Category: <span>Individual Treatment</span>

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common type of therapy (psychotherapy) used to treat a wide range of mental health problems. While not the only effective treatment that therapists use, CBT is unique in that it is an evidence-based method, scientifically proven to show results for most people.

 

In addition to this, CBT can help you quickly identify and cope with specific challenges and stressors within your life. There are several core principles that CBT uses to decrease psychological distress:

  1. Learned patterns or unhelpful behaviors lead to psychological problems
  2. Faulty or unhelpful ways of thinking lead to psychological problems
  3. Problem-solving skills can help individuals cope with difficult situations.
  4. Using mindfulness to learn how to relax your mind and body
  5. Learning ways to develop a greater sense of confidence in your abilities
  6. Gaining a better understanding of your behaviors and thoughts to reevaluate them within situations
  7. Learning coping skills to decrease distress and relieve symptoms to increase the quality of life

 

Benefits of CBT

 

CBT is designed to address a wide range of mental health problems and is often a shorter form of therapy than traditional types of psychotherapy. CBT is a widely taught theoretical orientation that many therapists use in their practices. While every therapist practices a bit differently, this method has a relatively standard set of principles and rules to treat clients effectively.

 

Common Mental Health Problems that could Benefit from CBT

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may help improve numerous mental health problems, including (but not limited to):

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Substance and Alcohol Misuse

 

What to Expect During CBT

When receiving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a clinician will rarely use every technique and strategy described earlier in the article. Instead, CBT emphasizes a collaborative and structured approach to therapy tailored to the client’s needs.

 

This collaborative approach helps teach the client to become their own therapist within their lives outside of therapy. Through homework, exercises in and outside of treatment, and the development of coping and problem-solving skills, clients learn how to challenge and change their behaviors and thought patterns to increase their quality of life and decrease psychological distress.

 

Additionally, CBT therapists also tend to focus on what is happening currently in the person’s life instead of the person’s past. While some history of the person’s life is necessary for therapy, the primary focus of CBT is to develop ways of coping with life moving forward.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Length of Therapy

 

CBT is generally considered a form of short-term therapy. Expect traditional CBT to last between 5-20 sessions, depending. However, it is essential to discuss what length (and type) of treatment is right for you with your therapist to ensure the most beneficial outcome possible.

Loss and Grief

Loss and Grief

 

Loss and the resulting grief you experience can be one of life’s most stressful events and can be a complex emotion to live with and tricky to navigate.

 

Loss can come in many forms, such as:

 

  • Divorce or relationship breakup
  • Loss of health
  • Death
  • Losing a job
  • Miscarriage
  • Retirement
  • Loss of a dream
  • Loss of a friendship

 

Even smaller life transitions can trigger feelings of grief to surface. For instance, graduating college, changing jobs, or moving away from home or into a new apartment can be some situations that may bring up feelings of grief and loss.

 

What to Expect

 

The grieving process is a highly individual process that looks different for everyone, which means there is no right or wrong way to experience a loss. Feeling a wide range of emotions is common when dealing with loss, and there isn’t a set amount of time when it comes to how long or when these emotions will appear.

 

Some emotions that may appear when experiencing a loss are:

 

  • Denial
  • Shock
  • Confusion
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Yearning
  • Humiliation
  • Despair
  • Guilt
  • Disbelief

 

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the emotions, you may face, intense and often quickly changing feelings are a normal and common reactions to loss.

 

However, it’s also important to understand that absorbing the impact of a loss is a process that takes time. While you may never stop missing your loved one, the pain and intense emotions ease over time and allow you to go back to your daily life.

Living with Grief

 

Learning how to cope when you experience loss is vital to your mental health and wellbeing. Grieving death and implementing coping skills can help you through the process of coming to terms with loss in your life while taking care of your mental health.

 

Myths Surrounding Grieving

 

Ignoring these feelings will help me move on faster

 

Ignoring the pain or other uncomfortable feelings associated with loss may be a short-term solution but usually only worsens the feelings of grief over time. Instead, have patience and allow yourself to feel and process the emotions that come up while deal with your loss.

 

It may also be helpful to reach out to a friend for support or a mental health professional who can help you process and deal with these emotions and feelings surrounding your loss.

 

Grieving shouldn’t last more than a few months

 

There isn’t a specific timetable for the grieving process, and how long it takes to accept loss can significantly vary from person to person. Trying to cut the grieving process short may lead to adverse mental health problems in the future.

