Physical distance is important for everyone’s health right now, but it can also impact our mental, emotional and physical health. Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay connected to ourselves.
Meditation is a tool that can cultivate present moment attention and awareness, allowing us to take steps toward creatively connecting with others. One way to increase connection with ourselves or with others is through a Loving Kindness Meditation.
This 11-minute meditation brings awareness to the self through concentrated breathing. It cultivates kindness and invites sending love, goodwill and warmth to ourselves and others.
A Whole Health approach to family, friends, and coworkers emphasizes the importance of healthy relationships for overall health and well-being. For more information on self-care through the Whole Health Components of Health and Well-Being, visit: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/index.asp.
Want to search for other ways to improve your mood? Mood Coach is a free and publicly available mobile app based on behavioral activation, a non-medication intervention for depressed mood.
Mood Coach is for people who have experienced depression or are looking for a way to improve their mood. VA’s National Center for PTSD created the app to provide education about depression and PTSD. Users can find a customized plan that supports their values, and there are daily mood ratings to track symptoms of depression; reminders to stay on track; and methods to find support.
Although Mood Coach can be used on its own, it’s not meant to replace therapy for those who need it. To learn more about VA apps, visit https://mobile.va.gov/appstore.
Sara Grimsgaard, MHMS, NBC-HWC is a Health Systems Specialist for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center and Whole Health Education Program in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation