CREATING METHODS OF HAPPINESS, PEACE & SUCCESS

Topics for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

 

Calm amongst worries



“Don’t worry”      “It’ll be ok”       “Just relax”        “Don’t think about that”

 

When you are feeling anxious, worried or afraid, you might receive some well intended advice to just stop worrying and the feeling will all go away.

 

As if it were so easy.

 

Rarely does it happen that way.

 

Many of us worry about all kinds of things: money, health, family, relationships, work.

Some concerns are valid, but many are unnecessary and quite frankly out of our control.

 

No matter what kind of worry you have, the response on your body is always the same: It increases your cortisol levels.

And long-term elevated cortisol level is something you definitely do not want.

Cortisol ( a stress hormone) compromises your immune system and as a result you will be more susceptible to disease, both physically and mentally.

 

Ever heard of “I’m worried sick?”

 

Luckily there are ways to shift your body from a stress response to a relaxation response, which will shut down increased cortisol production and make you feel way better.

Let’s start by getting clear on why you may be feeling stressed, worried, anxious or afraid. Is it that you are feeling uncertain or powerless.

 

I suggest getting a paper and pen and writing down your concerns.

 

Ask yourself:

 

What am I worried about?

What are my beliefs around this situation?

Is this circumstance a fact or an opinion?

What’s the evidence?

What part of this situation can I control or change? How?

If I cannot change the circumstance, am I willing to let it go?

 

This exercise will help you gain clarity and come up with possible solutions and let go of the things that you can’t change. By writing  down your stressors, you may feel like you are taking action by emptying your mind and you will start to relax as you feel lighter and less tense.

 

Next, develop a daily practice of diaphragmatic breathing. Repeat various times a day.

 

  1. Breathe in through your nose, slowly and deeply, for a count of 4 as your belly expands. The breath should originate from your diaphragm and belly instead of your chest.
  2. Hold that breath for 4 seconds.
  3. Exhale, out through your mouth, slowly for a count of 6.
  4. Hold. Wait a few seconds before taking another breath.

 

Others things that help:

  • Stretching (including your jaws and shoulders)
  • Exercise (even a brisk walk helps)
  • Acupressure (there’s lots of good points- google them)
  • Warm epsom salt bath (magnesium is calming)
  • Diffusing soothing essential oils or applying them with a carrier oil to the soles of your feet or the back of your neck.
  • Calming herbal teas such as chamomile or lemon balm.
  • Visualizing your happy place. Focus on the different sensory attributes present in your scene. For instance, if you are imagining a beach scene, spend some time vividly imagining the warmth of the sun on your skin, the smell of the ocean, seaweed and salt spray, and the sound of the waves, wind and seagulls. The more you can invoke your senses, the more vivid the entire image will become.
  • Meditation ( even if it’s just lighting a candle and staring at the flame)
  • Journaling
  • Watch a funny video. Laugh.
  • Listening to music
  • Sleep

 

The most important part of taming your worries is the mental piece, the story you tell yourself. By offering yourself alternate positive possibilities you begin the calming process. By creating a calm environment you further support your body ability to regulate.

 

Keep things in perspective and know that the more you practice these tips, the better you will feel. Think of it as a cumulative effect.

 

So what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to start taking those deep breaths 🙂

ADHD Summer Camp Programs



Looking for a summer camp or summer program for your child? Here is a list of several summer options for children, teens and young adults with ADHD.

ADHD Summer Camps and Programs

Achievement Center
ADHD Summer Treatment Program for kids age 6 to 12.
Website: achievementctr.org
Contact: Mary McIntosh
Phone: 814-459-2755
Locations: Erie and Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Alternative Community Resource Program
Summer program for children and teens age 5 to 16 with ADHD.
Website: acrpkids.org
Contact: Frank Janakovik
Phone: 888-308-6783
Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Brewster Academy
With academics, technology, adventure, arts, and leadership all rolled into one program, the Summer Session at Brewster Academy is both a school and an adventure. It’s setting on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee offers an ideal environment for this small, intensive camp/school open to students ages 12 to 18.
Website: brewsteracademy.org
Email: summer@brewsteracademy.org
Phone: 603-569-7155
Location: Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Camp Buckskin
Camp Buckskin is an overnight summer camp that specializes in serving children ages 6 to 18 who are experiencing social skill and academic difficulties. The majority of campers have a primary diagnosis of ADHD, learning disabilities, or Asperger’s while others may have a secondary or related diagnosis.

In addition, a significant number of campers are adopted.
Website: campbuckskin.com
Email: info@campbuckskin.com
Phone: 763-208-4805
Location: Ely, Minnesota

Camp Discovery
An outdoor day camp for children ages 3 to 10 with mild to moderate special needs which vary in range from ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, developmental delays, etc.

Website: campdiscoveryla.org
Email: dawn@campdiscoveryla.org
Phone: 818-501-5522
Location: Encino, California

Camp Excel
A specialized program for children with ADHD or other social skills challenges. Camp Excel is a comprehensive program that includes academics to promote growth and avoid regression over the summer, therapeutic activities to assist in making and keeping friends, sports to develop skills and build self-esteem and recreational activities for fun. The summer program serves children ages 5 to 17. Camp Excel recognizes the importance of family involvement and offers weekly Parent Groups to provide parenting information and support. Siblings groups are also available and allow these children a safe place to express feelings regarding their special needs sibling.
Website: campexcel.com
Email: info@CampExcel.com
Phone: 732-281-0275
Location: Monmouth County and Bergen County in New Jersey

Camp Huntington
Camp Huntington is a co-ed, residential program for children and young adults age 6 to 21 years with special learning and developmental needs. They serve campers with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, and other special needs.
Website: camphuntington.com
Phone: 866-514-5281
Location: High Falls, New York

Camp Northwood
Camp Northwood specializes in working with non-aggressive children ranging in age from 8 to 18 diagnosed with Asperger’s, high-functioning autism, ADHD, language processing weaknesses and other forms of minimal learning issues. All of the campers experience delayed social development, weak executive functioning, and poor organizational skills.
Website: nwood.com
Email: northwoodprograms@hotmail.com
Phone: 315-831-3621
Location: Remsen, New York

Camp Nuhop
Camp Nuhop is a residential summer camp for children age 6 to 18 with learning disabilities, ADHD, and behavior disorders.
Website: campnuhop.org
Email: campnuhop@zoominternet.net
Phone: 419-289-2227
Location: Perrysville, Ohio

Camp Ramapo
Camp Ramapo is designed for children ages 4 to 16 who are having difficulty building and maintaining healthy relationships with peers and adults. Campers are referred by parents, teachers, and mental health professionals.
Website: ramapoforchildren.org 
Email: office@ramapoforchildren.org
Phone: 845-876-8423
Location: Rhinebeck, New York

Camp Sequoia
Camp Sequoia is an overnight summer camp for children ages 8-17 who need developing their social skills.
Website: camp-sequoia.com
Email: office@camp-sequoia.com
Phone: 610-771-0111
Location: Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Camp Star – University of Illinois at Chicago/JCYS North Shore Day Camp
Serves children ranging in age from 6 to 12. Many campers have a diagnosis of ADHD. Others have a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder, high-functioning autism or Asperger’s. Some may not have a formal diagnosis.
Website: jcys.org
Email: campstar@jcys.org
Phone: 847-814-STAR (7827)
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Celebrate ADHD – Friendship Camp
Friendship Camp summer day program offers children with ADHD a small and personalized setting to enjoy fun activities and build confidence and social skills. For children age 5 through 16. The camp also provides parent support and education.
Website: celebrate-adhd.com 
Contact: Kirk Martin
Email: kirk@celebratecalm.com
Location: Ashburn, Virginia

Charis Hills
Charis Hills is a Christian summer camp for kids and young adults age 7 to 25 with learning and social difficulties such as ADHD and Asperger’s disorder.
Website: charishills.org
Email: info@charishills.org
Phone: 888-681-2173
Location: Sunset, Texas

Child Development Center-University of California Irvine
The Child Development Center is a school specialized in the treatment of children with ADHD and related behavioral and learning problems. They offer a summer school program for children grades K through 6th.
Email: cdc@uci.edu
Phone: 949-824-2343
Location: Irvine, California

Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
Summer Treatment Program for children with ADHD ages 6 to 14.
Website: my.clevelandclinic.org
Contact: Michael Manos, PhD
Phone: 216-444-0075
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Community Guidance Center

An eight-week intensive summer program for children and adolescents ages 6 through 15 who have a diagnosis of ADHD, oppositional disorder or conduct disorder.
Website: thecgc.com
Phone: 724-465-5576
Location: Indiana University, Pennsylvania

Diamond Summer Program
Formerly Simcha Special Day Camp, the Diamond Summer Program is an 8-week program for boys ages 6 to 12 with ADHD and other behavioral disorders.
Email: diamondsummerprogram@gmail.com
Phone: 718-406-1577
Location: Far Rockaway, New York

Duke University ADHD Program
Academic Summer Program for rising 6th to 8th graders with ADHD. The program uses evidence–based techniques to teach study strategies, academic support skills, and cooperative learning activities in a classroom environment with a 1:4 ratio. Two parent education workshops focusing on academic support for adolescents with ADHD are offered during one evening each week of the program.
Website: 2.mc.duke.edu/adhdprogram
Email: Michelle.Lepsch-Halligan@duke.edu
Phone: 919-416-2096
Location: Durham, North Carolina

Eagle Hill School (Connecticut)
The summer academic day program at Eagle Hill School is designed for children experiencing academic difficulty. Open to boys and girls ages 6 to 12. The Summer Program immerses youngsters in a total language environment specifically tailored to meet his or her needs.
Website: eaglehillschool.org
Email: t.cone@eaglehill.org
Phone: 203- 622-9240
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut

Eagle Hill School (Massachusetts)
Eagle Hill runs a five-week summer session for students ages 10 to 18 who have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and/or ADHD.
Website: ehs1.org
Phone: 413-477-6000
Location: Hardwick, Massachusetts

Frontier Travel Camp
A summer camp alternative for teens and adults with special needs. Group travel allows campers to experience independence, improve social skills, and increase self-esteem in a secure and exciting environment. Frontier travelers range in age from 15 to 35 years.
Website: frontiertravelcamp.com
Email: info@frontiertravelcamp.com
Phone: 305-895-1123
Location: Miami Shores, Florida with travel across the United States, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and Europe

The Gow School
The Gow School offers a traditional summer school program experience for boys and girls ages 8 to 16. The 5-week session offers a specially designed curriculum for students who have experienced academic difficulties or have language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia, central auditory processing disorder, and ADHD. Summer Program participants can be day students or live on campus.
Website: gow.org
Email: summer@gow.org
Phone: 716-652-3450
Location: South Wales, New York

Grand River Academy Summer Program
Grand River Summer Academy is for boys and girls entering 9 through 12 grades. During the six-week summer program, 5- and 7-day boarding students can strengthen an academic area or investigate a new subject.
Website: grandriver.org
Email: admissions@grandriver.org
Phone: 440-275-2811
Location: Austinburg, Ohio

Hill Center
The Hill Center’s Academic Summer Program is designed for students with learning disabilities or ADHD in grades K through 8th. Provides daily instruction in reading, written language, and math in a 4:1 student-teacher ratio.
Website: hillcenter.org
Email: wspeir@hillcenter.org
Phone: 919-489-7464, ext. 725
Location: Durham, North Carolina

Hillside School Summer Term
A structured, supportive and challenging summer experience for traditional and non-traditional learners (boys and girls) ages 9 to 16 who may enroll in the day or boarding program.
Website: hillsideschool.net
Email: admissions@hillsideschool.net
Phone: 508-485-2824
Location: Marlborough, Massachusetts

Judge Baker’s Children’s Center
Summer Treatment Program is for children ages 6 to 12 with behavioral, emotional and learning problems.
Website: jbcc.harvard.edu
Phone: 617-278-4261
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Jump Start Summer Camp – James Madison University
Attention and Learning Disability Clinic. Jumpstart is a summer day camp designed to help rising 4th through 9th-grade students with ADHD build social and academic success.
Website: chp.cisat.jmu.edu
Phone: 540-568-6484
Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia

Kentwood Preparatory Summer Program
The Kentwood Summer Camp Program is a branch of Kentwood Preparatory School, a school program catering toward children, teens, and their families who are not being successful in the traditional school environments, socially, and/or at home. For children and teens grade K through 12. Camp Addington is the overnight camp of Kentwood’s summer programs.
Website: kentwoodprepcommunity.com
Email: info@kentwoodprepcommunity.com
Phone: 954-581-8222 or 954-634-0601
Location: Davie, Florida

Landmark College
Landmark College is one of the only accredited colleges in the U.S. designed exclusively for students with dyslexia, ADHD, or other specific learning disabilities. Summer programs include a high school program for rising juniors and seniors, the transition to college program for the college-bound high school graduate, and summer session for visiting college students.
Website: landmark.edu
Email: admissions@landmark.edu
Phone: 802-387-6718
Location: Putney,Vermont

The Learning Camp
The Learning Camp is specifically for kids with learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, and other LD challenges. The program provides traditional summer camp adventures for boys and girls ages 7 to 14 combined with carefully designed academic programs. Their mission is helping kids with learning disabilities build self-esteem, independence, and academic success.
Website: learningcamp.com
Email: information@learningcamp.com
Phone: 970-524-2706
Location: Vail, Colorado

Leelanau School Summer Session
Summer Academy and Ned Hallowell Summer Enrichment Camp for students grade 9 through 12.
Website: leelanau.org
Email: info@leelanau.org
Phone: 800-533-5262
Location: Glen Arbor, Michigan

Maplebrook School

Maplebrook School is a coeducational boarding and day school for students with learning differences and/or ADHD. Summer programs are available for children age 10 to 15. Activities include camping trips, canoeing, ropes courses, sports, arts, music and academic remediation. A vocational and independent living program for students age 16 and older is also available. This program allows older students to learn and earn by providing career counseling accompanied by experiential work internships. With guidance, students not only discover emerging career interests, but gain valuable workplace experience.
Website: maplebrookschool.org
Email: admissions@maplebrookschool.org
Phone: 845-373-8191
Location: Amenia, New York

