Three Simple Tips to Help your Child Overcome Bullying

Three Simple Tips to Help your Child Overcome Bullying

October is National Bullying Awareness Month. According to Merriam-Webster, bullying is defined as abuse or mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger and more powerful. Unfortunately, bullying occurs far too often—according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 20.8% of students reported being bullied, but 64% of children are bullied and do not report it. Bullying can make a child or teen feel isolated, shamed, anxious, or depressed. If you are worried that your child is struggling against bullies, read more about some simple tips for you to help...

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4 Simple and Quick Self-Care Strategies

4 Simple and Quick Self-Care Strategies

When life gets very busy, you may feel like you can't take time to de-stress—there’s so much to do! However, ignoring your self-care routine can make you feel run down and burnt out. Instead, you should make time for simple strategies to improve your overall well-being, even if it just for a few minutes each day. Here are some quick and easy ways to practice self-care for when you are on-the-go...

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3 Tips to Tell the Difference Between Typical and Unhealthy Teen Behavior

3 Tips to Tell the Difference Between Typical and Unhealthy Teen Behavior

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish normal adolescent mood shifts, reactions or rebellion from verifiable symptoms of depression, as they often mimic each other.

Read more for three quick ways to tell the difference...

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Finding the 'Right' Preschool

Finding the 'Right' Preschool

Sending your child to preschool is an exciting experience. Many parents feel overwhelmed about which school to choose, especially when there are so many options nearby. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the preschool search and find a school that suits your family...

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Adding a Dose of Mindfulness to Your Life

Adding a Dose of Mindfulness to Your Life

Mindfulness is living in the moment and focusing on your current experience. Although it seems like a trend or buzzword, mindfulness is evidence-based and has been studied to reduce negative physical and mental symptoms as well as improve overall well-being.  Here are some tips and tools for integrating mindfulness into your routine....

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4 Tips to Get your Teens on the Right Track this School Year

4 Tips to Get your Teens on the Right Track this School Year

It’s September and everyone is excited for a great school year!  You might want the transition to go smoothly, however there might be some obstacles on the road. Here are some tips to help your teen get started on the right foot this year....

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Back-to-School Stress Reduction in 4 Easy Steps

Back-to-School Stress Reduction in 4 Easy Steps

As summer comes to an end, many families are gearing up for a brand new school year. This transition often comes with a wide variety of feelings—excitement, anxiety, and anticipation are just a few.  Here are a few tips to help the family stay calm and grounded as the new school year starts....

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Using Color Psychology in your Home to Help you Relax

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What is color psychology? It is a powerful tool often used in marketing and branding. Essentially, it is the idea that different colors make you feel different ways. For example, yellow might make you feel energized and blue might help calm you down. In the same way that companies carefully decide what color their logos should be, you can choose and change the colors in your house with these simple tips.

The colors that are most commonly associated with calmness and relaxation are green, blue, and purple. However, their effects are slightly different. In addition to its calming effect, green promotes feelings of balance, security, and compassion. Blue boosts productivity, as well as feelings of harmony and clarity. Whereas purple is associated with creativity, logic, and power. Any of these 3 colors can help you feel more at ease.

That does not mean that you should suddenly paint every wall in your house purple. Instead, you can add pops of calming colors into your home. Some easy ways to do this are through accent pillows, posters, artwork, and other small decorations. That way, you don’t have to clear out a room and paint your walls or buy entirely new furniture to introduce a more peaceful color palette.

Here are some ideas for each room in your house: In the living room, you could find blue throw pillows for the couch, or a light green area rug.  In the dining room or kitchen, you could look into getting colored dishes or a tranquil-colored tablecloth.  The bathroom could get a new lilac shower curtain. You could even buy baby-blue bedding for your bedroom, so you go to sleep to soothing colors. Even a little more color in a space can make a difference.

As a do-it-yourself project, you could have your kids paint on canvases using only calming-color acrylics.  Then, you can hang them on practically any wall to showcase their work. It’s a great way to get them involved and give them an activity to do on a summer day!

Incorporating color into your house can be easily done, so that you can feel more relaxed all year round. There are so many different shades and hues of green, blue, and purple—you can’t go wrong! Use color psychology to swap out stress-inducing colors for more peaceful ones and feel better today!

