Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘self care’

Tips for Boosting Mental Health

Posted on: June 14th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Tips for Boosting Mental Health

Self care means taking the time to pay attention not only to your physical well being but also your mental health. There are many small ways that you can quickly boost your mental health if you are feeling down and need to recharge. Developing a routine of focusing on your mental well-being will build up over time and improve your state of mind on a regular basis.

One of the quickest and most effective ways to ease stress is to write down your thoughts. Keeping a journal every day and writing down your personal feelings can be a great way to vent and express things that you might not feel comfortable talking about. Journaling allows you a personal space to cope with the thoughts that may be bringing you down.

Another useful tactic is learning how to counter negative thoughts with positive ones or develop skills in creating a positive spin. Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time or starts to interpret events in a negative light. Bringing in some positive points to counter those thoughts can help prevent you from spiraling and helps you gain some new perspective on a situation.

One of the ways that people can start to produce more positive feelings and thoughts is through a practice of gratitude. Taking time to think about or write down the things that you are grateful for can have a major impact on your mood. We often forget all the good things that we have when we get bogged down in negativity and forget to be grateful.

It is also important to have some “go to” self-care practices that you know will boost your mood. It could be anything from taking a walk, watching your favorite movie, calling a friend or anything you know will help you feel better. Regular self-care can keep your mental health in a better state so that you can stay positive.

The Importance of Self-Care for Mental Health

Posted on: April 10th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Importance of Self-Care for Mental Health

What words come to mind when you think about mental health treatment? Medication, maybe. Therapy of all kinds: CBT, DBT, existential, behavioral.

All of these have something in common. They’re prescribed or facilitated by licensed mental health professionals. However, the final piece of the puzzle is something that everyone can implement on their own: self-care.

Self-care is crucial for mental health, and is highly recommended even for those who are doing okay. Without self-care, all other treatments are fighting an uphill battle. Yes, they work. But their effectiveness is tempered by self-neglect.

Why is self-care so important for mental health? Let’s start by defining exactly what we’re referring to when we speak of self-care.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care refers to anything you do to improve your wellbeing and happiness. This can include anything from regular exercise to the occasional bubble bath.

Usually, we speak of it in the context of doing things for yourself that, technically, don’t need to be done. You don’t need a massage. You don’t need to listen to relaxing music or go out to the movies. Doing these things therefore epitomizes self-care. Some would consider it indulgent, as it isn’t technically productive time. But it does something of far greater value than most of what we consider productive activity.

Why Does Self-Care Impact Mental Health?

Some forms of self-care are intuitively helpful for mental health. Exercise, eating well, and sleeping well, all affect our physical health as well as giving us energy to do what needs to be done every day.

But how do hobbies, baths, and the like make a difference to mental health? There are 3 main reasons.

A Sense of Security

When it comes down to it, anxiety is a product of feeling unsafe in one way or another. It differs from fear in that it is not an urgent, life threatening sense of danger we’re worried about. Rather, anxiety relates to the things that keep our world as we know it in order.

Unfortunately, the solution to the problems excessive anxiety causes us cannot be to fix everything in our lives and keep everything in control. That’s impossible, especially because it’s not really up to us most of the time.

Therapy helps us learn to manage the anxiety, but self-care has its own important place. Self-care, quite simply, makes us feel cared for. When we know we’re cared for, we feel a sense of security. That sense of security reduces the potency of the anxiety. Yes, the triggers remain, but you will feel like a more robust person, ready to deal with them.

Because You’re Worth It

One common factor in most mental illnesses is a shaky sense of self. You’re questioning who you are and, more urgently, whether you matter at all. You may not have received the unconditional love of a parent, or maybe you interpreted their care as coming at a steep price.

Whatever the reason is, you need to develop your sense of self in order to truly heal. Self-care is a perfect start. Your mind may shred all evidence that others find you worthwhile, but actions can be potent regardless. Taking care of yourself is a practical demonstration of your own self-worth. In a way, it’s as if you’re “faking it til you make it”.

Yourself And Others

In case you feel that self-care is, in fact, selfish, here’s the good news. Without caring for yourself, you’re not going to be able to care for others. As RuPaul puts it:

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

In other words, you’re the person you spend most of your time with. You’re the person who experiences your own attitudes and actions. If you’re not caring for yourself, you’re neglecting your caring skills altogether. Conversely, if you are giving yourself love and care, you build your caring skills and naturally start relating to others with more compassion and empathy.

Hopefully, you can see the importance of self-care for mental health. So, what can you do to care for yourself?

Self-Care Tips

The following are some of the tenets of good self-care:

  • Do things you enjoy. We tend to see hobbies as self-indulgent or a waste of time. After all, they don’t make us money and can take up a lot of time. But hobbies are often the very things that give us the sense of fulfillment we crave. Committing to do things you enjoy is the ultimate expression of self-care.
  • Be a pleasure connoisseur. Pleasure is also something seen as selfish or unnecessary. But pleasure is what gives life its glow, making us feel good and giving us energy to pursue our goals. However, if you indulge in pleasure mindlessly, you miss much of the experience and can end up doing unhealthy things. Rather, be a pleasure connoisseur, paying attention to the things you like and why you like them. Quality, in this case, is better than quantity.
  • See friends. Not everyone loves socializing all the time. But we all need it to some extent. If you’re not much of an extrovert, see friends in a one-on-one context. If you do love crowds, don’t feel guilty about taking a night off to go to a party or gathering.
  • Go home. Work is a hugely important part of our lives. And we treat it that way. It takes up much of our mindspace, as well as eight hours of every weekday. However, it is important to give yourself a break when you can. If you find yourself staying late at work when you don’t have to, or working on weekends, it is time to go home. Work may give you satisfaction and fulfillment, and at the least it gives you financial security, but we all need time away from it.

