Creating A Good Place For Yourself – Mentally

Creating A Good Place For Yourself – Mentally

Creating A Good Place For Yourself – Mentally

Healthy Habits for Mental Health

Let’s talk about mental health in the midst of the current state of affairs. As an online therapist, I have been talking with my clients a lot about their transitions into a “new normal.” For some of you, you may still be asking big questions, feeling a little lost, and wondering while the world keeps moving on – are you the only one still struggling to connect with the reality around you? I know it can be hard to stay uplifted, to think positively, and to take care of yourself during this stressful time. Being so connected to the outside world, thinking about yourself on an individual level is difficult but also important. 

Now more than ever, we need to be taking care of ourselves and showing ourselves compassion. I’ve created a list of different strategies that you can use to help with adverse side-effects of the pandemic and newly faced challenges that this time brings. Today I want to share with you some simple ways for creating a good place for yourself, mentally.

Beneficial Breathing Techniques

Box Breathing 

This is one of the techniques that I teach most frequently since it can be done anywhere at any time. Start by inhaling for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, exhaling for 4 seconds, and holding for 4 seconds before taking your next inhale. Do this exercise a couple of times then try and increase the time to 5 seconds, 6 seconds, and so on. 

Grounding Meditation

This one not only focuses on your breath but moves more to connect your breath to your body. Find a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down. Start by taking 5 deep breaths. Starting with your toes, notice how they feel. Clench and unclench them while continuing to breathe. Move up to your legs, releasing any tension you might have. Each time you move to a new body part, make sure you are remembering to take deep breaths. Continue up to your stomach, your back, your shoulder muscles; flexing and relaxing. If there is a certain area that seems to hold more tension, focus on that area more, connecting your breath and flexing/relaxing until it feels there is less tension. Move up to your jaw, unclench. Take your tongue off the roof of your mouth and relax. Make sure you do this for your arms, hands, face, etc.

Belly Breathing

This one is good to do especially if you have kiddos around (they can do it too!). Grab a stuffed animal (or a pillow works too) and lay on your back. Put the stuffed animal on your stomach. Begin breathing deeply into your stomach so that you can see the stuffed animal rise and fall with your breath. You should see the stuffed animal go up and down. Try to focus on increasing your breath. Do this as long as you’d like!

Disconnecting For Inner Peace

Social Media Distancing

In light of the social distancing rhetoric, I want to add some social media distancing. Because of the constant stream of news and information, it makes it difficult to think of anything else. Put your phone on silent and set a timer. The timer amount is up to you, whether you set it for 10 minutes or an hour, any amount will help. Now go do something that isn’t technology related!

**Side note: if you are currently worried about an emergency, let those people know that you will have your phone on vibrate for the next x amount of time. You can also tell them in case of emergency to ring you 3 times in a row so that it alerts you to break your social media distancing and address the situation.

Boredom Buster (Non-Technology)

Break out a board game or a deck of cards. If you have friends or family around, you can play a game! If you are alone, you can build a house of cards or work on your shuffling technique. Puzzles are a great, non-technology activity as it makes your brain work in a different way. If you have children (or don’t, no one’s judging!) you can make your own puzzle by creating a picture, gluing it to cardboard, and cutting your own unique puzzle pieces. Pick up a book that you currently own and read a couple of chapters. Who knows, it might even be a cooking book to help inspire your next recipe!

Cognitive Strategies To Boost Your Mood

Balance Your Thoughts

It might be helpful to use a pen and paper for this activity. Write down fears and the thoughts you have related to you personally regarding the pandemic. Now go back through and list your initial reactions to each one. Below that write the challenged thought. Taking into consideration the reality of the situation. Is this realistic? If it is, what can I do now to prepare? Try to consider other thoughts and beliefs in opposition to this fear. 

For example: I am scared that I will be impacted financially. Initial thought: I could lose my position. Challenged thought: This is a possibility. I am going to use this time to prepare my resume and budget accordingly. I am going to reach out to my HR department and discuss their plans moving forward.

