"Instead of meeting in an office, during a Walk and Talk session, client and therapist conduct their meeting outdoors (usually a park or at an indoor space conducive to walking with some privacy)" - Samantha stites
There is a heightened awareness of the mind-body connection in today's society. More and more Americans are practicing mind-body-spirit activities like tai chi and yoga. Doctors are more frequently doing mental health checkups, and mental health professionals are acutely aware of how certain medical diagnoses can mimic mental disorders and are incorporating exercise and bodily interventions into care plans.
One of these interventions that is gaining traction is called Walk and Talk Therapy. Instead of meeting in an office, during a Walk and Talk session, client and therapist conduct their meeting outdoors (usually a park or at an indoor space conducive to walking with some privacy). The client sets the pace anywhere from a slow stroll to a light jog and has the freedom to take a break at any point to rest or interact with nature.
Walk and Talk Therapy can be especially helpful for people who:
· Struggle with mild-moderate depression or anxiety
· Are in good physical health
· Want to connect with nature
· Want to incorporate light exercise into weekly routine
· Have a hard time sitting still for an in-office visit
While Walk and Talk isn't an appropriate setting for some therapeutic needs, individuals can use Walk and Talk Therapy as a stand-alone service or as a supplemental service to their normal mental health care regimen. Additional benefits to Walk and Talk Therapy over the traditional office appointment may include:
· Mild aerobic exercise -> endorphins -> happiness
· Connecting with nature
· Better relationship with therapist from engaging in common activity
· Easier time opening up to therapist due to less eye contact
· Moving somewhere physically can help you "move somewhere" cognitively or emotionally
Now that autumn is here, there is no better time to give Walk and Talk therapy a try. Have questions or want to schedule a session? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Samantha Stites, Counseling Intern
"How do you maintain your work/life balance? Maybe you had a terrible dy, and you decide going for a run or a walk would help clear your head and de-stress more than doing the laundry. don't make yourself feel guilty for this." - alexa lingren
How do you maintain your work/life balance? Maybe your idea of a great Monday night is spending the evening hanging out with your friends after a long day, venting about work and life, getting home, falling into bed, and waking up to do it all over again. Maybe you would rather come home, make your house feel clean and organized, watch mindless TV by yourself, and fall asleep on the couch by 9pm. Whichever category you fall into, you may find yourself frustrated if you don’t balance your time with a little dose of both options.
How do you get energy?
Some people are introverts and recharge by being alone. Other are extroverts and enjoy socializing and getting energy from other people. Knowing yourself in this way can be very important when thinking about your own personal work/life balance. Maybe you set limits to attending two social events per week. If you know you will feel burnt out after saying yes to a third event, practice “saying no” when you get invited to that third event. Know yourself and know when staying home and getting things done around the house would make you feel better the next day versus going out for that event. Also, recognize when you’ve maybe spent too much time alone that week and need some socialization. Saying no can also refer to working outside of work. Of course, you may have required things you have to do off the clock, but if they are not required, try to prioritize when you’re thinking about bringing work home. Can you shift things around and get it done while at work? Does it have to be done the night after you worked a 12 hour day, or can it wait until tomorrow?
Another work/life balance concern is the amount of time spent at work or talking about work. Those who spend 40+ hours a week tend to use the fleeting hours they have off the clock, talking about work. I have had clients who have said to me: “How do I stop spending my entire evening complaining about work to my friend/significant other/coworkers? I feel drained getting home at 7pm, talking about work until 8, and waking up at 6 to go back and do it all over again. This only gives me 2 hours of work-free time.” One idea I give people is to use the “two positives and one negative” rule.
Set a timer
You can set a timer on your phone, give yourself 10-15 minutes, and discuss your day; however, make sure you end with at least two positives from your day and only one negative. This process is beneficial for two reasons: it helps you keep the discussion to a 10 minute minimum, and it helps you put your day in perspective. Yes, maybe you felt like nothing good happened all day, but chances are, if you really think about it, you can find at least two positive events. And yes, it may feel therapeutic to complain about all the terrible things that happened, but really, they may have felt worse because of the one major thing that happened that day. So, keep your conversation to 10 minutes, and don’t forget to point out the positives.
Finally, it may help to keep your time off the clock somewhat organized, so you don’t start to feel stressed or overwhelmed to have some time at home, not knowing what you should be doing. Keep a whiteboard or notebook in your house that you use to make a weekly list of things you want to get done. Make a note of doctors appointments you need to make, bills that need to be paid, and household chores that have to get done that week.
Make time for yourself
And lastly, make time for YOU when you think about your priorities. Maybe you had a terrible day, and you decide that going for a run or a walk would help clear your head and destress more than doing the laundry. Don’t make yourself feel guilty for this. You will get the laundry done on the weekend, and you took the time that day to help yourself shake off the bad day and show up to work ready to make the next day better. So, no matter how you choose to personalize your time off, make sure to balance it in a way that will help you feel like you are able to have a life outside of work, but are also able to return to work each day ready to do the best you can and feel happier doing it.
Alexa Lingren, LMSW, LMAC
“There's nothing wrong if you quit something – it's actually a very necessary component to success. 'Quitting' just means you get to redirect your energy and focus to new and better things." -
Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” While I do not feel that I am prepared to say "no" to almost everything, I do feel empowered to say "No" to the things that are not best benefiting me and my mental wellness. There’s nothing wrong with you if you quit something--sometimes quitting is exactly what you need to do!
Young adults, Millennials, Generation XYZ (kidding ☺), whoever you may be, you’re may still be finding out who you are or who you want to be. Quitting things is going to be okay. Not only is it going to be okay, but it’s going to be imperative! Sometimes it’s worth quitting 99% of things you try just so you can find that 1% that really “clicks” with you.
Do you really expect your first shot at anything in life to be your best shot? It would be a pretty stress free life if the first time we attempted something it was always the best result.Part of the fun of experiencing life is to experience all of the trials and all of the errors; through all of these are when you discover who you are, what your interests are, and what you’re passionate about. It’s important to set goals for yourself, but it’s also important to remember that you can quit those goals and pursue new ones if you learn that those are not what set your soul on fire anymore.
Put it in the perspective of going to counseling. Sometimes you find your perfect counselor on the first try, but more than likely, you’ve had to try out a few different counselors before you could find one that was a great fit for you! So if you gave yourself the grace to try multiple counselors before finding the right fit, what’s stopping you from giving yourself the grace to try out multiple jobs, multiple schools, and multiple relationships?
Today I dare you to quit something.
I double dare you to quit something you feel trapped in.
I triple dog dare you to quit something that you’ve been thinking about quitting for a long time, but always let guilt overcome you causing you to stay!
You can do this! Branch out and try new things, you may just find the perfect fit is the thing that you thought was the most unlikely fit! Funny how life works out sometimes.
Andrea McDonald, Counseling Intern