Posts in Action steps
How to Manage Anxiety

We face stressful situations on a daily basis. Starting a new school year, flying on an airplane, taking a test, maneuvering through rush hour traffic, and meeting tight office deadlines are all anxiety-provoking. Anxiety is a typical emotion that we all feel—in fact, it’s healthy in doses. However, if you regularly feel anxious and anxiety starts to prevent you from your daily activities, it may be a sign of something more serious like an anxiety disorder. How can you recognize symptoms of anxiety and better manage it? Here are some helpful tips…

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Tips for a Better Morning Routine

No one likes starting his or her family’s day on the wrong foot. After a morning gone terribly wrong, all parents will feel a pang of guilt over leaving their child upset at school or day care. It’s understandably difficult when nobody in your house is a morning person and there’s never enough time to prepare ahead the night before. Are you tired of your stress level going through the roof? There are ways to make the morning routine more manageable—and maybe even stress-free. Here are some tips to make mornings smoother for the entire family…

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Back-to-School Stress Relief

Can you believe that summer is ending already? Even just thinking about the first day of school can bring on a sinking feeling for students and parents alike. We’ve grown so accustomed to late nights with the family and worry-free summer days that it’s no wonder we’re dreading the school year routine. Between new classes, new teachers, and maybe even a new school, all of the unknowns can be daunting. Luckily, there are ways to smooth the transition back to school. Here are some tips to ease your family back into the swing of things…

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Managing Fear

Think back to a time when you were afraid. What was happening at the time? What made you feel fearful? When you felt fear, how did you respond? Did you take control of your fear, or did you let it hold you back? Fear works like any other emotion. Everyone deals with fear—it’s a natural part of being human. While we can’t avoid fear, we can learn to cope with it. Fear has a tendency to paralyze us, and to make us feel like we’re incapable of doing something simply because we are afraid of what might happen. The problem with fear is that it can prevent us from trying new things, growing as individuals, and reaching our goals. So what can you do to manage your fears? Here are some helpful tips…

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Getting the Most Out of DBT Skills Therapy

We all face our own unique challenges, tough times, and heartache. There are various ways to deal with life’s obstacles, and one of them is DBT skills therapy. Sometimes, the decision to seek therapy is an easy one and sometimes, it takes years to reach out for support. Whether you’re considering DBT or you’re currently in DBT therapy, you should know that the process involves more than just showing up and listening. If you want to get the most out of DBT skills therapy, we’ve got some insider advice for you! Read more…

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How to Practice Mindful Parenting

No matter what age your children are, parenting isn’t easy. As parents, we’re so focused on getting everything done that we forget to be present. We’re going through the motions of daily experiences without actually being there. What can we do to enjoy more moments with our families? We can practice mindful parenting. When you practice mindful parenting, you can be present in the moment, pay attention without assigning a feeling, and learn to accept your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Mindfulness practice starts with the “What” and “How” skills. Let’s learn about these skills and apply them to common situations parents face…

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How to Self-Soothe to Cope with Distress

Have you ever felt as though your emotions were quickly spiraling out of control? During distressing moments, you may be unsure of how to regulate yourself again. If you’re looking for a better way to deal with crises, the self-soothe skill could work for you!  It’s all about using our six senses to nurture ourselves and cope with distress. By practicing self care using the self-soothe skill, we learn to better tolerate overwhelming events. We can use vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and movement to lower our distress and feel more relaxed. Here are some ideas to self-soothe…

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Volunteering as a Family

Volunteering is a gift to yourself, to your family, and to others. It’s a great way to engage with your community and practice your mindfulness skills. It’s also quite a fulfilling experience for everyone, no matter your age or background. Have you ever considered volunteering as a family activity? It may not be your typical weekend or summer activity, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience for the entire family. What are the benefits of volunteering as a family? Let’s find out…

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Using Mindfulness to Pay Attention

Nowadays, there are many things fighting for our attention at once. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous—where there’s an excess of digital and interpersonal stimuli that pulls us from what we’re currently doing. With so many distractions, our attention is often split between multiple things at once. When our attention is divided, we’re not as focused in the moment. How do we focus on what’s right in front of us and avoid distractions? We can use mindfulness to cultivate our attention and enhance our experiences. Let’s explore how to go about this…

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How to IMPROVE the Moment

Let’s face it—life is full of curveballs. Things may be going smoothly one minute, and the next, something turns your day upside down. There’s a mix of good and bad surprises every day. How do you deal with daily challenges? Generally, people act impulsively—meaning that they put their emotions before their logic when they face unexpected and overwhelming situations. But sometimes, this is not the best option. Do you need a better way to keep your cool during surprising or frustrating circumstances? A dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skill called IMPROVE the Moment can help you manage difficult emotions during stressful situations. By reducing the intensity of emotion, you can feel more in-control when life throws you a curveball. Here’s how it works…