If you have experienced job-loss through this challenging time we have put together some helpful resources for you during this transition and personal growth period: 
Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!
Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career
Coronavirus and Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach
Coping With Job Loss

Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself during this time. It is 1000% okay to feel nervous, worried, fearful, sad, and angry. Your feelings are valid and give you information about yourself. Focus internally about how you might be talking to yourself during this time. Is it mean or harmful? Begin shifting this narrative and talking to yourself with more kindness. It sounds silly and it might be difficult to begin practicing but stick with it. As Amy Cuddy states in her TedTalk, don’t fake it until you make it, fake it until you become it. Practice becomes habit, including our self-talk.

For example: If you are thinking how angry you are at the situation, challenge yourself. Say to yourself, yes I am angry AND I am also trying my best for myself right now.

For more tips and self-compassion and how to navigate emotional self-care, check out Emotional Self Care When Your Life is Falling Apart

Mindfulness

Being so engulfed in the news lately, it might seem as though you struggle to focus on what’s right in front of you. Take a minute to practice this mindfulness exercise. Look around and name 5 things that you can see. Notice what they look like, their texture, their colors. Now close your eyes. Identify 4 sounds that you hear. What do they sound like? Are they continuous or just a single sound? Are they loud? Are they quiet? Open your eyes and touch 3 objects. What do they feel like? What are their textures like? Are these things comforting to you? Now focus on your smell. Try to pick up on 2 different smells. You might need to go somewhere to try and smell something. Where is it coming from? Now, acknowledge one thing you can taste. Again, you might need to find something edible near you. Focus on what it tastes like, what it feels like while eating it. This mindfulness exercise is used to bring your attention to the present.

Establishing A New Normal When You Don’t Know What That Is

Routine 

Continue practicing your “normal” routine. This includes getting dressed for work, making scheduled meals, going to bed and waking up at the same time,and setting aside time for work as usual. Added note** keep up with your hygiene. It can be hard working from home to stay in sweats for several days and forget to brush your hair, brush your teeth, shower, and go to bed on time. Hygiene is a small change that can make a big difference.

Get Active

Exercise is vital during this time of isolation. Go take a walk, ride a bike, or do the stairs at your apartment/house. There are also tons of free Youtube videos and apps (Nike Training Club is my personal favorite) so that you can practice inside! Yoga is especially beneficial if you are looking for low impact or need an activity to help with anxiety/stress reduction.

Little Connections

Although many have begun the transition back to office life, eating out, and traveling. Social distancing is still very important and encouraged wherever you go. A few ways to stay connected while still social distancing could include continued Facetime with friends and family, playing co-op video games, and reaching out virtually or by phone.

Being in isolation can bring up symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. If you currently have a therapist in Colorado, DORA announced legal mandates to allow therapists to practice teletherapy. If you don’t have someone and need to talk, you can reach out to Growing Self, we offer online coaching and therapy services.

Safety: If you feel unsafe at home especially in this time of quarantine, you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Call 1-800-799-7233. Or you can go to their website to chat with an advocate. There is also a list of emergency resources available on our website.

I hope these ideas help you and you are able to come up with your own ideas! Please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are ready to listen. 

Kindly, 
Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC

Denver Career Coach Online Career Counselor Therapist in Broomfield Online Therapy

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!

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Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!

Career Growth and Transition Tips 

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. When it comes to talking about career growth and how to use this time productively, there is a lot you can do without making big drastic lifestyle changes. 

This is a great opportunity to take time to explore your options, make decisions, and prepare yourself to take steps towards your ideal future! As an online career counselor, I wanted to give you some activities that you could explore to help you find clarity about career growth and career transitions while also tackling that looming feeling of “Where do I go next?”

Take Your Time: Reflect

Whether you are out of work, working from home, staggering shifts, or continuing work as essential personal, create a space for you to tune in to yourself and reflect on your career beliefs. 

Be intentional while thinking and answering the below questions, taking note of the answers that you come up with or that feel scary to admit. This is a beautiful space to begin wondering about your career growth choices and figuring out what feels like the best next step for you.

Ask yourself:
Am I happy with my current employment situation?
What would I want to change about it?
What’s most important to me when it comes to career options?
What would I like out of my career? 

Think about things such as:
When would be a good time to pursue this?
What does it take to achieve this goal?
Where do I see myself in this job?

Write down the pros and cons of transitioning careers. Some things might be both a pro and a con! Go through and give each topic a point value between 1 and 5. With 1 being the lowest importance. 

