3...2...1 Action! Shifting The Mental Health Culture

May 10, 2023

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! 

Awareness Vs. 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):

  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2021
  • 17% of U.S. youth aged 6-17...
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Your Cup Runneth Over: Combatting Burnout

Apr 10, 2023

Life moves at an incredibly fast pace. We are constantly pulled in multiple directions — by the demands of our jobs, our families, our social obligations and so much more. It’s common for us to look back at the past weeks or months and realize they have passed in a blur.

Without taking time to slow down, be mindful, and take care of ourselves, not only do we lose out on making meaningful memories, we are also susceptible to chronic stress and burnout. 

Discovering how to respond to these experiences and proactively prevent them in the future is critical for your mental health and wellbeing. Let’s talk about how we can avoid chronic stress & burnout and build positive habits to keep us feeling energized & full!

How Full Is Your Cup?

One of our favorite metaphors we use at Simply Bee when talking about stress and burnout is this: you have to fill up your cup before you can fill up others. The water in said ‘cup’ symbolizes your energy level...

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Bouncing Back: 3 Strategies For Growing Your Resilience

Mar 13, 2023

The world outside our windows is full of wisdom. We stand to learn so much from nature and its ceaseless cycles of rebirth and regrowth. 

There is no better example of such a cycle than the seasons. Just as quickly as the bitter winter winds blow in, they are replaced by the flourishing of spring. In this beautiful transition, nature exhibits a quality that is integral to strong mental health: resilience. 

Resilience has become somewhat of a buzzword in the mental health world. The more it is researched in relation to prevention and treatment outcomes, the more we have come to understand its importance in the wellness of all people. But what does resilience really mean? And if it’s so important, how can we focus on building resilience in our lives and the lives of those around us? 

In this blog post, we’ll dig into all things resilience: what it means, why it’s important, and strategies for increasing your own. 

Defining Resilience

Resilience is...

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It's The Season Of (Self) Love

Feb 14, 2023

When you hear a loved one say something negative about themselves, what is your reaction? Usually, we’re quick to jump in with words of encouragement, a hug, or reassurance of all the ways in which they shine.

It feels easy to do this for the people we care about because their positive attributes are so clear to us. Showing compassion, acceptance and love to our closest friends and family just feels natural. Why, though, does it feel so difficult to lend this same compassion to ourselves?

For many, the answer to this question is the inner critic — that pesky voice in the back of your head that’s always telling you you’re not good enough. It works tirelessly to convince you of all the reasons that you don’t deserve love. 

If your inner critic has been keeping you in the trap of negativity, then keep reading! We’re going to dive into some strategies for how to fight back and work towards self-compassion, healing and growth. 

Get To Know...

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Essential Elements For A Successful New Years Season

Jan 06, 2023

When you look back on the past year, what feelings come up? Maybe feelings of gratitude — for the relationships you’ve built & strengthened, a successful year at work, or the growth you experienced personally. Maybe last year was a particularly trying one, and you feel the heaviness of sadness, loss, or worry. 

Whatever this past year looked like for you, the start of a new year is a season for reflection on the past and a hopeful look towards what’s ahead. When you close your eyes and picture yourself a year from today doing this same activity, what do you hope to have accomplished? How do you want to feel? What are your goals – and what actions do you need to take to achieve them? 

With these things in mind, you can now set your resolutions accordingly.

New Year's Resolutions are a hot topic at this time of year. While great in theory, they are notoriously challenging for people to achieve and sustain. The good news? Failed resolutions tend to...

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How To Gain Control In Times of Uncertainty

Mar 09, 2022

How To Gain Control In Times of Uncertainty

By: Audrey Grunst, LCSW

Change and uncertainty can feel scary and overwhelming. But, change is a fact of life. It can be big or small, planned or unexpected – and it can carry with it both negative and positive feelings. That’s what makes it so complex. If you focus on learning how to cope ahead during times of uncertainty, you will gain control of your emotional responses and likely be able to tolerate the ebbs and flows that inevitably come with life. 

