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Leaning into the Holidays with Love and Intention

Leaning into the Holidays with Love and Intention

Each one of us curious humans has a unique take on the world. We are connected by invisible threads of culture and history that allow us to cultivate collective experiences, yet, even within families with shared traditions, the lived experiences vary from heart to heart. The meanings crafted by these threads create a life story for each of us. Some stories are light some years, some are quite heavy, while others remind us of the magic of the holiday season. Our stories can be honored in the telling and given space to evolve with time, crafting new traditions and ways of connecting with our community. But there is no denying that the holidays are stressful!

There is a sense of ‘holiday anxiety’ that surfaces because of so many factors, but often is driven by the need to share space with other people. There is the added stress of types of social anxiety that can feel overwhelming at this time of year when our traditions (both work-related and family expectations around the holidays) can create tension for us. 

For some, the anxiety comes in the form of disconnection. For example, when life circumstances keep you from your loved ones, as with military families, people traveling for work, or financial struggles which can feel extra burdensome for all, but especially if it keeps you from traveling to be with loved ones. Or for persons grieving the loss of a loved one, the disconnection or disruption to traditions that were once grounding may feel untenable as a life story that was once integral no longer is. 

Leaning in with love to provide a connection for those seeking fellowship in various ways within the community is a gift to people who may otherwise feel isolated. Many individuals, however, may experience holiday anxiety that is related to sensing more triggers or occurrences of social anxiety. Some examples are painful discomfort in a large social gathering, performing in front of an audience, interacting in an intimate, vulnerable setting such as public speaking for a fundraising engagement, or just eating or drinking in public. Many of these triggers are rooted in ‘being watched. Or feel we need to be ‘on’ to make a good impression, sometimes to more “important” people.

Social anxiety, as we generally think about it, is something we all experience in our interactions with other people for any number of reasons. However, even in cases of extreme shyness, we each usually find a way to work through these uncomfortable experiences, no matter how unpleasant at first. But social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, goes beyond the at-times painful experience of speaking in front of a crowd or meeting strangers or mingling with people who carry more privilege and power than you.  

Social anxiety can be paralyzing and disruptive if you find the need to rearrange your daily life in order to avoid painfully uncomfortable situations. For someone who experiences social phobia, the holidays represent a particularly difficult time to manage because oftentimes multiple triggers present themselves throughout the course of an evening, for example at a work holiday function. There are therapeutic techniques to help address these aspects of social anxiety that you can discuss with a trained professional if you experience intense anxiety around social situations. Our trained staff at Ketamine Health Centers can provide various treatment options to explore.

I want to highlight another type of social anxiety that is rather invisible and yet can result in deep feelings related to self-worth. There are anxieties and uncomfortable feelings that may arise out of the relationship structure that exists in many community drives and gatherings during a time of generous giving. There are people in a position of privilege and power sometimes providing resources and fellowship opportunities to share with less fortunate communities. And even with the best intentions, the tensions present in generous giving may lead to feelings of helplessness or possibly shame for individuals receiving support during these challenging times. Again, leaning in with love and expressing intentions clearly with respect and grace is perhaps the best way to approach these moments. It is heartwarming to see the magic of the holidays and the power of giving that overcomes so many, to help share in the wealth of the human spirit. Yet, it is a vulnerable place to be in as the one to receive. Giving with grace might be providing a space to receive from a place of strength, which validates our humanity.

We can practice shining that light of love every day for the power it provides us to move forward with our personal growth and social development. And within that spirit of giving, we can extend open arms to our differences, opening a space to honor each of us as a unique individual each with a personal relationship with the sacred. 

“Foreign” family traditions may be another source of social anxiety for some individuals who must navigate different cultures after marriage (and remember each family creates a culture, so family traditions will be foreign to a spouse sharing the same cultural heritage). Embrace new traditions from a place of loving intention to support one another, rather than as an acceptance or rejection of any underlying spiritual worldview the tradition stems from. Be curious.

 Overall, when we approach differences that may seem more pronounced during the holiday season, with love and respect, we enrich our lives by adding to the flavor of our experiences. We can create welcoming spaces through our own energy output to help generate a little (or a generous amount of) holiday magic each day, inviting ease and calm with intention, as we join together and celebrate.

Wish you happy holidays!