 

However, if the distress you feel from your loss is negatively impacting your life and not decreasing over time, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Many mental health professionals are trained in helping people navigate the often complex emotions surrounding grief and loss.

 

I have to ‘be strong,’ or else I’m weak

 

Crying, feeling sad, or lonely is a common and normal emotion to feel and does not mean that you are weak. On the contrary, showing others your feelings can help other people who are also dealing with loss.

 

Moving on with your life is disrespectful to the loss you experienced

 

Moving on means that you have processed, accepted, and come to terms with what has happened – it doesn’t mean that you have forgotten the person you have lost. In fact, moving on while keeping the memory of someone or something you lost is a beautiful way to honor the loss you experienced.

 

Child Counseling Services

Knowing if what your child is going through is normal or part of a bigger issue can be difficult. Typically, children and teens could benefit from therapy when they are struggling with issues they can’t cope with alone or are experiencing symptoms that are affecting their ability to function on a daily basis. It can also be beneficial when certain life transitions occur within a child’s life such as moving, a change in family dynamics such as a death in the family, divorce, or new marriage.

Therapy is a type of treatment that can help children and teens experiencing problems that affect how they feel, act, or learn. This process can help teens learn how to problem solve, communicate, and better cope with the issues they face.

What Problems Do Child Therapists Help With?

 Therapists that work with children and adolescents are trained to treat a wide range of problems that children and teens face. For example, child counselors can help children and teens navigate difficult situations like:

  • Family conflict and divorce
  • School Problems
  • Bullyings
  • Health Problems
  • Life Transitions

Therapists can also help children and teens understand and deal with difficult emotions such as:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Stress
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Grief
  • Nervousness

In addition to helping children and teens deal with emotions and situations within their life, therapists are also trained in helping treat conditions like:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • OCD
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-injury
  • Disruptive Thoughts
  • Suicide Ideation
  • Trauma-related Disorders

What to Expect from Therapy?

Different approaches in treatment will be taken by the therapist depending on the client’s age. For instance, play therapy is typically used for younger children. This entails drawing, playing, and talking within each session. For older children and teens, talk therapy with activities that focus on learning and communication skills is typically used.

Both of these therapies include support from the therapist for the child to increase confidence, self-esteem, communication, and problem solving skills. Child and adolescent psychotherapy also provides a space for children and teens to talk, express, and further understand their feelings and learn ways to cope with them outside of therapy.

What Happens in Therapy?

Child psychologists and counselors employ a variety of methods when working with children and adolescents. For example, a therapist may use:

  • Talk – Talking helps children and teens express their feelings. When children feel like their feelings are able to be expressed without judgement while being validate, they can learn how to express and understand their emotions in a healthier way
  • Activities – Counselors employ a range of activities throughout the therapy in order to help the client understand, reflect, and find better ways to express feelings, communication, and coping skills. This can be done through activities such as play, drawing, or role-playing. For instance, meditation or breathing exercises may be used to help children and teens cope with intense feelings like stress, anxiety, or worry.
  • Life Skill Practice – Therapists often work with children and teens on life skills throughout the therapeutic process. This may be done through activities such as games which helps the client learn and practice skills such as self-control, self-advocacy, patience, sharing, and appropriate expression of feelings.
  • Problem Solving and Expression – Typically done with older children and adolescents, therapists will work with clients in order to find ways to solve problems that they are experiencing within their life.

How Long does Therapy Last

The length of therapy varies for everyone. A lot of factors influence the length of therapy such as what kind of therapy is being practiced, what reason your child or teen has come into therapy for, and the goals of therapy. In order to see improvement and goal attainment, expect therapy to last a few months to a few years with weekly sessions.

The Parent’s Role

As a parent, it can be difficult to know what your role is in the therapeutic process for your child or teen. Here are a few things that you can do in order to help your child get the most from therapy:

  • Find a Therapist that is a Good Fit for your Child – It’s important to find a therapist that your child likes and feels comfortable with. Starting therapy can cause some discomfort at first so it’s important to check in with how your child is feeling about the process and the therapist. We recommend looking through our clinicians to find someone that is a good fit for your child’s needs.
  • Keep a Consistent Therapy Schedule – Change takes time and being inconsistent with therapy appointments may result in slower goal attainment or change to occur in your child’s life.
  • Meet with the Therapist – It may be helpful to meet with the therapist and discuss the problems or symptoms that you are noticing at home or at school. Take the time to ask the therapist what you can do to help your child get the most out of therapy. Most of the time, the therapist can give you direction as to what to do that will be most beneficial to your specific case.
  • Parent with Compassion – Your child is going through a lot of changes and possibly dealing with some difficult emotions in therapy sessions. Because of this, it is important to show love, praise your child when they are doing well, and using kind words – even when correcting their behavior.

