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Domestive Violence Awareness Month


Love Shouldn't Hurt

Each year, domestic violence affects millions of people, of all different backgrounds. The month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness (DVA) Month. During this month, communities and organizations raise awareness about the signs of abuse and ways to stop it, uplift survivor stories, provide resources, and work to ultimately break the cycle of domestic violence. If you or someone you know may be experiencing domestic violence, check out the resources in your community and more educational materials below.
 

Community Resources

 
Eugene
Call Womenspace at 541-485-6513.
Call Sexual Assault Support Services at 541-343-7277.

Corvallis
Call Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence 
at 541-754-0110 or 800-927-0197.

Portland
Call Bradley Angle at 1-888-235-5333.
Call Raphael House at 503-222-6222.

Bend
Call Saving Grace at 541-389-7021.
 

Other Resources

 
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline
at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or join a live chat

Recognize the signs of abuse

Plan for Safety

Staying Safe From Domestic Violence During COVID

In this issue:

Coping With Depression During COVID

Depression can feel extremely isolating. If you are experiencing signs of depression during this time, you aren’t alone. A recent study reported that nearly a quarter of people are experiencing symptoms of depression. That’s nearly three times the number before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Rates of depression are especially high since the pandemic is an ongoing, long-term trauma. And the mental health effects are especially prevalent among people with less social support and financial resources. 

The best thing we can do during this time is make sure we are taking care of ourselves. It’s important to be aware of the signs of depression, so that you can seek help through therapy and consult other tools for managing depression.

 

Signs of Depression

Depression is much more than being sad. It is a serious mental health condition that can affect every part of your life. Here are common symptoms to look out for:

  • Feeling down or sad
  • Lack of interest
  • Difficulty staying focused
  • Feeling foggy or disoriented
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Irregular sleep patterns and fatigue
  • Irregular eating patterns or change in appetite
  • Feeling lost, hopeless, directionless
  • Recurrent thoughts about death


Managing Depression

Acknowledge That These Aren’t Normal Circumstances

No one should be too hard on themselves for feeling difficult emotions during this time. The pandemic has brought uncertainty and instability to our lives, which can take a toll on our mental health. Try to be kind to yourself and forgiving right now by reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can with what is going on.

 

Challenge Negative Thinking

Having negative thoughts is a normal part of life. But when these thoughts become overwhelming, challenging them can be difficult. It’s important to try to not let negative thinking consume you. Practice identifying these thoughts and questioning if they are true. You can also try shifting your focus towards gratitude, for more uplifting, positive thinking. Focusing on gratitude and noticing what is going well in your life can also help you recall the numerous times that you faced a challenge and made it through. You're more resilient than you think!

 

Meet Your Basic Needs

With depression, sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning can be a difficult task. Before trying to manage too much, focus on your basic needs first. Prioritize sleep, eating healthy meals and physical exercise first. Try to avoid self-medicating with drugs or alcohol, since the short high usually will result in a rebound of depression or anxiety. Once your basic needs are met, then you can also focus on making time for the things you enjoy in life as well.

 

Stay Connected

To combat feelings of isolation, it’s important to make time for relationships that are meaningful to you, with friends and family. Carving out even a short amount of time to chat over the phone or go on a walk will keep you connected with your loved ones. Right now, it will help a lot to have a support system of people who you can talk to and who will be there through the tough times.

 

Stay Informed, But Limit Exposure

While it’s important to stay informed about everything that is going on right now, too much media exposure can leave us feeling worse and less hopeful. It’s perfectly okay to set limits on the amount of time you spend consuming the news or scrolling through social media. 

 

Seek Out Support

If you are feeling like you are experiencing symptoms of depression, you don’t have to go through it alone. It can make a huge difference when you have a qualified professional to talk to who you can trust to listen and give you the tools to manage depression. You can request an appointment with our therapists right now, for online telehealth counseling sessions. Many of our therapists are specialized in treating depression and are here to help you through this time.

 

Other Helpful Articles

Managing Depression

Quick Tips for Managing Depression

How to Manage Depression As the Weather Changes

5 Tips for Managing Depression


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Journal Prompts for Anxiety


 

With a lot of uncertainty about the future right now, it’s no surprise that a lot of people have been feeling much more anxious. It’s important to have tools to work through those feelings, so that they don’t consume us. Journaling can be a great way to relieve stress and help you work through anxious feelings. Sometimes writing it out is essential for truly understanding and processing your feelings. Here are three steps that Verywell Mind lays out for journaling for anxiety.

