Dealing with Back-to-School Struggles Now – Pandemic Pandemonium

 

back to schoolWas your child having difficulty managing at home or distance learning? Is he or she worried about going back to school? I can tell you, my youngest is in a panic about going back, he’s very worried. While at home learning was necessary for both the safety of the children and the teachers and staff, it has definitely had it’s negative effects on quite a few of the kids. Socialization, a sense of normalcy, routine, etc. Being stuck at home was hard on everyone, and it seems that the kids took it extremely rough. If your child is returning to school this fall, check out these tips from Dr. Bregman, child psychiatrist, starting next sentence.

While the Covid-19 virus has been less of a medical concern for children than adults, statistics show that it is taking a major toll on their mental health. Children’s hospitals across the country are showing a significant surge in admissions for everything from generalized anxiety to suicide. 

Returning to school in August may be much more challenging than the typical “end-of-summer bummer.” Parents will be paramount in helping them through obstacles and the time to start is now.

Children who suffer from pre-existing mental health disorders like anxiety/OCD, PTSD, or depression are expected to have the hardest time when school resumes. But what about children who didn’t have mental health issues prior to the pandemic? 

In my private psychiatry practice, I am now seeing a children’s version of Cave Syndrome, a term I coined which describes people with a fear of leaving their house (or cave) due to stressors that developed or worsened during the pandemic. Unlike adults with Cave Syndrome who are fearful of leaving the house to go to work or run errands, kids with Cave Syndrome are worried about returning to school.

New Factors

Even children without a tendency towards anxiety have seen their routines get disrupted. Some

have seen their family suffer from Covid-19, lose their jobs, and experience financial difficulties. With more than 600,000 deaths nationally, there are few people who haven’t been impacted by loss.  

Everyone was talking about the “new normal” a few months ago. Well, there’s nothing normal about it. Now we’re seeing the consequences when treating young patients for anxiety and fear-based problems they may never have developed if not for the pandemic. In a way, it’s an arrested childhood development.

Recognize Your Child’s Concerns

You can spot difficulties by observing your child closely. Do they make excuses to stay at home? Do they talk frequently about not wanting to return to school? Are the choices they make based in fear and anxiety as opposed to rationality and necessity? If they seem like they would rather be grounded than return to school, they may need professional help.

Guidance to Move Your Child Forward

You know your child better than anyone else. The most important thing you can do immediately is to talk to him or her privately. Speak to them with honesty, love, and caring. Let them know that it’s ok to have these feelings and that you will be there to support them every step along the way. It’s also good for them to realize they are not alone in feeling anxious and fearful at this time.  

For younger children, talk to them about the first day of school with a sense of levity and good humor. Framing it in a positive light may work wonders. In addition, you can give him or her something from home, a memento, to hold onto as a comfort mechanism.

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GIVING GRIEF MEANING – A Book to help through vulnerable times

Most of us, I’d even wager to say all of us, will experiance grief at points of our lives. How we deal with it varies from person to person, but it’s not a topic that most of us are excited to tackle.  After a sad event, the author (Lily Dulan) decided to write a book about grief and her experiences.

grief book

You can Find it on Amazon or Bookshop 
ISBN 978-1642503135
Price: $18.95

GIVING GRIEF MEANING 

Following the death of her daughter, Kara Meyer Dulan, from SIDs at the tender age of two months old, Dulan was compelled to give meaning to her daughter’s brief life and honor her name.  As she moved through the grief process in a profound and transformative way, she gradually created The Name Work®, a cross pollination of proven psychological modalities, 12-step wellness tools, and spiritual healing applications.  By attaching a special meaning to names, and following breathing and meditative exercises, daily affirmations, and more, the method teaches us how to overcome our personal and professional challenges.  It also addresses our shared grief at this most difficult and challenging time in history, brought on by Covid-19, racialism, a collapsing economy, and environmental disasters.  For many of us, the upcoming holiday season will trigger feelings of stress, loneliness and grief, and the New Year will bring forth desires to make a lasting change.  GIVING GRIEF MEANING explains how to work through challenges such as:

