self care is not cancelled


SELF-CARE IS NOT CANCELLED CULTIVATING WELLNESS & ADJUSTING FOR UNCERTAINTY DURING COVID-19 Theresa Melito-Conners, PhD (Dr. MC) Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth May 21, 2020 How are you feeling this morning? Please comment in the

  1. SELF-CARE IS NOT CANCELLED CULTIVATING WELLNESS & ADJUSTING FOR UNCERTAINTY DURING COVID-19 Theresa Melito-Conners, PhD (Dr. MC) Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth May 21, 2020

  2. How are you feeling this morning? Please comment in the chat.

  3. A Round of Applause

  4. STRESS STATISTICS BEFORE COVID-19 • 77% regularly experience physical symptoms of stress • 73% regularly experience psychological symptoms of stress • 48% feel their stress has increased over the past 5 years • 48% say stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life • 54% said stress has caused them to fight with people close to them • $300 billion - Annual costs to employers in stress related health care and missed work

  5. APA POLL DURING COVID-19 • 48% are anxious about the possibility of getting COVID-19. • 40% are anxious about becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. • 62% are anxious about the possibility of family and loved ones getting COVID-19. • 36% say COVID-19 is having a serious impact on their mental health. • 59% feel COVID-19 is having a serious impact on their day-to-day lives. • 57% are worried about running out of food, medicine, and/or supplies. • 68% fear that the COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on the economy. • Additionally Americans report difficulty sleeping, concentrating, increased substance abuse, and domestic issues. These findings are from an American Psychiatric Association – sponsored poll conducted online – nationally representative sample of 1,004 adults during the period March 18-19, 2020

  6. “The stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic can and is having an effect on people’s physical and mental health. During this time, it is important to do what we can to maintain self- care and manage the stress . I would suggest this for everyone coping at home as well as those who are still in their workplaces by necessity, especially the health care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic.” - APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D.

  7. WHEN WE NEGLECT OUR SELF-CARE • Chronic stress • Nervousness • Burnout • Heart palpitations • Compassion fatigue • Difficulty concentrating • Demoralization • Headaches • Disordered eating • Ulcers • Cardiovascular disease • High blood pressure • Depression • Muscle tension • Sleep disorders such as • Exhaustion insomnia

  8. • Upset stomach • Hopeless feelings • Dizziness • Irritation • Low energy • Digestive issues • Twitches • Weight gain or loss • Poor nutrition • Dehydration • Weakened immune system

  9. STRESS AND OUR BODIES • Rest or Digest (RELAXATION RESPONSE) • Fight or Flight (STRESS RESPONSE) Parasympathetic Nervous System Sympathetic Nervous System • DECREASED • INCREASED • Breathing rate • Breathing rate • Blood pressure • Blood pressure • Heart rate • Heart rate • Metabolism • Metabolism • Blood sugar • Blood sugar • Adrenaline • Adrenaline • Sensory awareness • Sensory awareness • INCREASED • DECREASED • Thought processes • Thought processes • Concentration • Concentration • Creativity • Creativity • Immune system function • Immune system function • Digestive system function • Digestive system function

  10. WHAT IS SELF-CARE? • “ Self-care is defined as the daily process of being aware of and attending to one’s basic physiological and emotional needs including the shaping of one’s daily routine, relationships, and environment as needed to promote self-care. Self-care is seen as the foundational work required for physical and emotional well-being . Self- care is associated with positive physical health, emotional well-being, and mental health . Steady and intentional practice of self-care is seen as protective by preventing the onset of mental health symptoms, job/school burnout, and improving work and school productivity” (Cook - Cottone, 2017).

  11. SELF-CARE IS NOT • Optional • More chores to add to your “to - do” list • Selfish • An emergency response or a “quick fix” when you are overwhelmed • Punishment or extreme • Dieting • Abusing substances • Talking badly about yourself even as a means of motivation • Buying something that promises to make you love yourself more • Socializing for fear of missing out (FOMO) • Saying “yes” because you're “nice” • Anything that shames your eating habits or appearance

  12. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY • “A comprehensive stress management plan that incorporates both exercise and psychological strategies is ideal. However, those who engage in just one coping strategy can experience benefits over those who do not actively manage their stress at all” (Ansley, 2016). • Don’t wait until you are experiencing burnout or negative aspects associated with being a helping professional. Oftentimes, by the time leaders realize there is an issue…it is too late. Take care of yourself today. • Make it individualized for you…plant the seeds now of a routine ! There is no wrong way to practice self-care.

