Category Archives: Stress

Tips to Maintaining Weight during the Holidays

dessert-4Holiday season is upon us and since I work with many people wanting to lose weight, I am often asked for strategies to maintaining present weight or even to continue weight loss during the holidays. No doubt your willpower will be tested during this season.  Invitations await, cookies and fancy cocktails beckon, and it seems like everyone is begging you to taste their fattening masterpieces. Don’t panic, make a plan and be kind to yourself!

Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals during the holidays:

  1. Avoid hunger. Make sure you eat regularly during the day and always include healthy proteins, which you help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time.  Before going to a party, eat some vegetables and protein so you are not ravenous when the party begins.  Going to a party with a somewhat full stomach will help you avoid some of the temptations.
  2. Do some party planning. Don’t plan to abstain from all the goodies, that’s probably unrealistic and may cause you to overeat in the end. It’s often difficult to turn a blind eye to the scrumptious foods placed before you, so decide in advance what you’re going to splurge on.  If dessert is your favorite, decide to take a bite or two of one to three desserts. Or maybe you’ll skip desserts in favor of a starch at the meal.  Perhaps the hors d’oeuvres are what calls you so you’ll forgo desserts and starches in favor of tasting a few of them.  Planning ahead will encourage you not to sample everything and will help prevent you giving yourself a hard time.
  3. Keep your body moving. Plan to do a little exercise every day.  Take a walk with a friend, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do yoga or dance.  Just moving and exercising with friends will give you that boost of support you may need.
  4. Say NO thank you. When hosts encourage you to eat or drink, learn to say “thank you but I’ve had enough”.  It’s lovely to want to protect other’s feelings but not at the expense of your own health.
  5. Be kind to yourself. You are not what you eat and what you eat doesn’t translate into your value as a person.  Eating well during the holidays is very challenging.  If you slip up, show yourself some kindness and recognize that you can stick to your plan going forward.  Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend you love and admire.
  6. Stay on track while at home. Make sure to eat healthy while at home, loading up on your vegetables and healthy proteins.
  7. Visualize the way you’d like to look in the outfit you’d like to wear. Ask yourself how each choice of food will impact your weight goal.
  8. Celebrate yourself when you stick to your plans and follow your goals.  Make sure to notice your successes and even reward yourself with a massage, facial or something else of meaning to you.
  9. Minimize stress. Holidays can be a stressful time.  Minimize stress by exercising, stretching, meditating and spending time with friends.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

 

 

Rapid Resolution Therapy Described

Rapid Resolution Therapy DescribedI invite you to view the following video, given at a TED talk by a woman who beautifully describes how her life was totally changed by Rapid Resolution Therapy.

The life of the presenter, Kristin Rivas, was virtually saved when she met with Dr. Jon Connolly, Ph.D.,  the founder of this technique.  And I know why.  For the past few years I have had extensive training under the tutelage of Dr. Connolly and have been using Rapid Resolution Therapy to help transform the lives of my clients since.

The Holidays are Over, Why am I so Blue?

woman_with_tissue_holding_headIt’s almost the end of January and many people are telling me they’re feeling blue, even depressed.   Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.  Post-holiday blues are a common occurrence.  Here are some of the reasons why:

1-      Our schedules change, often going from being filled with social events in Dec. to being nearly empty in Jan.
2-      Scheduling changes mean we go from being with people to being alone more often.
3-      Fatigue can set in because of travel, lack of sleep, and busy schedules during the holidays.
4-      Some of us may feel disappointment because the holidays weren’t what we had hoped they would be.
5-       If you took time off during the holidays returning to work may have meant having to make up for time off.

The good news is that post-holiday blues are often temporary and short-lived.  Please read my full article on this subject on the Psychology Today website to find out what you can do to help yourself out of the blues.  The article can be found at:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201401/the-holidays-are-over-why-am-i-so-blue

Will I ever fall asleep?

insomniaWhy is sleep so elusive to many of us? Very often sleep difficulties arise when we’re worrying about something, when not feeling well, going through menopause, pregnant, or when worrying about not being about to sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try the following:

1-      Use your bedroom and bed for sleeping only. Don’t read, watch TV, and/or eat in bed.

2-      Don’t nap during the day.

3-      Plan for 8 hours of sleep and go to sleep at a time which would allow for that.  Going to sleep too early will make it that much for difficult to fall asleep.

4-      Tell yourself that you’re going to bed to rest, don’t make sleep the goal.

5-      If you become anxious because you want to sleep and can’t, get out of bed and do something that will keep you busy and distracted. Go back to bed to rest after an hour.

6-      Place your clock out of sight so you can’t stare at the time.

7-      Limit caffeine, including chocolate to before 3 pm.

8-      Limit alcohol intake.

Doing the above consistently for a week to 10 days should take care of the issue.

Pleasant dreams!

 

Do Upcoming Holiday Gatherings Have You Scared?