Self-care is incredibly important to mental health. By focusing on self-care, you make yourself less vulnerable to mental illness, and make recovery that much smoother.

Dealing With Self-Loathing

Posted on: December 10th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Dealing With Self-Loathing

Feelings of self-loathing can sabotage relationships because one person may feel that they are not “good enough” to be with other people. Those who cope with self-loathing can sometimes become isolated because they see so many negative qualities in themselves and assume that others will eventually see them. Someone who is hyper-aware of their limitations or perceived flaws can never be convinced of their worth unless they confront the cause of their self-loathing.

It can be difficult for people with self-esteem issues to build up confidence since compliments from others might have very little effect. A good tactic for people with self-loathing issues is to try to acknowledge that they might not know themselves as well as they believe. Although they might feel that they see and understand all of their own flaws, the reality is that the way they perceive themselves is often very inaccurate.

If someone who is a self-loather can learn to understand that the way they see themselves is not necessarily the “right” way then it opens up the possibility that they might not be as flawed as they think. They might see themselves as boring, worthless or untalented but others might see them as interesting and fun. Considering other people’s perspectives can help break down some of the deeply ingrained beliefs that affect their self-esteem.

People with self-loathing issues can also work on accepting praise from others and recognizing the ways in which they are supported and loved. Other people in their lives see their value and if they are able to understand that then it can start to change their perception of themselves. With time they can start to see their own positive qualities and allow themselves more self-care.

Self-loathing is a complex problem, but it is possible to reduce feelings of self-hatred through therapy and changing perspectives.

The Cost of Anxiety

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Cost of Anxiety

Having a mental health problem like anxiety can take an enormous emotional and physical toll on a person but it can also have a financial toll as well. People are often looking for answers to cure their feelings of anxiety and might end up having to spend a lot of money on different kinds of treatments until they find what works for them. Anxiety can compel people to keep searching for what will help them feel better and the costs can add up over time.

Most people don’t realize the financial burden of having a mental illness. When someone has anxiety they need to find ways to reduce their symptoms so that they can function normally at work or in their relationships. Medication, therapy and alternative treatments can all add up to money troubles on top of their mental health issues.

Finding a balance between getting the right care and staying within your financial means can be complicated when you have anxiety. Low cost treatment or insurance can help as well as finding free classes, group meetings or programs for people with anxiety. Although mental well-being should be the highest priority, keeping costs down with treatment is also an important consideration.

Investing in Self-Care

People with anxiety know that they must spend a portion of their income on self-care so that they can improve their quality of life. This could mean paying for antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication every month to keep their symptoms more manageable. Although there are some low-cost options certain brands of anxiety meds can end up costing hundreds of dollars for a month supply.

Therapy can become costly as well if a person’s insurance does not cover their sessions with a psychotherapist. Many insurance companies will only cover a certain amount of sessions if a person is experiencing anxiety. For those in need of a regular therapist they will have spend hundreds more every month on their weekly meetings.

Alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, herbal supplements and health foods can all become expensive as well. People with anxiety might try to explore different options and use what works for them to promote relaxation. If they use these therapy options regularly it can add up to a lot of money.

For people that are searching for ways to improve their anxiety symptoms they might end up spending hundreds or thousands on their mental health just so that they can feel better. It is an unfortunate reality at times that mental health care is a luxury that many people struggle to afford. If more insurance companies covered the costs of mental health treatment it might help to ease the financial burden on people with anxiety.

Finding Affordable Solutions

Although it can be difficult to save money when it comes to mental health there are options available that may help lower the cost of treating anxiety. There are many therapists available that provide services on a sliding scale based on the patient’s income. Often therapists in training who are still working on their credentials can provide affordable but effective care for people in need.

There are many options for holistic treatment solutions that can work to ease anxiety. Simple things such as making sure to get enough of certain vitamins and nutrients through food can help ease symptoms. Many people find that quitting caffeine and alcohol and eating more fruits and vegetables can have a dramatic impact on their mental health.

Tools like meditation and yoga are free activities that anyone can do at home which can help alleviate stress and anxiety. Yoga classes are often donation based so that you can pay only what you can afford. Meditating every day on your own or along to a guided meditation recording can significantly reduce anxiety.

There are also plenty of support groups for anxiety that allow people to meet for free and discuss what they are going through in a compassionate environment. Connecting with others who also have anxiety and developing a social support network can be one of the best ways to combat symptoms. Things like having someone to call when you feel anxious can be the best solution and it is always completely free.

Even though investing in your mental health can be money well-spent, it can be helpful to find ways to keep the cost of anxiety treatment down to avoid any financial difficulties. Having money problems can worsen anxiety and contribute to more stress that it is important to avoid. There are plenty of low cost and even free ways to cope with anxiety that can balance out some of the money spent on treatment.

If you are looking for low cost treatment, find a therapist or mental health professional who charges on a sliding scale based on your own personal income.