4mind4body https://staging.mhanational.org/ en A Black, Christian’s Journey to Mental Wellness https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/black-christians-journey-mental-wellness <span>A Black, Christian’s Journey to Mental Wellness</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-07/morgane%20freeman.jpg" alt="A photo of the author, Morgane Freeman" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/08/2020 - 11:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">July 15, 2020 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Morgane Freeman, Marketer/Podcaster/Mental Health Advocate</em></p> <p>As a Christian, I find comfort in prayer and the power of my faith. As a Black woman thriving with a mental illness, I know that “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:46) My faith has only empowered me to take care of myself and minister to others.</p> <p>Throughout all my experiences, I believe God placed me in specific situations to better me and others around me. I call these experiences “God Winks,” like the Hallmark movie. Each of these “God Winks” has strengthened my relationship with God and helped with my mental health journey.</p> <p><strong>Childhood Faith</strong></p> <p>I can remember early Sunday mornings as a child heading to church. My adolescence was shaped in Christianity and being active in the church. Christianity set a good foundation to trust in something I couldn’t touch. To find help and healing in something bigger than my four walls.</p> <p><strong>Understanding Mental Health</strong></p> <p>In the Black community as a kid, I never learned about mental health. My only understanding was people were “crazy” or “insane” or other derogatory names that don’t normalize mental health. I thought therapy was for white people. From my experience, Black folks either prayed about it and found relief or kept it bottled up until it inevitably exploded. The community would whisper about those living with mental illness, unable to help them, but offer prayers and support the individual during what they assumed would be “a season” in this person’s life.</p> <p><strong>Black and Bipolar </strong></p> <p>I was 23 going on 24. I just started a new job at a local mental health nonprofit. I had to attend an evening fundraiser. It was 11 pm on a Thursday, I had a splash of wine at the fundraiser, but I knew something was off. I could hear voices, had terrible headaches, and later learned I was hallucinating. I pulled over to an empty mall parking lot and called an old grief counselor. She told me two things at that late hour: call your parents and call off work tomorrow. I listened to one, I called my parents. The following week I was diagnosed with bipolar.</p> <p><strong>Speaking to professionals</strong></p> <p>My faith was truly tested during the first months of my diagnosis. I don’t know if I even prayed. But I did feel a sense of relief knowing what was causing my headaches, the music in my head, and my mood swings.</p> <p>Finding a doctor was my mom’s and my next mission, I wanted someone Black. When I finally found a doctor my mom was there, doing what moms do best, worrying. My doctor corrected my medications and added vitamins. This relationship has only grown since our first meeting. He has continued to assist me in my mental health journey.</p> <p>The doctor also recommended a Black therapist. I continued monthly sessions with her. We’ve worked through acknowledging and coping with having bipolar. From these two influences, I’ve learned this is just a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me.</p> <p><strong>Having conversations </strong></p> <p>At work, I saw firsthand the ways people live, cope, and thrive with mental illness. So, what was the solution to break the stigma? I knew I wasn’t equipped to answer this question, but I wanted my community to be knowledgeable.</p> <p>In honor of BIPOC Mental Health Month, I invited a guest speaker to my church. He was interesting, compassionate and the congregation received this information well.&nbsp; Afterward, I thought to myself, “I started the conversation and I can help keep it going.”&nbsp;</p> <p>After about a year, with faith and the investment of loving people placed in my life, I wasn’t ashamed of my mental illness. I found power in it. Now, I share my experiences with others on my podcast, <a href="http://www.youngblackmrspodcast.com">Young Black MRS</a>. It’s my goal to continue the conversation of mental wellness.</p> <p><em><strong>Morgane Freeman, MS,&nbsp;</strong>is a Digital Marketing Specialist in the Food Industry. She has a BA in Communications from Wilberforce University and MS in Marketing from SNHU. She resides in the Kansas City, MO area. In her free time, she’s the host of <a href="http://www.youngblackmrspodcast.com">Young Black MRS podcast</a>. Morgane also enjoys cooking and DIY crafts.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/bipoc-mental-health" hreflang="en">BIPOC mental health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=17505&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="nharaehss5b-AtrhUIelNJp3F25Hcqo5GywhWjF32Zw"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:09:44 +0000 JCheang 17505 at https://staging.mhanational.org 10 Things You Can Do When You’re Stressed https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/10-things-you-can-do-when-youre-stressed <span>10 Things You Can Do When You’re Stressed</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-09/active-chain-link-fence-cyclone-fence-2413552_0.jpg" alt="Woman doing stretches in front of a fence" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/09/2019 - 12:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">September 09, 2019 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>You might not be able to change what is stressing you out, but you can control how you react and respond to stress. If you notice that you’re showing signs of stress, here are some things you can do to help yourself:</p> <p><strong>1. Leave the room.</strong><br /> Getting up and removing yourself from the stressful situation can be a huge help. A brief change of scenery can help put some distance between you and your overwhelming feelings. If you’re in class, take a quick walk to the bathroom. Buried in homework? Take 60 seconds to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water.</p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:54%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="100%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/wWqFBYUFNYGGs" style="position:absolute" width="100%"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/sobbing-magic-number-wWqFBYUFNYGGs">via GIPHY</a></p> <p><strong>2. Organize. </strong><br /> Pick something small: your desk, your closet, or your to-do list are all great choices. Spend 20 minutes focused on tidying up—it will help you feel in control of something and give you a sense of accomplishment.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="450" src="/sites/default/files/doge_0.