Staying Safe from Domestic Violence during COVID-19

Date: May 28th, 2020

Filed under: Trauma

Reports of domestic violence have skyrocketed during COVID-19. Domestic violence can take many forms, but all are harmful to your mental well-being—and sometimes your physical safety. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can empower yourself by taking steps to stay safe, even during this time of unprecedented uncertainty.

Create a Safety Plan

Create a plan for what to do if you need to leave your home to stay safe from domestic violence. Because options are more limited during this pandemic, you’ll want to find out ahead of time where you can stay—is there a friend or family member who could put you up for a while, or does your local shelter have room?

You’ll also want to keep a small grab-and-go bag with a few basic necessities in case you have to leave quickly. A change of clothes, some money, your medications, any important documents, and your phone should be included in this type of kit.

Stay in Touch

Even during social distancing, make an effort to stay in touch with the people who form your support network. People who care about you can provide support, encouragement, and advice. Because so much of our social connections are happening online during the coronavirus outbreak, be careful what you share on social media if you suspect that your online activity may be being monitored by the person abusing you.

Reach Out for Help

If you are a victim of domestic violence, there are resources in place to support you. Call Womenspace (541-485-6513 or 1-800-281-2800) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233) or use their live chat to talk with an advocate online. Our mental health professionals can also help you to feel supported and heard at this time.

If you are experiencing domestic violence or feel unsafe at home, you can protect yourself by creating a plan, staying in touch with your support network, and seeking professional help to deal with your situation. Because of the many shelter in place orders, it’s more important than ever that you feel safe and protected within the walls of your own home.

Establishing a Mindfulness Routine during COVID-19

Date: May 25th, 2020

Filed under: Mental Health

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help reduce stress and anxiety, keep you centered, and help you focus on the here and now—and never has that been more important than during the current global pandemic. Here are some simple ideas to help you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life.

At Any Moment

Deep Breathing -- We take countless breaths each day, but we rarely think about. Take a few minutes to draw in a deep breath through your nose, then slowly release it through your mouth.

At Mealtimes

Mindful eating -- Choose a meal or snack each day and focus on it exclusively as you eat. Enjoy the colors, flavors, and textures of your food.

At Play Time

Blow Bubbles – Take a few minutes to be a kid again and blow a few bubbles. Watch their shapes and the way the light bounces off of them.

Color – Grab some pencils, crayons, or markers and fill in a coloring page. Listen to the sound of your coloring instrument on the paper, savor the colors, and notice the designs.

Listen to Music – Play a soothing song and listen to it without doing anything else. Focus on the lyrics, a particular instrument, or the shape of the song.

Establishing a mindfulness routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Choose activities that work for you, and customize your mindfulness routine to fit your needs and lifestyle. By practicing mindfulness, even for just a few minutes a day, you’ll increase your sense of well-being and find that you’re better able to enjoy each moment as it comes.

Teaching Children Conflict Resolution During Quarantine

Date: May 21st, 2020

Filed under: Kids

Oregon is in its 9th week of the Stay Home order, and the consequent disruptions to routine and increased time at home may be making it hard for your family members to get along—especially if you have young children. However, quarantine may just be the perfect time for teaching children conflict resolution skills. Here are a few things you can try to help your children avoid or resolve conflict with their siblings at home.

Avoid Conflict in the First Place

Age differences between siblings can make it hard for them to play together. Try offering them non-age-specific activities like drawing or playdough that children at different developmental stages can enjoy. By promoting more positive interactions, you can help your children learn to enjoy one another’s company.

Politely Accept or Decline Interactions

Talk to your children about how to invite their siblings to play with them, and how to appropriately accept or decline those invitations. Encourage older children to accept invitations to play with a younger sibling for a short time only, and be ready to step in and distract the younger child when it looks like the older one needs a break.

Model Conflict Resolution

Children are sometimes witness to disagreements between adults in the household. When this happens, make sure your children also witness how you resolve your differences. Modeling conflict resolution, or telling children how you resolve arguments when they come up, can give your children examples of how to defuse tense situations.

Conflict resolution is an important life skill, and there’s no better place to teach it than at home. By teaching your children how to get along and giving them the tools they need to resolve conflict, you can help them learn to interact well with others at all stages of their lives.

Keeping a Journal During COVID-19 to Nurture Your Mental Health

Date: May 18th, 2020

Filed under: Mental Health

Journaling provides many benefits, including relief from stress, anxiety, and depression. There’s no better time to nurture your mental health than during COVID-19. Here’s how keeping a journal can benefit your mental health, and a few suggestions to get you started.

Mental Health Benefits of Keeping a Journal

How to Journal

Journaling is a great tool to help you get in touch with yourself and nurture your mental health. It’s also extremely flexible, so it can be completely personalized to meet your needs. As you create a habit of journaling, you’ll find that you look forward to it as a time to take care of yourself.

Insomnia During COVID-19: Tips for a Restful Night

Date: May 14th, 2020

Filed under: Tips

COVID-19 has brought disruptions to your usual schedule, added stress and anxiety to your mental load, and probably caused you to increase your screen time, so it’s no wonder if you’re having trouble sleeping. Reports of insomnia have been on the rise during this global pandemic, and while it’s easy to let good sleep slip under the radar in the face of more pressing concerns, rest is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Try these tips for a restful night to make sure insomnia doesn’t get the better of you during COVID-19.

Stick to a Schedule

Try to get up at the same time every morning, and go to bed at the same time each night. Set regular times for meals, work, and relaxation, and make sure to shower and dress each day, even if you’re not going anywhere.

Reserve Your Bed

Use your bed exclusively for sleep, and set aside a separate area for work, computer time, reading, watching TV, or other activities. By associating bed with sleep rather than work or entertainment, you can help your brain learn to shut down when you go to bed.

Avoid Naps

A short power nap early in the afternoon can be helpful for some people. However, if you have trouble waking up from naps or tend to take long naps, it might be best to avoid them altogether.

Limit Screen Time

Whether you’re watching more television or using your screen more frequently for communication, limit your usage as much as is practical, and avoid the screen during the evening, when blue light is particularly likely to interfere with your body’s sleep processes.

Use Natural Light

Set your inner clock and help your body know what time it is by getting outside for a few minutes early in the day and spending as much time in natural light as possible. This can help set your body’s circadian rhythm and promote a healthy sleep pattern.

Good sleep can be hard to achieve in times of stress and disruption, but it’s still possible to get a restful night’s sleep by practicing tips like these. If you find that you’re still struggling with insomnia, talk to your doctor for specific recommendations on how you can sleep better and stay healthy and well—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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