The bruise under my toenail

The bruise under my toenail

By Paul Krauss MA LPC

As you can see in the picture, I have a bruise under my toenail. The marker of the bruise under my toenail is almost gone, and in a few weeks my nail will have grown and pushed the mark to an area where my toenail will eventually be clipped off, and with it—all evidence that it ever existed. Yet, six months ago this bruise was much closer to the skin on my right toe and it still hurt for, the original bruise showed up when I dropped a full 32-ounce metal water bottle on my big toe from about 5 feet in the air.

This painful bruise happened during one of the most stressful months of my life. I was so stressed that I walked out of a meeting, which I had scheduled (too late) to help me reduce my stress. Instead, everything just kept getting worse, because I was not prioritizing my health—I let stress creep up on me. Stress is the killer of joy, of calm, and of peace in our lives. Yet, it is inevitable that in my daily life, I will have stress and major life events that give me stress will come again. Stress in a part of life. However, it is important for me and for you to apply measures, each and every day to reduce stress. Getting back to the story: For me, moving across the country (again) and starting from scratch, was a perfect storm of stress factors, which caused me to have multiple anxiety attacks, doubt myself, and doubt my abilities.

My family, friends, and mentors told me “just take your time and take care of yourself…don’t overwork…believe in the long term goal you are working toward.” But yet, I couldn’t hear them. In fat, I believe my nervous system was deeply affected, and my inner confidence was off-kilter due to the biggest move (Phoenix to Grand Rapids) I’d had in nine years (Since I moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 2008) and I was determined to get everything in my life and business ready as fast as possible. As a result of this I stressed myself out by not taking care of myself, not resting, not reflecting, and running from place to place and conversation the conversation to the point where my functioning became somewhat impaired.

Eventually, I experienced what I thought I would never go through: “Burn out.” Me, burned out? No way! I was totally in denial for a few weeks! I mean, I have an entire 6 hour Continuing Education Course I wrote for Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family therapists about best practices in counseling and one of the sections is about “Self-care” and “Avoiding Burn Out.” I mean I preach this stuff! I had made it a point to live this stuff! I helped my clients with this very issue—yet I was experiencing a burn out from stress? This was an awful experience that I don’t wish on any person.

Burn out from stress is worse than you can imagine (if you haven’t had it). My body would not do what I asked it to do. I had little to no energy, yet I still had trouble sleeping. I was almost shaking at times when I would get stressed, and other times I couldn’t seem to move. My mind would not respond normally to almost anything—I was having trouble doing both complex and simple tasks for several weeks. I had never experienced anything like this in my life before. My creativity had vanished and I began to experience depression-like symptoms. It began to affect my personal relationships. That is when I knew something had to change. I sought help from multiple people in my life and from professionals. Within 4 weeks I was feeling better, but it took about 3 months until I felt normal again.

How many times do we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves through arbitrary goals that we set? How many times do we become fixated and worried about something that is only short-term issue? How often do we find ourselves rushing toward a goal and forgetting about the important journey of learning? How often do we find ourselves not trusting that if we are putting in effort, something will work out—even if it not what we originally tried for? Trust me, it is not worth sacrificing your health to move anywhere, set up anything, or meet any goal faster than the pace you naturally work. If you are going through a large transition, or wanting to work toward a goal, or just living your life and worrying a lot—it is important to get into a rhythm of giving yourself time and space to work to lower your stress level. Getting in a rhythm of “being” instead of always “doing” will help keep your stress level low, and thus you will be less susceptible to burnout, anxiety and depression.

be like a tree and defeat stress

  • Having a rhythm is not having a perfect schedule. Rhythms can be adjusted and goals can be reworked. If we stick to rigidly to a goal, we are missing the point and we are probably missing out on life. In fact, I make it a point to set a lot of goals, yet I am constantly adjusting and moving them to make way for the “flow” of life. Perfection will never be apart of nature. Look at the trees–they are beautiful the way they are, but their roots are not symmetrical, nor their foliage, nor their growth patterns–they are often shaped by their environment and the weather around them. If trees are too rigid and don’t bend from the wind, they may snap in half and die. Trees must bend and become “elastic” in the elements for their survival. If they impose a false sense of perfection on themselves, they will die. We too will always be imperfect (so will our schedules); we are part of nature too, if we accept this, life doesn’t get easier, but our reactions to life are certainly more balanced and helpful to us.