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p><a href="https://makeameme.org/meme/much-organize-so">via: makeameme.org</a></p> <p><strong>3. Do some breathing exercises. </strong><br /> Think about how you breathe when you’re relaxed—like when you’re about to fall asleep. Slow and deep, right? Forcing yourself to breathe this way is one of the best ways to bring on calmer feelings. Try <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324417.php">4-7-8 breathing</a> to start: inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/breathe2relax/id425720246">Breathe2Relax</a> and <a href="http://breatheapp.co/">Breathe</a> are two good apps for guided breathing exercises.</p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:100%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="100%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/l0NhWtOfbVze6KzFm" style="position:absolute" width="100%"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/monday-destress-l0NhWtOfbVze6KzFm">via GIPHY</a></p> <p><strong>4. Write it out. </strong><br /> When your feelings start to bubble up and get overwhelming, putting them on paper can help you untangle them. Try a stream of consciousness exercise: 10 minutes of writing down all your thoughts without hesitating. Or make a list of things stressing you out—seeing them reduced to bullet points can help you think more clearly.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="300" src="/sites/default/files/Cute-cat-writing.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p><a href="https://whatculture.com/offbeat/pugs-vs-cats-6-reasons-world-became-obsessed-cute-animals?page=8">via: whatculture.com</a></p> <p><strong>5. Meditate. </strong><br /> Meditation triggers your body’s “relaxation response” – the complete opposite of the common stress response of “<a href="https://www.medicinenet.com/stress_meditation_may_reduce_stress/views.htm">fight or flight</a>” . It slows your breathing, blood pressure, and pulse—all things that go along with being in a calm state of mind. <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/practice-basic-meditation-for-stress-management-3144789">Learn the basics here.</a> You can also try apps like <a href="https://www.calm.com/">Calm</a>, <a href="https://www.sanvello.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI58638ZLE5AIVD1mGCh3hmQ0wEAAYASAAEgLtefD_BwE">Sanvello</a>, and <a href="https://www.headspace.com/register-v1?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_campaign=1919439341&amp;utm_content=68065219102&amp;utm_term=379861035520&amp;headspace&amp;gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqpOT-5LE5AIVU1uGCh19awJ4EAAYASAAEgL0HPD_BwE">Headspace</a>.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="626" src="/sites/default/files/cute-funny-relaxing-koala-bear-yoga-pose_86629-260.jpg" width="626" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.freepik.com/premium-vector/cute-funny-relaxing-koala-bear-yoga-pose_5098046.htm#page=1&amp;query=animal%20meditating&amp;position=11">via: freepik.com</a></p> <p><strong>6. Watch something funny.</strong><br /> Putting on a funny show or video will help take your mind off of everything going on for a little bit. And laughter really can be the best medicine! It’s known to reduce mental <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200504/laughter-the-best-medicine">stress</a> and bring on feelings of relaxation.</p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="100%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/u36Ow6jBvWCFW" style="position:absolute" width="100%"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/laughing-shark-disney-u36Ow6jBvWCFW">via GIPHY</a></p> <p><strong>7. Exercise. </strong><br /> One of the best ways to handle built-up stress is to physically <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax">release it</a>. Lace up your sneakers and head outside for a run--your feet pounding against the pavement is sure to help you get some frustration out.</p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:58%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="100%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/649GOAqxHZiLK" style="position:absolute" width="100%"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/cat-toy-mixed-gif-649GOAqxHZiLK">via GIPHY</a></p> <p><strong>8. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for. </strong><br /> Showing gratitude is known to improve mood and help you better handle <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier">adversity</a>–so not only is it a good way to reduce your immediate stress, but it can help you keep your future stress level down, too. And when you write down a few things you’re thankful for, you can always look back at your list when you start to feel that stress bubbling up again.</p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="633" src="/sites/default/files/blessed%20hedgehog.jpg" width="800" /></p> <p><a href="https://i.imgur.com/C460VQh.jpg">via: imgur</a></p> <p><strong>9. Talk it out. </strong><br /> Sometimes when we’re stressed, everything little problem seems like a big deal. Talking to a friend, parent, teacher, coach, or someone else you trust can help you get out of your own head and see things from a different point of view. Try using the <a href="https://www.notokapp.com/">NotOK app</a> to help you reach out to others when you’re feeling overly stressed. <a href="https://mhanational.org/time-talk-tips-talking-about-your-mental-health">Click here for tips on how to start the conversation.</a></p> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="437" src="/sites/default/files/baby%20bunnies.jpg" width="525" /></p> <p><a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/zinepak/21-cutest-baby-animal-hugs-fsce">via: buzzfeed.com</a></p> <p><strong>10. Light a candle or diffuse essential oils. </strong><br /> Scents can trigger very powerful emotional responses, and some are particularly good at inducing relaxation. Try lavender, lemon, and jasmine scents – all known for alleviating <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/urban-survival/201604/six-aromatherapy-essential-oils-stress-relief-and-sleep">tension.</a></p> <div style="width:100%;height:0;padding-bottom:56%;position:relative;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" class="giphy-embed" frameborder="0" height="100%" src="https://giphy.com/embed/u5NCE7PLFg4XS" style="position:absolute" width="100%"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://giphy.com/gifs/822-u5NCE7PLFg4XS">via GIPHY</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=12501&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="2BSbqWMQUVVuP7aKAE0pzU2ezKDwIKVRxgoFrXWZljo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 09 Sep 2019 16:13:47 +0000 JCheang 12501 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/10-things-you-can-do-when-youre-stressed#comments How a bike exchange in Honolulu supports community mental health https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-bike-exchange-honolulu-supports-community-mental-health <span>How a bike exchange in Honolulu supports community mental health</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/For%20Bike%20Blog.jpg" alt="Guy working on bikes" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 05/28/2019 - 07:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 28, 2019 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Christine Williams and Wil Crary</em></p> <p>Every day at 3:30pm, young men in a neighborhood near downtown Honolulu participate in a culture circle at the Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE), where they learn how to repair bikes. For the young men in Kalihi Valley, KVIBE is a second home that offers play, mentorship, and skill-building. They begin each culture circle by sharing their names, homes, and ancestors. This opening practice reinforces their sense of identity and why they matter. Jeffrey Acido, an education and training specialist who works with KVIBE, says, “Anyone who can say these things with confidence has love for themselves – this is mental wellbeing.”