Appreciating the Little Things

We all have our own unique set of items, people or experiences that bring us joy. 

Some experience joy from drinking a cup of coffee, discovering a new book or taking a daily walk.

No matter the activity – if it makes you happy, you should continue doing it.

Whenever you find yourself feeling stressed, focusing on what brings you joy can help transform your mindset. 

Appreciate Your Routine

Most of us thrive on routine. Finding a routine that makes you feel happy, relaxed and at ease is something to be grateful for.

For example, it’s very common for people to start the day with a cup of coffee or tea.

Yes, you may love the taste of your morning beverage, but you also may find comfort in the ritual. 

It can take months or even years to land on a morning or night routine that makes you happy.

 If you have found one you love – celebrate that. 

Celebrate Problem-Solving

Even though we may not always realize it, we face and solve problems on a daily basis.

Discovering a new route home that avoids heavy traffic or learning how to navigate a confusing tool for work are both great examples of daily problem-solving. 

Whenever you navigate an obstacle (big or small), you should be proud that you have the skill set to tackle it. 

Practice Social Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you find joy in your everyday life. 

But contrary to popular belief, mindfulness isn’t always found through meditation or going on a nature walk. 

You can attain mindfulness socially too. Appreciating your interactions with family, friends are peers falls under the umbrella of social mindfulness.

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Setting Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself is an important part of self-care. 

Those personal boundaries allow you to be open about your limits and clearly define what you’re comfortable with. 

Write Your Boundaries Down

When a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, you can write it out to better understand why. 

Reflect on the emotions you felt at the time and be honest about what could have triggered them. 

Writing your thoughts down on paper can give you a healthy outlet to vent and organize your thoughts. 

Talk To A Loved One

It can help to reach out to a friend, family member or peer you trust when thinking about your boundaries. 

Talking your feelings through with someone who respects and values you is a great start. You can communicate what boundaries you want to set and let them know where you are coming from. 

It can also help to hear the boundaries they have set for themselves and build on the connection you share with them.

Build On Your Boundaries

You can set your boundaries in stages. In time, you can compile a list of your needs and think about what is beneficial for your mental health. 

Over time, you can build on your boundaries by thinking about your past or present experiences. 

“Boundaries are, in simple terms, the recognition of personal space.” – Asa Don Brown

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National Mammography Day

By: Tanya Kramer, LPC.

This day is celebrated on the third Friday in October every year, so this year it is celebrated on October 21st, 2022.  This day was first proclaimed by President Clinton in 1993.

On this day, along with throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment.

The American Cancer Society reported that early detection of breast cancer while the cancer is still localized results in a 5-year relative survival rate of 99%.

So along with mammograms, women should also perform a once-a-month breast self-exam.  Johns Hopkins Medical Center states, “Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important”.

Women can use the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc website to learn how to do a self-exam and what to expect at a mammography appointment:  

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States. Breast cancer can also affect men, but at much lower numbers.

In 2022, an estimated 287,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the US.  An estimated 2,710 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, which is something to celebrate.  In the US, the trends show a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence among women aged 50 and older since 1990.

Some possible reasons for this decrease include a decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.

It is important to recognize that there are disparities in care for breast cancer in the US (taken from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. website).  

  • Breast cancer death rates are 40% higher among black women than white women
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for Latin women living in the US (2nd leading cause of cancer death in women in the US)
  • 47% of women put off or postponed preventive services due to costs
  • Poverty, less education, and lack of health insurance are associated with lower breast cancer survival rates
  • 49% of uninsured women delayed or went without care due to cost
  • 30% of uninsured women were up to date with breast cancer screening in 2018, compared to 64% of insured women

Breast Cancer affects women globally, and it is the most common cancer among women worldwide.  The World Health Organization acknowledges that breast cancer claims the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year, affecting countries at all levels of modernization.  So having designated events to get the word out about the importance of getting a mammogram can save lives.  October 4-6, 2022, is also called “Pink Week” to bring awareness to breast cancer.  You can learn more about this week and other events throughout the month of October by checking out the Breast Cancer Resource Center website:

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When Life Just Feels Too Busy

Do you ever find yourself running on autopilot?

Do you ever get stuck in the same patterns just because it’s easy or convenient 

If so, you are not alone. 

Comfort zones may be comfortable. But some of the best opportunities may be hiding behind comfort. 

