Message from the President of NAMI Skagit
Fall is officially here with the cold weather and leaves changing into vibrant colors….oh, yes,…. and the Northwest rain has returned after a very nice summer.
It has certainly been an eventful year marked by a pandemic, the movement to end systemic racial injustice, smoke from many forest fires, a Presidential election and the holidays are not far away.
It’s important when facing so many things outside our control which can be experienced as stressful, to reflect on what makes us feel better, happy, content, hopeful and calm. To overcome stress, we must claim our own sense of empowerment and decide how much we will allow ourselves to be affected and how we choose to live our life day to day.
Learning to cope with stress starts with learning to relax our mind and body no matter what is going on around us. Another component of stress management is making certain to get support from friends, family and our local NAMI community support group. Do your best not to isolate, even if that means you get on the phone or computer to zoom with someone. It often helps to have a list of things to do when we feel desperate, sad, blue or lonely and go down the list trying them one by one until you find one that works. Exercise, even if simply walking, also reduces stress by increasing the body’s natural endorphin production, the neurotransmitter that increases our sense of wellbeing.
This year NAMI Skagit with the help from NAMI Washington and donors, was fortunate to find ways to offer our classes and groups via the Zoom platform. Our hope is you have been able to benefit from these during the COVID outbreak. We continue to explore ways to expand our reach throughout the Skagit county region. With depression and anxiety increasing exponentially, we know it’s ever more important to make certain we remain operational and available to all who are struggling during this challenging time. Remember, you are not alone and NAMI Skagit is here to advocate for and support those living with mental illness and their families in our community.
Stay safe and have a great November and nice Thanksgiving.
Judy Heinemann, President Nami Skagit