When is a Good time to start Child Counseling and Psychotherapy?

A good time to consider starting mental health counseling for your child or teen is when emotional or behavioral problems occur. Getting help earlier usually makes it easier to help the child or teen.

However, we understand the importance to avoid unnecessary treatments and associated costs in time and money. Sometimes it may be beneficial to monitor your child before starting counseling. If you’re unsure with whether or not counseling would be a good option, talking with a therapist can help guide you in the right direction or call our office at 847-979-0268 for more information.

When to take Action

There are few instances when it may not be a good idea to wait before starting therapy or seeking mental health help. For instance:

Eating Disorders – Eating disorders become harder to treat the longer the person with it has been struggling with it. This and the detrimental effects it can have on your child’s physical and mental health is why it is important to seek immediate help if your child is displaying signs of an eating disorder.

Family History – As certain mental disorders can be genetic, it is important to be aware of the increased chance that your child may begin to develop a mental health disorder that has been present in your family. If there is a history of mental health disorders in your family, it may be beneficial to start therapy a bit earlier, especially if symptoms or behaviors start presenting themselves.

Self-Harm, Cutting, or Suicide Attempts – Self-harm behavior such as cutting, suicide attempt, or suicide ideation is a dangerous behavior that should not be dismissed – even if it was a one time occurance. It’s important to get help from a trained professional in order to further understand the underlying reasons and emotions behind the action.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about child psychotherapy, counseling services, and psychological testing, please call our office at (847) 979-0268 or visit our website to learn more about the services we offer.

How to Deal with Burnout and Avoid it in the Future

So many times life is ok until it isn’t. We hold it together and shuffle from responsibility to responsibility, attempting to uphold all of our commitments while also dealing with the stressors that come along with it. 

 

Sometimes it feels like if one more thing goes wrong or you have to take on another responsibility in your life, that delicate balancing act that you’ve been in charge of comes crashing down around you. 

 

Feeling overwhelmed or burnt out isn’t a fun thing to live with and has potential to lead to mental and physical health issues if not addressed properly. 

 

Common stressors and things that can often lead to feelings of being overwhelmed are common occurrences throughout a person’s lifespan. These common stressors include things such as pregnancy, trouble with a boss, a career change, or a change in responsibilities at work. However,  feeling burnt out or overwhelmed by these stressors doesn’t have to be a normal part of your life. 

 

Myself, like many, have gone through a lot of life changes throughout the last year. From transitioning to working from home to added responsibilities at work and less time for socialization due to Covid-19, it slowly wore me down. I soon felt myself feeling exhausted all the time and had a lot of difficulty concentrating enough to be productive at work. I started getting more moody around my family and started feeling so overwhelmed that I could barely uphold any of my responsibilities. 

 

Luckily, I was able to recognize my feelings of being burnt out and overwhelmed by my life that I was able to implement some of the tools that have helped a lot of my clients dealing with similar feelings of being overwhelmed and burnt out. 

 

If this sounds like you, it’s important to understand that just like other feelings, these feelings of being overwhelmed don’t need to be a constant part of your life and there are lifestyle tweaks that you can do in order to alleviate some of these heavy feelings. 

 

Work on a Solid Sleep Schedule

 

Mental health and sleep are closely intertwined and more research is coming out that is finding that poor quality of sleep or not enough good sleep can lead to an increase in stress and other feelings that may contribute to feeling burnt out or overwhelmed. In fact, research has found a link between sleep, insomnia, and the activation of anxiety and depression symptoms. 

 

This being said, try creating a sleep schedule to foster better and longer sleep if you find that you are having trouble sleeping and staying asleep. Experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. 

 

Mindfulness is your Friend 

 

Recent studies have found that using mindfulness techniques such as meditation, journaling, and deep breathing are effective ways for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

 

If self-guided meditation isn’t your thing, there are a lot of different things to try that are also mindfulness based. For instance, try exploring different mindfulness videos or apps. Many are free and can help get you started in including mindfulness in your daily routine. 

