Welcome Back!

We appreciate your patience as we took some time to reflect and pivot given the unprecedented challenges our world has faced during 2020. Given those challenges, we are looking forward to supporting you as you redesign your worklife for the road ahead.

Our team and our partners in the Wellness Incentive Network (W.I.N.) are looking forward to bringing you resources to help you navigate 2021 and beyond. We at the Kingston Bay Group and Keeping Balanced Coaching are committed to seeing you reach your goals. Please feel free to engage with us here on our website or on any of our social media outlets:

We look forward to supporting you in your journey to overall wellbeing!

Happy New Year!

The Kingston Bay Group, LLC & Keeping Balanced Coaching

Minding Your Mental Health in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Minding Your Mental Health in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen, Guest Contributor

Suppose you are driving on the interstate in wintry conditions and you end up in a very deep ditch. No matter how much you press on the gas pedal — you’re not getting out. When this happens, you need help, in the form of a tow truck and emergency responders. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to drive again. It just means that at this moment, you are in a deep ditch and you need some help. 

I am a Family Medicine Physician and that’s how I approach difficult conversations surrounding mental health with my patients.

With this pandemic causing numerous deaths worldwide, a significant disruption in our daily routines, loss of income and cancellation of special events, it will inevitably impact the state of our mental health.

This has already been demonstrated with a significant increase in the prescriptions filled for anxiety, depression and sleeping disorders and millions of Americans who have filed for unemployment. We therefore need to acknowledge that this is a stressful time and will affect us all in different ways.

Be mindful of the ways in which this increased stress regarding this pandemic can show up in your daily lives:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

It is therefore important to take care of yourself and your community:

  • Continue to follow guidelines from your trusted health professionals
  • Take breaks from watching or reading news stories
  • Limit your use of social media if it’s causing you to feel overwhelmed
  • Take care of your body
    • Take deep breaths, exercise or meditate
    • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Avoid alcohol and drugs
  • Try to do some safe activities you enjoy that still allow you to maintain your social distance
  • Connect with others and talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

I will say; however, that lifestyle interventions are great — but they sometimes aren’t enough. In those cases, we recommend therapy, medications or maybe even a referral to a specialist for more treatment options.

On the interstate in wintry conditions, the goal is to get the car out of the ditch and get you to safety. Similarly a treatment plan is meant to get you back to your best state of mental health, again.

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/16/economy/unemployment-benefits-coronavirus/index.html

https://www.express-scripts.com/corporate/americas-state-of-mind-report

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician and National Health Service Corps Scholar currently practicing in an underserved clinic and critical access hospital in Central Minnesota. She completed her residency training at the Mayo Clinic. While there, she was as a member of the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association Board of Directors and the President of the Mayo Fellows Association. She graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville Tennessee and was the recipient of the Family Medicine Leadership Award. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, from The City College of the City University of New York where she was a Colin Powell Fellow.

She founded Women of Excellence, Strength & Tenacity (WEST) an organization dedicated to empowering young women to live up to their highest potential. She continues to support philanthropic efforts in medicine, through volunteering locally and abroad.

She is committed to improving the health of our generation, both locally and globally, through the promotion and practice of primary care and preventative medicine. Recognizing the power of media, to deliver relevant and timely health messages outside of the confines of a limited clinic appointment, she has published numerous articles with ABC News in New York City as a Medical Journalism Intern and has recorded multiple episodes for CentraCare’s Your Health podcast.

Emerging from S-I-P: A Playlist

Emerging from S-I-P: A Playlist

Dr. Kecia C. Brown, President & Principal Coach

Welcome to the Keeping Balanced Coaching blog, O.K. Well! We are excited to bring you this new online hub that we plan to fill with advice and resources related to the 8 Areas of Wellness: 8 Areas of Wellness: Career, Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Physical, Social and Spiritual. Relevant articles will be contributed by KBC coaches, Wellness Incentive Network partners and invited guests.

And now, we hope you enjoy our first article by Founder and Principal Career & Wellness Coach, Dr. Kecia C. Brown.

Emerging from S-I-P: A Playlist

Over the past few months, many communities across the world have been actively doing what they can to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. After nine (plus) weeks of sheltering-in-place, businesses and public places are gradually re-opening.  Here are a few tips to help you emerge from Shelter-in-Place (S-i-P), accompanied by our very own collaborative playlist (Available on Tidal and Spotify).

