Dr. Marku's picks
These are resources and habits that I have personally found helpful to maintain my well-being and happiness.
Too much work, caregiving, screen time, hedonism, materialism, food, alcohol, anything really, can be bad. Find balance. Be gentle with yourself while striving to meet your goals.
Perfect for a quick break at work on desktop or smartphone, it provides an engrossing image and/or sounds to help reduce stress.
No hyperlink here. I cycle, play basketball, and lift weights. You can do whatever you like that keeps you coming back. Any form of exercise is helpful.
A state of mind and body in which an activity is engaged at a degree of difficulty that poses challenges overcome by your level of mastery of the activity. It results in complete absorption and focused attention and a feeling of flow which increases happiness even after the activity is completed. TED Talk.
I've done the introduction but I'm sure the paid subscription is also good. This is more for someone looking for a guided introduction to meditation and can be a good source of motivation.
There is some evidence that coffee, chocolate, and healthy food may improve mental health. There are obvious caveats (see "Balance" above) with these but moderate amounts seem to be a good thing.
A great source for guided meditations, platform to track your meditation, and a customizable timer.
meditation and mindfulness
A non-religious mental state that brings about a sense of calm, wellbeing, and clarity. It is actually very simple to do and the more you do it the better it becomes and the more you benefit. Mindfulness requires no time commitment as you can incorporate it into your daily life during any activIty.
Whether getting away to relax or doing a rim-to-rim-to-rim Grand Canyon epic, getting into nature is restorative, meditative, and relaxing. You will see a lot less rattlesnakes than you think, if any.
If you bike, hike, or run, Strava can be a great way to motivate by tracking your own workouts, comparing your performance to yourself or others, and connecting to others with similar interests.
Yoga is a great way to get exercise and enter a meditative state. I have enjoyed Yoga with Adriene which is a series free on You Tube for all levels of practice.
other great resources
These are resources that are valuable sources of information to learn about mental health problems and treatment and are widely recommended.
When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David Burns
CBT-I Coach - Augments therapy to help with insomnia
Mood Kit - CBT-based tool for changing dysfunctional thoughts, tracking moods, motivate activity, etc.
An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison - A book by a woman with bipolar who is a leading bipolar researcher.
Mood Chart - An easy way to monitor mood, sleep, and lifestyle choices.
cognitive behavioral therapy
Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay
Winter Blues by Norman Rosenthal MD
DIET AND NUTRITION
Crisis Response Network - Call here for psychiaitric emergencies particularly when anyone is in danger due to psychiatric symptoms, for instance uncontrolable suicidal or violent thoughts.
Warm Line - Staffed by others who have recovered from mental illness, this line can be called at any time for support and someone to talk to.
Quackwatch - A great site to find out if the "miracle cure" is actually miraculous
Cochrane Database - Wonderful analyses of clinical evidence
general mental health
CBT-I Coach - App to help learn sleep hygiene ideally used while engaged in therapy for insomnia
Sleepio - Evidence-based online therapy program for a fee that improves sleep without medication or psychotherapy.
meditation and mindfulness
Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn - Accessible and instructive books on how to use meditation to enhance life and deal with stress.
obsessive compulsive disorder
International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R™ - Free online test to identify how you score on the "Big-5" personality characteristics. This may be used in treatment to better understand your character. There are a lot of personality tests but this is one based on good science.
Authentic Happiness by Martin E. P. Seligman
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
LactMed - Database of medications and other chemicals in breast milk
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER AND LIGHT THERAPY
"Winter Blues" Norman Rosenthal MD
- Sun Ray II (Sun Box Company) distance 23 inches
- North Star 10,000 (Alaska Northern Lights) distance 24 inches
- Day-Light Classic (Model DL930; Carex Health Brands) distance 12 inches
schizophrenia and psychosis
Divided Minds, Pamela Spiro Wagner and Carolyn S. Spiro, MD - Book by twin sisters, one a psychiatrst and another with schizophrenia.