Celebrate Ornament

8 Coping Skills to Survive During the Holiday Season

The holidays are a beautiful time of year. We get time to spend with our families, we eat great food, and we most likely we have some warm holiday traditions that may also include meaningful or spiritual values. When handled well, holidays can be a time of connection and emotional reward. But, for many people the holidays can also be terribly stressful.


7 Ways to Help Your Child’s Anxiety in Standardized Testing

Bottom-line: It seems like standardized tests are here to stay. But the key to our children doing their best on them is NOT adding pressure or fear to the situation. Instead, it is teaching our children tools to manage their fears and thoughts. It is supporting them in their individuality, and helping them find the good things in their present world. And it’s helping them remember that some of the best things in life are not measured, but rather are experienced with kindness, love, and support.


How To Help Yourself (And Your Children) Through the Unknown

Helping Your Child Through the Unknown

For many people, unknown things can feel bad or scary. It seems that when we don’t know what to expect, we prepare for all the bad things that could happen. It makes sense; biologically, our bodies are perfectly wired to avoid danger. So when something frightens or upsets us, our hearts beat, our lungs take in more air, and our muscles tense, preparing for “fight or flight.” We try to process the information, make sense out of it, and stop it from happening. We are primed to keep ourselves safe.


No-Guilt Mindfulness

No-Guilt Mindfulness

My alarm goes off, quietly at first, and then a little louder. I turn it off, and then start my daily practice. What do I hear? I listen. I hear the birds chirping, the dog snoring quietly, the sound of my spouse making coffee downstairs. What do I feel? I notice the cool breeze from my fan, the softness of my blanket, and the comfort of my bed. What do I see? I slowly open one eye to appreciate the soft, dappled light through my window and the blue sky on the other side. What do I smell? The scent of my laundry detergent still lingers on my pillowcase. What am I grateful for? I am grateful for this day, for my life, for meaningful work, for my family. I take 4 deep breaths and I get out of bed. Thus ends my meditation for the day.


Why Self-Love is So Important (And Not a Bad Thing)

Guest Post: Why Self Love is So Important and Not a Bad Thing

While my generation and younger is thought to be full of selfish, shallow, entitled people (which I do not agree with), what I do think is that a lot of what we’re seeing is not too much self-love, but exactly the opposite. No real self love at all, in fact. Holes filled with insecurities. People who secretly do not feel worthy of the space they take up. People whose only memories of Earth have been of her demise, at the hands of humans. People obsessed with the system’s definition of accomplishment. People who are scared to look deeper, scared of what they’ll find there. People who listen to the voice of short-term happiness, over the deeper voice of long-term joy, because well they don’t trust the deeper one, or they’ve no idea how to hear it.

Looking back, growing up, I can’t think of a single conversation where my friends and I even mentioned the things we liked about ourselves, let alone reasons we loved ourselves. Just typing that makes me feel uncomfortable. The general message (especially as women) was that it’s okay to love things about other people but not ourselves.

As a Midwesterner, I come from the land of humble and hard-working. I value humility like crazy. We’re not big on self-love. But I’m starting to believe that you really do have to possess something first, before you can give it away.


Family Holding Hands

Helping Your Family Recover from Community Violence

Last week in Iowa City, there was a community experience of violence. Episodes of horrible violence also happened in other places, such as South Carolina. Community violence is something that many of us will experience. Recent research suggests that 39-94% of children will witness an episode of violence in their community at some point in their childhood.


Girl with Sunflower

Helping Your Child to Respond to a Traumatic Incident

When community tragedies happen, they can feel downright terrifying, especially so close to home. Traumas can have lasting effects for communities, children, and families. They increase our fears, and decrease our feelings of safety. These effects are particularly pronounced if we were present or directly involved with the victims.


Surviving Difficult People

Tips to Survive Difficult or Challenging Interactions with People

Many of us will have to survive difficult people.

It may be a co-worker, a boss, a teacher, or another student. It could be a customer, or someone with whom you do business. Some of these people come and go in our lives, and some of these people are more permanent. Either way, trying to work or get along with difficult people can take a toll on us if we don’t find skills to manage these situations well.


How to Use Self-Compassion to Help Your Health

Self-compassion is a way to help ourselves stay healthy.  If you are like many of us, you may only think about your well-being after something hard has happened, like an illness, a crisis, or a stressful work issue. However, self-care is an ongoing issue, and not just when hard things happen. One thing that’s very […]


Woman holding cup

Small, Meaningful Moments

Sometimes, the world just moves too quickly. Sometimes, there is too much to do, or too much to think about. Sometimes there is too much noise, too much activity, too many electronics, or too many pressures. Sometimes, there is too much drama or just too much talking.

Sometimes, less is more.

But, it is tough to know how to do less. After all, we can’t just tell our bosses or teachers, “no,” when job responsibilities or homework assignments are expected. We can’t just tell our band director that we can’t do the band concert this week or we can’t tell our boss that an important project is not a priority.