How to help your child cope with stress

Adults aren’t the only ones who deal with stress. Stress is a fact of life, even for the youngest members ChildrenBLOG.fwof your family. While you can’t build a fortress around your children to protect them from stress and anxiety, you can help your child cope with stress by teaching them coping mechanisms.

While an adult may feel stressed and say, “I’m stressed out,” a child or teenager may not have the awareness to understand that what they are feeling is stress or the words to articulate their feelings. Parents can look for signs that their child is stressed. Stress in children and teenagers often manifests itself through changes in behavior — complaining of stomachaches and headaches, not wanting to participate in their regular activities, changes in sleep or eating patterns. When the stress builds, they may get tearful and agitated and fly off the handle. Continue reading

The nose knows: using aromatherapy to relax and de-stress

The smell of freshly baked cookies, flowers in the garden, a hearty meal in the oven … scents can AromaBLOG.fwconjure up powerful memories and emotions. Did you know that certain scents can help you relax, sleep or concentrate? Using aromatherapy to relax and de-stress is a habit you can easily integrate into your life.

Smell is the sense that has the closest connection to our limbic system, allowing it to affect our emotions. Aromas are more than a pleasant scent, they can be a pathway to improving your mental health. When the right side of our brain is in overdrive with stress or anxiety, the simple smell of a fragrance can allow us to clear our mind and look at a situation more logically.

The effects of jasmine and lavender have been directly compared to the effects of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax. Citrus fragrances like lemon and orange can help you Continue reading

Eliminate stress and get a good night’s sleep

In my practice, I find that the cause of poor sleep is most often stress. When you’re stressed, it’s hard SleepKaufmanBLOG.fwto get to sleep and when you do manage to sleep, it may not be the deep, restorative sleep your body needs. You don’t have to throw your arms up and accept that you don’t sleep well – you can eliminate stress and get a good night’s sleep by taking a few steps:

Determine a sleep pattern. Start with establishing a time to wake up. Most of us should wake up naturally around 6 or 7 am when our normal stress hormone, cortisol, spikes for the day. If you struggle to wake in the morning, you can feel better by improving your sleep habits. Changing your sleep habits can be work, but it is worth the effort. Continue reading

Walk your stress away

Think about the times in your life when you’ve felt stress: giving a presentation at work, being late for a WalkingBLOG.fwmeeting or arguing with a family member. Remember how your heart was pounding and you were breathing harder? Emotional stress and anxiety make the heart work harder. That’s why you should try to keep them under control.

Everyone has certain stress triggers — things such as rush-hour traffic, family issues, finances or just having too much on your plate. No one can control all of these challenges, but there are ways to cope with them better. One of the best techniques is to walk your stress away.

Walking can ease burdens and relieve stress or anxiety. As an aerobic activity, walking releases hormones such as adrenaline in your body. Adrenaline stimulates the heart rate. This and other hormones are key players in your nervous system and in boosting your mood. Endorphins are also released in your body during activity. They help relieve pain and create a sense of well-being. Continue reading

When is it time to see a therapist for your stress?

Only characters in old-school sitcoms live life without stress and anxiety. For them, life is all good therapistblog.fwtimes, laughter and the occasional pratfall. Those of us living in the real world have a wider range of feelings — and stress and anxiety are very common ones. While we all have our ups and downs, it’s important to know when stress and anxiety get to the point where a mental healthcare professional may be needed.

When your stress and anxiety start to affect everyday functions in your life or when these feelings last too long, that’s a good indicator that it might be time to see a therapist for your stress. Are you having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much? Is it hard to concentrate or complete your work? Are you eating too much or too little? Are you drinking too much alcohol? Are you having trouble concentrating? Are you feeling suicidal?  These are all warning signs that you may notice or friends, family or coworkers may notice. No matter how the warning flag is raised, it’s important to take note and get help.

If you’ve never seen a mental healthcare professional, the best first step is Continue reading

Are mental health days good for you?

If you have a fever, sore throat or stomach flu, you don’t hesitate to stay home from work or school. MentalHealthBLOG.fwSo, if you’re feeling down or stressed and need to push the pause button, is it OK to take a mental health day? Of course, but make sure you use that time to take stock of your mental health.

In today’s always-connected world, we sometimes just need a day to disconnect and breathe. Even if you take planned time off for vacations or appointments, when is the last time you took a day off just for you? One that didn’t involve planning, packing, traveling, etc? Taking mental health days to just step off the spinning wheel of everyday life can be incredibly refreshing.

If you unable or prefer not to be away from work for an extra day, plan a mental health day on one of your regular days off. Get out of your normal routine; spend the day focusing on assessing and recharging your mental health. Continue reading