#1: Free Your Mind (En Vogue)

Have you ever heard the saying, “No news is good news?” 

Yes, it is important to stay informed about the local, national and international developments related to COVID-19. It is also critical to “consider the source.”

Periodically take a break from news outlets (especially the clearly biased ones), social media and the CCC, “Close Circle Commentators” (family members, friends and/or co-workers sharing their latest conspiracy theories). Taking breaks from social media in particular has been frequently discussed as it relates to positive mental health and wellbeing. 

While we are balancing both staying informed and our overall wellbeing, it is important to use a discerning ear and spirit to determine what is news, what is noise and when it is time to free your mind of the overload from both.

#2. Get Me Bodied (Beyoncé) & A Long Walk (Jill Scott)

Get moving! Whether it’s an online led workout in your home, dancing to your favorite song, or just taking a walk outdoors, exercise has innumerable physical and mental health benefits. For those who are looking to workout in small groups, it is still advised to keep social distance and exercise outdoors, as fine droplet particles can spread, especially in close quarters.

Whatever you choose to do, be safe, allow space and have fun!

#3. Drive (Incubus) 

Seen in some parts of the world as one of the most hazardous parts of our daily experience, driving can have a few benefits to our wellbeing. Now that Shelter-in-Place has been lifted in a number of areas, going for a drive during off-peak hours to appreciate the scenery is an effective way to reconnect with your surroundings. A clear benefit of periodically driving alone (undistracted) is the positive impact on productivity. Dr. Eric Klinenberg shared with Men’s Health Magazine that “[Some] People long for productive solitude, time to be alone in their heads to work through problems without the distraction of social media and e-mail.” Additionally for some communities, driving is seen as more than a way to clear the mind; driving provides opportunities to thrive, as well as supporting independence

Whatever your reason for driving, consider using your time on the road as a way to practice calm awareness and being fully present.

#4. Can We Talk (Tevin Campbell)

If driving in solitude is not your thing, finding a trusted person or small group to talk with as you emerge from S-i-P can make your transition back into your various communities easier. Whether that person is a close friend, a therapist or a small support group; talking through your hopes, concerns and plans for staying healthy and safe is a great way to gain clarity and create contingency plans for best and worst-case scenarios.

#5. A Place in the Sun (Steve Wonder)

If warmer weather is forecasted for your area, taking in some sun rays could be just what the doctor ordered. 

Much research has shown the numerous health benefits of the sun with regard to vitamin D production. In addition to giving our immune system a much needed boost, Vitamin D, or what some call “the sunshine vitamin,“ has been linked to impacting hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and other inflammatory diseases. If you have concerns about being in the sun, talk with your doctor regarding vitamin D supplements and the correct dosage given your unique situation to make sure you do not exceed the recommended amount. Always remember your sunscreen! 

#6. Don’t Stand So Close to Me (Sting and the Police)

Being able to congregate within groups has some people managing excitement and others matching that excitement with anxious caution. Health authorities have been clear that the virus has not disappeared simply because it is warmer and businesses are re-opening. Social distancing and following all CDC guidelines are still recommended. And of course, if you are hesitant or unable to come out of the Shelter-in-Place for a variety of reasons, do what you feel is best, given your circumstances.

We hope that you, your loved ones and your coworkers are successfully navigating the next phases of the Shelter-in-Place orders in the ways that work best for your life situation. We would love to hear how you are managing this transition. Email us at keepbalancednow@gmail.com, follow us on social media and please enjoy contributing to our growing playlist on  Tidal and Spotify.

To Your Wellbeing.


Dr. Kecia Brown is a Career and Wellness Coach, mother, author and entrepreneur. She designed the Wellbeing and Career Transformation Process™, a developmental experience that helps emerging and established leaders become more intentional about creating peaceful integration between 8 areas of wellness within their lives, especially during times of transition and crisis. Her work is fueled by research in adult learning, leadership and spirituality, as well as guided by her own lived experiences and those of her clients.


Dr. Kecia’s coaching style is compassionate, intuitive, with a touch of structured fluidity in order to engage and support clients in challenging their underlying assumptions about their capacity for success.


Dr. Kecia currently works with Mid-Career and Senior-Level Leaders nationally and internationally.