Monthly Newsletter

6 Couples Communication Exercises

We often get caught up in life, and sometimes couples forget to communicate. Valentines day is this month, so what better way to celebrate than doing these 6 tips on communicating with your spouse. The website Connectwithlife.com had a few examples that we would love to share with you.

1- Compare Love Languages
Many people misinterpret their significant others way of showing affection, maybe pay more attention to the little things they do and show them that you appreciate it.

2-Reminisce about the past.
Remember the "Honey moon phase" when everything was so new and exciting. Instead of going out for a fancy dinner why don't you stay in make dinner together and bring out the memory box. Look at old photos and the keepsakes that you have kept.

3- Never go to bed angry
Don't let an argument last forever. Communicate with each other, it's never a good idea to let things linger and be frustrated. Not only does it make it harder for you to sleep, but also makes you wake up in a negative mindset.

4- Do something special
Once a week try and do a little something special for your significant other to show you care.
Ex. Make dinner, wash the dishes, leave a little note Etc.

5- Make a FUN list.
Every year you and your significant other should write down 12 things you'd like to do and accomplish them throughout the year. This will also bring a new level of excitement to the relationship but also give you more time to spend together.

6-Uninterrupted Time
Every week you should unwind turn of the phones, laptops, and televisions. Take the time to listen to each other even if its just for an hour. Talk about your day, your goals, or really anything you'd like.

Ten Tips to Improve Mental Health

Keeping good mental heath habits is very important for everyone. Sometimes we can get caught up in our busy lives and forget to keep up with mental health practices. When this happens, it can lead to other problems in your life. The daily positive lists ten easy tips to improve and keep up with mental health.

Get enough sleep. Sleep is very important for everyone. If you are having trouble sleeping, try deep breathing exercises or meditating to relax and get ready for sleep. Stop using electronics before you go to bed. Try reading a book or an article before bed.

Pay attention to what you are feeling. Don't ignore any negative feelings. Instead, explore why you are feeling negative emotions in order to help yourself feel better.

Spend less time in front of electronics. Electronics can negatively impact your sleeping patterns if you spend too much time on them. If you need to use electronics, try using a blue light filter on your device in order to reduce sleeping problems.

Spend time in nature. Take a break from social media every once in awhile and do an outdoor activity. Getting out into the fresh air can help reduce stress and give you a well needed break from life and electronics.

Spend some time alone. It's good to have a balance of social interaction and alone time. Everyone needs both in their lives to feel healthy. Too much of one can be exhausting mentally on a person.

It's okay to say "no". Do not feel obligated to say yes to make other people happy all the time. Sometimes, it's healthy to say no if it negatively effects you. It can take a serious toll on your mental health if you are trying make others happy all the time. Instead, choose self-care if you feel overwhelmed by helping other people.

Practice deep and calm breathing. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed about something, take a step back and try breathing exercises to relax and calm down. By simply practicing these methods it can reduce some stress in a hectic day.

Limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Too much alcohol and caffeine can increase anxiety tremendously. Try to cut back to one cup of coffee a day and try to save drinking for special occasions.

Practice forgiving yourself. Don't beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Everyone messes up once in awhile. Instead, try to make your mistake a lesson and understand that no one is perfect.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels off about a person or situation don't ignore it. It's your mind warning you to look out for something.

Keeping up with your mental health is as important as your physical health. Using these methods may help improve your everyday mental health.


How to Cope with Stress and Depression During the Holidays

The holidays are often presented as a joyous time of year, but it doesn't always feel that way for everyone. They can be stressful for people due to family problems, expenses, and loneliness. This can often lead to depression around this time of year. The mayoclinic.org lists a couple of methods to help combat feeling depressed during the holidays.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. It's okay to miss a loved one or feel sad because you are unable to be with your family. It's completely normal to feel sadness and grief about these things. Express what you are feeling, just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean you have to be happy all the time.
  2. Reach out. If you are feeling lonely or isolated try getting involved in your local community during the holiday season. Try volunteering, going to local social events, or finding a support group. You can often find support and companionship at these events.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be just as perfect as last year. Remember that things change in life, and you can't always recreate the same moments or memories with the same people. Instead, try to create new traditions, moments, or memories this holiday season.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family and friends the way they are, even if they don't live up to all your expectations. Put off discussing any grievances you have with them until a more appropriate time. Try to be understanding if something goes awry and they get upset. They are probably feeling the same stress and pressure that you are from the holidays.
  5. Stick to a budget. Before you start your holiday and food shopping, determine how much you can afford to spend this holiday season. Then create a budget and stick with it. Don't feel pressured to gift everyone expensive gifts. If you're really tight on money this season, try making gifts for people instead.
  6. Plan ahead. Try to set aside days for shopping, baking, or visiting friends so you don't feel overwhelmed. You will feel less pressure to get things done if you have a plan. This will also help reduce stress to get things done.
  7. Seek out professional help. If you find your symptoms to be persistent, it's okay to seek out professional help. Talking with a therapist can help alleviate some of the holiday pressure. They can also help you cope with loneliness and isolation around the holiday season.

