I wanted to do a quick video today on what to do when you’re freaking out. You can do this anytime if you notice your anxiety is really high… and either you’re feeling too much, or you may feel like you’re not quite all there. Some of us check out a little bit when we’re overwhelmed. It’s totally normal for that to happen.
Here’s a way to get yourself back kind of down into what we call the Window Of Tolerance.
Boundaries is one of those buzzwords that you hear a lot about. Relationships are supposed to have them, it’s hard to set them sometimes. I think there’s a lot of confusion about what a boundary is, so I wanted to talk about that. My favorite definition of a boundary is this:
When I first switched to video therapy in the early days of the pandemic, I wanted to make sure my clients’ privacy was as secure as possible as I started working from home. I’m lucky that I didn’t need to do much in the way of soundproofing, but I wanted to make sure the walls of my house were enough. So after a session I asked someone who had been in another room, “Were you able to hear me at all?”
“Nope, all I could hear was you laughing.”
I created this short mindfulness audio as a holiday/end of year offering to anyone out there who might need it.
If you're new to mindfulness or you've thought about getting into meditation but it seems a little overwhelming, this is a good place to start.
There’s no way around that fact that Thanksgiving and other end-of-year celebrations will be different this year. New and confusing emotions may be coming up as we contemplate being away from those we love and traditions we cherish. Here are some ways to help make this season as joyful as it can be:
So you’ve found a great therapist you feel good about working with and scheduled an appointment. Now what? Starting therapy can feel like both a relief and an overwhelming task. When you’re at a point where you seek professional help, there’s probably a lot going on you want to talk about, and it can feel vulnerable or awkward to dive right in with your biggest issue with someone you just met. So where do you start?
Many people want to know how long therapy will take, and it’s a fair question. When embarking on any endeavor, particularly one that will be emotional as well as an allocation of resources, we want to know what we’re getting into.
The answer to this question depends entirely on your reasons for seeking therapy. I often ask new clients, “How will we know when we’re done?” as a way to understand exactly what someone wants from therapy. While some people do seek therapy in an ongoing way to structure in reflection and support over the course of decades, most therapy-seekers do not want to be in therapy forever and have specific goals in mind when they start: reduce anxiety, improve relationships, recover from trauma, or get through a difficult time. These things can feel insurmountable when we’re in the thick of it, but a good therapist knows recovery is possible, as well as how to help you get there.
Everyone’s anxiety has gone up this year, and with good reason. We’re all facing new and intensifying stressors, while having limited access to ways we may have previously coped well. Here are some ideas for things you can try right now, whether your anxiety is at a 3 or a 10:
1) Breathe and recognize your anxiety is not an emergency or something to “fix” right in this moment. Often our anxiety is a physiological arousal linked to a threat, however realistic, exaggerated, removed, or unconscious. Try thinking of whatever body sensations you’re experiencing as information that is neither good nor bad. Get curious and compassionate with yourself, and remind yourself that you don’t have to take action immediately unless you or a loved one is in physical danger.
2) Try progressive muscle relaxation. It’s free, simple, and has been shown in some academic studies to reduce anxiety as affectively as medication when done routinely. If you don’t have time to do the full body routine, trying clenching your hands, shoulders, or the back of your legs as hard as you can and holding for ten seconds before releasing.
3) Eliminate unnecessary stimuli. This may be obvious things like noise or light, but could also be the presence of your phone, visual clutter, or that nagging feeling that you need to do the dishes. Sometimes a small change in your environment can have a big positive impact on your mood.
is a feminist therapist offering online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.