Equanimity In A Time Of Crisis

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Anybody else out there struggling to find a balance between what would be considered an overreaction vs an irresponsible one to this crisis? Finding balance, or equanimity is a challenge we all face in everyday life; but finding it during crisis is especially difficult. A lot of people right now are struggling to define the line between what would be considered “normal” anxiety, depression and other emotional response vs “abnormal.” It is natural and normal to experience anxiety and stress in response to a pandemic, and it is important to build resiliency in order to maintain your mental and physical health. Resilience is the process of being able to adapt well and bounce back quickly in times of stress.
Mental health is an umbrella term that affects how we think, feel and act. It also impacts our physical health, how our body deals with infection, how we recover and repair. It may sound surprising that the immune system should be involved in mental health. The connection between mental health and immunity are very strong.

Here are some activities that will help you recognize the signs of stress and build resilience:
Focus on building physical hardiness.
 Focus on balancing nutrition and diet
 Practice good sleep hygiene
 Get exercise
 Stay off non-prescribed, mood-altering drugs or misusingmedications

Recognize your signs of stress.
 Where do you feel stress in your body?
 What are some of the bad habits you engage in when feeling stressed?

Strengthen the relaxation response – calm body and calm mind.
 Practice mindfulness
 Practice self-compassion
 Meditate/Breathe

Try some self-soothing activities such as:
 Tactile (Holding something comforting or soothing)
 Smell (Smell of lavender, fresh air)
 Visual (Puppy or kitten photos, looking out the window, etc.)
 Auditory (Listen to music, listen to sounds of nature)
 Taste (Drinking some tea, eating chocolate)

Identify and use your strengths.
 Describe a time when you were able to overcome or handle a major challenge in life.
 What did you learn about yourself?
 What personal strengths did you draw upon?
 Draw upon an image of when you were the most resilient.
 How might you apply this strength now?

Increase Positive Emotions on a Daily Basis.
 Identify sources of humor or joy.
 Express gratitude, keep a journal, write a letter.

Engage in meaningful activities.

Counter unhelpful thinking.

Create a caring community.

Practice good communication and conflict resolution skills.

Get Help if you need it:
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Covid 19 Information and Resources

Mental Health America: Mental Health and Covid 19 – Information and Resources

 

Karla Ramirez, RYT 200, MHA, MSW, LCSW 

Co-Founder, Managing Partner Behealthle Consulting

A catalyst for transformation to excellence in behavioral healthcare, Karla Ramirez, MHA, MSW, LCSW provides consulting services to organizations and communities to disrupt and lead the behavioral healthcare market into the future. Over 15 years’ executive management experience and accomplishments in the behavioral healthcare field with a track record of success in operations, leadership, clinical programing and strategic planning. Karla’s passion for instilling hope and healing can be traced back to her role as Vice President of Restoration Services at The Center for Health Care Services where she assisted in the design and development of one of the first models of care integrating behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorder) and physical health called the Restoration Center. 

Karla experienced the transformative impact yoga can have in recovery during a prior role as COO at a large psychiatric hospital. The outcomes were incredible for people with trauma, depression, substance use/abuse issues, and mood disorders. Karla was personally introduced to yoga 5 years ago following a traumatic experience and attributes the practice to the subsequent life-altering healing and transformation she experienced as a result. Karla completed a 200-hour training from Half Moon Power Yoga in San Antonio, Texas. Her goal is to teach Baptiste-inspired yoga with an emphasis on cultivating stability (sthira) and ease (sukha) on the mat, and in life’s challenges. Karla’s expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker allows her to teach a unique class combining traditional Baptiste power yoga classes with recovery and resiliency techniques to help people maintain sustainable recovery. 

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