How to Start Over and Bounce Back – From Anything

There are times when we make a conscious effort to start fresh and make a better life for ourselves – New Year’s resolutions come to mind right away. It’s almost ritualistic in how we approach these promises we make to ourselves. Sometimes we keep them, many times we don’t. These promises are safe to make because we have control over when we choose to ‘reset’ and whether we even follow through at all. If only life were always this predictable…

Death, divorce (and unforeseen global pandemics) can upend our lives in ways we never expected causing massive emotional devastation and financial turmoil. The impact seems so much greater because we did not choose for this to happen. We did not want this to happen.

Whether we choose or it is chosen for us, the outcome of these events can actually lead to extremely positive life changes – but we have to be willing to do just one thing to make that happen…

We have to let go.

Getting back to the way things were may not be possible, practical, or even what’s best for us – and coming to terms with that may be that hardest part of the journey. Let me give you a few tips to help you re-frame your situation so that you can take control of your life path again.

Allow yourself time to grieve

Change is hard. Losing someone you love or a business you built can seem like the end of the world. (Spoilers: It’s not, you have your whole life ahead of you!) Be gentle with yourself, and understand that it’s alright to be sad.

Accept what’s happening to you

You don’t have to like the situation that you find yourself in, but you do have to accept it. The world moves on whether you want it to or not, and the most empowering things that you can do is take responsibility. It’s not your fault, but it is your life. You’re the only one who can change it.

Define new goals that are realistic

If you continue down the same path you have always traveled, your result will always be the same. Change in difficult times can be painful, but setting new goals can be exhilarating and life altering. If you want a new life, there is no better time than now to start. Set realistic deadlines and take small steps towards making each one a reality.

Find support

Having people to help guide you is imperative during times of change. Friends, family, therapists and coaches can all be amazing sources of strength and inspiration. With enough time, experience, and perspective you will see that it is possible to turn what was once a tragedy into a redefining moment to start the life you’ve always deserved.

When You’re Depressed: Learning How to Find Your Motivation

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close and life begins to slowly return to normal after a prolonged health crisis, it’s more important than ever to understand how we can recognize signs of depression and learn how to rekindle our motivation.

Depression is an insidious condition – many people may be surprised to learn that sadness is not the primary indicator of depression. In fact, many people who suffer from depression may not feel sadness at all…  but instead are burdened with an overwhelming sense of apathy, anger, and overpowering feelings of negativity.

Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, but will generally include:

  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
  • Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
  • Not wanting to do things that you used to be motivated to do
  • Irritability and anger
  • Feelings of low self esteem or a feeling of being worthless
  • In extreme cases, thoughts or taking your own life

Losing your motivation prevents you from doing the things that give your life meaning and purpose, and will ultimately make the depression worse – it’s a horrible feedback loop.

Here are some tips to help you regain your motivation – pick one or two of these tips at a time and work on them slowly, and learn which ones are most effective for you.

Get back to following a schedule or routine

Start with an easy schedule that you feel comfortable following. It’s more important to strengthen the habit that it is to try returning to your former busy routine. Start small and build back up – you’ll be surprised how quickly you will get back into the swing of things.

Start a light exercise routine

Even walking or light jogging can help you return to a better mental state if you are feeling depressed. You don’t have to hit the gym for hours a day, just a little bit of regular physical activity will work wonders for you over time.

Focus on positive thinking – avoid negativity and negative people

As it turns out, misery does in fact love company. Complaining about and being around others who complain has almost a cathartic and addictive quality, but even though it might feel good to do so in the short term the effects are detrimental to your mental health.

While it may be difficult to find motivation while you are experiencing a depressive episode, it’s more than worthwhile to start slowly, and put a little bit of work every day into finding yourself again.

Life After Lock-down

This prolonged Coronavirus shutdown is slowly beginning to subside. Businesses are re-opening and soon we will all have to decide how we reintegrate with our families, our friends, and society as a whole.

We may feel more nervous than we used to, no longer willing to open up or socialize in the ways that we were once accustomed. For some, prolonged stay-at-home orders or fear of contracting illness may prevent a return to healthy social behaviors. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were afraid to ask for help out of fear of ridicule or not wanting to appear vulnerable.

Everything has now changed – and it is now more apparent than ever that we cannot exist in pockets of social isolation. As we re-integrate, keep in mind that people will begin to open up at their own pace. Some will be eager to get back to life as quickly as possible, while others will be much more cautious. 

As you, your family, and friends decide how to move forward, be compassionate towards others who will feel comfortable integrating at a different pace than you. It will be some time before we are all back to normal. It’s alright if some are more eager than others, or if some want to take more time to process their thoughts and concerns before reintegrating.

Always try to maintain an open and honest dialog instead of criticizing or convincing someone else to your point of view – whatever your viewpoint is on the Coronavirus shutdown, we will have to live with each other long after it’s over. The ways in which we decide how to handle this portion of the crisis will have effects that far outlast that of the virus itself.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty adjusting to the stress and isolation caused by this shutdown, please visit our website or give us a call – we have licensed therapists who can help you today.

How Do I Know If I Should Try Therapy?

Making the decision to attend sessions with a therapist can seem daunting. Many people believe that they can handle their own difficult emotions, and don’t want to look for help. This way of thinking can lead to embarrassment and avoiding taking the positive steps needed to make your life better.

  1. Feelings of being overwhelmed – Sometimes there are just too many things going on at once… you feel like you need space to breath, but just don’t know how…
  2. Feeling tired – Feeling tired all the time is a sign that your body is struggling, oftentimes due to emotional stress and mental strain. 
  3. Feelings of apathy – Maybe you no longer enjoy doing the things you used to love to do. Even if you want to go back to enjoying certain activities, you just may not want to do anything at all…
  4. Feelings of social withdrawal – While it’s normal for people to want to spend time alone, we are by nature social creatures. Spending too much time away from others can lead to feelings of sadness and depression.
  5. Feelings of hopelessness – When you begin thinking that you have no future, it can lead to other negative thoughts which make it even harder to function in your daily life.

If any of this feels familiar to you, imagine how much better life will be once you allow someone to help – WE CAN!

How COVID-19 Impacts Our Beneficiaries

In times like these it’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalized day-by-day news cycle. 

We should all take a moment to remember one important fact: things will improve the world will go on.

We will bounce back from COVID-19 and its impact on our lives, and when we do we will all be stronger than we were before.  

Healing Arts has not forgotten our mission that we promised to fulfill – to eliminate the stigma attached to receiving mental health services, specifically among culturally marginalized communities. To promote growth and development of children, families, adults and the community by way of leadership, psycho-education and evidenced based therapies. We hope you haven’t forgotten why you chose to stand by us in the first place. 

We can each do our part as individuals to keep our community healthy. As we practice social distancing and do our part to stop the spread of this virus, we hope you’ll also remember how our children and their families need you. 

Your donation will be a tremendous help in keeping our mission alive. We won’t stop working towards building strong children and strong families.

But to do that we need your help. Please forward this email as you see fit to friends who support our mission.  
On behalf of the families we serve, thank you! 

Dr. Thelma Tennie 

President and CEO 

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”.

Frederick Douglass