</p> <p>KVIBE is set within Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services (KKV), a comprehensive community health center that uses the community’s cultural traditions to help community members—many of whom are immigrants who feel dislocated from their homelands—heal and thrive. KKV recognizes that social connection and physical activity directly impact mental health, which is why 15 of their programs focus on improving the physical, mental, and spiritual health of more than 10,000 people each year.</p> <p>The bike exchange is a creative example of how to improve community mental health and address larger community needs like social cohesion, a sense of belonging, and physical activity. This is especially important in Kalilhi Valley, where structural inequities that perpetuate poverty, loss of cultural identity, and low-educational attainment have put men and boys at risk of depression, stress, and chronic physical health conditions.</p> <p><strong>Recreation and social connections boost mental health and general wellness.</strong></p> <p>Positive self-image, environmental stewardship, and physical activity are at the core of what it means to be a young man in the bike exchange, where members support one another as mechanics and athletes. In addition to their daily culture circles, each year KVIBE youth leaders host the Kalihi Ahupua`a Ride, an educational bike ride open to the public where cyclists ride from mauka (mountain) to makai (ocean).</p> <p>The eight-mile ride includes “story stops” where riders can learn about the cultural and historical significance of each place. KVIBE uses physical activity strategically, linking it back to cultural identity and social connection, which addresses many of the issues that community members in Kalihi face.</p> <p><strong>Mental health is impacted by community conditions</strong></p> <p>KVIBE is part of the Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys initiative, funded by the Movember Foundation. Making Connections is made up of 13 community-based coalitions that are working to improve the community conditions that exacerbate mental health challenges and support wellbeing for men and boys of color and military servicemembers, veterans and their families. All the Making Connections sites—like the one in Honolulu—are taking innovative approaches to improving mental health and wellbeing by focusing on strategies like increasing social connection, creating opportunities for sports and recreation, and improving the availability of safe, affordable housing.</p> <p>They also make sure the men and boys who are part of their programs—whose voices are often left out of the conversation about mental health, despite experiencing depression, anxiety, and social trauma first-hand—are part of the decision-making about what the programs will focus on. At KVIBE, the young men and boys are encouraged to lead the design of program activities, become mentors to younger boys, advocate for community improvements like increased and improved bike lanes with policymakers, and coordinate major efforts like the Kalihi Ahupua`a Ride.</p> <p>The deliberate culture that KVIBE has created should not be the exception to the rule. The ability to build a community where young people can talk about their ancestors with pride while literally keeping their blood flowing, is a crucial support to their mental health. Our nation’s mental health stands a lot to gain from incorporating opportunities for recreation and physical activity into all neighborhoods and communities.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Christine Williams and Wil Crary work at Prevention Institute, a national nonprofit that coordinates the Making Connections for Mental Health Among Men and Boys initiative.</em></p> <p><em><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/Christine%20Williams.jpg" style="height:123px; width:100px" /><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/Wil%20Crary%20_0.JPG" style="height:123px; width:92px" /></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=2563&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="P43PN5S7R5H-0yPg5jBQxHsUuIng2tJy3G_Kh_99EIQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 28 May 2019 11:56:41 +0000 JCheang 2563 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-bike-exchange-honolulu-supports-community-mental-health#comments Ten to Twenty Percent of New Moms Experience Postpartum Depression: Why Should Employers Care? https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/ten-twenty-percent-new-moms-experience-postpartum-depression-why-should-employers-care <span>Ten to Twenty Percent of New Moms Experience Postpartum Depression: Why Should Employers Care?</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/2020mom%20blog.jpg" alt=" mom and baby" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 09, 2019 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Carole Mendoza, IBM Director of Global Health Benefits and Well-being Strategy, and Board Member, <a href="https://www.2020mom.org/">2020 Mom</a></em></p> <p>Pregnancy and childbirth are often an exciting, happy time in a family’s life, but it is also an incredibly stressful time to the whole family. This becomes even more difficult when mom works.</p> <p>Caring for a newborn (especially the first born or a child with special needs) is a significant time commitment. This becomes more challenging as moms and other caregivers lack proper sleep. There are also additional financial pressures in caring for a new family member and taking time (sometimes unpaid) away from work.</p> <p>Post-birth, the medical focus is primarily on the new baby. Though newborns are checked multiple times in the first month of life, mom may not be seen by her obstetrician until six weeks post-labor.</p> <p>Add all this together and having a child can become quickly overwhelming. <a data-entity-substitution="canonical" data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="f6631767-9707-4abf-8c9f-e70010818f93" href="/node/285">Ten to twenty percent of new moms struggle with postpartum depression</a>. Even moms who have the best support systems and no previous history of mental health concerns can struggle.</p> <p><em><strong>Why should employers care?</strong></em></p> <p>For progressive employers, the health and well-being of ALL employees is extremely important. This increases productivity and drives business results.</p> <p>Employers also want mom to get back to work as quickly as possible, and that’s difficult to do when she’s struggling with mental health concerns in the postpartum period (defined as 12 months post-delivery). Once mom returns to work, mom can be more fully engaged when all her physical and emotional health concerns are addressed.