  • Coming to terms with ANGER, STRESS, FAMILY/MARITAL DISCORD, DEATH, LOSS
  • Reframing a relationship with ADDICTION, FOOD, SEXUALITY, BODY IMAGE
  • Rebuilding after CHANGE, SADNESS, DEPRESSION

Praise for GIVING GRIEF MEANING

“Lily Dulan has written a courageous book filled with depth and vulnerability. Through the devastating loss of her beloved daughter Kara, Lily was inspired to create the process of “The Name Work®.” I’m sure that it will prove to be an accessible and useful tool for many people to give meaning to their grief. This book is filled with real-world examples of love overcoming despair. Lily encourages the reader to feel their own truth and develop empowering thoughts in sync with that truth. For all who are grieving, this book fulfills its promise to bring readers a sense of renewal, love and ultimate peace of mind.

—Judith Orloff, MD, Author of The Empaths Survival Guide

“Lily has written a heart-warming, courageous book about The Name Work®, offering pages of wisdom, guidance and hope to all who are grieving unbearable loss. From the heartbreak and despair of her little daughter’s death to discovering new meaning and purpose in life, Lily shares the lessons she learns on her healing journey to Giving Grief Meaning. Lily’s big heart of love shines through the pages of this book, embracing every reader who longs to find a hope-full path from devastating grief to a new commitment to life, love and compassion.”

—Trudy Goodman, Founder of InsightLA

“Lily’s book, Giving Grief Meaning, takes the reader on an intimate personal journey of Lily’s experience of what it is like to have a much loved and wanted baby in the NICU, and then for her sweet baby Kara to die of SIDS eight weeks after birth at home. Lily and her husband were shattered by unfathomable grief and trauma. Lily’s assumptive world was blown up and she shares her authentic, messy, and dark despair of grief. With the help of community and a strong spiritual practice was she able to transform her pain and suffering into helping herself and others. She chose to live and thrive through her love for Kara. Grief is LOVE. The Name Work® is a beautiful deck of cards with an initial on it. It is a heart centered “tool” or process to create affirmations, positive attributes and describe a loved one by using the letters of their name. Brilliant! I can not recommend this healing book enough to anyone suffering through the wide range and turbulent human emotions of grief, no matter the type of loss. This book will help validate and normalize the life-long ups and downs of the grieving process. Thank you Lily for your gift of this book and choosing life – you are helping so many by shining your light, grace and love with us all.”

—Dr. Ivy Margulies, Psy.D., PMH-C

“Insurmountable pain strikes deep and transforms lives; the effects last a lifetime. How we engage that pain truly determines our path forward. Through Giving Grief Meaning, the reader journeys with Lily Dulan as she blossoms into the unique, stunning, beautiful and giving person that she is today. To take pain and truly transform it toward enlightened joy and giving for others is a gift. We at Unatti Foundation are truly grateful for the wisdom that Lily has imparted to our girls in Nepal. The dedication of the Kara Love Project Community Room was a true testament to the care that Lily provides to rise the human spirit. Lily is now sharing all the possibilities to turn pain into growth with the world. Brava!”

—Stephanie Waisler-Rubin and Michelle Armoni, Unatti Foundation

OVERCOMING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY DURING COVID-19 FOR CHilDREN, TEENS and YOUNG ADULTS

Is your child feeling anxious or depressed?

About 1 in 4 Americans is diagnosed with a mental illness at any given time.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that affects men and women of all ages.

It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and general health.

