Area Support Networks

Area Support Networks

Area Support Networks

The holidays tend to necessitate an added level of support for many folks. Consider checking in with those who have shared a similar path at a local support group.

Grief Support

Bridge Home Health and Hospice Grief Support
December 18, 2017 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Will it be a Blue Christmas?
Group meets at Blanchard Valley Hospital Marathon Auditorium 1900 South Main Street Findlay, Ohio 45840. Registration is appreciated but not required. To register, call 800.982.3306 or email bridge@bvhealthsystem.org.

Addiction Support

Findlay has a variety of addiction-specific support groups throughout the week. Check out the resource list put together by NAMI to find a group to fit your needs.

Cancer Support

Cancer Patient Services has a variety of healing arts opportunities throughout December. Contact Bethany for details.

Persons Affected by a Loved One’s Suicide (PALS)

Meets the 4th Thursday of each month, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Waiting Room on 2nd Floor of the Ruse Building above the Blanchard Valley Hospital Emergency Room.  For more information call Century Health at 419-425-5050.

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5 Mantras For “Forced Family Fun”

5 Mantras For "Forced Family Fun"

Landon’s mother used the phrase “FFF” to describe mandated moments of family togetherness. Here are 5 things you can repeat to yourself before, during, and after your family time throughout the holiday season.

1. I choose my boundaries. Remind yourself that you are ultimately in control of you. (For more wise words on boundaries, we suggest listening to a podcast by Rob Bell, One About Boundaries.)

2. I am breathing. Nothing rebalances you from the stress of chaotic moments like focusing on the breath in the present moment.

3. They are doing the best they can at this moment. Try not to see others’ words and actions as a reflection of you.

4. I am thankful. Brene Brownsuggests gratitude to overcome fear.

5. I am enough. If the turkey is dry, if the cookies aren’t decorated, if your mother doesn’t like your gift, you are still enough.

 

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Gratitude in the Holiday Season

Gratitude in the Holiday Season

Gratitude in the Holiday Season

As the aisles fill with tinsel and holiday cards, we recognize that to some people the jingle bells and mistletoe are welcome reminders of years of joy and tradition. Yet for others, it triggers a sense of grief, anxiety, and depression. Many might feel all of these things in the same day.

One tool for navigating the sometimes-overly-cheerful season (along with approaching it mindfully) is the daily practice of writing in a gratitude journal. The routine of getting into a posture of gratitude can combat feelings of despair at a subconscious level. We tend to see what we look for (what we call the Confirmation Bias).  Gratitude will help you change how you see the landscape of your life by reprogramming your brain to look for the blessings rather than focusing on the ways you wish life was different.

Not to mention, the brain in a grateful state gets a natural extra dose of dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for helping you seek out rewards. This means your body will want you to continue to look for (and find!) reasons to be grateful.

But don’t just think it; write it down. The process of putting mental and emotional thought into a physical reality engages the brain at a deeper state. It also serves as a tangible means to review the reasons why you are grateful, even when you don’t necessarily “feel” the gratitude on a given day. Reviewing earlier entries can help kickstart that process.

Try not to make your gratitude conditional on your current level of happiness.  You don’t actually need to feel happy to conjure gratitude. You can acknowledge frustrations, sadness, and even anxiety and still turn your mind toward an experience of the day or something in your life, and feel a sense of gratitude toward it.  Go ahead and take the first step in a grateful direction.

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Work Life Balance

Work/Life Balance:

A False Dichotomy
One of the first responses to chronic stress is evaluating our work life. Often, well-meaning friends and family suggest getting a better grasp on a “work/life balance.” The assumption is that you work too much and live “real life” too little.
Therapist Landon Dunn, LISW, LICDC, suggests this is a false dichotomy. “There is no work vs. life. All of life is just life.” What someone might be seeking is for a person to spend less of his/her life working, which can bring balance to the physical and emotional stress responses.
Instead of looking at a “work life” and “real life”, Landon suggests working mindfully. Rather than “going hard” all day only to return home and “play hard” and collapse into bed exhausted, consider mindfully living your entire day.
  • Cultivate practices that help you return to your body, even while at work. Taking walks and isometric exercises at your desk help you return to your physicality. When you take a coffee break, set the laptop aside and truly taste the coffee and let yourself savor the flavor, not just the caffeinated effects.
  • Neuroscientist Rick Hanson talks about “savoring the good” and feeling into moments of joy. So when you get the good news that the deal has gone through or that a client provided excellent feedback, sit an extra 3-5 seconds and allow it to ruminate.
  • Finally, within your work day, just as in the greater picture of your life, make sure that rest & restore stops are scheduled. Just 90 seconds to 2 minutes of mindful breathing in the present moment can help reset the hyper-arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, helping to decrease the rate of sickness and bringing your mental state into the present moment. Consider scheduling into your daily iCal or Outlook calendar a 2-3 minute recharging, and then schedule around it.

     By Landon Dunn, LISW, LICDC

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When Work Becomes Addictive

When Work Becomes Addictive

Our culture honors hard work to the point of sometimes worshiping it, so often we cannot see the tendencies of our hardworking nature to cross into the realm of addiction. Because working is praised by society and is necessary for well-being, it can hard for a person to admit that they have an unhealthy attachment to a good thing. With other addictions, specifically chemical dependency, the person attaches to something viewed as negative. But because work is a positive thing, the attachment isn’t always seen as negative.
Like other addictive behavior, the person starts to feel better when engaged with the behavior of working. When s/he is more comfortable in the work setting than at home or engaged in leisure and previously enjoyable activities, it can be a sign of a problem.
Another indicator of work becoming problematic is when the individual feels powerless to make necessary changes, such as stopping the habits of going in early and staying extra late. Thanks to the digital age, it’s more and more challenging to avoid working in the evenings or on the weekends and the compulsion to “check just one email” turns into hours of attention toward the office.
As a consequence, the individual becomes more and more isolated from family and friends, which continues the cycle of feeling more comfortable while engaging in the addictive behavior.
The good news: a change in thinking and behavior can help reframe work into a healthy place in a person’s life. If someone is noticing some of the indicators that the attachment to work goes beyond a healthy relationship, the person can reach out to a support system to seek accountability. Having loving voices (preferably outside of the immediate family, who typically have been asking for these changes) challenge the number of hours a person tends to working matters can help bring awareness. A text message to say, “what time did you get to the office?” or “I think it’s time to leave” can bring awareness back to the tempting behavior to continue until all the work is “complete.”
Try to put meaningful work in it’s rightful place as an element of a whole and satisfying life – rather than being life itself.
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