Every year, an average of 150,000 lives are tragically lost to drug, alcohol, and suicide-related causes in America. In the midst of the pandemic last year, the number of substance-abuse deaths rose by a devastating 18%, making 2020 the “deadliest year in drug history.”
These alarming statistics highlight the fact that many individuals feel isolated and alone in their struggles. However, May brings with it a powerful reminder: it is Mental Health Awareness Month.
Throughout this month, mental health experts, psychologists, and wellness teachers unite to emphasize a crucial message – you are not alone. Despite the physical isolation, global unrest, and unimaginable loss, we stand together in solidarity.
As someone who personally experienced the heartbreaking loss of my own brother to suicide years ago, I came to realize how shared childhood experiences and patterns often lead us to suppress our emotions and needs. Tragically, unmet needs can manifest in devastating ways. It was during that unimaginably painful period that my commitment to conscious parenting and mental health advocacy began to take shape.
Our society needs more than just awareness of mental illness; it requires a proactive approach to promoting mental wellness. We must equip ourselves with tools and strategies for effective and compassionate communication, managing emotions, and navigating distressing situations.
In the spirit of promoting mental well-being, I would like to share three simple hacks that can help you feel less anxious, more centered, and clear-headed:
- Draw Figure 8s: Using your index and middle finger, trace a figure 8 pattern around your eyes. Apply different pressures to instantly integrate the right and left brain, bringing a sense of balance and harmony.
- Practice Alternate Nostril Breathing: Breathe through one nostril at a time to experience deeper breaths, centeredness, and a release of anxiety. Begin by blocking the right nostril, inhale through the left, then block the left nostril and exhale through the right. Repeat the process, alternating nostrils.
- Engage in Ha! Exhales: Make fists with your hands, inhale deeply, and exhale with a forceful “HA!” as you bend forward. This technique will help calm you down, induce relaxation, and release nervous energy.
For those seeking more resources on mental health platforms, I recommend watching this enlightening video from the National Mental Health & Mental Fitness Summit in July 2019.
Remember, we are all on this journey together. Let us continuously remind one another that we don’t have to face our challenges alone.
Wishing you strength and well-being!
Love and Blessings,
P.S. If you’re looking for a welcoming, compassionate support group that will accompany you through parental ups and downs, join our Conscious Parenting Facebook Group.