 

Make Changes to your Schedule 

 

United States culture values hustle and ‘the grind’. In fact, taking on side jobs or ‘side hustles’ is often encouraged and is slowly becoming the new normal. However, as our lives become progressively more filled with responsibilities or expectations from others, it can start to have a negative effect on our mental health and ultimately lead to burnout and feelings of being overwhelmed. 

 

Take a look at your daily schedule and try to notice if there are any times that you dedicate to doing something you like or that is relaxing. This could be taking a walk, playing an instrument, or talking with a friend or family member. If it is starting to seem like there isn’t enough time in the day for these kinds of activities, it might be time to see if there is anything you could maybe let go of. 

 

Work on Saying No 

 

As I mentioned above, our society is based around the word ‘yes’. Sometimes, it seems that this is the only answer when someone asks you to do something. Constantly saying yes to things creates more stress in your life because it adds additional expectations and responsibilities that you need to juggle. 

 

If you’re a ‘yes’ person and find yourself feeling stressed every time you have to say yes to something, try working ‘no’ into your vocabulary a little more. Now, I’m not saying to say no to every opportunity that comes your way. However, understanding what you can take on and where to draw boundaries is a great first step at managing future stress and future burnout. 

 

Take Breaks 

 

Not taking breaks throughout your day is a surefire way to reach burnout fast. While it may feel like taking breaks will make you less productive and less likely to accomplish tasks related to the responsibilities, taking breaks may have more benefits than one. 

 

In fact, taking breaks throughout the day has been found to help restore your motivation, especially for long-term goals and tasks and can lead to more productivity and creativity. Because of this, try to schedule small breaks throughout the day in order to give yourself time to feel refreshed and refocused before jumping back into your tasks and responsibilities.

Mental Health and the Aging Population

By year 2050, the proportion of the world’s population that is over 60 is expected to almost double from 12% to 22%, creating a greater necessity for recognizing and treating the special mental health challenges that this population faces. In fact, according to a 2021 study from the Institute on Medicine, approximately 1 in 5 people that are 65 years or older experience a mental health illness, substance abuse, or both. 

Within the United States alone, this statistic equates to almost 5.7 million older adults. These mental health challenges include; anxiety, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression while older men have one of the highest suicide rates of any age group.  

Mental health challenges are not a normal part in the aging process. Good mental health helps to contribute to an overall sense of well-being and is an integral part in having a good quality of life that can help older adults continue to thrive and enjoy life. While fluctuation in mood is normal, persistent changes in mood and other symptoms can be a sign of mental health distress.  

Depression Symptoms

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health problems among older adults and can often lead to distress, difficulties in mental and social functioning, and even suicide. While increases in depressive symptoms have been seen in older adults, it doesn’t need to be a normal part of the aging process. 

In fact, more than 80% of cases in which an older adult is experiencing depression is treatable yet seniors are less likely to seek or receive help when experiencing these issues. This is why it is extremely important to understand and identify symptoms. 

Dementia 

Dementia is usually categorized as a progressive or chronic syndrome and entails a deterioration of memory often affecting older adults. In fact, it is estimated that around 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia throughout the world and is projected to increase to 82 million in 2030

Dementia usually has significant social and economic costs for those affected as well as the individual’s family. Because of this, emotional stress as a result of dementia can have a significant impact on the individual’s mental health. Due to this, mental health care is essential for both the individual with dementia and their support system. 

Risk Factors 

According to the WHO and the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, many factors within an individual’s life can trigger the onset of mental health difficulties. Some of these risk factors include: 

 

  • Alcohol or substance abuse 
  • Long-term illness such as cancer
  • Loss of a Loved One 
  • Physical disability or loss of mobility 
  • Chronic Pain 
  • Isolation*
  • Medication Interactions 
  • Poor Diet 
  • Other Mental Health problems such as Alzheimer’s Disease 

 

*Isolation may be something more prevalent due to Covid-19 and older adults should be carefully monitored and checked in order to decrease the risk of severe mental health distress that may stem from Covid-19 and the resulting isolation. 

