There are infinite ways to practice mindfulness. Well-known mindfulness practices include breathing exercises, sensory activities, meditation and mindful movement like yoga. But any activity can be made mindful by “paying attention, on purpose” to it and maintaining non-judgmental thoughts about the activity. My strong interest and belief in the power of mindfulness for families stem from my role as a child therapist with CHRIS 180’s School-Based Mental Health Department and as a parent myself. I know the value of doing mindful practices together to model the behavior we want to see...

We all need rest to function well in each area of our lives. Sleep, exercise, video games and spending time with loved ones are a few examples of activities commonly used to recharge. But sometimes, what you think is a break is actually a form of escapism that saps your time and energy. CHRIS 180 clinical experts Chris Haider-Bardill, LPC, CPCS, and Rob Collins, LCSW, LSSGB, discussed escapism and its role in our lives during a Lunchtime Live episode in May 2021.   What is escapism? Typically, escapism involves engaging in an activity to...

Michelle’s Story When Michelle lost her housing, a friend told her about CHRIS 180 and our Drop-In Center. The Drop-In Center provides a range of free services for youth ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness. These services include meals, life coaching, job and housing assistance and walk-in therapy sessions. But Michelle was hesitant. She had just come out as a trans woman and worried about reaching out for help and being met with judgment. However, when Michelle arrived at the Drop-In Center for the first time, she was surrounded by a welcoming...

Children are small people with very big emotions. Although they can show you what they are feeling, most children have yet to attach a name to their feelings and have not learned healthy ways of dealing with their emotions. As children grow, they face many challenges and obstacles. Therefore, it is important to promote healthy social and emotional development by helping children identify and name their feelings, and sharing methods to help them cope effectively.   Why should I promote emotional awareness in my child early?  Promoting early emotional awareness helps your child...

If this year has taught me anything, it is that there is a lot of stuff I cannot change. That realization has brought on frequent feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and frustration. It has also sometimes brought about anger, sadness and a downright desire to just throw my hands up in the air and say, “forget it all!” 2020: The Year of Uncertainty For most of us, this year has brought with it an onslaught of new stressors that could be enough to take the most positive, happy, successful, highly functioning person and...

Many women can often feel like we have the world on our shoulders. We often carry not only our stress but the stress of our loved ones and those closest to us. Often, women can feel isolated, unsupported, and even depressed because of various challenges. Over time, women often become desensitized to these feelings as we accept this as the norm as opposed to true clinical depression or anxiety. Below are some common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, sadness, or suicidal thoughts or attempts Irritability, anxiousness,...

Lately, I have found myself in a place that I have not been in a very long time and I am not sure how to take it all in. In this place, I am more consistently prioritizing myself and my needs. In this place, I am not obsessing over every detail and I am resisting my perfectionistic tendencies. In this beautiful, peaceful place, I am finding myself able to say no to the things that don’t bring me joy and intentionally inviting in the things that do. Here, I find that...

My client said, “I’m bored and agitated. It isn’t a good combination because it makes me reckless.” His thoughtful insight rings true: The country’s foundation is defined by COVID-19 with recommendations for social and physical distancing, combined with little sense of a communal endgame (the political polarization and fragmentation is staggering). We are living in the presence of uncertainty. The psychological nature of uncertainty causes tremendous anxiety. Our survival brain is always updating the world, making judgments about what is safe and what it not. When we are uncertain about what...

Hopefully you read part 1 of this article and came back for more tips!  Managing stress is personal to all of us… what works for one may not work for another. The tips listed are general suggestions that people have reported helpful in the past.  What helps you manage stress? Leave a comment below to let us know! Replace social distancing with distant socializing Whether you work from home or are still meeting people in person for work, you can still comply with recommendations by staying in touch with loved...

Stress and anxiety are likely a part of your new normal during this pandemic, and it makes sense. Any way you look at it, this is a stressful time. People are losing their jobs, people can’t see their friends/loved ones, food shortages in grocery stores, where there are rising prices and the list goes on. My suggestion isn’t to try and avoid stress (it’s impossible) AND it’s important for us to remember that we get to decide how we RESPOND to the stress/anxiety during this pandemic. Here are some helpful...