At times we all need a little peace and quiet in our lives, whether that entails meditation, yoga, going on a jog or other soothing activities. Often people struggle with burnout which does not always stem from putting in long hours at work; burnout frequently occurs with diminished social support, working towards goals that don't vibe with your vision, or feeling out of control with work/life balance.
Here are a couple tips to avoid burnout: 1) Do one thing each day for yourself and only you 2) Remember the basics by getting enough rest and eating at regular intervals 3) Hone in on self-efficacy.
One of my passions is working with trauma. An effective therapy tool for working with trauma is EMDR and as of this weekend I am formally trained in EMDR! EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy is a technique created to alleviate distress associated with traumatic memories and adverse life experiences.
During EMDR therapy the client undergoes bilateral stimulation while referencing a traumatic memory ultimately to diminish distress, reduce physiological arousal, and reformulate negative beliefs. You may ask, what is bilateral stimulation? Bilateral stimulation is stimuli (auditory, visual, or tactile) that occurs in a smooth, rhythmic-like left to right pattern. For example, visual bilateral stimulation often consists of clients following a therapists finger movements from the left to right side of the body.
Bilateral stimulation provides: 1) thought flexibility 2) decreased worry 3) decreased physiological arousal 4) distancing effect (problem seems smaller and more distant/harder to access).
Today, the sun finally shone in the Sunset district of San Francisco, a neighborhood marked by foggy weather. Often when the sun is shining our energy, concentration, and mood improves. Hippocrates even believed that the seasons or lack/presence of sun impacted our health. Does anyone relate to the feeling of being a bit irritable or out of sorts with gray skies and fog? If so, you're not alone! For those of us who are impacted by seasons and weather deeply, Dr. Normal Rosenthal from Georgetown University identified the condition Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD's). SAD's is often described as the winter blues and is characterized by sadness, hopelessness, and lethargy. Feeling grateful for sun shine today. 🌞
Our olfactory sense of smell is the most salient part of our senses. Scents often remind people of specific memories, people, or places. Essential oils can be a great tool to use in the therapy room to provide calm relaxation or perhaps trigger feel good memories or emotions.
My favorite essential oil is sandalwood because it reminds me of the scent of my grandmother that I was closest to whom I share my middle name Pritchard with.
My grandmother had an infectious, kind spirit, was deeply involved in the feminist movement and became a social worker later in life.
It's amazing how certain scents can trigger such strong, emotional reactions. What is your favorite essential oil? 🌿
SF Therapist, originally an East Coast native. I have been in the field of emotional health and wellness for 12 years. Check out my stories on Instagram at @catharinepritchard!