When You’ve Got a Case of the Shoulds

Many of my clients identify their goals for treatment as the following: 1. Improve their overall moods. 2.  Develop better coping skills. Eventually, many of my clients articulate that they are still struggling with their depression, anxiety, or overall stress management despite trying to utilize these coping strategies.  This is where we start to explore their thought patterns to determine if unhelpful thought patterns (frequently referred to as cognitive distortions) are contributing to their depression or anxiety related symptoms.

Aaron Beck developed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the 1960’s and the basic concept is that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all related and impact each other. If you have more frequent negative or unhelpful thought patterns, you might struggle with regulating your moods and have unfavorable responses to stressful situations. By increasing awareness of these unhelpful thought patterns, an individual is more likely to be able to alleviate their mood and adjust their response to stressful situations.

Setting Boundaries During the Holiday

Do you often feel rushed or anxious during the holidays? Hopping from one family party to the next? Getting the spotlight questions about your love life at the dinner table while everyone chows down on the holiday ham? Political debates?

Family gatherings can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Throw your partner or kids into the mix, the holidays can become juggling the expectations or traditions of multiple families – it can get rough. So how do we manage the demands and creating room for new customs of our own? Setting boundaries. Boundary setting allows you to feel comfortable, set limits to what you feel comfortable being involved in and allows you to have more freedom to make choices that are right for you. Boundaries are about setting limits that are right for you. Boundaries can be liberating, powerful and the best form of self-care.

Self-Compassion: Do you talk to yourself as you talk to your friends?

“Treat those around you as you would like to be treated.”

That golden rule we have all known and heard of. But how often do we apply the same rule to ourselves?

It was 9:15 and I had an appointment that started in 10 minutes. My alarm went off but I on today of all days I snoozed it. I quickly threw on some yoga pants, ran a brush through my hair and while looking at myself in the mirror that bully that I know all too well started to appear.

Back to School: Tips for Families to Help Adjust to Another Unpredictable School Year

This year many parents are looking forward to in-person learning for their kids. Maybe you’re also feeling a little nervous with all the unpredictability of the pandemic. I’m with you! We’re talking up first grade to our recently homeschooled kindergartener as well as getting our pre-schooler ready for his first school year. We are pulling out all the stops to help with the inevitable separation anxiety we are likely to face after no child care for 17 months, no structured school schedule, and two self employed parents tirelessly balancing work with our children’s demands.

Incorporating Mindfulness Into Daily Practice For Stress Management

Clients often tell me that meditation is difficult for them, unhelpful to manage their stress, or they just plain feel awkward implementing it. They say, “I tried meditation when I felt angry, sad, or anxious, but it didn’t work.” This is where mindfulness can be effective to help manage daily stress and improve mental health symptoms as part of one’s daily routine. Mindfulness is a skill that helps us to increase a level of awareness about our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations to help and the situations we are currently experiencing.

Getting to the Root of Consistency with Weight Loss

Are you in the constant process of trying to lose weight, going on a diet, then putting the weight back on and more?  There can be multiple things going on in your body that is preventing the weight loss if you continue to try and nothing is coming off. But if you can actually lose some weight but cannot seem to keep it off you likely need to dig deeper to what is preventing you from being consistent and continuing with the habits you adopted.

Using Your Body as an Ally to Work with Stress

You know what it feels like. Your heart is pounding, hands are shaking, and sweat is dribbling down the sides of your face.  To some, it may feel like clenching fists, increased heat in the face and body, or a tightened jaw. Despite these physical sensations attributing to different emotions, the reality remains the same.  You are entering a state of body crisis. This is a state where you become emotionally overloaded with stress. To better understand how to work with this uncomfortable experience, it’s best to first identify what we’re working with.

Nutrition for Anxiety Management

For those who suffer from anxiety know the symptoms can be quite overwhelming. Along with Cognitive Behavior Therapy and possible pharmacologic interventions, nutrition can play an important role in anxiety management.

First and foremost, try and consume the right amount of calories. Too many or too little calories can increase anxiety symptoms. Practice mindfulness along with becoming in tune with hunger and fullness ques to work towards finding your calorie zone. 

New Year, new focus on Diet and Nutrition

As the New Year rolls around all you see is “New Year, New You” all over advertisements. But it’s not as easy as adding a supplement, getting a gym membership or restricting a specific type of food. I like to think of the New Year as a fresh start to transform your mindset, diet and lifestyle to a healthier and happier you.

Communication is Key

How often have you wondered what someone else was thinking? Do you ever think someone hasn’t heard what you said? Were they hearing you, but not really listening? Are you communicating what you want and what you need?

The truth is, we are not mind readers, we don’t know if people heard us, and sometimes, (alright fine, most times) we don’t say what we mean despite our best intentions.