 

Symptoms of Mental Health Issues in Older Adults

While it is natural for some changes to occur throughout the aging process, it’s important for caregivers and those close to the older individual to be aware of the signs and symptoms that may be signaling that mental health issues are happening.  Some warning signs that may indicate mental health concerns are: 

  • Changes in appearance 
  • Continual confusion 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Depressed mood lasting two or more weeks
  • Changes in social functioning such as social withdrawal
  • Changes in energy 
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or thoughts of sucide or self-harm 
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to be pleasurable

 

Treatment Strategies 

While it is important to understand the risk factors and signs associated with mental health problems within an aging adult population, knowing how to handle signs of mental health problems is equally important. Because of this, it is essential to train health professionals in providing care for older individuals, developing policies on extended care, and creating age-friendly services and settings. 

If you see a loved one exhibiting any of the symptoms or risk factors described above, call for a consultation with a healthcare professional. This will help get the best level of care possible for the individual facing mental health challenges.

Interventions 

Early diagnosis and treatment of mental, neurological, and substance abuse disorders in older adults is an essential part of care. Due to the wide variety of mental health issues that older adults can face, a combination of psychosocial interventions and medicines are typically used. 

In addition to this, social and community support is an important aspect in promoting this population’s mental and physical health. 

Educating, training, and supporting caregivers and healthcare providers on long-term care of older adults as well as supporting legislation surrounding mental health care for older adults provide support and care that can help promote a healthy and high quality of life for older adults. 

Take the time to check in with your aging loved one, especially during this time of social-distancing and don’t hesitate to seek help if you think there may be signs of mental distress happening.

 

How to Start Therapy

As recently as ten years ago, mental health wasn’t something that many people talked about. In fact, seeing a therapist was rarely something anyone would advertise in their life. However, as mental health becomes more normalized, seeking therapy is something that is progressively becoming a standard practice for many. 

Is therapy right for me? 

It can be difficult to know when going to get professional help is right for you, especially if you have never been to therapy before. Therapy is a vulnerable and private experience and starting can be overwhelming. 

Because of this, it may take some time and consideration to decide if you are ready to see a therapist. However, according to the American Psychological Association, therapy should be considered if you:

  • Thinking about or coping with the issue for more than an hour a day 
  • The issue pushes you to avoid others 
  • Your quality of life has decreased as a result of the issues you are experiencing
  • The issues are negatively affecting aspects of your life such as school, work, or relationships 
  • You have created coping mechanisms or habits to deal with the issue that are causing problems or a decrease in quality of life

If any of these things describe you or you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or generally unhappy, it might be a sign that your internal ‘check engine’ light is on and seeing a mental health professional such as a therapist could help. 

Benefits of Therapy 

For those of us that don’t have a lot of experience with therapy, it could be seen as something that is for ‘crazy people’. However, that isn’t the case. In fact, a lot of successful people use psychotherapy as a tool to help manage stress, navigate life transitions, and gain skills to be successful and happy in life. 

In fact, research shows multiple benefits that therapy can have for individual. For instance, therapy can help you to better understand yourself, how you think and how you feel in situations better, give you tools to deal with difficulties in your life, and help you gain new insight and perspective. In addition to this, therapy also gives you a non-judgemental space to process and talk through emotions and difficult events.

How to Start

Finding a therapist, scheduling an appointment, and going to your first appointment can be a bit daunting. Because of this, it is important to understand and acknowledge any stigmas that you may be holding that are keeping you from starting this process in the first place. 

If you are worried about privacy or disclosure, it should be noted that therapy is confidential. This means that no one in your life is even needs to know that you are seeking therapy. Additionally, mental health professionals are bound by law to protect your privacy so you can be confident that what happens in session stays in the session. 

Finding a Good Fit

There are a lot of things to consider before making an appointment with a therapist. We recommend taking a look at the clinicians available here, knowing what the cost is and if your insurance will cover any of it, and what type of therapy you are looking for. 

It may also be helpful to come up with a list of questions for the therapist. This can help you get a better sense of what to expect from therapy and to help you feel more comfortable with starting this process. 

Some common questions to ask are: what experience does the therapist have working with your particular situation, what does a typical session look like, and kind of therapy does the clinician practice.    

What Happens if the Therapist I see isn’t a good fit? 

If, after your first session, you feel like the therapist isn’t what you are looking for, it is completely ok to try another therapist out. It isn’t uncommon to try another therapist and is completely fine to break off that relationship. 

While it may be uncomfortable to ‘break up’ with your therapist, it is important to push past those feelings in order to find something that will be beneficial to you. Let the current therapist know that it doesn’t seem like a good fit and the therapist or practice can help you find a clinician that may be a better fit for you. 

