From a young age, we are filled with ideas about what we ‘should’ look like, what we ‘should’ wear and what we ‘should’ do to achieve these standards. Living in this world of shoulds can quickly make us think and feel pretty negatively about our bodies. For people of all ages, and young people especially, this kind of negative body image can profoundly impact confidence and self-worth.
The good news? We have the power to rewrite this story, not only for ourselves, but for the young ones in our lives, too! Shifting the narrative starts with building awareness of how societal messages deeply shape body image. With this awareness, we can learn strategies for how to foster positive body image in ourselves, and in turn, empower younger generations to do the same. Let’s dive in!
We hear all the time that society is filled with unrealistic messages – but have you ever taken the time to...
As the calendar turns, many of us find ourselves working towards freshly set resolutions, feeling motivated by the #newyearnewme spirit. We set these resolutions hoping to improve an aspect of our well-being, such as our physical health. However, the problem that many of us run into is that we focus our resolutions on only this one piece of wellness. These types of singular resolutions often do not have the transformative effect we hope they will, and come February, our motivation starts to drop.
What’s crucial to recognize is that well-being is multifaceted and encompasses many elements – each of which has a big impact on how we live. Achieving true and lasting wellness means taking intentional care of the mind, body, spirit and heart from a holistic perspective. Let's look at each of these pieces, building understanding of how they interact and some simple practices that can help you feel fulfilled and balanced all year long!
‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la...
For some, the holiday season is just that: a time of joy and celebration. For many others, though, it can also bring a wave of stress, sadness, and anxiety. Whether it's the pressure to create the perfect celebration, cope with loneliness and loss, or navigate complicated family dynamics, the holiday blues are a real and challenging experience.
If you’re someone who feels the weight of the holidays each year, know that you are not alone and that ALL the emotions of the season are valid – both positive and negative.
Let’s take a look at some common triggers of holiday-related stress and sadness, and more importantly, talk about some practical tips and coping strategies for navigating this time with self-compassion and a focus on well-being.
Each person has a unique experience with this time of year, but there are some common triggers that...
As the last of the Halloween candy gets eaten and the spooky decorations make their way back into the closet, we start to look ahead towards the holidays. As we head into a season of thanksgiving, we hear ‘gratitude’ come up often. While this topic feels intrinsically important to us, it can also start to feel like an overused and nebulous idea. It sounds great in theory but can start to feel pointless when we don't feel connected to its true power.
What's fascinating (and potentially surprising!) to learn is that gratitude is not just a feel-good sentiment; it's a scientifically proven way to rewire your brain and boost your mental well-being. With this in mind, let's explore gratitude through a whole new lens and discover its true purpose this season and beyond.
Gratitude is a simple, yet profound, practice that extends far beyond just saying "thank you." It’s a mindset. It’s a unique way of approaching the...
“I don’t deserve to be here.”
"I'm not as smart as they think I am."
"It's only a matter of time before I fail."
“________ is better than me.”
Do any of these feel familiar? Perhaps you’ve said them to yourself a couple times...or maybe a couple hundred times. You may not even be fully aware of these thoughts, but they can quickly have a pretty big impact on your life – influencing your decisions, your confidence and your overall growth potential.
This type of thinking contributes to what has been termed Imposter Syndrome. We've all heard of it, and many of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. While we may be intimately familiar with it, what’s less clear is how to put a stop to it. Let’s do some digging into Imposter Syndrome – understanding what it is, how it manifests at different points of our lives, and most importantly, some strategies to conquer it.
Suicide has touched each of our lives in different and profound ways. Maybe you’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts yourself. Maybe someone you love died by suicide. Maybe you’re supporting a friend who has lost someone. No matter how this topic has impacted you, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is a critical time for us all to join hands, share knowledge, and renew our commitment to addressing one of the most pressing public health concerns of our time.
Research has shown that there are both risk and protective factors against suicide. When we increase our awareness of these factors, we can work to protect ourselves and others. One of the most important and often overlooked protective factors is resilience. Let's dive into the powerful connection between resilience and suicide prevention, and why it matters so much to cultivate this quality in ourselves and those we care about.
Globally, more than 700,000 lives are lost...
As a new school year dawns upon us, the excitement of fresh beginnings fills the air: new classrooms, new relationships, new skills and new opportunities to learn and grow. Yet for some students, this period can be marked by uncertainty, worry and anxiety. While it’s normal to experience nerves, some kids and teens experience a level of fear or anxiety that ultimately leads to school refusal.
As we embark on this journey into a new year, it's important to bring awareness to the realities of school refusal: what it is, some telltale signs, its underlying causes, and how caregivers can help guide their loved ones toward a positive and successful school year ahead.
School refusal occurs when a child or teen experiences intense anxiety or fear related to attending school that results in avoiding the environment altogether. It's not just your typical "I don't want to go to school" reaction once in a while –...
The technological advances of the past few decades have impacted our lives in more ways than we can count. They’ve simplified the way we communicate, given us access to an endless supply of information and provided us with entertainment at our fingertips. While many of these advancements have been positive, one of the more controversial downsides has been an increase in screentime for kids and adults alike.
Screen time, especially during the more unstructured summer months, can be a challenge for many families – bringing up questions such as ‘How much is too much?’ or ‘How is this impacting my (or my child’s) mental health?’ Let's dive into the relationship between screen time and overall wellness. We'll focus on the significance of creating and maintaining strong routines in all seasons and providing tangible tips on how to create healthy habits that promote a balanced lifestyle.
Some of the best parts of summer are the nostalgia and joy that come with it. Looking back on summers past, can you still feel that untouchable excitement that comes when the final bell rings on the last day of school? Or the warmth of the bonfire as you bite into a s’more surrounded by your friends? The feeling of jumping into the pool for the first summer swim on a hot day? For kids and parents alike, summer is a happy time filled with fun memories.
When it comes to mental health, many people feel a decrease in stress and anxiety due to slower and more flexible schedules in the summer months. As a result, it may not feel as important to prioritize mental health during this season. However, in reality this time of the year provides us with an important opportunity to really focus on our wellness, building positive habits to take care of ourselves now as well as coping ahead for the inevitable busyness of the fall.
When schedules slow down we are...
In the past, mental health was something that felt uncomfortable and unacceptable to talk about. Millions of people struggled silently, feeling unable to speak up under the heaviness of shame. While this reality is certainly still present for many, our society has taken big steps forward in destigmatizing mental health and increasing access to resources for those who need it most.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month — a time for us all to come together each year to continue to raise awareness for mental health. While we must continue to spread awareness, we must also shift our focus to the next step in improving our mental health culture: taking action!
When we talk about the importance of mental health awareness, let’s first take a look at some of the stats surrounding mental health in the U.S. According to the National Institute on Mental Illness (NAMI):