Rick Birt, president and ceo, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisons) is responsible for leading the organizational programming, outreach, development, and communication efforts, while leading the SADD National Staff. Working closely with the Board of Directors, Rick sets and implements the strategic direction for SADD, empowering the millions of students in which SADD serves. An expert in the matters of youth health and safety, Rick has authored several publications that feature SADD’s unique form of a peer-to-peer approach that is vital to creating lasting behavior change in youth. Rick also frequents major news outlets, where he provides perspective for parents on best practices for helping their teen succeed. A SADD alumni himself, SADD has over a decade of prevention experience. Previously, Rick held the position of Executive Vice President, Director of Strategic Partnership, and Development Officer for SADD. Before joining the SADD team, he led Midwest Operations as the Midwest Education Outreach Coordinator for Impact Teen Drivers. Rick is actively involved in the community and spends time giving back to the Washington, DC area. Prior to his move to the District, he spent six years on the Northwestern Local Schools Board of Education (Ohio) and serves on several local and national boards that work to make a change at the community level. Rick is a self-proclaimed dessert aficionado, who enjoys frequent travel adventures and a good Netflix binge.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that affects men and women of all ages.

It can affect your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and general health.

Studies show that high school–aged students with mental illness are more likely to drink, use drugs, and die from suicide (the third leading cause of death in youth) 

Talking Points:

  • Often, mental illness begins to develop through high school and college years
  • Clinical depression is a serious illness that affects men and women of all ages
  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance

The good news is that there is help for those who suffer from depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, many teens are reluctant to seek the help they need because of the stigma associated with depression.

SADD chapters have access to information, tools and campaigns that help them know the warning signs, end the stigma, and empower each other to get help.

To Write Love on Her Arms Announces Shares World Suicide Prevention Day Video #WorthLivingFor #WSPD20 @TWLOHA

The mental health non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms has shared an inspiring new video as part of its “ Worth Living For Campaign” to honor World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and National Suicide Prevention Week (September 6 – September 12). The video features appearances from US Women’s National Team star Ashlyn Harris, artist Morgan Harper Nichols, actor Chris Sullivan (This Is Us), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot), Dustin Kensrue (Thrice), Mark Vollelunga (Nothing More), surfer Caroline Marks, producer Moore KismetLevi The Poet, and more. To watch the video, please visit: youtu.be/cXSLMF3GdYE.
 
On the video, TWLOHA founder Jamie Tworkowski shares: “This video is a collection of faces and voices from around the world, friends of the organization and folks we’re yet to meet, all sharing what they’re living for. We hope it inspires others to consider and share their reasons to stay alive. Ultimately, that’s the goal-inspiring people to fight for healing and recovery. We believe there’s so much worth living for.
 
Additionally, TWLOHA will be simulcasting on   Twitch,  Youtube, and Facebook today at 2pm ET to revisit highlights from the “Worth Living For” campaign and share points of continued engagement. Beginning at 3pm, viewers can also tune in to Instagram as Tworkowski is joined by Twinnie, Selema Masekela, Hunter Hayes, Tonya Ingram, and Jon Foreman for a series of conversations.
 
This year marks TWLOHA’s 9th annual campaign to honor WSPD and NSPW.The campaign statement was inspired by words written and performed by artist Levi The Poet. When asked what the statement represents and what the organization hopes to achieve through the global campaign, Co-Executive Director Lindsay Kolsch shared:
 
This year has been hard for so many people – disruption and disconnection, uncertainty and changes – have become a part of our everyday lives. We know that people need other people and that connection is important not to us just as humans, but to our mental health as well. We want this year’s campaign to focus on the things that bring us hope, the things that are worth living for – collectively and personally. We believe that having this conversation and connecting those struggling to  mental health resources can be life-saving.
 
People can participate by purchasing the organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day pack, joining the conversation online using #WorthLivingFor and #WSPD20, and tagging @TWLOHA, and by donating to the campaign. TWLOHA will directly invest every dollar from the campaign into sponsoring 3,500 counseling sessions and supporting 45,000 searches for free or affordable mental health care using their FIND HELP Tool.
 
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.6 million directly into treatment and recovery and answered over 210,000 emails from over 100 countries.
 
To get involved, go to www.worthlivingfor.com.
 
For more information on To Write Love on Her Arms, please visit: www.twloha.com.
 