</p> <p>Many employers face a tight labor market, and the war for talent (particularly in the tech industry) is real. Helping to care for new families demonstrates that an employer is family-friendly and cares about the whole person (not just the worker).</p> <p><em><strong>What can employers do to support moms who are struggling?</strong></em></p> <p>There are many tactics employers can take to support new families:</p> <ul> <li>Provide robust behavioral health resources through medical benefits programs and an Employee Assistance Plan.</li> <li>Help to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of ALL mental health concerns, not forgetting this vulnerable time surrounding birth.</li> <li>Encourage insurers/health plans to monitor whether obstetricians are screening for potential mental health issues during pregnancy/postpartum and facilitate access to in-network reproductive mental health providers. Also encourage health plans to reimburse postpartum depression screenings by both pediatricians and obstetricians (since baby is often seen by a doctor far earlier than mom in the postpartum period). <a href="https://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/12/17/perinataldepression121718?eType=EmailBlastContent&amp;eId=6c62bfa2-835a-4f0c-a63b-5f2d30b78fbe">Both the American Academy of Pediatrics</a> and the <a href="https://m.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Screening-for-Perinatal-Depression">American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology</a> recommend this, but reimbursement is not always made by health plans/insurers.</li> <li>Implement extended parental leave programs to support recovery and bonding.</li> <li>Offer flexible work arrangements to support work/life integration (vs. work-life balance).</li> </ul> <p>Employers have a terrific opportunity to support new families and drive long-term employee engagement and loyalty by supporting new moms with all their physical and emotional health needs.</p> <hr /> <p><img alt="" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/default/files/carole%20mendoza_headshot%202.jpg" style="border-color: white; border-style: solid; border-width: 10px; height: 175px; width: 150px;" />Carole is an executive in the IBM Human Resources group. She leads the global health and wellness benefits team, and her responsibilities include the strategic development, analysis and implementation of IBM’s global health and wellness benefits programs. Carole has held employee benefit leadership positions in the high tech, biotech, and oil &amp; gas industries, as well as a health care benefits consulting role. Carole is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) and earned her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/maternal-mental-health" hreflang="en">maternal mental health</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=2125&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="a8gXixsbm3VLEr_MI8BsEBK6tUkXOJ_plCKIxbHzUK0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 09 May 2019 14:34:22 +0000 JCheang 2125 at https://staging.mhanational.org How Crayons Saved My Life: Art & Recovery https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-crayons-saved-my-life-art-recovery <span>How Crayons Saved My Life: Art &amp; Recovery </span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-post-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <div class="item-image"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-07/crayon.jpg" alt="cyayons" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 05/06/2019 - 15:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-post-date field--type-datetime field--label-hidden field__item">May 06, 2019 </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Amanda Lipp, Founder &amp; CEO of The Giving Gallery</em></p> <p>When I was 18 years old, I experienced psychosis during college and went through an experience that I now consider to be the ‘internship of my life’: becoming a patient at a psychiatric hospital. Now, at 27 years old, I have learned how deal with my mental health issues and I am proud to say that this experience led to me building <a href="https://thegivinggallery.org/">The Giving Gallery</a>, becoming a filmmaker, and giving speeches around the world promoting mental wellness.</p> <p>Leading up to my hospitalization at 18, the academic stress of college, coming out as gay, and repressed childhood trauma, culminated into the perfect storm of risk factors that led to attempting suicide and dropping out of college.</p> <p>I hit my rock bottom.</p> <p>Instead of going to class, parties, and living in a dorm – “the typical college experience” - I would instead live in a hospital, go to group therapy, and take medication.</p> <p>This was the most challenging journey of my life, but it is an experience I am not grateful for. Three months of cycling between inpatient and outpatient services gave me insider experience of the mental health care system as a young adult.</p> <p>I heard the traumas and dreams of the patients around me. Their stories allowed me to see that there is strength in vulnerability and opportunity amidst adversity. As an artist, I craved for a creative outlet that could help me communicate the pain I was feeling. One day, a thoughtful nurse walked over and handed me a box of crayons.</p> <p>That is when my life changed.</p> <p>Crayons became my voice - a creative catharsis for managing my symptoms and communicating my feelings. In fact, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7042545_Mental_health_and_arts_participation_The_state_of_the_art_in_England">studies have shown</a> that art can help rebuild or rediscover identity from mental health difficulties, cope with distress, and relate to experiences in new and different ways.</p> <p>I began to recover, one crayon drawing at a time.</p> <p>After I was discharged from the hospital, I felt a sense of urgency to connect with other artists and get involved in mental health. I wanted to pay it forward. I began auctioning my crayon art and sharing my story to raise money and awareness for mental health nonprofits. This led to raising thousands of dollars, and most importantly, feeling a sense of purpose that my art could have an impact beyond myself.</p> <p>I began to wonder how other artists could have this opportunity as well. So, I built The Giving Gallery, a free online platform where artists can sell their art and share their story to support mental health nonprofits.</p> <p>When artwork is purchased, the sale proceeds are split between the artist and our partnered mental health nonprofits. MHA is one of those partners. Every drawing makes a difference. Join our movement as an artist, or purchase art on <a href="https://thegivinggallery.org/">The Giving Gallery</a> to support Mental Health America. Let’s get creative with mental health.