Plymouth introduces a new team to benefit and bring together our our community.
Did you know...
One in five adults experience some form of mental illness each year.
One in seventeen adults lives with a long-term condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or recurring major depression.
15% of teens have experienced some form of serious depression or other mental illness- yet 60% of those received no treatment. Source: NAMI.org
As a faith community that embraces inclusion and compassion for all, it’s important that we take intentional steps to understand and truly support those among us who are struggling with mental health issues. This year Plymouth CC joins the Interfaith Mental Health Outreach organization to form our own Mental Wellness Resource Team, comprised of volunteer members of our congregation who are committed to serving those experiencing the pain of mental illness, personally or within their family.
To learn more about the Mental Wellness Resource Team, to volunteer or to seek support for yourself or your family, contact Welcome & Care Coordinator Liz Smith, 785-843-3220, ext. 6 or one of the pastors: Rev. Dr. Valerie Miller-Coleman or Rev. Caroline Lawson Dean.
Our mission is to...
Advocate for understanding within our Plymouth congregation through education and information about mental illness,
Connect people in need to local mental health resources and services, and
Support individuals and their families within our congregation with compassion.
Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine
Adapted from an article by Jessica Lynn Blackbourn, Educational & Clinical Psychologist at Ashdale Care in Ireland.
Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.
Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.
Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less traveled streets. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for spirits.
Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!
Reach out to others at least once daily for thirty minutes. FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support.
Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!
Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.
Lower expectations and practice radical self-acceptance. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. Psychologists call for “radical self-acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.
Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalized, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily).
Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.
Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others. Support restaurants, offer to grocery shop, check in with elderly neighbors, write psychological wellness tips for others—helping others gives us a sense of agency when things seem out of control.
Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15-hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all.
Reach out for help. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up your medications and your therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. The new Mental Wellness Resource Team of Plymouth Church wants to help you get through this difficult time. Although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.
Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.