You have what it takes to break the pattern and take control of your success. 

It’s never too late to go after what you want in life. 

Think About What Comes Next

Have you ever put a goal on the back burner due to lack of time or fear?

More often than not, the longer we put something off, the scarier it can become.

Procrastinating on certain tasks can also become a habit if we don’t do something about it.

No matter what we say or do, time is going to pass. We might as well spend it working towards things that make us happy!

It may take some time to get results. But you will get there. 

Your future is in your hands.

Recognize Your Obstacles 

Your journey may not always be smooth sailing. You may face an obstacle or two along the way.

In order to move past your obstacles, you will have to recognize what yours are.

What makes you feel like you can’t do something? What are your limiting beliefs? Are your thoughts hurting or helping you? 

Once you’re able to openly and honestly answer those questions, you will be one step closer to success.

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Getting Through Any Obstacle in Life

Life can feel a little uncertain at times. None of us can see the future, which can be scary or overwhelming. 

We may not be able to completely get over the fear of uncertainty.

But we can do what we can to accept and embrace how we feel. 

Accepting and embracing our feelings can help them feel less scary.

If you don’t know where to begin, there is no need to worry. You can teach yourself to adapt to situations and step outside your comfort zone.

The very first step is to understand and accept that change and fear are part of life.

No matter what we say or do, our daily routine, job, home, friendships, and hobbies will change eventually.

Some of these changes may be for the better, and some may be for the worse.

At the end of the day, all you can do is adjust your mindset accordingly and maintain an open mind, 

You can either look at scary lifestyle changes as a setback or an opportunity to grow and thrive as a person.

For example, at some point, your job may require you to travel regularly, even though you’re afraid of travel.

You can either look at the event as something scary. 

Or, you can look at the event as an opportunity to face your fear. 

You have what it takes to change your mindset. You have what it takes to turn negative emotions into positive ones.

Thoughts are just thoughts and aren’t necessarily true!

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September is Recovery Month

By: Tanya Kramer, LPC

Recovery Month serves to elevate important topics in recovery, such as promoting/supporting new evidence-based practices, a strong/proud recovery community, and acknowledging both organizations and individuals who create the recovery community.

Observance of Recovery Month was started by the organization called SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) in 1989 to increase public awareness of mental health and addiction recovery.  Purple is the established color to represent Recovery Month and Recovery Day which is September 30th this year.

Millions of Americans’ lives have been transformed by the recovery of both substance abuse and mental health.  Recovery Month provides a venue for everyone to share their stories, lift each other up, and provide hope for those struggling.

This month also draws attention to new research and interventions that could improve the process for those striving for health and wellness.

The 2022 Recovery Month Theme is:  “Recovery is For Everyone:  Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”

Here are some organizations and links to learn more about Recovery Month:

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Constantly Feeling Rushed?

Do you ever feel like there is just too much on your plate?

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly in a rush to get things done? If so, you’re not alone.

Faster doesn’t always mean better. Feeling rushed or pressured can take the fun out of your daily activities.

Feeling like you must finish something as soon as possible can cause stress and anxiety. The good news is that you don’t have to feel this way. You can change the way you look at and complete your tasks.

Understanding Why We Rush

Understanding the “why” behind our actions can help us better address them.

  • Why do you want to finish your essay in an hour?
  • Why do you want to clean your entire kitchen in one afternoon?

Figuring out the answers can help you look at the bigger picture.

Here are a few personal questions you can reflect on.

  • Do all of my tasks have to be done today?
  • Can any of these tasks be delegated or completed at a later time?
  • Is there anyone in my life who can help me?

Be honest with yourself. The answers may surprise you.

Meeting Your Needs

When our schedules are too full, we sometimes forget to meet our personal needs.

Implementing at least one self-care activity a day can have a significant impact on our mood, sleep and overall wellness.

Our brain can only do so much in one day. If you catch yourself getting tired or overwhelmed, that is your brain telling you; that it’s time to take a break.

Your work isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there tomorrow when you’re ready. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals and relaxing are all forms of self-care.

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Want to Fall Asleep Easier? Try This Technique

We have all had one of those nights where falling asleep felt like nothing more than a challenge.

Even though we physically felt tired, our thoughts continued to distract us from drifting off to sleep.

Everything that could worry us did.

