Category: Stress

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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what motivates people to change

What Motivates People to Change?

When considering the question of what motivates people to change, one may say that there are many factors that one could come up with to answer this age old inquiry. Many people might say that motivators such as money, material goods, fame, etc. lead to change. These are all valid motivators, which are generally considered extrinsic (coming from the outside). However, I would like to focus on even stronger motivators, intrinsic motivators, which are coming from within. They are coming from a place that has to do more with feelings and drives. These motivators normally lead individuals to feel a sense of urgency when it comes to wanting personal change.

Emotional Discomfort Can Be What Motivates People To Change

emotional discomfort can motivate changeWhen you consider the psychological aspect of change, it is generally believed that change is born out of feelings of emotional discomfort or pain. We generally tend to want to remain in a state of complacency or at rest, unless there is another strong force affecting our state of complacency. Once we are receiving messages that lead us to feel discomfort or pain, we seek to get rid of these feelings. For example, we may experience problems in our personal lives and they may escalate to the point where we realize we need to change our thinking or our behavior to experience more stability in our lives. These feelings of discomfort or pain may affect various aspects of our lives resulting in physical or mental illness, job problems, and/or relationship difficulties. At that point, it is our intrinsic motivators that are guides in seeking a sense of well-being and happiness. It becomes what motivates people to change. Some of these intrinsic motivators include having a sense of purpose or finding meaning in our lives, feeling trust in ourselves and others, feeling secure, growing in knowledge and skills, feeling satisfied with our performance and capabilities and also feeling appreciated. Intrinsic motivators lead individuals to feel satisfaction in all aspects of their lives, spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual. In addition, they helps us feel engaged in the process of change.

Plan For Change

talk with a therapistOnce you find yourself feeling discomfort or pain and you realize that things need to change, it is time to make a plan. At that time it is important to carry out a personal evaluation of what you believe needs to change. It is also a good idea to take an honest, and more objective look at what others who care about you have suggested in regards to change. If a self-evaluation is not providing enough information about the physical or mental state that is being experienced or changes that need to take place, then professional assistance by a medical doctor or therapist may help access intrinsic motivation to bring relief and well-being. In other words, you may need help accessing what motivates people to change.

If you need this sort of assistance call me, Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.

managing stress at work

Managing Stress


manage stressIn this article you will find ways of managing stress. It is considered that stress occurs as a result of an imbalance between the demands of the environment and the internal and external resources available to a person. In many instances stress leads to a process of adaptation in the individual.

A moderate stress level is normal and inherent to life itself. People have adapted and changed their lifestyles throughout history due to stressful situations and many of these changes that were stressful at the time led us to produce positive results that have benefited us.

However, stress does have a negative impact on us often. Some stressful events we encounter in our personal lives may include: divorce; disease; death of a loved one; economic problems, discrimination, problems with our partner, problems with our children. These are only a few experiences leading to stress in one’s personal life. When a person experiences chronic stress they are more likely to have problems with their immune system, with increased risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, ulcers, colitis and cancer. In addition, stress is often associated with psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. Managing stress is key to both your physical and psychological health.

work life balanceAt times individuals may also experience stress at work. Stressful situations that are work related may include: fatigue, excessive number of working hours, changes in the workplace, lack of participation in decision-making, lack of support from management, lack of job security; conflicting demands and lack of clarity of the duties of the position; poor management of organizational changes; ineffective communication, psychological and sexual harassment, and violence by third parties to name a few. Managing stress is important to prevent negative effects of stress at work. Left untreated, stress may result in poor overall performance, increased absenteeism, and higher rates of accidents and injuries. It can also contribute to increased rates of early retirement.

Important Steps For Managing Stress

managing stress strategies

There are many ways to manage stress. Try some to find out which ones work best for you.

  • Accept that you may not be able to change certain things, such as rush hour traffic.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Whenever you possibly can, move away from the source of stress.
  • Physical activity every day is the best and easiest way to deal with stress.
  • Change your perspective. Work on replacing negative thoughts with more positive thoughts.
  • Do something you enjoy. It can be as simple as reading a good book, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or out to dinner with a friend.
  • Learn new ways to relax. Practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Connect with your loved ones.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat a healthy diet.

To help you manage work-related stress.

  • Take breaks during the day. A few minutes to practice a relaxation exercise may be very helpful.
    • Set reasonable expectations for yourself and others.
    • Talk to your supervisor about your job description. Your responsibilities and performance criteria may not accurately reflect what you are doing.

Finally, working with a qualified therapist can help you determine the specific causes of your stress, and develop appropriate strategies for managing stress.

emotional health during holidays

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