How We Are Addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19) In Our Office

How the Holidays Impact Your Mental Health

The Holidays Can Weigh on Your Mental Health As the year comes to an end, the holiday season is officially here! It is one of the busiest and most popular times of the year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the holidays are a time to get together with friends and family to celebrate everything you’re most thankful for in life. However, the busyness and stress of the holidays impact your mental health in ways you might not have thought about before. The holidays involve gatherings with friends and family, gift-giving, cooking and baking, traveling long distances, and so much more. While this time is enjoyable for many, all of the stress from the holidays can make mental health struggles like depression and anxiety much worse. The Holiday Blues are a real issue that affects countless people from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. A host of factors play into how holidays impact your mental health over this period. When you understand how the holidays affect you, you can take the right steps to prioritize your mental health during the holidays. While the holidays are a time for love, joy, and thankfulness, they can be quite stressful for many people. Rates of depression,…

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International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (November 21)

Suicide Impacts All of Those Who Love That Person Suicide has been an issue that has plagued our society for centuries. While some cultures have condoned suicide in certain situations (for example, ancient Greece gave people convicted of crimes a chance to take their lives), most societies have condemned the act. Many countries even established criminal law to decrease the rate of suicide, but the effects were minimal. Suicide does not just impact the individual committing the act. It affects all of those around the person, from friends and family members to even coworkers. Often, these people are left with inconsolable grief. The trauma and loss they experience can be hard to overcome. These deaths are unlike any other. They are self-inflicted, a choice made by the individual. Pair this with the stigma of suicide and mental illness, and it can be hard to come to terms with what happened. Those who have survived this act need all of the support they can get, which is why International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day was established in 1999. International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (also known as Survivor Day) occurs every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving because the holidays are…

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Can Owning a Pet Boost Your Mental Health?

Playing With a Pet Can Boost Your Mental Health Who doesn’t love coming home to cuddle and play with a dog or cat? Owning a pet is like having a soft and happy best friend at all hours of the day. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love spending some quality time with their furry friend. However, are you aware that owning a pet can boost your overall mental health? While it might seem obvious, owning a pet has proven to be an effective way to help those living with mental illness. Many people often see pets as just another member of the family, but they can help improve your mental health by just being in your vicinity. For example, many veterans receive emotional support animals (ESA) to help them with mental health disorders they develop after their time in service (such as PTSD). Even children’s hospitals bring in emotional support animals to help boost the morale of young patients. Most pet owners recognize the almost immediate joy they get from hanging out with their furry friends. However, many pet owners are unaware of the physical and mental health benefits our pets bring us. There is a strong…

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Misconceptions About Mental Illness

These Misconceptions Make It Hard to End the Stigma In recent years, there has been a concerted effort around the world to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Most recently, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott opened up about his own struggles with his mental health. He discussed how the pandemic, paired with his brother’s death, impacted him. As more individuals come forward, we are slowly moving towards a world that is not afraid to speak up about mental illness. However, as that conversation becomes more and more open, there are plenty of things people don’t understand about mental illness and mental health. Fortunately, not everyone has personal experience with mental illness. These individuals cannot always grasp the gravity of the situation if they have not experienced mental illness themselves or had someone close to them go through it. That does not mean that they cannot be supportive or helpful. However, it does often lead to the spread of misconceptions. These misconceptions about mental illness can be detrimental to destigmatizing the discussion. They give people the wrong idea. It is crucial to identify these misconceptions and clear the air. Doing so will allow the conversation to progress smoothly. If you or…

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What to Know About Suicide

Millions of Americans Struggle with Suicidal Thoughts In recent years, a push for mental health awareness has gained more and more support. More people are beginning to accept and understand the seriousness of mental illness. For years, people felt like because they couldn’t see someone’s affliction that it did not exist. To further increase awareness, September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This month is a time to share resources and stories about one’s experience with mental illness and suicide, whether from losing a loved one or experiencing suicidal tendencies. National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month aims to shed light on the topic of suicide with the hopes of destigmatizing the discussion around it. Every day, people continue to struggle with their mental health. Whether because no one believes them, they are ashamed of their affliction, or they do not have access to the proper resources, far too many people feel like suicide is their only option. However, with an increased push for suicide awareness like National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we hope to see more people feel comfortable discussing this stigmatized topic. Hopefully, in the future, we can see a drastic decrease in the number of suicides. If you or…

