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Be Kind to Your Mind: 10 Tips to Curb Your Stress

*Author Annaleis Michel, age 17, is a Native Youth Ambassador and member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians.* 

Let’s talk about mental health. Mental health is something that affects people of all ages – it doesn’t matter who you are, it could affect you. According to the Child Mind Institute, out of 74.5 million children in the US, around 17.1 million have or have had a mental health condition. Half of all mental health disorders occur before the age of 14, and 75 percent by the age of 24. Maybe you don’t have a mental health condition personally, but you may know someone who deals with these issues, even if you aren’t aware of it yet. These are things we as a community need to talk about, to reduce the stigma that surrounds this issue, especially with youth! 

During this time many peoples anxiety and depression is on the rise as we are all adjusting to a new normal. The good news is that there are many ways to keep busy and to help reduce stress and anxiety – here are a few tips and strategies that have worked for me! 

Keep a journal  

Keeping a journal about your day even if you think you did nothing that day. Write your day down or even what is going on in the world. After all this is over you and maybe even your children can look back at that moment in time  

Take up a new hobby 

Whatever that may be, cooking, art, writing, reading, sports, etc. Try something new that you never had time for 

Working out 

Working out is a great way to relieve stress. It’s also healthy for you! Going on walks/runs help boost your immune system.  

Meditate 

Meditation helps ease chronic pain, anxiety, stress, and boosts mood and immunity. If you’re new to meditation, there are many apps and websites available that can guide you. 

Learn a new language 

Learn a language that you have always wanted to learn or never got the chance to. If you are interested in learning your native language, contact your tribe! They may have resources available. More common languages are usually available on free apps. 

Connect/reconnect with your culture 

Whether you read a book, talk to elders, or practice a craftculture is prevention! 

Get outside 

If possible, be active outdoors. Ride your bike, go for a walk, take a hike, etc. May find being around nature relaxing, plus the sun provides mood boosting Vitamin D! 

Tune out  

Whether you binge watch a series, watch movies, or read books – getting lost in a good storyline can help you tune out stressors of the world around you! 

Listen to music 

Music can help reduce anxiety by 65%. Use this time to explore new artists and genres or sing along to your faves. 

Spend time with family/friends  

For many people, we are spending more time with our family than ever before – take advantage of it! If you aren’t in lockdown with family, make sure to set aside social time with friends. Isolation can take a toll on your mental health. 

There are many other ways to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. These are just a few things that have helped me during this time, and I hope they help you too! If you are someone who has anxiety, depression or any mental health conditions, please know you’re not alone! Even when you feel alone, there are people and resources that are here to help, I’ve listed a few down below. 

  • National Suicide Prevention hotline:  1-800-273-8255 
  • National domestic violence hotline:  1-800-799-SAFE 
  • National Sexual Assault hotline:  1-800-656-HOPE 
  • National Parent hotline: 1-855-427-2736 
  • National Human Trafficking hotline: 1-888-373-7888

*Author Annaleis Michel, age 17, is a Native Youth Ambassador and member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians.* 

Jeanine Gaines

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