The Shift is partnering with local and national mental health nonprofits to host localized virtual Wellness Rallies. These will be customized to meet the needs of teens and young adults across the country, including but not limited to high school and university students, young residents in large and small communities, employees of large corporations, sports and other youth organizations. By working together to not only bring awareness, but also create conversation, the goal is to end the stigma on mental health for good.
The Shift is a digital content platform and docu-series that helps #starttheconversation and #Shiftthestigma around mental health. It connects young people to resources to help live their best lives. Founder|Chief People & Wellness Officer of The Shift, Mary Albertoli is a former Clinical Social Worker with 12 years experience and a Masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Albertoli provides "solid strategies on how to start the conversation on mental health between parents and children, teens and young adults." Not diagnose, but support "with resources and alternatives to open the lines of communication and remove the stigma attached to mental health."
Some of the subjects The Shift highlights include anxiety, bullying, depression, self-image, rejection, and suicide. If you missed our interview with Mart Albertoli, here is the direct link, Ending Stigma on Mental Health Amid Growing Suicide Rate in Teens.
In their work on creating conversation on mental health, The Shift shares tips and helpful information on their social media, @theshift_series.â
They also lead conversations and talk with real people about their experiences on dealing with bullies, anxiety, supporting those who need our support, and asking for help. In the video below, Lead Ambassador|ShiftStarter Series Host, AdrienneFinch talks with teen @NotOKApp creators, Charlie and Hannah Lucas about their lifesaving app and what inspired them to build it.
To keep in touch with the conversation, you can follow@theshift_series on Instagram. You can also visit https://shifttheshow.com for more information.
IC Mag Editors
The Connection Between Mental Health And Social Media
Human beings need the companionship of other people. This connection that we share with other people can impact our happiness and mental health. By connecting to others on social media, we can ease our anxiety, stress, and depression, prevent loneliness, provide comfort, boost self-worth, and even increase our life. However, there is a flip side to it. Studies have shown that social media can risk our emotional and mental health.
In today's world, we use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat to find and connect with other people. And while there are several benefits to it, it is important to understand that social media is not a replacement for real human connections. To trigger hormones that can alleviate stress and feel happy, healthy, and positive, you need to have in-person contact. Ironically, a technology for bringing people closer together can sometimes make people feel isolated and lonely. By spending too much time on social media, you can exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Even though social media has been in existence for more than a decade, there isn't much research establishing the long-term consequences of social media use. However, some studies have found a strong link between prolonged use of social media and risk for anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Here is how social media can promote negative experiences and affect your mental health:
by IC mag Contributors
Today's most controversial generation is Generation Y. Millennials, or Gen-Yers are surrounded by numerous stereotypes. They are financially-burdened, anxious, and unhappy. According to studies, millennials are also mentally unhealthy.
Gen-yers are changing the way we view mental health. They are more open to talking about mental health are looking into different options to resolve their issues. They use their love for technology in seeking professional help. Millennials make use of mental health apps approved by the experts. But if you are a millennial who is serious about improving your mental health, another strategy worth considering is to socialize more.
Online Social Interactions: the Good and the Bad
Millennials would rather socialize online; they are always on their phone and constantly on social media. It is for this very reason that many employers claim Gen-Yers lack important social skills needed in a traditional workplace.
Even if millennials get invited to social gatherings, many would rather skip the occasion. If they indeed show up, you will often find them with their eyes glued to their phones. Some are probably busy on their social media. Others would be busy exploring the gorgeous hotel ballroom looking for the perfect spots to snap photos of themselves for their next post on Instagram.
While the internet allows you to interact with many people at once, it can also be the reason why your mental health is suffering. For one, you can interact with other people without ever leaving your home. Many millennials are used to isolation since they take advantage of the social interactions they can enjoy online. As social creatures, it is natural to crave real social connections and not just a virtual one. In a nutshell, online social interactions will remain to be superficial and can never beat real-life socialization.
How Socializing More in Real Life Helps Boost One's Mental Health
Developing your real-life social skills will help you improve current relationships and form new connections. This can also help you in your job, as most employers still value interpersonal skills. When you become more comfortable socializing in real life, you can form professional connections that can boost your chances of career success.
