What does the term ‘holding on’ bring to mind? Something to
lean on when you stumble? Something that is precious to you?
You are defined by what you hold on to. You hold on to
people, beliefs, possessions, opinions, memories... Over time, these form what
you identify as 'norm'. And together, these become your comfort zone - their
familiarity lending a sense of safety. You feel defined by what you choose to
hold on to.
However, you could also be holding on to anger, guilt,
regrets, grudges... You could be holding on to a relationship that has ended.
Or a person that has chosen to move on. Or the life you used to live. You might
not consciously be of aware when the comfort zone became a stifling
stranglehold; something that is draining you of energy in an unhealthy manner.
Learning to let go may be one of the most difficult things
you do. The idea of letting go can seem painful, the thought of a future
without this person or relationship or possession can seem overwhelming.
However, holding on could be hurting you much more than letting go would.
Letting go makes room for healthier, more fulfilling and
authentic things. We need less of what depletes our health, and more of what
rejuvenates and reenergizes us. We open ourselves to new opportunities and
beginnings by ceasing to hold and control toxic, unhealthy things.
Take a moment to reflect on what you are holding on to. Ask
yourself if this is in fact, holding you back. What prevents you from letting
An oasis is a patch of green amidst a desert landscape. Historically, these have been spots for merchants and traders to rest and replenish their resources. With the stresses of our lives, we too need an oasis – to relax and reflect; to regain our inner balance and to be able to face our challenges with renewed energy. Taking some time for yourself is not just helpful, but necessary! We know all too well the risks of burnout and exhaustion. It isn’t always possible to make drastic changes in your lifestyle and cut back on the work load. However, despite these limitations, there is one thing that everyone can do. And that is finding a little time on a regular basis – perhaps once a week or fortnight – and dedicate this to doing anything that you find joy in.
Taking some time for yourself is not just helpful, but necessary! We know all too well the risks of burnout and exhaustion. It isn’t always possible to make drastic changes in your lifestyle and cut back on the work load. However, despite these limitations, there is one thing that everyone can do: finding a little time on a regular basis – perhaps once a week or fortnight – and dedicate this to doing anything that you find joy in.
It doesn’t have to be any particular activity. In fact, it doesn’t have to be an activity at all if that suits you best! You might find joy in reading a book, or running or painting or listening to music or meeting people or visiting a spa. Whatever it is you choose to do, remember to enjoy this time without guilt or worry.
If you practice this on a regular basis, you will start to see the effect yourself. Feeling energized, happier and more connected to people around you are just some of the outcomes of setting aside time for yourself.
Counseling is not the same as giving advice. Advice is
judgmental; it assumes that you need to be told what's right for you. A
counselor doesn’t tell you what to do. They will guide you in finding your
solution, and not impose their solutions on you. Being told what to do fosters
dependence, and counseling aims just the opposite – to empower you to face such
challenges in the future. Your counselor may at times suggest possible
behaviors or actions, however the decision to implement it would be left to you.
4. Instant solution
Counseling does not give you instant solutions. It gives you
an opportunity to gain clearer understanding of yourself and the situation.
Often this leads to identification of beliefs or behaviors, which have
prevailed for many years, and have been contributing to the problem. Learning
new behaviors or modifying longstanding beliefs takes time and effort. You will
be setting yourself up for disappointment if you go in expecting a miraculous
solution to all your problems. Instead, look at counseling as a place where you
will learn the skills needed not only to address the current situation, but
also to handle future challenges.
Counseling gives you a safe, confidential space where you
can be yourself and speak your mind without the fear of being judged. A
counselor is not going to judge or criticize you. Instead, they will encourage
you to speak freely and extend unconditional acceptance of who you are.
2. “Just talking”
Your counselor will give you uninterrupted space to speak,
when that is what you need. However, unlike what stereotypes would have you
believe, counseling is not an hour of talking to a silent spectator and getting
a ‘verdict’ at the end. Most counseling sessions are interactive and collaborative,
with the counselor reflecting on and occasionally asking you questions about
what you have shared.
