Tips: How do Deal with School Stress

Getting ready to go back to school can be an exciting but stressful time of the year. Here are some tips on how to help your child with back to school stress:

  • Be Present and a good listener

    • Open ended questions

    • Listen to what their concerns are, but resist the urge to “fix” an issue

  • Rehearse and prepare

    • Visit the school ahead of time

    • Make getting school supplies a fun event

  • When school starts

    • Develop a routine and schedule

    • Give yourself plenty of time to get to school to not add to the morning stress

    • Get great sleep the night before a school day

Oregon has recently passed a law allowing children to take “mental health days,” similar to other sick days at school. This is a positive, student-led step forward. It normalizes that mental health challenges are nothing to be ashamed of, that addressing anxiety and depression, stress or grief is as normal as being seen for a broken foot. We do need to be mindful that the more we avoid a stressful situation, the bigger the anxiety becomes, and our avoidance patterns set in, making our world smaller and smaller. Other remedies should be explored if there are issues of interpersonal conflict, bullying, school anxiety that may be keeping a student from attending school.

The Wellness Center at Vista is also offering Mindfulness Classes for Kids

Also, check out Ryan Scott, PhD’s TV interview on Oregon’s new law allowing children to take mental health days at school:

Posted on August 15, 2019 .

Tips: Talking To Your Kids After A Shooting 

We are frequently asked how to make sense of these tragedies. For adults and kids alike, it can all seem so senseless, and we can feel powerless to change things or keep it from happening again. Here’s some tips we offer from the heart, knowing that all of us hurt when tragedy strikes.

Make room for Anxiety and Stress / Talk, but also listen.  Allow yourself and your children to talk about how scary this can be for the them and their friends.  

Reassure them /  of their safety and security (no matter what age).  That the grown ups in their life are working to keep them safe.

Keep your routine / The last thing you want to do is avoid your normal day to day routine.  Life is still normal, acting like it helps reinforce that their life is the same. 

Do What Matters / Take some time to do fun things that you and your children enjoy.  Take time to go for a walk together, play a game, have dinner together. 

View our sharing of this information in a video interview below:

Posted on August 8, 2019 .

Introducing Box Breathing


Box breathing is a great technique to help manage stress.

It's easy to do, and easy to learn.

Practicing a few minutes a day is enough to make a difference.

And the best part is, you can practice almost anytime and anywhere. Just make sure your space isn't overly distracting.


Breathing techniques are fast, easy and they work! 

Have you ever been in a stressful situation you couldn’t take yourself out of, like a test or long commute? Those moments are the perfect time to practice box breathing. You can decrease your stress levels in a few minutes flat without leaving the room. 

How to Practice

You can either practice this technique on your own, or follow along on an app.

Great Places to Practice

  1. The shower.

  2. On a walk.

  3. Watching TV. 

  4. Before bed.

You just have to do that works best for you. As we mentioned earlier, a few minutes a day is all you need. However the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Learn More

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

Be Careful - Your Smartphone May be Hurting Your Health


Smartphones can be our best friend and worst enemy at the same time.

They help us connect with loved ones, learn new things and can prevent potentially dangerous situations. 

However, they can also be quite distracting and can prevent us from living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

With that being said, here are a few ways smartphones can be used to your advantage. 

Sleep With Your Phone Off

Keeping your phone right next to your bed can be extremely distracting. 

Even if it's on silent, the light actually stimulates your brain to stay awake. 

Not exactly what we want before bedtime.

So, you may be thinking to yourself "But, what about my alarm?"

Great question. 

Invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock. You'll be surprised how much easier it will be to fall asleep without all the distractions and need to check social media.

Exercise & Activity

The app store has an endless supply of apps to choose from. 

Some of them are great for our health, while others are great for entertainment.

There's nothing wrong with playing games on your phone once in a while.

But some of these games can become addicting and decrease your daily activity.

