May 12, 2022

Mental Health Awareness Month

This month, JFS wants to invite everyone to be a part of making mental health a part of your overall wellness and further the conversation to destigmatize mental illness. Our amazing group of clinicians have suggestions for making the most of your mental health with tools anyone can use at any time to improve your mental well-being. And check out our posts on Facebook and Instagram for #mentalhealthmonday where we will have more tools every Monday this month.

Alle Salazar, LCSW, Director of Professional Services

Most of us are great at being kind to others, but we struggle to be kind with ourselves. Research shows that practicing Mindful Self-Compassion can help improve quality of life, reduce stress and anxiety, combat depression, and enhance our connections with those we love. Check out self-compassion.org for information, free exercises and guided meditations! Clinician Alle Salazar's go-to recommendation for clients is the 5-minute Self Compassion Break: Self-Compassion Exercises by Dr. Kristin Neff 

Danielle Christensen, ACMHC, Counselor

I provide all of my clients with two feelings wheels to help label emotions and their impact on our physical bodies/how they make us feel viscerally. Labeling our emotions is a great way to gain better insight into what we are feeling, but also helps us reduce the distress they sometimes create. As the saying goes, "we name it to tame it!"

To use the wheels, you start on the inside, and then go out layer by layer looking at the words/sensations that touch the word from the previous layer until you have 2-3 words that more accurately represent your emotion and the way it feels. 

Find a printable feelings wheel here - The Feelings Wheel — Calm Blog

Amy Edwards, CMHC, Counselor

I love the Insight Timer because there is so much variety.  You can sort by length of time, type of meditation, etc.  I use it daily and it tracks my usage which I find validating.  The final great thing is it is free!!!

This is a favorite of mine, Deb Dana.  I like to share information with clients about the nervous system because "befriending" it is very empowering and validating.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/become-an-active-operator-of-your-nervous-system-deb-dana/id1087147821?i=1000552248995

Roxana Cordova, LCSW, Counselor

Children sometimes struggle to share how they feel. Depending on their age, children might not have the language to name emotions. Clinician, Roxana Cordova, utilizes these TF-CBT skills worksheets to describe, explore, and label these feelings. Children are asked to describe sensations they might be experiencing within their body, what are they noticing, where in their bodies are they noticing these sensations. Children then draw a gingerbread person, color code the emotion, and color the location where they feel this emotion. Roxana does a similar exercise with adults by handing them a Feeling Wheel and having a conversation about feelings, which emotions are familiar, a struggle to express, or hard to cope with.

tf-cbt feelings pages - Bing images

tf-cbt feelings pages - Bing images