Family serving Christmas dinnerWhile commercials, cards, and TV shows all show happy family gatherings, the reality is, many family get-togethers cause tremendous difficulties for a lot of us.  Why is that?

There is a great expectation that holidays will be fun, warm, loving. That family reunions will bring joy to all. But that isn’t always the case. Family gatherings can remind us of who’s no longer present, either due to death, divorce, or distance. This can cause sadness and a feeling of loss and longing.

We tend to act out old family roles when the whole family gets together.  So if you were the “acting out” adolescent, you may find yourself in the acting out role again as an adult. If you had competition with your sibling when a child, you may find that the old competitive spirit is alive and well. Old jealousies may rear their ugly head again. Competiton for parental attention for yourself or your children may cause some difficulty.

Here’s what you can do. Remember, holidays don’t have to bring up all or some of the above. Keep focused on the purpose of the gathering: to eat a meal, exchange gifts, or reunite with family members you haven’t seen in a long time. And focus your attention on those that support you, that have your back. This could be your spouse, children, cousins, etc.  Just because others may try to drag you into old dysfunctional patterns and behaviors, it doesn’t mean you have to follow.

Have a peaceful holiday season.

 

Do you Feel Stuck or Trapped?

Your life is not where you’d like or had hoped it to be. You feel trapped and unable to make changes in either your personal or professional life, or even in both. It’s very frustrating to feel stuck in something when you’d really like to be doing something else or would really like to be with someone else. But are you really stuck or trapped?

Do you feel trapped because change seems too difficult? Maybe you stay in your job because looking for a job in this economy seems too hard or because finding a new job seems impossible. So you spend your energy feeling sad, bored, unfulfilled instead of looking to make a change. Ask yourself what you have to lose by looking? You may be surprised at the answer.

Do you Feel Stuck or Trapped?Sometimes we stay in one place even when we think we’d like to be someplace else as a way of avoiding the problem. For instance, does your marriage feel stale, unfulfilling? Perhaps you daydream about leaving the marriage and finding someone more exciting. Is it possible that your daydreams are keeping you rooted in the problems rather than using the energy to work on the marriage? Maybe you and your spouse need to begin to talk about the problems or see a marriage counselor.

Some people feel trapped because they feel locked into something due to commitments they have made. For instance, staying in a job because the income is one you’ve become dependent on due to a high mortgage or children about to go to college. In this case staying put may actually help you to feel better in the long run.

So look at why you feel trapped and ask yourself what you may be avoiding, afraid of, or waiting for. This may help you get unstuck or help you to feel better about the decision to stay put.

Empty Nest Without Feeling Empty

Congratulations, your son or daughter is ready to leave home. That means you have raised them in such a way that they are independent enough to live on their own. Great job! Perhaps they’re going off to college, perhaps getting married, or perhaps moving into their own place to start a job. They are ready to have you cut the apron strings and let them leave the nest. You’re pretty sure they are ready, but are you?

Empty Nest Without Feeling EmptyAlmost everyone faces this new transition with trepidation. Yes, you’re going to have freedom, perhaps have the house alone all to yourself, or to you and your husband, but at what cost? Will you be lonely? Will you be able to find things to do? Will your child still need you? No wonder you’re scared, sad, anxious. Change is scary. You’re transitioning into the unknown. But this is not a crisis. It’s just a new stage in life, an inevitable change that most of us hope we and our children will reach.

For tips on how to face this stage with strength and optimism, please see the full article on Psychology Today’s website at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201107/empty-ne…

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or you think I can be of some help. I have offices conveniently located in the New York City and Westchester areas.

To Fear or Not to Fear, You’re in Control

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, in his first inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I wonder why. Fear is normal, fear is helpful, fear can actually help save our lives! But what if it takes over? What happens if we feel we can’t control it?

What is Anxiety?The Fear of Fear

Fear is something we all feel at different times and for different reasons. Fear can protect us because it helps us learn to avoid dangerous situations.

But sometimes, we may become afraid of the feelings of fear. Sometimes, we may become afraid that our fear will get out of control and the feelings will never go away.

We become afraid of feeling fear; we develop a fear of fear. This fear of fear is a major aspect of anxiety. Not only do we try to avoid the fearful situation that has started these feelings in the first place, but the feeling of fear also becomes something we want and try to avoid. In fact, this is really the basis of anxiety and panic attacks – the fear of fear. Continue reading

Improve Your Communication and Improve Your Relationships

Did you ever get the feeling you’re “talking to the wall”? Do you feel that no matter how you say things no one understands you? Or, do you have a hard time understanding what your spouse, partner, and/or boss say to you? As Paul Newman so famously said in Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”.

What do we mean by communication anyway?

Improving Your Communication

According to Dictionary.com, communication is “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.”

Communication is the lifeline of personal and business relationships. If there is a single key to successful relationships, it is communication. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone if we can’t talk to them or if they don’t understand or listen to us, isn’t it. Continue reading