North Carolina Summer Program for Kids
A highly structured, fun, and supportive summer day camp program for 7 to 12-year-olds with ADHD. The NC Summer Program for Kids brings together the expertise of two area leaders in helping families with AD/HD: the AD/HD Clinic at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and Noble Academy.
Website: ncsummerprogramforkids.org 
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Sommer
Phone: (336) 346-3192, extension 304
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina

NYU Summer Program for Kids
The NYU Summer Program for Kids is an eight-week therapeutic clinical program devoted exclusively to children with ADHD who are between the ages of 7 to 11 years old. The program is specifically designed to improve children’s social behavior, friendship skills, academic competence, problem-solving skills, self-esteem, classroom behavior, sports competence, rule following, home behavior, and anger control. Parents are also taught specialized parenting skills to enhance parent-child relations.
Website: aboutourkids.org
Phone: 212-263-0760
Location: Bronx, New York

Oak Creek Ranch School
Oak Creek Ranch School’s Summer School program combines academics and outdoor activities designed to help pre-teens and teenagers with ADHD or academic underachievement discover their true potential. For students ages 12 to 19.
Website: ocrs.com 
Email: dwick@ocrs.com
Phone: 877-554-6277
Location: West Sedona, Arizona

Our Victory Day Camp
Our Victory serves children age 5 to 12 with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Campers over age 12 who were previously enrolled may re-enroll until age 15 with the Director’s permission.
Website: ourvictory.com
Email: ourvictory@aol.com
Phone: 203-329-3394 or 914-674-4841
Location: Dobbs Ferry, New York

Quest Therapeutic Camp
Campers range from 6 to 18 years of age and experience mild to moderate difficulties behaviorally, emotionally or socially. Quest campers may struggle finding stable relationships or consistently achieving their goals. They may have diagnoses of ADHD, anxiety, Asperger’s, depression, learning disabilities or social problems.
Website: questcamps.com
Email: questcamps@mac.com
Phone: 925-743-1370
Location: Alamo, California

Round Lake Camp
A coed residential summer camp for children ages 7 to 21, a unique place for children with Asperger’s, ADHD, and mild social skill disorders. Educational activities are combined with recreation and socialization.
Website: roundlakecamp.org
Email: rlc@njycamps.org
Phone: 973-575-3333 x145 or 570-798-2551 x145
Location: Lakewood, Pennsylvania

SOAR
SOAR is a wilderness adventure program for youth with ADHD and learning disabilities and serves both males and females, ages 8 to 18. They offer programs in North Carolina, Wyoming, Florida, California, Costa Rica and Peru. SOAR utilizes the natural environment and adventure activities to work with students on personal goal attainment and to provide them with opportunities for success. SOAR encourages students to explore their incredible talents and gifts with the belief that their future is intertwined with these strengths and abilities.
Website: soarnc.org
Email: admissions@soarnc.org
Phone: 828-456-3435
Location: Camp programs available in North Carolina, Wyoming, Florida, California, Costa Rica, Belize, Peru

Staten Island Mental Health Society
Summer Therapeutic Program for children age 5 to 12.
Website: simhs.org
Phone: 718-442-2225
Location: West Brighton, New York

Summit Camp
Summit Camp provides a summer camp experience for boys and girls ages 7 to 17 who have issues of attention. These may include ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, verbal or non-verbal learning disabilities, and/or mild social or emotional concerns. Some campers may also have Tourette’s syndrome, O.C.D., and/or mild mood issues.
Website: summitcamp.com
Email: info@summitcamp.com
Phone: 800-323-9908
Location: Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Summit Travel
Summit Travel represents the logical extension of the Summit camping program for teenagers age 15 to 19 who have outgrown the traditional camping experience, but still require opportunities for structured and supervised social experiences, and may need to transition to recreational opportunities of a more adult and “mainstream” nature. There are two 21-day trips and one 12-day mini trip. Either Trip One or Trip Two can be combined with a session at camp, which is recommended for “transitioning” campers. The 12-day trip can be a great introduction to travel for the first-time participant.
Website: summitcamp.com
Email: info@summitcamp.com
Phone: 800-323-9908
Travel Tour Locations: Check out the Summit website for current travel excursions.

