Caring for your mental and physical health is essential right now, more than ever. How this looks will be different for each of us, and it may change day to day. We’re experiencing a collective trauma together, maybe many different traumas. Our sense of normalcy is changing, jobs have been lost, and the lingering fear of getting sick or losing a loved one may be constantly on our minds. This consistent worry and uncertainty affects our mental health, our mood, our relationships, and how we feel physically more than we may realize. 

I know most of us in the mental health field have never experienced going through such a similar experience as our clients at the same time. Now more than ever, I have seen, and experienced, how healthy coping skills, communication, and therapy can have a huge impact on our lives. Many of us are experiencing grief on some level. We’re grieving the loss of our lives as we knew them, and with grief comes a whole lot of feelings. Some of these feelings we experience multiple times a day- sadness, anger, relief, gratitude, despair, joy. One day you feel focused and productive and the next you’re glued to the couch and a shower sounds ambitious. 

During a time where we have very little control, there is something you may have more control over: what you consume. Consumption is twofold. It’s mental: the media you watch, books you read, people you interact with; and it’s physical: what you eat and drink, how you move your body, and taking time to rest. Becoming aware of what you consume and how it makes you feel can provide a sense of relief, hope, and comfort during this often scary, uncertain time. I’m excited to be a part of 365 Weekly Wellness, as it combines resources in some of the areas that can help us take care of ourselves. 

If you’re anything like me, the overwhelming amount of free classes and resources on social media feels paralyzing and I end up doing absolutely none of them and going back to Netflix. Here are some of my tried and true free resources that can aid in our mental health and calm our nervous systems: 

  • Breathwork: Sarah of Golden Yoga Austin offers free breathwork sessions once a week. A few minutes of breathwork can have a huge impact on calming your nervous system, relieving stress and improving energy  
  • Yoga & Meditation: YogaGlo offers a free trial and has a huge library of meditation and yoga classes. There are so many options for every experience level from some of the most well-known teachers. 
  • Journaling: Now is a great time to start a journaling practice. Daily writing can help process difficult feelings, work through problems, and document important parts of life.  Here is a list of journal prompts that can help you get started. 

There are still many options for individual, couples and group therapy during this time of social distancing. Most therapists have transitioned to teletherapy, and many are offering sessions for a reduced rate or sliding scale. Feel free to reach out to me for information about therapy and referrals. 

Here are some important mental health hotlines and resources: 

In the coming weeks, my hope is to provide you with practices, resources and information that may help you or someone you know. And amidst all the helpful information being shared, if nothing resonates and all you can do is rest- do it. Self-care starts with knowing what you need. 

Sign up for our Weekly Wellness email here.

Ali is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist-Associate in Austin, TX. She works at The Practice and is supervised by Dr. Mathis Kennington, LMFT-S. Ali helps her clients create change and improve relationships, whether that’s a relationship with themselves, their partner, or a family member. www.aliputnam.com