  13. Nutrition/Hydration Exercise Soothing Strategies Self-Awareness/Mindfulness 10 DOMAINS Rest OF SELF-CARE Relationships Physical/Medical Environmental Self-Compassion Spiritual

  14. NUTRITION/HYDRATION • Drink water daily (at least 6-8 cups). • Honor Your Hunger Cues - Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full (Intuitive Eating). • Slow down when eating (20 minutes) • Don’t skip meals – eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks when needed. • Eat a variety of nutritious foods. • Plan foods and snacks.

  15. EXERCISE • Regular exercise (at least 30-60 minutes) that includes a variety of activities. • 10,000 steps is ideal per day, if your lifestyle does not allow for at least 5,000 steps, you need to reevaluate. • No sitting for long periods of time. • Fun physical activities (joyful movement). • No exercise in excess or participation in extreme activities. • Schedule/plan exercise routines. • Online options for classes.

  16. SOOTHING STRATEGIES • Deep breathing practices. • Calms nervous system, promotes mental clarity and restores balance. • Think about calming things. • Do something physical, intellectual, interpersonal or creative to relax. • Use soothing smells, sounds or tactile experiences to relax. • Prioritize activities to relax.

  17. LET’S PRACTICE 1. Place one hand on your heart and one on your belly 2. Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth 3. Make the exhale longer than your inhale

  18. 5-FINGER BREATHING • Slow & intentional • Engages multiple senses • Make sure the exhale is longer than your inhale.

  19. NADI SHODANA – ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING • Sanskrit means - Flow Purification • Nadi Shodhana involves closing the right nostril with the thumb, taking an exhale and an inhale from the left nostril and then closing the left nostril with the ring finger, taking an exhale and an inhale from the right nostril, repeating the process switching sides over and over for a period of time. • Nadi shodhana can calm the body OR energize the body depending on how you regulate the depth, length and energy of the breath.

  20. SELF-AWARENESS/MINDFULNESS • Calming awareness of your thoughts, feelings and body. • Carefully select which thoughts and feelings to use to guide your actions. • Meditation in some form. • Mindful/Intuitive eating. • Yoga or another mind/body practice. • Track/record/schedule your self-care practices. • Acknowledge the things for which you are grateful.

  21. APPROACHES FOR THIS DOMAIN • Meditation • Typically practiced sitting comfortably with eyes closed or partially open. Soles of the feet together, hands resting in your lap, palms up. • Combat stress and specific problems of physical and mental health” (Alexander, et al., 2013). • Meditation muscle metaphor • Different types such as Guided (we will practice this later) • Yoga (Sanskrit – “unite” – mind, body & spirit) • 36 million Americans are engaged in some sort of yoga practice. • Benefits - improved immune system, better mood, decrease in pain, anxiety, and auditory hallucinations (Pandurangi, et al., 2017). • Can be gentle or restorative • EveryBODY can do yoga

  22. APPROACHES TO THIS DOMAIN • Mindfulness • “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non- judgmentally” ( Kabat-Zinn). • Reiki (Ray-Key) - an ancient, gentle, hands-on healing method that balances the mind, body, and spirit. • Reiki can facilitate deep relaxation, relieve pain, promote healing, and personal growth. • Reiki is the universal life force that works through the facilitator by using light therapeutic touch. The energy ignites the cells within the body which then awakens the bodies natural healing. • Reiki puts the mind in a meditative state where healing happens and awakens the energy inside the body.

  23. ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE • Easy ways to get started… • Expressing gratitude is a mood booster – increases happiness • Say Thank you and health and improves • Give a sincere compliment relationships. • Start a gratitude journal • Gratitude can be for someone • Gratitude jar else, for yourself or for something. • Be grateful for all you already have (big and small) • If you think negative thoughts, you will continue to attract negative.

  24. What are you grateful for today? Please comment in the chat.


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