About Jennifer Slingerland Ryan

Jennifer Slingerland Ryan knows a thing or two about kids and families. First, she knows they are joyous, exhilarating, loving and so darn fun. Second, she knows they suck your life dry and make you weep like a baby. By day she’s a psychotherapist; by night she’s a mom and wife. She claims to love therapizing couples, educating parents, reading dystopian fiction and sleeping in her free time (read: she never sleeps). Jennifer has spent over 12 years in private practice working with individuals, couples, and parents who are faced with kid-drama, mamma-drama, and family-drama, and she claims that although some stories make a grown woman cry, she loves it.
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Self-Love is Easy

Self-Love Tips to the rescue! This is the NEW Mental Health Model, a self-love program designed for busy people. Time and busyness are true enemies of good mental health, aren't they? I mean, certainly, there are people who have a little more time on their hands to work out more, food prep more extensively, go to more self-help workshops, or meditate for long periods of time. However, what I really want you to know, is that having good mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health does not require hours and hours of work. Self-love means self-care. It means doing what you need to do for yourself to love your body, mind, and soul. Self Love is Easy Here is the basic, easy-peasy, not-rock-science plan: Sleep like [Read more...]

Building Empathy

One of the best traits anyone can have, I think, is empathy. Empathy is a direct route to the heart of how someone is feeling. Unfortunately, if you aren't in touch with your own feelings, it's impossible to have true empathy. You can go through the *skill* of parroting back what someone said to you or even reading certain physical cues (i.e. tears must mean sadness, so you express words of empathy when you see the tears), but true empathy is really feeling the emotion like a power punch in your own gut before you can give it back so someone else. One of the major lessons I teach my clients is empathy; consequently, it is also the hardest to teach. It's like saying, "Yes, [Read more...]

Yoga & Nature: Mantras. Mindful Walking. Feet in the Grass. Gardening.

Somewhat distracted, surrounded by chaos, battling the pervasive news, anxious about the unknown? I hear you and I see you and I want to take a moment to share a few tools in my tool belt on grounding specifically in nature. As a yoga teacher, I teach students how to ground their energy. If you are a literal thinker, imagine there are roots connecting you to the earth. Grounding is a term used in yoga as a representation of being rooted both physically and mentally in the earth. In a time of such uncertainty, being rooted and grounded is essential to not only our mental and physical health but also, our sense of connection to both our nuclear family and every extension of the collective. It is an overall [Read more...]

What IS Mental Health Awareness Month, Anyway?

What does it mean to have "mental health awareness." In this month of Mental Health Awareness, the month isn't just asking that we're aware of mental illness. It also asks that we are aware of mental health.  The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) says that this is the month to "fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families." From women's mental health to family mental health, this is the month to arm yourself with all the tools available to help gain a better understanding of how far-reaching mental illness can affect families and individuals. And, it is time for you to focus on your mental and emotional health.  What is Mental Health? As I [Read more...]

  • Acts of Self-Love

Mental Health Awareness: The NEW Mental Health Care Model

In The NEW Mental Health Care Model, I'm urging you to examine your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self. Turn into yourself, gain insight and awareness of what you think, feel, and do. This new appreciation of self, and what the "self" even is, requires you to engage in meta-awareness. That is, becoming aware of what you're aware of. Acts of Self-Love The Acts of Self-Love I promote on my website and social media are not new to you. In some way, at some point, you've heard of each of these things. However, each of these things together helps move you to greater awareness of choices, better physical health, and more reflective spiritual habits. For the love of your deepest, core, spiritual self, the you [Read more...]

  • motivational media

Motivational Media: 5 Ways to Use Self-Helpery to Feel Awesome

All month long, I'm focusing on motivational media as a way to help boost your mental well-being. That is, decrease depression, anxiety, and stress. Self-Helpery is an act of self-love that is intended to give you a steady stream of motivation, inspiration, and cognitive influence. Just like Zig Zigler said, "If you dream it, you can achieve it!" Well, okay then. Let's dream!  What the Heck is Self-Helpery? The Universe is vast and filled with wonderment to explore. Self-help media in the form of audiobooks, podcasts, Ted Talks, social influencers, or anything else you can think of, expands what you think you know about who you are and the world around you. Through motivational media, you can learn about your rich, emotional inner world.  Self-help [Read more...]

  • Lizzo

Lessons From Lizzo: What All Our Girls Need To Know

My 8-year-old and I tossed our hair back, checked our nails, and sang out, "We're feeling good as FIRE!" on our morning drive to school today. Okay, yes, Lizzo sings that slightly different, but since the little ones know cursing isn't encouraged in our house, they've substituted this "fire" for "hell." When I'm alone, I'm all out with those lyrics though! Lessons from Lizzo Lizzo is presenting a lot of great lessons for my kids, and I'm loving every. single. one of them. Recently, Lizzo was body-shamed by Jillian Michaels when she said in an interview, "Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren't we celebrating her music? 'Cause it isn't gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes." I get [Read more...]

Body Memory Is Feeling Traumatized All Over Again

Bodies and brains are miraculous because they soak in an extraordinary amount of information on a daily basis. But, it's the very happy and joyous and also the very traumatic things that we remember the most. Our bodies hold onto the memories, this is called a body memory. Recently, my traumatic memory of my mother's sudden passing snuck into the crevices of my brain and cells like a thief in the night, stealing away little pieces of joy and replacing them with sadness without me even realizing it was happening. I found myself in the midst of body memory that caused an incredible low period. Body Memory is pent up negative emotions Your body remembers what you feel when you've been traumatized. To release [Read more...]

  • 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 [Read more...]

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