 

Creating Balance through Grace and Purpose

Creating Balance through Grace and Purpose

Many of us feel as if we are walking a tightrope at present, trying to manage our overloaded plates while teetering on the edge of uncertainty, upheaval and loss. Harnessing the energy that comes from creating purpose can provide us with balance, along with building connections with supportive people in our life. No matter how divided we may appear to be, there are strenuous states of affairs that we are experiencing collectively, and it is bringing many to a breaking point. Being mindful of this can help us confront each other with grace instead of a short fuse. Making it all the more necessary to take time for self-care and to build our support network around us so that we can develop that grace within.  

The more we bring community action into our daily life, the more purpose we can create in our world. A simple practice that gets you out of your home and into nature, while building community connections, is sitting or playing at your neighborhood park striking up a conversation with someone new. Or consider hiking a nearby trail with a friend, with a garbage bag in gloved hand to collect trash, as you walk and listen to one another providing support while serving your community along the way. Take your child for a walk around the block picking up trash and recycling as an alternative. Introduce yourselves to new people at the far end of your neighborhood, if given the opportunity during your walk. You’ll be inclined to say (or wave) hello the next time you see them.

There are also subtle ways to build community. Now that the weather is warming, and we can comfortably relax into a new maskless routine, we can appreciate the small things that help us reconnect. Seeing people’s smiles and full faces and recognizing acquaintances better is something to take notice of at this moment. We can hear each other better, too! Perhaps that experience of having a hard time understanding each other while we were masked can teach us to listen to each other better. That level of grace can keep us balanced to endure these challenging steps ahead.

 The anecdotes and the research are clear – we face a critical moment as we walk this tightrope. There are too many aspects of our lives that create conditions of sustained stress and the compounding increase of negative coping skills. The APA’s Stress in America poll reveals the many layers and unveils many vulnerabilities that signal a mental health crisis that we must address. Principle among them is the public health concern with the drastic increase in stress, financial strain, rise in substance abuse (and other detrimental coping behaviors), and the spillover effects into crime and violence in our communities. A recent article in The Atlantic details the recent spike in erratic behavior among Americans and suggests Durkheim’s concept of “anomie, or a lack of social norms that leads to lawlessness,” as the driver of “weird behavior” as of late. The social isolation due to the pandemic and the shifts in societal norms as a result of changing cultural and political landscapes do play a role. Making self-care, through wellness and the development of purpose-driven agency and community building, most important considering these factors. 

The best way to begin to rebuild our connective tissue is to focus on the relationships around us. Doing our best to show up as our better self, especially when someone else needs a little more grace than you do. And give yourself the grace you deserve to let go of unreasonable expectations that everything is OK. It is alright to acknowledge that you are not OK, that all is not well, if that is the case. Together we will regain our personal agency and come back stronger than before with all that we have gained despite (and because of) all that we have lost.

Ketamine Health Centers is your community mental health partner here to walk with you in this process of growth, healing and self-care that is especially important for us now.  Contact us today to learn about our cutting-edge alternative treatment methods, tailored to meet your specific support needs. Our multifaceted approach to addressing mental health challenges can provide you, or your loved one, the support network necessary to create your healing path and generate that grace within.

Set an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ to Balance Mental Health this Holiday Season

Set an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ to Balance Mental Health this Holiday Season

Entering the second holiday season with Covid brings a new set of challenges for how we balance our mental and emotional health, considering yet another adjustment to our changing public health landscape. This year feels more purposeful in our month of giving as we enter the Thanksgiving season with the aim of healing and regaining some ground under our feet.

The fact that there are two lived realities to contend with complicates matters. Individuals who are vaccinated and are planning gatherings with friends and family are in a different position to navigate the holidays than individuals who have chosen, for their personal reasons, to remain unvaccinated. This aspect of the endemic phase of Covid-19 is something we will continue to grapple with as we celebrate and move into the new year. While the lived realities of how we go about our daily lives may differ depending on our physical safety measures, there are mental health and emotional steps that we can all practice. By focusing on several modes of love-in-action this season we can also increase our resilience amidst stress and tragedy, while building community ties that are essential for our personal and social welfare. 

Creating an ‘attitude of gratitude’ as a guiding principle is a powerful tool to bolster our mental, emotional and spiritual health, which feeds back into the community building aspect of our personal growth – fostering meaning, happiness and enriching relationships. 

