4 Tips to Embracing Your Naked Face

4 Tips to Embracing Your Naked Face

by Michelle Molle-Krowiak Ed.S, LCSW

Re-entering the world without our mask has been a dream since March 2020.  I missed my “naked” face!  Despite that, the process has been slow and anxiety-filled.  I imagined ripping it off and running into the sunset; yet,  the reality is a feeling of uncertainty and pressure.  So another layer of this pandemic has been realized, “un-masking anxiety”.  I know I am not the only one so I wanted to share my tips.

  • Start outside: Breathe the fresh air and maintain social distancing allowing you time to embrace your naked face.
  • Start small:  I went for quick trips during off-peak hours.  As I walked into the mall, I slowly lowered the mask, easing my discomfort little by little.  
  • Conquer your inner critic voice: For me, I need a positive affirmation to help ease my discomfort. My discomfort does not come from the possible virus ( I feel pretty confident being vaccinated and still taking reasonable precautions).  My discomfort and anxiety came from feeling unsafe from an unnecessary confrontation.  Feeling eyes of judgement or even fear of me the unmasked individual impacts me.  I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of me.  However, I realized my fears were just my own worries that I needed to challenge myself with a positive affirmation.
  • Smile: Spread the joy. The power of a simple smile will lift your own spirits and others.  It is time to shine.

In the end, this is a personal decision of when and where… I wish you peace and joy as you un-mask.  I, for one, am loving saying good-by to my un-masking anxiety and saying hello to all those smiling naked faces.

Anxiety in a Post-Covid World

Anxiety in a Post-Covid World

by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in https://differentdream.com/

Anxiety in a post-Covid world is the latest new reality in over a year of new realities. Clinical psychologist Liz Mathies is here today with 3 strategies to tame your anxiety as you and your family begins the process of re-entry.

Hooray, hooray! The end of the pandemic is coming!

Wait. Is it a hooray?

In one breath, you may feel relieved that life is returning to normal. But in the same breath you wonder what is normal 14 months after a pandemic that suddenly and drastically changed our lives.

Fourteen months ago, anxiety about a virus that we had never seen before entered our lives. Before we knew it, it was deemed a global pandemic.  I remember where I was exactly and who I was with when I first heard that news. It was mind blowing and overwhelming.

This virus was far more than just a flu. Our anxiety became intense and constant as it created fierce symptoms and many didn’t survive.

For many of us, that anxiety has actually not yet settled. We carry a residual level of worry. We’ve adopted functional rituals such as disinfecting surfaces, washing doorknobs, washing our hands and wearing masks.  We ask questions such as: “Does that restaurant have outdoor seating? Are those tables too close? Did that person just touch the door handle? Are my kids safe to go to school? What if I’m carrying the virus and pass it on to my parents/elderly relatives?” The list goes on and on.

Does My Daughter Have ADHD?

Does My Daughter Have ADHD?

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in www.themighty.com/ May 9, 2021

When you think about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), your natural tendency may be to envision a little boy who falls out of his seat at school, or who asks a ton of questions while his teacher is presenting a lesson. You may even imagine a teenage boy who is lost in his thoughts during math class and misses the lesson, and then doesn’t know how to complete his homework. But ADHD doesn’t just affect boys; it also affects girls, and it’s not always that easy to spot. In fact, it’s very easy to miss.

With girls, they tend to overcompensate for their inattentiveness, impulsivity or need for motion by verbalizing what sounds like good reasons. For example, “I didn’t take out the garbage because I was helping my sister with her math homework.” This sounds legitimate but the underlying reason is that she may have lost focus while working on her assignment or completing a task and found something that caught her attention at that moment. Girls also overcompensate by working for long hours on a task or assignment and ultimately complete it well, but the time and effort it takes to reach the endpoint is exorbitant and exhausting. She also may be chatty, speaking her mind on topics of interest. She may appear to be social and friendly, which is another way that we, as parents, may not take note. Girls with ADHD are also sensitive and can become easily upset or tearful. They can be shy and slow to warm up in social situations, and have a few friends with whom they feel comfortable or are similar to them.

27 Games & Activities for Kids with Autism

27 Games & Activities for Kids with Autism

written by Sam Walker-Smart, published on https://word.tips/

The importance of play in any child’s life cannot be understated. It helps develop motor skills, cognitive development and enables one’s ability to socialize. For those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however, play can prove more challenging; special considerations need to be made from both parents and teachers on what resources are used to allow interaction and expression.

Fortunately, nowadays, with the advent of digital technology, we don’t only have learning support online, but also entire purpose-made apps and even mainstream video games that can prove entertaining and rewarding for those on the spectrum. Below 27 games for kids with autism, These have been broken into categories for ease.

Understanding Teens’ Invisible Struggles During COVID-19

Understanding Teens’ Invisible Struggles During COVID-19

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published in www.psychologytoday.com

Our teens are suffering.

Children are not used to a routine that is repetitive with so little change from day to day. Nowadays, their school days consist of sitting in front of a screen with little variation, little social interaction, little true academic instruction, little focus, and a whole lot of missing of their school routine as they remember it to be prior to March 2020.

Their extracurricular activities are limited and interactions are not the same. Spontaneous social interactions are being missed. Our teens miss sitting next to each other, sharing lunch together, riding the school bus together, and all of the conversations and interactions that took place on a daily basis. One student shared with me that the biggest highlight of his day has been what he is going to eat. How incredibly boring and disappointing. Many teens (and adults) took for granted the variety of their days and the freedom that they had—until it was gone.

 

Do Video Games Exacerbate ADHD?

Do Video Games Exacerbate ADHD?

written by Colin Guard, Dr. Liz Matheis & Randy Kulman PH. D, published on  www.attitudemag.com

Resistance is futile; the future is digital.

Statistics from Common Sense Media show that more than 30 percent of children in the United States play with mobile devices while still in diapers. More than one-third of third graders own a phone. Tweens spend up to an hour a day texting. High school students spend 8 to 11 hours each day with digital technology, if you include multitasking. And, according to Pew Research Center, nearly 75 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have smartphones they use “almost constantly.”

"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
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"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

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