The Power of Coping Skills and Non-pharmacological Techniques

The obvious about using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques for mood issues or behavioral concerns is that the person receiving these are not faced with experiencing many side effects with the potential to cause more problems when taking medications instead. For example, if I'm anxious and I take an anti-anxiety medication, sure I might feel less anxious, however, I may also become unproductive that day, sleep more than usual, and then feel irritable and even more anxious as it wears off. Reason being, I haven't actually dealt with what caused my anxiety in the first place! Now, in the event the person is taking medications, even reaching for coping tools or the caregiver using non-pharmacological approaches will reduce the amount of or chances for side effects if PRN, or as needed, medication was being used on top of their routine medication regimen.

However, there are two other bonuses to regularly using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques:

1. It...

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Clean Faster

What if we told you that you can treat clean faster? This means that non-pharmacological tools can work faster than most as needed, oral medications used to treat anxiety, excessive agitation, and more. 

In long-term care, and most other treating entities, CMS requires that healthcare providers attempt to use non-pharmacological interventions first before giving medications to treat symptoms of dementia and mental health concerns - anxiety, depression, agitation, wandering, repetitive behaviors, hoarding, aggression, and so on. Treating clean in this fashion is a Win, Win! Your organization is in compliance, it helps your 5-star rating and increases your reimbursement, while the resident or patient is not dealing with the negative side effects of these medications, like falls, confusion, irritability, and upset stomach. 

The other advantage is that you can treat clean faster. Did you know that it can take minimally 30 minutes for as needed medications to start working, and...

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Treat Clean

We've talked about thinking and feeling clean, i.e., swapping out toxic, quick fixes for long-term, effective, clean strategies for managing cognitive, mental, and emotional health. These are individual choices, however, what about if you are a professional treating patients or residents. What are their choices? Often in medical settings, it's quick to prescribe or give a pill to fix these very concerns. Like, a dementia patient starts to yell out, is repetitively talking, and wandering around, often they are given a PRN medication to calm them down. Why? What else could have been done? It's our due diligence to inform the patient, resident or their family on alternatives to medication - non-pharmacological interventions. What are those alternatives?

Great alternatives for mental and emotional health are essential oil use, like lavender for relaxation or agitation, peppermint to focus and socialize, or lemon or wild orange to boost mood. Other alternatives might be journaling,...

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My Oil Regimen

I’ve been managing COVID symptoms for about 2 weeks. My symptoms have been mild but yet odd. Parts of the day I feel no different than a usual day and other parts of the day I experience symptoms. Additionally, my symptoms change, alternate if you will. My symptoms fluctuate from hot flashes and cold chills, moments of headaches nausea, aches and pains to severe body pains, much fatigue and tiredness, intermittent night sweats, and a fluctuating sore throat and cough. I’ve put together an oil regimen to keep my symptoms more or less under control, or at least to not progress. 

With rest, relaxation, a good book, and binge watching TV shows, I put 1 drop of Clove in my coffee in the morning to clear my throat. Three times a day I take in a veggie capsule, 2 drops each of Frankincense (Frank), Lemon, Oregano, OnGuard, and Tea Tree oils with a few drops of coconut oil to manage symptoms related to the flu. I take 2 capsules of Deep Blue supplements to manage muscular...

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Anxiety Has Nothing To Do About Today

Today I sit here, as the co-owner of NeuroEssence, having developed the symptoms of COVID-19. Many thoughts go through my head – how will I continue to care for my family, how can I continue to service our clients remotely, how is it possible to lead others when I’m sick myself. I even have had morbid thoughts, brief thoughts of worsening symptoms, having to move from my home, needing to be hospitalized and even ventilated. What if I die?

All these thoughts came to a screeching halt when I realized that my negative, swirling and spiraling thoughts aren’t helping my situation. They are making it worse, causing me to get up at 230AM and losing sleep.

My kids are worried about Mommy and will I ever get better; my husband is concerned about my health – his wife, mother of his children, and best friend. My family checks on me in fear of losing me, and my friends think about the what if. My colleagues worry about our future together.

My anxiety, and the anxiety of...

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