5 Ways Music Promotes Good Mental Health

Our brains trigger specific emotions, memories, and thoughts, which often lead to more positive effects on your mental health.

5 Ways Reading is Good for your Mental Health

Reading helps increase self-esteem, confidence, slows down signs of dementia and symptoms of depression.

How to Recognize Feelings of Anxiety and Panic

Understanding what anxiety and panic feel like when you’ve never experienced either can be a difficult task. The COVID-19 threat is shrouded in uncertainty, from global economic concerns to worries about your physical health and the health of those you love, people are experiencing new, and compounding types of stress; and people with an existing panic and anxiety condition, may find it intensified.

It’s important to be kind to yourself right now because there is no “right” way to respond to this. This is a troubling time for all of us, and it’s absolutely okay for you to feel things that you may not understand. You are doing the best you can in an overwhelming circumstance.

How Do You Know If You Are Experiencing Anxiety?

  • You can’t think about anything else other than coronavirus or the COVID-19 pandemic
  • You’re experiencing feelings of hopeless or anger about the situation
  • You have a difficult time going to work or being in public spaces
  • You have difficulty sleeping
  • You’re experiencing physical symptoms like frequent headaches, an upset stomach or diarrhea

Many people have never experienced anxiety, nor have they ever encountered a pandemic before, and it’s okay if you need help. If you need support, you can reach out to one of our experienced, qualified counsellors with our Thrive Counselling Program for telephone and online support. Sessions are offered for 60 minutes and no-cost.

How Do You Know If You Are Experiencing A Panic Attack? 

Not all panic attacks have the same symptoms and can feel different for everyone. It is possible, and common to feel some, but not all symptoms.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Chest Pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Spiraling negative thoughts: including feeling like you’re having a heart attack.

Other Symptoms Can Include:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • Abdominal or digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nervousness

How to Cope While Experiencing a Panic Attack

Practice Deep Breathing

Controlling your breathing is the most important way to begin to minimize a panic attack, fast. Take a slow breath in through your nose, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then exhale and repeat. Make sure you pause for about three seconds between each breath to avoid hyperventilating.

Relax Your Muscles

Begin relaxing your body by focusing on one muscle group at a time. Curl your toes on both feet and then, release the tension. Pay attention to each individual muscle as you tense and relax it. It also helps if you do your deep breathing during this exercise.

Lean into it

By recognizing that you’re having a panic attack and not a heart attack, you can remind yourself that this is temporary, it will pass, and that you’re OK.

Drink a Glass of Water

When you let the cool water slide down your throat it can refocus your brain and bring you out of your panic attack, quicker.

 

If you are having panic attacks more than once a month, you should speak with a qualified professional about it. Reach out for help by calling 306-757-6675.

 

 

This blog post was created as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information about our response, including changes to our service delivery and other resources, please visit: http://familyserviceregina.com/covid19-a-message-from-the-ceo/

COVID-19 Boredom Busters

Fun Things You Can Do While Practicing Physical Distancing.

It’s a difficult time for everyone, and we know the good people of Saskatchewan are avoiding large crowds at shopping centers and self-isolating from family and friends to protect their health and the health of their loved ones. But fresh air is good for you, too, and social distancing doesn’t have to be a strictly in-home activity. As temperatures warm, and spring begins it’s a great time to treat yourself to the sounds of nature: chirping birds and the wind whistling through the trees can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Although there’s no problem with going outside, currently- you still need to be precautious and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

Here are a few ways to shake off some cabin fever and get your mind and body moving.

Build a Backyard Campsite

It’s the perfect time to pitch a tent in the backyard for a little staycation. Whether you’re coupled-up, have children, or are practicing social distancing, solo. There is nothing better than throwing logs on the fire-pit, melting some chocolate for s’ mores and lying on a blanket to watch the stars.

Augmented Reality

The stars aren’t going anywhere, so it’s a great time to get an astronomy lesson. SkyView uses your camera to help you find objects in the sky. You can take pictures with the app and store them in your phone. The SkyView Lite app is available for both Android and iOS devices. When you point your device’s camera at the sky, the app tells you which stars and constellations you are seeing.

Body Break

Explore your neighborhood or a local walking path: as long as you maintain at least 6 feet between non-family members. A nice walk, run or bike ride can increase feelings of wellbeing. To make sure everyone is getting some exercise, plan a scavenger hunt, or head out into the driveway for some fun. Kids can use chalk draw, or write messages of love and hope to your community, or you can practice your 3-pointer skills if you have a basketball hoop, or engage the whole family in a game of badminton, lawn bowling or bocce ball.

 

Learn a New Skill

Use things around your house to get creative. You could build a birdhouse, paint it, add some seed and hang it from a tree in your yard. Get the kids to help with creating a raised garden in the backyard, or build a potato box to start growing food at home.