We generally feel happier after talking and interacting with others. The happier you are, the better you will feel and more confident you will be. Our physical health also improves when we are happy. This is why loved ones of seniors are encouraged to visit and socialize with them more.
Even introverts would say that sometimes, it is nice to talk to people in real life. They may be more comfortable listening and observing in the background. But that does not mean they can't benefit from real social interactions.
When you talk to someone, you get a better understanding of what the person is trying to tell you. You can observe their body language and those visual cues to better communicate. This helps you respond accordingly, form stronger connections, and build better relationships.
The longer you talk to others, the happier you will get. It is important to note that the quality of the conversation also matters. The more in-depth the talk is, the more gratifying the social experience gets.
Socialization also helps promote a sense of purpose. When you can talk to people and touch their lives, you feel useful. You get to enjoy that feeling knowing your presence alone and comforting words are enough to lift other people up. When we know that other people depend on us, this makes us want to stay healthy and available for more conversations.
How Millennials Can Improve Real-Life Interactions
The first step millennials can take to boost real-life interactions is putting your phone down or keeping it on silent mode. Instead of staying indoors after work, choose to go out with your colleagues or have dinner outside with your friends. Avoid turning down people when they invite you to hangout. During your free time, choose to meet a loved one or two, go shopping or explore the city.
When you're running errands, try to smile more. Stop avoiding eye contact. Make it a habit to see connection. When exercising, go out for some fresh air and invite a friend to go jogging with you. You can also try joining a fun run or dedicate your time volunteering. This way, you can meet new people who have the same purpose, making it easier to interact with new friends.
Millennials can benefit from forming better social connections in real life. It can help you maintain good relationships with your loved ones and the different people in your industry. It will make you feel happier, more confident, and less stressed. Your mental health will improve and you will feel generally healthier. So, instead of prioritizing online socialization, choose real-life interactions more (or as best you can, given the current pandemic situation). www.bestvenuesnewyork.com/eventtype/event-type
by IC mag Contributors
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline has some proven ways that could be useful in helping your loved ones.
Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.”
We all yearn for love and to be loved. Share love, and remember life is short. Enjoy with those you love and make memories that are worth remembering.
*Disclosure: Jessica G Ferrer is not a doctor or a therapist. To find a licensed therapist in your area, this might help: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov
With the pandemic continuing to keep everybody secluded at home, it's natural to feel uneasy. With so much uncertainty abound, it doesn't help that being inside for an extended period can result in some persistent cabin fever. Now more than ever, it's essential to keep your mental health in check and give yourself the proper self-care to get through this time day by day.
Start by incorporating these into your routine.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking things are just a waste of time, as any interest that engages you is a reliable way to spend your time.
Try these out yourself to make quarantining a little easier, especially if you're feeling troubled.
by IC mag Contributor
by Jessica G Ferrer
Most of us experience anxiety at some point or another in our lives. In fact, it is very common to experience it routinely, and a lot of people do struggle with that. If you are concerned about your anxiety levels, or you are feeling as though you would like to be done with it once and for all, there are many things you can do to help. It’s important to bear in mind that you should never feel it is out of your control. No matter how bad it is, there are effective ways to manage and control anxiety.
Let’s take a look at how to do this.
Noting It & Naming It
One of the most important things you can do here is to make sure you note anxiety when it arises, and that you name it for what it is. This is essentially a kind of mindfulness which you can bring to your anxiety in order to spot it when it arises as clearly as possible. Doing so is powerful, and it actually works to remove much of anxiety’s power, especially if you normally feel that you are in the grip of it. Note it, name it, and watch what happens to it.
Pay attention to your body, especially to your breath. Breathe in for three seconds, hold for four, and breathe out for seven seconds. Repeat five times, more if necessary. Also, understand that anxiety is normal and most humans will experience anxiety more than once during their lifetime.
Changing What You Put In Your Body
Be aware of what you put in your body. If you are struggling to overcome your anxiety, it might time to look at your nutrition. Believe it or not, nutrition has a lot to do with our mental health. What you eat and otherwise consume is all going to affect how you feel, and how capable you feel in dealing with anxiety, or decisions in general. So make sure you avoid, or minimize your intake of foods known to worsen anxiety, such as caffeine and fried foods.
