MIND OVER MATTER
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Americans are STRESSED
Click text here to read about this American Psychological Association survey from late January 2021.
Help your family
Here are a few suggestions for staying fit during social gatherings:
1. Schedule physical activities. A family football game, a brief walk around the neighborhood after dinner, or a little competition can get the family off the couch. Help your kids identify activities around the home that they can do weekly to stay active.
2. Everything in moderation. Cookies, Cakes, and Pie. Oh my! Everything looks delicious at the party dinner table. If you want to sample a bit of everything, adjust your portions accordingly. Eat 1/2 of a regular serving of chicken, if you plan to try the turkey as well. Together, they should all fit in the palm of your hand. You don't have to "clean your plate". Eat slowly and stop eating when you feel full.
Go to www.cdc.gov or www.mypyramid.gov for information on healthy portion sizes.
3. Eat a well-balanced meal at the dinner table on weeknights. Do you have time for this? Yes! Browse the web or cooking magazines for a quick new side dish that you can add to your favorite meat and veggie. While watching tv, Google a savory dish high in fiber that you can add to your family meal rotation. Fiber keeps families full and limits the need for high food consumption. (For fiber, try avocado, artichoke, raspberry, blackberry, black beans, broccoli, pear, apple).
Having your meal at the dinner table will give you a chance to catch up with the family, role model healthy eating behaviors, and ensure the kids have had a least one nutritious meal each week. Try to limit fast-food or take-out meals to once per month, or at least once per week. Your family's long-term health is certainly worth the time!
4. Change the beverage options in the fridge. On your next visit to the grocery store, buy water and pick up one or two sugar-free, calorie-free drinks, such as iced tea, Crystal Light, or flavored water. Limit sodas and high-sugar juices to special occasions.
5. Parents, lead the way! The most important role in a healthy family is a healthy parent. Show your kids what regular exercise and healthy diet look like.
Need help? Call! We can help you start a plan for healthy living any time of year! Let's start this New Year full of hopes!
REACH your GOAL
People often say that reaching a goal requires establishing a SMART target. A SMART target is:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T - Timely
Let's see how SMART goal-setting works. "I want to make my family a priority" is a great new year's resolution. Let's see how we can be SMART about reaching this goal.
Specific - "Spend more time with the family" is a Specific way to start putting family first.
Measurable - "Schedule a weekly family game night" is a Measurable step towards spending more time with the family.
Attainable - "Schedule a bi-weekly family game night" is probably more a Attainable goal because it takes into account potential changes in family member's schedules throughout the year.
Realistic - "Schedule family game night to occur once or twice each month" is a bit more Realistic for a long-term goal because it allows the family some flexibility while keeping in line with the overall goal. This goal is now something that can be sustained for years.
Timely - "Schedule family game night to occur once or twice each month starting Jan 6 and lasting until John and Joannie complete 12th grade" makes the goal completely achievable. You've set yourself up for success!
Here are a few more tips to help you stick to the well-developed goal you have set for yourself:
*Try to focus on 1 or 2 goals. Don't choose too many goals.
*Break a large goal into smaller, easier mini-goals.
*Put your goals in writing. Schedule each step with a specific due date and desired outcome.
*Stay engaged. Keep goal and completed steps visible.
*Plan ways to motivate yourself. Ask people to support you with reminders and encouragement.
*Get group involvement. Tell people about your new goal. Get others to join you.
*Celebrate the baby steps! Reward yourself each step along the way for making progress.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
Norman Vincent Peale
Best Stress Reliever
Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Screen your teen
Parents routinely bring their teenagers to the doctor’s office to ensure healthy development and to identify potential medical problems. However, very few parents bring their youth to a mental health specialist to screen for healthy emotional functioning.
Primary care physicians have a difficult time screening for emotional distress. Over 80% of teens who have attempted suicide were not recognized as suicidal by their primary care physician even though 90% of teen suicide victims have a diagnosable mental health problem.
On a scale of 0 – 10, how well is your teenager functioning? It’s hard to tell. For teens, the signs of social or mental health problems are sometimes difficult to identify. Even with a list of signs and symptoms, parents, teachers, and friends can miss the severity of a teen’s problems.
Mental health providers, in a caring, confidential setting, are trained to evaluate teens for healthy emotional functioning and social development. They can identify problems other providers, and even parents, may miss. Less than 10% of teens tell their parents that they have thought about suicide. Unfortunately, the higher a teen’s risk for suicide, the less likely a teen will ask for help.
Fortunately, over 60% of teen suicide victims demonstrate signs of mental health problems that can be discovered through a mental health screening. A screening can reveal areas of stress and help identify potential solutions.
Annual mental health checkups will soon be a minimal standard of care. Until then, find out how your teen is functioning. Call MFWC to ask for a mental health screening evaluation today.
The ADHD Brain
You might have heard that our feelings and thoughts affect how we behave. Did you know that executive functioning also plays a role?
Your brain has many functions, one of which is being responsible for holding and processing information. Your brain’s “executive" functions make it possible to execute or "carry out" thoughts, feelings, and actions. How we coordinate thoughts, control feelings, suppress urges, organize ideas, plan out details, and remember things are some of our executive functions.
The term, “executive functioning” represents a system of brain functions that, together, are responsible for carrying out thoughts, feelings, and behaviors originating from different places in our brain. Cells in our brain send messages to other cells and work together to help our brain process information.
Brain scans have helped researchers learn that these message carriers, called "neurotransmitters", work differently in people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Therefore, these brains have problems with various executive functions.
If you have questions about ADHD, organization skills, or behavior concerns, consultation with a psychologist can help identify next steps for you.
Don't walk in front of me
I may not follow
Don't walk behind me
I amy not lead
Walk beside me
And just be my...
To love another you have to take some fragment of their destiny.
Celebrating Hope and Resilience
President's Day was established in 1832 to commemorate George Washington's centennial birthday, although most of us associate the day with shopping for a sale.
It's worth remembering that even highly successful people suffer from mental health problems. Jonathan Davidson and his colleagues at the Duke University Medical Center reviewed biographical sources for the first 37 presidents (1776-1974) and concluded that half of those men had been afflicted by mental illness—and 27% met those criteria while in office. The majority of the Presidents who had mental health problems suffered from depression, but the study concluded that others suffered from Bipolar Disorder, anxiety disorders, and alcoholism.
Still, all of these men were leaders of our great country and many accomplished things in extremely difficult times.
We think there is a lesson here of both hope and resilience. Even in these difficult times people can overcome their mental health issues and make contributions to the world that no one might have thought possible.
-Content originally created by BetweenSessions.com