anxiety

5 Components to Craft a Healthy Daily Routine

Embarking on a journey to prioritize your mental well-being? Then, establishing a routine could be your key to unlocking a healthier and happier lifestyle. 

Amidst the sea of resolutions, let’s shine a spotlight on an often underestimated yet potent catalyst for well-being – the magic of establishing a routine. Imagine a life where your exercise, medication, chores, relaxation, and sleep seamlessly fall into a predictable pattern, making every day a symphony of balance and order tailored to your unique preferences.

Dive in and discover how to uncover the simple yet profoundly impactful steps that can guide you toward a more consistent daily routine. 

Welcome to the journey of discovering the benefits of routine – a journey that promises order, efficiency, discipline, and the comforting stability we all yearn for. 

Unleash the Power of Consistent Rest

Cultivate a regular sleep schedule to synchronize your bedtime and wake time, creating a serene rhythm for your days. 

Allow the gentle embrace of consistent sleep to regulate your mood, enhance focus, deploy healthy coping mechanisms, and reduce stress hormones. Setting bedtime and wake-up alarms can transform your nights into peaceful rejuvenation and mornings into stress-free beginnings 

Create Daily Rituals to Blow off Steam

Carve out dedicated time and space in your routine to proactively manage stress. 

Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, or journaling, infuse your days with intentional practices that dissipate stress. Embrace the transformative power of daily stress-relief rituals to foster mental resilience.

Begin with the Most Important Thing

Navigate your to-do list with wisdom, prioritizing the most important tasks over the quick and easy ones. 

Let your routine reflect a commitment to tackling the crucial tasks first, ensuring your energy and focus align with your priorities.

Add Some Joy and Daily Reflection

Embrace the simple yet profound act of expressing gratitude daily. Whether through a nightly journal or morning reflections, incorporate gratitude into your routine. Let this practice amplify the positives in your life, creating a harmonious rhythm of appreciation.

Also, integrating simple pleasures into your routine ensures they contribute to your happiness without compromising your well-being. From cooking to yoga, craft a routine that includes activities bringing joy and fulfillment. 

Nurture Meaningful Connections

Prioritize relationships by weaving them into your routine. 

From family dinners to date nights and coffee with friends, cultivate routines that foster emotional support, belonging, and acceptance. Let social interactions



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3 Steps to Take Control of Overwhelming Feelings

In your journey through life, feeling overwhelmed is a shared human experience. 

But know that dealing with overwhelming thoughts and feelings is not about perfection but a continuous growth process. Explore practical insights from the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) world, gaining a valuable perspective on embracing your humanity. 

It’s about more than just recognizing difficulty; it’s about sensing within and embracing the profound connection between mind and body. 

Now, let’s unravel the transformative journey of noticing, feeling, and moving towards a direction aligned with your deepest values with this go-to formula you can use when feeling overwhelmed.

Step 1: Notice Your Emotions

When the world seems to come crashing down, it’s hard to think straight, so the first step is straightforward and simple. You only need to notice that this is currently hard for you. It can be as simple as having a quick moment of clarity while experiencing an emotional outburst.

If you practice the skill of noticing, you will be able to catch your experiences as they unfold in the present moment, allowing you to make a conscious decision about what you want to do next.

Step 2: Feel The Unseen

When overwhelming thoughts and feelings grip you, they may deceive you into believing you’re not okay. The impulse to dispel these emotions often leads to familiar coping mechanisms—lashing out, indulging in comfort food, smoking, or escaping into social media. While effective momentarily, the cycle repeats, leaving you once again submerged in overwhelm.

In such moments, it is crucial to recognize your power of choice. Instead of evading your experience, embrace it. Dive into your body: What sensations are present, and where? Invest a few seconds, perhaps a minute or two, in exploring your internal landscape. 

Start small and gradually expand your awareness with self-kindness, patience, and care.

Step 3: Move Towards What Matters

The third and final step in regaining control is to shift your focus outward. Reflect on the things that hold greater significance than succumbing to overwhelm. Whether it’s commitments to loved ones, career goals, or enhancing self-care, some aspects of your life matter deeply.

Take a moment to move in a valued direction; it need not be a grand gesture. A small step suffices—sip a glass of water, send a quick text to a loved one, bask in a short walk in the sun, or indulge your dog with a belly rub. The options are limitless. 

What matters is the commitment to small actions that are aligned with your life’s purpose and meaning.