By attributing a value system to your list, it can help you recognize what’s most important for you right now.

Do Your Research

So you’ve taken the chance to reflect on your beliefs and desires; congratulations! As a career coach and individual therapist, I view taking time to reflect on big life transitions as a huge area of potential. 

It takes a lot of courage to think about change and what might feel uncomfortable. 

Take a moment to write a list of 5 different career options that seem interesting to you. Remember, writing them down does not mean you have to pursue them! 

Take the list you’ve created and search them individually at both of these sites: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/ and https://www.onetonline.org/

These sites are helpful in providing details such as; demand for the job, pay range, qualifications, as well as other related positions. Give yourself permission to go down a rabbit hole and explore things that look interesting to you!

Update Your Professional Information

Think about what resources need to be updated to appeal to your ideal or prospective job. Some jobs use social media more than others, some are more focused on your resume and cover letter

Put yourself in a hiring manager position and think about what they might want to see out of a prospective applicant. Linkedin, Indeed, and even Instagram and Facebook can be media sources your future employer might want to review (depending on the job of course). 

Keep your profiles up to date to reflect YOU! Let your personality shine through. Yes, employers want to see your accomplishments but they also want to see who you are! 

Go through and tailor your profile for the job you want – cutting out redundant content, elaborating on your accomplishments, and creating uniformity throughout your profile.

Your Resume Matters! 6 Useful Resume Tips

Updating and keeping up with your resume is critical to pursuing the job you want. Most jobs are looking for a one page ‘summary’ on your professional experience. Make sure your resume looks clean, consistent, and easy to read. [If you want to work with a professional, view here is information on connecting with an expert resume and interview coach: Resume Writing Services in Denver | Online Resume Consultant]

  1. Keep important information on your resume that applies to your ideal position while omitting information that might not be completely relevant. I like to keep a ‘full length’ resume that I can copy and paste my experience in and out of.
  2. Highlight aspects that might be important to the job. For instance, if the job you are applying for is in education, it might be important to highlight your academic accomplishments. (If you are applying to jobs in several fields, it might be handy to keep a couple of different versions of your resume like, professional, service industry, education, etc. on hand.)
  3. If you are looking to apply to a specific job, look through the job description, and incorporate keywords into your resume. Hiring managers are looking for those keywords and this can help you organize your experience.
  4. Use concise summaries of your experience using bullet points and action words that match the tense. For example, if you are currently working as an office assistant you might use: “Organizes specialized data spreadsheets.” If you are not currently working there, go back through and change ‘organize’ to a past tense verb.
  5. Formatting should be consistent throughout your document including font, text size, punctuation, dates, etc.. Keep an eye on small things such as; are there periods at the end of every sentence? Is the date format consistent throughout (03/2020 vs March 2020)?
  6. Find someone you trust such as a mentor, professor, or career coach to review your resume and give you feedback.

Some positions require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or you might have the option to submit a CV in place of a resume. 

A CV is an extended version of your resume that expands on your life accomplishments and academic pursuits. Unlike a resume, which typically is only 1 page, a CV can be as long as you would like. 

Keeping an up to date CV allows you to track your accomplishments, awards, certifications, and projects that you’ve worked hard to accomplish. Here’s a good guide to writing a CV:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/resumes_and_vitas/writing_the_cv.html

Time To Upskill Yourself

Due to the pandemic, companies know there are a lot of people with more time on their hands. Take time to think about what skills your current or next job is looking for. If you have the time and means, take a course or a training to update or learn a new skill that will contribute to your career growth. 

These could be courses from your local college, classes taught online through your field’s board, or one you found through Google. This can be valuable information when going into an interview or preparing to get a new job. 

Financial security is also important to consider during this time. There are ways to upskill yourself for free. Khan Academy offers free courses on several subjects. Plus, there’s no harm in looking! 

Many public libraries have opened up their online databases and have made it more accessible to read Ebooks. Look at your local library and find a book relating to the subject you’d like to learn more about. 

While reading, take notes. It might seem silly but taking notes can help you retain information. 

Youtube can also be a great resource for free information and techniques. Make sure you are looking for credible information in whichever free course you choose. 