Talisman Summer Camps and Programs
Talisman Programs offer summer camps and semester length programs for children ages 8 to 17 with learning disabilities, ADHD, Asperger’s, and high functioning autism. Talisman provides parents with unique alternatives to ordinary summer camps and offers children with special needs a summer full of fun, adventure, and new learning experiences.
Website: talismancamps.com
Email: info@talismancamps.com
Phone: 888-458-8226
Location: Zirconia, North Carolina

University of Alabama at Birmingham Sparks Clinics
Summer Treatment Program for children with behavioral disorders such as ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder.
Website: http://circ-uab.infomedia.com/
Contact: Bart Hodgens, PhD
Phone: 205-934-5471
Location: Birmingham, Alabama

University of Buffalo Center for Children and Families

The Center for Children and Families at the State University of New York at Buffalo offers comprehensive summer treatment programs for behavioral, emotional, and learning problems of children entering grades 1 to 6, as well as adolescents entering grades 7 to 11.The programs are composed of a set of evidence-based treatments incorporated into an 8-week therapeutic summer day camp setting. Parents participate in weekly group evening sessions that are designed to help parents develop skills to reduce problem behaviors, to improve their child’s task skills and relationships with parents and peers, and to maintain and extend the gains made in the summer program to the child’s natural at-home environment.
Website: ccf.buffalo.edu/STP.php
Phone: 716-829-2244
Location: Buffalo, New York

Winston Preparatory School Summer Program
Winston Prep is a co-ed day school offering individualized education for 6th through 12th-grade students with learning differences including ADHD. The school offers a morning summer enrichment program to enhance academic skills.
Website: winstonprep.edu
Email: summer@winstonprep.edu (NY campus) and summerct@winstonprep.edu (CT campus)
Phone: 646-638-2705 (NY) and 203-229-0465 (CT)
Locations: New York, New York and Norwalk, Connecticut

CANADA

Camp Kennebec
A non-competitive inclusive summer residence camp for ADHD, learning disabilities, behavioral needs and autism. Focusing on life and social skills for youth and young adults.
Website: campkennebec.com
Email: info@campkennebec.com
Phone: 877-335-2114
Location: Arden, Ontario

Camp Kirk
Camp Kirk is a small and friendly residential (overnight) summer camp that welcomes boys and girls age 6 to 13 with ADHD, learning disabilities, and autism.
Website: campkirk.com
Email: campkirk@campkirk.com
Phone: 866-982-3310
Location: Kirkfield, Ontario

Camp Kodiak
Sports, drama and socializing are more difficult for some children and teens than others. Camp Kodiak provides a unique program integrating ADHD, and LD children and teens age 6 to 18 with regular mainstream campers for an exciting and enriching summer experience.
Website: campkodiak.com 
Email: info@campkodiak.com
Phone: 877-569-7595
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

Club Kodiak
A vacation experience for young adults with ADHD, LD, Aspergers age 19+ in a safe, structured, nurturing environment.
Website: campkodiak.com/club
Email: club@campkodiak.com
Phone: 877-569-7595
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

Camp Towhee
Camp Towhee is a therapeutic residential program for children and adolescents age 10 to 18 years with learning disabilities who experience social, emotional and behavioral problems.
Website: camptowhee.ca
Email: info@camptowhee.ca
Phone: 800-839-3950
Location: Haliburton, Ontario

Camp Winston
Camp Winston provides residential summer camp programs for children with ADHD, learning disabilities, Tourettes, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. For campers age 6 through 17 years.
Website: campwinston.com
Email: mail@campwinston.com
Phone: 416-487-6229 or 705-689-9096
Location: Kilworthy, Ontario

 

 

2018Repost from www.verywellmind.com

Things you can do to feel better



There are many things that happen every day that can cause you to feel ill, uncomfortable, upset, anxious, or irritated. You will want to do things to help yourself feel better as quickly as possible, without doing anything that has negative consequences, for example, drinking, committing crimes, hurting yourself, risking your life, or eating lots of junk food.

Read through the following list. Check off the ideas that appeal to you and give each of them a try when you need to help yourself feel better. Make a list of the ones you find to be most useful, along with those you have successfully used in the past, and hang the list in a prominent place—like on your refrigerator door-as a reminder at times when you need to comfort yourself. Use these techniques whenever you are having a hard time or as a special treat to yourself.

 

  _____ Do something fun or creative, something you really enjoy, like crafts, needlework, painting, drawing, woodworking, making a sculpture, reading fiction, comics, mystery novels, or inspirational writings, doing crossword or jigsaw puzzles, playing a game, taking some photographs, going fishing, going to a movie or other community event, or gardening.

_____Get some exercise. Exercise is a great way to help yourself feel better while improving your overall stamina and health. The right exercise can even be fun.

______Write something. Writing can help you feel better. You can keep lists, record dreams, respond to questions, and explore your feelings. All ways are correct. Don’t worry about how well you write. It’s not important. It is only for you. Writing about the trauma or traumatic events also helps a lot. It allows you to safely process the emotions you are experiencing. It tells your mind that you are taking care of the situation and helps to relieve the difficult symptoms you may be experiencing. Keep your writings in a safe place where others cannot read them. Share them only with people you feel comfortable with. You may even want to write a letter to the person or people who have treated you badly, telling them how it affected you, and not send the letter.