We worried about how tired we would feel the next day, how that meeting at work will turn out, or all those household chores requiring our attention.

It’s interesting. The more we feel like we have to fall asleep, the more anxious we can become.

So, what are you supposed to do? Keep on reading.

Allow Yourself To Stay Up

Yes, this idea may seem counterintuitive – but it can potentially help.

Feeling like we have to do something can make any situation feel scary and stressful, even when it isn’t.

What statement do you think would make falling asleep a little easier?

A: “I have to fall asleep in the next ten minutes, or I will feel miserable tomorrow.”

B: “I am comfortable in my bed right now, and my body will fall asleep when it is ready.”

Chances are you selected statement B.

Looking at bedtime as something you get to do instead of something you have to do can help you feel more in control of the situation.

This new routine may take a few nights to get used to – but it can potentially transform your entire sleep ritual.

Let’s say goodbye to tossing and turning and hello to relaxation.

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International Yoga Day

By: Jen Champion

Vista Wellness Center will feature a free gentle yoga practice for the community on International Yoga Day, June 21, 2022. This is our local celebration in conjunction with hundreds of events worldwide. 

International Yoga Day is the official United Nations promotion of individual global health, harmony, and peace. This event’s origins date to 2015, when nearly 36,000 people, including political figures worldwide, performed 21 yoga postures for 35 minutes in New Delhi.

The event calls for the practice of joy in movement, compassion, kindness, and experiencing togetherness among all cultures. We can grow to recognize the kindness inherent in each of us and help strengthen the bonds that bring people together. Set an intention today to find value in everyone. Make a conscious effort to uphold and respect each other. Foster self-care and worth to help build individual resilience and strengthen our local and global communities.

Yoga helps people gain positive momentum toward good health and act from a place of friendliness and compassion. We can better realize our unlimited potential of self and our collective consciousness to support whole health throughout the whole world.

Join Instructor, Jen Champion and enjoy supportive yoga guidance in a safe place: 4-5 pm, Vista Wellness Center, 1531 Pearl Street, Eugene

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Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

The current events of the world can create feelings of stress for many children. That, paired with the recent history of isolation and a loss of support systems, such as in-person school, has resulted in all kids feeling an increased sense of stress in their lives.  Helping kids deal with the stressors of uncertainty will help them be more successful in managing challenging times ahead.

Big Life Journal has some helpful resources to help kids deal with stress, including printable guides and worksheets. Some ideas for helping kids deal with stress include:

  • Re-frame stress–Stress can lead to growth if children understand that stressful situations will not last forever. These situations represent challenges to overcome and lessons to learn.  Seek to understand your child’s stress rather than dismiss it
  • Shift from a fixed to a growth mindset–it’s not fixed, it can be improved, and you do have the power to influence the situation.
  • Stop catastrophic thinking–do not dismiss their worry. Their concerns are very real to them and there have been a lot of reasons to worry recently.  But help them put words to their fears and focus on what they can control
  • Practice Problem solving–listen, discuss the positives and negatives of a situation, brainstorm solutions
  • Try stress management techniques, such as meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, or yoga exercises for kids.

Although many kids may experience stress, there are also many kids experiencing a higher level of mental health issues.  On May 7th we can observe Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The purpose of this awareness day is to increase public awareness about the needs of children with serious mental illness, provide information on evidence-based practices, and encourage those who need help to seek treatment.

According to the World Health Organization:

  • One in six U.S. children ages 6-17 has a treatable mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety problems or ADHD.‍
  • Half of all mental health conditions start at 14 years of age, but most cases are undetected and untreated.
  • The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.

It is important to have conversations with your children, to recognize when their mental health issues are more than just expected stress responses, and to get them help. Early intervention can have positive results that benefit them for the rest of their life. Therapy can have a significant impact on a child. And more severe issues can be addressed through a consult with your mental health provider as well as a doctor or psychiatrist if needed. Teaching our kids that it is okay to not be okay sometimes, is an important first step in them feeling like they can ask for help when they are struggling.  Taking care of a child’s mental health is as important as their physical health. We can create a safe space for our children, so they can feel good about themselves. 

Follow the resources below for more:

Virtual Events For Parents & Caring Adults 

What’s in the Guide for Parents: Caring for Kids with Mental Illness

Helping Children Cope 

Need Help? | Kids Help Phone 

Youth Mental Health | Mental Health America

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