Remember, mental health professionals’ main goal is to help you get better so we don’t take it personally if you think someone else will be a better fit for your specific needs. 

Covid-19 and Mental Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 has had a negative effect on mental health for a lot of people. Mental health includes our emotional, social, and psychological well-being and has the ability to affect how we think, how we feel, and what actions we take such as how we handle stress. This being said, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to influence how we live our daily lives, it is important to understand its impacts on our mental health. 

 

Throughout the years, a large body of research has found that social isolation and loneliness have been linked to a decrease in mental and physical health. In fact, the former US Surgeon Vivek Murthy has recently brought this to the public’s attention, pointing out that social isolation and loneliness has the potential to reduce lifespan and increase risk for mental health issues and physical illnesses. 

 

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a need to be much more isolated and distanced than many of us have experienced in our lives. While it is important to follow the advice of healthcare professionals to practice safe and effective methods for fighting Covid-19 transmissions such as wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and sheltering in place if advised, it can be difficult to fulfill basic needs, such as social interaction, necessary for mental and physical well-being.

 

According to health professionals, Covid-19 may be a part of our lives for longer than any of us would like. Because of this, it may be helpful to implement a self-care and wellness routine in order to take care of your mental and physical health for the long haul.

 

Eat Balanced and Nutritious Meals

 

At this point you have probably found that you are much more sedentary than you used to be in your life pre-Covid. With the majority of gyms still closed and as you’ve settled into your WFH routine, you may find it increasingly difficult to make healthy and balanced decisions at meal times. 

 

Because of this, it may be helpful to try out meal-prepping and mindful grocery shopping. This could include creating a list of ingredients and meals you want to make for the week so you’re more focused when you’re walking down the aisles at the grocery store.

 

While it may be tempting to order out food (and by all means order every once in a while to support local businesses in your community), try to limit take out as best you can and stick to foods that make you feel good. Nobody is the same, so find what works best for you and what makes you feel good and stick to that! 

 

On the same note, don’t forget to drink water! It’s easier to forget to drink water when your regular routine is disrupted but hydration is just as important for mental and physical well being as eating a healthy and balanced diet is. 

 

Get a Good Sleep Schedule Going 

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Practicing good sleep hygiene is integral to mental health and wellness. In fact, research conducted at Harvard University states that sleep problems increase the risk of developing depression and may actually be a risk factor associated with developing an anxiety disorder. 

 

In order to decrease your risk of developing mental health issues, focus on getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night and going to bed at around the same time every night. While it’s tempting to want to binge-watch Netflix in bed, it may also be helpful to only use your bedroom for sleeping in order to associate that space with relaxation and rest.

 

Stay Connected 

Luckily, it’s 2021 and technology is advanced enough to bring us together in more ways than one. Despite not being able to go out like we used to, there are alternative ways to gain that social connection needed for your mental well-being. 

 

For instance, try planning a time when you and a friend or family member can video chat. While it can’t beat in-person social gatherings, talking to someone you love can help decrease the feeling of isolation and loneliness which will help increase your mental well-being. 

 

Even if video chat isn’t available to you, a quick phone call to someone in your support system can be a great boost for your mental health and overall mood. 

 

Find a Work/Life Balance that Works for You

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Before Covid-19, it was easier to be able to separate work from the rest of your life. However, as more people move to working remotely, that separation can get a little muddy which can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and anxious. 

 

Because of this blurred divide between your work and home life, it may be helpful to separate your areas for work and play. Much like only using your bedroom for sleep, try sectioning off a particular area in your home that is solely dedicated to work. This way when the work day is over, it is easier to transition into home mode by physically moving yourself out of that space. 

 

Seek Help if you Feel Overwhelmed or Unsafe

 

Living through a global pandemic is hard and it is ok to not be ok. If you start feeling overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, or feel like you may want to harm yourself or others, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. 

 

Here is a list of sources that may be useful for you. In addition to this list, you can always reach out to our office and make an appointment (in-person or via telehealth) for psychotherapy and counseling. 

 

Resources:

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – Free and confidential support for people in distress, 24/7.

National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for treatment referral and information, 24/7.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy   Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a common type of therapy (psychotherapy) used to …

Sleep and Mental Health

  Getting consistent and high-quality sleep is an integral part of your physical and mental wellbeing. Numerous studies …

Loss and Grief

Loss and Grief   Loss and the resulting grief you experience can be one of life’s most stressful events and can …