_____Use your spiritual resources. Spiritual resources and making use of these resources varies from person to person. For some people it means praying, going to church, or reaching out to a member of the clergy. For others it is meditating or reading affirmations and other kinds of inspirational materials. It may include rituals and ceremonies—whatever feels right to you. Spiritual work does not necessarily occur within the bounds of an organized religion. Remember, you can be spiritual without being religious.

_____Do something routine. When you don’t feel well, it helps to do something “normal”—the kind of thing you do every day or often, things that are part of your routine like taking a shower, washing your hair, making yourself a sandwich, calling a friend or family member, making your bed, walking the dog, or getting gas in the car.

_____Wear something that makes you feel good. Everybody has certain clothes or jewelry that they enjoy wearing. These are the things to wear when you need to comfort yourself.

_____Get some little things done. It always helps you feel better if you accomplish something, even if it is a very small thing. Think of some easy things to do that don’t take much time. Then do them. Here are some ideas: clean out one drawer, put five pictures in a photo album, dust a book case, read a page in a favorite book, do a load of laundry, cook yourself something healthful, send someone a card.

_____Learn something new. Think about a topic that you are interested in but have never explored. Find some information on it in the library. Check it out on the Internet. Go to a class. Look at something in a new way. Read a favorite saying, poem, or piece of scripture, and see if you can find new meaning in it.

____ Do a reality check. Checking in on what is really going on rather than responding to your initial “gut reaction” can be very helpful. For instance, if you come in the house and loud music is playing, it may trigger the thinking that someone is playing the music just to annoy you. The initial reaction is to get really angry with them. That would make both of you feel awful. A reality check gives the person playing the loud music a chance to look at what is really going on. Perhaps the person playing the music thought you wouldn’t be in until later and took advantage of the opportunity to play loud music. If you would call upstairs and ask him to turn down the music so you could rest, he probably would say, “Sure!” It helps if you can stop yourself from jumping to conclusions before you check the facts.

_____ Be present in the moment. This is often referred to as mindfulness. Many of us spend so much time focusing on the future or thinking about the past that we miss out on fully experiencing what is going on in the present. Making a conscious effort to focus your attention on what you are doing right now and what is happening around you can help you feel better. Look around at nature. Feel the weather. Look at the sky when it is filled with stars.

_____Stare at something pretty or something that has special meaning for you. Stop what you are doing and take a long, close look at a flower, a leaf, a plant, the sky, a work of art, a souvenir from an adventure, a picture of a loved one, or a picture of yourself. Notice how much better you feel after doing this.

_____Play with children in your family or with a pet. Romping in the grass with a dog, petting a kitten, reading a story to a child, rocking a baby, and similar activities have a calming effect which translates into feeling better.

_____Do a relaxation exercise. There are many good books available that describe relaxation exercises. Try them to discover which ones you prefer. Practice them daily. Use them whenever you need to help yourself feel better. Relaxation tapes which feature relaxing music or nature sounds are available. Just listening for 10 minutes can help you feel better.

_____Take a warm bath. This may sound simplistic, but it helps. If you are lucky enough to have access to a Jacuzzi or hot tub, it’s even better. Warm water is relaxing and healing.

_____Expose yourself to something that smells good to you. Many people have discovered fragrances that help them feel good. Sometimes a bouquet of fragrant flowers or the smell of fresh baked bread will help you feel better.

_____Listen to music. Pay attention to your sense of hearing by pampering yourself with delightful music you really enjoy. Libraries often have records and tapes available for loan. If you enjoy music, make it an essential part of every day.

_____Make music. Making music is also a good way to help yourself feel better. Drums and other kinds of musical instruments are popular ways of relieving tension and increasing well-being. Perhaps you have an instrument that you enjoy playing, like a harmonica, kazoo, penny whistle, or guitar.

_____Sing. Singing helps. It fills your lungs with fresh air and makes you feel better. Sing to yourself. Sing at the top of your lungs. Sing when you are driving your car. Sing when you are in the shower. Sing for the fun of it. Sing along with favorite records, tapes, compact discs, or the radio. Sing the favorite songs you remember from your childhood.

Perhaps you can think of some other things you could do that would help you feel better.

 

 

A SAMHSA publication

How to talk to your child about traumatic events



Part of parenting is protecting your child and helping them navigate difficult situations, organize their thoughts and express their emotions. One of the most challenging conversations a parent can have with their child is one that involves tragedy. In this digital era, children are exposed to everything. It is no longer an option to hide the ugly happenings in the world from your child. The images and the news is everywhere. There is no easy way to talk to your child about traumatic events but there are things you can do to help them cope with what they are seeing, hearing and feeling.