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1977&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="MedMw43UR70zYa5Q2XrkX4_wpGDP0roaSt6VoalDs94"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 06 May 2019 19:58:26 +0000 JCheang 1977 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/how-crayons-saved-my-life-art-recovery#comments Why Mental Health Screenings Should Be a Regular Part of Cancer Care https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/why-mental-health-screenings-should-be-regular-part-cancer-care <span>Why Mental Health Screenings Should Be a Regular Part of Cancer Care</span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/29/2019 - 11:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Catherine Reynolds, MHA Communications Associate</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/pc.jpg" style="width:100%x"></p> <p>When we think about cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We work to address these conditions<a href="https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/b4stage4-philosophy"> before Stage 4</a>. We begin with prevention. And when people are in the first stage of those diseases, and have a persistent cough, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, we try immediately to reverse these symptoms.</p> <p>But did you know the risk of developing mental health conditions is often higher in individuals with serious medical illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes?</p> <p>For those struggling with a cancer diagnosis, screening for mental health conditions is also crucial</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4282549/">studies</a> have shown that anywhere from 8-24% of people with cancer are also living with depression. Suicide is also more common in those living with chronic health conditions.</p> <p>However, the warning signs are frequently discounted by patients and family members, who mistakenly assume feeling depressed is normal for people struggling with serious health conditions.</p> <p>Screening for mental health conditions in cancer patients is all too rare. A <a href="https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/about-us/media/press-releases/eight-in-ten-breast-cancer-not-told-about-possible-impact-mental">recent study</a> found that eight out of ten women with breast cancer were never even told about the possible impact cancer would have on their mental health.</p> <p>For some, their providers simply aren’t trained to recognize signs of mental health conditions. There is often lack of clarity and consistency in the cancer community on what depression is and looks like. Between busy oncological settings where doctors often lack the skills to identify mental health conditions and the expenses of cancer treatment, many living with cancer are forced to see their mental health as secondary to their cancer diagnosis.</p> <p>For others, the overlapping symptoms between cancer and depression such as fatigue, lack of sleep, and decreased appetite make recognizing depression difficult. When you are dealing with a population that is routinely exposed to threats of life, it can be hard to differentiate what is an expected reaction to a cancer diagnosis and treatment versus signs they are experiencing a mental health condition.</p> <p>But for everyone, it seems certain that by not addressing mental health concerns, those with cancer can be at greater risk.</p> <p>Depression has been linked to several adverse cancer-related medical outcomes including longer hospital admissions and being less likely to follow treatment plans.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.mhascreening.org/">MHA’s Online Screening Program</a> has seen over 10,000 people who have screened for a mental health conditions self-reported a cancer diagnosis. Compared to the general population, screeners who self-reported cancer were more likely to want to take action on their mental health.</p> <p>Perhaps they know that the sooner a person with cancer gets help for their mental health concerns, the sooner they can fully focus on fighting cancer.</p> <p>There is growing public interest in whether treatment of psychological distress can alter the course of cancer and there is good reason to believe it could! Mental health screening can save lives and has been linked to increased survival among those living with cancer.</p> <p>One such <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4356432/#b2-ol-09-04-1509">study</a> found that the treatment and improvement of depression in metastatic breast cancer, and improvement of depressive symptoms within the first year, was associated with longer average survival times by 28.5 months compared with those that experienced an increase in depressive symptoms.</p> <p>However, the majority of those being treated for cancer who are experiencing psychological distress were<a href="https://academic.oup.com/jncimono/article/2004/32/57/1021822"> not receiving counseling or psychological treatment</a>. Researchers have suggested the need for routine mental health screening in oncology settings. Self-report instruments like screening are quick, easy and inexpensive and don’t have to be administered by a professional, something Mental Health America (MHA) has been working on<a href="https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/about-mha-screening"><em> since 2014</em></a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mhascreening.org/">Our Screening Program</a> has helped over 4 million people take the first step in getting help, with a variety of anonymous, scientifically-based screens to choose from. When it comes to cancer, we continue to collected data from help seeking individuals who self-reported a cancer diagnosis, and direct them to resources and supports based on their results – but there is still so much more that we can do to integrate healthcare.</p> <p>Health systems and related stakeholders must commit to understanding and integrating the individual, their needs, and the dueling conditions which impact their lives in order to effectively identify tools and strategies that reduce the tension among providers of care, services, and supports, and allow the whole individual to emerge along a pathway to recovery.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/screening" hreflang="en">Screening</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1887&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="UPMkWntvGeR4tYEJdk3cIXqv_d3bzHmVGVtTNBaBaH8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 29 Jan 2019 16:23:58 +0000 JCheang 1887 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/why-mental-health-screenings-should-be-regular-part-cancer-care#comments Overcoming Depression after Laryngectomy: The Personal Experience of a Physician https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/overcoming-depression-after-laryngectomy-personal-experience-physician <span>Overcoming Depression after Laryngectomy: The Personal Experience of a Physician </span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:19</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By Itzhak Brook, MD, MSc, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/dr.jpg" style="width:100%"></p> <p>I had been practicing pediatrics and infectious diseases for over 40 years when I was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2008. Unfortunately, my larynx had to be removed to eradicate the cancer. Becoming a laryngectomee (someone without vocal cords) was difficult and challenging. I had to learn to speak again and cope with many medical, dental, psychological and social issues. Day-to-day life was difficult. Things that I took for granted -- such as speaking, eating, and breathing -- became arduous. Depression was one of most challenging issues I faced.