Why You Need To Get Your Kids Talking

 

Kids who live with depression, anxiety and/or OCD spend an extraordinary amount of time in their head. Ruminating over negative thoughts, worrying about past and future situations and focusing on scary and sad feelings leaves many children and teens zapped emotionally and physically.  They are too consumed by what is happening in their mind (real or not) to focus on what is occurring outside of themselves.
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5 Ways To Reduce Anxiety Without Medication

Anxiety can be a normal part of life.  But for some children and adults it takes over and wreaks havoc on their mind and body.  Leaving the individual paralyzed by fear and unable to focus on anything other than the anxious feelings, catastrophic thoughts and physical symptoms that have suddenly swallowed them whole; a person is left to wonder if he/she has gone crazy, suffered a heart attack or had his/her brain hijacked by outside forces.  Yes, anxiety can feel that foreign and overwhelmingly invasive to a person, big or small.

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5 Natural Ways To Establish Healthy Sleep Routines For Your Child

Sleep can elude the smallest of children.  Many parents struggle to maintain calm evenings in an attempt to give their little ones a restful sleep.  As a result, a time for relaxing and sweet dreams turns to nightmares for all involved.  Dear parents, don’t give up!  Developing a healthy sleep routine will help your child throughout his/her life.  Knowing how to ease themselves from relaxation into a deep slumber is a necessary skill, which leads to a healthier body and mind.

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How The Arts Can Improve Your Child’s Emotional Health

Tired from a night of intense practice, I sat on the dance floor with my friends and we laughed as we unwound the ribbons that curled around our small ankles.  As we pulled our feet from our broken pointe shoes and rolled back the thin layer of pink tights, our feet reflected our exhaustion.  Swollen, slightly bloodied and aching, we hardly noticed the pain as we chattered in unison.  Minutes before we were pushing our bodies to exceed their limits as we flew across the dance studio, whipping our legs into the air with precise instruction from the counts of the classical music and the snap of our ballet teacher’s fingers.  1…2…3…4…, “Again, girls!” 5…6…7…8, “Again!” And so the evening would progress by the count of 8.

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The Truth Behind Moods And Foods 4 Kids (Q & A)

 

What is the purpose of your blog? I am hoping to create a change in the conversation surrounding mental health especially for the sake of children.  I grew tired of the public discourse: anti-depressants or not? I didn’t see anyone writing about nutrition.  I didn’t see anyone discussing exercise.  I didn’t see anyone taking a holistic angle to mental health for children and adolescents.  There is so much more to add to the conversation.  I wanted to open the discussion.  We have to admit the medical model is not working.  If it were, we wouldn’t have the statistics we have currently.  A 400% increase in children using psychotropic medications since the 1980’s has not slowed the march of mental illness in America.  A suicide rate that has doubled among teens in the last 10 years; a 30% increase in anxiety and depression among adolescents – these are horrifying trends.  As a parent and as a therapist, I felt that we were missing some very basic connections and that is the purpose of my blog – to make the connections for people.  And I want to help people.  Ultimately, help as many people as I can.

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10 Ways to Reward Children Without Food

I will be the first to admit I reward my children with food on the occasion.  I love to find reasons to celebrate.  Ask my mother-in-law.  When she visits I find ways to spice up the day.  Anything and everything can be a reason.  You made it here in one piece – let’s celebrate! You recovered from jet lag – let’s celebrate! You survived our household for an entire week – let’s celebrate! Going for coffee (my mother-in-law) and tea (myself) is a primary example. And with the kids in tow, it may be a hot chocolate from our favorite chocolate store or an ice cream from our favorite chocolate store.  Yes, they are one in the same.  Because I like to frequently celebrate I have to find alternative ways to party with my children.  A cupcake every time they smile wouldn’t be conducive to healthy living so I opt out on the food and zero in on the quality time.

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Why This Statement Will Change The Way You Parent

Have any of your children ever made a mistake?  I don’t mean an I-accidently-stepped-on-the-dog mistake.  I mean a big, nasty mistake that left intense emotional repercussions.  A fallout you had to pick up and show them how to manage.  Maybe Susie hit her brother.  Maybe Timmy excluded a friend purposefully and hurtfully from play.  Maybe Michael didn’t let Janet be part of his little singing group.  Maybe Marie lashed out at Donnie and told him a hundred reasons why she didn’t love him.  You get my drift.

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A Prescription For A Healthy Mind

  1. Daily vigorous exercise.  Make yourself sweat!
  2. Get outdoors and feel the sun on your skin.
  3. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Eat Omega-3 fats from fatty fish such as Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon.
  5. Cut out sugar and simple carbohydrates.
  6. Take a new class (sewing, dancing or cooking).
  7. Be social. Go out and laugh and talk.
  8. Call a friend.
  9. Do something kind for someone else.
  10. Play with your children.  Hug your children.  Laugh with your children.
  11. Start a gratitude journal to help reframe your thoughts.
  12. Go to bed and wake up the same time everyday to normalize your circadian rhythm.
  13. Reduce or eliminate alcohol.
  14. Read a book.
  15. Begin a daily meditation practice.  Start with just 5 minutes and build your way up.
  16. Drink more water.  Dehydration in its mildest form can cause pain, lethargy and even anxiety.
  17. Take a break from social media.
  18. Say NO to activities that add stress to your family life.
  19. Value your family by valuing yourself first.  If you are depleted – no one benefits.
  20. Smile and choose happiness.  Or start with choosing moments of happiness.
  21. Understand that every thought and every feeling is temporary.  Acknowledge, learn and move on.
  22. Learn to apologize and learn to forgive.
  23. Learn a new skill.
  24. Cook a meal with your children.
  25. Attempt to be present in every moment.

My Personal Beliefs As A Former Clinician

If you follow my work; you should be aware, be very aware of the angle from which I write.  I want to be transparent. If you are taking time out of your busy day to read something I have written I want you to know first and foremost I am grateful.  Second, I believe you deserve my truth and if my truth doesn’t jive with yours; you have the opportunity to always walk away.

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Surprising Revelations About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is not what pop culture dictates.  It does not manifest itself merely as an overarching focus on detail and order.  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is invasive and intrusive and excruciating to individuals who struggle with the disorder.  What I want people to understand most is one can overcome OCD.  One can eradicate it from his/her life and it can be done without medication.

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