in your brain
that is the source for creativity and problem solving.
When our system is overwhelmed and flooded with emotion, our fight, flight, or freeze mode gets activated. When this is online, our switch for emotional regulation, frustration tolerance, and problem solving abilities (among other executive functioning skills) becomes offline.
Mindful breathing, like the 4-7-8 breathing technique, helps to turn the fight, flight, or freeze mode off and the executive functioning skills on. Usually this switch occurs after a couple of rounds of the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
Here’s how to do it:
3. Shake it off
Literally, shake it off.
When animals are terrified and overwhelmed from escaping a predator attack, they, quite literally, shake it off. These animals will shake their entire bodies in order to let go of literally almost dying so they can get back to homeostasis.
This is why yoga and mindful, trauma informed movement, is so helpful for moving through emotionally overwhelming experiences.
So, how does this help when feeling overwhelmed? It allows you to figuratively shed and get rid of the sense of overwhelm to help you move forward.
The next time you find yourself in a place of overwhelm, try these practices. You can take these three practices with you anywhere and you can use them whenever you feel overwhelmed. No fancy tools, equipment, or apps needed.
Family Centre Sr. Community Support Worker, LaToya Bridgewater and her three daughters Makeda, Nazarah and Moriah created this calming video featuring breathing exercises and pointers for teens & adolescents coping with COVID-19 anxiety and uncertainty. We hope this helps you and the young people in your family to manage some of those feelings right now.
The list from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds represents only a small sliver of the multitude of books that might help you and your teen talk about mental health issues—from the minor (anxiety about going off to college) to the major (depression and suicide). All of these are not only great reads in and of themselves, but also offer a way of approaching some of the most difficult-to-discuss topics with your pre-teens and teens.