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Unplug from Autopilot in 3 Easy Ways

Do you ever catch yourself daydreaming about the life you truly desire, only to snap back to reality with a never-ending to-do list in hand? 

What if you could set your course, dream big, and map out your roadmap as you go? While it’s all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of busyness, by finding the time, support, and strategies, you can break free from autopilot mode. 

Make Time for Self-Reflection

How do you find space when you’re already stretched thin? 

Start with baby steps and recognize that significant change begins with the smallest actions. You can start by trimming screen time, rising 10 minutes earlier, or unplugging 30 minutes before bedtime for introspection. Even a brief post-lunch walk can serve as intentional reflection time.

By creating space, you can seize those mini moments in your day to acknowledge where your time truly goes and set boundaries to safeguard what matters most to you. 

Dream the Dream

Now that you’ve carved out those precious pockets of time, the next step is to use them to reflect on your life vision. Breaking free from autopilot hinges on gaining clarity about what truly matters to you, what brings joy and fulfillment, and how to gradually chart a path toward these aspirations.

Consider things like – what fuels your positive energy? Which values hold the most significance for you? How do you define success? What’s your ultimate dream for your life?

As you explore your life vision, remember to grant yourself the freedom to dream without dwelling on the ‘how.’ Always remember to ask yourself, “What do I want for myself?” and the roadmap will come in due time.

Embrace Progress

The next phase is all about action. But here’s the secret: it’s the small steps that truly count.

Don’t fall into the trap of all-or-nothing thinking, believing that you must revolutionize your life overnight. Instead, focus on one small change at a time. It’s about setting a manageable pace for yourself without the need for massive leaps or week-long transformations. 

Remember, progress is progress, no matter how gradual.

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3 Telltale Signs You Need Tighter Boundaries

We’ve all heard that setting boundaries is essential for our mental strength, but let’s face it; it can be challenging.  

Why is it so tricky? Well, the fear of being left high and dry, the unrelenting urge to be everyone’s best buddy, and the classic “what do I do if someone steps over my line” conundrum can leave you feeling like you’re in a whirlwind of uncertainty.

If your boundaries sometimes feel as sturdy as a sandcastle, don’t worry. Embark on this boundary-setting adventure and discover a treasure trove of self-respect, mental strength, and a happier, healthier you.  

Now, buckle up as we dive into the world of boundaries and discover the signs that you need better boundaries! 

You Are a ‘Yes’ Person 

Do you have a hard time saying “no”? Are you the go-getter, the problem-solver, and the one who can do what no one else can? 

At first, being the one who can handle anything feels like a badge of honour. The accolades, the praise—it’s all intoxicating. But here’s the twist: that initial high soon plummets into a pit of exhaustion and frustration.

Every “yes” you utter means a silent “no” to something else. That project you agreed to help your friend with? It’s precious family time you’re sacrificing. And that late-night task that seemed like a heroic feat? It’s robbing you of the self-care you truly deserve.

So this is your sign to rethink your powers and learn the art of strategic “no” s. 

You Take Responsibility For Things That Aren’t Your Fault

Ever find yourself apologizing for things that aren’t remotely your fault? Welcome to the “Sorry Syndrome. 

One classic symptom of boundary struggles is apologizing for other people’s feelings. You might catch yourself saying things like, “I’m sorry you feel bad” or “I’m sorry you had a bad day.” While empathy is a wonderful quality, taking on undue responsibility for others’ emotions isn’t.

Carrying someone else’s emotional baggage can be quite exhausting. So, get ready to kick the Sorry Syndrome to the curb and stop shouldering blame for feelings that aren’t yours to own. 

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them 

If you can’t beat them, join them – this is a common temptation when you’re dealing with people who aren’t treating you right. But hold on, boundary-setter, there’s a better way!

When others dive into gossip or start raising their voices, it doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Your values should remain your guiding light. Instead of getting pulled into negativity, it’s the perfect moment to let your boundaries shine.

Also, remember boundaries don’t always require words. You can assert yourself without ever uttering a phrase. Walking away from a situation or ending a conversation sends a clear message that you won’t engage in activities that clash with your core values. 

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3 Techniques to Master Intense Emotions

Are you feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions that seem to linger? 

Many of us struggle to find effective ways to manage our emotions, particularly when they become too powerful to ignore. But by engaging in certain processes, we can interrupt the cycle of distress and move toward healthier emotional responses. 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of understanding our emotions and how to assess and respond to them in a healthy way. Read on to learn more!