Remember, you're not alone with holiday loneliness and depression. There are plenty of people out there who feel the same way as you do. Following these tips may help alleviate the pressure of the holidays.

Are you or someone you know in need of therapy services? We offer individual, couples, and family counseling. Our therapists are trained to work with adults, teens, and children. For more information visit our website at: wapcenter.org or call us at: (810) 299-1472


5 Ways to Reduce Reading Anxiety

Reading can be a daunting task for anyone, especially for kids who have ADHD. You may find yourself feeling frustrated with trying to motivate them to read. Do not worry, there are ways to spark an interest in reading. ADDitude lists 5 ways to help get your kids reading.

  1. Find books related to the child's interests. Kids tend to feel more confident in tasks if they are charged by the subject. If they are interested in animals, pick up some various books on the topic.
  2. Be open to graphic novels. Graphic novels may seem like there is not a lot of reading material within them, but each panel has a good amount of text. Having text within the picture is good encouragement for them to read.
  3. Encourage books that have been made into movies. It can be a lot of fun to read the book and then go see the movie. Kids with ADHD tend to be more engaged in the story if they know the plot and what is going to happen, so it is a good opportunity to read the book before you see the movie.
  4. Use audiobooks effectively. Sometimes hearing an audiobook can take off the burden of language processing. Have your child read along with the words that are being said out loud on the audiobook. This will also help to improve their listening skills as well. Eventually, they won't even need the audiobook and they will be reading on their own in no time.
  5. Take them to the library or bookstore. The library or bookstores can be a great place to get your child reading. Give them the power to wander around on their own and choose a book. It tends to be more fun than looking books up on the internet and reading synopses.

These are just a few helpful ways to get your child reading for the new school year. For more information visit additudemag.com

Are you or someone you know in need of therapy services? We offer individual, family, and couples counseling. Our therapists are trained to work with adults, teens, and children. For more information visit our website at: www.wapcenter.org or call us at: (810) 299-1472


How to Effectively Calm Kids With Anxiety

It can be challenging to calm a child with anxiety. You may be at a loss on what to say or do in order to calm your child down. Sometimes it is not an easy task, but there are effective ways to help a child cope with what they are feeling. childmind.org lists the various types of ways you can help an anxious child feel better.

  • The goal is not to eliminate anxiety, but to help a child manage it. None of us wants to see a child unhappy, but the best way to help kids overcome anxiety isn't to remove stressors that trigger it. It's to help them learn to tolerate their anxiety and function as well as they can, even when they're anxious. And as a by-product of that the anxiety will decrease or fall away over time.
  • Don't avoid things just because they make a child anxious. Helping children avoid things they are afraid of will make them feel better in the short term, but it reinforces the anxiety over the long run.
  • Express positive-but realistic expectations. You can't promise a child that their fears are unrealistic, but you can express confidence that they are going to be okay, they will be able to manage it, and as they face their fears, their anxiety will drop over time.
  • Respect their feelings. You want to listen and be empathetic, help them understand what they are anxious about, and encourage them to feel that they can face their fears.
  • Don't ask leading questions. Try asking open-ended questions to avoid feeding the cycle of anxiety. ex. "How do you feel about the upcoming test?"
  • Don't reinforce the child's fears. Try to stay calm when your child is around something that makes them nervous. If you stay calm around the thing that makes them fearful, they will worry less because you seem calm and confident.
  • Encourage the child to manage their anxiety. Let your child know that you appreciate the work it takes to manage anxiety in order to do what they need or want to do. It's really encouraging them to engage in life and let the anxiety take it's natural curve.
  • Try to keep the anticipatory period short. When we are nervous about something, the hardest time is before we do it. You should try to reduce the anticipatory period to help ease a child's mind.
  • Think things through with the child. Sometimes it helps to talk through what would happen if their fear came true-how would they handle it? For some kids having a plan can reduce the uncertainty in a healthy effective way.
  • Try to model healthy ways of handling anxiety. Show your child how you cope with anxiety. Show your child how you cope with anxiety during stressful situations, so they will see healthy ways of handling it.