A Dozen Self-Care Strategies for Helpers & Caregivers

Chances are good that you’ve served in a helping or caregiving role for someone else at some point in your life. My definition of “helper or caregiver” is pretty broad. It includes not only those who work professionally in a helping role (health care workers, counselors, therapists, teachers, clergy, first responders), but also family and … Read more…

Look for Moments of Inspiration, Hope and Joy

Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged about life, work, school, relationships, our health, the future or other challenges we may be facing. It can be even more difficult when several problems pile up all at the same time. We may think “How much more can I take?” or “When will this be over?” I’ve certainly … Read more…

How to Be a Top-Notch Learner

As someone who spent many, many years in school, I definitely picked up several effective strategies for being a better learner along the way. Since then, in my career as a clinical psychologist and college professor, I’ve also seen how learning works from the other side. I’ve tried to motivate students to absorb and apply … Read more…

10 Features of Effective Weight Loss Programs

In my work as a psychologist, I’ve often helped people develop and implement plans to make healthy lifestyle changes such as losing weight, stopping smoking, eating healthier foods or getting more physical activity. A significant number of folks have dealt with ongoing weight issues, which can be due to medication side effects, poor nutrition, or … Read more…

Why You Must Stop Smoking

I’ve worked with many people over the years to help them with challenges related to mental illness and addiction to drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately, a large percentage of these folks have also struggled with another tough addiction: nicotine from tobacco products. I’m always careful to ask if someone smokes or uses other forms of tobacco, … Read more…

8 ‘Rules of the Road’ for Better Mental Health

I drive to and from work five days per week and I have well over a half million miles as a driver under my belt since learning to drive as a teenager. Over the years, I’ve certainly seen my share of both good and bad driving behaviors. And yes, I’ve been in a handful of … Read more…

How to Manage Obstacles that Keep You from Achieving Your Personal Goals

When we think about setting personal goals, they’re usually in two categories. The first category of personal goals is to “start doing something positive.” These might look like: Lose weight Exercise more Read more non-fiction Get a pet Find more time for friends and family The second category of personal goals is to “stop doing … Read more…

Do You Have a Healthy Lifestyle?

What constitutes a healthy lifestyle? Perhaps even more importantly, is your lifestyle healthy? Also, how are healthy lifestyle factors associated with health markers such as cholesterol level, blood sugar, and blood pressure? In a study of 4,745 US adults recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers assessed for the presence or absence of four “healthy lifestyle” … Read more…

10 Healthy Benefits from Your Next Vacation

Are you ready for a break, a holiday, a sabbatical, or a vacation? Whatever you like to call it, I know I sure need one. As I write this, I’m getting ready to head out for a much-needed family vacation. It’s interesting to look at the comparison between the amount of vacation typically offered in the US … Read more…

Let’s Resolve to Save a Life This Year

As a new year starts, it’s a tradition for many of us to make resolutions about changes we want to make in the coming year. Usually, the top resolutions reflect personal health goals. Be more physically fit, lose weight, be less stressed, stop smoking, or drink less alcohol. Another big category is personal improvement. It … Read more…

That’s a WRAP! How You Can Benefit from a Wellness Recovery Action Plan

An incredibly useful tool for someone who is coping with a mental illness or other significant health challenges is the WRAP, or Wellness Recovery Action Plan. If you’re not already familiar with WRAP, you’re really missing out on a wonderful resource. Let’s review some of the basics about this very helpful approach. What is WRAP? The … Read more…

The ‘ABC’s of Recovery’

Recently I came across a terrific blog called “Romancing the Road to Recovery” by Jo Baltodano. In her blog, Jo says she suffered from an eating disorder since the 4th grade, but she didn’t seek help until age 25 when she was near death. She decided to engage in treatment and chose to fight to … Read more…

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Tired of being tired? If you aren’t getting enough restful sleep, it’s inevitable you will soon feel exhausted and find you aren’t functioning effectively during the day. Plus, an ongoing pattern of inadequate sleep can lead to missed work, irritability and numerous health complications, including diabetes, obesity, depression and difficulties with memory and concentration. Want to sleep better? Take … Read more…

10 Tips to Become a World-Class Listener

For over 20 years I’ve taught graduate students how to provide counseling and psychotherapy to address a wide array of mental health and emotional conditions. I’m quick to tell the students that one of the most important keys to helping people is to become a great listener. Unless you first really listen to someone and gain a … Read more…

10 Simple Things You Need to ‘Get’ for Better Health

We’re all looking for the same things: peace of mind, health, happiness, and contentment. And probably a little more wisdom wouldn’t hurt either. It’s easy to become overwhelmed from the barrage of self-improvement messages from health and wellness experts, such as “sculpt those six-pack abs,” “overhaul your diet,” or “get a new attitude.” While some (but … Read more…

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