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5 Ways for Moms to Unwind

Do you sometimes feel like the days are so hectic, that they are starting to blend together? When you have kids, (especially small children) you likely find yourself doing everything for them—from feeding, to bathing, to carpooling and more. No matter what you do, it may seem like it’s never enough. You also may notice that it’s increasingly difficult to find time for yourself. Whether you are a mom to a newborn or a mom of three, stress can easily build up. Are you looking for some tips to relax and finally have some time to yourself? Here are 5 ways for moms to unwind…

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How to Ground Yourself

When you feel stressed or like life is out of control, what do you do? One way to reduce distress is through grounding yourself. The technique of “grounding” oneself is a coping strategy used to calm your state of being. When you ground yourself, you connect to the present moment, to the Earth, and to your body; it allows you to feel centered and balanced no matter what is going on around you. Here are a few ways to ground yourself…

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Reducing Conflicts with the THINK Skill

Do you find it difficult to work things out with others, but you’re not sure why? Often times, when we are interacting with others—particularly when we are disagreeing or arguing with someone else—we approach the situation with a negative mindset. Our brains naturally interpret the other person’s words and actions as negative or threatening. As a result, we jump to conclusions, quickly lash out, and become hostile or defensive. Our emotions (like anger and frustration) can take control of our actions during these situations. This clearly is not acting in an effective manner, especially if your goal is to improve your relationships and communicate in a more healthy way with others. Luckily, there’s a DBT skill which you can employ to reduce disagreements. Use the THINK skill to move from an Emotion Minded place into Wise Mind, where you are able to solve conflicts more effectively. Here’s how it works…

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Quick and Simple Self-Care Strategies

When life gets hectic, how do you practice self-care? Do you feel like there's not enough time in the day to do so? It may feel like you can't take time to de-stress because of all of the “to-do's” of the day or week. But when you neglect practicing self-care, you may feel run down or burnt out. It can certainly impact your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some easy ways to practice self-care in order to feel more refreshed, present, and productive.

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How to Avoid Being Reactive

Does your teen feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained? Does your child feel like he or she doesn't have control over his or her life? One key strategy to combat these feelings is to avoid being reactive. When we are reactive, we allow events and other people to dictate how we react. We passively respond to what's going on and we struggle to keep up with life's demands. Whether it’s anger, anxiety, or sadness, our emotions can sometimes manage our actions without us even realizing it. Therefore, we must take responsibility for our actions. We must take a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one. By taking ownership of how we act, we decide what we will do—not the other way around. Here’s how you can be proactive, not reactive…

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Cultivating Meaningful Relationships

How many friends do you have? Now, think about the quality of those friendships. How many of your friendships are invaluable to you? It's not always easy to make meaningful friendships. For teens especially, it's tricky to cultivate quality relationships when everyone's changing and figuring out who they are. As people change, friendships evolve too. There's a difference between hanging out with a group of people while feeling lonely, and hanging out with a few friends while feeling genuinely happy. Everyone wants to spend time with people who we enjoy being around. But how do we foster those kinds of relationships? Here are some tips to help you develop valuable and worthwhile friendships…

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How to Take a Brief Vacation

Life always pushes and pulls 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. Do you ever feel so distressed that you have to leave the environment that’s making you stressed? By briefly removing yourself from an overwhelming environment or activity, you tend to feel better. You may not realize it, but you’re employing a DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skill called “brief vacation.” Let’s explore how it works…

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Practicing Kindness

Have you heard of the saying "A little bit of kindness goes a long way"? It's more than just an expression—it's actually true! Science proves that performing acts of kindness is beneficial for all of the people involved. It reduces anxiety, makes you feel calmer, and increases happiness too. Why not do your part to be kindhearted towards others? Try performing one random act of kindness each day. It can be something big or small—whatever you choose. Are you ready to take this challenge? We’ve got some suggestions to get you started…

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5 DBT Skills That You're Already Using

Have you just started working with a DBT therapist or have you recently joined a DBT Therapy Group? If so, you may be anxious about learning a whole new set of coping skills. The good news is that you are most likely using some DBT skills on a regular basis. You may not even realize that you are applying these skills regularly. It is helpful to review the skills, so that you can be aware of when you’re utilizing them and then use them most effectively. Here is an overview of five DBT skills that you may already be using…

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What is Executive Functioning?

Have you ever heard of executive functioning? This term may be used at school or at therapy when talking about students’ basic skills. Each of us needs to be the CEO, the executive, or the person in charge of how we function. This is particularly important for kids and teens, who are developing these skills as they mature. Students improve their executive functioning skills in order to reach their personal maximum level of achievement. Essentially, they are the skills that we need in order to organize, prioritize, and complete tasks. Executive functioning skills are vital to a person’s success. Learn more about executive functioning, and why an academic success coach may be just what your child needs…

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