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50 Wise Ways To De-Stress Your Life

People have many reasons for why their life is so stressful. Why they can’t de-stress. 
Why they feel so out-of-control. Why they believe it will just never change.

While many reasons exist, my experience is that people have three key reasons why they can’t seem
to de-stress their lives. Here are a few to think about.

1) My life is too complicated to change!
 
I’ve heard this reason or derivations of this excuse many times. Whether it’s multi-tasking a crazy schedule
or simply feeling there is nothing I can change, this line of reasoning hamstrings us.

2) Life never gives me a darn break!
 
While this reason sounds similar to number 1, it’s actually quite different. Whether it’s a mom who is
exhausted by their 3 kids or a dad trying to close that important deal to support their family, it’s exhausting.
By the way, these roles can be switched and aren’t gender exclusive. The point is, we need to SEEK a break in
our lives.

3) Stress keeps me young!
 
I’ve spoken with people who have told me that stress is “motivating” or that stress keeps me
“involved in life.” And yes, even that it “keeps me young.” The latter has been spoken with a knowing
chagrinned glance that it actually isn’t helping. Which actually begs the question of “how well is that working for
you?” The reality is, it simply is NOT helping.

Ideas That Work!

Here are 50 wise and proven ways to de-stress your lives (Hint: The hard part is actually making the time, not
in doing them!)
 
Read
Garden
Movies
Hike
Piano
Affection
Backpack
New outfit
Vacation
Work (job) less
Bucket list
Friends
Work out
Increase Intimacy
Get away
Spirituality
Sex
Travel
Education
Walk
Step back
Make Love
Change careers
Re-connect
Healthy Emotions
Trail Run
Date
Flower Garden
Exercise
Religion
Journal
Volunteer
Arts
Ski
Creativity
Crafts
Mountains
Yoga
Rock Climbing
Symphony
The Mighty 5
Bear Lake
Sunset
Opera
Sunrise
Thunder
The Beach
Work smarter
Self-care
Alone time
Switch it up!

There are easily 50 more ideas to add to this list. However, that’s not the point, i.e., to add more stress. The critical
point is that unless we make changes and do more for ourselves, we suffer. We’ll just experience more and more stress
that just simply perpetuates itself. That. Makes. No. Sense!
 
What makes perfect sense is choosing several of the items from my list and just doing them. Hiking is amazing in the
Wasatch. Watching a summer movie rocks. Journaling is helpful. Reading a book energizing!
 
And, I can (almost) guarantee that your stress level will drop. You will want to do more for yourself. Become fiercely loyal
to it!!!

Michael Boman, LCSW has 20 years experience in helping people de-stress and reconnect. Reach out to him at 801.944.4555,
if you feel this blog has moved you to want to take back your life.
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Turning Envy Into Admiration: Studio 5

Social media (combined with the human tendency to compare our lives with others) means that unfortunately, a lot of us regularly experience feelings of envy, resentment, and even shame. Why does that fitness guru you follow on Instagram get to have such an amazing physique, and how come your neighbor has such a perfect home?

Feeling inferior or jealous doesn’t make you a bad person, but learning to reframe these emotions can make you a lot happier and even help you get closer to what you want. Here are some steps to turn envy into admiration:

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I’ve Had It! What Should I Do?

