Finding a therapist can be difficult, stressful and scary. But with the right information, you’ll have the tools you need to find and connect with the best therapist for you.
When looking for a therapist, it’s important to remember these four tips:
Fostering a relationship with a new therapist may feel a little scary, but it’s important to know that is okay. New relationships come with awkward change and growing pains. The important thing is to leave no stone unturned in your search for a therapist. You never know who you may find!
Stress is a situation where a person anxious and threatened.
There are different ways to cope with stress. Sometimes due to accidents, environmental, personal disasters, or any threat, a person can face stress. Due to such conditions, a person can face:
Trouble in sleeping and eating can be a normal stress reaction. Following are the ways to deal with stress.
1. Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with stress. Daily workouts relax your mind and body. Mood also gets better by doing exercise.
2. Muscle Relaxation: Muscles become tense when a person is under stress. The following are ways muscles can be relaxed:
3. Deep Breath: Deep breaths are very effective in coping with stress. For deep breaths, sit down in a comfortable place, place your hands on your lap, and feet on the floor, or you can lay down. Close your eyes and feel like you are in a beautiful place, on a beach or garden or any peaceful place. Take deep breaths in and out. Do this activity for 5-10 minutes daily.
4. Eat Well: Good food makes the mood better. Balanced and regular nutrition helps a person in feeling better. Add vegetables, fruits, and grains to your meal.
5. Take a Break: Take a break from your busy life. Do some activities that give you pleasure like
6. Make time for Hobbies: Try different relaxing hobbies and enjoy your life. It will make you feel better. 15-20 minutes will be enough for you. Activities include:
7. Talk about your issues: If something is bothering you and disturbing you, seek help from others. Talk to your family members, your friends, or a therapist. If no one is available, self-talk can also be an excellent way to reduce stress, but this self-talk should be positive; otherwise, it will be harmful.
8. Remove the factors causing Stress: Find out what is causing the problem in your life, like it can be your job, your task, etc., eliminate them from your life. If you cannot remove them, at least reduce them. If you are unable to find out stress causers, then keep a stress journal. Note that when you become stressed /anxious, you will notice a pattern.
Spring is the time of the year for embracing all things light and fresh as there is abundant growth of freshly new flowers, grass, and delicious, colorful produce.
Eating seasonally aligns our minds and body with nature and is a great way to get the most flavorful and freshest produce around. Food abundant in spring is refreshing, regenerating, and detoxifying, which forces us to leave behind the heaviness of grounding foods.
Healthy food in spring:
1. A savory toast:
2. A spring green smoothie. Assemble these ingredients and blend:
3. Spring veggie sandwich:
4. Spring veggie pad thai:
If the year 2020 has taught us anything it is that sometimes we have to PIVOT. Traditionally New Years is filled with Resolutions…flossing everyday….going to the gym….no more soft drinks…
No on is going to argue that those things are good for you, they are healthy, but what I’m asking you to do is to rethink societal norms. What if you restructured how you thought about resolutions? What if you transitioned those resolutions into goals that are more achievable and more reasonable? One bad day doesn’t ruin the whole goal, there is rooms for mistakes and growth. So, what goals should you be setting?
The best things about goals is that they can be changed, they are flexible. Goals are also measurable. You can set short term goals and long term goals. The big question is…What is important to you as you look at the year 2020? As you look at 2021, focus on things that are achievable and helping yourself become successful, because if we know anything hindsight is 2020.
If you find yourself struggling with goal setting, we have mental health professionals who are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.
There are hundreds of blogs and Instagram posts that teach you how to rid your life of stress. The truth is, life is stressful, and anxiety can be a natural consequence of life stressors that we face daily. Relationships, work, and parenting can often feel chaotic…pair these already complicated and often overwhelming areas of life with living during a pandemic, it can feel downright unmanageable. Instead of attempting to “rid” our lives of stress and anxiety, we must first accept that feeling difficult emotions is a part of life. It’s important to first identify and accept these difficult emotions, in order to create healthy and lasting change in our lives.
ACCEPT: Accepting that stress can be a natural experience during difficult times is a much healthier approach than entirely “ridding” our lives of difficult emotions. That’s an impossible task that would feel us leaving forever disappointed. What we resist, persists, and this approach is much more realistic approach that incorporates self-compassion and the acceptance that we aren’t perfect, nor should be. Just because we experience difficulties does not mean we are weak or unprepared. It means we are human and we have the strength and capacity to identify when we are not feeling our best.