</p> <p>After the removal of my larynx, I was overwhelmed by daily tasks and the new realities I faced. I was mourning the many losses I experienced, which included my voice, my wellbeing, and the need to accept many permanent deficits. I felt that I had to make a choice between succumbing to the creeping depression or become proactive and fight back. I chose the latter because I wanted to get better and overcome my handicaps. I also realized that my struggle will be with me for a long time.</p> <p>The driving force to resist depression is my wish to set an example for my children and grandchildren that one should not give up in the face of adversity. I did not want to leave them the legacy that I had given up or hadn’t tried my best to get back to my feet.</p> <p>I got involved in activities I had liked before becoming a laryngectomee and finding a purpose for my life was helpful. I returned to the hospital to practice and teach. In the process of helping others, I was also helping myself.</p> <p>I gradually returned to other routines. I started with simple challenges such as reading medical literature, reviewing articles, and simply walking. I gradually became able to ride a bicycle and hike. Even though the quality of my voice is not the same as before, one of my greatest comebacks was to be able to teach and lecture again with the help of a microphone. I lecture to laryngectomee support groups as well as head and neck surgeons and other physicians about improving patient care and exhibiting more empathy and compassion. Each of these small steps made me feel better and stronger.</p> <p>I started to attend the meetings of the local Laryngectomee Club. I cherished the support and advice I received from the other club members. I kept attending the club even when my needs were no longer intense and did my best to help new laryngectomees cope with their issues.</p> <p>I was fortunate to be assisted by a compassionate and skillful social worker. Having a caring and competent physician and speech and language pathologist were very helpful in maintaining my sense of wellbeing.</p> <p>I found ways by which I could use the setback in my life in a positive way. I wrote <a href="https://www.amazon.com/My-Voice-Physicians-Personal-Experience/dp/1439263868"><em>My Voice: A Physician's Personal Experience With Throat Cancer</em></a> that captures three years of my life following the diagnosis of throat cancer as I dealt with medical and surgical treatments and adjusted to life afterward.</p> <p>I also created a blog and wrote <a href="https://www.entnet.org/content/laryngectomee-guide"><em>The Laryngectomee Guide</em></a> to assist voiceless individuals speak again and deal with their medical, dental and psychological issues. My book and guidebook have been adopted by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, has been translated to many languages and is being read and used throughout the world.</p> <p>Helping others and making a difference helps me cope with my own handicap and overcome the hardships I face.</p> <hr> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Itzhak%20Brook%20MD%20MSc.jpg" style="border-color:white; border-style:solid; border-width:10px; float:left; height:149px; width:150px">Dr. Brook is a professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC. He is the author of the books <em>My Voice, A physician’s personal experience with throat cancer,</em> <em>The Laryngecomee Guide</em>, and <em>In the Sands of Sinai - A physician's Account of the Yom Kippur War</em>. Dr. Brook is a board member of the <a href="https://www.headandneck.org/">Head and Neck Cancer Alliance</a>. He is the recipient of the 2012 J. Conley Medical Ethics Lectureship Award by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/depression" hreflang="en">depression</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1886&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="VQcmG5hIwkYlVQR63sHE3Tn5_tPUZKypW58fY5M-zm0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 25 Jan 2019 13:19:14 +0000 JCheang 1886 at https://staging.mhanational.org Discover the Benefits of Mindfulness in 2019 through the One Percent Challenge https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/discover-benefits-mindfulness-2019-through-one-percent-challenge <span>Discover the Benefits of Mindfulness in 2019 through the One Percent Challenge</span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/24/2019 - 08:29</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By eM Life Instructor Andrea Lieberstein, MPH, RDN, RYT</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/mindfulness.png" style="width:100%"></p> <p><strong>Small Steps to Big Change, All It Takes is One Percent</strong></p> <p>14 minutes a day of mindfulness practice (just one percent of your day) lays a strong foundation for experiencing the benefits of practicing mindfulness in your own life. Not only that, but by participating in <a href="https://www.emindful.com/14minutes/">eM Life’s One Percent Challenge</a>, you have the chance to transform your life and the lives of others!</p> <p>Our 14-minute Mindful Daily live, interactive sessions on applied mindfulness are offered throughout each day of the online challenge. This means you can take these practices ‘home’ and to heart wherever you are. You can participate live or on demand and immediately begin to exercise the skills you have learned with clear strategies for how to integrate them into your daily life. Every day presents a fresh topic to keep you learning new ways to dynamically engage and implement various skills in your life.</p> <p>Mindfulness includes the practice of meditation as well as awareness in moments and choice points of daily life. The benefits of learning to quiet the mind by devoting attention to the breath and body can be life changing. A <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?utm_term=.7eb0557dfc92">study</a> performed by a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that mindfulness can lead to positive structural changes in the brain. The study found these changes benefited sensory, cognitive, and emotional processing.</p> <p>By practicing mindfulness, you can become less reactive and gain helpful strategies to maintain a greater sense of peace and balance in your daily life through all kinds of situations. Participating in the One Percent Challenge is not just about the first day of a new year—it’s the first day in a newly mindful, healthier, happier life!</p> <p><strong>The Price of the Challenge is Only One Percent of Your Day</strong></p> <p><em>The challenge is free to join</em>, all you need to do dedicate 14 minutes a day to practice. The insight and peace cultivated through regular meditation practice can help you inhabit the moments of your lives more easily and effectively. You can mindfully pause, reflect, and make choices that better support your health and well-being. The One Percent commitment can also lead to longer practice periods. When you practice for just 14 minutes or so, you often find the most challenging part is over—the mind has become quieter, and you feel the positive benefits. This can make it easier to extend your practice time and extend/deepen the many benefits of mindfulness.