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We’ve all been there before. Stress can build until you feel out of control. I often have clients come in so defeated because of a myriad of different reasons. In session, I always ask a few questions to see if we can find a pattern to what lead them to this difficult place. If you are are feeling overwhelmed and unable to figure out what to do next, ask yourself the following questions.
  1. Have you eaten recently? If your car was out of gas, would you still expect it to run smoothly on a road trip? Of course not! You would make sure your tank was full so you had plenty of fuel to take you where you wanted to go. Our bodies need the same fuel. You cannot manage your stress, anxiety, depression, or life without properly fueling your body with healthy food. Want to have more energy to fight through difficult times? Make sure you’re eating!
  2. Are you  properly hydrated? My family laughed at our aunt growing up that always gave the advice to go have a glass of water. Having a bad day? Go grab a glass of water. Stressed out? Water. Feeling sad? Water. Can’t focus? You guessed it…water. However simple it may sound drinking a proper amount of water each day helps keep energy up and will make you feel healthy. Instead of grabbing a caffeine filled drink when you’re out of energy, slow down and grab a nice glass of water. Being properly hydrated will help more than you know. 
  3. When was the last time you showered and got ready for the day? People often skip over this important daily ritual when life gets busy. Slowing down and taking time for yourself will make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and the day ahead of you. 
  4. When was the last time your heart rate was up? Walking briskly for even five minutes can get your heart rate up and provide your body with much needed chemicals that will help you feel healthy and focused. 
  5. Are you sleeping too much or too little? Make sure you are getting a healthy amount of sleep. It can be a tricky balance. Too much sleep can result in feeling lazy, lethargic, and depressed. Too little sleep can leave you feeling tightly wound, exhausted, and stressed. Make sure you are balancing sleep correctly so you can have enough energy and motivation to get through your day. 
  6. When was the last time you got out of your house and connected with someone? Go out and connect with someone face to face. Technological connections are great, but actual face to face connections will do much more for your mental health. 
While these questions may seem like a “no brainer,” you may be surprised to find how many of these small things get neglected when you are stressed or having a difficult time. Try asking yourself these questions next time you find yourself frustrated and stressed out to see if they help.
If you need further help managing your anxiety or depression, call Wasatch Family Therapy at 801-944-4555. You can learn further tips and tools to help  you through your difficult time.
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Emotional Spring Cleaning

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Can you feel it? Slowly but surely spring is coming. The days are longer, the flowers are starting to peek out from the ground, and it is warming up. I always take spring as a time of assessment about myself and where I want the year to go. The majority of people make “new years resolutions.”  Usually these include goals about eating better, exercising, and getting out to meet new people and have fun. I don’t know about you, but in January when it is cold and snowy all I want to do is stay inside, and make and eat homemade bread and cookies. Suffice it to say, my new years goals take a backseat very quickly. However, in the spring I am much more motivated to take inventory of where I am and what I can do for the rest of the year to feel good and make my relationships better.
It is common in spring to do “spring cleaning.” We open the doors and air out our homes. We clean out our flowerbeds to make room for plants. Let’s
do the same emotionally. Look at and evaluate how you are doing personally and with your relationships. After your evaluation you can make some commitments to yourself. Doesn’t commitment sound a little more decisive than a goal? For some reason when I say I have committed to someone or something I have a strong desire to follow through. Goals, it seems, can be easily broken.
Here are some of the commitments I have made to myself this spring.
1) In an effort to exercise more I have signed up to run the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon in September. My hope is to match or beat my time from my last half marathon. This motivates me throughout the spring and summer to exercise and prepare well for the race.
2)In an effort to connect more with my husband we have committed to going on two dates a month.
3)I will do one thing just for myself daily. I have three young children and most of my time goes to taking care of them. In an effort to take care of myself I will do something just for myself. This may include reading, working on a project, doing my nails, journaling, or simply sitting quietly and meditating.
Although these may not seem like monumental commitments, I think they will keep me focused and help me feel better throughout the rest of the year. I challenge you to do the same! Look at yourself and your relationships and see what needs some sprucing up. Come up with one to three commitments to make your year great.
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6 Tips for dealing with Holiday Anxiety and Depression

6 Tips for dealing with Holiday Anxiety and Depression

With our recent snowstorm, my ability to pretend winter isn’t a thing, has quickly evaporated.  On sunny days I get through the winter by making sure I spend plenty of time standing in front of my south facing windows soaking up the warmth that shines through.  On overcast days it can be more of a challenge.  Add in the stress of holiday shopping and parties and expectations, and winter can be a bit of a downer (to say the least).  Here are a few suggestions to help cope with winter blues:

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Give Yourself the Credit You Deserve

