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Finding a Mental Health Provider

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Coping with the stress, anxiety, loss, sadness, and anger that come with the end of a marriage is a lot for anyone to handle. No matter how strong you are, or how you have faced prior adversity, there is no telling what emotional impact a divorce can have until you are actually staring it in the face. Mental health counselors exist for a reason. Contrary to outdated stigmas regarding therapy and psychological help, it is incredibly common for people to seek help when they need it. In fact, it takes strength to ask for help. This strength directly benefits you and your ability to find the tools to move forward. It helps your children, as they look to you for guidance and leadership. Therefore, we encourage you to seek a …

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A New Year Doesn’t Require Big Changes

In Health, Lifestyle by Carly Baker

Have you ever noticed that whenever a new year rolls around, there are non-stop television, radio, and internet ads for gym memberships? Or that your physical and email mailboxes are filled with “exciting limited offers” on expensive trend diets and meal plans? The fact is companies try to capitalize on people’s New Year resolutions of diet and exercise during the early months of a new year. To avoid the traps and quick ends to resolutions that we often suffer, consider a more maintainable approach such as this: Choose goals that are sustainable. Treat your healthier life as a marathon and not a sprint. You are unlikely to find long-term success if you haven’t regularly exercised in years, then set a sudden goal of working out 5 hours every single day. …

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Remaining Civil in an Uncivil Time

In Lifestyle, Relationships by Sarah Hink

We are living in a remarkably uncivil time. A vitriol that was once relegated to anonymous people saying terrible things on the internet has escalated. Now, people do not seem to have much problem putting their names behind horrible words online; or even worse, some people are emboldened to say or act in an extremely offensive manner in public. Lines that were once completely taboo, involving common courtesy, gender, age, race, religion, disability, and nationality seem to be crossed on a daily basis on Twitter, in the news, or in a trending viral video. To make matters worse, some of us find friends and family members shocking us with closely held opinions that we wish had stayed hidden. Unfortunately, at work, at school, on social media, while shopping, at family …

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Facing Your Feelings When You Separate

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Separating from a partner is a sad and painful time in anyone’s life. No matter how many relationships someone has been through, experience does little to dampen the pain that person feels when faced with the reality that it is really over. The way a person copes when facing these intense feelings matters a great deal, as avoidance just prolongs the process of moving forward; and worse, unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse can lead a person into a long-term spiral that can be tough to overcome. Therefore, any professional counselor or mental health specialist will tell you that it is important to face your feelings when you separate. Allow Yourself to “Feel” Your Feelings Try journaling your emotions. Sometimes it is easier to identify that something is wrong by …

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Coping Through the Holiday Season

In Health by Elizabeth Stephenson

The holiday season can be an emotionally tough time for anyone. In fact, underneath the surface of all the jokes and cliché stories about family dysfunction during the holiday, are layers of true anxiety and hurt. This can come from unhealthy dynamics with family members, long-brewing resentment, and throwing explosive combinations of people into a shared space with alcohol. If you have recently separated, divorced, or do not have visitation with your children during the holidays, this creates an entirely new wrinkle into the holiday season that can make it feel unbearable. This causes some people to resort to unhealthy methods of coping with these feelings, such as alcohol, overeating, or overspending. As you head into this holiday season, please heed the following advice to survive through healthy coping. Acknowledge …

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Finding Reasons to Be Thankful

In Health, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

When you are separated or have experienced a recent divorce, the holiday season can be rough. You may not be at your best, yet are expected to show up to social events and family gatherings. There is also the constant barrage of shows and advertisements showing happy families eating a feast or opening presents. While navigating your way through this season, it can be helpful to remind yourself of the many things you have to be thankful for. Children — If you have children, appreciate what a blessing they are to your life, and show them through your words and actions that you are grateful for them. As a parent, you can impart the same lessons of thankfulness and humbleness on them. Beyond the gifts, shopping, and eating that come …

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Coping Through Wedding Season

In Health, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

Wedding planners and venues will tell you that June is one of the most popular wedding months of the entire year. One of the reasons for this is the origin of the month’s name. June was named for the Roman goddess Juno, who happened to be the goddess of marriage, who protected women and blessed marriage and fertility. For more practical purposes, June marks the beginning of summer, meaning the wedding party and guests are more available to attend the festivities. If you have recently separated or divorced, wedding season can be a tough time for you. Getting invitations, seeing the endless wedding preparation photos on Facebook, and hearing from friends and family about plans can be a brutal reminder of what you once had—and what you have lost. It …

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Healthy Children and a Healthy You

In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting by Sarah Hink

In the age of smart phones, social media, and video games like Overwatch and Fortnight, children have more and more opportunities to stay home and remain inactive. Childhood obesity is an ever growing epidemic. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has found that the obesity rate in children has tripled since the 1970’s and that 20% of children are now considered obese. Obesity can have very serious physical and emotional effects on a child. This can include an increase susceptibility to diabetes, asthma, and heart disease as children. These health issues can worsen into additional metabolic diseases, chronic ailments, and cancer as adults. Emotionally, obesity can result in children with low self-esteem or depression; and these children may experience some form of bullying from their peers. Lead Your Children …

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Have You Heard of Self Improvement Month?

In Health, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

It seems that there is now a national day or month of recognition for everything. National “Hot Tea” Month? Mark your calendar for January. National Ice Cream Day? July. National Waffle Day or National Polka Day? August. National “Learn Your Name in Morse Code” Day? That exists too. Therefore, it shouldn’t comes as a surprise that there is a National Self Improvement Month in September. In all seriousness, September is a natural time of transition every year. The summer is over, vacations have been taken, and the kids are in school or back in college. With a new season and natural life changes, September offers a great chance to take an inventory of yourself and aspects where you want to improve. You can do this however you choose, or you …

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Summer Fun with the Kids

In Lifestyle, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Summer is a great time for children. School is out, they spend more time with siblings and friends, and some get to change up their routines and attend summer camp. For parents, summer is a different experience. It can be a ridiculous struggle to get your child to put down their iPhone or PlayStation 4 controller. While every parent loves their children, summer takes a lot of planning and expense to find new ways to entertain and intellectually stimulate your children. As the summer winds down, it is time to take advantage of your remaining weeks before school resumes and have some summer fun. Bring your children to eat ice cream! Ice cream is the best, especially in these hot summer months. In fact, July was National Ice Cream Month. …