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03

Thoughts on How to Care for Yourself When in Grief

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Depression & Alzheimer's

The five areas of ourselves that really need extra care now are (1) your physical self, (2) your emotional self, (3) your mental self, (4) your spiritual self, and (5) your social self. Below are somethings that will help in each of these areas.

Physical

  • Good food (junk food, caffeine, & alcohol will sabotage your healing).
  • Sleep/rest – your energy field and immune system are in shock.
  • Walking in nature is healing – head for a park, zoo, or conservatory.

Emotional

  • Forgiveness and total lack of blame for everyone.
  • Giving support & compassion to all others who are suffering now in this.

Mental

  • Get a clear & total understanding of what lead up to the tragedy.
  • Do not make any major decisions for a while.
  •  Silence and calming music will help you heal.

Spiritual

  • Ask God/your Higher Power to allow you to feel his love & support.
  • Know that time always heals.

Social

  • Your family cares about you and wants your well-being.
  • Calm conversations with other family members will help you.
  • Your friends want to help; let them know ways in which they can-
  • Suggest making a meal, walking the dog, doing laundry- anything that seems to be a burden right now. This will help them.

If anyone causes you anxiety, remove yourself from them- some people are negative by nature and will be toxic for you & your recovery.

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20

Count Your Blessings

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Mother and Child Walking Counting Their Blessings

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. All to often this causes us to become grumpy or irritable and we don’t take time to think about all of the things that make our lives good. So, how can we combat this negativity and remind ourselves of all the things that make our lives wonderful?

Take a Moment to Reflect

Every time something doesn’t go like we planned, or someone annoys us, or needs our time unexpectedly, let’s think of something that’s going right. Let’s think of all the good people in our lives. Moreover, how lucky we are to have things in our lives that sometimes need attention. How does that sound? I once counted my blessings for ten days straight, and have accumulated so many of them that they should last me a long time to come!

I admit, it does sound a bit more simple than it is. However, when negativity appears, it can help us to put things in perspective and neutralize them a bit. The next time you are feeling pessimistic, remember to take a time out and think about one thing that you are grateful for or that brings you happiness.

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05

Be Conscious and Present

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Woman Practicing Being Present and Mindful

Multitasking vs. Presence

Often our attention is in too many places. When we try to do too many things at once, it increasingly distracts us from being present in any one thing. Our mind can be fractured into many pieces, decreasing our effectiveness. Think of the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Mother Theresa. A lot goes right when people are conscious and present. All of these leaders showed up for hard decisions, courageous conversations, and to care for themselves and others. They showed up for the good, the bad and the ugly. It quickly becomes clear when we think of these leaders that being conscious and intentional makes a world of difference in how effective someone is when they are focused and present.

Choosing To Be Present

You might be wondering what does this have to do with me? We propose your presence or lack thereof, has everything to do with how effective you are being in both your professional and personal life. A French Proverb reminds us, “The one not ruled by the rudder, will be ruled by the rocks.”.  Those who keep the rudder in the water by staying focused on their intention, values and mission tend to reach their goals. If you don’t have a sense of these things it’s easy to get knocked off course by life’s everyday rocks.

Make The Change

Our challenge to you is to start being intentional and present in each interaction with others and as you work on each task throughout the day. Start noticing the difference in the outcomes of communication when you are present versus times when you are multi-tasking. Observe the difference in your energy when you are acting out of intention and presence.

It’s not always easy to be present and focused but the benefits are life changing. What difference do you notice in yourself when you are being present and in the moment versus distracted and fragmented?

Learn more about how we can help you to become your best self at: https://www.collaborativemn.com/meet-our-team

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26

Develop Your Child’s Self-Efficacy

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Therapist and client

What Is Self-Efficacy?

Pretty much all parents aim to have confident and successful children. At the core of a confident person is the belief that “I am able”, “I can do this” or “I am good”. One of the keys to raising confident children is to help children to develop a sense of self-efficacy.

How To Encourage Self-Efficacy

In simple terms, you build self-efficacy through accomplishing things and doing things on your own. To help build this, never do for a child what they can do for themselves. Never is a strong word but if you err closer to never than always you are teaching your child that they can do for themselves, they are capable and they can figure their own problems out.

Children are always making decisions that shape their personality. Decisions become beliefs. Children are making decisions about:

  • Who they are (good or bad, capable or not capable)
  • What the world is like (safe or threatening)
  • What they need to do to survive or to thrive (based on decisions above)

My challenge to you: Try to draw out children’s own sense of resourcefulness. Encourage them to take risks and try things on their own so they can build up a reserve of confidence from all of their successes!

Parenting is hard business. Learn more about how we can help you learn the tools to be an effective parent at :https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/couples-family-therapy

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20

What Is Validation?

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
outpatient level of mental health care

Validation is when you listen to what another person is saying to you and reflect it back to them that you understand how they are feeling. An important thing to remember is validating is NOT necessarily agreeing with the other person. It also doesn’t mean you like what the other person is saying, doing or believing. You are simply restating back to the person what you hear them saying.

Why should we validate others?

There are many benefits to validating people, including it:

  • Shows you are listening
  • Lets people know that you care
  • Proves you understand the other person’s point of view
  • Is nonjudgmental
  • Improves communication and openness
  • Decreases conflict
  • Establishes trust

How do I validate others?

Validation involves listening to what the person is saying, stating back what you hear them saying to you and then responding to the person’s needs at that time.

For example, when talking to someone nod and make small gestures to show you are listening (e.g. say mmhmm, I see, huh). Then restate what you hear the person saying (e.g. “That really hurt your feelings”, “You didn’t like that”, “That pisses you off!” or “You’re angry!”). Respond by asking what the person needs, they may want space or a hug or to just vent a bit more while you listen.

Be mindful and avoid judging what the other person is saying. Show tolerance for the other person by working to recognize that their reaction makes sense considering his/her life situation, experiences and history even if you do not necessarily agree with that person.

What does it mean to be invalidating?

We invalidate people’s feelings when we minimize or disregard their experience. Some common examples: “Oh, you’ll get over it”, “You don’t need those friends anyway”, “It’s not that big a deal” or “You should…”.

What are the negative impacts of being invalidating?

There are many negative outcomes from not validating others’, including it:

  • Shows you aren’t listening
  • Says you don’t care or believe the other person
  • Shows you don’t understand the person
  • Is judgmental
  • Decreases openness and communication
  • Increases conflict
  • Decreases trust

The next time you are talking to your child, friend, lover, spouse or co-worker consider trying to just listen, reflect back what you hear and ask what the person needs in the moment. You may find it helps the person and also improves your relationship!!

Validation is a strong component of DBT, to learn more visit: https://www.collaborativemn.com/counseling-services/dialectical-behavior-therapy-DBT

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