Guest Contributor: LA Adkins, LCSW
Founding Owner of Reconnect With You, PLLC
What are some ways that you promote mental health and wellness through your area of expertise?
I am trained, studied, and certified as a Sound Therapist and Practitioner. A sound therapy session (also called a "sound bath") is an immersive healing, wellness, and meditative practice during which the sounds from crystal gemstone-infused singing bowls and other musical instruments are used to relax the mind and the body and help one attune to the mind-body connection. The practice of sound therapy uses music as a healing agent. This holistic practice allows me to hold sacred space for whoever is present and to serve as a guide in the meaning they make of their experience.
The practice of sound therapy encourages rest and stillness, which can help participants get out of the busy mind and disconnect from focusing on productivity. Sound therapy causes positive changes in brain waves helping those present to achieve alpha waves, which are associated with deep relaxation and accessing creativity and theta waves, which are associated with deep meditation and improved memory. This creates a calming effect for participants.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
One of the ways we can encourage more people to seek mental health support and treatment is by being more open about our experiences as mental health professionals. I was 11 years old the first time I contemplated suicide, and I attempted for the first time a couple of weeks before my college graduation. I didn't share that openly for a very long time out of fear of judgment from colleagues and clients. I recently shared a video on my YouTube channel about my struggles with mental health, including anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, and I received an overwhelmingly positive response from both colleagues and clients. It's important that we release any shame we might have about our experiences and know that it's more important for us to be human, including with our clients. The transparency can be healing both for ourselves and for clients and potential clients.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
I put wellness and self-care time on my calendar, and I make sure to make time for rest. This includes allowing myself 15-30 minutes of transition time between each task, activity, or meeting on my calendar and making sure I go for a walk every day. I hold myself accountable to stick to the time I've scheduled for myself, and I set boundaries with others so that my wellness and self-care time is uninterrupted. I sometimes put my phone on do not disturb or place my phone in another room to help prevent any distractions.
My daily self check-ins help me hold space for and check in with myself and my level of energy throughout the day, which gives me an opportunity to make any adjustments that are needed. I also have a structured morning and evening routine, which is centered on self-love and self-care. These routines are ritualistic for me and help me maintain healthy wellness habits. They also support me in starting my day from a full, rested, and grounded place and ending my day with holding space for myself and for reflection on whatever came up for me during the day.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Fasting (water/no food fasts)
Affirmations journaling (creating and writing one positive self-affirmation in journal per day to read aloud to myself)
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
Black Girl Seen (Instagram: @blackgirlseen)
Black Minds in Meditation (Instagram: @blackmindsinmeditation)
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis (Instagram: @dr.thema)
Heal Black Man (Instagram: @healblackman)
Self-Care is for Everyone (Instagram: @selfcareisforeveryone)
The Darkness Rising Project (Instagram:@darknessrisingproject)
The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (Instagram: @theffbww)
The Shine App (Instagram: @theshineapp)
Therapy for Black Girls (Instagram: @therapyforblackgirls)
LA Adkins (she/her/hers) is a creative, champion of solitude, spiritual guide, storyteller keynote speaker, and Holistic Wellness Therapreneur from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is also trained, studied, and certified as a Sound Therapist and Mindfulness Meditation Guide. She currently practices as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and is a subject matter expert in the field of mental health. LA is the Founding Owner of Reconnect With You, PLLC, a private holistic mental health practice based in North Carolina specializing in work with entrepreneurs, professionals, and organizations/corporations.
She provides individual therapy, sound therapy, public speaking services, and she makes candles, all with a focus on wellness. She has published a self-exploration gratitude journal titled Reconnect With You, which has an emphasis on helping you improve your relationship with yourself. She also delivered a TEDx talk titled The Unexpected Power of Solitude in Healing from Loss, Shame, and Trauma. LA brings her lived experience and over ten (10) years of professional experience working in K-12 schools, non-profit settings, the legal field, higher education, and both in-state and federal government.
How LA shows up in the world is shaped by her personal values, which are accountability, authenticity, autonomy, integrity, justice, and transparency. She firmly believes that one's relationships with others are both an extension and reflection of the relationship one has with oneself, which is why she is so passionate about working with individuals to help them better understand and more fully accept themselves in everything she does. She feels that the work she does is in alignment with her soul mission and what she was created to do, which is to support others in facing their true selves with courage, increasing their self-awareness, and reconnecting with the fullness of who they are, hence the name of her wellness brand and private practice Reconnect With You.