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Category: August Tips

My George

When I was first in therapy for anxiety and panic attacks, my therapist gave me an exercise: draw the anxiety. It ended up looking a little like E.T. but with a sour disposition. I named it, “George.” The purpose of naming the anxiety wasn’t to adopt it permanently into my psyche; it was to have something that was NOT me to “blame” for anxious thoughts, feelings, etc. Though I don’t have panic attacks or much anxiety anymore, I still call George out when negative or illogical thoughts come to mind,… Read more My George

Summer: A Time of Wonder

By Diane Sanford, PhD Summer is a wonderful time to reflect on the magnificence of being alive. Enjoy reading Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” below. This week, see what you can discover in the magic of a summer day and savor each moment. If you need a little help, the hummingbird picture above can be the focus of your contemplation. “The Summer Day” Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear? Who made the grasshopper? This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself… Read more Summer: A Time of Wonder

Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

If you’re anything like I am, you spend a lot of time in your head-thinking, imagining, obsessing, over-analyzing, etc. What I continue to learn, lately, is that to have greater peace of mind, I need to get back in my body and feel what’s going on there. As I’m sitting on my porch responding to friends via e-mail, I can smell the hickory chips of our smoker burning in the backyard. I breathe deeply and savor the aroma. I look up from my keyboard and soak in the plush greenery… Read more Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body

Redefining Happiness

The other night I dreamt I went to camp again. The dream was a hodgepodge of camp activities which I will refrain from describing, but, suffice it to say, I was genuinely happy. For a moment, when I woke up, I thought I was really in my cabin at camp, but as my eyes adjusted to the dark and my mind cleared, I realized I wasn’t anywhere close to camp. Instead I was alone in my apartment, and all too quickly I remembered that instead of having a day of kayaking and sun-bathing ahead,… Read more Redefining Happiness

Kids Need Self-Care, Too

One of my daughter’s best friends is Chinese. Her parents came to the U.S. before she was born, so she is an American citizen. Her mother, on the other hand, is holding on tight to the Chinese culture. This causes heavy distress for Jane* as she tries to make Mom happy while fitting in with her friends. I call this phenomenon, which happens more than you would think, Cultural Gap. Jane is falling right into it. As I watch how things go in Jane’s household, I realize just how high… Read more Kids Need Self-Care, Too

If I Were A Guy???

This is the question I’ve been asking myself lately. Why? Because I’m in the “middle” of negotiating a lease for my new Midwest Mind Body Health Center which opens Oct. 1, and I’ve been in the “middle” for the past 8 weeks. When I first saw the building, I asked the owner to deal with me directly but he said he’d hired a real estate broker and it’d be better to speak with him. Would a man have agreed to this? I don’t know, but I did to “be nice.”… Read more If I Were A Guy???

A Not-So-Secret Anxiety Remedy

I was in session yesterday with a young lady who has been dealing with anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for most of her life. I’ve been working with her for quite a while, and we’ve tried all kinds of coping mechanisms. In her session, she told me that she thinks she has found THE coping tool that has significantly reduced her symptoms. She had been discouraged after trying progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, thought monitoring/stopping, visualization and a few others. So when she said this, I got excited! What was… Read more A Not-So-Secret Anxiety Remedy

Battling the Back-to-School Blahs

Now that my daughters are older, starting school is less challenging time and energy wise. But for those of you who still have younger children, August can be a stressful and depleting month. Here are some recommendations from Lisa Salazar, a therapist and mom of two teens and a toddler, who’s found that organization and routine is key to decreasing stress and maintain a healthy balance in at home. Schedule family time:  Allow your children to help plan a weekly family night.  An example is renting videos and watching them at… Read more Battling the Back-to-School Blahs