Are you facing a pain filled holiday because someone you love has died?  It is hard to get into the holiday spirit when your heart is breaking and your life is different because of a death.  It is easy to want to wish away the last 16 days of this horrible year. Personally, I know what it’s like to struggle to celebrate during the holidays.  Three and a half years ago, my youngest son died at the age of 21, and the holiday spirit is sometimes hard to find.  I...

“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it, is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.” Rachel Naomi Remen Screeching tires. Smell of burnt rubber. Windows breaking and metal crunching. These are sensory triggers that may remind us of traumatic events known as direct trauma experiences.  We also can experience vicarious trauma – stress-related symptoms caused by indirect exposure to traumatic material. Vicarious trauma could be stories or experiences that our friends and families...

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...

Stress is a part of life. However, with COVID-19 being our new normal, along with the recent ongoing struggles for racial justice in the Black community, we have more to be stressed about than ever. Recognizing that you are feeling stressed or may potentially experience stress is important to finding relief. There are no stages to moving through stress. Stress follows no rules. At times you may not realize that the reasons you feel or act as you do are stress-related. When something stresses us out we react emotionally and physically....

Teenagers need time alone.  It is essential to their cognitive and emotional development. However, time alone can be hard to come by when families are staying home and there is little private space. I want to share the story of a teenager I know. James is 17 and serious about his grades because of his family dynamic. He believes the only way to get out of the tiny apartment he shares with his mother and three younger siblings is to graduate and join the military. James has worked with a recruiter for...

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...

Over the past few weeks, ‘social distancing’ has become a phrase most of us use several times each day. And while some of you may have found it easy to translate to a different kind of life while quarantined, others are living alone or are far from family and friends. Distance and the inability to go out can create loneliness. The idea of “a new normal” during a global pandemic can be helpful. People can use their creativity to adapt to these necessary changes. Acceptance of necessary changes and expectancy...