3 Ways to Take Care of Your Body and Mind During the Mental Fatigue of COVID-19

3 Ways to Take Care of Your Body and Mind During the Mental Fatigue of COVID-19

Thriving During the Holiday Season

Thriving During the Holiday Season

Written by Dr. Liz Matheis

Featured on DifferentDream.com

Thriving during the holiday season, traditionally a time of stress that results in a feeling of depletion once they’re over, can be tricky.  This year there’s additional component of COVID-19 to factor in. Many of us are fearful about gathering with family members, becoming ill, or passing on the virus to others.

Our children and adolescents are feeling the effects of the pandemic. The number of children and adolescents who are anxious and fearful of the outside world is growing, and they crave normalcy. So how do we make thriving this holiday season possible? Here are 3 ways to make the season enjoyable by creating new traditions and changing the way we celebrate.

Shift Your Focus

It is so easy to think about activities or traditions in which you may not be able to partake rather than using this time to create memories that you and your family will look back on for years to come. In my house, I want to hear, “Remember in 2020 when we….?”

Even though it feels like the holidays will be different, different doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be bad. Think about this year as an opportunity to sit with each other, to listen without the need to rush on to next thing. Enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other again. This pandemic gives parents the chance to see what daily routines look like and to understand what their children are doing each day. Couples can reconnect. Siblings can enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps it’s not all that bad, right?

Hello Handwriting

Mamas, our friend and colleague, Dana Blumberg of Positive Steps, an Occupational Therapy practice in Livingston, New Jersey is starting a group called “Hello Handwriting”

 

Dana and her team of Occupational Therapists are specialists in Sensory Processing Disorder, Yoga, Handwriting, Summer Camp, the Listening Program and Therapeutic Listening.

 

Please reach out to Dana to sign up for “Hello Handwriting” or one of their other services at 973-994-4464 or dana@positivestepsot.com and let her know that Dr. Liz sent you!

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

Jennifer Mandato, MA LAC

As we transition back into the school year we are continually met with new challenges and accommodations to be made. A lot of work with my students has been around social-emotional learning and growth mindset. How to increase their flexibility in these challenging times as well as ways to cope with the many emotions we have been experiencing. 

Which gets me thinking as adults how are we doing this? How are we coping with not only the challenges for ourselves but for our children? Are we operating in a growth mindset and flexible to the curveballs thrown our way or are we stuck unable to move forward? How do we do this? How as adults can we operate in a growth mindset? Keep it simple: think positive, talk positive, feel positive.

 

Think positive

           It is easy to get bogged down with negative thinking patterns during these trying times. Change your mindset. Start the day with a positive outlook. When you find yourself getting stuck on those negative thoughts, flip the switch. I’m not saying ignore everything going on and only operate in happy land, but not to only focus on the negative but the positive things in your life.

 

Talk positive

           Everyone needs to vent now and again, but let’s not dwell here. Talk it out and then problem solve. What are the solutions? What are the happy moments of your day? With your family? At work? Start by once a day talking about the positive moments and then work on increasing that goal.

 

Feel Positive

           Talking the talk will help us walk the walk. 

Changing our mindset just like we do with our kids can help change our mindset as well. Not just to focus on what isn’t going our way but also to focus on what is. Start with baby steps, see how you feel in a day, week, and then a month.  

 

Image by pexels

Just because you are struggling does not mean you are failing

Struggling is the exact opposite of failingStruggling means trying. Trying does NOT equal failure. It means you’re putting in the effort- it means you’re giving it what you’ve got- it means you’re doing everything you can to keep going. The only meaning of failure is not trying at all. Where there is struggle, there is growth

This is one of my favorites to help reframe a bad day (or week or a pandemic).   I I hope this gives you the hope it gives me to keep finding my inner strength!

How To Relieve Stress: 37 Comments From Therapists, Psychologists & People Who’ve Overcome Stress

Featured on OutWit Trade

Written by Katie Holmes

How To Relieve Stress: 37 Comments From Therapists, Psychologists & People Who’ve Overcome Stress

Stress is staggeringly common in the US, with an earlier study from the American Psychological Association showing that 77% of people “regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress” and 33% of people “feel they are living with extreme stress” — and in the current climate, those numbers could be even worse today.

For the many people who suffer from stress, this is a compilation of comments on how to relieve stress that therapists, psychologists, social workers and other professionals who have extensive experience treating patients with stress have sent us, as well as comments from various people who have found a method for dealing with their stress that helps them. I’ve summarized the main point in each comment below, along with a link to the full comment(s) for each point:

(image by pexels)

"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.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"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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