May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is a Latinx Therapy platform dedicated to breaking the stigma in our current dystopian society. As Coronavirus has frightened many individuals, it has also put on edge the mental health of many people. Though the psychology field has made advances in therapy there is still a lot of misconceptions surrounding mental health topics. Eva Longoria recently interviewed Adriana Alejandre founder of Latinx Therapy and a licensed marriage and family therapist, who specializes in trauma, anxiety, survivors of sexual assault, torture and child abuse.
In the interview which was on her Instagram Live, Adriana sheds light on our new normal, the global pandemic and how to manage anxiety during these stressful times. The Desperate Housewives actress also advocates for Latinas and raises awareness about the disproportionate opportunities Latinas face with the Eva Longoria Foundation. Eva and Adriana discussed ways on how people can adjust their lifestyle and find a medium in today’s zeitgeist.
Though life won’t return back as it was pre-Coronavirus, the Latina therapist suggests to lower our expectations and recognize that many lives are disrupted and affected by the global pandemic. “Engaging in more self-care activities can help us to manage mental health. Self-care is not about purchasing things, it’s about the things we don’t do. Take care of yourself. You come first, even though that may sound selfish at times,” suggested Adriana.
Even Eva identifies with the collectivism paradigms that have been instilled in her life, “My mom was a giver. I’m a giver. I’m the last person in my family I think about.” The Latin therapist suggests to recognize your own system and find a balance that works for you. Whether you grew up in an individualistic society or a collective family, she recognizes that it is important to realize what are you codependent about. “We just have to do what is realistic for ourselves first. My metaphor is that we can’t pour from an empty cup. If I am empty, there is nothing for me to give.”
Besides practicing self-care Eva and Adriana also talked about communication techniques, relaxation tips and how to find structure during lockdown. “Just making space for yourself throughout the day, every single day during this pandemic because every single day is different,” shared the therapist. She advises to choose a different corner at home for each specific activity throughout the day and don’t mix your work schedule in the same space as your eating time.
But how do you maintain motivation and balance when every day seems the same? Adriana advises talking to someone, journaling and taking things off your plate. “Leave time for yourselves because often times we end up avoiding ourselves by being there for others or picking up other tasks so that we remain busy and with structure.”
It’s important to say no and talk to a relative or friend when feelings of anxiety or depression start to rise. In addition to the traditional journaling technique, Adriana recommends private voice memos and audio vlogging. Anxiety can be addressed early but focusing on your own needs first and using a source like Latinx Therapy can help in managing other issues and put an end to depression.