asha international mental health

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Finding silver lining during quarantine

Finding silver lining during quarantine

I’ve lost track of how many weeks it has been in this quarantine. I’ve lost track of the day and date more than a few times. I have been isolated in my house, with my dog, 24/7. We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon did not get hit the hardest, thanks to early physical distancing. But our confirmed cases and the death toll are still rising. Society is being tested to the extreme. How are we going to survive collectively? What will life look like after the pandemic? Before we can answer those questions, there’s a more pressing one: how are we going to survive together, individually? In order to give that question some thought, I want to share my mental health journey when I was challenged by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) almost exactly a year ago, as I’m noticing many parallels between the two experiences.  I was facing the danger of deportation. During that time, my mind was in a constant fight-or-flight state. I was hypervigilant, anxious, scared, and traumatized. I constantly felt alone, isolated, disconnected, and unseen. Even my closest people could not understand my pain. I was screaming inside, silently, and no one could hear me. But I avoided talking about it. I felt ashamed and exhausted. However, I was fortunate enough to find mental health professionals to help with my anxiety and PTSD. Does that sound familiar? In quarantine, how many of us constantly feel not only physically, but also spiritually or mentally isolated from other people, even people who are close to us? How many of us have tried...
Give yourself a chance to experience your feelings. Feel them, acknowledge them, and then move on.

Give yourself a chance to experience your feelings. Feel them, acknowledge them, and then move on.

Already struggling with generalized anxiety disorder in my daily life, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened my mental health and wellbeing.  I realized that I had a problem when I could not bring myself to turn off the news for fear that I might miss something important. I was afraid to go to work because I knew that I would be exposed and could bring illness and even death to my loved ones. Those things that I used to do to calm myself in times of stress were unavailable. A pandemic is just not okay.  It occurs to me that this would be much worse if the weather wasn’t so fine. In order to be safe and stay well, I have educated myself as to how to minimize my chances of contracting/spreading the disease. My travel is limited my travel to work and home and I’m on a reduced schedule. I follow guidelines for hand-washing, social distancing, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).  Any day that I don’t leave the house, I use the treadmill and can jog now for the first time in my life! I started online school, mostly to convince myself that we have a future. I now have some measure of progress, even while at home. Learning to teach prenatal classes online has been a fun challenge. Music practice has taken on a new dimension—it is less about performance and more personally fulfilling.  I have found comfort in my time with God.  My family has had meaningful, enjoyable conversations as the pace of life slows. 3 tips you to help you navigate through these difficult...
Being okay with ‘just okay’ is so important!

Being okay with ‘just okay’ is so important!

2020 has been a hard year for me personally – and even more importantly, less than ideal globally. When people ask me how I’m doing, my boiler plate answer is: “I’m surviving not thriving.” Those that know me best (or even not all that well) know that my spirt animal is undoubtedly a cat. Cats sleep up to 70% of their life, and honestly that seems like the dream to me! (I also happen to own two and they are my best friends; though I’m never sure if the feeling is mutual). All that to say that as an introvert who has a dedicated section in her closet for jammies and ‘sleep socks,’ – yes, they are their own classification – I entered Stay at Home thinking that perhaps this was the life I was always destined to lead. In theory, I knew the importance of ‘wellness;’ of routine and human interaction. But the truth is I didn’t truly realize its importance in my life until life as we knew it was abruptly taken away from us all.                                                                                            By week two of working in pajamas and throwing all semblance of routine and normalcy out the window (something I had initially thought of as the ultimate sign of liberation and freedom), my skin was crawling and I was spiraling out big time with regards to...
Hold On Pain Ends.

Hold On Pain Ends.

Over the last two days, I was  heartbroken to hear about the loss of two young lives to suicide – ‘This Is Us’ writer Jas Waters, 39, and Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, 34. Every 40 seconds, we lose someone to suicide around the world. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, please reach out to someone you trust – a friend, family member or a mental health professional. And ask for help. Please know that no matter what your struggles are, you are not alone. There is Hope. Get help. You are precious. The world needs you. You can watch more than 150 Stories of Hope & Resilience. If you are in the U.S. please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 #MentalHealthMatters #YouAreNotAlone...
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