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From the category archives: South Bay Wellness Blog

Mental Health

Surviving the Holidays for Parents

For expectant and new parents, the holidays can take on a new meaning. Watching the joy your children experience is fantastic, but it can also come with some added stress. Below are a few tips to help you keep the HAPPY in your Holidays:

  • Take a look at your expectations. If you are hoping for the holiday season to go perfectly, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, aim for success on a smaller scale.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Children are notoriously cranky on big holidays and can become overwhelmed. This often sets parents up for disappointment. Try spreading out your holiday festivities over the whole season – this will give you and your family a chance to enjoy time together and create memories outside of the pressures of the actual holiday.
  • Create new family traditions. This is your chance to develop holiday traditions that feel right for your family and are based on what you and your children can handle.
  • Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Take extra special care of yourself. This means asking for help when needed, indulging in some alone time, and sticking with things that recharge YOUR battery rather than casting them to the side during the holiday season.
  • Change the boundaries if they are not working. Schlepping your family all over town on the holidays just might not work for you anymore. Try to make decisions that are best for you and your immediate family. Pick and choose what obligations are the most important and which can be let go of. Just remember as you change your boundaries family and friends may be resistant.
  • Consider Professional Support

If you feel like you are depressed, anxious, or just not as happy as you would like, consider trying counseling. If needed, getting support for yourself is the best gift you can give to your family. South Bay Wellness is here for you as a service provider or a referral source.

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Mental Health and Media

 

When I was competing my Master's in Social Work, I had the opportunity to take a class on using film as a therapeutic tool when working with clients struggling with their mental health. Though you will often find me steering clients away from the media, or at least setting healthy boundaries around the onslaught of information we receive that is often alarming, false or distressing - I have come to appreciate the times when we see ourselves depicted in characters on the big (or little) screen. When mental heath struggles are presented in film and TV in a close enough to accurate manner they can help to normalize a person's experience, decrease the sense of isolation and misunderstanding the individual faces and also give friends and family members a glimpse into the minds of their loved one. Two of my favorites are the depiction of Schizophrenia in "A Beautiful Mind" and Anxiety in the quirky Australian TV series "Offspring" which can be viewed on netflix.

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October is Bullying Prevention Month

We have compiled information for bullying prevention and resolution to help you and your child have the healthiest and happiest experiences. Tactics to reduce bullying include mindfulness. The technique has shown to reduce reactive behavior, and also helps all parties involved to develop a greater awareness of their role in bullying. Read on here for more information: https://www.mindful.org/using-mindfulness-to-reduce-bullying/ Using Mindfulness to Reduce Bullying - Mindful www.mindful.org Bakosh and Houlihan hope that the Inner Explorer programs will be implemented in schools in all 50 states within the next year. To date, there are instructors in 111 .. Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center indicates the immediate victim of bullying isn’t the only one affected by harassment. Bystanders and witnesses are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/facts.asp ...

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Why Project Be Free is Important to me

Imagine, if just once a week, I gave my children and husband the same attention and presence to the moment that I give my clients. Imagine if I wasn’t always rushing through my time with them so that I could accomplish some other “to-do” item off my work list. Or if I wasn’t rushing them to bed so that I could answer emails or check my phone…or if we sat and talked without the distraction of phones, computers and TV. What if we all spent some time being present with each other?

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Don't Doom

Life with children is challenging. Period. Throw in work obligations, play dates, a significant other, your own social life, school work, your child(ren)’s social life, house cleaning, and all of the other jobs that exist throughout the day, and it is easy to become overwhelmed. As the day progresses, the kids ask for more and more as your level of exhaustion increases and your patience fades.  This is when parents tend to slip into what I call “Don’t Doom.” So what do we do?

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What you should know about therapy

Read more to learn what therapy IS and ISN'T about. I hope it gives some clarity to all those thinking about coming to therapy - because in all honesty - therapy is awesome!

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10 Quotes I Love

I love quotes – I love the moment you read something someone writes that sets off a light bulb – or when you see a person take the jumbled thoughts in your mind and turn them into eloquently written words. Quotes can ground us when we feel out of control, give us support when we feel fragile, help us express ourselves and give us validation for our thoughts and emotions. These quotes speak both of the power of therapy and our innate potential to heal. I hope you enjoy.

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How to keep the HAPPY in your holidays.

I always expect the phone calls for counseling requests to slow down over the holiday season...and every year I am reminded that they actually ring more. The holiday season is notoriously stressful. If you wold like to challenge yourself and family to a more enjoyable holiday season this year click here to read this years holiday tips!


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Decrease Stress and Improve Health

 Unfortunately, even being the healthiest eater in the world can not entirely counteract the impact stress has on the body. Stress can cause illness, disease, and simply take your energy away. It depresses the immune system, wreaks havoc within your endocrine system, and sends your body into a tailspin.  One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your health is to de-stress. There are of course many different ways to do that. Here are some suggestions: · Give yourself the gift of Reiki. (Carole Duva and Denise Mirante here at South Bay Wellness, are two of the most gifted Reiki Masters I know). · Find something you enjoy… AND DO IT! · Engage in regular exercise. This can include things such as yoga and pilates.  · Stop, breathe and smile. · Engage in talk therapy to work through issues that require resolution. In fact, we have some of the best therapists on Long Island here at South Bay Wellness. They are just a phone call away ( ...

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Understanding Therapy

 I love to teach – especially students learning to be mental health professionals.

When my summer course on Health Counseling started this past week the very first question I asked my students was “What does a counselor or therapist do?” It is a question many people either do not know the answer to or have false beliefs about. Even my students don’t fully understand, at least on their first day of class.

 

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