Anxiety and stress blogs
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The answer is yes. Or no. Or it depends on the day?
Okay, so this one might get me into big trouble. Let me start out by saying that kids are awesome and I love my two little munchkins more than anything.
Now that that’s out of the way… are kids like Chinese water torture?
If that question horrified you, I apologize. It’s just a comparison that popped into my head one morning as my un-caffeinated brain was trying to keep our girls occupied when they had woken up way before the sun.
When I tell people that I specialize in helping moms, I’ve occasionally been asked why. I think the fact that I’m a guy makes it seem a little strange.
It’s true. I can’t hide the fact that I’m a dude. A father. Distinctly NOT a mother.
I mean, I have a mother, and my wife is a mother. But that’s not really the reason why I focus on helping overwhelmed moms overcome stress, anxiety, or depression.
Of course I’ve always had tremendous respect for mothers.
You are expected to do the job of 7 people while keeping a smile on your face and looking pretty to boot.
There is no denying it. Parenting. Is. Hard. My wife and I have split working and caregiving duties at various times, so we both gained a healthy respect for the challenges and blessings of both sides.
Working is difficult because you miss the kids, but you often get socialization and adult conversations throughout the day. Staying home is rewarding for the closeness that develops between parent and child, but there is very little rest and you start to wonder whether your conversational ability is going to be stuck at a 3 year old level forever. It’s so difficult to get that perfect balance of family, work, social, and personal life that lead to feeling fulfilled and happy.
But people have been raising kids successfully for thousands of years, why is it so hard for me?
We love our kids, but that doesn’t mean we always like them. Children are programmed to test boundaries, which means breaking rules that we know they already understand. As soon as it seems like things are going smoothly, one child or another enters a phase of defiance. It can be so frustrating to continually be trying out different systems of discipline and feeling like they are ineffective. It’s overwhelming to check out Amazon.com’s parenting section (there were over 200,000 results for “parenting books”). Which book actually works? How do you know who to trust? What if I waste my time and money reading and it doesn’t work with my kids? Friend A says to try this method, but Friend B says that didn’t work for them. There are a million things that race through your head when trying to decide what to do next. I understand the frustration because we all know that every child is different, so you may even need several styles of discipline in your own home! While there are many methods out there, it seems there are several universals when it comes to discipline, which I will share here. Here are my top five tips for effective discipline.
In earlier blogs I discussed the importance of getting on the floor and playing with your children Part 1 and Part 2. It’s not unusual for parents to come into therapy with their children and sheepishly comment on how they are not sure exactly how to play with their kids. And I can’t blame them! It’s not like there’s an instruction manual, or a course in school, and it just doesn’t come naturally to every parent. Here are five tips that I hope will make play time with your kids more enjoyable for both parent and child!
Between all the technological advances over the past 10 years, it has never been easier to keep a kid occupied (side note: I did not say it is easy, just easier!). There are smartphones, and tablets, and Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video, and an infinite number of fancy new toys that are tailored to entertain our children. Can anyone honestly say they haven’t plopped their child down in front of the TV in order to get some adulting done? Didn’t think so. The problem is that we adults have so much on our plates that we feel as if we have to rely on these babysitting tools to just keep our own heads above water. Sadly, our lives have become so busy that it actually seems like a chore to spend quality time with our children! I find myself needing to take a step back every so often to remember just why it is so important that we carve out time to actually sit ON THE FLOOR and play with our two little girls.
blogs on other subjects
It’s 3am. You’ve been lying in bed for 15 minutes after your overnight trip to the bathroom. It hits you. The urge to see what’s been posted to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever social media platform you belong to.
My wife and I are a little late to the game in discovering the NBC show This is Us (we rarely get to watch TV due to having a couple little ones), but we finally started watching. As with the rest of America, we’ve been captivated by the family dynamics, and the obvious affection the characters have for each other. In particular, I fell in love with William. The biological father that Randall finally just met at 36 years of age, and at a time when William is already in the end stages of cancer.
You’ve struggled for long enough with the stress and constant worry and decided it’s time to work with a therapist. But what’s the next step?
It’s not like you’ve done this 100 times before like meeting with your family physician. How do you know who’s good? How can you trust someone you don’t even know?
Searching for a therapist can be just as scary as the thought of going on with the issues that have you thinking of getting help in the first place!
Here are some tips that will hopefully make the process a little less stressful for you, and help you to find the therapist that fits with your personality and needs
Sleep is probably the most underappreciated aspect of health. The doc always tells us to eat less junk and more vegetables, and to move our bodies 150 minutes each week. We’re told that eating better and exercising improve our physical and mental health, which is true. So you work for one third of the day, and one third of the day you try and do healthy things like exercise, but what about that final third of the day. When we’re busy with deadlines, or our schedules are jam packed because of our kids’ sports, sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice. “I’ll make up for it when I’m dead,” is the common joke. Sadly, the joke has some truth to it since poor sleep can double your risk of death.
This post is a little different than my usual blogs. Last week I took part in a huge series of Ask Me Anything (AMA) threads on Reddit with many other online therapists. If you're unfamiliar with AMAs, it's an opportunity for random people on Reddit to ask questions of a celebrity, or an expert of some kind. As a group, we answered questions on an unbelievable range of issues, and I'd encourage you to look through the threads of topics that may apply to you. I've linked all the threads below.
Hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again. The kids have already cruised the neighborhood in their adorable costumes in search of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Starbucks just released this year’s holiday cup, and you'll hear Jingle Bells everywhere before you know it. This time of year raises conflicting emotions for many. Some are excited to eat lots of turkey and get their fill of egg nog. Some may be missing a loved one due to distance or death. Many dread the thought of another season of stress that inevitably arises when families get together. Whatever your perspective is on the upcoming season, it’s good to have a plan so that you can slide into 2018 unscathed and ready to take charge. Here are four tips that can be helpful in preparing yourself.
This may not seem like a topic that a psychologist would traditionally be blogging about, but that is exactly why I am choosing to do so. At any given time, 31 million Americans are experiencing low back pain. It is among the most common reasons for missing work and accounts for $51 billion in spending each year. Anyone who has ever dealt with low back pain can tell you it has a significant negative impact on overall quality of life (e.g., enjoyment of time with family, ability to participate in activities etc.). Most people seek treatment from their primary care physician, and they are often disappointed in the results because there is no easy fix.
Online therapy. E-therapy. Telemental health. However you describe it, it’s not the first thing that jumps to mind when most people think of therapy. They might know of Freud, think of laying down on a couch, or maybe they picture the typical cozy office space that most therapists utilize. With the prevalence of digital devices over the last 5 to 10 years, it may come as no surprise that some pioneering therapists decided to ask, “can I use this technology to help patients?” Researchers were up to the task of investigating that question, and they have primarily found it to be equally effective to its face to face counterpart for many mental health diagnoses. So what are some reasons someone would choose to use online therapy instead of visiting an office?
I am often asked whether I am a psychologist or psychiatrist. Even after six years of graduate school and becoming a licensed psychologist, there are family members who ask me to clarify the distinction. This is a good example of how most people only have a vague understanding of the mental health field, and that we have a long way to go in our efforts to increase education and reduce stigma. So, what IS the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?