Acts of kindness build a community web of support and help raise our happiness meter.
This month of giving begins with Veterans day, an important day to give thanks for the enormous sacrifices that military families carry for us. As well as Giving Tuesday campaigns for raising awareness and financial support for the multitude of programs that aim to help those in need. A focus on gratitude this month shines bright within us as we strengthen our community through loving actions, big and small, that also increase our own sense of well-being through happiness and connection that comes from spreading kindness. We have seen people step-up in creative ways to support each other in times of crisis. The pandemic has brought out our better angels in many corners of the world. An article in Frontiers in Psychology points to several “silver linings [which] revealed sources of strength that included finding a sense of community, closeness, gratitude, and a belief that the pandemic may spur positive social change.” Acts of kindness generate the greatest amount of emotional healing and community connection. 

Love and gratitude towards acquaintances, neighbors and passersby in our life, can also come through simple acts, such as smiling at everyone you pass by throughout your busy day. Thanksgiving week is not simply time to be with family. Especially for those who are not traveling this year but want to have a fellowship gathering for the holiday, consider a small Friendsgiving feast. It would be healing to spend the holidays amongst whatever sense of community is available to you within the safety measures that you are comfortable with. Perhaps setting up an outdoor neighborhood potluck to connect individuals who would otherwise celebrate alone. Or consider supporting the most vulnerable in your area through sharing your talents or simply your time and presence, if you are able to safely. Through these actions that help us build our support systems beyond that of friends and family units, we begin to see the role of community in a new light. Now these terms, love and gratitude, are so broad they have room for myriad forms of relationships that enhance our well-being, especially when we extend that love to ourselves. Self-love is an important aspect of being able to give love to others in a healthy manner. And for individuals who are struggling with depression, the connection with self-love is often lacking. This study views gratitude and well-being in a psychotherapeutic setting. But self-love encompasses a broader concept, as well, as we look at wellness from the perspective of self-care.

Self-care in the context of balancing our mental health during the holidays means giving ourselves the time we need to relax, recharge to manage the hectic schedule of work demands, family life and holiday preparations. Fitting in moderate exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting proper sleep and carving out time for leisure activities such as reading, sitting by the fire, giving long hugs, taking long walks, reflecting during quiet moments or filling up on music and dancing whenever possible, are all important aspects of self-care. There are countless outlets that can provide you a recharge. Laughter is a wonderful remedy, of course, but not everyone is in a festive mood. It’s OK that you do not feel OK. You are not alone. Too many of us are experiencing grief.

Seek professional help if you need support to manage grief at this time. Contact 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-279-8255 if you need immediate assistance.
For a free consultation to learn about various cutting edge mental health treatments for depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and other mental health challenges contact one of our professional staff at 1-833-542-3030 or https://ketaminehealthcenters.com

Mending hearts and managing grief when faced with an empty seat at the table makes the holidays especially difficult. If you are not experiencing loss, help those around you with your presence, simply offering silent support is what is most needed. You can help someone find solace by finding a unique way of remembrance this holiday season. Below are a few examples of how to pay tribute to a loved one that encourages a personal touch.

  1. Build a Centerpiece.
  2. Set a Place at the Table for Them.
  3. Attend a Service of Remembrance.
  4. Create a Memory Table.
  5. Share the Memories You’re Thankful For.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly as we enter a season of reverence, is remembering our spiritual connection to traditions and ancestors. The essence of traditions in our social makeup is the source of universal love and our larger communal web of humanity, experienced uniquely and intimately with our families. Our personal experience of these traditions gives us a direct connection to our ancestors, our motherland, and oftentimes elucidates our place in nature. Create those nature-focused moments in our downtime, or an electronic-free day to create quiet space that helps us balance holiday demands with deeper meaning-making experiences. This is a perfect year to begin new traditions that harness energy stemming from new perspectives taking shape during the pandemic. Holidays always represent a mix of memory-making and energy-draining scenarios. It is important to read our emotions and give ourselves the permission to escape it all with our quiet moments of stillness that rejuvenate and reconnect us with a deeper sense of self. That quiet moment in front of a fire, or at dusk immersed in the beauty of a sunset, can provide the energetic refueling necessary to come back to your surroundings with grounded focus and openness. A spiritual connection to traditions or sacred space can provide a similar energetic recharge when we immerse all our senses and let the joy of the season fill our spirit. Peaceful holidays from Ketamine Health Centers!