Some natural supplements found to help are Ashwagandha, GABA, and 5HTP, just to name a few. Additionally, some have found that using a tincture such as this one from caduceusscience.com or something similar has also helped some with anxiety.
If you sometimes suffer from anxiety attacks or panic attacks, you are going to need to have some methods in place for how to deal with those when they arise. The breathing exercise we mentioned earlier is one of them. Another simple and effective method is to try and stay grounded by calling out five things that you can see, five things that you can touch, and five things that you can hear. Whether or not you can really hear five things is not important - the act of looking out for those stimuli keeps you grounded and stops you going over the edge. Additional information can be found at verywellmind.com.
Sleep & Exercise
Finally, sleeping and exercising more are basic and essential to your mental health, especially when anxiety is at a high. The better you sleep and the more you move around, the more of a chance you have of keeping your anxiety under wraps. Vitamin D is essential for your mental health and spending time outdoors is an effective, simple, and free way to do it.
Remember, when in doubt take a breath and know that anxiety is normal.
Looking after your mental health is important, as you probably already know, but for some reason, people seem to forget about this when it comes to putting it into practice. It’s easy to talk about staying healthy mentally, but the reality of it is a lot more complicated. However, there is a whole range of hobbies that are great for your mental health, and we’re going to be looking at some of them in this article.
If you want to know more about what these hobbies are, then keep reading down below where you will find a few of them.
The first hobby that we’re going to look at is sports. One of the reasons that sport is so good for your mental health is because it’s good for your physical health. When your body is healthy, your mind is more likely to be healthy because you know that you are looking after yourself. Running around is excellent for keeping fit, and when you start to feel that burn in your legs, your body is going to release adrenaline and endorphins to help you deal with this and keep you going for longer. Endorphins are a natural mood enhancer, which automatically helps you to feel better.
Another reason that sport is so great is that it keeps you mind off any problems you have in your life at that point, even if only for a little while. Sometimes all you need is that one thing that you can do, and it takes everything else away. In those moments, nothing else matters, and that is good for your mental health because it gives you a break from all the stresses that you face every day.
Arts and Crafts
Another hobby that is great for your mental health is arts and crafts. Now, you don’t actually have to be good at either for it to be therapeutic. This gives you a way to express how you’re feeling, or just a way to let everything out that you have been bottling up. You don’t even have to create anything specific, just whatever you are feeling at the time. You have seen art, so you know that some pieces don’t actually look like anything, but they are expressions of what the artist felt when they painted them. It’s just something to get all your thoughts out that you can’t express words for, and it’s a great feeling when you’re done.
You could also look at gardening if you’re looking for a new hobby. For some reason, gardening has a bit of a reputation for being for older people, but that’s simply because it is so calm and relaxing. It doesn’t take anything that is taxing physically unless you are going to be doing a whole renovation in a short time frame. Things like planting flowers, tending to weeds, maybe even having a vegetable patch are also simple gardening activities, but they can be a lot of fun. It’s nice to see something beautiful that you have created once you’re finished, and then you get to tend to it.
There are a number of new things that you can add to the space to make it look as good as possible. For example, you could add garden rocks, a path, maybe a pond, flowers, and so on. So many opportunities and different ideas for you to take into consideration, so if it’s something mellow you’re looking for, this could certainly be it.
The next thing that we’re going to look at is blogging. This is another way that you can talk about how you’re feeling and nobody has to know it’s you. Your blog can be anonymous for readers, or you could even set it to private if you’re worried that someone is going to recognize something about your life. It’s entirely up to, but it’s like the online version of writing in a journal. It’s personal, you don’t have to tailor what you say, and it can feel really good to get all those thoughts and feelings out of your head.
The good thing about this hobby is that it’s just something that you can do as and when you have time. It’s not as if you have to stick to a certain schedule, and you don’t even have to write something every day if you have nothing to say. It’s yours to do with as you please, and there are no restraints or limitations on it.
