Finding Holiday Joy


Posted By : Sally Dee 0 Comment


We often see the “marketing” side of the holiday season. The media blasts photos of people happily shopping, cooking comforting foods and doing fun things together. But as a therapist, I know that this isn’t the whole story. I see people that have deep sadness and grief throughout the holiday season as it reminds them of a loved one they are missing. I see people that are crippled by anxiety as they wish to provide presents under the tree. I see people who feel alone. I see people that feel trapped in family roles that they can’t seem to break free from. I see people who have been stressed throughout the year, reach their breaking point.

But before YOU reach your breaking point, let’s try to change the story here. We can make the holidays better, if not even like the marketing geniuses deem it “JOYOUS”. In order to do this, you have to commit to yourself that you are going to tell a different story this year.

It begins with recognizing what exactly are the feelings you are having and why- sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. Once you identify your true feelings, here some very broad tips for helping you find your joy this season.

1. Be mindful and focus on the positive

Notice your own tendencies and when you feel out of alignment with “joy”. You can change your interactions with others by slowing down. You can even change your interactions just by focusing on the good and positive. Do more of the good and positive.

2. Set boundaries

Your enjoyment of the season is just as important as everyone else’s. Make sure you are happy too.

3. Help others

Nothing is more grounding than helping people in the community. If you have a service, provide it for free to someone that couldn’t normally afford it. Help at a food bank or something that appeals you. You will be surprised at how energized the body and mind feel after being generous with others.

4. Enjoy the outside

We tend to spend a lot of time indoors this time of year with shopping and eating. Even if your area of the country is cold, bundle up and get some fresh air. Go for a walk and contemplate the beauty of your surroundings. Plant a tree for someone who is not with you this year.

5. Plan a trip for during or after the holidays

It can be a simple weekend away where you get to enjoy a new city or a seaside adventure. Travel opens doors to relaxation and can shift us out of our unhappy states- as long as it is in the budget!

You have to decide that you want your holiday story to be a good one. You may need extra counseling to get through the month- professional or through talking with close friends. But you can do it and you can make this a time of year that feels cozy, warm and joyful.

Peace in Reflection & Hope in the New Year


Posted By : Sally Dee 0 Comment
Categories :Blogs

As we head into the last week of December 2012, during therapy and in my blog, I thought it might be positive to reflect on the choices we make. My work this week has been filled with much of the following: positive reviews of the year’s progress many of my clients have made in my practice, along with sadly, conversations about what led to the tragedy in Connecticut. Many of us continue to process it all through the shock and ask, “How did it get to the point of a young man feeling the need to make such a horrendous choice?”

I have had young mothers talk about their own anxieties, and they explain to me that their anxious feelings are now heightened. The mothers know they need to let go and try to go on living life in a “normal” fashion, but they fight the urge to never let their own children out of their sight for a single moment.

Others have talked about what they can do to make a difference in the daily lives of others. Some are now connected to the 26 Acts of Kindness on Facebook and Twitter. I have begun to renew my own acts of kindness and realized that I stopped a few years ago. Surprising people with kind acts is always interesting and fun and simply makes you feel happier.

Hopefully, the conversation will seriously begin now about how this tragedy might have been averted if mental health was looked at differently. When my clients begin this conversation about their own feelings about coming in to talk and discover the intricacies of their minds, I always remind them that healthier people come in for therapy. Therapy is healthy for you and your loved ones. It leads to better relationships, feeling more positive, making better choices and an overall higher self-confidence. Who wouldn’t want those things?

Often this leads to a conversation about the stigma of therapy. A handful of clients pondered, “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had yearly mental health check-ups?” As I looked at next year’s schedule and confirmed with clients whether or not they wanted to continue on the same level of attendance, they all laughed and said, “Of course, where else would I be?” (In the same vein as, “Silly therapist, of course I will be here!”)

I have high hopes for us all in the next year. May we look at our lives and make positives choices, help others, do random acts of kindness every once in a while, not forget how lucky we are to live where we do, and share our lives with people who love and cherish us. Have a wonderful last week of December, begin 2013 with high hopes and consider therapy as just another way to stay young and be healthy. I will see you in January!

ADULT ADD – Finding Therapy in Tampa for Chronic Disorganization


Posted By : Sally Dee 0 Comment
Categories :Blogs

Most of us are familiar with the terms adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It’s hard to operate in today’s society and not feel affected by the various entities vying for our attention. Not being able to focus is an obvious symptom of adult ADD, but we all experience bouts of lack of concentration at some time or another. Let’s look at another symptom that may require treatment in therapy (Tampa).

I’d like to ask you if this scenario sounds familiar… Just yesterday you felt as though you could not get out of your own way. You didn’t accomplish anything and yet, you were so exhausted at the end of the day! Maybe your partner complained again about a task you forgot to manage. So you begin to ask yourself, “Could I have adult ADD? Seems like I do. I’m disorganized, my home has overwhelming clutter, and I feel as though I am always late. Maybe I need therapy (Tampa).”

I’m here to explain to you that adult ADD is a complicated issue, and so is defining its symptoms. Some individuals end up feeling so stressed that their “organized mind” shuts down. Others have a long-term history of feeling perpetually behind the eight ball, never able to catch up.

Seeking advice and therapy from a specialist can help you determine if you are going through a stressful period and just dealing with a temporary state or if you are chronically disorganized, which is commonly associated with adult ADD.

A patient of mine, who we’ll refer to as “Janie,” came to me for therapy because her husband was fed up with the ongoing chaos in their home. Janie worked with me to find solutions to her daily concerns. And with hard work, she was able to make small changes that had lasting, transformative results. For someone like Janie, a combination of therapy to help anxiety and depression, combined with coaching to address areas of disorganization, can help.