Stress Awareness MonthApril 3, 2023
April is Stress Awareness Month, and while we should pay attention to our stress levels regularly, it can be helpful to have a reminder. It is all too easy to be swallowed up by life’s daily demands and lose sight of our mental health. Now is the time to ask yourself, “how am I managing my stress?”
Many of you have repeatedly heard me say, “Self-care is not self-indulgence.” It is critical for both emotional and physical health to schedule time for renewal just as you would arrange a time for any other key appointment. It is also vital to find avenues for release and tools that can help you stay centered daily and bring you back to that place during times of high anxiety.
Guided Imagery is one of the tools I offer as part of our practice’s Patient Empowerment Program (PEP). It helps patients prepare emotionally for surgery and post-op discomfort. It is also a great tool when one is experiencing any type of anxiety or stress. A guided imagery session can help alleviate physical symptoms of stress and center you mentally. It is both easily accessible and quickly effective. Even our most skeptical of patients have expressed experiencing positive effects. Many patients report using the technique in their daily lives long after surgery to cope with various stressors.
When it comes to stress management and self-care, the important thing is to find what works for you and commit yourself to using it with regularity. Be it guided imagery, meditation, exercise, art therapy or something else, find something you can not only turn to in times of crisis, but something you can also practice to remain calm day-to-day. You may want to practice a combination of things—some for daily maintenance and some for acute stress management. Consider multiple options that serve to quiet your mind and quell your anxiety. Remember: self-care is empowering!
See below for a few of the responses patients have shared. If you have yet to experience a session, feel free to reach out to me to schedule a virtual appointment.
“I found the Guided Imagery helpful throughout my surgery and healing. I still use it sometimes to reduce anxiety. One night in the hospital after my DMX/DIEP flap breast reconstruction, I wasn’t able to fall asleep but was tired and feeling depressed. I pulled out my phone and listened to your session and began to relax, ultimately falling asleep. It was after that I realized it really helped in calming my mind. I continued to use it while healing at home. Thank you, Mollie!”—P.L.
“Signing up for a guided imagery session with Mollie was the best first step towards a journey filled with positivity, strength and courage. It allowed me to take control of a situation that, before, I felt I had no control over…Two years after treatment, I still find myself turning to one of these tapes to keep me centered. They are food for the mind and spirit! Thank you so much, Mollie, for being a part of my journey!”—S.H.
“The guided imagery tools enabled me to manage my post-op discomfort without any prescribed pain medication. I found it to be a powerful tool which allowed me to take control.”—R.P.