"Just treat yourself to something nice and get over
This is perhaps the most detrimental stereotype about
counseling as well as any mental health support! Counseling is not an indulgent
pass-time for those with spare time and money. Or, it is only as indulgent as
going to a doctor when you are unwell. Or eating food when you are hungry!
Looking after your well-being is often overlooked, leading to disastrous
consequences – not only for yourself but also for your loved ones.
Maybe you have thought of talking to a counsellor. Maybe someone you know needs to speak to one. However, despite having the right intent, you never really got down to visiting one. You probably searched on Google a few times before something else took up your time and attention. Or you couldn't find one whose timings matched your schedule. I want to make it super easy for you to speak to a counsellor. All you need to do is follow these 4 Simple Steps:
1. Log in to Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/aditikdcounsellor/ )
2. Click on "Book Now" to reserve an appointment
3. Pay online to confirm
4. Connect with me at the time of your session via audio/video call
Yes, that's all. It really is that simple!
I have available evening and late evening slots to make it easier to reach out at your convenience. Feel free to connect through Facebook or email (email@example.com) if you have any queries about this.
A woman juggles with multiple roles and expectations on a daily basis. With increasing demands being put on her time and attention, self-care often gets neglected. If you are one of the many women who consider taking care of their well-being is a luxury that they cannot afford, read on.
The incidence of mental health problems among women is on the rise. Depression, anxiety and poor self-image are conditions that women are more prone to than men. One of my female counselling clients used a beautiful metaphor to describe her condition. She shared that she felt like a well out of which people were always drawing out water. She feared that soon she would run out of anything to give.
Just like a well, if not replenished, runs out of water, similarly, any individual who is only expending her resources and not adding to them, will begin to experience the effects of burnout. This includes struggling to keep up with your daily tasks, disorientation, forgetfulness, frequent fatigue and tiredness. In the short run, even though you feel tired, you believe this is in the best interest of your family or spouse or career. In reality though, by neglecting your own well-being, you are doing not only yourself injustice, but are also risking the well-being of those who depend on you.
Here are some simple tips to get you started with self-care:
Get adequate rest – An average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily. Health benefits of regular sleeping patterns include higher performance, enhanced memory and longer life-span. You are also more likely to be in a good mood if you are well rested and are able to make decisions more efficiently.
Learn to say No – If you find it difficult to say no, you probably take on more than you can handle. Your reasons for doing this may vary; maybe you don’t want a confrontation, or fear offending the other person, or you really want to help. This can lead to a lot of stress as well as guilt, if you are struggling to complete the expected tasks. An important aspect of taking care of yourself is to be able to realistically assess how much you will be able to handle, and to assertively refuse what is beyond your capacity.
Ask for help – There is no shame in asking for help. If you are feeling overworked, don’t hesitate to reach out to family members to lend you a hand. In most cases, asking is all it takes. People who care about you will be happy to help you out. In case this is not an option, consider hiring help to ease your burden.
Eat healthy – Apart from having the right amounts and nutrients, it is essential that you have your meals at regular intervals. Adding salads, fruits and vegetables to your meals gives you the nutrients necessary for warding off a number of physical ailments. A balanced diet and the appropriate intake of nutrients and fibres keeps you fit, giving you more energy to cope with the demands of a hectic life.
Take time out for yourself – Spend at least a few hours every week with yourself, either doing something you find relaxing or just reflecting on the week that’s gone by. This is not an indulgence, but an investment in nurturing your sense of identity. It will give you the opportunity to work your way through any disorienting thoughts, and allow you to be a better partner, parent, friend and above all, a calmer individual.
Get active – Physical activity boosts the release of Endorphins – which are neurotransmitters responsible for positive effects such as feeling of euphoria, modulation of appetite and an enhancement of immune response. This helps in coping better with stress. Research suggests that in addition to physiological benefits, exercise helps in clearer thinking and maintaining a more positive outlook. Start with something you can easily add to your routine, gradually increasing the time and intensity.
