Category: Anxiety

emotional health during holidays

How to Take Care of Your Emotional Health During the Holidays

For many people getting through the holiday season is no small feat. If it were possible to skip over this period of time, they would gladly do it. Even those who enjoy the festivities, and who adhere to the traditions and rituals that this time brings, can also find the holiday season challenging and at times stressful. The stress may come from a difficult financial situation, having to participate in activities that they do not enjoy, seeing people they rather not have contact with, or having to experience the holidays after a certain loss. It is not surprising therefore that for many the holiday season is not a joyous time and they struggle to care for their emotional health.

Individuals may feel so stressed out about the holidays that they may experience anxiety or depression. In many instances people are already experiencing mental health issues and adding the stress of the holiday season exacerbates these symptoms.

Many people suffer due to the belief that they have little choice in how they experience the holidays. The perspective that traditions and rituals are to be followed without deviating from what has been done or is expected by family, friends and even themselves, leaves them feeling guilty. It may also lead to feeling stuck in performing a role and running the risk of further hindering their well-being.

So what is one to do if there are situations and issues that are making it difficult to deal with the holidays?

There are several strategies that can be used to help to take care of your emotional health this holiday season.

  1. Be patient with yourself. It is time to self-evaluate your emotions in an honest manner. What do you think you are able to do for yourself and others, physically and emotionally?
  2. Rely on those who care about you. Do you rely on family, friends, or co-workers to help you deal with difficulties in your life? If thinking about who you can rely on brings up very few people or no one, it is time to start asking what is keeping you from making these connections to be able to grow your support system.
  3. Change expectations for yourself and others if the old expectations lead to dissatisfaction or negative feelings. If the expectations have always been difficult to meet, then working on becoming more flexible might give better results. It might be that new traditions and rituals are in order.
  4. Figuring out what it is that stresses you out the most might be a good place to start. Is the interaction with certain individuals, a particular event or date, or a particular situation bringing up negative feelings or reactions? Beaware of the triggers and make changes to avoid or change reactions.
  5. Helping others in need where you become someone else’s support system allows you to change the way you see situations or events.
  6. Ask for support when you feel overwhelmed. Ask your support system to help you consider your options and if you continue to think that reaching an emotionally healthy feeling around the holidays is difficult, contacting a professional to assist you in feeling better could provide the support you need.
  7. Take care of yourself by sleeping well, exercising , and sticking to your established plans when it comes to your physical and mental health needs.

Following a routine that leads to a positive and healthy physical and emotional well-being allows you to deal with situations that life presents to you.  Your emotional health is key to living a life you love.

For more information, questions or concerns, or you need assistance on the road to being emotionally healthy please call Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.

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executive function disorder in children

Executive Function Disorder

Does your child's difficulties in school lead to any of these?

  • stress and anxiety
  • trouble developing strategies
  • difficulty caring out plans
  • misplaced items
  • disorganization

If so, they may be suffering from executive function disorder.  If your child is having any of these difficulties, please call me today at 919-401-8261.  I am an expert at developing therapies for this issue.  Don't delay your child's progress.

It is time once again for children and parents to consider their hopes and concerns for the new school year. As parents and students prepare for this school year they may also be thinking about the student’s performance during the last year and wonder how this year can be as or more productive.  For those who do well in school, the coming year may lead to some concerns but overall they may feel positive about school. On the other hand, there are those students who think of school and only feel an overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety.

There are several reasons a student may feel stress and anxiety in relation to school. There are pressures coming from themselves and others to do well. But what happens if you feel as much as you would like to do well, it just seems extremely difficult to accomplish.

Most individuals have heard of learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, and other special needs that many children experience which make succeeding in school very difficult. As a professional working with children and their families I have learned over time that children do not go to school with the intention of failing. There is usually some struggle or another that a child faces which leads to difficulties at school.

