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It’s Okay To Feel Sad And Isolated​​​​​ During The Holidays

Holidays

We should have known 2020 would go down in history as one of the worst years to date. We literally started the year with Australia on fire, earthquakes in Puerto Rico, and Kobe Bryant’s death. Let’s not forget those pesky murder hornets which showed up and the global pandemic which continues to take the lives of loved ones. While I am excited for the new year, we all must bear through the holidays first, and as a recent college graduate, this means returning home for the holidays.

While Hallmark typically portrays the holidays as a time full of love, joy, and sugar plum fairies, this isn’t always the case. The “most wonderful time of the year” can also be a time full of loneliness and even isolation, especially when this pandemic is limiting travel and holiday plans.

Since returning home, I’ve been overcome with this feeling of isolation. In all honesty, I don’t have a job making it hard to meet new people, many of my high school and childhood friends either live in different states or are staying at their graduate schools for this Winter season, and my friends from college live scattered throughout the state. It is common to feel this emotional distance from people who you typically see every week.

Over this holiday season, remember to be good to yourself and honor your time and space. If that means taking a nice relaxing bath, reading your favorite book, or even doing yoga, consider this form of self-care isn’t selfish. Remember you aren’t alone during this time. While people will post perfectly edited Christmas photos with their family or newly engaged fiancee, consider that photo may not be telling the whole story.

Regardless of how isolated you feel during this Holiday Season, remember to practice gratitude. I don’t mean endless hours of meditation, but even jotting down a few words every day can make a world of difference. While Christmas and New Years’ may look a little different this year, this of what you do have instead of what’s missing. I’m surrounded by my loving family, I have my health (which some people don’t have,) and I’m starting the next chapter of my life as a college graduate, open to whatever possibility and journey life takes me.

Happy Holidays everyone! We all may be scattered across the world now, but you’re never fully alone. If you do need help during the holiday season, make sure to seek the guidance and support you need.

 

What is Crisis Text Line with Jen James

Crisis Text Line

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and before the end of the month, I wanted to share Crisis Text Line. During the Summer, I had the honor to interview Jen James, the creator of the volunteer curriculum and trainer of the original supervision team of Crisis Text Line.

Crisis Text Line was developed as part of DoSomething.Org when one of the workers, Stephanie Shih received a text that read “He won’t stop raping me” “it’s my Dad.”  Shih showed the message correspondence to her boss Nancy Lublin. Over the next two years, these women would develop what is now known as Crisis Text Line, the only 24/7 crisis-intervention hotline conducted via text message. Lublin recognized the high volume of people who were using text messaging as their primary mode of communication.

Crisis Text Line
Image courtesy of Abbie Bernet

James’ role was to create a remote training program for volunteers all over the world. The requirements:

  1. A social security number for a background check
  2. 18 and over
  3. A good heart “We are not there to teach you to be kind, you should be kind. We don’t want dicks” -Jen James

Launched in March of 2014 with 20 people, today Crisis Text Line has over 4,000 volunteers and anyone can text “Hello” to 741741 if they are in crisis.

Crisis Text Line
Image courtesy of Marjan Grabowski

Jen’s Story

Jen has lived and personal experience dealing with crisis. Twenty-two years ago when Jen tried to take her life, there weren’t the resources available like there are today. Additionally, people did not talk about their problems, they were “swept under the rug.” Since then, Jen graduated as a film maker and continues to be both passionate and creative. She recognized her desire to help others who are faced with that moment of crisis. You can learn more about Jen here. 

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

You will learn the skills to help anyone with any issue they are facing. You do not need to be an expert in eating disorders, be Social Worker or Psychologist to volunteer. The conversation and the training which you go through will cover the issues which Crisis Text Line deals with.

The volunteers are not there to judge a crisis, because every crisis is different. They want to be there for anyone during their time of crisis.

Go to their website: click here which will bring you to their volunteer page. You complete a 34 hour training and once that is completed, dedicate 4 hours a week to helping others. In Jen’s words

“It’s such a wonderful way of giving back to the world, you don’t need a cape to save a life.”

Watch the video below to learn more

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbqYJxbkDWc

Love,

H and H

Journaling to Relieve Stress and connect with your Mind and Soul

Right now with the hurricane ready to barrel down on all of Florida I thought I would share this post in hopes that people would read it before their power went out. If you are reading this some other time or place, the practice of journaling can help you in times of stress and help you connect with you mind and soul and relive free flowing anxiety.

Journaling

There are many ways to connect with your mind, heart and spirit, especially in times of hard ship. Journaling is a way to engage the creative spirit within you and get out what is called “free flowing anxiety”. I myself have used this during times throughout the last 20 years and I encourage my patients to use this exercise as well. You do not need to be a world class writer to journal. In fact, I keep a picture journal instead. Next to my bed is a lovely Italian paper journal. In a bedside drawer I keep a pair of scissors, glue stick, and pages of magazines, newspaper or even greeting cards with images that I love or resonate with an emotion that I might be feeling at the time. These images sometimes have relevant text written on it and sometimes no text at all. It only takes a few minutes to cut out images and glue them into the journal. I will write a few words that expresses what I am feeling or just leave the montage of photos without any words.  This exercise has become so popular that my daughter, who was young when I began this process, regularly requested to make a journal page with me, especially if she was  home sick or if something emotional in her life has happened. It is amazing to look back through the pages of the journal and reflect upon life’s passages.

Journaling Keeping a journal helps free your mind. You can write, use imagery and if you’re really talented keep many thoughts in your journal. With the hurricane on the way, I will be using this opportunity to write without distraction and hope channel what is deep in my subconscious mind. I encourage all of you who are down here  in Florida to do the same in the hours we won’t have power or  those who may just feel lost in this difficult time.

Dr. Elizabeth Trattner

 

Happy National Relaxation Day

It’s National Relaxation day!  There are many ways to relax and quickly recharge your body, mind and spirit.

The easiest way to relax is for readers to plan a day trip somewhere outdoors with bad cell phone reception or taking all apps off their phone and restoring them after their trip. This effect has begun picking up speed in 2010 after Dr. Todd Braver, a neuroscientist and neuropsychologist at Washington University went into nature with four other colleagues to understand how the brain is over taxed my heavy use of technology.  These scientists found that being outside in nature can refresh the brain and also increase attention and focus. Read more here

Haute and Holistic Living

Another way to reset your body is with soaking in salt. I have traveled extensively to some of the saltiest places in this part of the world in both southern Bolivia and Northern Chile into the Salt Flats. These incredible places have salt and other minerals in the ground and your body literally feels different after being in nature and in the salt which has a very grounding effect. The beach is an incredible place to relax as well. The combination of being in nature and the salt water has a positive effect on the mind and body. If you can’t make it to the beach, I highly recommend soaking in salt baths. One of my favorite product lines is Little Moon Essentials that makes organic bath soaks for almost anything that is bothering you. It is a way to bring nature into your bathtub.

National Relaxation Day
Image Courtesy of Indie Beauty Expo

Another way to relax is to turn off your television. I only have one in my home and only watch it for movies for the most part. It is rarely on and never in any of the bedrooms of my home. Unfortunately, almost everything is toxic on television, especially the news and reality television.  By taking a day a week to unplug and relax it will have a cumulative effect on the body.

 

I am off to the beach today! Have a great day today and don’t forget to take time for yourself!

Happy National Relaxation Day! Much love, Dr. Trattner and the H and H team

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