April Wellness Corner

Most of us need a little support with our mental health from time to time. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Thankfully, there are hundreds of mental health apps developed by professionals to help you address your specific concerns — everything from anxiety and PTSD to depression and ADHD — from the privacy of your device.

Many of these apps can be used to improve your mental health on your own or to enhance regular therapist or psychiatrist visits; some can even help connect you to a therapist virtually.

Apps like Calm and Headspace help you develop mindfulness, which can ease your anxiety. They can help you learn to meditate and sleep better, whether you have practiced meditation before or are brand-new to it.

If you’re looking for something a little more engaging, or need a quick pick-me-up, try Happify. The app uses a series of science-based short activities and games each day to help you develop positive thought patterns and overall happiness.

Are you having trouble tracking your mood and symptoms? Try Bearable. This app is a straightforward and user-friendly way to help you track your mood, medications, symptoms, and many other day-to-day variables. From this data, Bearable will create charts that you can use to identify patterns or as an aid in therapy.

This is just a small sample of the available apps. Check HERE for an expert-created resource to help you sort through them. Help is at your fingertips!

Physical Health Corner People, Pets & Vets

Are you getting bored with your current workout? Circuit training may be a good option for you. In a circuit training workout, you’ll move briskly between different “stations” that focus on different muscle groups, doing 10-25 reps or performing a particular movement for 30-90 seconds. A circuit training workout can last anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on your fitness and goals. While you can do circuit training in a gym with weight machines and dumbbells, you don’t always need gym equipment to do it – you can do exercises that rely primarily on your own body weight. Because you are constantly moving from exercise to exercise, it is excellent for your cardiovascular health. Depending on the exercises you do, you can customize a circuit to your specific needs, whether those be strength, weight loss, agility, or endurance.Circuit training is very flexible, but it is not for everyone. If you have arthritis, be sure to choose low-impact exercises (avoid jumping jacks, for instance). If you have a back or knee injury, wait to circuit train until you are healed. Not sure where to start? Check HERE for an introductory circuit, complete with instructions for each exercise.If you’re struggling to fit exercise in your life, live stream workout classes might be for you.

Classes are streamed in real-time on websites like LiveStreamingFitness.com, Forte.fit and Daily Burn. Log on and an instructor is there teaching a class; you participate from the comfort of your home. And if you miss the scheduled class, live classes are archived and available on-demand. Some of the benefits:

Open 24/7: You can access the archive of classes anytime; no travel required.

Variety of classes: Yoga, core building, short circuit, heart-healthy cardio, and conditioning are all common options.

Price: Most sites have a low monthly fee, cheaper than many gym memberships. Bonus: You’ll save gas money by not driving to the gym.

Any skill level: Want to try a new workout without insecurity or want your kids to join in? There are beginner and advanced classes.

Community: You won’t lose the sense of community found in a gym. Streaming sites offer space to share recipes, workout tips and more on the message boards.

Social Health Corner People, Pets & Vets
Living SustainablySingle-use plastics, such as disposable water bottles and plastic bags, are an environmental problem. When thrown out, they clog up oceans and rivers and are harmful to both plants and animals. It may be difficult to avoid single-use plastic altogether, but there are a handful of simple ways you can do your part to help cut down waste. Instead of purchasing disposable water bottles, consider using a reusable water bottle. Not only will this practice avoid plastic waste, but it will also save you money in short order. If the tap water in your area doesn’t taste great, you could consider investing in a water filter pitcher for your home as well. There are many affordable (and stylish) options for both reusable water bottles and filters. Cloth or canvas bags can be washed, and even sturdier reusable plastic totes are better for the environment than single-use bags.Plastic bags are used every day and are recyclable, but only 1% of them are actually ever recycled. To help minimize waste, make the switch to reusable shopping bags. Cloth or canvas bags can be washed, and even sturdier reusable plastic totes are better for the environment than single-use bags. Most residential curbside recycling programs do not accept plastic bags, but some grocery stores do. You can also check HERE for a local collection site.

These swaps just scratch the surface of how you can reduce plastic use. Reusable sandwich bags, glass food storage containers, and beeswax food wraps are just a few more examples of easy at-home switches.

When you must use single-use plastics, make it a habit to recycle. If you don’t have curbside recycling or a receptacle in your apartment facility, check your city and county websites to find a recycling facility near you.

There are many ways to help the environment, and one of those ways is by lowering your carbon footprint—the total amount of greenhouse gases generated by the actions of an individual or group.

Some ways to lower your carbon footprint include:

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, and Recycle. Try to refuse to use any plastic or paper products. Reduce the quantity of food and products your purchase. Reuse what you can to keep it out of landfills. Rot your foods and create a compost system. Recycle any paper, plastic, glass, or metal.

Drive less. Ride your bike or even walk if possible. Always take the proper safety measures—wearing a helmet, being aware of your surroundings—but driving less will help decrease the exhaust polluting the air.

Water conservation. Try turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to help save water and protect waterways. Other ways to conserve water include: taking shorter showers, flushing the toilet less by not flushing anything other than body waste down the toilet, avoiding soaps and cleaners that contain toxins, and using reusable goods when possible.

If you would like additional information on emotional and mental health, you can confidentially contact me at the information below.