Follow TWLOHA online at:

Speaking out against LGBTQ bullying #SpiritDay

stand up to bullying

Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz support “Spirit Day 2019” in the attached image.  This year’s Spirit Day (Thursday, October 17) is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities. Pledging to “go purple” on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.  Feel to use this image on your websites, social media and broadcast. Photo by Emma Rhyner.

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents the New Jersey premiere of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation & additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz  will run through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ). Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones, Orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryTuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”

Tickets available at www.PaperMill.org.

TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS Announces “You Make Today Better” Campaign in Honor of World Suicide Prevention Day

Nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) just launched its 8th annual campaign to honor World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and National Suicide Prevention Week (September 8 – September 14). This year’s campaign centers around the message of: “You Make Today Better.
According to the World Health Organization, 800,000 people die by suicide globally each year. That’s one person every 40 seconds. Additionally, the CDC recently reported that as of 2016, the suicide rate in the United States has risen 25% over the last 20 years.
TWLOHA Founder Jamie Tworkoswki shared: “World Suicide Prevention Day has become the most important day of the year for us. We love that this campaign gives people a way not only to support TWLOHA but also to have honest conversations about mental health. Above all, the goal is people getting help and lives being saved.
People can participate in this year’s campaign by purchasing the organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day pack, joining the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using #YouMakeTodayBetter, #WSPD19, and by becoming a fundraiser or donating to the campaign. TWLOHA has set a goal to raise $150,000 to sponsor 3,000 counseling sessions, provide scholarships for higher levels of care, and to connect thousands of people to reduced-cost local mental health resources.
Since its start in 2006, TWLOHA has donated over $2.4 million directly into treatment, has responded to over 210,000 messagesfrom over 100 countries, and traveled more than 3.4 million miles to meet people face-to-face at nearly 3,000 events. Each month, they connect with 5 million people online through social media and their FIND HELP Tool fields 5,000 searches made by people seeking affordable, local mental health resources.
In addition to this year’s WSPD campaign, TWLOHA recently announced that they will be holding their annual HEAVY AND LIGHTevent on September 21st, 2019 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL. The organization invites everyone to attend the show for what promises to be an inspiring evening of songs, conversation and hope, with performances from Jon Foreman of Switchfoot, Anthony Raneri of Bayside, DessaSWIMM, spoken word poet Anis Mojgani, singer/songwriter Morgan Harper Nichols, and singer/songwriter Jamie Grace.
Tickets for HEAVY AND LIGHT are on sale now and available at https://livemu.sc/2ZcpptG. Bundles for the event, which include a ticket and an exclusive shirt, can also be purchased at http://bit.ly/2Y7aeFG.

Boost your mental health even while you’re on a vacation – How is it possible?

Despite you being someone who simply loves his job, still there are times when you may feel bogged down by your responsibilities. Between pressures from your work, traffic jam in between commutes and family responsibilities, don’t you find it tough to focus on your physical and mental well-being? Do you lately find yourself shying away from socializing with people and are you trying to figure out the reason behind this feeling?

Well, the most probable reason is that you might be in dire need of a vacation. There will arrive a time when taking just a few days off from work will boost up your mental and physical health in a way you recharge your phone batteries. While there are online resources like e-counseling.com from where you can get the required information on seeking help of the best counselors, yet you should know how traveling can help you.

 

  • Give yourself a break from your old routine

 

If you do the same things time and again, this will become monotonous and can have a negative impact on your mood. Everyday you wake up, go out for work, get back home and again wait for the same old routine for the next day. If you could break your routine, this could give you a new perspective for life. Apart from just giving you a new perspective, you can also reduce the unnecessary stress that is disturbing you.

 

  • Make the most out of your leisure time

 

When you go out, make sure you don’t overschedule things. Rather than rushing from one activity to another, invest enough time in just wandering around, taking a sip or two of your favorite drink and then let your mind wander. Make sure you prepare the to-do list way ahead of time as this can also boost your mental health.

