Wow, 2015 already! Did you set any New Year's Resolutions? I don't really believe in those types of resolutions, because for me, they just haven't ever worked. If they work for you--that is fantastic, and keep on going on! If you have struggled with them, like me, perhaps it is because if we aren't ready to make a change that we need to make all year, why would we be ready just because the calendar has moved to January 1st? Making changes are hard. It is possible to make changes though, provided that we're are ready to make the changes and that we have the information and support needed to make the changes.
Maybe you want to stop smoking. You might think you are ready, but do you have the support needed, if you have other smokers in the house? Support could come in the form of family members, doctors, co-workers, etc.
Or, maybe you are ready to lose some weight. Again, it might work on your own; for some people it does. But, most likely, you are going to need the support of those around you in order for it to be successful.
The same goes for challenges with mental health. If we all could just have the mental health we desire all by ourselves, 1 in 5 people would not be struggling with a diagnosable mental illness. We need to be ready for change, yes. But we also need information, and we need support.
Getting assistance for mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. It means you are strong because you are taking care of yourself. So, talk with a loved one, a doctor, or a therapist. Seek out support groups if those would be helpful. Join a gym and workout with others. Think back to what in the past has improved your mental health, and try to incorporate some of these things back into your life now. You are worth it!
Wishing all of you strength, courage, and peace in the year to come. Happy New Year!
Everyone has stress. Some stress is actually helpful. For example, if I am stressed out about giving a presentation, I will likely do more to prepare. Some stress though, the kind most of us think of when we hear the word "stress," gets in the way of us achieving our goals and living the life we want to live. Some of the consequences of how stress can impact the body, mind, emotion, and behavior are listed in the image below.
While it is important to take care of your stress year round, I thought now (while we are in the midst of the holiday season) would be a good time for some reminders on what you can do to alleviate stress. Check out this article, entitled "How to Reduce Stress: 10 Relaxation Techniques that Zap Stress Fast." Each of these techniques can help reduce your stress in the moment. If you make these techniques part of your daily life, you can do some proactive work in combating chronic stress. As always, let me know if I can be of help. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!
Those of you who know me know that I love, love, love self-care. What is self-care? It is taking care of YOU first, so that you can then work towards your goals and other priorities. If you aren't taking care of you first, you aren't going to be able to be the best you can be, whether that is a parent, a partner, an employee, a friend, or balancing all of the above. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started. What else do you add to this list?
Amber is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She offers counseling for individual adults and clinical supervision for social workers. For fun, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, researching genealogy, reading, and dragon boating.
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