The MLRA Therapy Blog

Insights and ideas from the therapist team at Meghan L. Reitz and Associates.

Everything listed under: crisis

  • Finding Peace Amongst Chaos

    Finding Peace Amongst Chaos

    Finding Peace Amongst Chaos

    Feeling like you’re always sprinting on the treadmill of life? Trying to keep up with our own expectations and the expectations of others can be really challenging. How can we ever slow down to a calm and collected stroll? It may seem impossible, but it just takes a little practice and patience find peace amongst the chaos of our daily lives. 

    Did you know, that according to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high stress in the past month and they also reported that their stress has increased over the past year. It doesn’t take a research study to convince us. Most people recognize that American society is stressed out where many feel the expectation to always be running on a hamster wheel to “stay ahead”. Add in the fact that life stressors can and will occur at any time and a crisis doesn’t really care to check how stressed you already may be or what kind of chaos you are already living in before piling on, and that’s a lot of stress to deal with! 

    Many factors, even what we would define as positive factors, can increase our stress levels. The time of year, holidays, big life changes like getting married or having a baby, moving and changing jobs are but a few examples. Consider if more than one of those things happens within a small time frame? You got it. Stress and chaos.

    So, how do we achieve finding some balance and feeling some peace amongst all this chaos? Let’s talk life hacks: 

    1. Prioritize what REALLY needs to get done
      - as opposed to what you want or think needs to get done in that moment. Take a moment before attacking a big task and break it down into smaller tasks and then put these in a priority list before starting on it. Then, knock each item off your list and celebrate each one!

    2. Take Breaks.
      Mentally you need to take a break between tasks. You will perform better and it will take less time to do each task in the long run. Sitting for long periods is harmful to your health, so get up and walk around for a minute before moving on to the next task.

    3. Breathe.
      Seems like common sense, yet you may find yourself going through your day and actually be subconsciously holding your breath or breathing too shallow. Set an alert on your phone to remind yourself to close your eyes and breathe for a few seconds or better yet, a few minutes.

    4. Ask For Help.
      Communicate to your partner, friends, family or co-workers. Asking for help could alleviate your chaos and you might be surprised how willing others are to jump at the opportunity to help you.

    5. Don’t multi-task.
       While we all like to think we can accomplish many things at once and “save” ourselves time, according to Forbes magazine, multi-tasking does not lead to more productivity and can actually make you less efficient. Do one thing at a time and pace yourself.

    6. Be Present in the here and now.
      Remind yourself you can only be in one place at one time and that there are only so many hours in the day. Be realistic about the time you have versus the tasks you want to complete.

    7. Put Down That Smartphone. 
      Schedule finite amounts of time to check emails and messages and avoid getting sucked into social media.

    8. Stick to a Schedule.
      Wake and sleep times, meal times, break times and any other way you can structure your day will help you stay on task and rest your brain and body along the way. 

    Remind yourself of this above list as much as you need to in order for you to put it into practice. You got this! Now let’s make some peace amongst the chaos.



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Meghan Reitz, LCPC, NCCMeghan Reitz, LCPC, NCC, has worked within the counseling profession for over 14 years. Her therapist experience includes providing individual, couples, family, group, and crisis counseling. She also speaks with companies and groups on mental health and wellness topics. Learn more about Meghan HERE.

  • Does my kid need to see a counselor?

    Does my kid need to see a counselor?

    Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or counselor yourself, you may ask yourself: When IS the right time to seek professional counseling for my child or student? Often, we think there must be a huge crisis to warrant professional therapy. However, counseling is more beneficial if used as a proactive rather than reactive measure.

    Here are a few helpful tips to identify if the time is right for counseling:

    • Transitions 
      Relocation of a child’s residence or even a transition from elementary to middle school can be stressful transitions.

    • Puberty 
      It can be an awkward stage for most and often parents and other adults have difficulty addressing the physical, mental, and emotional changes that are occurring during this time.

    • Sibling Addition to the Family
      A new brother or sister can upset the family dynamic in subtle ways. A child who will soon have a new sibling can have a hard time adjusting.

    • Slow or Sudden Emotional Withdrawal
      If you notice a shift in mood, particularly if your child is isolating or not sharing like he/she normally would, this is an ideal time to have them speak to a counselor.

    • Acting Out 
      When a child starts to act out, time spent working with a counselor to learn healthier communication skills, improved parenting skills and limits/boundaries can make a world of difference.

    • Fears/Phobias 
      Counseling can help when a child refuses to go to school,  shows signs of codependency or anxiety in social situations.

    • Parents Divorcing 
      Individual therapy provides a safe space for the child to explore how a divorce or separation is impacting him/her. Family therapy is also a good idea at this point to help parents work on continued parenting skills.

    Some of the above items may seem like natural life-changes that a child is progressing through without issue. For others, these may be areas where a child is struggling or showing signs of trouble that threaten to interrupt development or lessen quality of life.  We understand that the threshold for when a child would benefit from a professional therapist’s help may be different for each family, and there can be a lot of grey area. So, here are the times when counseling is DEFINITELY warranted:

    • Any issues with sexual, verbal, or physical abuse (victim or perpetrator).

    • Explosive behavior or severe defiance that causes the family unit increased stress and instability.

    • Phobias that are severe enough to impact day to day functioning.

    • Self-injury.

    • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts or feelings.

    • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are not being maintained or completed (bathing, brushing teeth, etc.)

    • Eating Problems such as preoccupation with food, refusing to eat, binge eating, self-esteem or body image issues.

    As always, contact DCFS’ Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE if you feel there is abuse or suicidal/homicidal ideation with a plan. If you’re unsure, speak to family, friends, teachers, school counselors, or any adults that are working with your child. It is important to communicate concerns rather than brush them off. Unsure who to talk to? Contact our counselors at Meghan L. Reitz & Associates, LLC to assess your situation and make recommendations for proceeding forward with counseling.



    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Meghan Reitz, LCPC, NCCMeghan Reitz, LCPC, NCC, has worked within the counseling profession for over 13 years. Her therapist experience includes providing individual, couples, family, group, and crisis counseling. She also speaks with companies and groups on mental health and wellness topics. Learn more about Meghan HERE.

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