February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month > In a lot of ways, the traditional image of a woman in stock photos mirrors the common stereotype of a person with an eating disorder: young, slim, attractive, and white. However, we all know that those stock images don’t reflect the world around us, and yet most marketing and advertising relies on those images without any alternatives. *Learn More https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog/changing-representation-stock-images

Feeling so sad that people continue to put so much time, energy, and effort into hurting others.

We have so much amazing beauty within people, our country, and our world, so let's start utilizing these blessings and gifts vs. destroying one another. If you are angry, depressed, resentful, stressed, internally-focused, resentful, feeling like hurting self or others, use that energy to be the change we want to see in others, seek help, OR if you are truly planning on doing harm, ONLY act on yourself, not others. We (general population and leaders) MUST focus on supporting one another, lifting ourselves and others up, providing needed education, mental health, addictions, and financial resources to EVERYONE vs. focusing on "protecting" only "certain" people, places, things, and/or "interests". Is this the type of world we envisioned for ourselves, our children, families, friends, and/or others? We should not be afraid to leave our homes for any reason. Our fellow man/woman should watch over our homes while we are away vs.or when struggles happen vs. rummaging through our homes, businesses, etc. We should grab a person's hand if he or she is going to fall vs. stepping on that person to get in front of him or her. Let's use our energy, time, and focus to be people of true character, i.e. respectful, honest, loyal, and authentic; be people who would not hurt someone just because he/she can. LET"S ALL BE THE CHANGE WE SO BADLY WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS. The only things we can control are ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, and actions!!!! So, control yourself please. I am praying for all those impacted by the turmoil in our country/world.

-Angela

Got them holiday blues? You're not alone. At Firm Foundations Counseling Inc. we know that the holiday season is a festive time for many, but also one of the most difficult times of the year for others.

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season. People who already live with a mental health condition should take extra care to tend to their overall health and wellness during this time.  Extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues. Some can be at risk for feelings of loneliness, sadness, fatigue, tension and a sense of loss.  A lot of seasonal factors can trigger the holiday blues such as, less sunlight, changes in your diet or routine, alcohol at parties, over-commercialization or the inability to be with friends or family. These are all factors that can seriously affect your mood. There are several things you can do to help during the holiday season to help reduce the "blues".  Here are some simple tips that may help.  https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2015/Tips-for-Managing-the-Holiday-Blues

 

Merely Me

15-Humorous Mental Health Quotes

Those of us who suffer from a mood disorder know that this is a serious illness. Depression can rob us of our relationships, work, career, passions and most importantly our joy for living. Likewise, therapy, used to treat our depression is serious hard work. Our mental health and wellness is critical for us and for our family and friends. Yet in all this seriousness I think it is important that we sometimes take a step back and appreciate the humor in all this. Yes humor. Laughter can sometimes save us in our darkest moments. In fact some say thatlaughter can be the best medicine.  In this post I tried to find the most offbeat, humorous, and absurd quotes, jokes, and sayings about mental health. Enjoy!

How do you communicate rejection?

“I don’t want to date anymore.”
“We’ve decided not to hire you.”
“I’ve decided not to buy your product.”
“I don’t want to hang out with you any more.”
“I want a divorce.”
“You didn’t win the contract.”
“You didn’t get the grant.”

It can be hard to say "no". Here are nine useful tips written by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D. which might help you through this sometimes difficult process.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ambigamy/201512/how-say-no-compassionately

How to Say No Compassionately

Angela

Mindfulness is a practice that can help you in all aspects of your daily life.

Start appreciating life for what it is and what you have, instead of focusing on what you do not have or the changes you want to make. You may want to join a mindful meditation group to learn more about mindfulness, but in the meantime, consider trying one or all of these steps as a healthy start.

2 minute read by By Richard Taite

TOPEKA (KSNT) – New research is showing a significant connection between social media and unhappiness. The study finds that Facebook use is linked to serious depression, and even anxiety.

“They’ll really have no idea what’s going on behind their four walls. But they’ll assume that ‘wow their life looks great,’ and it makes them feel less than,” says Counselor Angela McClain.

http://ksnt.com/2015/03/05/social-media-linked-to-depression/

It shouldn't come as any surprise, but your generosity is good for others and healthy for you!  Hoy por ti, mañana por mi.” I’ll do for you today what someone will do for me tomorrow. Paying it forward is a concept we can wrap our heads around but do you realize by giving to others we actually give even more to ourselves? Here is a great article written by Jessica Beltran M.S. that talks about how being generous boosts your happiness.   

Generosity: Help Others, Help Yourself

Who would have thought that giving could be a selfish act? 🙂  - Angela

Financial stress on individuals, couples, and families can quickly become overwhelming. Money problems can lead to severe depression, cause troubles in our relationships, and even tear families apart. It's important to get a grasp on your finances which can help reduce your stress. A good place to start is to think about your family’s financial goals. Think of where your money needs to go in the short and long term.  Be sure to take a good look at where you’re spending money now; devise a plan, and make a commitment to spend smarter and put more money into savings.  You will start to feel more confident when you don't have to worry about making ends meet at the end of every month. The first step and often the biggest step is to establish a family budget that allows you to keep track of your spending.  A well thought out, written budget can help guide you, like a road map, allowing you to prioritize your expenses and better control unnecessary spending.
Putting a budget in place can help you control your spending and achieve greater financial freedom. Here are a few ideas to help get you started that can help you take charge and reduce your financial stress. Total all of your (average) monthly income. This can include regular salary & wages, interest, income earned on the side, etc. Include your spouse's or partner's income.  Once you have a clearer view of your family's income, start tracking all your expenses over the month. Add up all of your reoccurring and predictable bills such as rent or mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities, etc... Also, record variable expenses like food, clothing, personal care, gas, entertainment, etc... Try to capture every expense. If you find tracking your expenses difficult, use budgeting software, a spreadsheet, or even a budgeting app on your phone. Total and compare what’s money is coming in to what’s going out. The results may just surprise you if you haven't investigated your household finances for some time.  If you’re income is coming up short, you can try to either increase your income or reduce your expenses. Reducing expenses is often times the quickest and easiest way to make a change. Continue to trim expenses, and direct more money into savings and investments. Keep good records and track your results over time. Be sure to also put aside some extra for unexpected household expenses.  You can reduce or even be free of financial stress in your life. Knowing how to better align your spending habits with your budget and learning techniques to face your financial stress with confidence can make a big difference. Your mental health can play a big role in achieving your financial goals. Financial stress is hard to overcome for many because of the depression that comes along with it. The bigger the financial stress, the deeper the depression can become. This cycle is often difficult or even impossible to reverse without first treating your depression and improving your mental health. Your counselor can work with you to help overcome the negative cycle of financial stress and improve your personal outlook, getting you on the path of improving your financial outlook. - Angela