It might seem like the world is in a standstill in terms of employment. Although there might be a freeze currently, this pause creates a great opportunity to reflect and spend time with your thoughts about career growth. 

Our professional life is always changing and developing and sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of that. I want to encourage you to be kind to yourself during this time and give yourself permission to explore those ideas that may have gotten tucked away.

Wishing you success,
Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC

 

P.S. If you have recently lost your job, you’re not alone. For helpful tips and encouragement read: Coping With Job Loss and article focused on self-care, career-care, and hope. 

Denver Career Coach Online Career Counselor Therapist in Broomfield Online Therapy

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Keep Going…

Everywhere you look online the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is mentioned. It has been in every headline, every news outlet, on Facebook feeds, even in every email in my junk inbox. As an Online Therapist and Life Coach, my clients have been asking, “How do I adjust to this current situation?” Today I want to provide you with the same advice I share with my clients on resiliency in the face of chaos. 

When It’s Out of Your Control

The world has faced other health and public concerns, however, never on this large of a scale. It’s scary to read all of the headlines, especially when positivity is rarely reflected in the articles.

Facing a global pandemic and navigating life through COVID-19 is uncharted territory for all of us. Never before has an entire society had to worry about school closures in the middle of the semester, grocery store outages, and heavy financial stress.

There are so many new challenges that we are all facing – many challenges that are merely out of our control. How do we individually and collectively move into a new way of doing things when discomfort and uncertainty surround us?

Focus on the Positive

I want to point out that never before has society been so connected in terms of education and communication. Never before has our local and state communities come so closely together, offering to help. Never before have I seen so many people step up to help their friends and families during this uncertain time. [Read: Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine for more on community during COVID-19]

What COVID-19 is teaching us as a community is that we are resilient and that resiliency in the face of chaos allows us to focus on the positive and find gratitude even in uncertain times. 

What is Resilience?

Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Looking at the world on a global scale, it is in our nature to be resilient and as a collective, this feels more natural as we support one another. However, on an individual scale how can we personally develop resiliency in the face of chaos? 

Acknowledge and Accept

What I practice with my clients is the acceptance of personal feelings or emotions that may feel otherwise uncomfortable. Acknowledging and accepting that you feel scared, worried, confused, angry…these are all okay and valid emotions. The important thing to remember is that you will not feel like this forever – things will get better. 

Focus on Your Journey Ahead

While staying grounded in the present is an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety. Thinking about your personal journey and where it is leading you can encourage a sense of comfort knowing that your goals and dreams are still yours, they are still valid and real. 

A few questions you can ask yourself in order to build resiliency in the face of chaos are:

  • What are my hopes and goals for myself moving forward?
  • What can I hope to learn from this experience? 
  • Where have I found meaning and how can I help others in similar circumstances, even if it’s not the same?

Look for Inspiration

Online, pictures spread about animals returning after decreased human activity. Although there is no solid proof of this yet, it does inspire and give us hope in the times we need it. Nature is resilient and hopeful! 

In Spain, you can see people conversing and even exercising with each other from the balcony. 

In Italy, there are videos upon videos of the community gathering in song and music showing the world that despite this uncertain and scary time, we can continue to come together and show each other kindness and comfort. 

Here in the USA, stores are changing their hours to help the vulnerable populations get a headstart on shopping. There are local businesses and volunteer organizations offering food, child care, and even tasks such as getting the mail.

Shift Your Way of Thinking

This isn’t to say that the news shouldn’t be taken lightly or that the impacts of COVID-19 are minimized. Instead, trying to shift from a panic mentality to a resilience mentality can help both in the short and long term. [Read: Intentional Living – How to not Panic in the PANIC for more…]

In the short term, during social distancing and isolation, it is necessary to be thinking about the future and how you are growing. 

In the long term, it will be important to recognize the impact that this pandemic has caused and use it to move forward with helping yourself and helping others.

Right now we are in the midst of a forest fire. It seems like everything will be destroyed and yet, new growth begins to happen again. We are growing, we are coming together, and we will rebuild.

Here’s to your resiliency in the face of chaos,
Megan Brice M.S., LPCC

P.S. How are you building resiliency in the face of chaos? Share with me in the comments below!

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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