 

Get Started

  • Start by giving yourself five to fifteen minutes just to write down all of your worries. This could include anything that is currently on your mind or bothering you. Be honest with yourself.
  • Get descriptive about what is causing you anxiety. This could include what is currently happening or what could happen that is stressing you out.
  • List your fears and your concerns. 
 

Journal for a Better Frame of Mind

  • Once you’ve completed the first few steps, re-read and re-think what you just wrote. Consider if things could be different or how they might be different from your internal anxieties. 
  • Challenge your thoughts. Think critically about how likely your worries are to actually happen. Even if the stressful experiences that might happen do occur, would it be as negative as you imagine or could you create a better outcome for yourself?
  • Think differently. For each fear, try to think of one way that things might go differently. See if there’s a new set of possibilities that could just as likely happen. 

 

Begin Action-Focused Journaling

  • After processing your anxieties, you can focus on a plan for facing your stressful challenges. If something were to happen, consider your strengths and how capable you are to confront your problems. Listing out your strengths is great way to remind yourself of your inner capabilities.
  • If you’re assuming the worst does happen, consider what you would do, what resources you have to confront your anxieties and how you could emerge from it by leaning on your resilience.
  • Come up with some ideas about how you can prepare to face your worries right now. What do you need in this very moment? Do you need to lean on your support system more? Do you think you would benefit from talking to a therapist who can give you advice and tools to confront your current stressors? Working on how you can manage your anxiety will ultimately make you feel more prepared when you do have to endure something difficult. 

It always helps to end off journaling by practicing gratitude. Recognizing the good in your life and the things that you are thankful for can help to put everything into perspective and calm your anxieties.

 

Other Journaling Resources

Check out the DiveThru app for journaling prompts to help navigate coronavirus anxiety.

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

Start a Gratitude Journal

 5 Tips for Better Sleep During the Pandemic

Getting good sleep is essential for our overall well being. However, the pandemic may be making it more difficult for us to fall asleep and stay asleep. There’s a lot of added stressors and life challenges right now that could keep us up at night. The American Psychological Association even found in a recent study that the anxiety and negative emotions associated with COVID has translated to people having particularly upsetting dreams. This makes sense, since our dreams are often consistent with our waking concerns. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or having a restful night of sleep, you’re definitely not alone right now. 

Here are 5 tips for getting better sleep during the pandemic:

 

Maintain a Routine

It may be more difficult than usual right now to maintain a regular routine. However, creating a set sleep schedule can go a long way for feeling more awake and ready to take on each day. Try designating what time you would like to be asleep each night and what time you need to be up in the morning, to ensure that you get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep.

 

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can quiet your brain when you need to rest. There are many mindfulness techniques that you can use when falling asleep, but an easy one is doing a full body scan. With this meditation exercise, you become aware of your breathing and the rest of your body. This will put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on relaxing just before sleep.

 

Eliminate Distractions

Spending a lot of time looking at a screen before bed can often contribute to people having a difficult time with sleep. It’s important to limit blue light exposure before sleep and eliminate any distractions that might get in the way of our process of falling asleep. One full-proof way to ensure that you aren’t distracted by your devices is to completely shut them off or put them on “do not disturb” before bed and place them somewhere across the room or out of arm’s reach.

 

Get Regular Exercise

It may be more difficult to fall asleep if you’re not fully tired. Getting exercise is a great way to exert ourselves more, which naturally can make us more tired at night. Despite many gyms not being open, there are still ways to exercise safely. Even a 20 minute walk or a short YouTube workout video can help us be more tired when falling asleep at night.

 

Focus on the Good

While it can be easy to ruminate and dwell on anxious thoughts and the uncertainty of our future, it doesn’t help when we are trying to fall asleep. Don't confuse late night rumination with effective problem solving, because it rarely works. Give yourself an 'after 8PM break' from trying to solve concerning problems.  An alternative is to shift your focus on the good in your life and anything that you have gratitude for. These positive emotions can also help us when falling asleep. 

 

Other Resources

Try Insomnia Therapy

4 Tips for Better Sleep

Got Sleep?

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for Portland, EugeneCorvallis & Bend Appointments
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