 

  • Make sure you insert spaces in your schedule to “just be”, or any spaces will get filled with something that you had not intended –tasks or mindless activity or social media or mindless TV—something will end up there, invited or not. People, media, tasks, are all vying for your time. The trick is that we want to be with the people that we have decided make up our family or close group of friends, we want to consume the “right media” (not just any media), we want to invest ourselves in meaningful tasks and work, just to name a few aspects of our focus. If we don’t put spaces in our schedules to reflect or “just be”, we will hardly grasp what the “right thing” is for us.

 

  • Find activities that reduce stressed, things you get “lost in” and make sure you have 1 or 2 activities in your life per week, if possible.
    • These activities could be almost anything, but some ideas I will suggest are exercise, walking in nature, mindfulness based stress reduction, reading, cooking, cleaning, meeting with certain friends, darts or bowling league, dancing, arts and crafts, social groups, discussion groups, having a favorite TV show or podcast that is engaging and not mindless, sports, getting involved in causes that you believe in, spiritual or religious activities, volunteering, helping others, spending time with animals, mentoring a child, etc.

If you have to make a large change in your life and your living environment, please allow yourself extra time to get done what you need to do (if possible), make sure that you do not give up your “self-care” activities, do not give up your time with your friends, helpers, or family, and do not put to much on your “to do list.”

Here’s to hoping that the next time you or I bruise our toenail, it is just an accident, and not because of a period of “burnout” caused by excessive stress that we could have avoided.

Take care of yourself. You are worth taking care of.

If you are finding yourself stressed out and not knowing what to do, call our office (Health for Life Grand Rapids) at 616-200-4433 and schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with one of our clinicians.

What is Trauma, PTSD, and EMDR therapy?

Trauma, PTSD, Recovery from trauma, cultural trauma, EMDR therapy, and other treatments. [Episode 13 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

Paul Krauss MA LPC has a new podcast you can listen to for free. He discusses the following topics: trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, EMDR therapy, trauma-informed treatment, recovery from trauma and PTSD, how trauma affects the brain the adverse childhood experiences study, best practices related to treating trauma, neurobiology research and more. Paul discusses the shame factor that many feel related to their own trauma and assuming that they should “be over it.” Further discussion includes shared cultural trauma and other stories of recovery from trauma. Paul talks about many treatments that can help someone suffering from trauma. If you or someone you know has suffered from a traumatic experience(s) share this podcast to help spread the news that there actually are empirically proven treatments for trauma that work!

Paul Krauss MA LPC is the host of the Intentional Clinician podcast as well as a counselor living in Grand Rapids, MI. Paul is also available for corporate and personal consulting with issues related to behavior, mental health, motivation, brain health, and optimal performance. Paul has his private practice at Health for Life Grand Rapids, located on 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI 49546. If you or someone you know is in need or just wants to give counseling a try– call Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Learn more about Paul here: http://www.paulkrausscounseling.com/ Paul enjoys email, [email protected] . Paul is also an approved Clinical Supervisor, learn more here: https://www.counselingsupervisorgr.com/

Original music, used with permission:

“Shades of Currency” [Instrumental] from Archetypes by PAWL

Feynman Wolfgang” from Flighty Tronys 1 by Flighty Tronys

Music available here:

https://flightytronys.bandcamp.com/releases

https://pawl.bandcamp.com/

References:

ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience Study).
http://www.acestudy.org/

American Psychiatric Association (2013), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders FifthEdition, Washington DC.

Buser, S., Cruz, L. (2015). DSM-5 Insanely Simplified: Unlocking the Spectrums within DSM-5 and ICD-10. Innerquest.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/ACE/

Herman, J.L. (1997) [1992]. Trauma and recovery: the aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror. New York: BasicBooks.

Kessler, R.C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E. (1995). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the national comorbidity survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 1048-1060.
Lipschitz, D.S., Winegar, R.K., Hartnick, E., Foote, B., & Southwick, S.M. (1999). Posttraumatic stress disorder in hospitalized adolescents: Psychiatric comorbidity and clinical correlates. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 385-392.
Mayo Clinic. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/DS00246/

Mueser, K. T., Goodman, L. B., Trumbetta, S. L., Rosenberg, S. D., Osher, F., Vidaver, R., Auciello, P., & Foy, D. W. Trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder in severe mental illness. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66: 493-499. (1998).

