Sarah Coleman: Talking suicide prevention is a serious subject
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Suicide doesn’t go away by not talking about it — hope is real, help is real — so it’s time to start or continue the conversation.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. How can we pioneer change, growth and conversations? I asked the question, and wow, did you all deliver. Here are some supportive tips to get you and your loved ones speaking about mental health, seeking self-care and creating some different habits. Maybe one of these will speak to you. Remember you are not alone.
1. Be vulnerable and speak your truth
2. Speak to your “person” or “persons” — those that no matter what it is, they get it and you, they are there no matter what and they never judge.
3. Comparison is a trap — be you and let those who don’t like it leave.
4. Talk about it more — drink about it less.
5. Get outside, journal, move your body, give a hug and get a hug.
6. Gratitude — name it every day. Pick three things and write them down.
7. Observe the mind — set a twice daily reminder asking, “What am I thinking right now?” for a week and journal the negatives. Then flip the script on them and create positive affirmations, saying them often throughout the day.
8. Throttle therapy — shred more powder, get on a bike, eat more cheese, pick up a barbell, do the yoga, play with a dog, go barefoot, get dirty, listen to music and sing out loud.
9. Smile — even if you really don’t want to smile, it releases endorphins and makes you feel better.
10. Self-care comes in many forms — it could be massage at times, or sometimes it could mean the gym or an amazing bike ride. But it could also mean paying someone to clean your house or buying a meal prep service so you don’t have to stress about dinner or setting boundaries. Whatever it is, don’t feel bad about it. Do what you need to make yourself feel cared for.
11. Worry is wasted time — no amount of worry has ever changed anything. Complaint is wasted breath; any complaint should be accompanied by a positive idea for addressing the problem.
12. Talk to yourself as if you are speaking to a dear friend who is going through something difficult or who needs to hear positive, reassuring words.
13. Let others in your circle — connect, find your tribe, be aware of who you surround yourself with and find joy in community.
14. Make three main plans of action — 1. Mind, mental health support; 2. Body, movement and meditation; 3. Spirit, a spiritual program of action for recovery.
15. Mind your intake — physical and mental, nothing throws you off like waking up to social media and such. Give yourself a chance to look at anything else. Starting your day positive and meaningful will end it differently as well.
And if you are struggling, know there are so many ways to feel better or to get help. Here are five things we can do to improve our mental health:
1. Call your closest friend. Know you are not burdening them; it makes people feel good to be trusted and to help. Let them know how you are doing.
2. Talk to a professional. There are so many options available now, including online, texting and in-person therapy. Many places offer income-based or sliding-scale services so finances are not a limitation.
3. Consider finding a coach. There are coaches for recovery, life, business, wellness, nutrition and more. A life coach can help you clarify your goals and overcome obstacles, and a recovery coach is a great way to help you stay sober in your recovery journey.
4. Move your body. Movement and exercise release dopamine and serotonin and quite literally make us happier. Go for a walk along the river, ride your bike, trail run with the dog, do some burpees or drop into a yoga class. “I regret that workout,” said no one ever.
5. Of course, for serious situations, get help immediately. There is a nationwide mental health hotline now. All you have to do is dial 988 and someone will be there for you. Other local resources include REPS at NWCoSuicidePrevention.com or sobriety-support groups like SoBoat Steamboat, which can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
As per usual, don’t forget to do your burpees and yay it forward. There is always hope. Take care of yourself and someone else a little extra this month. Then do it all over again!
Sarah Coleman is a wellness and recovery coach at Foundry Steamboat, a personal trainer and fitness coach at Steamboat Fit, a CrossFitter, a food connoisseur, meal prep chef and an outdoor enthusiast everywhere.
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