Many who take up careers in clinical psychotherapy have a deep personal commitment – some might say calling – to help others on their journey toward better mental health. Some, like post traumatic stress expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (whose father was a Nazi concentration camp survivor), found powerful motivation to improve mental illness treatment, after bearing witness to the deep impact of trauma on a loved one.
Good cheer, happiness, family and a spirit of giving are a big part of the holiday season. But for many people, stress and loneliness are major players that upset plans to stay positive. If your tension level rises when the decor goes up, you are not alone. It is common for some people to feel more anxious or lonely as the season begins.
Holiday stress can trigger negative thinking that builds on itself. To avoid this cycle, we can take this opportunity to find new comforts and enjoy the holidays differently. We can take simple, meaningful steps for healthy self-care, and put some fun back into our celebrations.
Do holiday family gatherings stir up feelings of excitement and dread at the same time? Do you worry about holiday stress ruining your chance to enjoy yourself and your family?
Sometimes, joining family celebrations can trigger mixed feelings. We want to be part of the fun, but we grow more anxious the closer the time comes to join our crowd. Will we be okay, or will our worries come true — that something triggering will happen?
Nobody welcomes feelings of sadness or dejection, but feeling down is sometimes part of life. Sadness is a normal, healthy emotion, and a natural response to loss or disappointment. Depression is a mental health issue, and a treatable illness.
While it may not seem to matter what you call it when you or a loved one is hurting, it is important to understand how these conditions are different.
You have an important deadline at work, and you need take the car to the repair shop. You skip breakfast, drop off the car, and get a ride to your job. By noon your stomach is growling. Just before lunch, your boss walks up and asks you to take care of something urgent. What do you do?
We depend on our boundaries help us cope with challenges every day. They are a necessary part of life, but they can be hard to define exactly. What does it mean to have healthy boundaries, and how do you put them in place?
What Are Healthy Boundaries?
All my life I’ve been living in the fast lane
Can’t slow down, I’m a rolling freight train
One more time, gotta start all over
Can’t slow down I’m a lone red rover
Oh how did it come to this?
Lyrics from “Polaroid” by Imagine Dragons
From an early age many of us learn the importance of independence, hard work, and “measuring up” to expectations. We push ourselves to excel, do more, and be better than our peers. But few people end up living a life they enjoy by striving full-tilt all the time.
Can we work and live well without burning ourselves out?