Eat healthy – Apart from having the right amounts and nutrients, it is essential that you have your meals at regular intervals. Adding salads, fruits and vegetables to your meals gives you the nutrients necessary for warding off a number of physical ailments. A balanced diet and the appropriate intake of nutrients and fibres keeps you fit, giving you more energy to cope with the demands of a hectic life. As a woman, you must ensure that you consume foods rich in iron and calcium.
Start out with small steps – Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of making so many changes in your routine. Start small; take your time to work out a healthier lifestyle for yourself. And even if you don’t see the effects immediately, don’t give up.
Originally published on http://www.healtheminds.in/blog/women-2/personal-well-being-and-self-care
A pint of beer or a glass of wine with your meal… a drink after work to unwind… What might start as harmless drinking, can sometimes develop into a drinking problem. The line between drinking for leisure and drinking out of habit or dependence may get blurred sooner than you realise. In many settings, alcohol is such an integral part of socialising and celebration that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that if moderation and control in not exercised, it can produce dependence and even addiction. Sometimes alcohol use grows into abuse and dependence after a stressful life event such as a loss, bereavement or break-up. At other times, dependence develops as your body’s tolerance of alcohol increases due to regular binge drinking.
It is important to note that there are varying degrees of alcohol dependence and they don’t always involve excessive levels of drinking. If you have been relying on alcohol for relief or coping, you are susceptible to alcohol abuse and dependence. Even a regular compulsion to drink is a cause for concern. The urge to drink alone often, a strong need for a drink nearly every day and neglecting other activities because of the urge to drink are some of the early warning signals. If you notice these in yourself or in someone around you, it needs to be addressed before the dependence turns to addiction.
How alcohol affects your body and mind:
The immediate effects of alcohol consumption include slurred speech, loss of balance, lowered inhibitions and increased reaction time. Sustained consumption leads to long-term effects such as the risk of developing high blood pressure, stroke, coronary heart disease and liver disease. The liver is the most susceptible to alcohol-related injury because it is the primary organ responsible for alcohol metabolism. This means, that it is the liver which breaks down alcohol in our body, and the bi-products of this metabolism have damaging effects on the liver tissue.
Apart from the physiological complications arising out of alcohol dependence, it also makes a person vulnerable to a host of psychological problems. Drinking problems put a great strain on the people around you. Family and other relationships suffer tremendously as a result of dependence on alcohol. Research suggests that alcoholics and alcohol abusers are much more likely to get divorced, have problems with domestic violence and struggle with unemployment. Anxiety, depression, reckless behaviour and suicidal thoughts can also manifest as a result of regular dependence on alcohol. It can also lead to reduced attention to personal well-being and professional responsibilities.
Why is early detection important?
Apart from the obvious reason of avoiding the harmful effects mentioned above, it is essential to detect and deal with the problem of alcohol dependence in the early stages because consumption in large quantities or on a regular basis, or both, can lead to chemical changes in the brain.
Consuming more quantities of alcohol without feeling the immediate effects is a sign of increasing tolerance. It does not protect you from the harmful effects, but rather masks these till they are too severe. If you or someone around you has been drinking without feeling any ill-effects, it is an indication that you/they have been drinking too much. Once the brain gets habituated to the presence of alcohol, it can get increasingly difficult to quit, hence it is important that you heed to the warning signs even in the absence of immediate effects.
Overcoming dependence takes a strong desire on the part of the affected individual, along with a strong social support from loved ones. The withdrawal symptoms which result from stopping intake of alcohol may discourage people from continuing the process of getting off alcohol. With therapeutic support from a counsellor, these inhibitions and challenges can be successfully overcome.
Originally published on http://www.healtheminds.in/blog/addiction/understanding-the-signs-of-alcohol-dependence