</p> <p><strong>Start Your New Year a New Way</strong></p> <p>The new year is an optimal time to commit to the One Percent Challenge to transform your life with mindfulness and the support of the eM Life community. Deepen your mindfulness practice and learn practical skills you can immediately implement in your life for common situations to help overcome emotional and mental patterns that consume your thoughts.</p> <p><strong>Give and Receive</strong></p> <p>With our annual One Percent Challenge, completing mindful minutes also leads to charity donations, so the more people practicing and the more they practice, the greater the donations will become. This year, eM Life is honored to partner with organizations like Mental Health America to help change lives.</p> <p>Choose to shine the light of awareness on your life, cultivate mindfulness, reap the many rewards for yourself and others, and begin the journey to a more present you in the New Year!</p> <p><a href="https://emlife.emindful.com/opc/register?utm_campaign=MHAOPCSyndicaton&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_source=MHA"><strong>Sign Up today to support Mental Health America</strong></a> and discover a new you. Registration ends January 31st.</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/wellness" hreflang="en">wellness</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1885&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="ttqPQirVJFPmF77RcZ0b-JYNfEyFZB6IjGIzl-pKagU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 24 Jan 2019 13:29:40 +0000 JCheang 1885 at https://staging.mhanational.org https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/discover-benefits-mindfulness-2019-through-one-percent-challenge#comments The Mental Health Benefits of Knitting https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/mental-health-benefits-knitting <span>The Mental Health Benefits of Knitting</span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Fri, 01/18/2019 - 08:12</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>By<a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/"> LoveKnitting</a></em></p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/knitting1.jpg" style="width:100%"></p> <p>For many, activities like meditation or yoga have become life-changing habits that help to bring calm both to mind and body in times of stress, anxiety or pain. But did you know that <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/how-to-knit">knitting</a> can also help you cope with mental health challenges? At LoveKnitting, the home of knitting yarns, patterns and a global community of makers, we’re big believers that knitting not only brings you joy, it has physical and mental health benefits too.</p> <p>Some of the <a href="https://www.creativehertfordshire.com/networks/creative-hertfordshire/documents/health-benefits-of-knitting.pdf">benefits</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>Lowered blood pressure</li> <li>Reduced depression and anxiety</li> <li>Slowed onset of dementia</li> <li>Distraction from chronic pain</li> <li>Increased sense of wellbeing</li> <li>Reduced loneliness and isolation</li> </ul> <p>Amazing, right? Allow us, a bunch of self-proclaimed knitting fanatics, to tell you why knitting is an excellent activity to support your mental health and your long-term wellbeing. Trust us, you’re going to be reaching for a set of needles and ball of yarn by the end of this post!</p> <h3>Knitting is Proven to Help with Anxiety</h3> <p>Recent research shows what many knitters already know in their hearts, knitting has a measurable effect on calming anxiety and relieving stress. In one international survey, a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.4276/030802213X13603244419077">strong connection</a> was revealed between knitting and feelings of calm and happiness. In addition to the activity itself, many knitters find benefits in the social nature of knitting - whether they belong to a local knitting group or an <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/projects">online community</a>. In a clinical setting, one study of a group of individuals who have eating disorders showed that knitting had a significant effect on <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19367130">reducing anxiety</a> and calming obsessive thoughts or preoccupations.</p> <h3>Knitting Helps with Chronic Pain</h3> <p>Chronic pain plagues many people around the world, of all different age groups and backgrounds. Finding a way to alleviate chronic pain can sometimes take people to unexpected solutions, and for many knitting has become an integral part of managing pain. In <a href="http://www.stitchlinks.com/pdfsNewSite/research/Poster Britsh Pain Society March 2009 copy.pdf">one study</a>, knitting offered both physical relief and social support which significantly helped reduce feelings and effects of chronic pain.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/knitting2.jpg" style="width:100%"></p> <h3>Knitting Promotes Social Connection</h3> <p>We’ve already mentioned that knitting in a social setting, whether in real life or online, offers great mental health benefits, but another element is that knitting is often a chance to give back - which can be a great boost to your mental health. There are many ways to <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/c/guide/knitting-for-charity?country=US">knit for charity</a> and many studies show that <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/c/roundup/charity-spotlight-december">giving back</a> to the community supports mental health and can help with feelings of depression and loneliness.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/knitting3.jpg" style="width:100%"></p> <h3>Knitting is Good for You!</h3> <p>Knitting offers an escape for the mind while providing the hands with something to do. When<a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/c/guide/why-i-knit"> we asked knitters around the world </a>why they love knitting, many said they enjoyed how it is both calming and productive. One knitter, who loves knitting for her friends and for charity, told us, “I love knitting because after a day of relaxing, I have a new hat or scarf to show for it!” Other knitters loved the joy of creating something from nothing, sharing something with a loved one and the warm fuzzy feeling it gives them. The beauty of knitting is that every journey is unique. <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/how-to-knit">We invite you to learn to knit with us</a> and start your own journey to better mental health.</p> <p>Want to learn more? Check out our recent article about <a href="https://www.loveknitting.com/us/c/guide/knitting-for-mindfulness">knitting and mindfulness</a> to see how else you can benefit from a new hobby. Just be warned, knitting is addictive and once you start you might not be able to stop!