As it continues to get warmer, you’re still able to participate in other outdoor activities like: fishing, golfing, and playing outdoor tennis.

Spring into a Clean Yard

Rake out your garden beds and clean up the lawn(s). You can compost debris or dispose of your leaves at Regina’s Food and Yard Waste. Then, give your lawn the nutrients it needs for strong roots and a lush green appearance by fertilizing. Now you can pull out your patio/deck furniture and set up your space to relax.

 

This blog post was created as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information about our response, including changes to our service delivery and other resources, please visit: http://familyserviceregina.com/covid19-a-message-from-the-ceo/

Caring for your mental health

We want you to take care of your mental health while practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic; so we’ve compiled some ways to help you stay emotionally and mentally healthy over this period.

 

Quarantine and self-isolation can negatively impact and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety and the mental health implications of this unprecedented situation will impact individuals differently.  With growing concern surrounding coronavirus it’s important to keep as much of a normal routine as possible. Finding ways to maintain your normal routine is essential to reducing stress and potential anxious thoughts that may appear.

 

Filter News and Social Media

Constant news, opinions, and memes about the pandemic can feel relentless and may exacerbate existing mental health problems. Seek trusted information, such as the Government of Canada Website.

 

Speak Openly About How You’re Feeling

We encourage you to talk about your feelings with others, whether that be in a chat room, while using Zoom or Facetime or calling our Thrive Walk-In Clinic– there are various avenues of support and helplines available.

 

Fuel Your Body and Your Mind

A well-nourished body is better able to manage stress. Ensure your diet includes whole grains, vegetables (particularly of the leafy green variety), fruit, berries, nuts, seeds, and olive oil will help your body, help your mind.

Sleep

A night of good quality sleep is a form of overnight therapy and increases the chance of handling strong emotions effectively. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Achieving eight hours of sleep, taking a hot bath, and minimizing screen time two hours before bed.

Exercise

Clinical studies show that regular exercise produces chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are as effective as antidepressant medication for treating milder depression. It’s important to create a daily exercise routine between 30-40 minutes at home.

 

 

 

This blog post was created as part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information about our response, including changes to our service delivery and other resources, please visit: http://familyserviceregina.com/covid19-a-message-from-the-ceo/

Budgeting Help

If you have found yourself out of work or have been forced to close your locally owned business it’s imperative to focus on, and monitor your income and spending habits and actively cut back where you can. If you fall into that category and are starting to rely on emergency savings to get through this period, these suggestions can help guide you on how to spend your money.

Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses.

The most impactful thing you can do immediately is to be ruthless with your expenses and eliminate everything that you can live without right now. This includes things like your morning coffee from Tim Hortons and ordering from Skip the Dishes.

Make a list of everything you’re currently spending money on and circle the items that qualify as “wants” hit the pause button on any recurring subscriptions, including gym memberships, your unlimited cable, or expensive phone plan and make an effort to avoid online shopping. Guesstimate the total per-month that you’d save and highlight that number.

Eliminating those expenses may not have to be permanent, but can and will free up some much-needed cash in the meantime.

Prioritize your Remaining Expenses

If you don’t have any money in your savings, you may have to start prioritizing your needs.

Food and housing should be your top priorities. If you’re concerned about your ability to make those payments start by contacting your mortgage lender if you’re a homeowner and your landlord if you rent to discuss payment options.

When it comes to your grocery budget, stick to the essentials.

After prioritizing food and housing, you’ll want to be able to tackle your other bills. Contact Saskenergy, Saskpower, your water provider, internet provider and/or cell phone provider and ask if they are able to get you on a payment plan.

Make Minimum Debt Payments 

If you can afford to pay the minimum due on your credit card balance, do so. If you don’t, you may owe fees and extra interest, and your credit score could be negatively impacted.

Need more help? Start working on your budget with this Budget planner provided by the Government of Canada.

 

This blog post was created as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about our response, including changes to our service delivery and other resources, please visit: http://familyserviceregina.com/covid19-a-message-from-the-ceo/

Funding and Support for Regina’s Most Vulnerable

FUNDING AND SUPPORT

Family Service Regina is working hard to support the community through adversity. We are determined to fulfill our mission and strengthen individuals, families and our community through responsive leadership and innovative programs.

Though we have found new ways to support the people we serve while remaining socially distant, the COVID-19 is already having an effect on our ability to raise funds. Family Service Regina has lost the opportunity to raise both awareness and money for our programs and services through an exciting, new summer event that has been canceled.

We rely heavily on corporate donations or third-party fundraisers, and with many companies facing their own financial constraints, they are bracing for a trickle-down effect, but remain hopeful to see a few corporate and individuals come through.

If you or your business is able to help us, help our community please use the contact information below.

 

For more information contact,

Carissa Trenton, Communications & Fund Development
Family Service Regina CELL: 306-591-7751
ctrenton@familyserviceregina.com