Here are some tips to facilitate conversation:

  • Keep in mind your child’s developmental stage and personality when exchanging thoughts and information. Elementary school children do not need elaborate explanations. They are looking for simple answers and reassurance that they will be safe. High school kids on the other hand may want details, facts and explanations and a space to vent safely.
  • Listen first, ask questions later. Give them the opportunity to express their concerns and feelings about what has occurred. Respond with empathy. Don’t make assumptions. Answer their questions honestly, even if that means “I don’t know.” And remember to ask them how you could help?
  • Validate their feelings. Let them know it’s ok to feel the way they do. Normalize their feelings by saying, “ It’s normal to feel sad, angry or scared when tragedy occurs.“
  • Don’t obsess about talking about the tragedy. Let them know that you are available to listen and answer any questions as they arise.
  • Balance grief with positive memories.
  • Assure them that there are good people in the world working hard to keep them safe and fix the problem.
  • Empower them to speak up to teachers, legislature, peers. Remind them that their voice and feelings matter.
  • Encourage self care and model it. Self care can include meditating, yoga, journaling, expression through art, exercising, eating healthy, sleeping well and focusing on the positive.

Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your child.

I can say this instead…



 

Instead of …                                     Try thinking…

 

– I’m not good at this                          – What am I missing?

 

– I’m awesome at this                         – I’m on the right track

 

– I give up!                                           – I’ll use a different strategy

 

– This is too hard                                – This may take some time & effort

 

– I can’t do math                                – I’m going to train my brain in math

 

– I made a mistake                             – Mistakes help me improve

 

– Its’ good enough                            – Is this really my best work?

 

– They don’t like me                         – I don’t need anyone’s approval

 

– I’m too impulsive                          – I’m very spontaneous

 

 

 

 

Deep Breathing



Proper breathing helps your body break away from the “fight or flight” response. When you are stressed, your breath becomes more rapid and shallow. Deep breathing allows the body to return to a state of calmness and delivers oxygen throughout the body as it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system.

Deep breathing is a technique that can be used anywhere and anytime. It is best to practice it in a calm state so that when you are stressed, the technique can be easily implemented.

 

Belly Breathing

  • Lie on your back. Put your hands on your belly.
  • With your mouth closed, breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 4 as your belly expands.
  • Hold the breath for a count of 2.
  • Slowly exhale the breath though your mouth as your belly retracts.
  • Repeat several times.

 

Making it fun for children

  • Blowing a pinwheel
  • Blowing a feather
  • Blowing bubbles.
  • Placing a stuffed animal on their stomach, while lying down and watching it rise and lower with each breath.
  • Add imagery while inhaling, such as a colorful balloon filling up with air and then letting the air out of the balloon upon exhale.
  • Add a phrase, such as “ breathe in the good, breathe out the bad.”

 

 

Managing a panic attack



A panic attack is a sudden episode of overwhelming fear that occurs spontaneously. It is a short period of intense anxiety, often lasting several minutes. It can happen at any moment, whether asleep or awake. It can be emotionally debilitating and terrifying, but not life threatening.

A panic attack is due to high levels of adrenaline. Adrenaline, also known as epinephrine, is a hormone and neurotransmitter that activates the fight or flight mechanism in your body. When excess adrenaline is pumped into your bloodstream, you may start to feel the symptoms of a panic attack until all the adrenaline released is used up by your autonomic nervous system. When there is no more surplus adrenaline in your bloodstream, the panic attack subsides.

 

These are some symptoms that you may experience during a panic attack:

  • Light-headedness
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Tingling
  • Shortness of breath or smothering
  • Stomach problems
  • Shaking
  • Chills/heat
  • Dizziness
  • Flushes
  • Fear of dying
  • Chest pains
  • Racing heart/palpitations
  • Feeling of unreality
  • Feeling of choking
  • Fear of losing control

 

What can you do?

  1. Sit or lay down. Ground yourself.
  2. Think, “This will pass” “Even though I am very scared and uncomfortable, I am going to be ok”, “ I am not in danger”, “ This is not life-threatening”
  3. Concentrate on your breathing, and breathe deeply and slowly in through your nose for four seconds and out through your mouth for six seconds. Keep doing this for a few  minutes. This will bring the needed oxygen back into your body. It is best to practice this first while you are feeling calm rather than wait until you are anxious
  4. Some people prefer to close their eyes and others prefer to look around and notice all the typical things happening around them to distract themselves.
  5. Cold water and ice works well with panic attacks. Sip cold water, put a cold cloth on the base of your neck, splash ice water on your face\
  6.  As a lifestyle, cut out coffee, tea, soda and start a stress reduction practice. Your nervous system will thank you for it.
  7.  Diet can affect anxiety levels. Talk to your doctor about nutrition therapy and how vitamins and minerals can support your autonomic nervous system
  8.  If panic attacks occur often, you may want to consider medication.

