Posts in Relaxation
Tips to Help Unplug on Vacation

Looking for a chance to de-stress and take a break from your digital life? Why not unplug while you unwind on vacation? Phones, tablets, and laptops tend to stress us out with endless work emails, constant notifications, and comparisons to people’s “perfect” lives on social media. Vacation is your opportunity to relax and enjoy new experiences, so it makes sense to unplug while you’re away. When you disconnect, you’re able to avoid digital distractions and focus on the experience. You’re able to be fully present in the moment, to take it all in, and enjoy your trip. Whether you want to take a phone-free vacation or simply limit your phone usage, here are some tips to make the most of your vacation...

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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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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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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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Overcoming School Phobia

Has getting your kids to school in the morning become a constant battle? Do they refuse to go to school, or do their absolute best to avoid it? Are you at a loss for how to address this problem? Don't worry—you're not alone. Many parents face a similar struggle, to varying extents. Some children don't like getting up early, while others are dealing with school phobia. You may be wondering, what is school phobia? Let’s explore what school phobia entails and how you can help your child overcome his or her anxieties…

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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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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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Self-Soothe to Reduce Holiday Stress

Can you believe that it’s already the holiday season? With the kids home from school, travel plans, gift-giving, and meal preparation, your week off can quickly become a very stressful time of year. Don’t let the holiday stress get you down. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try using a skill called Self-Soothe. Self-soothe encourages you to relax and improve your mood through your five senses. You can comfort yourself, giving yourself the mental health break that you deserve this holiday season…

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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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Tips to Ease Anxiety at Night

Do you ever get into bed after a long day, 20-30 minutes pass by, and you are still wide awake? Maybe you’re replaying conversations from the day, thinking about your to do list for tomorrow, perhaps even worrying about the rest of your week and what needs to get done. You get up and turn on the TV. Or start scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed on your phone, hoping your eyes will get tired. Still feeling like you can't slow your thoughts down, no matter what you do? Here are some strategies to help you wind down at night…

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Taking an "Unplugged" Vacation

When you go on vacation, do you still remain connected to work? If you’re spending just as much time taking calls and answering emails as you are relaxing on the beach, consider taking an “unplugged” vacation. An unplugged vacation is a growing trend in which people avoid cell phone use entirely in order to reap the benefits of being disconnected. Whether you want to take a phone-free vacation or limit your phone usage, here are some tips to make the most of your vacation...

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A Simple Mood Booster: Being in Nature!

Are you looking for something to cheer you up this summer? It seems simple, but many people feel better—happier, more energetic, and with a more positive outlook—when they spend time outside. Everyone should all take advantage of the warm summer weather and enjoy being outdoors. It’s an easy and affordable way to be active and improve your mental health. There are many reasons why being in nature is great for your health…

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5 Ways for Moms to De-Stress

Do you ever feel like no matter how much you do during the day, it still isn't enough? When you have kids, (especially small children) you likely find yourself doing everything for them—from feeding, to bathing, to carpooling and more. The days can start to feel like they blend together. You also may notice that finding time for yourself is becoming a rarity. Whether you are a mom to a newborn or a mom of three, it's easy to let stress build up. If you’re looking for some tips to relax and finally have some time to yourself, then here are 5 ways for moms to de-stress…

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Manage Your Emotions in a Crisis with TIPP

Have you ever felt an emotion so intensely that you thought you would never feel better, and that you were almost “out of control”? It can be helpful to use the DBT skill of TIPP when we are so emotionally dysregulated that we cannot think clearly and physically cannot access any other skills in that moment. TIPP alters our body chemistry to quickly reduce emotional suffering—from a 10 out of 10 to a 7 or 8. Then we are able to think more clearly and rationally; we can apply other skills to reduce our emotions even further. Here’s how TIPP works…

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The “What” Skills of Mindfulness

Mindfulness, a core practice in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, is incorporated into almost every aspect of treatment. At its simplest, mindfulness is just a conscious awareness of yourself and your surroundings. This is a simple concept to understand and a difficult practice to master. Practicing mindfulness has many health benefits, including improved emotion regulation, flexibility, and empathy, as well as decreased stress and anxiety, just to name a few. Mastering mindfulness starts with the “What” skills of DBT -  Observe, Describe, and Participate…

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The Mental Health Benefits of being Outdoors

Have you ever thought to yourself, “I need to get a breath of fresh air”? It turns out that it’s not just an idiom we often use when we’re feeling tired, down, or stressed. There’s actually science that supports the idea of spending time outdoors to boost your mental health. Now that it’s finally getting warmer outside, you should consider connecting with nature to help yourself feel better. Let’s look into how nature can improve your mood and what you can do to implement this idea into your daily routine…

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The Power of Guided Imagery

Every day, people suffer from stress. You may feel the pressure of an upcoming presentation at work, or you may feel like you’re being stretched to the limit between running errands and getting your kids to school and to extracurricular activities. The demands of life can take a toll on your mental health. That is why it is crucial to have a coping method that you can utilize to combat the stress you feel. Here’s one scientifically proven, effective way to relax: guided imagery. This is how it works...

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Three Tips to Calm Your Mental Clutter

Did you know that the average person has between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day? Imagine if we each believed every thought we had. We would swing from one thought to the next every two seconds, and attempt to determine our states of being and potential action steps over 50,000 times a day. Sounds crazy, right? There’s a reason why Buddha called this “monkey mind”! Buddhists believe that if we tame the “drunken monkeys” or racing thoughts in our mind, we will achieve more inner peace. Here are 3 simple ways to calm your overactive (monkey) mind:

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