March’s Mindfulness Exercise

Mindfulness is something that everyone can incorporate into daily life.  Mindfulness involves observing and accepting the things around and within us, without judgment.  In therapy, Johanna may involve mindfulness skills to build awareness of various issues and to develop coping strategies.   The exercise below is not individualized to your needs as it may be in therapy, but is rather intended as a general exercise that you may find useful.

March’s mindfulness exercise:

In Wegmans, every so often you may hear an announcement that “it’s time for a stretch break.”  How often do we give ourselves a stretch break?  This week, set a daily alarm for a time of day that you know you tend to be tense or act on autopilot.  Each day when the alarm goes off, take three deep breaths.  With each breath, stretch as you inhale (your arms, your back, or your legs – you pick) and relax as you exhale.  Pay attention to any thoughts or feelings that may come up within you as you complete this exercise.

NOTE: This is not intended to replace therapy.  Please contact Johanna at (585)406-3012 if you are interested in individual or group therapy.

Sleep Better in 2016

We’ve entered the new year, made our resolutions, and gotten back into a routine after the holidays.  How are your self-care routines going?  More specifically, how are you sleeping?

Here are a few things to consider that may help to improve your sleep in 2016.

-Are your bed and your bedroom comfortable?  Do you walk in and instantly associate the room with feelings of peacefulness?  If not, consider things like the temperature of the room and blankets, the lighting, the noise level, and what you use the room for.  Try to pick a couple of things to make changes and invest in your sleep space.  If you find that your bedroom is a multipurpose space (such as for watching television, doing work, or eating), consider moving these activities to another room or at least another piece of furniture other than the bed.

-Do you have a hard time turning off your “to do” list or worries at nighttime?  Try taking 5-10 minutes to think through, or even write down, your tasks and worries.  Do this before you even get ready for bed so that you have a buffer between your “worry time” and your sleep time.

-How do you prepare for bed?  I’m not just talking about brushing your teeth.  Think about what you do to wind down from the business of the day.  If you don’t have a pre-bedtime routine, try one out!  Take 20-30 minutes before bed to engage in something that is relaxing but won’t put you to sleep (you want to save that for when you get into bed).  This pre-bedtime routine could include stretching, reading, taking a bath, or another calming activity.

As always, don’t hesitate to call Johanna with questions or to schedule an appointment at (585)406-3012 if you’d like to explore this topic more.