Don’t Avoid Your Emotions

You may be used to pushing away emotions or avoiding them altogether, but it’s essential to take a moment to notice them as they arise. 

Observing the sensations that come up as part of this experience can be helpful. Doing so can help break the cycle of avoidance that can make these reactions even more intense. 

Acknowledging the humanness of your responses can help you better understand the message these reactions are sending. 

Practice Compassion 

It can be easy to slip into the habit of criticizing yourself when your emotions are intense and difficult to manage. However, it’s important to remember to practice self-compassion in these moments. 

Instead of getting angry and frustrated with yourself, try to be empathic and understanding. Speak kindly to yourself, and acknowledge the difficult emotions you are experiencing. 

You can say things like, “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now,” or “It’s hard to be calm right now.” These phrases help validate your experience and make it easier to cope with your emotions. 

Connect with What Matters Most

When you feel strong emotions, it can be tempting to get swept away in them and forget what really matters. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Instead, use your emotions to connect to what’s important to you, and it will help you determine how you want to respond to the situation. Do you want to stay connected with the person you are interacting with? Do you want to take on a new challenge? Do we want to replenish your resources so that you can do something else important later?  

Doing this will help you make decisions that align with your values and bring you closer to your heart’s desires. 

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International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD)

By: Tanya Kramer, LPC.

This year’s theme is “Let’s free our voices, speak up, and show our stutter.”

Did you know that it is estimated that 1% of the world’s population stutters?  That means that there are about 3 million people in the United States who stutter.  Some famous people you might recognize who stutter include Winston Churchill, President Joe Biden, James Earl Jones, John Stossel, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Blunt, Hugh Grant, Steve Harvey, Samuel L. Jackson, Nicole Kidman, Rosie Perez, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Bo Jackson, John Lee Hooker, Carly Simon, Elvis Presley….just to name a few.  Stuttering seems to be 3-4 times more common in men than women.

ISAD was started in 1998 by Michael Sugarman from Oakland, California. The intention of this day is to create connections between Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) and consumers as they learn from each other, give support, and educate one another along with the general public on the impact that stuttering has on individuals’ lives. Stuttering is defined as a difference in speech pattern involving disruptions or disfluencies in a person’s speech. An individual who stutters knows exactly what they want to say, but they have trouble producing the normal flow of speech. People who stutter might experience repetitions (D-d-d-dog), prolongations (Mmmmmmmmmilk), blocks (an absence of sound), or they can experience some combination of these. The severity of stuttering can vary widely among people.   

There is no identified “cause” of stuttering. But most researchers now consider stuttering to involve differences in brain activity that interfere with the production of speech, meaning it is a neurological and physiological condition. However, some people can experience an increase of symptoms when triggered by an emotional or situational factor.

There is not one specific cure for stuttering. However, many people benefit from various forms of speech therapy and access resources available through the National Stuttering Association. 

Controlling stuttering is a long-term journey which begins with acceptance of one’s stuttering. If you or someone you know stutters and wants support, you start by exploring The Stuttering Foundation.

I personally have benefited from working with a peer who stutters. I witnessed how he gracefully explained what stuttering is to teens in the program we worked at, and how he normalized that we all have things that are challenging for us. I am thankful to him for teaching me a deeper level of humility through vulnerability…and I will never forget that winter expedition!

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Gun Safety as a Public Health Issue

By: Elizabeth Pownall, LPC

Gun violence is an epidemic that affects the heart, soul and public safety of all Americans. 

In 2019 alone, 40,000 Americans were killed by gun violence. To put this in perspective: there were 58,220 soldiers killed in action in the Vietnam War. (Vietnam War U.S. Military Fatal Casualty Statistics)

In the year 2019-2020, U.S. gun deaths increased by 35%: (A Year in Review 2020 GUN DEATHS IN THE U.S. 

  • Gun violence was the leading cause of death among children, teens, and young adults under the age of 25. 

Young people under 30 were nearly 10 times more likely to die by firearm than from COVID-19 in 2020. 

  • More than 24,000 people died by gun suicide. 
  • There were 45,222 gun deaths, the highest number of gun deaths ever in the U.S. 
  • Black males ages 15-34 were 20 times more likely to be victims of gun homicide than white males of similar age. 
  • Someone living in Mississippi, which has weak gun laws, was 8.5 times more likely to die by gun violence than someone living in Hawaii, a state that has some of the strongest gun laws in our nation. 