 

  • Let the calm affect your personality

 

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, you may at times feel out of the comfort zone and hence you need to adapt to such differences. This is a sort of challenge which opens up new avenues of your personality. This kind of adaptation will certainly make you less reactive to daily changes, boost your emotional stability and also make you willing enough to meet new people. Hence, you will become more agreeable in nature.

So, for ultimate stress relief and to make sure you improve your mental health, you can plan a next trip, even if that means traveling to a not-so-far destination. Traveling to a place and breaking your everyday routine can have huge impact on your physical and mental health. You can come back with double energy.

5 Daily Good Mood Rituals For Your Health and Happiness

nature walk

As many might be falling off the New Year’s resolution band wagon, life coach and author Dannie De Novo has a few tips to help people succeed year-round with daily rituals. Dannie, author of Get in a Good Mood & Stay There, says “Your good mood New Year’s resolution success will live and die by the habits you put into place to secure your desired goals. So, it stands to reason that the better the habit, the better the results you will see.”

But the idea of instilling new habits doesn’t usually sound like a fun thing to do. “That’s why I advocate for the adoption of rituals, which are nothing more than patterned behaviors but with a slightly more positive vibe,” Dannie continues. “When you adopt rituals, you train your brain to go through certain programing automatically. At that point, the behavior you desire is no longer ‘work’—you just do it.”

 

Ritual #1 Meditation

The more frequently you practice meditation, the more the effects sustain themselves throughout your day and throughout your life. Daily meditation practice equals daily sustained good mood.

You don’t have to devote more than a few minutes each day to meditation and you don’t have to be perfect in your practice. Keep it simple. Focus on your breath. Focus on a mantra or affirmation. Focus on the quiet. What your practice should be is meaningful for you. With meaning and connectedness, comes happiness.

Ritual #2 Gratitude

Gratitude is feeling or showing appreciation toward someone or something. A gratitude practice is a daily commitment to focusing your energy and thoughts on what you appreciate. There are few things you can do to build and maintain your happiness as important as exercising daily gratitude.

Gratitude shifts our thinking to the present moment. Gratitude allows us to celebrate what we have now and what we have accomplished. It also allows us to refocus our energy on our dreams and goals.

Ritual #3 Remind yourself of your why

If you don’t remind yourself each and every day why you made the decision to seek and hold on to your good mood, you won’t keep going after that goal.

Remind yourself often of why you made your decision. Take a piece of paper, write out your resolution in big letters at the top, and under your resolution list all the reasons why you are going to accomplish it. Make these statements positive. Place this paper in a visible area and make yourself read it and really reflect on the reasons why you started on this journey and why it is so important for you to continue.

Ritual #4 Be a dreamer

Your imagination is the gateway to your good mood and, ultimately, to your ideal life. You have the amazing ability to form the picture of any life you want and, by so imagining it, then living the life you desire. When your mood is dark and small, so is your world.

Carry with you the attitude of a dreamer. Never stop dreaming—even when things aren’t going your way. See yourself living life in a good mood and hold that picture in the forefront of your mind. You deserve to be happy.

Ritual #5 Something that makes you feel good

I love nature. When I am in and around it, I feel good mental, physically and spiritually. So, I make being outside for each day one of my rituals. I also think movement is important for my good mood. Daily exercise or some kind of movement helps keep everything in balance.

You should be incorporating rituals that make you feel complete and like a better version of yourself. Whether those rituals include journaling, reading, doing affirmations, spending time with pets, spending time with loved ones, or laughing, the idea is the same. Make these good mood activities daily practices that help contribute to an overall good mood.

 

About Dannie De Novo: Dannie is an author, attorney, coach, entrepreneur and podcast host who loves horses, traveling and learning. Her book Get in a Good Mood & Stay There launched in 2018. She spends her days finding ways to help those who aren’t experiencing the most fulfilling version of their lives. Her greatest job and joy is serving as mom to an amazing beacon of light and hope, her daughter, Carson. To learn move visit: www.DannieDeNovo.com