Exactly you should make the switch to fitness apps. Some apps track your steps, remind you to work out, or even guide you through workouts.

Again, there are several to choose from, so it comes down to personal preference.


Did you know that putting full attention into our activities make us happier?

It isn't exactly easy to fully concentrate when your phone’s constantly going off. 

Take a minute to think about how many times a day you check your phone. It could be dozens!

Put your phone on airplane mode, turn off push notifications and enjoy the boost in productivity. Learn More

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

How to Sleep Like a Billionaire


In the age of social media, life is more distracting than ever. There's always an email that needs our attention, or a group chat “emergency”. 

When trying to get important stuff done, the last thing you need is your phone going off every 5 minutes. 

Of course, it's completely fine to turn off your phone. But you can't always turn off your mind. 

What if my kids need me? What if a potential client is trying to book a consult? The list goes on.

If that sounds like you, waking up at 4 AM may be your secret weapon. 

The Benefits

1) There are little to no distractions - It's very unlikely anyone will text or email.

2) You have the peace of mind that your family is sound asleep. 

3) There's no breaking news on social media to distract you. 

So, at this point, you may be thinking to yourself, "Okay, I'm ready to get started, I just don't think I have it in me."

Oh, but you do. 

Stay Consistent

Yes, with most goals starting slow and steady is the best move, but not when it comes to waking up early. 

Our body thrives on routine. Waking up at 4 AM one day, and 7 AM the next, can mess with your body clock and do more harm than good. The first few days or even weeks will be an adjustment. But you've got this. 

Go to Bed Early

You know yourself best. Depending on your age and lifestyle, you should aim for 6 - 8 hours of sleep a night.

If you’re ready to start waking up earlier, going to bed at midnight must become a thing of the past.

Have a Reason to Wake Up 

This may feel self-explanatory, but it's very important. 

What stops you from hitting the snooze button? What are you determined to get done today? That's your reason. Learn More

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

Ways to Feel More in Control of Your Life


Life is busy and unpredictable. Things can drastically change in the blink of an eye. This can make us feel like we have little to no control. Not exactly a fun feeling. No need to worry, because you are in the right place. Here are 3 tips and tricks that can help you feel more in control of your life. 

Making Decisions

Do you ever put off making important decisions in hopes they will magically solve themselves? Do you ever obsess over the small stuff for hours on end?

The truth is, the longer you put off making these decisions, the more stressful they become.

When making a big decision, you need to be in a calm state of mind. 

Sometimes our emotions can play tricks on our brain and make us do things we wouldn't normally do.

Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. And think!

Trust Your Intuition

Your intuition is one of your biggest gifts - so take advantage of it! 

Sometimes the body can send us signals our minds just can't.

Does the idea of working at that new startup make your stomach hurt and head spin? Take a minute to listen. This may be your body trying to talk to you.


Several studies show that too much sitting is bad for our health.

Regular activity helps balance our mind and body. Which in turn, increases motivation and can even make us feel more in control.

We aren't saying you should quit your desk job. However, every hour you can get up and stretch your legs for a few minutes. 

This may feel like an insignificant activity at first, but every movement adds up. Learn More

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

How to Change the Way You Think About Your Problems


Do your problems give you a great deal of stress? Are you ready to change the way you think? If so, keep on reading.

Life Lessons

Who says problems are a bad thing? In fact, they can be a great thing, depending on how you look at them.

Just remember, every setback is a chapter in your journey to success.

Every problem no matter how big or small will leave you with a life lesson. 

Problems Aren't Permanent 

When we get so worked up, it's difficult to think clearly. Like there is no way your problem will ever go away.

Listen up; this is important. Even if the actual circumstance never changes, your thoughts towards them will. 

Before you know it, you won't even remember why this event or circumstance upset you in the first place. 

You Are Not Alone

Just because you haven't met anyone yet going through the same thing as you, doesn't mean you are alone! Chances are there are hundreds if not thousands of people in the exact same boat.

