If you believe the many rom-coms filmed throughout the years, singles are sad, miserable, and lonely people who sit around waiting for someone to come along and “complete them.” Why has this myth been perpetuated to such gargantuan proportions? Did you know that studies have found that single people usually have more active lives than […]
Being single can be difficult at times. Dating, or trying to get dates, can be frustrating and discouraging. Meeting new people can be fun, but you might long for a close, long-term relationship with one other person. If you find yourself staring longingly at couples holding hands, it may be time to re-evaluate, and learn […]
Being single can be difficult at times. Dating, or trying to get dates, can be frustrating and discouraging. Meeting new people can be fun, but you might long for a close, long-term relationship with one other person. If you find yourself staring longingly at couples holding hands, it may be time to re-evaluate, and learn to appreciate the many benefits of single life. While being single can sometimes make you feel sad and lonely, there are times when its more beneficial for your mental health.
1. More Time for the Gym
Many studies have shown that single people exercise more, and overall live healthier lifestyles. Whether it’s the spare time or the desire to look your best (or a combination of the two), single men and women tend to care more about their health and well-being. Exercise improves your mood by releasing endorphins and reducing cortisol, a stress hormone that can make you more susceptible to stress.
2. Rediscover Yourself
One of the best things about being single is that you have the opportunity to rediscover yourself. Your alone time will cause you to be more introspective and develop insight into what makes you happy, and what your core values are. As you take a walk through a park or enjoy a cup of coffee alone, you can re-evaluate your goals. As you learn to feel comfortable in your own company, you’ll discover that happiness comes not from another person, but from within.
3. Better Friendships
Single adults have more time to network with others and develop outside friendships. You can schedule more time to be with (or make) friends, joining friends for birthdays and weekend trips that will make lifelong memories. In 2009, the Journal of the National Medical Association conducted a study that showed people without social support were more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. Friendships reduce stress and anxiety, while increasing happiness and confidence.
4. Find New Interests
As a single person, you have additional time that you can use to develop new hobbies and interests. If you’ve always wanted to join a yoga or a spin class, join a hiking group or book club, you have time to dive in to new hobbies. Research shows that participating in hobbies can improve your mood and your ability to cope with stress.
If you’re single and struggling with sadness or loneliness a licensed therapist can help. Give my office a call today and let’s schedule a time to talk.
Are you acting as a caregiver to a loved one? Maybe your elderly parent or a spouse or child that is battling a serious illness? According to womenshealth.gov, 36% of Americans provided unpaid care to another adult with an illness or disability in 2012, and that number has almost certainly climbed as the baby boomer […]
Are you acting as a caregiver to a loved one? Maybe your elderly parent or a spouse or child that is battling a serious illness?
According to womenshealth.gov, 36% of Americans provided unpaid care to another adult with an illness or disability in 2012, and that number has almost certainly climbed as the baby boomer population continues to age.
Acting as a caregiver to another is definitely a labor of love, but it can also take a physical, mental and emotional toll on a person. When you focus all of your energy on the needs of other people, it is entirely too easy to put your own needs on the back burner.
Do You Have Caregiver Burnout?
Here are some of the most common signs of caregiver burnout:
- Uncharacteristic irritability and impatience
- Poor sleep
- Somatic symptoms, such as headaches and gastrointestinal distress
- Changes in appetite
- Turning to substances to self-medicate
- Lack of interest in friendships and hobbies
- Thoughts of harming oneself or the person being cared for
- Increased illness
- Anxiety and/or depression
With so many people relying on caregivers, it’s important that these people learn to take good care of themselves!
Here are some ways you can begin practicing self-care so you don’t experience burnout:
Get More Sleep
The quantity and quality of sleep you get each night will have a huge impact on how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Stress can make it hard for us to get good sleep, so don’t make it any harder.
Avoid caffeinated beverages after 2 pm as well as using any digital screens at night. The blue light emitted from these devices messes with our sleep cycle. You may also want to use room-darkening curtains to make your bedroom dark in the morning so you don’t awaken too early.
Get Plenty of Exercise
All of the stress, tension, and balled-up emotions need to go somewhere, or you’re likely to become sick yourself. Exercise is a great way to work all of this… “stuff” out of you. As a bonus, your body releases endorphins after a good workout, and these chemicals give your mood a nice boost.
Your instinct may be to reach for sugary comfort foods but you need to stay healthy and strong. Opt for protein and healthy fats along with some organic produce.
Ask for Help
While everyone around you may refer to you as “superhuman,” the truth is, you’re just human, and you can’t handle everything by yourself ALL of the time. Ask people to help you provide care once or twice a week so that you may have a little bit of time for yourself.
Talk to Someone
If you are dealing with your own depression and anxiety, it’s important that you speak with someone who can offer coping strategies.
