You Cannot Separate Your Brain From Your Body
What affects your body also impacts your brain and vice versa. Physical wellness and mental wellness go hand-in-hand. Did you know that research shows that mental health practices such as mindfulness can lower inflammation? This is just one of the many discoveries researchers are making as they look at how our brains and bodies work together to promote health and wellness.
Mental Health & Mindfulness Resources
Click on the links below to access the resources.
- Self-directed and self-paced Navigating Your Vasculitis Journey Guidebook.
- Helpful videos for each chapter in the guidebook.
- Videos on Mental Health and Vasculitis
- Guided Meditation
- Setting Boundaries
- Window of Tolerance
These resources were developed by VOV ambassadors, who, like you, navigate their lives while living with vasculitis.
Navigating Your Journey Guidebook
“As a patient with vasculitis I know that there can be an overwhelming number of things to do, information to learn, and appointments to keep to manage health and wellness effectively. As I’ve been living with vasculitis for the past 20 years, I have often wished for a guidebook to help me make my way through all of it. So here I bring together many strategies to help you get organized and plan the next steps in your health journey. This guidebook may not make everything better and it won’t change your diagnosis. However, my hope is that it helps you to find your own way to embrace life, with vasculitis along for the ride.” – Stacey Ivits
Working Through the Guidebook
Knowing how to set boundaries is an important skill for everyone, but it is especially important when you are living with a weakened immune system.
Check out A Guide to Setting Boundaries if You’re a People Pleaser from our friends at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.
Window of Tolerance Graphic from mi-psych.com.au
The Window of Tolerance theory is based on the work of clinical psychiatrist, Dan Siegel. Interested in learning more?
Book: Widen the Window: Training your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma by Elizabeth Stanley
Podcast: Widening the Window of Tolerance
Why is this bothering me?
Understanding Your Window of Tolerance
All of us have a window of tolerance – the zone where we can deal with the stresses of life without becoming upset or checking out. Just like windows come in different sizes, the size of our individual windows of tolerance vary. Some people naturally have a larger window of tolerance than others, and outside factors can also influence our window of tolerance. Things like being hungry or in pain may shrink your window of tolerance; while being on vacation or listening to relaxing music may expand your window of tolerance. Here are some quick tips that might help you get yourself “back in the zone” when you have been pushed outside your window of tolerance.
If you are experiencing hyperarousal (anger/panic) try:
- Deep Breathing
- Soothing Music
- Warm Shower
- Weighted Blanket
If you are experiencing hypoarousal (depressed/withdrawn) try:
- Upbeat Music
- Creating-music, art, cooking, building
- Laughter-watch funny videos or your favorite comedy
We all know how vasculitis can affect us physically, but we’re not always prepared how it may affect us emotionally. In this segment, Dana DeMoulin, LCSM, Sara Baird Amodio, MSW, EdD, and webinar host, Kathy Olevsky, talk about how a diagnosis can impact our emotional well-being.
Vasculitis can be a life-changing event because of what it takes away from the patient. There can be a loss of physical or athletic ability, one’s sense of identity, or being more vulnerable to a global health crisis such as COVID-19. In this webinar, Kathy Olevsky and Sara Amodio talk about facing these issues, but also finding solutions or strategies to overcome these challenges.
In this final part of the webinar series about emotional health and vasculitis the discussion turns to another source of possible stress–telling your story and how that can impact your emotions. Also, how caregivers are susceptible to stress as they care for a loved one with vasculitis. Finally, some common-sense strategies are offered to deal with the mental and emotional challenges
In this webinar, psychotherapist, Lynn Valencic, shares some powerful coping strategies to maintain one’s response to stress.
Lynn Valencic, a psychotherapist, takes us on a short, guided body scan meditation exercise to reduce the impact of stress on our mind and body.
When we’re faced with personal health challenges, it can be easy to turn inward, but this too often leads to depression and isolation. In this workshop, Elizabeth H. Cottrell, author of the award-winning book HEARTSPOKEN: How to Write Notes that Connect,Comfort, Encourage, and Inspire will get us thinking about how to harness the simple, affordable tool of note writing to reach outside ourselves and uplift and encourage others.
“We are stronger
in the places
we have been broken.”
— Ernest Hemingway