Resources like social media, online forums or group therapy are great places to connect with others in a similar situation. 

Even if nothing gets solved today, at least you will know you're not alone. Learn More

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

In a Bad Mood? Here's What to do


Sure, sometimes bad moods come out of nowhere. But more often than not, there is a deeper meaning behind them. Once you find out what's causing your bad mood, you are one step closer to moving past it.


The truth is, rejection is hurtful. Especially if it comes from someone, you care about.

Even though it hurts, it's so important not to take it personally. There are two sides to every story. Even if you think you know it all, chances are you don't.

Have you ever had a friend or family member ignore your texts?

Take a minute to think about how it made you feel.

You can either jump to the worst case scenario and assume they must not like you anymore. 

Or you can remind yourself, their delayed response has nothing to do with you.

Maybe they lost their phone, or perhaps they’re driving. 

Low Self Esteem

Self-esteem is an interesting thing. Sometimes it's way up. And sometimes it's way down.

Like so many things in life, you can wait patiently for the feeling to pass. Or go the extra mile to get passed it.

You'd be surprised how many things you can do to increase your spirit on those low self-esteem days.

Maybe it's wearing your favorite shirt, or doing something special with your hair. Whatever makes you happy - just do it!


Have you ever been so in the zone that the outside world pauses?

Yup, a good book or study session can do that. 

Now, when we get so in the zone, eating can completely slip our mind. 

For some, going just a few hours without eating can make their mood go from 0 - 100.

If that sounds like you, don't be afraid to set reminders on your phone to have a little snack. Learn More 

Posted on August 5, 2019 .

How to Master Positive Self Talk


Mentally healthy people have quite a few traits in common - masters of positive self-talk is right at the top of the list. 

Ready to change the conversation with yourself? Great news, you're in the right place.

Success Comes From Doing

Wanting to feel better is a choice. You know yourself best. You know what activities make you happy. So what are you waiting for? Go out and do them!

Challenges Are Opportunities

No one ever said life was easy or fair. But it's not just on you. We all have bad days full of challenges and obstacles.

You can either feel bad about it. 

Or do what you can to turn this negative into a positive. 

We All Make Mistakes

Now, this may sound cliché - but it's true. Everybody makes mistakes.

And mistakes are not a bad thing. In fact, they are one of the best ways to learn.

You can read about something day in and day out, but it isn't until you actually go out there and practice, that you learn. 

The biggest opportunity of your life might be just a mistake or two away. Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

How to Heal After a Breakup


Going through a breakup is painful - any loss is.

All you want is to get back to your old self and feel "normal" again.

Your feelings are not facts. You can retrain your brain. You can control your emotions. Just keep on reading. 

Listen to Your Voice

If you aren't careful, your negative thoughts can play tricks on you and intensity your pain. 

Our mind is a powerful thing, and can twist our reality. 

Let's say you keep thinking to yourself the breakup was entirely your fault. Sooner or later you will start to believe it.

One of the best things you can do to heal is to challenge your thoughts. 

Is this true? Am I sure? Where's the proof? 

Focus on Growth

When one door closes another one opens.

Breakups are the perfect opportunity to practice self-growth and strive to become the best version of you. 

Although it may not feel like it right now, things will get better. 

This pain is only temporary. Now that you know what you want, you can go get it!

Self Compassion

If you want to heal, you have to show yourself some self-compassion. 

Use the same language you would with your best friend. 

You have the power to keep your thoughts a judgment-free zone. Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

Looking For Happiness?


Pull out your map, the quest to finding happiness starts today. 

Know Something Positive is Waiting For You

What's around the corner is a mystery. 

If you want to be happy, you have to remind yourself that something positive is waiting for you. 

You can either wait for that corner to show up, or go out and find it!

Surround Yourself with Happy People

Happiness is contagious!

Whether you realize it or not, the people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your mindset and overall happiness. 