If you or someone you know is a caregiver that could use someone to talk to, please feel free to be in touch. I would be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect roughly 40 million people over the age of 18 in the United States. Though these disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9% of those with anxiety seek treatment. Perhaps this is because of busy schedules or a lack of insurance that causes so many […]
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect roughly 40 million people over the age of 18 in the United States. Though these disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9% of those with anxiety seek treatment. Perhaps this is because of busy schedules or a lack of insurance that causes so many people with anxiety to suffer in silence.
But there are proven strategies you can do that don’t cost a penny and take little time. In fact, you could do any of the following strategies on your lunch or coffee break. Here are some ways to reduce your anxiety:
According to a study published by the Journal of Emergency Medicine, 30% of people who go to the ER with complaints of chest pain and no evidence of coronary artery disease are actually suffering from a panic attack. Why is this so common?
When we are stressed or anxious, we tend to over-breathe or under-breathe. This can cause dizziness and hyperventilation. Deep breathing is a powerful way to gain control over your breath and reaction to a panic attack. Studies show taking slow, deep, breaths soothes our nervous system and increases brain activity. And you almost immediately feel a calm settle over you. Try it for yourself.
Try Listening Meditation
One way to get your mind to settle down is to meditate. And one of the easiest ways to meditate is to practice listening meditation. This is exactly what is sounds like. Sit quietly, eyes closed, and begin to listen to the ambient sounds in the room. What do you hear? Buzzing lights? A fan? Someone cough? Birds outside? A lawnmower? Just be aware of all the sounds and try and expand that awareness to hear as much as possible. This form of meditation is fun and effective, because you cannot possibly listen, truly listen, and think at the same time.
Take a Walk
Nervous energy needs to go somewhere – it has to be burned. Taking a 15- minute walk around the block can be a great way to get rid of this energy while breathing deeply. As a bonus, your body releases feel-good chemicals like endorphins when you exercise.
Don’t Drink Coffee
Yes, I am asking you on your coffee break to not drink coffee. Or soda. Caffeine and sugar can exacerbate anxiety by making us feel jittery and nervous. You are far better off sticking with water.
I hope you will give these anxiety-busting strategies a try. If you feel they are not helping as much as you need and you would like to speak with someone, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to speak a bout treatment options with you.
As spiritual exercises like meditation and yoga rise in popularity, the concept of mantras has become more familiar. A mantra is a phrase you use in meditation to help you focus and create an intent that will be a positive driving force in your life. As you repeat the mantra during meditation, either out loud […]
As spiritual exercises like meditation and yoga rise in popularity, the concept of mantras has become more familiar. A mantra is a phrase you use in meditation to help you focus and create an intent that will be a positive driving force in your life. As you repeat the mantra during meditation, either out loud or in quiet thought, you’re planting a seed in your mind that will grow as you continue to nurture it through consistent meditation practices. Mantras can be very powerful tools used to help you gain confidence and calm anxieties in all areas of your life.
For many women, the workplace continues to be a stressful, complicated arena. Women continue to face discrimination and gender bias, struggling to get ahead while maintaining a pay gap of 24 cents on the dollar compared to men. Pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and many other issues plague the working woman on a daily basis. While you may be unable to change your workplace, you can change how you perceive and react to challenging circumstances.
This is where you can use mantras to ignite your personal power, and give yourself confidence and peace of mind at work. You can use the mantras in this article, tailor them to suit you personally, or create ones of your own. Use the mantras during meditation in the morning before work.
First, find a quiet place to sit with your arms resting at your side, your palms face up on your lap; make sure you don’t lie down. Give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to meditate. If you’re very busy or pressed for time, even five minutes is sufficient. If you’re unfamiliar with how to meditate, there are apps you can download for your smartphone or tablet to help guide you through different meditations; just search for “meditation” in the App Store. You can also search YouTube for “meditations” and try the guided meditations available there for free.
Here are examples of mantras you can use to help you feel empowered in the workplace:
• I am strong, I am intelligent, I am capable.
• I am worthy.
• Taking care of myself is my top priority.
• I am capable of achieving anything I set my mind to.
• I am focused on doing my best.
It’s important to recognize that our internal dialogue must always be under control. Negative thoughts about others, our situation, or ourselves can make a bad situation much worse. By using mantras to enforce positive thoughts, you can maintain a positive attitude at work in the face of adversity, and keep negative self-talk at bay.
Are you struggling in the workplace, and in need of support and guidance to help you advance in your career? We can help. Call our office today to set up an appointment with one of our specially trained staff.