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/knitting4.jpg" style="width:100%"></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/anxiety" hreflang="en">anxiety</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-109930" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1548130793"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Jaybelle (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Mon, 01/21/2019 - 23:19</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/109930#comment-109930" hreflang="und">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/109930#comment-109930" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="und">Knitting lover</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Knitting lover</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=109930&amp;1=default&amp;2=und&amp;3=" token="-PAJJkKoewiyJ7ylilBCubl19NGo6SvLhlcOsgDU140"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <article role="article" data-comment-user-id="0" id="comment-110096" class="comment-wrapper comment js-comment by-anonymous clearfix"> <span class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1553057926"></span> <footer class="comment__meta"> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> </article> <p class="comment__author"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></p> <p class="comment__time">Wed, 03/20/2019 - 00:58</p> <p class="comment__permalink"><a href="/comment/110096#comment-110096" hreflang="und">Permalink</a></p> </footer> <div class="comment__content"> <h3><a href="/comment/110096#comment-110096" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="und">I lov the article because it</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I lov the article because it ties into a project I want to do at my church--- knit baby caps for a service project but I don't know how to knit yet. I hope to use the site on learning to knit. to see if this can help me learn to knit. A friend sent the article to me.</p> </div> <nav><drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=110096&amp;1=default&amp;2=und&amp;3=" token="ApDHCE2EbLihh28D0hXrjFIKIkxgYeFJjZsWzdO_rPQ"></drupal-render-placeholder></nav> </div> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1882&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="g8bJih9EtPSfTe4ZH--51rwzdudkOP-QBWwIbOtLBJI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:12:10 +0000 JCheang 1882 at https://staging.mhanational.org Sleep Deprivation: The Effects on Mind and Body https://staging.mhanational.org/blog/sleep-deprivation-effects-mind-and-body <span>Sleep Deprivation: The Effects on Mind and Body</span> <span><span lang="" about="/users/jcheang" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">JCheang</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/30/2018 - 08:24</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/Stressed%20woman.jpg" style="width:100%" /></p> <p><em>By Amy Highland, SleepHelp.org</em></p> <p>When building a healthy lifestyle, the importance of adequate sleep cannot be stressed enough. Both mind and body need rest to function at peak efficiency. Without it, your mental, emotional, and physical health suffer, potentially pushing you further away from your personal goals. When you sleep, you give your body the time it needs to cleanse, stabilize, and heal itself.</p> <h2>How Your Brain Reacts to Sleep Deprivation</h2> <p>While you are sleeping, the brain goes to work cleansing itself of waste, in the form of proteins, that build up between cells throughout the day. A study published in <a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/373" target="_blank"><em>Science</em></a> found that the brain cells of mice may actually shrink during this process to accommodate the volume of liquid flowing in and out of the brain, which appears to help clear out waste. The cells then seem to expand once the mice wake up.</p> <p>These findings support a later study that showed sleep deprivation had <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320882207_Selective_neuronal_lapses_precede_human_cognitive_lapses_following_sleep_deprivation">a dampening effect on brain cell activity</a>. The study was intended to learn more about treating epilepsy, but researchers discovered that the neurons in the brain send their signals at slower speeds when you’re tired. Waste build up and slow neuron signals often cause reduced decision-making skills, reaction times, and reasoning abilities.</p> <h2>Why Your Appetite Changes When You're Tired</h2> <p>Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t easy if you’re not getting enough sleep. During sleep deprivation, the <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/110/14/5695.abstract">body</a> releases higher amounts of the hunger hormone ghrelin while releasing less of the satiety hormone leptin. The appetite changes continue as the <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/uocm-slb022516.php">body craves</a> unhealthy foods when you’re tired. When you eat these foods, your brain gets more rewards than usual, causing you to crave them even more. Appetite changes are one of the reasons that prolonged <a href="https://nutritionreview.org/2014/03/sleep-deprivation-linked-to-cardiovascular-disease-type-2-diabetes/">sleep deprivation</a> may lead to unwanted weight gain and diabetes.</p> <h2>How Healthy Immune System Requires Sleep</h2> <p>While you sleep, your <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/">immune system</a> gets to work recharging itself and making antibodies. If you get less than <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414701">seven hours of sleep</a>, you’re 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold. Once you get sick, an immune system depressed by sleep deprivation takes longer to fight off infection.</p> <p>Your immune system health can also be impacted by poor sleep quality. The immune system goes to work recharging itself and fighting infection while you’re in the deepest levels of sleep. If time is cut short or you experience wakefulness during the night, the immune system doesn’t get the time it needs to stay healthy.</p> <h2>How to Set Yourself Up for Success</h2> <p>Take a good look at what could be getting in the way of your sleep success. Lumps, valleys, or even tags on your mattress could cause wakefulness. If chronic pain is an issue, you may need a mattress that’s designed for your preferred sleep position. Today, you can research and purchase mattresses online and have them delivered to your door to make this process easier.</p> <p>Other environmental factors like noise, light, and room temperature could also interfere with your sleep. Plush accessories and blackout curtains can help absorb sound while a motion activated nightlight can help keep light to a minimum during the night. Most people sleep more comfortably in a room kept between 60 to 68 degrees to allow the natural drop in body temperature at the onset of sleep.</p> <p>By making sleep a priority, you give yourself the chance to get the rest that your mind and body need. With the right environment and consistent effort, a better night’s sleep is only a good night’s rest away.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy's a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field__label">Tags</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/sleep" hreflang="en">sleep</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/tags/4mind4body" hreflang="en">4mind4body</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-simplenews-term field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/newsletter/newsletter" hreflang="en">Newsletter</a></div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1765&amp;2=comment_node_blog_post&amp;3=comment_node_blog_post" token="UynYbyBzsPoSISQeEg4tdTAtg_JxyrCEVTf2-amdsv8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 30 Jul 2018 12:24:15 +0000 JCheang 1765 at https://staging.mhanational.org