Six Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow

Mental Health in our Rural Communities (Part 4 – Sidebar 3)

  • Focus on more and better sleep. Take naps. After dinner, start setting your environment up for sleep. Turn your house lights down earlier. Put away technology earlier. Start a 10-minute tidy-up routine each night to help quiet the mind’s To Do list. Get into bed earlier. Do some stretching just before lying down. Sleep in a totally dark, somewhat cool room. Cover up or unplug anything with a light.
  • Add movement to your life. Stretch in the morning. Fill your lungs to their fullest and empty them to depletion several times a day. Try new and different forms of movement to help you figure out what’s going to work for you…walking, fitness videos, smart phone apps, weight training, balance exercises, posture training (try The Gohkale Method), hire a personal trainer, go dancing, join a team sport, park further away, buy a pedometer and challenge a friend. Take advantage of fitness benefits through your insurance. Stretch before bed. Say YES! to any new opportunity to move your body. Better physical fitness can be yours in mere minutes a day.
  • Prioritize your nutrition. What you’re putting into your body can make a huge difference to your mental well-being. Sugar is on par with addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin. Pay close attention to food ingredients; sugar is in almost everything. Focus on whole foods. Do your best to quit drinking all sweetened beverages. Research and adopt a nutrition program that works for you. Millions are having success with low carb/healthy fat lifestyles. Read about intermittent and extending fasting for weight loss and to heal the body. Always work with your medical provider in advance of any major change.
  • Learn about psychological self-care. There is a massive body of literature on the benefits of meditation, acupuncture, sensory awareness activities, the Emotional Freedom Technique (or EFT Tapping), gentle yoga, focused breathing, cultivating social routines, journaling, praying, spending time in nature, minimizing your belongings, challenging your brain with puzzles, games, or books you wouldn’t normally read, create art of any sort, and so on and so forth. The list is endless.
  • Take supplements. Research and talk to your doctor about what would be best for you. Some recommendations include the B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B6, higher dosages of Vitamin D3, St. John’s wort, SAMe, fish oil, theanine, and tumeric. There are many more options out there, but be sure to check your nutrition. Healthy eating in conjunction with supplements is your best bet.
  • Talk to someone you trust. The power of connection can’t be emphasized enough. Confide in a friend, a family member, a pastor or other faith leader, supervisor, coach, teacher or guidance counselor. Find a local in-person support group. Or to remain anonymous, try a counseling hotline, text message service, a web-based support group, or use tele-medicine through your insurance program. There are many free services out there ready to help.

(Published in the February 13th, 2018 issue of the Warroad Pioneer)

Part 1 What’s Eating Rural America?

Part 2 It Takes a Village to Raise an Adult

Part 3 Safe, Calm and Consistent Wins the Race

Part 4 The New Normal

Part 4 – Sidebar 1 Know the Signs and Symptoms

Part 4 – Sidebar 2 Where to Get Help


Where to Get Help

Mental Health in our Rural Communities (Part 4 – Sidebar 2)

For help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or call 911.

You can also:

  • Contact your local medical provider
  • Talk to someone you trust: your pastor or faith leader, a friend, family member, supervisor, teacher or coach
  • Call The Village Employee Assistance Program: 800-627-8220 (services available to all community members regardless of employment)
  • Call or email the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or
  • Get free booklets on all aspects of mental health or join a free online support group at
  • Text NAMI to 741-741 for free 24/7 Crisis Support
  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800-656-HOPE (4673)
  • Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (7233)

(Published in the February 13th, 2018 Warroad Pioneer)

Part 4 The New Normal

Part 4 Sidebar 1 Know the Signs and Symptoms

Know the Signs and Symptoms

Mental Health in our Rural Communities (Part 4 – Sidebar 1)

Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn’t always easy. There’s no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness. Continue reading “Know the Signs and Symptoms”

The New Normal

Mental Health in Our Rural Communities (Part 4)

We all know someone with high blood pressure, with diabetes, or who has broken a bone and received treatment. We don’t think of them as abnormal. Chances are, we also know someone with some degree of mental illness, whether that be mild depression, anxiety or something more serious.

Despite one in four people suffering with mental health issues, the tendency to think of them or ourselves as abnormal is still prevalent. Continue reading “The New Normal”

Project 333

Here’s a challenge for you in 2018! Join me each week as we take on a new task to help simplify our lives and minimizing our households.

Challenge Week 3: Project 333 – The concept originated with a lady named Courtney Carver who gave herself a fashion minimalism challenge to wear only 33 items for three months – hence 333. The simplification brought her more peace, time and enjoyment. Continue reading “Project 333”

Safe, Calm and Consistent Wins the Race

Mental Health in our Rural Communities (Part 3)

As parents, there is nothing we care about more than the health and well-being of our children.

Yet often, for both ourselves and our children, we de-prioritize mental health issues until as individuals or families, we are in crisis mode. We’re quite fortunate In Roseau County to have access to a good crisis response system, but hopefully just as you would aim to take care of your heart health before the muscle is in full crisis, so too should mental health be prioritized before something major happens. Continue reading “Safe, Calm and Consistent Wins the Race”

The Minimize Minute

Challenge: Get rid of “just in case” items

Here’s a challenge for you in 2018! Join me each week as we take on a new task to help simplify our lives and minimizing our households. Write in and tell us how it went for you, or to get the task from a previous week.

Week 2: Identify 3-5 “just in case” items you’ve been hanging on to and get rid of them. “Just in case” items are things you’re hanging on to in case you need them down the road. The theory is that 99% of the time, you won’t ever use these “just in case” items, and if the need does arise, a replacement can almost always be found cheaply and easily. The goal is to work towards keeping only what has a defined or immediate use. Continue reading “The Minimize Minute”