We’ve all had those days when the alarm goes off and we lie in bed, feeling depleted of our energy, and maybe even our good mood. We think to ourselves, “I’m not really sick, but I just need a break from real life today.” While taking a sick day is common when you are feeling […]
We’ve all had those days when the alarm goes off and we lie in bed, feeling depleted of our energy, and maybe even our good mood. We think to ourselves, “I’m not really sick, but I just need a break from real life today.” While taking a sick day is common when you are feeling physically unwell, what’s not as common – but perhaps should be – is taking a mental health day when you are feeling mentally and emotionally unwell.
Now many, if not most, companies do offer their employees personal days with no questions asked. But many people save these days for what seems like real-life emergencies. They feel guilty if they use one of these days to simply rest and relax their mind.
The truth is, taking a mental health day from work or school can be extremely important for your overall well-being. It can help you avoid burnout, improve your mood, help you get some much-needed rest, and rejuvenate you so you can tackle “real life” once again.
Signs It’s Time for a Mental Health Day
So how do you know when you are really in need of a mental health day and when you’re just feeling a bit lazy and unmotivated?
You’ve been feeling overwhelmed and irritable.
You Just Feel… Off
Sometimes we don’t feel like ourselves, but we can’t quite put our finger on what’s wrong. We know we feel anxious and like the world is a bit too much. This is a sure sign you need a break.
Getting Sick More Often
Are you dealing with a cold that “just won’t go away?” When we are stressed, our immune systems become compromised, and it’s harder for us to fight off the common cold.
The bottom line is you should never feel guilty for taking some time for your mental health. I encourage you to take a mental health day every once in a while. Sometimes it’s the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves.
And if you find a mental health day didn’t quite do the trick, you may have more going on in your life that requires more hands-on treatment. If you like the idea of speaking with someone about whatever is bothering you, please get in touch with me so we can discuss treatment options.
If you belong to the BIOPC community and suffer from poor mental health, you’re not alone. In the United States, there are over 15 million indigenous people and people of color that report struggling with mental health issues. Sadly, these people often face roadblocks to seeking the help they need. 1. It’s Seen as a […]
If you belong to the BIOPC community and suffer from poor mental health, you’re not alone. In the United States, there are over 15 million indigenous people and people of color that report struggling with mental health issues. Sadly, these people often face roadblocks to seeking the help they need.
1. It’s Seen as a Stigma
Very often people in the BIOPC community stop themselves from getting the help they need because there is a cultural or social stigma within their group. As an example, in some BIOPC communities, seeking treatment is a sign that you are “crazy” and in other cases “weak.”
2. A Lack of Access to the Right Treatment
Oftentimes, people within the BIOPC community do not speak English. Unless you live in a large, urban area where other languages may be spoken by practicing clinicians, it can be challenging finding a provider who will speak your language.
And, according to the American Psychological Association, 86% of psychologists in the U.S. are White. This means it can be challenging to find a provider who understands your culture and background and the specific challenges you face.
If you cannot find a provider in your area that is of the same race, it is recommended that you ask prospective mental health providers about their training and background to get a sense of whether you’d feel comfortable working with them or not. You can ask things like:
- Have they had any cultural competence training?
- Do they have experience treating people from your specific cultural background?
- Do they respect and include BIOPC clients’ values and cultural beliefs into the treatment plan?
3. A Lack of Available Resources
People within the BIOPC community often have a lack of access to proper resources where they can even learn about mental health and what they may be experiencing. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) is a great resource to take advantage of and to share with other members of your community.
If you are suffering from a mental health issue such as depression, PTSD or anxiety and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I have had cultural competence training and always make it a point to incorporate my BIOPC clients’ values and culture into our treatment plan.
April is National Minority Health Month, a time for individuals within the BIOPC community to focus on addressing their mental health needs. Started 20 years ago, the National Minority Health Month Foundation launched National Minority Health Month to strengthen the commitment of local communities and mental health practitioners to eliminate the barriers minority populations often […]
April is National Minority Health Month, a time for individuals within the BIOPC community to focus on addressing their mental health needs. Started 20 years ago, the National Minority Health Month Foundation launched National Minority Health Month to strengthen the commitment of local communities and mental health practitioners to eliminate the barriers minority populations often face when struggling with mental health issues.
During this time, many of us, including those in the BIOPC communities, are facing daily struggles in dealing with the continued stressors related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health has released some guidelines and suggestions to help individuals stay as healthy as possible during this time.
Moving our body is not only good for our physical health but also our mental health. Not only do we feel good about ourselves when we commit to an exercise regimen, but the movement itself helps our body to release “feel good” hormones that can alleviate stress and anxiety.
When we are dealing with stressful situations, most of us tend to reach for unhealthy comfort foods laden with trans fats and refined sugars. Not only do these foods tend to make us pack on weight, but the chemicals in these foods can exacerbate our mental health issues, making us feel more depressed and tired.