National Center for Trauma Informed Care,
http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/nctic/

Levine, Peter A. (2005). Healing trauma: a pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body. Boulder, CO :Sounds True,

 

Rosenberg, C. (2017). Your eyes may be key to healing your mind.

https://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/your-eyes-may-be-key-heal-your-mind

Shapiro, F. (2001). Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, 2nd edition, N.Y.: The Guilford Press.

Shapiro F. (2013).  Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy, Rodale Books.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York: Viking.

Wikipedia. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder

 

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine Feature 2018

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine Feature 2018.

Health for Life Grand Rapids was featured by Women’s Lifestyle Magazine on the local business beat in January 2018.

Discussed in the article was how Health for Life emerged in Grand Rapids, MI as an all-in-one clinic empowering the people of Grand Rapids to meet their health goals. Women’s Lifestyle Magazine discussed the array of services that Health for Life Grand Rapids offers including therapy and counseling services for Individuals, Families, and Couples, Naturopathic Medicine, Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Health Coaching.

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine also featured a supplement created by Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA called “Antidepressant Companion”, currently in her line of Natural Mental Health Supplements. Health for Life Grand Rapids is proud to be a part of the Grand Rapids community.

If you have any questions you can call our office at 616-200-4433 or email us at [email protected] .

Read the full article here.

Thank you for reading.

Rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

How to rewind, reset, and give yourself “permission” in the New Year!

by Jen Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

It’s that time of year again!  Gym memberships significantly increase, families and individuals adopt healthier food choices, and many homes experience greater organization, cleaning, etc!

But how do we approach the New Year in a way to make fulfilling, sustainable changes?

As January approaches, it’s easy to become overzealous in our quest for personal growth and change; however, as mental health professionals, we’ve found that when individuals set lofty, tough-to-attain goals, the outcome is often feelings of defeat rather than fulfillment.

Here are a couple of recommendations I’d like to offer, in order to help the New Year be one of intention and fulfillment for you.

  1. Start saying NO.  In fact, try to say NO to more things (commitments, activities) than you say YES to!

As Dr. Edmund Bourne highlights in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,

“Learning to say no requires a willingness to relinquish cherished beliefs about yourself—which can be one of the hardest things for anyone to do. This may involve expanding your identity beyond taking care of others, or taking care of business, and learning to take the time to nurture and attend to your own needs. It means accepting the reality that taking care of yourself—even at the expense of what you do for others—isn’t selfish. Can you really offer your best to others or your work if you are tired, stressed, or burned out?”

Our society today tends to normalize busy-ness…. at times, we may even obtain a significant amount of our self-worth from how full our calendar is.  Saying NO may seem strange, awkward, and uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become!  Ask yourself a couple of questions before agreeing to a commitment…. First, is this what’s BEST for me right now?  In other words, am I likely to leave this encounter/activity feeling energized, or depleted?  Second, am I the best person to carry this out?  Stay true to who you are, and how you’re wired. For example, if your child’s school is looking for a volunteer to organize a fundraiser, and you know that you struggle in the areas of project management and philanthropy, saying NO to this will create and offer space for you to do things that align with your temperament and your own personal interests. Too often we agree to things from a sense of guilt or obligation, and in the end, no one wins when these are the motivators. At times, we need to give ourselves permission to say NO.

Another way to say NO is to create a NO-FLY zone for you and/or your family’s schedule. In other words, give yourself a “time-out.” Create some space/margin where you do not schedule anything. Maybe that means staying home on a Saturday morning or taking a raincheck on a dinner invitation. The art of quietness and rest has been lost, as individuals and families today are pulled in so many directions.

  1. Explore a practice such as meditation, mindfulness (check out mindful.org), or yoga to cultivate rest, optimism and intention.

According to the Mayo Clinic, learning relaxation techniques has many health benefits, including improving concentration and mood, improving quality of sleep, lowering blood pressure, improving digestion and maintaining normal blood sugar levels!

Practicing gratitude is another powerful factor in helping to alleviate stress. According to Harvard Medical School, practicing gratitude has consistently shown a correlation with greater feelings of happiness, ability to deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Cultivating gratitude can be done by keeping a gratitude journal, creating a gratitude jar, praying, and thanking individuals who’ve offered help and support.

  1. Consider investing in yourself with counseling and/or health coaching!

The road to self-care and personal growth can be lonely and challenging. The staff at Health for Life GR would be honored to partner with you in your personal, relational and health & wellness goals! In fact, Health For Life Grand Rapids’ Health Coaches, Nicole Vega and Jen Belmonte are offering a special discounted New Year’s rate! Please contact the office at 616.200.4433 for details!

