Healthy Holidays

Yes, it’s that time of year.  Shopping, holiday events, family, food, and STRESS!  Join us in celebrating HEALTHY holidays this season!  It’s never too early to start your New Resolutions…if you’d live more healthy consciously 2013, reconsider the portions of your family meals this month, and incorporate exercise into the mad holiday rush! :)

Looking for more tips to manage stress in a healthy way during the holidays?  Consider the following:

  • —Mindfulness…Practice the skill of being in the moment every single moment.  All too often, we get lost in dwelling on the past or worrying about or planning for the future.  Be in this moment, right now, with gratitude!
  • —Connection with Breath…When stressed, take even a second to tune into your breathing.  Once you tap into it and notice that you’re either holding your breath, or it’s more rapid than you can count, you immediately find something within your control that will help you de-stress.  Take a few deep breaths…consciously breathe in peace, calmness,patience, etc. and breathe out stress, anxiety, fear, etc.  You feel your heart rate slow down, and stressors become more manageable.
  • —Exercise…The #1 way to beat stress and symptoms of depression too!
  • —Healthy habits (healthy nutrition, drink water)…We all know this, but how simple it is to forget! :)
  • —Fun (Hobbies and PLAY)…Do you make TIME for play?  Or even combine with chores?  For example, pump up the music and dance while cleaning the house! :)
  • —Attitude of Gratitude…When we practice mindfulness, we find opportunities to be thankful in every moment…gratitude for breath, clean water, mobility, etc.  This dramatically shifts our perspective from negativity and stress into peace, positivity, and gratitude.
  • —Journaling…Get those thoughts and feelings out through writing, drawing, or painting and let it go! :)
  • —Positive self-talk…”I can do this.”  “I am okay.”  “One step at a time.”
  • —Socialization…So many of us tend to isolate when overwhelmed.  Reach out; situations are more manageable when you have a cheerleading team behind you, or ask others to help out.
  • ——Bubble Bath…sooo relaxing! :)
  • —Beach/Park/Mountains…Where is your self-care safe place you can visit but haven’t made time for?
  • —Meditation…The skill of being still allows your mind to quieten.  Meditation is not about having no thoughts, but rather slowing down and tuning into the inner peace hidden under the chaos of everyday life.  Practice being a gentle non-judgmental observer of your thoughts, emotions, and body sensations.  Just as clouds pass in the sky, our thoughts, emotions, and body sensations eb and flow and are not the core of who we truly are.
  • —Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Chi…Such exercises can help you practice mindfulness and mediation.
  • —Visualization…Visualize a calm safe happy place, or imagine yourself being able to handle the stress of extended family visiting.
  • —Acknowledging limitations and saying No…We all have our limits.  It’s okay to say you don’t have time or you’re unable to add another commitment.
  • —Aromatherapy…Lavendar is one of most stress-relieving essential oils.  Find oils that are all natural, like Oil Lady Aromatherapy®.



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About Kimberly Rodgers, LCSW, RPT-S

Kimberly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She currently works in Naples, Florida as founder and therapist of Monarch Therapy, LLC, a holistic therapy center offering psychotherapy, yoga, and massage therapy. She specializes in counseling children and families, as well as adults struggling with unresolved trauma, stress/anxiety, and adjustment to life transitions. In addition to traditional “talk therapy,” she implements expressive approaches including play therapy, sand tray therapy, and art, as well as yoga, mindfulness, and EMDR (trauma specific therapy). Prior to private practice, Kimberly’s experience includes foster care, adoption, youth shelter, youth related research, school-based counseling, and sexual assault crisis center settings. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both in social work, from the University of Georgia and the University of Central Florida, respectively. Kimberly also conducts home studies for prospective adoptive and surrogate families and supervises social workers pursuing licensure and play therapists. She serves as Vice President of the Southwest Florida Association for Play Therapy and is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers, The Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida, and EMDR International Association. More information about Kimberly and her practice can be found online:

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