It’s important to eat foods that support our mental health. Be sure to get enough protein and healthy fats. Your brain needs healthy fats to function properly.
Be Gentle with Yourself
When we are struggling with stress, depression or anxiety, it’s important that we are kind to ourselves and practice self-compassion and self-care. Take time for yourself each day to show yourself some love and nurture your spirit. Meditate, listen to music or get that massage you know you need!
It’s also a good idea to reach out to a mental health professional to get some guidance and tools to help you navigate what you are going through. If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to speak with you about how I might be able to help.
You may also want to check out this resource for some other minority health resources.
April is National Counseling Awareness Month, and so I thought it would be a good idea to take this time to talk a little about mental health and the benefits of seeking treatment for whatever issues you may be facing. When we talk about mental health, we are talking about our emotional, psychological and social […]
April is National Counseling Awareness Month, and so I thought it would be a good idea to take this time to talk a little about mental health and the benefits of seeking treatment for whatever issues you may be facing.
When we talk about mental health, we are talking about our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our mental health not only affects how we feel but also how we think and behave as well as handle stress and make decisions.
Mental Health Statistics
Just how common are mental illnesses in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- More than 50% of American adults will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their life.
- In any given year, one in five people in this country will experience a mental illness.
- Children are not immune to mental health challenges, in fact, one in five will experience a serious mental illness at some point.
Causes of Mental Illness
While there is no single cause of mental illness, there are some common factors that are believed to contribute to the risk of developing mental health issues. These include:
- Trauma or a history of abuse.
- Stress-related to ongoing chronic diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
- Chemical imbalances such as hormonal imbalances.
- Use of drugs and alcohol.
- Feeling lonely and/or isolated.
Therapy Can Help
Living with a mental illness can be incredibly painful. This is why National Counseling Awareness Month was started, to help those in need recognize there are people and resources available to them. A professionally trained therapist can help you uncover the cause of your mental illness as well as offer tools and coping mechanisms to turn your life around.
To find a therapist near you, you can use this directory, which lists therapists by state and specialty. Keep in mind that many therapists are now offering sessions over the internet, so it may be best to pick someone you feel more comfortable with instead of someone who is geographically close.
I do offer telehealth services and would be more than happy to speak to you about what is going on. Please feel free to reach out to me.
Human beings have a need for social connection. It stems from our ancestors needing to stick together to stay alive. Back in the day, those individuals who strayed from the group had a harder time surviving the elements and not starving to death. While it is far safer to be an individual these days, that […]
Human beings have a need for social connection. It stems from our ancestors needing to stick together to stay alive. Back in the day, those individuals who strayed from the group had a harder time surviving the elements and not starving to death.
While it is far safer to be an individual these days, that doesn’t mean it is healthy for us to be isolated, for isolation undoubtedly threatens a person’s mental well-being.
It is for this very reason that people suffering from depression and other mental health issues need the love and encouragement from a support network
Social Connection: A Vital Part of Depression Recovery
When a person suffers from depression, they live with a constant pit of despair at their side. Every moment hurts and the truth about life remains elusive.
When we feel these dark feelings, there is a natural tendency to retreat and isolate ourselves. But this only makes the dark darker.
Recovery from depression is a complex process but you don’t need to go it alone. By surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones, you can continue to feel genuine connections, and each one of those connections is a light that can pierce through the darkness.
Research suggests there is a definite link between social relationships and many different aspects of a person’s mental health and wellness. It is for this reason that mental health professionals often discuss the importance of having a strong social network.
Get Yourself Social Support
Social support comes in many different forms. Sometimes you might need help with daily tasks if you are struggling with depression. Sometimes you may need an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on, and sometimes you may need some sound advice.
Whatever you may be going through and whatever kind of help you need, here are some ways you can build a support network of people that love and care about you.
1. Create a List
Make a shortlist of friends and family members who have shown their love, kindness, and support in the past.
2. Make a Commitment
Commit to reaching out to someone on your list every week (if not more). You can do this through a phone call, text, email, or in person.
3. Be Honest
The people that love you can only help and support you if you are honest with them. When you reach out, share what is on your mind and heart. Talk openly about any struggles you are dealing with and be sure to be open to any fresh perspective or advice.
4. Get Out – When Possible
With COVID still affecting our lives, it’s not always easy to get out and be social in person but doing so is remarkably helpful and healing for our mental health. Phone calls and emails work in a pinch, but nothing beats spending time with loved ones in person.
It’s also important to mention that sometimes we need a bit more help than our loved ones can give. If, after forming your support network, you feel that you need additional help, it’s vital you reach out to a mental health specialist. He or she can give you tools and strategies that will help you recover from depression.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.