763-210-9966
View Our Locations Request Appointment
20

How to Cope With Holiday Stress

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Woman Stressed about the Holidays

While the holidays can bring plenty of joy, for many people it can be a very stressful time of year. Almost a quarter of American’s report feeling “extreme stress” around the holiday season. Even if you are not someone who experiences a great amount of stress around this time of year, here are some coping skills you can use yourself or share with others who may be struggling with the stress of the holiday season.

Let Go of Expectations

We often become fixated on our expectations and become upset when reality does not match those expectations, especially when it comes to the holidays and traditions. Remember that things may not go perfectly or exactly as planned but that is not what really matters. The holidays are an opportunity to surround ourselves with friends and family and to share in experiences that bring us closer together.

Be Present and Mindful

The holidays are obviously a very busy and fast-paced time of year for many people. While it can be easy to fall into this pattern of go, go, go, be mindful of when you are experiencing stress or anxiety and when it may be time to take a break. Around this time of year, we tend to be focused on the needs of others and let our own needs fall by the wayside. It is important to make time for self-care, whatever that means for you.

Set Boundaries

Know your limits and know when to say “no” to things. Stress and anxiety can often arise from taking on too much at once. Part of good self-care is knowing when you have reached your capacity and setting boundaries around the use of your time (including who you spend time with and when). Know that you do not have to attend every holiday event you are invited to or spend time with people who do not make you feel your best.

Maintain Your Routine

With the holidays come plenty of fun events and delicious treats to enjoy. However, trying to maintain most of your daily routine can help greatly when it comes to coping with stress. Exercise, diet and sleep are key components to both mental and physical health. Most people do not get enough sleep and holiday stress can exacerbate that problem. Taking a daily walk, setting a “bed-time” for yourself and/or starting your day with a healthy breakfast can help you to feel and stay on track and maintain healthy habits during a time when schedules tend to fluctuate.

The holidays don’t have to be a time of extreme stress! Try to focus on the things that fill you up rather than the things that drain you. Spend more time doing things and spending time with the people who lift you up and make you feel your best. Most of all, remember that the holidays are what you make them, no more and no less.

Read More
18

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Depression & Alzheimer's

June is national Alzheimer’s and brain awareness month. Alzheimer’s has become a focal point in the discussion of memory disorders over the last decade. However, there is still confusion about what exactly Alzheimer’s is and how to cope when a loved one develops the disease.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. It causes issues with memory, behavior and thinking. Often times, people associate getting older with being forgetful. They assume things like memory loss are a normal part of aging. However, this is not the case. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects a person’s ability to function in daily life and worsens over time. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease mainly affects individuals ages 65 and older, it can happen earlier in life. This is called early-onset Alzheimer’s and it affects approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65.  The most common symptom of the disease is trouble remembering new information.

What’s Next?

Unfortunately, there is currently not a cure for Alzheimer’s. There are, however, some treatments for the symptoms of the disease. It can be difficult to learn that a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and there are many new unknowns when it comes to the future. As a caregiver, friend or family member, it is important to seek out support to cope with this new phase of life. It may be wise to find a support group for others in the same situation or your own individual therapist.

How Can a Therapist Help?

Even though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease therapy can help a recently diagnosed individual deal with the emotions surrounding this news. Emotions such as depression, agitation and anxiety, which can be side effects of the disease, can be addressed in therapy. Therapy can also help an individual come to terms with and eventually, accept their diagnosis.

Depression affects up to 40% of Alzheimer’s patients making it an important issue to address with this population. Depression can prevent those with the disease from participating in activities such as physical exercise and mentally engaging activities, which can help to improve their overall condition.

Visit our website to learn more about how our team can help you or a loved one through this time of change at: https://www.collaborativemn.com/meet-our-team

For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia visit: https://www.alz.org

 

Read More
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.

Read More
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

Read More
31

Stress and Relaxation

Posted by Collaborative Counseling
Man Practicing Relaxation

Stress and Relaxation is a balancing act for sure.  Because everyone gets overwhelmed and stressed sometimes. A lot of people struggle to manage stress in life. It is important to have balance in your life, so here are some ideas to consider trying to help reduce your stress by taking the time to relax.

Here are 10 easy ways to practice relaxation:

  1. Read a book or magazine. Reading can help take us out of our present worries and into a new frame of mind.
  2. Any type of exercise can help to burn of stress – run, walk, take a yoga class or lift weights.
  3. Take a moment to just focus on your breath. Try to breathe in counting your inhale and breathe out counting the exhale. Try to exhale for twice as long as you breathe in. For example, breathe in, two three; breathe out, two, three, four, five, six.
  4. Hang out with a friend.
  5. Have a cup of tea or go out for your favorite coffee drink. Then enjoy drinking it while being in the moment.
  6. Do whatever you may be doing one-mindfully. One mindfully is when you focus all of your attention on whatever it is you are doing, if your mind wanders, you notice the thought and then go back to whatever you were focusing on. You can do this while doing homework, while cleaning, while doing the dishes or while moving your body.
  7. Do a craft or hobby that you enjoy. Whatever you enjoy – take time to do what you love most!
  8. Take a nap. You may be amazed what taking a 15-20 minutes snooze can do to your mood.
  9. Take a bath or hot shower. Try doing it one mindfully (see #6).
  10. Change your mindset. Focus on thinking about all of the good things in your life. If you feel grouchy, take time to make a list of all the good in your life.

 

Read More