Atlantic Counseling Group Blog

Electronic Screens: Their Impact on Health & Ways to Establish Boundaries

During the COVID pandemic, there has been an increase in the amount of time we are spending on electronic devices. Those who are now full-time teleworking are spending eight plus hours daily in front of a computer. Children and teens are spending extended hours on YouTube and playing video games at home. And, electronic use has been providing people with a sense of connection through social media. “Screens” are now a part of our lives more than ever before.

Modern technology is empowering because it provides a means to unlimited knowledge, additional forms of healthcare, and social connection. Although modern technology has done wonderful things, it has contributed to some behavioral health concerns.

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Parenting Support for Helping Kids who are Struggling with Emotional Difficulties

As parents, sometimes the first thing we want to do is jump in and rescue our children from the negative emotions or difficulties they are struggling with. Sometimes we tell them things like “oh it’s not that bad” or “oh you’re fine” when perhaps there’s a different way then we can approach it that will help them learn to identify what their feeling and work through the emotions in a productive way. By staying calm and helping to validate their feelings without minimizing or trying to change them, we give the children an opportunity to express and explore their emotions in a safe space. Being able to articulate what they are feeling in an appropriate, healthy and respectful way is a skill that will help them in the moment and as they grow. Here’s a few suggestions as to how you can you can support your child struggling with emotional difficulties.

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Athletic Performance: The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes

Student-athletes are often faced with pressures, demands, and time constraints that are likely to result in high stress and feelings of anxiety. For student-athletes, time management skills become critical when having to balance academics, practice, competition, and attempts to maintain a social life. Competitive athletes frequently have two things in common. 1. They want to succeed in their sport 2. They often feel worried, anxious, and fearful of a negative outcome before a competition. Coaches often underestimate the psychological components associated with athletic performance. Practice is 90% physical and 10% mental. Competition is 90% mental and 10% physical. It is important to strengthen our “mental muscles” just as much as our physical ones. To be a winner, you have to think and fully believe that you are one. It takes practice to achieve this state of mind.

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How to Talk to Your Children About COVID-19

My ride with three kids in the car after school helped prompt this blog. They were full of questions, comments, correct facts and other wildly incorrect ideas.

The best movie overall to help explain this, for those that enjoy media, is the Frozen Fever short animated movie. In it, the sneezes produce lots and lots of little snow men called Snowgies and they just keep multiplying and taking over a bunch of places. This show helps kids to get the idea of germs spreading even when we try not to have this happen.

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Understanding Brain Injuries: What You Need to Know

March has been designated “Brain Injury Awareness Month,” which provides a good opportunity to discuss a widespread personal and public health issue that touches most of us, in some way, over the course of our lives. There are many types of brain injury, many levels of severity, and significant variability in outcomes for people who have sustained brain injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.” TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States. In 2014 there were approximately 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths in the US, according to the CDC.

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Love and Relationships: Managing Conflicts with Emotional Intimacy

As Valentine’s Day approaches, we can’t help but think about love and intimacy in our own lives. We thrive on closeness. We long for loving relationships. We strive to foster meaningful relationships with friends, family, and significant others. However, we are scared of conflict in those relationships and shield ourselves from developing stronger bonds when conflict is present.

Conflict is a natural and normal part of any relationship. If managed poorly, it can damage the best of relationships. But, when managed with kindness, respect, openness and trust it can foster deeper connections and strengthen bonds.

While there are various types of intimacy - including physical touch (i.e. - hugging, kissing), emotional connections (i.e -the intellectual sharing of ideas, goals and values), and shared experiences (i.e- creating memories together), not all of these are valued the same. What is often overlooked and underestimated is the importance of emotional intimacy.

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Self-Care: More Than Just a New Years' Resolution

There is no better time than January for setting intentions for the year. This is the month you'll likely be confronted with societal messages about getting in shape, eliminating bad habits, or doing things that you've been putting off. From water cooler talk about New Year's resolutions, to solicitations from the local gym, to dinner table conversations about finally cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, there is likely no escaping the push to examine your behavior and make a change. But while all this focus on making changes can at times be overwhelming and unwanted pressure, it is a perfect opportunity to set healthy, positive intentions for yourself.

So, in order to dial back the anxieties around making a new start, and to make positive changes for yourself, set a positive intention to nurture yourself this year with healthy self-care practices. More than just a new-years resolution, healthy self-care practices can be essential to emotional and psychological wellness. Here are some self-care ideas to get you started.

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