Searching for answers regarding the challenges some children face at school led me to learn about something that is a very important factor in facilitating learning. That factor is called executive function.  Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  It acts to manage various parts of the brain. Executive function allows us to analyze a situation, plan how to address the situation, organize the steps needed to carry out an activity, develop timelines for completing the activity, adjust the steps, if needed, to complete the activity, and complete the activity in a timely way. Having difficulties with executive function, executive function disorder,  has to do more with the rate at which this part of the brain is maturing and not with a person’s intelligence. In working with children and adults, I have found that learning about executive function in the brain allows a greater understanding for parents, teachers and other professionals of an individual’s development.

Children and adults with executive function disorder may have problems organizing materials and setting schedules. They often misplace items, reports, and other school materials. They might have problems keeping their personal items and bedroom organized. Individuals with executive function disorder may also have difficulties in planning ahead, initiating tasks, problems with short term memory and managing their emotions.

You are able to help your child at home by working with them and assisting them in making checklists and setting time limits for tasks, including using timers.  You can help them by getting them into the habit of using planners and calendars.   Communicate concerns and expectations with your child and listen to their concerns. It is also important to find out more about the areas of difficulty you are noticing or your child has noticed in him/herself. Seek professional help from a professional who is knowledgeable about this area of development. Contact the school and work with the school to have a support plan for your child.

Studies have shown that executive functioning skills continue to develop through the teen years normally reaching maturity around the age of 25. Helping with executive function difficulties at a young age allows that child to learn strategies to decrease negative effects and help them reach their full potential. In addition, receiving support to manage difficulties with executive function at any age may lead to a more positive outcome in an individual’s life.

You do not have to suffer or let your child suffer from executive function disorder.  Begin on the path to a better future for you or your child by calling me today at 919-401-8261.

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executive function disorder in teens

executive functioning disorder

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think positive

Positive Thinking

Experiencing Life in a more Positive Way

Positive Thinking

therapist for positive thinkingHow positive thinking affect our everyday lives?  People tend to experience life in a subjective manner interpreting events and incidents according to our own physical, psychological and emotional filter. We interpret events using our experiences, psychological and biological make-up as we make them fit into our own view of the world. Many of us have a more positive outlook in life while others have a more negative one. That is, we tend to have more thoughts that are positive or negative about the world around us. Being a negative or positive thinker leads individuals to participate in their lives in a different manner leading to certain ramifications in their personal and work life and affecting their interactions with others.

People who have more of a negative thinking pattern may feel that they are being more realistic and seeing life as it really is and that looking at things in a more positive way will lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment. It may be that seeing things in a more negative manner does provide some way of protecting a person from harmful situations and could prove useful at times. However, a continued negative thinking pattern may do more harm than good if it becomes a chronic way of looking at things. Negative thinking may lead to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and self-esteem issues to name a few. In addition, there are also medical problems related to negative thinking, from immune system problems to severe medical conditions. Therefore, it appears that it would be beneficial for people to learn how to switch negative thinking around and indulge in positive thinking to improve their overall health.

Positive Thinking Benefits

positive thinkingAs more research is done in the area of positive thinking more and more reasons to espouse this way of thinking become apparent. Some of the benefits include:

* Better mental health
*Experiencing joy more consistently
* Stronger immune system
* A sense of well-being and improved health
* Reduced risk of heart problems
* Higher self-esteem
* Better coping skills in facing stressful situations

 

To be able to change negative to positive thinking one must first recognize that he or she is engaging in a negative thinking pattern consistently. If one’s thoughts are mostly critical to self and others, this is a red flag that a change in thinking could be helpful.

Steps that are helpful in changing negative to positive thinking may include:

  • Putting a positive spin on internal and external conversation. Be nice to yourself and others in your thoughts and when talking to others.
  • List at least three things each day that make you feel grateful.
  • Surround yourself with supportive and positive people and avoid harmful relationships.
  • Take responsibility for things you do and say.
  • Take time to do things that are relaxing and fun to you.
  • Practice forgiveness of yourself and others.

If you feel that there are psychological roadblocks on the path to becoming a more positive thinker, contact a therapist to help you in clearing obstacles to a more positive lifestyle.  Positive thinking can lead to a happier life.

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