Here in Northeast Ohio, ‘winter depression’ actually starts around Hallowe’en. In fact, when I was a practicing therapist, no matter where I lived – Chicago, Boston, Washington DC or Cleveland - the phone calls for appointments always ramped up that first week in November, and stayed intense and plentiful like that for weeks. Sometimes the calls were from new people; sometimes from ex-clients feeling the need for a tune-up. But always, it was this time of year when the phone rang off the hook.
So, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Here’s hoping that went well.
(This is my best impression of my hero, Julia Childs, draping her very tall body over the counter top and grinning dementedly as she presents us with her latest production from the oven. I loved watching her from my treadmill at the gym!)
But now it’s time for the sometimes joyful, sometimes pesky (ever so rarely neutral) task of gift giving for the winter holidays.
Now, I’m here to say with all sincerity, we can make this job easier for you. Team HJ has assembled some awesome holiday gift sets that will make daily living a lot pleasanter for your peeps.
Hello again and hooray! It’s soon to be Thanksgiving, my all-time favorite holiday.
I love the way the whole house smells delicious, and family and friends can kind of laze around and watch football and keep going back to the fridge to eat more, sharing juicy bits of personal information between bites, at their leisure.
To me, there’s something very permissive and forgiving about Thanksgiving… maybe because it’s not a religious holiday, so whatever inherent tensions, guilt, divisions, crankiness or resentment that are normally embedded in those issues just aren’t evoked.
We’ve been hearing from a lot of distraught, anxious, disheartened people this past week, asking what they can listen to, to help them stabilize their mood and reconnect with their own inner strength.
I’m still wrapping my mind around all of this, so I have nothing illuminating to say. But I can suggest some audio resources with some conviction.
I’ve listed some guided imagery and meditation suggestions, to give yourself or someone in your life in need of some extra support. If you already use some of these, you might want to try something fresh and new. Feel free to browse our catalog for new finds, too.
We often get asked for the best way to listen to our sleep imagery at bedtime, without waking up a spouse or partner. This usually means ear phones, but most people complain that headphones and ear buds are too uncomfortable, and get in the way of sleep.
I never felt I had a really good option for an answer, but I recently learned of a whole new industry that has suddenly sprung up like mushrooms after a spring rain – comfy, adjustable head bands with thin, flat headphones sewn into them. Of course!
They all get strong reviews and the pricing ranges from $10-$25.
We’ll post the results on this week’s Hot Research page, showing that it helped post-cardiac surgery patients sleep better in the challenging ICU environment, and helped reduce post-op inflammation, as compared with usual treatment.
I was delighted to see this, but it occurred to me that this was the third study that I’d discovered in recent months that used our imagery – each time a complete surprise to me.
That’s perfectly within any investigator’s rights – our audios are commercially available, and people can do what they want with them.
I've briefly diverged from my usual stay-at-home behavior, giving a lot of talks this past couple of weeks. I’m glad I did, because I’ve learned a lot from all the people I've met and spoken with.
Aside from some terrific, practical insights, ideas and resource recommendations, I also got a score of powerful, new stories on how a simple, inexpensive, portable, uploadable, audio intervention called guided imagery can make difference in people’s lives. It was good to get that message, over and over again.
October is a lot of things – among them Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So it’s time to remind you of some important info on how to leave an abuser and still stay safe, because that is indeed a dangerous time.
That's when the violent partner is most enraged, feels there’s nothing to lose, and is at his or her most murderous. In fact, more than 70% of the killings that happen in these relationships are going to happen then.
October is, among other things, ADHD Awareness Month – that’s Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder - something that a lot of kids and adults struggle with (not to mention the people who love them).
ADHD is marked by impulsivity, inattention, excitability, fidgeting, boredom, and (often but not always) learning and social difficulties. An otherwise sweet-natured, bright, loving child with loads of natural talent and a strong desire to succeed can get sandbagged by this condition, deceptively looking like a disruptive, unmotivated nuisance, in the classroom, on the playground or at home.
The word is out and it’s spreading fast. The Robert W. Coleman School in Baltimore decided to replace their detention room with a mindful meditation room, and got stunningly positive results. Behavior improved. Performance improved. Impulse control got a whole lot better. Life in general improved at Robert W. Coleman.
Not everyone knows this, but here’s the thing: even little kids can meditate – preschoolers, too. And you may be surprised to learn that teenagers take to it like a duck to water. (They’re in a hormone-induced trance state anyway, so it doesn’t take much to get them in the zone.)