Category: Emotional Fitness

How to kick unhealthy habits: Phones and your emotional wellness.

According to a 2019 Statista study, the majority of children get their first phone at age 11 or 12. Shockingly, 1% of children receive their first phone before they turn 2. As the age that people get their first phone lowers, our addiction level rises. As of January 2022, 47% of Americans would say they’re addicted to their phone. In fact, a word has been created for the fear of being without a mobile phone – nomophobia.

When the world is in your pocket, it’s hard to resist the urge to explore. While cell phones make our lives easier, they also come at a price. Several studies show that this dependency can lead to anxiety, depression, low emotional stability, sleep issues and an increased risk of suicide. What can be done to help with these potential mental health problems? Easy – put down the phone! Here are a few ways you can unplug from the digital world and plug in to real life.

Create a schedule

One way to jump-start your journey to emotional wellness is by creating a schedule of when you can and can’t be on your phone. After a long day at work, time is often spent catching up on social media or checking emails. Next time you catch yourself scrolling, set a timer – maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour. When time’s up, set your phone down and do something productive, like playing a game with your family,  doing the dishes or taking your dog for a walk. You’ll realize how much you can get done when your phone isn’t in your hand!

Turn off notifications

Notifications are great when they’re important, like when a loved one calls or a coworker emails you. But these alerts often divert our attention from what we’re working on to our phones. To keep the distractions to a minimum, consider turning off as many push notifications as possible. Leave the notifications for important apps and watch your user time dwindle. If your phone doesn’t have the ability to turn notifications off completely, try turning the ringer to vibrate or silent modes. 

No more bedtime scrolling

We’re all guilty of it – checking social media or playing games on our phone before bed. There are several ways to nix this problem:

  1. Select a time when you’ll put your phone down for the night and try to stick to it. Pick up a book instead! Studies show that cell phone light often makes it hard to fall asleep, so reading a book could actually help you sleep better.
  2. Use your phone as an alarm? Throw it back to a classic alarm clock instead and charge your phone in the kitchen or living room so it’ll be ready to go in the morning.

At the Wellness and Stress Clinic of Memphis, we believe emotional fitness is for everyone. If you need someone to talk to or would like tips to strengthen your mental health, give us a call at 901-306-5433.

Handling the stress of summer parenting

Summertime is a blast for kids. You probably have fond memories of eating popsicles and running through the sprinklers as you enjoyed your time away from school. But as a parent, having to make child care plans and figuring out how to pay for summer activities can take the season from stress-free to stressful. 

Caring for your emotional wellness is an important part of being a parent. While we all go through times when we don’t feel our best, the Wellness and Stress Clinic wants to help you break the cycle of these challenging emotions. So this summer, we’re going to help you plan for the hard stuff so you can enjoy the extra time with your kids! 

Child care options to consider 

When you’re a working parent, school closure can throw a major wrench in your schedule. Planning your child care in advance during the summer will take a burden off of your shoulders. There are several affordable, safe options to consider in Memphis. 

Memphis Shelby County Schools offers a free, five-week summer camp program that focuses on reading, math and physical wellness for younger students, and ACT prep for older students. The camp is held during school hours, which is helpful if you already have child care arrangements for before or after school care. Transportation is available, you can participate in after-camp programming for additional support and food is included! This is a great option for your family to consider. You can register your student online.

We all need a little break from school every now and then! That’s where Memphis Parks comes in. They offer summer camps at many of their community centers and facilities around the city. Your child could learn to play tennis, swim with their friends or go on exciting field trips throughout the summer by participating in a Memphis Parks camp. Hours and activities vary based on the location, so you’ll need to do a little research to find out if this option is right for your family. To learn more about the camp available in your community, check out their website and contact the location nearest to you.

The YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South offers free summer camp programs for qualifying residents of Memphis and Shelby County. Their programming is varied throughout the city, and they have several locations that could be close to where you live or work! With early morning and evening hours available, this option is great for many parents who work traditional hours. You can learn more on their website. 

There are other low-cost and free camps available throughout the county, so if none of these work for you, we encourage you to look for other options! It’s important that your child is safe and with trusted adults while you’re at work – and these summer camp options will put your child’s well-being first. 

Free activities for days off

Time away from school can leave your children with excess energy on the weekends – so you’ll probably be looking for activities to keep your family busy! Spending money every weekend on fun things to do can stretch your budget and pile on the stress. But there are plenty of free things to do around town that will keep your children engaged without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas to enjoy time spent with your kids:

  • Shelby Farms Park has one of the 16 Coolest Playgrounds in the World, and it’s in our own backyard! Children between the ages of 2 and 12 will enjoy what this free adventure site has to offer. For parents, a walk around the lake can be a relaxing, active break.
  • Admission to the Memphis Zoo is free on Tuesday afternoons after 2 p.m. There is still a $10 parking fee.
  • Take feeding the ducks to the next level by taking your kids to watch the famous ducks enter their fountain residence at the Peabody Hotel. You can watch the officially adorable ceremony every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Grand Lobby.
  • While you’re Downtown, appreciate the Mighty Mississippi from a unique vantage point: the Big River Crossing. This pedestrian bridge provides the unique opportunity to stand in two states at one time as walkers travel over the Mississippi River from Tennessee into Arkansas. 

We know that even with child care covered and activities to keep your family busy, the stress of being a parent can be overwhelming. If you’re having trouble with your emotional wellness as a parent, you are not alone. The team at Wellness and Stress Clinic can help you work through these feelings during our free Monday night clinics. Will you take the first step in getting help by making an appointment to meet us?