HOW TO De-Stress The Holidays!
First United Methodist Church
Debbie Tudor, Licensed Professional Counselor with Rockwall Counseling, PA
Sunday, November 10, 2013
140 Smirl Drive, Heath Free of Charge
Call to register: (972) 771-6732
1) higher confidentiality standards (no insurance accepted)
2) Email support between sessions
3) Coordinate care with your medical provider, if you wish
4) Quality Assessments done periodically
5) Progress updates every 6th session
6) Handouts to reinforce what you’ve learned
8) Testing for depression and anxiety, with actual test numbers reported
Depression wreaks havoc on the entire body by throwing the stress response system out of whack. The risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer are all raised as normal immune function is disturbed by anxiety, stress and /or depression. Difficult relationships, parenting and work issues all contribute to this situation.
This post contains my “prescription” for becoming (and staying) healthy. Basically, here’s what we should all be doing for a healthy, happy lifestyle:
• Get a yearly physical exam. Depression and anxiety can be related to thyroid and other issues
• Exercise: it relieves stress, raises endorphin levels. It’s even better if you get outside in natural light to exercise!
• Journaling: research shows it increases hopefulness,
releases stress, and calms the brain.
• Regular Sleep: essential to mood stability and a healthy
• A good social or family support system increases longevity and raises immune system function
• Professional Therapy: coming for a session BEFORE
symptoms are out of hand with regular checkups
Now maybe you are thinking, well, if I could MAKE myself do all of these things, I’d be fine! What you may not realize is that a mental health provider is trained, licensed and qualified to be a resource to help you do these things. A therapist can be your encourager, your supporter, and your guide in prioritizing and planning your best, healthiest life.
Therapy helps uncover the roadblocks to your success that exist outside of your awareness. These roadblocks include childhood messages, both told to you and modeled by your parents, and negative experiences that impact your habits to this day. Together we can gently uncover and examine these self-defeating beliefs without shame or judgment. When “the truth sets you free,” you are then able to move forward and possibly see new levels of well being.
Wow, I said THAT?
30 Days of Affirmation Writing
I sat with pen in hand, determined to complete the exercise and write a page of What I Want (the affirmation) and Why My Brain Says I Shouldn’t Have It (the negative thought).
Affirmation on the left, argument on the right, back and forth, over and over…YES, I’m repeating myself. Hmm. That means that thought is STUBBORN and needs to be exposed. I plow on patiently…OK, maybe NOT so patiently…and sure enough…
DAY 21. There it is. The deep rooted, out of the blue Mistaken Belief that was keeping me from my goal! And again on Day 24, and Day 28. Wow. I said THAT?
Negative/Affirmation writing is a technique I developed to help my clients push through their barriers to success. It’s a simple exercise that looks like this.
1) Pick an affirmation (make it CURRENT and POSITIVE)
2) put it on the left
3) go to the right side of the page and write the first objection your mind raises
4) go back to the left and write it again
5) repeat with the EXACT SAME AFFIRMATION for 30 days
I love to exercise / No, I don’t
I love to exercise / I never have
I love to exercise/ I’m not athletic
I love to exercise/ Dad was the athlete
I love to exercise / What if I’m better than dad?!
30 Days of these will raise to light and disempower any encumbrances to your goals. TRY IT…I do it all the time!
It’s already that time of year again, time to get your family back into a school routine. Already? Yep. Why? Well, it may take a week or so to get your child re-adjusted to the school schedule, that’s if you’ve deviated over the summer. Heck, it may take that much time for you to get adjusted to the school routine!
The dirty “R” word is something that our children’s brains love, believe it or not. Routines help children know what to expect and when. When they at least know some kind of pattern, often their lives feel a little less stressed. Less stress equals less behavior problems on average. Routines mean consistency which means parents know what is happening and so do kids, most of the time.
When setting a routine be sure to include wake up and bedtimes, meals, naps (if necessary), homework, extracurricular activities, family time, and anything else that your family does on a regular basis. Discuss it as a family (if your children are older) and stick to it as much as possible. Sure, occasionally you may deviate, but, for the most part, the routine should stay the same.
The Importance of Sleep for Our Kids
It’s not a newsflash that sleep is important to any living being but it is CRUCIAL to our children’s growth and development. Children’s little brains needs 10+ hours of sleep every night in order to “reboot” and be ready for the next day. Regular sleep also plays an important role in regulating a child’s mood and behavior. A cranky child may be suffering from an inconsistent sleep schedule, in other words, he is not getting enough sleep to be able to process his daily activities in developmentally appropriate ways and may be telling his caregiver by throwing fits/meltdowns, having extra energy, even eating more often.
Teens are not much different from their younger counterparts, even though they want to convince us otherwise. While teens may not always want it, they need between 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep a night, consistently, convincing them to actually go to bed at a decent time can be challenging. If you find yourself in a power struggle over bedtime with your teen, try a crazy thing called compromising. Or allow your teen to choose between your choice of bedtime (a good choice) and whatever time they might fall asleep (probably a bad choice) and let them face the possible bad consequences of their choice. Keep in mind, it is natural for a teen to fall asleep closer to 11 pm.
Call Evan, She Can Help! 214-458-6388
If you struggle with finding a routine, getting your child to bed, or find yourself in power struggles with your child or teen more often than not, please give me a call. It would be my privilege to help your family find its peace again.
Evan-Marie Moore, MA, LPC, NCC is a licensed child and family counselor at Rockwall Counseling, PA. She helps children learn skills to cope with their worlds and helps parents and families through difficult times of behavior problems, trauma, grief, transitions, ADHD, etc. Call 214-458-6388 to schedule an appointment today!