Posts

By Katherine Baker, LCSW – Dec. 31, 2019

As the year closes and a new one begins, many people focus on improving their health and well-being. Being human in a world filled with drama and losses can be exhausting. 

All too often human sleep patterns are out of sync, causing many of us to be exhausted, grumpy, and on edge.  Not only are children and teenagers affected by the lack of sleep; it has become a human condition affecting everyone. 

Most people can thrive, however, by following these basic tips to help in their day-to-day functioning:

1.  Remember to focus on a sleep routine. Have a set bedtime for yourself and try to stick with it as much as possible. Your brain and body will thank you.

2.  Remember to set limits on social media. Take a social media break from all of your devices one or two times a month. Try it for two hours and work your way up to longer periods of time.  Again, your brain and body will thank you. Besides lack of sleep, the use of social media and the stress and anxiety it is causing impacts our society in numerous negative ways. Think about how your life is affected by your use of social media.

3.  Remember, you are responsible for your day.  You are responsible for how you feel and what you do; nobody else is.  You are in charge of your life!

4.  Remember, everybody doesn’t have to love you or even like you.  If someone does not approve of you, it will still be okay.

5.  Remember, it is important to try.  Even when faced with difficult tasks, it is better to try than to avoid them. You may not be able to do everything, but you can do something. Find your talents.

6.  Remember that you can be flexible. There is more than one way to do something.  Everybody has ideas that are worthwhile. Some may make more sense to you than others, but everyone’s ideas are important. Listen and consider the options.

7.  Remember, other people are capable.  You can’t solve other people’s problems as if they were your own. They are capable and can solve their own problems. You can show care and concern and be of some help, but you can’t – and shouldn’t – do everything for them. 

Start the new year by getting enough sleep, taking charge of your day, demonstrating flexibility and giving your best. Only take on what you are capable of handling. You will soon see a difference in your outlook and stress levels!

By Jaclyn Durnil, MSW – Dec. 3, 2019

“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.” – Kristen Chenowith

Why is it so difficult to love ourselves? Basically, the short answer to this question is that we were raised in a society that didn’t teach us about self-love. This may not seem very important to some, but self-love is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Loving yourself provides you with self-confidence, self-worth, and in general, you feel more positive. If you can learn to love yourself, you will feel happier and will learn to take better care of yourself.

Looking in the mirror, most of us see a lot of different flaws and remember too many past experiences and failings to love ourselves. The less you love yourself, listen to yourself, and understand yourself, the more confused, upset, and frustrated you will be in life. When you begin to love yourself and continue to love yourself more and more each day, things slowly will be a little bit better in every way possible.

Unfortunately, self-love isn’t always easy. 

Accepting the pain and allowing yourself to be honest with who you are is a big step to loving yourself. Forgive yourself for past actions and things you are ashamed of doing.

Carrying a lot of negative emotions like jealousy, disgust, and rage can have a negative impact. We need to learn how to accept not only the emotions that create love, joy, and happiness but also the ones that cause fear, insecurity, and anger in our lives.

While we need to learn how to acknowledge and accept the pain with the love, another step is reconciling with a cold and unopened heart. Asking yourself if you fully love yourself can be very difficult because you must accept your flaws and faults.

Love is something we choose, the same way we choose anger, hate, or sadness. We have the power to forgive someone who has hurt us in the past. We can learn to finally heal from something when we can forgive. We can always choose love.

Learning to love yourself leads to better self-care. Examples of this could be taking a break from time to time and accepting that no one is perfect and things happen.

Another example could be saying no to others when you really don’t have the time or energy to say yes. We often do too much for other people because we want to please everyone. We can forget to look after ourselves and then we become overwhelmed.

Today is the day you can love yourself completely with no expectations. Making the choice right now to choose your own love is the most powerful healing force you have.

By Jordan Beach, Courier & Press, Feb. 27, 2018 –

Where is the balance for busy moms?  You know what I mean, moms. We’re always chasing the perfect mix of family life, work life and “me” time.

There are so many expectations.  We tell ourselves our children should be in a million activities (that we should always attend), the house should be spotless, we should exercise daily and there should be some type of made-from-scratch organic meal on the table every night (where the entire family sits down together and eats in peace).

Let’s get real for a minute… This is no parent’s reality.  The truth is that parents feel stretched in a thousand different directions.

So where is that perfect balance, the happy place where you feel like you’re giving enough to your family but also practicing self-care?

Is it okay for a mother to leave the house and do something alone or with a friend, and if it is, why do we feel like we’re neglecting our children while we’re gone?

The truth is, there is no magic equation for time spent with family vs. time spent away to equal a happy mom; it looks different for everyone.  It is, however, important to take time to care for yourself.

So how do you make time for yourself? I’ve listed some suggestions below.

  • Make a date with yourself. Seriously, schedule a time to sit down and decide what you can do for you and realistically not feel overwhelmed by missing things going on at home.  This looks different for everyone, and that is okay.
  • Make a list of things you want to try or make time for again. Maybe you were formerly an avid reader but now fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow and have forgotten what it feels like to be lost in a good book.  Pick those books back up.
  • Contact long-lost friends and get together (they probably need “friend time” too).
  • Let your village help you. The weight of the world does not have to be solely on your shoulders.
  • Decide how often you need this time and schedule it.

The more love you show yourself, the easier it will become to take the time for self-care.  Taking time to reset and recharge will supply the energy and patience you’ve been looking for.

Life is not a Pinterest board. Things get messy and busy, and in all of the chaos it is important to remember that you’re a good mom.  Allowing yourself to reset helps you handle the messes more seamlessly.