ACT: What’s the next step after identifying that difficult emotions are just a part of life? Sit in misery, clouded by stress and anxiety? NO! Asking for help is the biggest sign of strength and self-care. In addition to eating healthy, exercise, maintaining healthy relationships, quality sleep, therapy can be an excellent space to process difficult emotions and learn how to effectively cope with them. It can be so easy to feel “stuck” in a cycle of stress and negativity. We aren’t born instantly knowing how to cope in a modern era of traffic, feeling burnout from work, financial issues, or family drama. A therapist can help you identify coping skills and safely process life stressors in order to live more joyfully.
PRACTICE: Therapy isn’t the last stop in creating lasting change. Implementing tools on a daily basis is crucial to managing stress and anxiety. When these stressors bubble up to the surface and you feel like you don’t have a grasp, these difficult emotions are free thermometers that tell us we need to be more active in our self-care. Although there’s no “cure” for stress, and it’s impossible to rid our lives entirely of them, it’s possible to take hold of our lives through dedication and practice.
If you have any questions about the therapeutic process, please reach out! It’s never too late to ask for help.
Vital Points about Addiction
The urgent need to address addiction today has been overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the ravages of addiction continue and it looks like have been made worse by the pandemic. There are several key concepts essential to grasp for a balanced understanding of addiction and what can be done.
Addiction Cannot be Controlled by the Addict or by Loved Ones
Often, family members––partners, spouses, children, parents, etc.––try to help by giving what they feel is support: money, a place to stay, second chances, another car, a job, bail money, and yet, the madness continues. This is called enabling and actually prolongs the problem.
The Addict is Not the Disease
Unchecked, the alcoholic/addict’s behavior at some point will become too painful for the loved ones to bear. Then, the only thing the family can do is protect themselves. This requires either professional help and/or attending helping groups3.
The Addict Runs the Family
The readers who have had the experience of a loved one with addiction will tell you, the alcoholic/addict and the addiction are the center of the family and the alcoholic/addict, essentially runs the family.
The Loved Ones and the Families Need Help Too.
Think of a tornado tearing its way through your house, turning everything upside down and inside out. This is what addiction can do to a family. And, the family will need repair. It takes work to resolve the resentments, the distorted communication patterns, the almost overwhelming guilt/blame, and confusion. The family needs recovery also.
Addiction Continues to Affect the Family for Generations if Unchecked
Families I have worked with, often feel that, since the addict has stopped using, is living in a different city, or has passed on, has been divorced, that the problem therefore has been solved. I’ve never seen one case where this is true.
I often have clients with issues such as anxiety or depression, and, when getting the family history discover that one or more of the family members (grandparents, uncles, etc.,) had problems with addiction. This affected the client’s parents and these patterns were passed on to the client in some way. We can’t just shut the door on a room destroyed by the tornado and consider the job done.
The Good News
There are many excellent resources for treatment; residential (long and short-term), outpatient services, group therapy, the groups mentioned earlier, and intensive individual counseling. Since addiction has become a prominent, national issue, there are more and more reliable resources for those affected by addiction3, directly or indirectly. Millions of addicts and families have recovered from their nightmare of addiction and live happy, productive, healthy lives.
1. In this article, the term addiction refers to both alcoholism and drug addiction (whether the drugs are by prescription or illegal).
2. More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study. Alcohol sales have increased dramatically since sheltering in place: 27.1% for wine and 31.7% for spirits, and 243% increase in online alcohol of any type, according to a Nielsen study.
3. Groups such as Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA), etc. Therapists experienced with addiction know of and can recommend the appropriate treatment for someone.
The references for Footnote 2:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Data Spotlight: More than 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems, 2012. Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3223/ShortReport-3223.html
The reference for the increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic:
Fall is officially here and it's prime time to bring in the harvest. Let’s shake things up and add some new veggies to the plate!
During this time of year you will find incredible vegetables such as cabbage, beets, radishes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and kohlrabi. Kohlrab- what? Yep, that right. Kohlrabi! It’s part of the radish family but is slightly sweeter with only a mild spiciness. You can eat it raw or steam it and use as the base for “creamed soup” (perhaps a replacement for potato as a low carb low cal version). Of course, you can also roast them along with your other root vegetables like purple carrots, onions, and squash. They are super detoxing for your system too!
Another outstanding fall vegetable that is good for cleansing the body and kicking the “sludge” out of the gallbladder are beets. I’m not talking just the bottom of the plant, the beet itself either. Did you know the beet tops have nearly 10 times the nutrients of the actual beet?! It also has a great component to it called betaine, which aids digestion and “gets things moving.” Take the tops, stems included, chop them up and sautéed with a little organic chicken broth. Tas-ty!