Or email [email protected] and [email protected]

 

References:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 6th edition, by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, New Harbinger Publications 2015

www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/relaxation-technique/art-20045368

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/in-praise-of-gratitude

Set an intention for the New Year. That alone can be powerful!

New Year's Intentions. How to say no and give yourself permission.

A New Health Care Resource for Grand Rapids, Michigan

The team at Health for Life Grand Rapids has created an easy to use website for the people of Grand Rapids called www.GrandRapidsCounselor.com . This website provides a mobile-phone and tablet friendly overview of all the Counselors, Naturopathic Doctors, and Hypnotherapists at Health for Life Grand Rapids providing many different types of therapy–all customizable for the people of Grand Rapids, MI.

The Grand Rapids Counselor.com website is easy to use and guides users through learning about counseling, to learning about the people that work at Health life for Grand Rapids, followed by what specific services are offered by the staff, followed by information for new patients (including insurances accepted, cash rates) and an easy to use form to request information. Lastly, the site features an easily accessible contact form where you can request that a Counselor, Therapist, Naturopathic Doctor, or Hypnotherapist contact you directly.

The staff at Health for Life Grand Rapids are constantly working to make healthcare more accessible. The new website called “Grand Rapids Counselor.com” was a natural extension of this service. If you have questions, you can always call our front desk at 616-200-4433  or  email our manager, Paul Krauss MA LPC at [email protected].

Grand Rapids, MI is the second largest metropolitan area in Michigan, and we (at Health for Life Grand Rapids) are aiming to bring the highest quality healthcare, counseling, therapy, and health education to the Midwest. So far, we have two licensed Naturopathic Physicians from the State of Arizona providing excellent health education at our office. Both of them are committed to the people of the State of Michigan and, at the same time, they maintain their medical licenses through the State of Arizona. Currently, we have five counselors providing excellent therapy and health education in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Each therapist has a unique focus and approach to therapeutic process and works to customize care for each person and family they work with. We also have a Clinical Hypnotherapist providing amazing hypnotherapy to clients in the Grand Rapids area.

We are highly intentional about offering a diverse array of providers and services in Grand Rapids, MI.

 

 

 

 

Health for Life starts a Free Postpartum Support Group

Free Postpartum Support Group in Grand Rapids, MI

The journey of motherhood often evokes so many different emotions…. excitement, joy, and wonder.  However, these are often accompanied by fear, worry, and confusion.  The responsibility of caring for a new life, combined with sleepless nights, work/home balance, and conflict with partner/family members can lead to an insurmountable amount of stress. Not to mention that new mothers today are faced with a variety of decisions—work, daycare, “best” parenting theories, etc. The clinicians at Health for Life Grand Rapids have created a free postpartum support group for you. 

Please join us for a monthly group to share thoughts, feelings, stressors, and experiences.  Nicole Vega and Jen Belmonte, both therapists with Health for Life Grand Rapids, are excited to come alongside you during this time of life.  They will be offering this monthly meeting free of charge.  However, space is limited, so please contact either Nicole or Jen in order to register!

Our sincere thanks goes out to Cheri, owner of Bouncing Fitness of Rockford, who has graciously offered us a beautiful meeting space!

The first meeting is December 9th, 2017- Saturday 11:15am-12:15pm.

It will be located at Bouncing Fitness

6575 Belding Rd NE, Rockford, MI 49341

 

This is a closed group with limited space, so if you are interested, please contact Nicole Vega or Jen Belmonte to register.

nicole vega health coaching

Nicole Vega, LMSW CHC

Jennifer Belmonte at Health for Life Grand Rapids

Jen Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

A Holiday Self-Care Guide

A Holiday Self-Care Guide

by Billie Walters, LMSW

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead can help reduce the amount of stress you may experience during the holiday season. Some things you can do to plan ahead: Shop early for gifts, goodies or meals; make lists to organize and prioritize your “to do”; communicate with family and friends so that everyone is on the same page.

Be Realistic

Set realistic goals, ditch the perfectionism, do what is within your ability, say NO and don’t compare yourself to others. It is understandable to have visions of what you want your holidays to look like and every advertiser in the country is ready to help you achieve your dream. Nevertheless, your peace of mind rests solely on your ability to let go of the ideal and accept the reality. Do what is within your means on all levels; financially, physically and emotionally. When you feel that you are being asked to do something that is outside of your ability, comfort zone, means or whatever you want to call it, just say NO. Also, remember that life is not a competition, live yours for you.

Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is the ability to take the compassion you normally have for others and turn it inward. We are human beings who make mistakes so forgive yourself, do not isolate and remember that you are part of a shared human experience. For more on self-compassion, to test your level of self-compassion and find exercises, go to www.selfcompassion.org.

Use Moderation – With Everything

As a culture, we tend to overindulge during the holiday season and this can lead to physical symptoms as well as emotional drain. Practice moderation when consuming alcohol or foods high in sugar and saturated fats. Set a budget for you gift buying and stay within your limits when purchasing this season – this can be extended to all purchasing during this time as we are lead to believe that we won’t experience savings any other time of the year. Use moderation when cooking and even decorating your home. While it can be satisfying to get in the spirit of the holidays, everything you do takes energy and your energy can be conserved by using moderation.

Practice Gratitude

One of the main ingredients in creating your own happiness is gratitude. It is popular to count our blessings on Thanksgiving but being thankful beyond Thanksgiving can give us a boost to our mood. Some ways to practice gratitude are writing a gratitude journal, going for gratitude walks, sending a thank you to someone who has been a positive influence in your life and just saying “thank you”.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can be your calm in the holiday storm. You do not need to take up a strict meditation practice (although that could be helpful) but here are some tips to help you lessen your risk of anxiety during these busy times. Be present – be in the present moment and focus on what you are doing and who you are with, limit distracting thoughts. Let go of judgment – being in the moment can lead you to notice things that may not be pleasant. Let go of how you feel about it and accept that it is. If you are in a long line at the mall, you may notice that someone is wearing strong perfume. Notice the smell and accept that it is strong without judging the experience. Also, limit your distractions – it is so easy to distract ourselves with technology or thoughts of things that we have no control over. Set limits for yourself and if you notice that you are getting distracted, stop the thoughts or the technology and get to your to-do list or join in with conversations that may be taking place around you.

Ask for Help

You can follow these steps to help reduce holiday stress and anxiety this season; but if you notice that you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You can talk to a trusted friend or relative or contact our office to make an appointment to talk to one of our therapists or doctors. Billie Walters is an expert on learning to practice self-care methods. You can call Billie Walters for a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation at 616-258-6419. Learn more about Billie here and here .

Are you ready to Quit Smoking?

Quit Smoking for good at Health for Life Grand Rapids

Even if you’ve smoked forever…

Even if you’ve tried to quit a million times…

Even if you enjoy smoking…

You can quit.

Hypnosis has been shown to be an effective method for quitting. No gum, patches,

or prescription medications required.

Clients who use hypnosis to quit tend to experience fewer withdrawal symptoms

and begin their smoke-free life motivated to making healthy choices!

The Great American SmokeOut is November 16th!

To quit smoking, contact Stacey PreFontaine CMS-CHt, FIBH

at Health for Life Grand Rapids.

Call Stacey directly at 616-828-2153.

Or email Stacey at : [email protected] 

 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths.1

In 2015, about 15 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (15.1%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 36.5 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.2 More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.2

Current smoking has declined from nearly 21 of every 100 adults (20.9%) in 2005 to about 15 of every 100 adults (15.1%) in 2015.2

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/index.htm

“If there’s everything all health professionals agree on, it’s this: put down the smokes, any way you can, no matter how silly you feel about being hypnotized or obsessively chewing Juicy Fruit or starting talk therapy with a counselor. Don’t feel foolish if you start describing yourself as “smober,” as some NicA members do. It may be corny, but getting sober while continuing to smoke is tantamount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: a nice way to relieve stress in the moment but an activity that’s still going to take you down.”

Source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/11/hypnosis-quit-smoking_n_1248444.html

quit smoking with hypnotherapy at health for life grand rapids

A Fall Perspective or SAD

A Fall Perspective or SAD by Dr. Shannon Bennett, ND

Ahhh, smell the crisp air, the burning leaves and the awareness that holiday celebrations and new beginnings are on the horizon. In the first few mornings of a seasonal change, you feel the honeymoon stage of excitement. While idealizing upcoming plans and nostalgia fill your brain on the morning commute, you tend to have a momentary lapse of the cold bite of your seat and steering wheel. But after several days, weeks and months of the same ice cold seats, plummeting outdoor climates and brown slush as winter approaches, it’s easy to forget those fleeting feelings you once had at the beginning of the season.

