About Janine Monico

Janine Monico is a digital marketing consultant who has managed the Healthy Minds Philly initiative website since 2015.

Breathing Exercise

Ariana Grande’s popular song "breathin’" is an anthem to anxiety that speaks to a simple solution with a multitude of benefits. “Don’t know what else to try, but you tell me every time, just keep breathin’ and breathin’” chants the pop superstar. Unfortunately, most of us weren’t taught the simple techniques and range of positive outcomes that come with—well—simply breathing. It happens to all of us. Feelings like anxiety, stress, and fear cause our breathing to be shallow, irregular, or rapid. It’s entirely normal. Our body’s automatic response is to protect itself. The trick is to focus not on what’s happening around us, but to what is happening within us. We are breathing. It’s our most basic instinct. Practicing steady, deep breathing delivers more oxygen to the body and brain, reduces your heart rate and decreases the release of cortisol—better known as the stress hormone. Deep breathing also releases endorphins. This in turn increases a sense of calm and can combat pain. Other known benefits of deep breathing include: Lower blood pressure –Relaxation opens the blood vessels and improves circulation More energy—From increased oxygen to the circulatory system Less headache pain - Due to reduced tension locked in the shoulders and neck (you’ll rest better, too!) Practice Makes Perfect Getting back to steadier breaths is within reach. All it takes [...]

2022-04-29T14:55:06-04:00May 1st, 2022|Anxiety, Mental Health, Self-Help, Stress|

Boost Your Mental Health with Exercise

Mental Health Awareness Month offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on and reprioritize our mental health and wellness. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking time for reflection is important; knowing what drains our energy and what gives us energy strengthens our ability to honor and take care of ourselves. I want to highlight one tool within our mental health and wellness toolbox:  Exercise.   Exercise is an excellent tool for relieving stress, increasing energy, and promoting positive wellbeing. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity. However, you do not need to push through a session at the gym to receive the perks associated with regular physical activity. Walks around your neighborhood, opting to take stairs, and even doing squats while your brush your teeth can all provide benefits. Studies show that regardless of age or fitness level, exercise can provide some mental health benefits, such as: Promoting happiness  Exercise releases endorphins, creating feelings of happiness and euphoria. Research has shown that, in some cases, exercise works as well as medication in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression – and the effects can be long-lasting. One vigorous exercise session can alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.  Preventing cognitive decline The brain [...]

2022-04-29T09:56:39-04:00May 1st, 2022|Anxiety, Depression, Mental Health|

Stand Together for Mental Health

The mind is the seat of consciousness, unconsciousness, and mental processes including thought, imagination, memory, will, and sensation. It is responsible for perception, pain experience, belief, desire, intention, and emotion. Imagine this seat of consciousness and unconsciousness has been infiltrated and those processes are compromised.  How would you know? What would you do if you knew?   Most experts agree trauma is an underlying (and often unresolved) common denominator for individuals experiencing behavioral health challenges. Trauma has an indelible impact on all of us whether from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) or traumas experienced across the lifespan. The pandemic introduced another layer of complexity. COVID-19 forced many to operate, isolate, and perform in ways that created stress, uncertainty, and confusion.  Studies show individuals are more likely to perform better when their mental health and wellbeing (MWB) is high. MWB is a critical part of developing healthy coping skills to manage the challenges we face every day. Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as not merely the absence of mental health problems but as a “state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community”. MWB is central to effective human functioning.  Let’s go back [...]

2022-04-29T10:36:22-04:00May 1st, 2022|Mental Health|

Kids Will Play. Put It Away!

Kids will play, put it away! Children are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they accidentally find and ingest medicine or drugs. When drugs and other substances are in the home, they present a risk to children. This is true of over the counter, legally prescribed, and illegal substances. Opioids can be especially dangerous and should stay in their original packaging. When you have substances in your home, follow these tips to keep your young ones safe: Store drugs and medicine out of reach and out of sight of kids. If possible, keep them in cabinets that can be locked or child-proofed with latches. If locks are not easily available, make sure they are placed inside cabinets and drawers and not out in the open. Be sure to put medicines away after using them. Talk with your children. Engage your children in conversations about what medicine is and that they should only take medicine when it’s given to them by an adult. Ask others to help keep your home safe. When babysitters, extended family, and friends come over, ask that they keep medicine safely stored in their bags, or outside of the home. If an accident happens, get help IMMEDIATELY. Call Poison Control if you suspect a poisoning. You’ll get free, expert help. The number is 1-800-222-1222. Together, we can keep our kids safe! [...]

2022-04-12T10:42:46-04:00April 12th, 2022|Awareness, Community|
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