Everyday Secrets to Success: Nature and Movement


Everyday Secrets to Success: Nature and Movement

In today’s world, prioritizing mental well-being is top of mind. It is valuable to identify simple, everyday, attainable routines that promote mental health. Within the chaos of daily life, two powerful, yet often overlooked tools stand out: the peace that can be found within nature, and the rhythm of movement. Here is why these every day hacks are essential for enhancing and sustaining your mental health:

Nature: Spending time in nature can have profound effects on our mental state. The calming influence of natural landscapes reduces stress, anxiety, and even depression. The soothing sounds, refreshing scents, and vibrant colors of the outdoors engage our senses, which induces relaxation and rejuvenation.  

Movement: Movement increases mood. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators. Engaging in regular movement, whether through a daily walk or an intense workout, helps alleviate negative emotions and fosters a sense of accomplishment. The chemical response not only boosts mood but also promotes overall mental resilience.

Incorporating Nature and Movement into your Everyday Life:

Mindful Moments: Consider beginning your day with a mindful moment in nature. Whether it is a few minutes of bird-watching from your balcony or a walk in the park, engage fully with your surroundings. Consciously observe the details. Notice the rustling leaves, the sunlight on your skin, the leaves changing colors. Use this time to let go of your daily worries.

Activity Integration: Integrate movement into your routine. Choose activities that resonate with you, be it dancing, jogging, or practicing yoga. Start with achievable goals and gradually increase your intensity. Maybe finding a friend or family member to join you for added motivation?

Remember, building these habits takes time and patience. Start small, setting aside a few minutes each day for nature and movement. Gradually, these practices will become an integral part of your routine, promoting mental well-being that’s built to last. Use the calm that nature brings and the energy that comes from movement to support your mental health. These are everyday secrets that have the ability to transform your routine. 

Building Friendships in Adulthood

In a world filled with hectic schedules, responsibilities, and constant distractions, nurturing adult friendships can oftentimes take a back seat. As you step into new seasons of marriage, parenting and prioritizing your career, it is crucial to not allow your adult friendships to fall by the wayside. Adult friendships have the potential to create a positive ripple throughout your life and can strengthen your overall well-being. Consider these compelling reasons as to why you need adult friendships in your life and how to cultivate them, especially if you’re finding it challenging.

  1. Emotional Support and Empathy: As we navigate the complexities of adulthood, having friends who genuinely understand and empathize with our experiences is invaluable. Adult friends provide a safe space where you can openly share your feelings, struggles, and triumphs without judgment. They offer a unique perspective and emotional support, helping you to cope with life’s ups and downs.

  2. Improved Mental Health: Adult friendships also play a significant role in boosting mental health. Engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing laughter, and spending quality time with friends’ releases endorphins, reduces stress and anxiety. These connections act as a buffer against feelings of loneliness, which is becoming more common in today’s digital world.

  3.  Personal Growth: Friendships enrich our lives through diverse perspectives and shared experiences. Surrounding yourself with a varied group of friends exposes you to new ideas, hobbies and interests you might never have discovered otherwise. Friendship is a supportive environment to learn from each other and experience personal growth.

If you’re finding it difficult to foster and maintain adult friendships, know that you’re not alone. Here are some strategies to help you build meaningful connections:

  •  Join a Social Group: Participate in activities or organizations aligned with your interests. This will put you in contact with like-minded individuals, making it easier to form genuine connections. There are several apps and creative ways to find social groups in your area.

  •   Be Open and Approachable: approach potential friends with openness and a positive attitude. Small gestures like initiating conversations and active listening can lay the foundation for lasting friendships.

  •  Embrace Vulnerability: Be willing to share your thoughts and feelings authentically. Vulnerability fosters trust and allows others to relate to you on a deeper level.

Friendships are an essential component of a fulfilled and balanced life! Prioritize these relationships, invest into them and you will reap the reward of a stronger emotional well-being, and a richer, more connected life. Remember, it is never too late to form a new friendship! 

If you are struggling to make friends, sustain friendships or navigate the loss of a friendship, call our offices for support and guidance,

Can You Believe it is Time for School?


Maybe August brings a feeling of relief because your family thrives off of a school routine, or maybe you are feeling a tinge of sadness, because your family thrives off of a summer schedule. Either way, we are about to pivot and head back into a school schedule and routine! Let’s unpack how to prepare your family for the transition of summer ending and the beginning of a new school year.

