Monday, December 23, 2019

Holiday Coping Resources

The holiday season can be merry, fun, and joyful for some people and depressing, anxiety provoking, and stressful for others. There are so many dynamics with family, friends, and activities at work. Here are some interesting articles about coping with some common cause of holiday stress.  

Managing Holiday Stress for the Stressed 

Feasting Together Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life 

The Paradox of the Perfectly Wrapped Present 

Let Your Heart Be Light  

Just Be 

Helpful Strategies for Celebrating with Special Needs 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Wait it Out

Have you suffered from an anxiety disorder? Have you experienced a panic attack before? Have you felt like anxiety would never end?  

Feeling anxious is incredibly uncomfortable. You may feel sweaty. You may feel that you are not getting enough air in. You may feel sick. You may feel like your heart is racing. You may feel a tight chest, tingly hands, or sweaty palms. You may think this will never end. You may think you’re dying. You may think that something has gone terribly wrong with your body. 

Anxiety is a normal human emotion. We all experience anxious feelings during our lives. Anxiety is supposed to show up when we are in danger, such as being chased by a mountain lion or driving during a white-out blizzard. Anxiety is also supposed to show up when we need to be motivated to prepare for something, such as a test, job interview, or meeting someone new. 

Anxiety becomes problematic when it shows up and we are not in danger or we do need to be prepared. Anxiety is problematic when it shows up in a very loud and excessive, noisy way disproportionate to the situation (for example, having your mind “go blank” when taking a test). 

One of the best things you can do to cope with anxiety is to just let it be. 

Wait it out. 

Anxiety will not last forever. It is temporary. 

One of the best ways I have seen this described was on a recent episode of This is Us. Real anxiety symptoms and panic attacks have been depicted on this show.  One of the characters disclosed how he suffered from anxiety and how his mom helped him. His mother would pour seltzer into a cup and say that this represents anxiety. All he had to do was wait for the bubbles to settle.  

Wait for the bubble to settle. Wait for the anxiety to pass. It will- that is how your body was designed. 
Of course, anxiety can pass quicker if you use other coping skills such as deep breathing or telling yourself you’re not in danger. The key here- it passes even if you do nothing. 

So, just wait. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Learning From The Good Place

I love it when our mainstream entertainment teaches good lessons.  Check out this interesting article about building bridges between people based on what we learn from the TV show The Good Place. 

After you read the article, challenge yourself to answer these questions: 

Who can you can get to know better? 
How can you connect with that person? 
What prevents you from interacting with people you perceive as different? 
How can suffering help you grow? 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Starting School For Parents and Kids

My oldest started Kindergarten earlier this month. While I have seen many families make this transition professionally, going through it yourself is so powerful and can be very different. 

 There is so much for families to cope with during this time. There are grown-up anxiety, worries, planning, scheduling, and emotions. There are child-size worries about making friends, who to sit with at lunch, how much work there will be, and when will they be able to go back home again. 

Letting go of your child is good, healthy, and important. We can prepare them to be strong. We can teach them to be a hard-worker. We can show them how to work through conflict. We can model how to cope with big feelings. We can show them how to accept other children. We can demonstrate compassion. We can help them solve problems. 

We will grow right along with them.  As parents, we can grow stronger, more hard-working, and a better conflict resolver. We can cope with our big feelings more effectively. We can accept others, even when they are different. We can show compassion. We can be better problem solvers. 

Thank you to all of the teachers and school staff who are working so hard to develop resilience and academic strengths in our children and who are keeping them safe. 

Have a great school year! 

Monday, August 19, 2019

When to Worry About Your Child's Worry

Will you pick me up on time? 
Can I sleep in your bed? 
Am I going to get sick from touching that? 
Are monsters real? 
Do I have to go to school? 

Has your child asked you one or more of these questions? These are examples of worries that are being communicated to a parent. How do we know which are normal and expected worries and which are excessive and disruptive? How should we respond to worries? Does my child need therapy? 

For answers to these questions and detailed background information about anxiety, which is a normal human emotion, and anxiety disorders in children, watch this webinar for parents. 

Wishing you all a healthy and brave start to the school year!