If you’re looking for an escape into a new world, then reading is an excellent way to do this. Pick up a book and get lost in the pages for hours as a way to calm down, or simply relax from the day that you have had. There are so many books available that you are never going to run out of things to read, which is one of the best parts of it. The different types of books that you can read, some funny, some romantic but there is always going to be something for you to discover in those pages.
Reading is excellent for your mental health because it keeps your brain active, and it helps you slip somewhere else for a little while.
Finally, music might be just what you’re looking for. Whether you are listening or creating, it can be a great way to hear your feelings without having to say them out loud. Music is soothing, calming, but it’s also like a therapy to you. When you hear the words and know that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling, or you simply feel the music, and it boosts your mood, it’s like nothing else in the world. That’s why so many people turn to music when they feel like they can’t turn anywhere else.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know some of the hobbies that are great for your mental health. Try some out and see what’s good for you.
Everybody needs to think about their mental health to some degree. Even if you are mostly happy, you will still find there are challenges that arise that might indicate some ways in which you need to look at how you think about your own mind. Most of us will run into some crisis at some point or another, and it’s good if at that time you actually have the necessary tools to deal with it. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the simple ways to help improve your mental health, so that you can live a much happier and healthier life.
Take Care Of The Body
The mind and body are really two sides of the same coin, and as long as you are looking after one you are probably also looking after the other. So if you want to take care of your mental health, one way to do so would be to take care of your physical health first. If you aren’t already, consider starting up a physical exercise regime which you can follow and get fit by, and make sure that you are eating a healthy diet. You will find that these things are really going to make a huge difference to your mental health in no time.
Consider Alternative Treatments
There are a range of treatments which you might want to try if you are going to make sure that you are keeping your mental health as strong as possible. Some of these are pretty straightforward and unlikely to cause you any harm, and those are the ones to go for. Taking CBD oil under the tongue thrice daily is one that a lot of people are doing at the moment, and it looks as though a lot of people are reporting lower anxiety and eased depression as a result of it. You might want to look into something like that - but be sure to look up the differences between hemp oil vs CBD oil, as they are not the same thing!
Be More Mindful
No matter what it is that goes through your mind all day, you are going to be in a better position to deal with it if you are first completely clear and honest about what it is. Only by being aware of what your mind does all day can you really get to the bottom of your own mental health, so this is something to be aware of too. This essentially just means that you need to be more mindful as you go about your daily life, a practice which many people follow and which can make a huge difference to your life in no time, especially your mental health.
If you allow stress to linger, it has an unwanted effect on your body and mind, so make sure that you are managing stress as best as you can if you want to look after your mind properly. It is always better to process stress rather than leave it to fester.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), suicide rates increased by 50% among girls and women between 2000 and 2016 and 21% among boys and men.
A recent article from Time Magazine points out, 'depression among teens in the U.S., particularly with girls has jumped 37% in the last decade'. In the article, mental health professionals mention the overuse of technology and social media as a possible culprit.
Knowing this, where do we go from there?
The stigma around mental health has been shifting. Stars like Glen Close with BC2M (Bring Change to Mind) and Jameela Jamil with I Weigh are among those shining light on the issue. While there is still work to be done, more people are joining the conversation.
Mary Albertoli, a clinical social worker who has worked with children and adolescents for 11 years, in both individual and group settings with depression, PTSD, and suicidal and homicidal ideation is working against the stigma by facilitating the conversations we need to have in an open platform. Albertoli, who has a Master's degree in social work from Columbia University, understands that it "is only through effective conversations about ourselves and with each other that real growth and change takes place."
"There's so much stigma around mental health, but the truth is not one of us is alone in struggling with something"
"Our goal is to provide a relatable and even fun format for young people to engage in discussions they might otherwise avoid, often because of not knowing how to begin," says Isern. Maureen Isern is a social impact strategist, brand manager, and seasoned digital content producer with a 20-year track record working across new categories and start-up environments.
Q & A with Mary Albertoli
IC: What are you grateful for today?
MA: I am grateful for the amazing people in my life that I can authentically communicate with, my health and, the amazing team on The Shift.
If you are in emotional distress or experiencing thoughts of harm to yourself or others, help is available 24/7.
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