Staying HAPPY, HEALTHY and CONNECTED as we all adapt to a new / different normal!
Speaker Javier Sanchez has created the following videos to share with students. For almost 20 years Javier has been inspiring and equipping youth and adults to be intentional about experiencing life to the fullest in a healthy, safe, and positive way. Through comedy, spoken word poetry, and powerful stories from his own life, Javier reminds audiences that their personal power to change their lives and change the world around them starts with the choices they make From This Moment On.
The Mental Health Effects of Quarantine
In a review of 8 studies on the mental health effects of quarantine for a variety of problems, not surprisingly, researchers found increased levels of anxiety, depression, insomnia, low self esteem and lack of self control. Irritability was found in 57% of those studied. Human beings are social animals, even the most introverted amongst us. We crave interactions with others. As said previously in these posts, the antidote to post traumatic stress is post traumatic growth. A few things to do to make that transition:
- Acknowledge emotional angst both in your children and in yourself – Anxiety is the social impact of our limbic system which is designed to help protect us from danger, sort of like a Marvel Comics flamethrower. In cave men days, if you didn’t have a limbic system, you would go over to the saber tooth tiger and say, “here kitty, kitty” and you would be eaten by the saber tooth tiger.
- Build your pre-frontal cortex. Those of us who survived the saber tooth tigers and the T rexes evolved a special part of our brain called the pre-frontal cortex which essentially serves as a barrier or wall against our limbic system. You can build your prefrontal cortex in the following ways:
- Exercise – 30-45 minutes of active exercise builds your pre-frontal cortex
- Eat well. Make sure to eat breakfast each day and add protein to your diet. It releases energy to your system throughout the day
- Sleep – Adults need 7 hours a night, teens 8 hours, 9 -11year olds need 10 hours and children under 9 need 11 hours
- Help others – One of the best ways to reduce anxiety and depression is by doing things for others. Within the barriers of social distancing, find ways to support others either online, with Facetime or other social media platforms or by developing a daily buddy system with someone else who is being isolated.
- Keep a happiness journal – Multiple studies show that if you keep a daily journal (you have to write it down) of 3 things that make you happy, make you optimistic or give you gratitude, you will be happier 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and up to 6 months later. We all still read The Diary of Anne Frank 80 years later, not because our circumstances are the same. But because that teenage girl captured the feelings of being cooped up, the fears and the hopes. It remains inspirational to us because it captures universal feelings. Who knows which one of your kids will keep the diary that gets read 80 years from now and inspires the next few generations!