Are You A Responder or A Reactor?

Have you ever considered if you respond to situations or react to them? Imagine being at work and you receive an email from your boss about a big change in process that will add a lot more work to your plate. Is your knee-jerk reaction to fire off a scathing email response, storm out of the building, bang your hands on your desk in exasperation, or run to a co-worker and immediately start complaining about how management could possibly be...

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Free Your Mind Through Creativity

Feb 07, 2022

Free Your Mind Through Creativity

By: Audrey Grunst, LCSW

Creativity shouldn’t be stressful, but for many people, the thought causes anxiety. #Spoileralert: you don’t have to be an “artist” to use creativity to express yourself. Creativity is a state of being and art therapy is a powerful tool that helps people express themselves! It’s time to take your inner words and learn to release them through art expression. 

Go with the Flow

A "flow state" is a mental state in which a person performing an activity or task is fully immersed in a feeling of energized attention, full participation and sense of fulfillment.

The idea of flow has been well researched and shown to exist within many different forms. It's a healthy state for our brains to thrive, grow and recharge! 

Flow comes from many different places, and for most it’s when you’re feeling hyper focused and relaxed while doing something. That could be playing a musical instrument,...

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Mental Health Experts Share Their Top 3 Tips for Surviving The Holiday Season

Dec 07, 2021

Mental Health Experts Share Their Top 3 Tips for Surviving The Holiday Season 

By: Brittany Polacek, LPC & Audrey Grunst, LCSW

It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” a song that rings throughout elevators, restaurants and shopping malls at this time of year. But what if it’s not how you actually feel? Instead of feeling the joy and cheer, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, disconnected, lonely or stressed. We are all continuing to navigate the transitional period of the pandemic in 2021. This holiday season may be your first time traveling, or seeing extended family, or attending a large gathering, and so even if the holiday season has always been a joyous experience in the past, this year may feel different and that’s okay! Mental health experts Audrey Grunst, LCSW & Brittany Polacek, LPC are here to help with their top three tips to surviving the holiday season.

3 Tips For Surviving The Holidays

Tip #1: Create...
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An Open Letter From An Educator To An Educator

Sep 29, 2021

An Open Letter From An Educator To An Educator

By: Stephanie Smith

What we are experiencing is hard. Regardless of what your iteration of pandemic teaching has looked like, I know it’s been challenging personally and professionally. I know you’re worried about your students, their progress, and their social-emotional well-being. I know you’re trying somehow to embrace a new normal. 

I know you’re tired. I am, too. 

I get that we can’t pour from empty cups, but for just a moment, can we pause? 

Self-care cannot be something to check off the list. Self-care is not one-size-fits-all. 

Self-care is not an initiative. 

Cultural shifts that value teacher mental and physical wellness take time to fully impact the system. Incredibly, the conversation is starting. It’s helpful that many see our value in a new light and want us to be well. 

But, a slow shift is not enough right now, and we’re third-year...

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More Peace Anyone?

Jul 13, 2021

More Peace, Anyone?

By: Stephanie Bersh, Simply Bee Resident Yoga Teacher

I had the pleasure of co-hosting a wellness workshop with our therapist Jacqueline Ritz, LCPC. We created this workshop in response to the overwhelm and stress so many of us are feeling as our lives return back to a busier state post-pandemic.  As a provider for mental health, we understand how much of a toll stress can place on our emotional state and physical bodies. Our goal was to share tools that would help us manage that stress and find more peace to quiet the constant chatter and to-do list in our heads.

As we joined together on the mat, we spoke about the shift back to busy schedules and overly demanding days. We shared our struggles to quiet our minds and the exhaustion felt from overactive thoughts rooted in stress and anxiety. 

Jacqueline started with a breathing technique called Wim Hof that had us move through multiple cycles of deep breathing and a long hold at the end of the breath...

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