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With the 2016 right around the corner there is so much to pause and reflect on from 2015. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows are all taken into account when assessing the 15th rotation since the dawn of the new millennium. Perhaps you finally completed that project you’ve been meaning to get around to, or you landed that promotion you were really hoping for, or signed on the house of your dreams, or…not. The beauty of it all is you set goals for the year and whether you achieved them or not give yourself credit for setting them in the first place. As we all get to the usual ritual of setting resolutions for 2016 remember these two things:

Be the good you want to see – If you feel like things aren’t unicorns and skittles as often as you’d like then that is a good sign that it is time to do some self-evaluating and figure out what you are doing to contribute to that unhappiness. Give yourself permission to answer the tough questions like, “What part did I play in how things turned out?”, “How could I have handled that situation differently?”, or “What can I do better?” Rarely is the case where someone else’s actions directly impact our levels of satisfaction – it is more often the case of how we react to their actions that has that impact. Be the good you want to see and then take notice just how much your perspective will change as you’re able to balance out the bad with the good. Let your inner Yoda serve as motivation to remind you to do or do not because there is no try.

Give yourself the credit you deserve – We often suffer from the “I’m not good enough” disease which eats away at our self-esteem and leave us defenseless against the tyranny of being our own worst critic. So what if you finished last in your first marathon, YOU FINISHED A MARATHON! I certainly can’t say that and I’m pretty awesome! So go head…it’s ya birthday…we gonna party like it’s ya birthday because you deserve the credit! It’s so easy to get caught up in the grass is greener mentality but I assure you it is all about proper lawn care and maintenance that gives it that crisp sheen. That maintenance involves celebrating the small victories in life like finishing your first marathon because it is the small things that we remember the most which ultimately becomes the cherished memories that we can look back upon fondly. Now go forward with that luxurious lawn that everyone else will be envious of and be the awesome person that you are in 2016!

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How to Break Into an Adult Clique: Dr. Julie Hanks on KSL’s Studio 5

The word “clique” often has a negative connotation and may bring up feelings of exclusive peers in Junior High, but adult cliques exist as well. It may not be a pleasant word, but the truth is that like-minded individuals often form social groups to discuss shared values, lifestyles, and interests. These groups can be intimidating, especially if you are looking from the outside in and would like to be a part of them. Here are some strategies to break into an adult clique:

1.  Don’t Take It Personally

If you feel like you’re not in the loop with a certain group or you haven’t been invited to participate, try not to take it personally (though this is easier said than done). Remember that people often organize themselves based on commonalities (working at the same company, playing tennis, homeschooling their children, etc.), and if you don’t feel involved, it’s likely not that someone is trying to intentionally exclude you. And perhaps members of a certain clique don’t necessarily feel like they need to expand their circle, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.

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Harnessing the Power of Procrastination: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

Harnessing the Power of Procrastination: Julie Hanks on Studio 5

Most all of us have procrastinated at one point or another. We delay doing things like taxes, cleaning, work projects, etc. While we tend to think of this as a bad habit, it’s possible to manage the tendency to put things off to actually benefit you. Here are 4 ways to harness the power of procrastination:

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4 Ways to Stop Procrastinating Sharecare Article

canstockphotoHave you ever had a task that you kept putting off?  Maybe it was only for a day or two, but maybe it was for weeks or even months.  Procrastination is something we all experience from time to time, but thankfully there are steps we can take to minimize this problem.

Julie Hanks shares her personal and professional insight on ways to beat procrastination in an article on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare.  Here’s an outline of a few of her ideas:

1)  Know Your Patterns

2)  Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks

3)  Go for “Good Enough”

4)  Use Deadlines to Help Focus and Motivate

 

Click here for the full article on how to stop procrastinating for good!

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Crank Up the Volume! Enjoy the Health Benefits of Music

Crank Up the Volume! Enjoy the Health Benefits of Music

I love to crank up music in my car and sing along.  I recently realized after pumping the music that my mood improved and I felt less stress. With my children, I noticed how singing and dancing enhanced their mood and helped them release energy.  I wanted to research the effect of music on mental health and found out it is even more powerful than I thought.

Author Scott Christ of USAToday College revealed there are significant health benefits of music on both one’s physical and mental states.  Here are a just a few ways that jamming out or turning on quiet background music can enhance your mental health:

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