When was the last time you spent the afternoon with a positive and upbeat friend? It may be time to give them a call.

Remember Positive Memories

You wouldn't be the person you are today without overcoming all those obstacles. You know which ones! 

Sure, going through the situation may not have been fun at the time.

But think back to how you felt when you finally overcame it. Pretty proud right?

Overcoming challenges builds resiliency, increases confidence, and can change your life for the better.  

Come on, let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

Most People With Social Anxiety Crave These Things


Just because you have social anxiety, doesn't mean you don't crave connection, growth, or confidence. Sound interesting? All you have to do is keep on reading. 


Relationships are such an important part of life. They give us meaning, a sense of security and happiness. 

It’s completely normal to feel uncomfortable when trying to meet new people. But the more you practice, the easier it'll become. 


Personal growth is the recipe to a better and happier you. By reading this article, you’re already one step in the right direction. 


Confidence isn't something that develops overnight. It takes time, dedication and bravery.

Those of us with social anxiety, often want to appear confident in social situations.

Every single social interaction is the perfect opportunity to practice. 

Make small talk with your sales associate. Ask a stranger for directions. Practice makes perfect. Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

Here’s Why Trees Make Us Happy


If you're looking for a quick and easy way to de-stress, try spending more time in nature surrounded by trees. It can be very therapeutic. 

Trees Improve Your Health

It’s about time to add trees to your gratitude list. 

Not only do they release oxygen, but they also have the power to improve your health. 

Studies show that spending time in forests can improve our immune system and heart health.

An apple (and a tree) a day keeps the doctor away. 

Trees Make Us More Generous and Trusting

Think this sounds too good to be true? Well, just listen to this experiment.

One group of university students were instructed to look at a building for one minute.

While the other group of students were asked to look at a group of eucalyptus trees for one minute.

The group who studied the trees felt awe and a sense of wonder. 

I think we can all agree, that was a minute well spent. 

No Act Is Too Small

Being around trees isn't an all or nothing activity.

So, camping or hiking may not be for you - and that’s okay!

Visit the park over lunch. Look out the window throughout the day. Plant a tree in your yard. 

Thank you trees! Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

The Secrets to Successfully Developing Your Child's Confidence


As a parent, of course, you want your kids to be confident.

The thing is, getting started can be a little tricky. There's no set in stone rule book. However, there are quite a few techniques that can work wonders on your child's self-esteem and confidence. 

Help Them Say Goodbye to Self Judgment

Sometimes once a negative thought enters our mind, we just can’t seem to part ways with it. 

Sound familiar? No need to worry. 

This is where mindfulness comes into the picture. 

Mindfulness is all about focusing on the present moment. 

Think your child is too young to practice mindfulness? 

Think again... 

Studies show that preschool aged children who practice mindfulness have decreased stress levels. 


Did you know kids as young as 3 years old can feel compassion?

Yup, it's true.

The world is their classroom. 

Your kids look up to you. Your everyday words and actions impact them more than you may think. One of the best ways to teach them compassion it to show it to them regularly. 

It’s officially time to say goodbye to the question “Am I good enough?” Learn More

Posted on July 1, 2019 .

Our next 12 week Fall group is starting soon!

Emotional and Binge Eating Group

AIH front.jpg

Dates: August 27th - November 26th, Tuesdays 12pm-1:30pm & 6-7:30pm (two separate classes)

Are you:

Tired of trying to control your thoughts about food and eating?

Unhappy with binges, yoyo dieting, negative self talk and self loathing?

Struggling with stress, anxiety or boredom and trying to quiet it with food?

Ready to heal yourself from the INSIDE out and feel confident?

Wanting to think differently and overcome sabotaging thoughts?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then the Am I Hungry? (AIH) group is for you.

AIH is a data driven, mindful approach to eliminate the pain of constant dieting, self loathing and binge or emotional eating.

The comprehensive Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating for Binge Eating Program is a clinically proven treatment that has been shown to stop binge and emotional eating.

