Mental Health Vacation Resources in Southern California – NBC Los Angeles
For many, holidays are a time of happiness spent with family and relaxation after a long year. But for some, the holidays can be tough, causing mental and emotional strain.
If you are struggling due to anxiety caused by the ongoing pandemic, mourning the loss of a loved one, having unexpected time alone after testing positive for COVID, or feeling simply tired after a hectic 2021, you are not the only one.
LA County offers mental health counseling. Angie Crouch reports for NBC4 News Tuesday, March 16, 2021. For assistance, call 1-877-854-7771.
There are also ways to take care of yourself and your mental state.
Below is a list of mental health resources from various federal and Southern California agencies to help and support you.
Tips for coping with stress during the pandemic
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following advice:
- If you are concerned that you have COVID-19, contact a medical professional or take a COVID test.
- Taking care of your emotional health will help you think clearly and protect yourself in the long run after the emergency passes.
- Take breaks to watch, read or listen to the news. Being informed is good; being overwhelmed is not.
- Take care of your body by breathing deeply, stretching or meditating.
- Try to eat healthy, balanced meals.
- Regular exercise.
- Have plenty of sleep.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs.
- Take time to relax. Try doing other fun activities that you enjoy or take the time to learn a new hobby.
- Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Connect with others or faith groups. Connect online or by phone or mail.
- There are ways to celebrate the holidays as a family while protecting your health and that of those around you. Take your precautions and enjoy the season.
A study published in 2020 examined whether paying more attention to the world around you during your regular walks can improve the mental health benefits of walks. This practice is called “fear walking” and anyone can try it.
County Mental Health Resources
About half of the students examined in a recent Boston University study suffered from depression or anxiety. It is a sign of the toll the pandemic is taking on millions of people cut off from human relationships and, for many, from their goals and aspirations. NBCLX storyteller Cody Broadway looks from college campuses to social platforms like TikTok at the impact social isolation has had on Gen Z and Millennials.
National Institute of Mental Health Resources
Vacation Tips from the National Alliance on Mental Illness CA
- Take steps to stay safe from COVID-19 during holiday gatherings.
- Be kind to yourself, putting your own mental and physical well-being first. Once you know what adds stress, you can take steps to deal with those situations.
- Write a gratitude list for what and for whom you are grateful, and thank them. Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health.
- Manage your time and don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s okay to say no to plans.
- To be realistic. If your vacation doesn’t look like what you imagined, or the happy versions on TV or social media, that’s okay.
- Set limits. Even when you spend time with your close family, you can only control your own role and actions.
- Practice relaxation and take breaks from the holiday rush to refocus.
- Set aside time for yourself, to do things you love.
- Get enough sleep.
- Spending time in nature has also been shown to improve mental health.
- Volunteering can help you feel less isolated and more connected to your community.
LAUSD Mental Health Resources
- Click the link here to access non-emergency telehealth information. You can also call 213-241-3840.
- Wellness center and referral forms can be found here.
- Here you will find counseling and crisis intervention services.
- School mental health clinic emails can be found here.
- Wellness center locations and information can be found here.
California Surgeon General Nadine Harris Burke also released a report focusing on toxic stress and health. Read Roadmap to Resilience.