It is easy to jump to a simple answer: just remove the guns. But that response will not work. This is a complex problem interwoven into American culture and history. So what can be done about this? 

Researchers and policy-makers with John’s Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions advocate a public health approach to reducing gun violence and gun death. 

A public health approach looks like this: Stakeholders, experts and institutions come together to define and monitor the problem, identify risk and protective factors, develop and test prevention strategies, and ensure widespread adoption of effective strategies.

What is public health? Public health works to address the underlying causes of a disease or injury before they occur, promote healthy behaviors and control the spread of outbreaks. 

We have a strong track record in the United States, where the public health approach proved effective. It is because of this approach that there is a great reduction in smoking-related deaths, infant mortality, automobile-related death, to name a few. 

Consider this: when I started driving in 1975, there was no seatbelt law, nor was there a big emphasis on drunk driving. We drove with open containers and might or might not wear seatbelts.

By using a comprehensive public health approach to car safety, the United States reduced per-mile driving deaths by nearly 80% from 1967 to 2017. Car safety has been one of the greatest American public health successes in our nation. 

No one thinks twice now about putting on a seatbelt. 

And getting caught drunk driving? One’s social life, professional life and family relationships are threatened when this occurs, such is the humiliation and legal consequences involved, thanks to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the public health approach. To reduce gun violence, a similar public health approach must be applied. 

To repeat, Gun violence was the leading cause of death among children, teens, and young adults under the age of 25. 

This seems highly preventable, unnecessary, and so very tragic. We are an industrialized nation, and we are losing our own to gun violence because there is so little prevention. 

Politicians are talking about the Right to Life these days? Okay, then, let’s talk about the right to live without the fear of gun violence. When a child is shot and killed, they lose decades of potential: the potential to grow up, have a family, contribute to society, and follow their dreams. In 2019, 925,023 years of potential life were lost before the age of 65, more than diabetes, stroke and liver disease combined. 

Here is how a public health approach looks:

  1. Define the problem of violence through data collection; collecting data is essential 
  2. Identify risk and protective factors: why violence occurs, who it affects 
  3. Develop and test prevention strategies and see what works 
  4. Ensure widespread adoption of effective strategies The success of auto safety relied on research, regulations, licensing, registration, preventing risky individuals from driving, manufacturing standards required to make cars safer (installing seatbelts and airbags), age requirements, license renewal, ongoing monitoring and regulation, and liability. 

Without exception, each of these steps can be taken to reduce gun violence. (All information from Learn More about Gun Violence) The lethality and availability of firearms drive our high homicide rate. At this point, there is not a lot of attention paid to the prevention of gun violence. 

In the latest Supreme Court decision on New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc v Bruen (overturning NY State’s concealed carry permit law), it is reported that in the six concurring opinions, public health was disregarded while the three dissenting justices focused on public health as the way to reduce gun violence. (The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Guns | Johns Hopkins John’s Hopkins leaders

How do we stop gun violence in America suggest the steps our country can take to address the epidemic of mass shootings: 

  1. Make it harder to turn violent thoughts into violence. Violent thoughts are not unique, but easy means to quickly turn violent thoughts into action is. “America suffers more shootings because it is much easier for even fleeting violent thoughts here to be immediately translated into deadly action thanks to easy access to military-grade weaponry”. (Paul Nestadt
  2. More police in schools don’t solve the problem of easy access to guns. While data shows a 10-year decline in reports of students with weapons at school, rates of gun-related injury and death have increased over the past seven years and are currently higher than they have ever been recorded. “Making schools safer requires policymakers to address how young people access firearms”. (Odis Johnson
  3. Focus on humiliation in schools as a driver of withdrawal, confrontation, and violence. Humiliation is a factor in bullying, fear, violence, hate, discrimination, vengeance, and self-harm. It is a barrier to social inclusion, yet it has received limited attention in research, policy, and teacher and administrator education and training. (Sheldon Greenberg
  4. Ensure buildings are secure. “One conversion to emerge (following Uvalde) from this tragic period is how we can make small yet consequential building upgrades to school doors so that every child can be safe and healthy in school”.(Annette Anderson
  5. Leaders who fail to act are culpable. “As a professional working on federal policy to prevent gun violence, I am frustrated by the inaction. Leaders who fail to act are also culpable in these situations.” (Spencer Cantrell
  6. There are policies that work to prevent gun violence —if we deploy them. Public health means prevention. The John’s Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions “will continue to educate policymakers and the public about preventive measures to curb this epidemic”. (Lisa Geller
  7. Turn heartache into action. “We can prevent violence. Through comprehensive firearm licensing policies, large capacity magazine limits, safe firearm storage, and extreme risk protective orders but also hospital-based and community-based violence intervention programs, police reform, addressing social determinants of health and dismantling structural racism. 