You can always keep rolling with the cabbage family though too. Take some brussels sprouts and sauté with a little olive oil and balsamic…they caramelize and no longer have the bite some people are turned off by. Maybe even use the green or purple cabbage leaves to make cabbage rolls stuffed with grass-fed beef and tomatoes.
They are sure to please! Until next time, eat well…live well.
Who likes talking about suicide? It’s uncomfortable.
That’s why I want to talk about it.
Looking at those stats is overwhelming and shocking. So what can we do? We can check in on those around us and know what to look for so we can recognize the signs of suicide.
What can you do?
If you are worried about someone you love asking about their wellbeing could be a matter of life or death. Check in on your friends and family. Ask how they are doing, ask how you can support them and never keep someone’s plan for suicide a secret. There is always hope. There are emergency resources available for those who need them.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling hopeless or you are identifying with any of the behaviors or thoughts mentioned in this article, there is no need to be ashamed, there is help for you. Contact your mental health provider today if you do not have one please contact us and we will set you up with the appropriate therapist for your needs.
If you are currently having serious thoughts of harming yourself or have a plan to harm yourself or commit suicide, you need to get help right now.
If you are in the U.S. you can call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
Allowing your child to play football at any level is a difficult decision for any parent due to the concern for broken bones, concussions, and the potential for long-term negative consequences. No one would have ever expected that we as parents would also have to worry about a pandemic impacting their physical and mental health. Enough time has been spent over the past four months by “experts” educating all of us about the physical precautions that we need to take in order to keep our kids safe from the virus. However, not enough time has been spent talking about dealing with their mental health.
As a therapist and mother of two boys who have played football for many years (local leagues, middle school, high school, and now college), I can tell you that in general the state of their mental health is just as important as their physical preparedness for the game. One of the main reasons my husband and I have continued to encourage them to play football are the life lessons that they can learn from the game. Dealing with adversity of the pandemic and navigating the unknown regarding their upcoming season is just another one of the lessons.
As a parent we have a crucial role in these lessons learned, that of support and encouragement.
We have always told our children that there are two things that we cannot give them in life: attitude and effort. We can buy them the best helmet and cleats, pay for the best coaching and personal trainers, drive them all over the state to show case their skills, but we cannot make them have a positive attitude or make them give 100% effort. I believe through our support, encouragement, and role modeling that they will desire to have both of these things. So talk to your children. Be open with them about the uncertainty of things and validate their concerns and frustrations. Help them to discern between the things that are in their control verses what is not. The pandemic is what it is, the decisions of the government about school and sports is what it is, but they can control their attitude about it and the effort they put in to be prepared mentally and physically if they are allowed to participate in the football season. Help them recognize that the season might be reduced, forced to stay local, or cancelled all together. Continue to encourage them to workout, run routes, hydrate, and stay in contact with their teammates. Routine, structure, contact with our support systems, and a positive attitude are highly important for all of us during the pandemic regardless of what sport we play or job we have.
With Back-To-School upon us you might be wondering how you can keep the nutrition going packed up in your kiddos lunch pail. I’m here today to offer up a few ways to make them nutrient packed and a step beyond the norm.
Recently, I came across the new Cauliflower Thins and Jicama Wraps from Trader Joe’s. They are delicious and a super avenue for getting more vegetables in your child’s diet. They are also an excellent option for kids with Celiac Disease or have a nut allergy.
For the Cauliflower Thins you can layer thin slices of cucumber, a slice of organic deli turkey (omit if vegan), thin slices of avocado or spread of guacamole, and a slice of tomato.
If you want a healthier improv of the pizza Lunchables, you can also pack them along with a side of tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and olives or another favorite toppings to build his/her own pizza.
On to the Jicama wraps. These are nice and crunchy and do no have an overpowering flavor, sure to pass even a picky eaters taste test. Here you can take canned tuna/chicken/salmon, finely dice up celery, pickles, & onion (if they’ll eat it), and Veganaise mayo.
Combine well. Fill the Jicama Wrap like a taco or burrito and there you have it! You can also toss in a container of berries to boost their brain power.
All of these options include the protein they need for growth and strength, the right kind of fats for their brain & body, and quality carbohydrates packed with nutrition to keep their immune systems at peak and full of energy. Stayed tuned for more healthy kid-friendly suggestions.