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  • Grief Child College

Finding Center When Your Child Leaves For College

It seems like all of life is change, doesn’t it? And change can sometimes feel terrible, but it is also great because when things are happening that we don’t like that means things will eventually change! Little changes, like your favorite restaurant changing their menu, don’t require much recalibrating. But big changes, like a child going off to college, can require major calibration. My Child is Leaving for College I am preparing to send my eldest child off to college in 12 days. She and I have a close relationship - somehow we missed that “I hate you” phase that people always tried to warn me about. I am grateful for the warmth between us. I gave her more and more agency for herself as

  • spring renewal

Spring: A Time for Balance and Renewal

A lot of people set their New Year’s resolutions by January 1st. This practice is borne out of tradition, but when you think about it, it makes much better sense to start the new year in March which is a time for regrowth and renewal. Spring is when new ideas and goals spring forth!  No better time than now. Now is always a good time for change.  Today is the first day of Spring! Spring is a Time for Renewal The Spring Equinox is in March, and it is when the Earth's equator passes through the center of the Sun. Day and night are balanced equally in time, and this is the perfect time to think about life balance. One glance around you will tell you

  • turn over a new leaf

4 Activities To Help Turn Over a New Leaf

Spring is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf! Rest assured that although the pun is intended, the sentiment should be taken literally. March is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Flowers start to bloom and the sun stays out longer. Make like the flowers and find your own way to blossom. From a therapy standpoint, a lot of seasonal mood changes are psychological. This is where an Allen Counselor comes in who can help you figure out how to be your best self. Here are four activities to help find your emotional spring thaw and turn over a new leaf. Keep It Simple Leave the grandiose resolutions for New Year’s and start small. Real Simple suggests making a checklist of all the

  • declutter

Decluttering Both Your House and Heart

Things pile up. We over-gift at the holidays and receive gifts we don’t use, buy clothes we never wear and save papers that don’t need to be saved. Nonetheless, the reality of life is that getting rid of things is often extremely difficult. While the sadness of ditching toys your kids have outgrown is more obvious, feeling anxiety over shredding billing statements that are ten years old is a bit harder to explain. Despite how difficult it feels, though, decluttering brings good things both spatially and emotionally. Here are a few tips on how to declutter both your house and mind this spring. The Physiological Chemistry Behind Stress Mess Psychology Today talks about “stress mess” and draws parallels between physical clutter and emotional clutter. Stress

  • optimism

Optimism: The Spring Thaw Your Mind Needs

Anyone who’s ever said that optimism is simply a state of mind probably never tried to be truly optimistic. The truth is, it’s not easy, especially if you’re going through a difficult time in your life or dealing with other troubles. Optimism is something you have to work for and work at, but in the end it can be very rewarding. Here are a few suggestions for how to find your inner optimism this spring. Optimism Is Not About Denial There’s a big difference between blind optimism, which amounts to denial, versus reconfiguring your perspective. NBC discusses that the brand of optimism that can positively impact your brain and increase life span is all about acknowledging stressors and dealing with them productively. Being in denial

Pleasure Principle: Sexual Health Is Important

Think back to what you learned about sex in school or in your family.  You likely heard about pregnancy, diseases, and morality. And you likely did not hear about the pleasurable aspects of sex.  Yet, pleasure is one of the main reasons people engage in sexual activity, both with themselves and with others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual health is one of the four main dimensions of human health, along with the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.  According to the WHO, “Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of

Autumn leaves are now falling…but how are you doing?

This is the time of year that nature (or a good amount of trees) shed themselves for the winter to prepare for the regrowth and blossoming of spring. Of course we have all heard of “spring cleaning”, but I think there is something to be learned from the way that Mother Nature takes care of herself. How are you doing? Honestly, do you think to ask yourself this question very often? Most of us have automatic emotional or behavioral responses to life’s good and bad events, but we can often times neglect to check-in on our own emotional well being outside of these specific events. Below are a list of questions that may prompt your own understanding of your current state and how you can

Self-Care SOS

Holidays can be wonderful and joyful!  And they can be overwhelming and bring up many emotions which we may have been avoiding all year.  What better time than now to engage in some primo self-care, right as the new year starts? When you find yourself in need of tending, here are a few ideas to contemplate. Consider this a self care menu, which you can alter to fit your needs. Experiment to see which things you find helpful for you. There are no rights or wrongs, and there is nothing to achieve.  Stay curious about what works for you, which will no doubt change over time! Do a walking meditation. I like this one: https://www.wildmind.org/walking/introductionJournalMy favorite holiday moment from childhood - sights, smells, sounds, feelings,

  • self-care

Carving Season: Pumpkins and “Me Time” (Strategies for Self-Care)

Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of October. There’s talk about Halloween costumes, carving pumpkins, and the upcoming holidays. With that, now is a fantastic time to carve out time for yourself and engage in self-care strategies. [Hehe] “Yeah, sure, sounds great in theory, but, Lyndsey, I don’t have the time. Like, at all. I’m maxed out.” I hear you. I do. But let me tell you, work FOR yourself, not against yourself. I’ll explain what I mean shortly. Sometimes, life feels like it’s going faster than what we can keep up with, while other times, we may feel like there is nothing to do or maybe we feel like doing nothing. This phenomenon happens in large part because we are not placing high

  • suffering through cancer

Suffering

Recently, a fellow cancer survivor friend was asked by a publication to write a piece about an experience that she had with her journey through cancer. She agreed, always happy to spread more awareness of the challenges of this devastating, harrowing feat that many go through. She poured her heart out, speaking authentically about both her challenges and her triumphs, but she quickly received feedback from the editors. They wanted a more "positive" piece, and wondered if she could simply edit out some of the struggle?  Simple? No. Absolutely not.  My Cancer Journey As a cancer survivor myself, I have frequently been put in a position where others have expected me to minimize, or even ignore, my lived experiences in order for them to feel

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