 

 

Exercise Your Brain



Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. Regularly exercising your brain with mentally stimulating novel activities helps brain function (thinking skills and memory) and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The best brain exercises challenge you to try something new and develop new neural pathways.

There are many ways you can exercise your brain. You could try:

  • Attending lectures to learn something new.
  • Playing board or card games.
  • Enrolling in classes in your local adult education center.
  • A hobby such as painting, carpentry, sewing etc.
  • Reading different genres of books or magazines.
  • Learn to dance, play a musical instrument or speak a new language.
  • Join a club or community group.
  • Find a volunteer position that allows you to meet new people and experience new situations.
  • Create a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Perform a task with your non-dominant hand.
  • Change your routines. This will help you refocus your attention.
  • And of course, continue your physical exercise. Exercise improves circulation and sends oxygen to your brain.

3 Tips For Improving Your Child’s Sleep



Child sleepingMany children experience sleep related problems at least a few nights per week. Lack of sleep affects children physically, emotionally and academically.

Here are 3 essential tips to help your child get a better nights sleep.

 

1. Establish a routine – Regular sleep times are an important feature of creating desirable sleep behavior. A regular bedtime and wakeup time should be established and consistently followed.

  • Make the last 30 minutes before bedtime a regular routine. Include activities such as dressing for bed, washing, and reading.li>
  • Keep the order and timing consistent each night (e.g., brush teeth, wash up, change into pajamas, read for 15 to 20 minutes, hug and kiss, say, “ok, it’s time to sleep. Goodnight.”).
  • Don’t include activities that might result in conflict (i.e. picking out clothes for school). Work these into a routine before bedtime.

2. Nutrition and Exercise– how you eat and exercise impacts the way you sleep.

  • Nutrition is important to sleep. In general, a well-balanced diet is related to good sleep. Certain vitamins and supplements may have positive effects on sleep. Talk to your doctor about treating sleep problems via diet and supplements.
  • Exercise can also have a positive effect on sleep. Regular exercise during the day can help promote better sleep. Discourage vigorous activity right before bedtime.

3. The Setting – Turn the bedroom into a sleep inducing environment. Get your child involved in creating an environment that feels best for them.

  • The bed should be associated with relaxation. Try to minimize your child’s playing, jumping, wrestling, eating or homework on the bed.
  • Environmental factors such as light, temperature, comfort and noise should be optimized for sleep. (not too light or dark, hot or cold, or noisy, etc.) Black out curtains, comfy pillows, white noise, tranquil music and aromatherapy can help create a relaxing environment.
  • Some children feel more relaxed, grounded and safe with a heavier or weighted comforter due to the pressure of the touch.

 

Things to Avoid:

  • Avoid watching TV and using electronic devices close to bedtime because it can interfere with sleep.
  • Avoid vigorous activity and unpleasant situations right before bedtime.
  • Avoid extending the time for bedtime – don’t give in to requests for just one more story, or one more drink of water.
  • Avoid caffeine– caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in the body up to 6 hours. In general, drinks and foods containing caffeine, including soft drinks and chocolate, should be avoided in the hours before bedtime.

If your child continues to have sleep difficulties, you may want to consult your physician.

Spring Clean Your Behaviors



“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”
– Anais Nin

 

Spring Cleaning Your BehaviotSpring is a time of new beginnings. It is a time to let go of behaviors that no longer make you happy and commit to making changes.

What are some behaviors that you would like to change? Have you picked up some bad habits? Is fear stopping you from doing something?

What would help you begin that change process? Take the first step.

Here are 4 Steps to Help You Start the Change Process

1. Identify what behavior you want to change and know why you must change it. Consider the reasons why the old behavior just doesn’t serve you anymore and the benefits of the new one. Commit to your new desired behavior.

2. Set yourself up for success by preparing yourself mentally and physically for action. Begin by writing down what you have committed to and posting it somewhere that you can see it often. Be sure to include the “why” you are doing it.  Identify any obstacles and triggers that may jeopardize you and write down the solutions for these obstacles. Set up the supplies or circumstances that will help you achieve your desired results, this includes a support system. Join a gym. Throw out the cigarettes and buy carrot sticks and tic-tac’s instead. Set timers. Go buy a week’s worth of greens. Whatever your goal is-take action!

3. Take action. Think. Get clarity. Identify what you want and then commit to taking an actionable step towards your goal daily. This is where the real magic happens.

4. Maintain your new behavior by reminding yourself of the reason it’s important. Satisfaction with your new behavior is dependent upon your expectations. Keep your expectations realistic. Significant change takes time. Change is a process not an event. Slowly but surely you will meet your goals.

Maintain your new behavior for at least 30 days so a new habit begins to take place. And if you relapse to your old ways, just return to the desired behavior. It is not a sign of failure but rather another opportunity to make you stronger.