But to do this, we must all turn our heartache into action.” (Katherine Hoops) Information from the article: How do we stop gun violence in America?

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Can Scheduling ‘Worry Time” Help Us?

Scheduling our days in advance can be a great thing! It can help us stay on track with our goals and help eliminate procrastination and confusion throughout the day. 

Now, most of us schedule our chores, errands and workouts. 

But have you ever tried scheduling Worry Time? 

Worry Time is a technique that involves scheduling some time during the day to worry. 

Even though this may sound contradictory, Worry Time is actually designed to help us reduce the time we spend worrying about things. 

Ready to learn more? Keep on reading. 

The Schedule 

First, you’ll want to choose a time of day that works best for your Worry Time. Keeping this time consistent is ideal. 

What sounds more pleasant? 

Scheduling 10 – 20 minutes a day to worry about things, or worrying off and on an entire day? 

You can save worries or anxiety for Worry Time by writing them down as they pop up, so you can reflect on them later.

Focus On Being Productive During The Day

Now that you’ve set your worries aside to be tackled later – you spend the day being productive and doing activities that bring you joy! 

This doesn’t mean that every single day will be smooth sailing. We can’t always control what thoughts pop up. You just have to keep reminding yourself that thoughts are not always as they seem, and they can be dealt with later on. 

Reflection

During Worry Time, you can ask yourself questions such as…

  • Is this thought true?
  • Can I absolutely prove that this thought is true?
  • How does this thought make me feel?
  • How would I feel if this thought vanished? 

More often than not, the things we worry about never happen or aren’t true. 

Taking the time to truly reflect and think about our thought patterns can help us think about the situation in a positive light.

You have much more control over your thoughts and actions than you give yourself credit for.

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Enjoying Vacation Comes Down to a Science

Skipping or putting a vacation on hold may feel ideal at the moment. But ultimately, that is far from the truth.

Not only are vacations fun – but they can benefit your mind, body and soul.

Recognizing the Value of a Vacation

Have you ever felt guilty about taking a vacation? 

Have you ever felt like there isn’t much of a point or that your time would better be spent working? 

Vacations are far from a waste of time. They can improve mental health, boost job performance, and increase creativity.

A great vacation doesn’t have to be long or expensive by any means. Taking a mini weekend staycation at a friend’s house or local hotel can deliver all the benefits and then some.

Mixing Things Up

Even if you thrive on routine, mixing things up for even a few days can help increase motivation, energy and creativity.

When we do the same thing day in and day out – the activities we typically love can start to feel less exciting.

Taking a week off of television can help you enjoy it that much more down the line. 

You know what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Professional athletes schedule recovery days to let their muscles rest.

We need to do the same thing with our minds!

Above, we listed television as an example. But the activity you’d like to take a break from may be different.

What do you feel you need a break from?

Choose the Vacation Best For You

Our dream vacation may be different from yours, as we all have our own interests.

Some may enjoy a vacation full of back-to-back activities, while others may enjoy a few days sitting by the pool reading a book. At the end of the day, all that matters is your happiness and ability to enjoy yourself.

Most of us declutter our homes pretty often – taking vacations can help declutter our minds from stress. What are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to start planning your next adventure! 

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PTSD Awareness Month

By: Betsy Pownall

June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD is a complex disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing trauma.

While PTSD was recognized as an official mental health disorder in 1980, it has been part of being human since time began. PTSD has been called many names such as “shell shock” during WWI and “combat fatigue” in WWII. 

However, PTSD does not just affect veterans. It can occur in anyone regardless of age, ethnicity, nationality, culture, or socio-economic status. 

Statistics:

PTSD affects 3.5% of U.S. adults every year. 

One in 11 people will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. 

Women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD. 

U.S. Latinos, African-Americans and Native Americans are disproportionately affected and have higher rates of PTSD than non-Latino whites. 

The U.S. military is highly affected by PTSD. 

Veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have an 11-20% risk to develop PTSD while veterans of the Vietnam War face a 30% risk of developing PTSD. 

Causes: 

PTSD has a variety of causes and affects individuals differently. It may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a terrorist act/war/active combat, natural disaster, serious accident, rape/sexual assault or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury. 

A diagnosis of trauma usually requires a person to have direct exposure to a traumatic event, but it can also be indirect exposure. It can also occur as a result of repeated exposure to traumatic events. 

Symptoms and Diagnosis of PTSD – Individual Differences: 

Trauma affects people in different ways with varying severity. 

Some people seem to be more protected, or resilient when exposed to trauma while others may be more vulnerable to the effects of trauma. 

Different trauma creates different triggers; it is impossible to know how a severe traumatic event will affect an individual. 

Recovering from trauma is a highly personalized process. 

You have the power to help people with PTSD, even if you are not a mental health professional. 

  • Get familiar with local resources just in case a friend or loved one needs support
  • Listen to the issues and concerns of those affected by PTSD 
  • Read about PTSD to better understand it.

Resources:

The Trauma Healing Project 

VA Benefits 

Local Trauma-Informed Care Resources  

PTSD: National Center for PTSD 

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)  

Books: 

There are a lot of good books on trauma. 

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, by Judith Herman, M.D.

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem

The Politics of Trauma: Somatics, Healing, and Social Justice, by Staci Haines

When They Call You a Terrorist: a Black Lives Matter Memoir, by Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele

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Relieving Stress One Habit At A Time

Stress is a normal part of life.

We may not be able to control every situation, but we can find ways to minimize potential stressful events through our actions.

Be Prepared

Let us know if any of these thoughts sound familiar…

Oh, I’ve got to print out those directions before my hike next week. 

I have that big presentation tomorrow. I can’t forget to email my boss those notes. 

I can’t forget to get gas before my road trip this weekend.

Sometimes those tasks can take a lot longer than originally anticipated.

When time is of the essence, basic activities such as filling up gas can be quite stressful. 

Knocking those chores off the list sooner rather than later can take a huge weight off your shoulders. Every task completed is one less thing to worry about. 

Make a Habit of Setting Reminders

Regularly keeping your eyes on your watch throughout the day can be exhausting and prevent you from living in the present moment.

Setting aside 5 – 10 minutes every night before bed to set alarms for important events the following day is a great habit to get into. 

If you like, you can even set your alarm a few minutes earlier than necessary – in case you need a little buffer time.

Have an Appropriate Backup Plan

Even the most well-thought-out plans aren’t guaranteed to go smooth sailing every time, and that’s okay!

Life is unpredictable and frustrating events do happen.

Even if you leave your house 30 minutes earlier than necessary to get to a meeting, you still might be late.

Brainstorming a few solutions or backup plans in advance can give you some peace of mind. 

For example, if you get stuck in heavy traffic and don’t think you’ll be able to make a meeting on time, you can pull over and do the meeting from the car or let them know you will be there as soon as you can and encourage them to start without you.

Having those backup plans in place ahead of time can help prevent any stress or anxiety on your journey. 

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Alcohol Awareness Month

The month of April marks National Alcohol Awareness Month. The first Alcohol Awareness Month was founded by Marty Mann, one of the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Most adults in the United States who drink alcohol can drink moderately and without any issues. However, alcohol-related problems are the third leading preventable cause of death in the country. Alcohol use disorders affect about 15 million adults in the United States, and an estimated 90,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year.

How do you know if drinking alcohol has become a problem for you or a loved one? Alcohol becomes a problem when it impacts your life in a negative way:

  • Has your personal or work life been deteriorating because of your drinking? 
  • Have you had times when you drank more or longer, than you intended? 
  • Are you drinking to feel better? 
  • Are you drinking to cope with stress or other problems? 
  • Do you feel anxious or irritable without a drink? 

If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself, it may be time to evaluate the role that alcohol plays in your life. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has some helpful resources, including their Rethinking Drinking page, which allows you to take a closer look at your drinking patterns and offers research-based information to help you decrease or quit drinking. 

Alcohol dependence claims the lives of more than 90,000 people every year. In 1987, and is the most used substance by youth and adults in the United States. For more resources and ways to get help, you can check out the resources below:

Alcoholics Anonymous 

SMART Recovery

 Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder | NIAAA

What Are the Treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder?

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