The group is led by Laurene Larson, LPC, a certified AIH Therapist. Laurene is enthusiastic about the group approach to redefining one’s relationship to food and building a healthy and positive self concept. Laurene is a published writer in the area of body acceptance, emotional eating and in diagnosing and treating Binge Eating Disorder. She is an expert on CBT, and implements both CBT and DBT into her work with the AIH groups at Vista.

Posted on June 28, 2019 .

Guided Sleep Meditation For Beginners

When we feel stressed or anxious, falling asleep isn't exactly easy.

Guided sleep meditations are a great resource to take advantage of if you have trouble sleeping.

Why Sleep Meditation

Mediation is all about getting out of your head and appreciating the present moment.

No need to worry about that embarrassing thing you said 7 years ago. No need to worry about that big presentation at work tomorrow.

All you have to do is relax your body and slow down your mind.

Breathing Exercises

You may not know this, but there are right and wrong ways to breathe.

If done wrong, your breathing can actually make you more anxious.

A great hack is to slowly count as you breathe.


Visualizing you're at the beach, is almost as relaxing as the real thing.

Close your eyes. Image the waves hitting the shore or the sand between your toes.

Sweet dreams. Read More

Posted on June 14, 2019 .

How To Make Your Kids Feel Loved

Here are some warm and nurturing messages worth repeating to help your children feel loved.


Kids Just Want To Be Loved

Kids want to know their parents love them no matter what.

Don't be afraid to remind and show them just how loved they are. Even if they change. Even if they make a mistake - the love isn't going anywhere.

How To Express Emotions

The only way babies can communicate that something is wrong is by crying.  

Once your kids get old enough, you as a parent have to teach them alternative ways to express their emotions.

Be Open & Honest

It's normal for kids to feel alone and confused. Like no one understands what they’re going through on a daily basis.

Everybody has feelings.

You know that.

But your kids may not.

Books, movies and open conversations are all great ways to teach them about emotional problem-solving.


Life is full of challenges, and it’s important your kids understand that.

Share your experiences and let them know you’ve been there.

Mistakes aren’t the enemy, but a learning opportunity.  Learn More

Posted on June 14, 2019 .

It’s Okay To Spend Time Alone If You Want!


Does spending time alone give you an energy boost? Do you ever feel uncomfortable around others? If so, keep on reading.

A Few Reasons People Like Spending Time Alone

1) It sparks creativity.

2) Being around others makes them anxious.

3) Alone time can increase energy levels.

Can you relate?

Wanting to Spend Time Alone is Normal

Just because you like spending time alone doesn't mean you lack social skills. It's just the way your brain is wired.

Some of us work better independently and need a substantial amount of alone time to recharge.

Keep in mind, too much of anything isn't good. Life is all about balance. But at the same time, you have to listen to your gut.

If you know you need at least 30 - 60 minutes a day of alone time, try waking up a bit earlier or spend half of your lunch hour alone. It's all about doing what's best for you.  Learn More

Posted on June 14, 2019 .

How Walking Can Change Your Life


Still can't decide if you should buy that treadmill? The answer is yes.

We get it. Simply thinking about exercise can be overwhelming. Carving out even 8 minutes a day to walk can help prevent future mobility issues.

Set Reasonable Goals

You know what happens when we set unrealistic goals such as jogging one hour a day? Exactly - it overwhelms us, so the task almost never gets done.

Don't get us wrong. Jogging an hour a day is a great long term goal. But don't forget, you have to walk before you can run.  


The Feinberg School of Medicine recommends 56 minutes of moderate activity a week.

That number may scare you a bit. But there’s no need to worry. All you need to do is break that number down. Exercising eight minutes a day sounds much easier than 56 minutes a week -  don't you think?

This new lifestyle may take some time to get used to. Trust us when we say it'll be worth it in the long run. (no pun intended)  Learn More

Posted on June 14, 2019 .