It’s natural this time of year to reflect on the past calendar year, take inventory of what we would like to change, and make bold declarations of what to improve upon. It can be an inspiring time to re-imagine, re-focus, and start fresh for some, but for others, it’s overwhelming and discouraging to examine so much change at once. If you’re not sure where to start in 2023, this New Year Planning Tool from YearCompass can be a helpful resource to reflect and focus. It provides prompts and space to examine your past accomplishments and successes, and to explore what’s possible.
Updates and Resources
Gift Yourself a Different Kind of Holiday – With Less Stress and More Ease
The holiday season is in full swing, which welcomes celebrations, traditions, family, and fun. Yet for many people it can also bring stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and over-indulgence. The demands of the holiday season can pile on and leave us feeling burned out, exhausted, and falling short of expectations. But it doesn’t have to be this way. After all, we’re in charge of how we approach the holidays. So what if we re-evaluated how we celebrate the holiday season to prioritize our health – and created a holiday season with less stress and more ease?
Grief and the Holidays: Some Recommended Reading
The months leading into the transition to a new year often include holiday gatherings, travel, deadlines, expectations, and stress. This time can also bring celebration, “friendsgivings”, traditions, creativity, a sense of community, laughter, anticipation, and joy. When adding these on top of a loss, multiple losses, or cumulative losses, one could see how this season overloads our grief experience.
Moving Beyond Gratitude to Self-Compassion
There has been much research on the positive effects of expressing gratitude – from keeping anxious and depressive thoughts at bay to helping us catch better z’s. It may even keep us happy as it blankets our brains in mood-boosting chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. With all of these benefits, imagine what could happen if we kept those feelings of gratitude going past November 24 AND evolved them into self-compassion! We could better prepare ourselves for the stress of the holidays, help us prioritize what’s really important, and keep our mental health front and center.
How to Navigate Difficult Conversations this Holiday Season and Beyond
As we gather with friends and family for the holiday season, current events will likely be a topic of conversation with differing opinions involved. Now more than ever it’s critical that we possess the tools to have difficult but healthy conversations with people in our lives. Learn how you can manage your responses to stressful situations, including setting healthy boundaries, in order to respond to potentially conflictual conversations with intention and respect for both yourself and others.
When Gratitude Gives Back: 5 Reasons to Practice Gratitude
The holiday season ushers in a time of gratitude and giving. We reflect on what we’re thankful for, what the year has held, and what’s coming in the near and distant future. This practice of gratitude is timely and seasonal – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few reasons why we should consider extending this season of gratefulness year-round, and three ways you can start today.
Recognizing Mental Health Challenges in Military Families
This Veteran’s Day, we thank and honor all who have selflessly served to protect our country and defend our freedom. We also take this time to recognize and highlight the unique stressors affecting service members and their families. Pre-deployment training and preparation, deployment, as well as reintegration can affect not only the service member, but his/her spouse and family. Knowing how to support yourself and your loved ones can seem daunting, but we are here to help.
Embracing Anxiety Could Help You Manage It
One of the most frustrating parts of navigating anxiety is that the more determined you are to control it, the worse it seems to get. As counterintuitive as it seems, trying to stamp out your anxiety could leave you stuck in that endless loop rather than offering you relief. So maybe it’s time to try something new. Maybe it’s time to unlock the door and invite your anxiety in for a chat.
Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied – And How You Can Help
As a parent, realizing that your child is experiencing bullying and harassment from their peers is a difficult and painful experience, and often one that leaves you feeling helpless. After all, you can’t be with your child every second of the day or control the behavior of others. But, there are ways that you can support your child, as well as empower them to stand up for themselves and others who are being bullied.
Is It Time to Get Help for OCD?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects 2-3% of the population across their lifetime. The disorder is characterized by a pattern of unwanted thoughts or fears (obsessions) that cause an individual to perform a set of repetitive behaviors (compulsions). OCD can interfere with a person’s daily activities and lead to significant distress. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of OCD can help individuals understand what they’re experiencing and whether to seek out professional treatment.
October Is a Time to Focus on Mental Health
October is a time for change – the air gets chilly, we unpack our sweaters, and we start looking ahead to the holidays. It is also a good time to take a pause and think about our well-being both mentally and physically. Is there anything that needs our attention? Are there habits or behaviors we should adjust to ensure we’re healthy and thriving? This October, Mental Illness Awareness Week, National Depression Screening Day, and World Mental Health Day all dovetail to promote the importance of mental health screenings while also reducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
5 Ways to Help Teens Cope with Anxiety
The teenage years are often met with a rollercoaster of emotions. Between hormones, school stress, and social pressures, this time can be a perfect storm for the development of mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression. And with a new school year back in full swing, many teens may be struggling to juggle a variety of emotions, alongside their academic and extracurricular obligations. Fortunately, teens don’t have to navigate this rocky journey alone. With the help of family, friends, and therapy, teenagers can find ways to manage and cope with anxiety.