Ketamine Health Centers Offers Free Consultations During National Suicide Prevention Month

Ketamine Health Centers Offers Free Consultations During National Suicide Prevention Month

Industry leader in Ketamine Infusion Therapy reduces barriers and increases accessibility to meet the growing demand for effective solutions for mental health conditions

MIAMI, FL — September 10, 2021 —  Ketamine Health Centers (KHC), the leading provider of IV ketamine infusion therapy in Florida, has announced it will offer free consultations across all five of its Florida-based facilities during the month of September, also recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for those between the ages of 10-34, and ranks as the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States.

Suicides have increased 35% in the U.S. since 1999 and Suicide Prevention Month hopes to shed light on this dark and taboo topic.  Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone and do not discriminate in age, gender or background. Oftentimes, suicide results from an untreated mental health condition and suicidal ideation should always be taken seriously. Bringing the topic of suicide to the open allows for open conversations about what suicide is, the resources available to prevent it and to further destigimtize mental health.

Ketamine Health Centers prides itself on providing the highest-caliber ketamine treatments. Current data suggests, when given intravenously, ketamine may be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades. With a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to delivering long-term solutions for treatment-resistant mental health and pain conditions, Ketamine Health Center’s success rate for treating depression surpasses the national average, exceeding 85 percent.

As these treatments become more popular and with increased insurance coverage, our company continues to be at the forefront of the field–one infusion at a time. With over 10,000 patients treated since inception, Ketamine Health Centers brings experience and hope for patients with mental health and pain conditions. KHC is proud of its continued company growth and its ability to provide leading mental health and pain care to patients in more areas, coast to coast.

“The effect of our treatments on mental health is transformational for patients,” says Dr. Raul Cruz, Chief Medical Officer. “To offer free consultations allows us to extend awareness about our services to all patients, providing them an alternative option for mental health conditions.”

The facilities include ketamine infusion therapy, but also other personalized cutting-edge treatments designed to help patients regain control: Stellate Ganglion Blocks (SGB), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and teleherapy,  to name a few. The KHC approach allows patients struggling with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other debilitating conditions to find relief and start living again.

For more information on Ketamine Health Centers , call 1-833-542-3040 or email info@ketaminehealthcenters.com.

About Ketamine Health Centers

Ketamine Health Centers is the only full-service health center in Florida fully dedicated to ketamine infusion therapy via joint expertise of board-certified anesthesiologist, Dr. Raul Cruz, and psychiatrist, Dr. Juan Oms, and our COO Dennis Diaz, CRNA. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, the practice is committed to delivering long-term solutions that incorporate ketamine infusions with a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. The collective knowledge and medical excellence of Ketamine Health Centers’ elite team have generated programs to serve those suffering from mental health and chronic pain, offering a plan that supports their well-being and steps toward recovery. The goal is to use ketamine to help patients regain a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. For more information, visit www.ketaminehealthcenters.com.

Summer Sets ALIVE & Well

Summer Sets ALIVE & Well

Let’s pause for a moment.

Reflect on where you find yourself, right now, rounding out summer and down-shifting gears.

Together, let us have a moment of silence.

Now, take a deep breath through your nose. Inhale long and hold that moment quietly, at the top of your breath. Exhale slowly emptying yourself of all that is unnecessary.

I hope this summer sees you surrounded often by nature. In backyards, on porch fronts, or at the nearest water source. Count your blessings if you found yourself in, near or under water at any point this summer, soaking in its healing qualities. So many of us did as we visited our majestic National Parks, renewing and replenishing ourselves.

I give thanks each day for living near beautiful preserves. And I feel grateful for unexpectedly climbing to the summit of Stone Mountain just a few weeks ago, while enjoying a weekend immersed in nature. It reenergized me to the core. Our natural world provides us with the most direct connection with the energetic source of life, and water ties us to its life-giving properties.

We replenish our spirit and our bodies at a physiological level when we engage in outdoor activities, or no activity at all but soaking in the healing tones that intimately connect us to the energetic world. Eating the seasonal fruits and vegetables in these natural settings help us balance our mind, body and soul. Even simply sitting outside for lunch once a week at your workplace provides solace.

Let’s make space for breathing deeply and intentionally each day, preferably outside. Breathing ties us most directly with our environment and marks the most effective path for our self-healing when done right.