And why is that? Something so appreciated in the beginning stages of its return each year, turns into an annoyance that reminds us to keep our eyes on the warmer months. It’s easy to get into the Scrooge mindset and start lamenting the cold weather with every encounter with it. It reminds us of spending extra money on presents, hectic shopping malls and risky driving on icy roads.

If we dive into the mindset of Power of Positive Thinking, we know that our thoughts and emotional well being can be subtly, but significantly altered with the seemingly harmless comments that come out of our mouth.

What if the crunchy leaves falling to the ground wasn’t a sign of death, but a sign of rebirth coming from the forest confetti that fall brings? What if we could keep this positive outlook, just by being more mindful of the words that we speak? By altering “I hate this cold,” into remember the good things this time of year brings, “Ahh, this snow means being with loved ones is near!” we may alter our perception of fall and our knee-jerk reaction to the cold. Below is a list of easy exercises to get you in the jolly mood, preparing you for a warm-hearted season ahead.

  1. Write a list of gratitudes

It has been studied time and time again and the research shows, taking the time to reflect and write out what makes you happy will actually do just that, make you happy. So at the start of each new season, while still in that honeymoon phase, write a list of all the gratitudes this seasonal shift brings to mind.

 

  1. Connect With Others

During these colder months, it is easier to stay in and bundle up rather than braving the cold to be with others. However, we were created for human connection and when we spend time with one another, we are building a network of communion around us. Connection with others is a huge factor in our health, mentally and physically. Infact, those with healthy relationships around them, are more likely to heal fast, get sick less and live longer. So volunteer at your local food bank, YMCA or shelter; get involved in religious small groups; visit the elderly in a local senior center; plan a neighborhood ‘friends-giving’.

 

  1. Retrain Your Habits

It takes 120 days of consistent effort to build a habit, so you have all season to work on this one! When we stop to think before we allow thoughts to become words, we have the power to change our environment. Every time you think to say a negative or complain about the weather, rephrase your statement with a gratitude or a positive outlook. Once getting in the habit of this, you’ll notice that you those negative thoughts become few and far between, and you’re easily able to redirect your perception.

For more information on positive living to help curb your tendencies for seasonal depression, set up a free consultation with Dr. Bennett today! Call 616-200-4433 or email [email protected]

Dr. Shannon Bennett ND is a Naturopathic Doctor in Grand Rapids MI

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

fall perspective at health for life grand rapids

Intentional Parenting Group coming to Grand Rapids, MI

Intentional Parenting Group at Health for Life Grand Rapids, Fall 2017

a 4 week journey to a healthier relationship with your children

Hosted by Jennifer Belmonte LMSW, CHC in Grand Rapids, MI

What images come to mind when you think of the word “parenting?” Bedtime stories, goodnight kisses, taxi mom, swim lessons, work/life balance? Or perhaps words like exhaustion and marital struggles? Parenting in the 21st century is not for wimps! With technology, food choices, extracurricular activities, we are bombarded with more choices today than ever before!

In this 4-week course, we will discuss topics such as mindful discipline, healthy boundaries, constructive communication between parent and child, self-awareness, and self-care.

The group will be facilitated by family therapist, Jen Belmonte, who has over 10 years of experience working with children, adults, and families. Jen offers an interactive style, with handouts, and even “homework” for those who wish!

We will explore:

  • Current myths surrounding parenthood
  • The importance of self- care as a parent
  • The role of self-awareness in our own parenting experience
  • What are your hot buttons? How were YOU parented as a child?
  • Intentional language, and how to separate the child from the behavior
  • Overcoming challenges with your child

Details:

  • Deadline for Registration – Tuesday, October 17
  • The group will meet on Tuesday nights, from 7:00-8:30pm.
  • The group runs October 24 – November 14
  • The group meets at Health for Life Grand Rapids 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C. Grand Rapids, MI
  • Ample parking, Free Water and Tea, Multiple Restrooms

How do I register?

Jennifer Belmonte at Health for Life Grand Rapids
Jennifer Belmonte, LMSW, CHC

Cost:

  • $125 for all 4 weeks.
  • We take HSA card, Credit/Debit, Check, or Cash at the first meeting.
  • Discount- if you refer a friend, and they register, you both get $25 dollars off.

Questions? 

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