4 Sweet and Healthy End-of-Summer Snacks

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During summer, it is easy to fall into a snacking slump. The weather is hot and you could use a frozen treat like ice cream to cool you off. Instead of snacking on chips, chocolate, or cheese in between meals, consider trying some healthy and delicious snacking options. Healthy snacking has many benefits—it can improve your concentration, increase your energy levels, and help with appetite control. Plus, a sweet treat can make anyone feel better. Try munching on these snacks to boost your mood and your energy for the rest of this summer!

1. Watermelon

Summer is the ideal season for watermelon. Watermelon is great because it has little to no fat or sodium, but it tastes so sweet! It also is nutritious; it contains vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene (an antioxidant). You can eat it by the slice or turn it into a popsicle by cutting smaller pieces and putting them on popsicle sticks (see http://www.watermelon.org/Recipes/Watermelon-Slice-Popsicles). No matter what way you eat it, be sure to get your watermelon while it’s still ripe!

2. Fresh Fruit Bruschetta

Bruschetta typically consists of tomatoes, onions, and basil finely chopped on toasted bread. Now, you can turn an Italian classic into a summer snack by dicing up your favorite fruits instead! One website, http://www.thecookierookie.com/fruit-bruschetta/, recommends strawberries and peaches, but you can still use tomatoes too. Enjoy this delicious recipe!

3. Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is so tasty, but it is not always that healthy when you buy it from the supermarket. Instead of wondering if there’s too much butter, why not make your own? That way, you can control exactly what’s going into your popcorn and how healthy you can make it! With some popcorn kernels, a brown paper bag, and some seasonings, you can follow the steps on http://blog.feelgreatin8.com/easy-homemade-microwave-popcorn/ to make your own healthy popcorn.

4. Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Instead of eating ice cream, try making your own frozen yogurt. It’s a great healthy alternative to cool you down. According to http://blog.feelgreatin8.com/homemade-strawberry-frozen-yogurt/, all you need are strawberries, honey, greek yogurt, and lime juice. Just put everything in the blender until it’s smooth, put it in the freezer until it is the right consistency, and indulge in this guilt-free, low calorie desert!

Why waste the end of the summer away, snacking on fatty foods? With these recipes, you can cool off with some yummy and healthy snacks that are perfect for the whole family. They’ll help you feel more energized and motivated to get outside and have fun!

3 Simple Tips to Ease Anxiety at Night

After a long and exhausting day, do you find that you still have trouble falling asleep? If you’re so tired, you would think that you could be fast asleep within fifteen minutes. As you lay in bed, you might replay conversations from the day or go over your to-do list for tomorrow. Maybe you even worry about the rest of your week and what needs to get done.  You might try watching some TV for a few minutes or start scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, but that doesn’t help distract you either. It’s possible that anxiety is keeping you up at night. Here are some tips to help you fall asleep faster.

            Visualization: If you feel anxious, you should consider creating a visual for your thoughts. Imagine that you are placing all of your thoughts into a box. Take all of those thoughts and worries from the day, and push them down into the box. Then close it and tape it shut. Imagine placing the box on the shelf. Now, your thoughts are contained, away from the forefront of your mind; they can always be re-opened tomorrow.

            Body scan: If you’re not a visual person, you can try this physical exercise. You can relax your muscles, from your toes to your head. Start by curling up your toes tightly for a few seconds, and then release them. Slowly move up your body, tightening and releasing your muscles section by section (ankles, legs, torso etc). Keep going until you get to the muscles in your head (like your eyebrows). This is a very helpful exercise to relax your body, so that you can settle into sleep for the night.

            Deep breathing: Practicing your breathing is a good short-term distraction to slow down your thoughts. Count four slow, deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you count the number of breaths you take, you are shifting focus away from your anxieties. You can even count how many seconds you breathe in and out for, if you need an additional distraction. It can be a temporary reprieve to rest your brain.

Whether you struggle with anxiety or just need to relax, you can use these tips to decompress at night. Practicing these exercises can ease your mind and body for a quality night’s sleep.

How to Enjoy a “Brief Vacation”

Life always pulls and pushes us in many directions. Between work, school, kids, friends, family, obligations to the community, etc, it’s hard to find the time to slow down in both body and mind. Research has shown that the fast pace of today’s society can make us overwhelmed, exhausted, lacking creativity, and like we have little left to give.