Breathe through your nose, straight into your lungs. Breathing through your nose naturally aligns your spine and lengthens your body to draw in greater energy and generate more expanse, and by extension more confidence and self-love.

Simply by breathing deeply we create greater resilience to calmly face life’s challenges when we establish a balanced body (through nutrition and physical health), mind (through positive behaviors and attitudes) and spirit (by creating one’s purpose and simply breathing deeply). With time we learn not only how to manage, but how to thrive in those moments that move us to develop ourselves more fully and create our happiness, while navigating pain and suffering.

Ketamine Health Centers provides targeted wellness services through its partner at Alive Wellness Group, helping clients to boost their immune system and incorporate a holistic approach to mental health. A robust mental wellness lifestyle focuses on the mind body matrix and the importance of establishing healthy pathways. Breathing practices, meditation and nature therapy are important aspects of wellness that help us reduce stress, balance our busy lives and strengthen our spirit.

A personalized wellness assessment and nutritional enhancements can propel you into a synergized routine this coming fall that will further enhance your self-development and help you build resilience as we continue to face many challenges together.

Contact us today for a free wellness consultation. Allow yourself to feel ALIVE once again!

 

Mental Health Toolkit for Improved Self-Care

Mental Health Toolkit for Improved Self-Care

Alternative treatments such as Ketamine infusion, and other treatment methods offered by Ketamine Health Centers, are valuable new tools available to mental health providers. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and because of this, we want to highlight the importance of utilizing your own toolkit for mental health hygiene to establish self-care.

You may be already familiar with many of the tools that people put to use, practices necessary for physical and mental health hygiene. Getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising, expressing ourselves authentically, developing deeper connections – these daily aspects of healthy living renew energy at our core.

Another set of tools are those activities that most engage us. Our kits will be filled with a variety of tools, tailored to each of us. Dancing, movement meditation, deep-breathing, yoga, body check-ins, bodywork, making music, therapy, gratitude actions, and appreciation of beauty are all enriching activities, rich modes of connecting in the world that provides a source of healing. You will most benefit from an assortment of each of these tools.

To be most effective, your Toolkit must be filled with self-care activities that resonate with you. Some established practices, such as deep-breathing, is central to both physical and mental wellness. Breathing helps us focus on the present moment. It helps us slow down and check-in with our physical, mental, and energetic states. Physiologically, it reduces cortisol, the stress hormone that causes reactive states of fight or flight. Breathing helps reduce our blood pressure and heart rate in moments of stress, bringing us back to equilibrium.

The goal of stocking your Toolkit is for you to utilize an array of practices to manage and guide your response to stress or adversity. Be aware of when you tense up in certain moments, so that you can be prepared for those occasions to minimize the impact. By doing these practices consistently, we are ready to handle the big challenges that life tosses our way. Creating your self-care Toolkit in a manner that is tailored to your needs, strengths, and mode of joy, helps create meaning and happiness in life. You add value to your Toolkit, and to your life, by adding new practices and insights as you grow and change over time.

Your Toolkit can be made up of practices that include a gratitude mantra in the morning, checking-in with your body, noticing, and relieving tension throughout the day. Take 3 minutes before or after you eat lunch to breathe deeply and take note of your present moment. Spend the evening doing at least one thing that brings you joy or connect with someone that energizes you. End your day with a reflective moment and drift to sleep with 3 minutes of deep-belly breathing.

Practicing mindfulness, reframing negative thoughts, leaning on your strengths, and reflecting through gratitude are essential daily practices, that, over time, help create a way of being grounded, and yet flexible in the face of change. They help us generate a flow in life that builds resilience. Using our tools also help us create a strong supportive network in our community.

 Managing energy levels is one of the keys to maintaining good physical, cognitive, and mental modes of self-care. Everyone has a different energy signature and mode of replenishing. There are countless practices to help reframe or recharge with the goal of creating healthier lives in the face of change, stress, or trauma. Think about what tools, practices, and activities will fill your toolbox. And use it, mix it up to work on all aspects of yourself, and help those close to you use their own wellness toolkit to build resilience and attain happiness despite adversity.

The various alternative treatment methods provided by Ketamine Health Centers are helpful for individuals at every level of the mental health spectrum. We offer wellness procedures and resources to help you manage stress and create that necessary balance in your life. And we provide the latest techniques available to treat mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain and more. Please reach out today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you or your loved one find the best treatment tailored to your needs.

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