Mental health services from HMAA help moms and keiki deal with stress

Providing stress relief during COVID-19

Sponsored by HMAA

Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) is all about providing wellness and benefits for their members – especially moms! During this segment of Mommy Moments, HI Now host Kanoe Gibson spoke with Anisa Wiseman from the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Hawaii about a topic that is important to all moms: stress relief. During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents have had even more stress and pressure put on them from keeping their families safe, children entertained, and dealing with the emotions of a distressing pandemic.

“A lot of times parents get stressed and overloaded and the negative thoughts creep in,” Wiseman begins. “The best way to deal with negative thoughts is to replace them with positive ones. Take some time when you are in a good head space and write yourself a love letter. I know it seems silly, but how else do you think you’re going to combat those negative thoughts? Read that love letter when the negative thoughts come through.”

Wiseman also says that when children don’t have the words or vocabulary to communicate their emotions, those emotions will be communicated through behaviors.

“If they are acting out, something else is going on. I know at times this could be hard to do, but when your child is having erratic behaviors, take a time out and set a timer for 10 minutes to do whatever it is they want to do,” she explains. “This gives them the attention they are desperately seeking and often times you can find the underlying reason as to why those negative behaviors are happening.”

To alleviate some of the pandemic stress at home, Wiseman recommends that parents find opportunities to talk about emotions with their kids since they learn by example. She also recommends talking to kids about your own emotions and that it’s okay to tell them you’re stressed out.

“If they have a tantrum, after they calm down ask them how it felt in their body, what they were upset about. Give them the opportunity to reflect,” she adds.

HMAA wants to ensure its members have access to the care they need when they need it by providing coverage for mental or behavioral health care services. HMAA also has an employee assistance program and educational resources on stress management available at hmaa.com.

HMAA even offers free phone or video consultations through its HiDoc telemedicine service to speak with a medical professional about stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns. There is no limit to the number of times members can use HiDoc, and there is never any out of pocket cost. For more information on how to schedule an appointment, go to hmaa.com/telemedicine.

For more information on HMAA, visit hmaa.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram: @hmaawellness. You can also learn more about NAMI at namihawaii.org or follow on Facebook: @NAMIWalksHawaii or Instagram: @nami.hawaii.