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Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Anyone Can Experience PTSD Traumatic experiences leave a massive impact on the lives of those who witnessed them or experienced them. Often, these impacts ripple throughout their lives much longer after the incident is over. Some people have to deal with long-term injuries, while others experience psychological trauma. In many cases, survivors of traumatic events experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Typically, people think of veterans and survivors of war when they think of PTSD. However, war and combat are not the only experiences that can lead to PTSD. Devastating accidents, natural disasters, physical and sexual assault, and much more are traumatic experiences that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is often debilitating for the individual experiencing it. It impacts virtually every aspect of their lives, from their personal relationships to their professional lives. PTSD causes individuals to disconnect from the world around them, and many of them experience flashbacks of the event. Because so many people believe only survivors of war or combat experience PTSD, many people don’t think they have this disorder or do not think they can develop it. However, that is far from the truth. There is a lot about post-traumatic stress disorder that many people don’t…

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How Alone Time Can Improve Your Mood

Alone Time is Great For Your Mental Health As humans, we are naturally social beings. We crave interaction with one another. If it were not for our social nature, we would not have evolved into sophisticated people we are, living in an advanced society. While staying social and interacting with friends and family is vital to your health and well-being, separating yourself from large groups can also be just as essential. Spending too much time around other people can be overwhelming. You may start to feel irritable, anxious, and stressed. You may even lash out at those around you. Getting some quality alone time is crucial to help your mind and body reset and refresh. While the current pandemic has caused millions to isolate themselves, you can still need personal alone time. Some people are introverts and prefer being alone, while extroverts cannot stand being alone. A series of 11 studies found that participants across a wide range of ages did not enjoy spending even a brief period of time alone in a room doing nothing. In fact, some preferred giving themselves a mild electric shock rather than sit in a room and think. However, while we may not always…

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Mental Health Benefits of the Outdoors

Nature is Good for Your Mental Health We understand that during this age of social distancing and self-isolation, it’s difficult to do anything outside of your home without fear of contracting COVID-19. To protect themselves from the coronavirus, thousands of people have isolated themselves indoors, avoiding leaving their homes unless for essential work or errands, like visiting the doctor or going to the grocery store. While staying indoors does keep you away from those infected with the coronavirus, it also has quite an impact on your mental health. Humans are naturally social beings. We have evolved this way to ensure our survival by building relationships that benefit all parties. By self-isolating, we disrupt our social lives. However, there are other impacts of staying indoors that many people don’t realize. Are you aware of the countless mental health benefits of the outdoors? The outdoors and nature provide your mind and body with countless benefits that you cannot get while locked inside. It’s crucial to the health of your mind and body to spend plenty of time in nature. There are countless mental health benefits of the outdoors, which is why everyone should be taking some time out of their day in…

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COVID-19 and Mental Health

COVID-19 Has Worsened Many People’s Mental Illness Symptoms Everyone across the globe is experiencing a situation that we have never faced before. The current global pandemic caused by the swift spread of COVID-19 has impacted the lives of millions. The novel coronavirus has infected millions around the world, claiming the lives of thousands, as well. To combat the spread of COVID-19 and limit its impact, government bodies across the country issued stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders. Social distancing rules were also established to protect communities. Unfortunately, due to these orders and guidelines, many places of business were temporarily closed. This eventually led to millions of people losing their jobs. Over 38 million Americans have filed unemployment over this time. It’s natural for people to feel scared and stress about COVID-19. They worry about the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. However, due to many losing their jobs or having their hours or pay reduced, they also have financial worries. Additionally, humans are social beings, so limiting our social interaction has also impacted them. The mental health of millions has taken a hit because of the spread and impact of COVID-19. While many people are rightfully worried about their…

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May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month

Low Self-Esteem Can Lead to Negative Impacts on Teens As children grow older, they will go through numerous changes. Their bodies will grow, and their minds will develop. However, as they reach adolescence, they will experience monumental developments, which change their entire life. Puberty and hormonal shifts often lead to many teenagers feeling insecure about their bodies and themselves. On top of these bodily changes, teenagers also face social changes, new emotions, and much more. Many teens struggle to maintain positive self-esteem and self-worth during these formative years. While growing up and going through adolescence is hard for all teens in different ways, all parents, guardians, and those in leadership or mentor positions must do what they can to help these young people understand the importance of knowing one’s worth. There is no better time than now to inspire young people and to help them create and maintain their own sense of self than National Teen Self-Esteem Month. Every May, we take the time to ensure our youth are aware of the importance of one’s self-esteem and to combat self-worth and self-image issues teenagers face daily. Lifework Counseling Center understands how difficult being a teenager can be. After all, not…

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