When I was a kid, I saw a stunt where a man kept plates spinning high on thin wooden rods across a stage. Just after he got the last plate going, he was able to rush back to the original plate before it crashed down to the floor. He kept going and going for what seemed like forever to my nine-year-old self!
Many people are silenting suffering while bravely facing their own spinning plates in life. Anxiety is at an all time high, with depression a close second. Child and adolescent anxiety is higher than it has ever been. Physical symptoms linked to stress and anxiety are becoming more common. Chronic headaches, stomach distress, insomnia, fatigue, and endless worry are often rooted in anxiety – no matter our age. Who can blame us? It’s a stressful world out there!
Do divisive political stories or posts on social media sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. I once had a respected colleague who stopped listening to the news for 15 years to avoid frustration and anxiety. (We could all benefit from a “news fast” sometimes!) Our beloved electronic devices also keep us on-call for work 24-7 and many people even respond to non emergency texts and emails while on vacation.
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Should we care? We better! Mental health challenges can sneak into our lives and try to take up permanent residence, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Call, text, or email us so we can match you with a therapist who can help.
And before you meet your therapist, try some of these self-maintenance tips:
❏ Thirty minutes of physical activity 3-4 times per week
❏ Purposefully reading or watching something humorous
❏ Regular 8 hour sleep schedule
❏ Volunteering regularly
❏ Limiting electronics usage
❏ Spending time in nature
❏ In-person time with friends and family
❏ Carefree drives to nowhere in particular
❏ Getting that long overdue pedicure or massage
Which tips did you try? Let us know!
Jerrel Ivey is a licensed professional counselor at Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy. He enjoys helping others reach their personal potential and would love to work with you.