Let's Talk About It
We are faced with all kinds of challenges in life. It is easy to get caught up in the daily ups and downs. That is why we prioritize self-care and self-actualization to stop, reflect, and reenergize yourself in the midst of difficult times. From writing poetry to meditating or sharing conversation with good friends, self-care should be personalized to what works best for you. Take the time to get to know yourself and be well.
As we are approaching the year mark of the lock downs and implementation of social distancing measures related to the COVID-19 virus. Many of us may be triggered by the countless experiences that we have lived through during this past year. The effects of this pandemic are far reaching. Regardless of our situation, we have all experienced loss and pain in one form or another. Many of us continue to cycle through a myriad of emotions.
Intense emotions influence each person in different ways. For some, managing strong feelings comes easy and seem to be second nature. For many, the fight toward maintaining their mental health takes constant effort, with repeated disappointment, and the need for recalibration along the way. People around the world are seeking help from mental health professionals, while others continue to turn towards different means to cope.
During these turbulent times may I suggest the use of mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be defined as the...Read More
It is no secret that a strong relationship exists between mental wellbeing and substance use. Probably at the top of this list is the experience of shame. When talking with students who are struggling with substance use difficulties, shame is often one of the most common and also most painful experiences discussed. Substance use and mis-use comes with a whole host of experiences that aid in the development of this shame. A few that come to mind include judgment from others, societal stigma and oppression, living in a country that has a long history of villainizing and criminalizing substance use and users, anger at self, and comparison to others. “They seem to be able to keep this under control- why can’t I??” “They go to more meetings than I do- they’re recovery plan must be better than mine.” “They have anxiety too, why can they handle it without smoking/drinking and I can’t?” Take a moment to reflect on any other thoughts of negative self-comparison that...Read More
“Am I doing counseling correctly?” is a question I’ve heard more than once. My answer is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do counseling. Honoring your own process and journey is important and although your counselor will challenge you at times, they will work with you at your own pace. With experience, counseling can feel more familiar and even for individuals who have been in counseling before it is normal to still feel unsure of “how to do counseling” sometimes. I mean, the whole counseling situation is a bit unusual. If you think about it, you meet a potential stranger trained as a professional listener with whom you share personal stuff without really knowing them. Of course, that’s not all there is to counseling, but when you think about relationships in general, you both usually share stuff to get to know each other. So, feeling unsure of the counseling experience is OK, and it’s OK to tell your counselor about it. Although there is no right or wrong way to do...Read More
Since the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd (following countless murders of people of color over centuries after the colonization of the Indigenous-occupied land now known as the United States of America), I have heard my white peers asking questions about ending racism, learning about how to be a better ally, posting on social media, and choosing the “right way” to react. A convergence of conditions has created new possibilities for raising awareness of racism in white people from which we hopefully will never turn back. We have a real opportunity for change.
Let us remember, however, this chance has come and gone before in our history. People have been fighting for centuries to correct the wrongs on which...Read More