Feature by Simran Bharadwaj
Image by Freepik
Speaking from personal experience, meditation is not for everyone. It can be difficult to find the time, or a quiet place to sit and practice breathing exercises and clearing your mind. It may feel like you have too many racing thoughts that you can’t clear from your mind when trying to start meditation. However, meditation can benefit emotional balance and attention by providing a sense of calm and peace. Meditation is not just the typical relaxing sounds that require you to have the ability to clear your mind. There are also many meditation resources that can be used to fit your needs whether you are a beginner and brand new to meditation, or want to focus on more specific areas.
Meditation can include breathing exercises that help you release tension and stress from all areas of your body. Progressive muscle relaxation is in the category of meditation and mindfulness that can help individuals focus on each part of their body and release tension that they may not even know they are carrying.
Meditation Apps for Meditation:
Insight timer is a free app that provides meditation music, as well as guided meditation. Recordings are of varying lengths and there is even a customizable meditation timer that you can change depending on how much time you have available. The app has focuses on different categories including sleep, anxiety, and stress
Calm provides sleep stories, breathing programs and relaxing music. The app provides many different programs that can help fit your needs, and just like Insight timer, it is customizable depending on time you have available and provides guided meditation in various topics. This app is $12.99/month.
YouTube Channels for Meditation:
Goodful is a very useful channel that has meditation videos ranging from five to 15 minutes. The videos are all guided and has categories such as self-love, sleep, anxiety, and even a video specifically for beginners.
Even if you are unsure whether meditation can help you, I would recommend turning to short guided meditation videos for primary exposure to meditation. Therapeutic techniques may not always work the first time around. Try finding the right meditation videos or recordings that work for you!
Feature by Simran Bharadwaj
Image by Freepik
When we first started working from home, it was a necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a transition that was difficult for everyone. Adjusting space in the house for multiple working individuals and children at virtual school. It was chaos. After two years it became a way of life. However, due to this major change in lifestyle there comes the challenge of managing working from home without burning out.
Some of the main questions to ask yourself are:
Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
Have your sleep habits changed?
Do you lack energy at home?
If you realize that burnout is a significant concern, there may be changes you can make to your daily routine to balance out work stress and relaxation at home.
1. Creating a Home Office
This space doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole room. Setting aside space in your apartment for office related activities, and nothing else, will help with separating the work and home environment. Rather than taking your laptop to the sofa or bed, stick to one space to do work, like you would if you had to go in person.
Mindfulness doesn’t always mean meditation. It can also mean paying attention to what your body needs. When we are focused on work we can forget to take breaks, eat food, drink water, or just get up and stretch. Working at home can lead to too many breaks or too few. Listening to what your body needs is important to avoid burnout.
3. Sticking to the Routine
Waking up every morning, taking a shower, eating breakfast, essentially sticking to the routine that you would normally have if you were going into the office. Understandably these morning activities might be slightly altered considering a change in responsibilities with being at home, however sticking closely to a routine you are used to can help with managing time during the work day and not think about work after logging off.
4. Stay Active and Schedule Breaks
Working from home can often lead us to extending our work hours due to distractions during the day or just knowing we can always log on later and finish up some extra work. Creating a calendar and sticking to a schedule can help with finishing tasks during the designated work day. However, if you find yourself working past the end of the work day anyways, I would suggest taking breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk around the apartment or even outside. Staying active will keep the blood flowing, which will help avoid staring at a screen for over 8 hours per day.
Although many of us have been working from home for over two years now, the change hasn’t been easy. It can be difficult to stay focused all day while being at home. These tips are just a few that have helped me in the last couple years to prevent burnout and limit over working just because I can log on outside of the workplace.
Feature by Dr. Sara Schapiro and Nikita Fernandes, MHC-LP
Although sex therapy has been around for awhile, people still have misconceptions about what sex therapy entails. For example, what makes a sex therapist different from other therapists? For starters, sex therapists work with clients on a variety of challenges that range from sexual trauma to kink explorations. Sex therapists also collaborate with other sex and intimacy professionals such as surrogate partners or sexological body workers in order to offer clients a holistic framework for healing. Partnering with other health professionals enables sex therapists to understand the client better as the therapist gains a comprehensive view of the clients background both inside and outside the therapy session.
Feature by Simran Bharadwaj
Second generation individuals, the children of immigrant parents, may feel a disconnect when trying to talk to their parents about their mental health. Over the last two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic families were at home relying on each other to help them through this strange new world. Children may have attempted to talk about their mental health with their parents. However, there may have been a disconnect between parent and child, as parents were also stressed with the changes in their lives. Parent-child language discordance can also contribute to children not trying to connect or communicate with their parents when they need help.
Since there are so many reasons for disconnects to occur, it is important to understand why the disconnect occurs and how to try and bridge the communication gap. In some minority communities there can be a lack of cultural competence and therapeutic understanding because therapy and mental health are considered a taboo topic. There are increased barriers to culturally appropriate mental health care in areas with large ethnic minority populations, and high rates of poverty. This is due to the limited access to healthcare as well as the language barrier with minority populations. Even for children who are no longer living in poverty, mixed messages about mental health may have been passed down through their parents.
As a result of this constant disconnect, it can become difficult to heal. Mentalization based therapy is a therapeutic technique that can help greatly in these situations. Mentalization is the ability to think about thinking, meaning that individuals learn to observe one's thoughts and consider what someone else’s thoughts might be. This therapy modality can help repair relationships between parent and child when neither feel as though they are able to effectively communicate what they are thinking and feeling. Learning the other’s place in their own mental health journey as well as their understanding of mental health can be crucial in unpacking the other's response to you, in this case the response of parents to their children.
Feature by Nikita Fernandes
Imago Relationship Therapy is a type of relationship and couples therapy that focuses on relational counseling to turn any conflicts between couples into chances for healing and progress. It was created by Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt in 1980. The word 'imago' means image in Latin. The idea behind the therapy is to help couples understand what their partner is saying and how their partner might be feeling. Using imago therapy with couples has been beneficial in helping clarify misconceptions, reduce conflict, and rediscover ways to connect with and communicate effectively with one another.