The concept of a “brief vacation”  is a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skill. The idea is to stop actively managing your life for a brief amount of time (perhaps 15 minutes to two hours?). Instead, you retreat into yourself or allow yourself to be taken care of during this small break.

Brief Vacation means slowing things down—allowing time for exploring, thinking, learning, or just being present in the moment. Maybe spend time outside with family or read a magazine on the porch. The benefits of taking a full day off or even getting an hour alone can make you feel recharged and get clearer in mind and relaxed in your body.

Here’s a challenge for you: come up with a list of five things that you would spend your time doing if you gave yourself a “brief vacation.” Think about things that you enjoy doing, that relax you, or that you used to do and really want to try again. You could write them on a post-it note or make a list in the notes app on your phone. Keep this list with you so that when you hit the point when you say, “I just need a break,” you have ideas handy. Don’t forget about your list, and maintain some “brief vacation” time in your routine. Even planning out a 30-minute break on a daily basis can be more beneficial than you’d think. Having consistency with this technique will help to support your clarity of mind and balance in your life.

3 Apps to Boost Your Mindfulness and Your Health

3 Apps to Boost Your Mindfulness and Your Health

When your life is busy and there are too many things to do in one day, it can be difficult to find time for improving your mindfulness and your health. In this time of technology, there is a new way to supplement the support of your therapist or doctor: apps! Consider downloading these apps to help you achieve your health goals.

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Fun Summer Activities for the Whole Family

Fun Summer Activities for the Whole Family

It’s summer! The kids are out of school, which means that they have lots of free time. Many parents struggle to find things to do that are both cost effective and fun. Here are some exciting ideas for you and your family to try this summer...

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Firsthand Tips for Juggling a Newborn and a Toddler

Firsthand Tips for Juggling a Newborn and a Toddler

Becoming a mom is an incredible experience. You give life to a brand new little human, who changes your world forever and perhaps turns it upside down for a while. If you have a toddler at home, this can be an especially challenging time!

Here are some helpful tips on how to manage a toddler and a newborn's needs together...

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How to Get Your Teen to Commit to Therapy

How to Get Your Teen to Commit to Therapy

Approaching the idea of therapy with your teen can be a difficult. It may bring up the question, "what is wrong with me? or the notion that you are disappointed or that your child isn't measuring up. 

Here are four quick tips for getting your child to commit to the process....

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Eight Summer Songs to Cheer You Up

Eight Summer Songs to Cheer You Up

Summer is the time of year to get outdoors and enjoy some well-deserved downtime.  Sometimes, the free time and changing family schedule can make you feel depressed.  If you feel down or bored this summer, try listening to Buzzfeed’s playlist of uplifting songs from over the years.  Here are some suggestions...

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Advice for Parents Sending their Kids Off to Sleepaway Camp for the First Time

Advice for Parents Sending their Kids Off to Sleepaway Camp for the First Time

It’s the end of June, and the day that you send your child to sleepaway camp for the first time is quickly approaching.  It’s completely normal for any parent to be anxious about the experience. Read our latest blog post for quick tips on how to ease this transition....

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The Four-Letter "F" Word that You Should Embrace Right Now!

The Four-Letter "F" Word that You Should Embrace Right Now!

Curious? Read on to find out what it is and what you can do about it....

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Four Life Skills Every Emerging Young Adult Needs to Know Now

Four Life Skills Every Emerging Young Adult Needs to Know Now

Transitions can be difficult for adolescents and parents, so the transition to adulthood is definitely no exception! It’s important for your child to feel comfortable talking to you about some of his or her stressors, anxiety, fears and worries about the transition. Autonomy can be simultaneously liberating, scary and challenging.

Here are 4 Life Skills for your emerging young adult to practice and master in order to help make the transition smoother:

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Five Steps toward Grieving a Loss

Five Steps toward Grieving a Loss

Grieving a loss is a process that we will all experience at some point in our lives. The most obvious form of grieving is for a dying or deceased loved one, including a pet. However, loss can occur in areas other than in death such as when receiving a health diagnosis, during the end of a union, or even when an experience doesn't measure up to your expectations.   Here are five steps toward grieving any loss....

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