Sitting on the beach today got me thinking about my work over the years in a good way! Being a mental health professional for years taught me that most people want a quick fix for their issues. Hence the popularity of Xanax. Anxiety is a constant struggle for a good portion of the population and a pill that offers quick relief exists and is widely available. A win-win, right? Not exactly. Most anti-anxiety medications are addictive and can introduce unpleasant side-effects.
Lifestyle changes are highly effective means of mitigating anxiety. However, people usually don’t like to hear that increasing exercise, sleeping more and cleaning up their diets are massively powerful tools for increasing mental wellness. Considering what I’ve witnessed on the beach today, I should have taken a different approach in advising self-care. What I mean by this is that everyone here on the beach appears to be relaxed. This is in stark contrast to what I might be seeing if I were sitting in any Starbuck’s across the country where person after person presents with countless anxious behaviors while self-medicating themselves with pricey caffeinated libations.
If I had my career to do over again (which, thankfully, I don’t:) I wouldn’t have been so aggressive in my efforts to get people to move and sleep more. People just don’t want to feel that they have to find time for better health. Rather, I would have suggested a regular beach day. Something about the sound of the ocean, the breeze and the feel of the sand just heals. Problems and worries seem to crumble away when you’re seaside. Most people would welcome this type of prescription, I think. #prescribevacationsnotpills