Welcome to 2020, everyone!
Hoping we all got some down time during the holidays, free to do whatever we wanted with no work schedule to worry about! But here we are mid-January and it’s time to think about to shift into the new year as we go back to work.
We’re not talking about new year’s resolutions – often those can be unrealistic and only last a few months – but there are some things to think about. Winning at Mental Health is about having strategies and creating lasting habits that can make a huge difference in how you manage your mental health, stress and anxiety as you dive back into a full work schedule, or wait to get that call to go back to work during a slower production period of the year.
Faced with bills from holiday shopping, or feeling tired and sluggish from too much food, alcohol/drugs and parties, you might be thinking the new year is a good time to start over and get your life in order. If you jump into the new year rested, relaxed and ready to get going, it’s great to prepare for the inevitable stress that life in the motion picture industry brings.
We know that January is one of the toughest months to navigate. Low light at this time of year can have an impact. Very little sunlight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can be even harder to manage when we’re on set and in darkness so much of the time. Waiting for that first work call of the year is nerve-wracking and stressful. We get it. It’s not easy to manage the anxiety that comes with wondering how long we can survive without money coming in. We understand that you need work and when you’re not working it can impact your family, your finances, inner confidence and even self-worth.
For those of us who got back into the swing of work right away, it doesn’t take long for that all too familiar stress to creep in as we navigate long shifts over weeks and months. The holiday break starts to feel pretty far away pretty quickly!
Now that we’re a couple of weeks in to 2020, let’s talk about how to deal with some of the challenges of this time of year.
GET YOUR FINANCIAL HOUSE IN ORDER
Financial difficulties create fear and uncertainty in our lives, leading to losing our homes, relationships, dignity and self-respect. Each of us has a special relationship with money. If you’re in a relationship, are you and your partner on the same page when it comes to spending or saving? (More to come on this topic). Be realistic and get the help you need to get your money situation under control. In addition to reaching out to your EAP or MAP, here are two additional resources to check out:
MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS
Feelings of stress and anxiety are your signals that something isn’t right – it’s important to pay attention to that. When we’re stuck in these feelings, it’s difficult to figure out what’s going on and what to do about it. Our bodies are impacted even though we don’t recognize it – it shows up as high blood pressure, joint pain, headaches, etc.
Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a unique way to manage stress and anxiety. It combines counselling/coaching with a type of acupuncture that clears the energy in our bodies. It has been used successfully to treat anxiety and post-traumatic stress and trauma with First Responders and Veterans after war or deployment. While acupuncture uses needles, EFT uses our fingers to tap on specific pressure points that change the way our brain processes our feelings – you get to feel calmer and experience a greater ability to think things through and make good decisions instead of staying stuck in your feelings.
For example, when you’re on set and finding your stress levels rising, tapping is a perfect way to manage your feelings. No one needs to know – tapping can be done quietly and quickly! Here’s a video to help you learn this technique:
While this technique seems simple, it’s very powerful! If you find yourself needing some help with tapping check into your EAP or MAP to find a counsellor or coach that can tap along with you!
MOVE YOUR BODY!
Exercise is one thing that’s scientifically proven to help us feel better when we’re stressed, anxious or even depressed. It reduces workplace injuries like sprains & strains in the back and neck, and helps prevent injuries like tendonitis, tennis elbow and others. Moving your body also increases concentration and productivity.
Read this article on walking. As it turns out, you only need a minimum of 7500 steps daily to create better health. No time to walk the full 7500 steps in one go? Walking to the bathroom, walking around on set, moving back and forth all count toward the total!
If you’re on set and can’t get out for a run or walk, there are ways to stretch and move that leave you feeling limber and awake! Check out this video:
There’s no reason for you not to get the support you need as you start the New Year! Check with your EAP or MAP for counselling and mental health needs. You’re only a call away!
From all of us at Call Time Mental Health, we wish you a Happy New Year with good health, prosperity and happiness!