As the summer days wind down and the new school year looms on the horizon, intentionality is crucial in how you help children transition smoothly from the carefree days of vacation to the structured routine of the academic year. Consider these points when it comes to preparing your children from this upcoming change:

1.   Gradual Shift in Routine: One of the most effective ways to prepare your child for the end of the summer is to implement a gradual shift in their daily routine. Start by gradually adjusting their bedtime and waking hours to align with the school schedule. This will help their bodies and minds adapt to the new rhythm, making the first day of school less of a shock to their system. Also, consider reintroducing small academic activities, like reading, a few weeks before school begins to help reignite their cognitive functions and sharpen their focus.

2.   Encourage Open Dialogue: It is natural for children to experience a mix of emotions as summer ends and the school year starts. Encourage open dialogue with your child about their feelings and concerns regarding the upcoming changes. Validate their emotions and offer reassurance that it is okay to feel a little anxious or excited. Discuss any apprehensions they might have and address them in a supportive manner. Remember, being empathetic and understanding goes a long way in helping them feel more confident about the transition.

3.  Create Positive Anticipation: Turn back-to school preparations into a fun and exciting experience. Involve your child in selecting school supplies, a new backpack, or maybe a back-to-school outfit. Plan enjoyable activities for the last days of summer, making cherished memories to hold onto when they step back into school.

Your child may not vocalize it, but a back-to-school transition can be a big milestone for them to walk through. Parents, be kind to yourselves as well. Every school year brings something new. Be thoughtful, ease into a new routine, foster open communication, and as parents, empower your children to embrace the new school year confidently. Patience and understanding are the cornerstones of a successful transition, and a wonderful school year ahead. 

Celebrate, Good Times!


From small victories to major milestones, taking time to acknowledge and honor our accomplishments is a practice that holds great value. Beyond the surface-level joy and excitement, there is a needed process happening within our brains when we pause to celebrate.

When we celebrate, our brains release neurochemicals such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. These neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating our mood, emotions and overall sense of well-being. As we pause to celebrate, dopamine floods our system which brings a sense of pleasure and reinforces positive behaviors. Serotonin is often associated with feelings of happiness and contentment, helping stabilize our mood, and it brings a sense of satisfaction. Lastly, oxytocin, the love hormone, is released during moments of celebration as we connect and strengthen social bonds, which builds a sense of belonging.

Pausing to celebrate our accomplishments also rewires the brain on a deeper level. By stopping to consciously acknowledge our achievements, we shift our focus towards what is present in our lives, not what is lacking. This reframe activates neural pathways associated with gratitude and resiliency. The more we practice celebration, the more our brain becomes attuned to seeking out the good in our lives.

Our culture has prioritized certain milestones as being worthy of celebration. For example, graduating high school/college, getting married and having a baby tend to fall at the top of the list. Today, remind yourself of all of the milestones of all sizes that you have walked through and will walk through. The power of celebration is just as meaningful.

Yes, celebrate babies and marriage and graduations! Also - don't forget to celebrate:
  • Picking up a hobby that dropped off when life got too busy.
  • Walking away from a relationship that was hindering you.
  • Creating a new life giving routine.
  • Finding friends who feel like family.
  • Moving to a new city.
  • Switching careers.
Here’s to pausing in the busyness of life to celebrate all milestones and benefiting from a mindset of positivity, resilience and growth!



Always, Never & You!


Our choice of words can either build bridges or create barriers in our communication. It is crucial to recognize the detrimental effects of certain words like “always,” “never,” and “you” when expressing ourselves. By understanding their implications, we can find alternative ways to foster healthier and more effective communication.

Concern: Words like “always” and “never” are absolutes that tend to generalize and exaggerate situations. When we use these words, we unintentionally undermine our message and invalidate the other person’s perspective.

Solution: We can express ourselves more accurately by using phrases such as “often,” “sometimes,” or “on occasion.” These terms acknowledge the complexity of human experiences and open up spaces for understanding and compromise.

Concern: The word “you” can come across as accusatory and place blame on the other person. It shifts the focus from the issues at hand to a personal attack, hindering productive conversation.

Solution: An alternative approach is to use “I” statements, where we express our feelings, thoughts, and experiences. By saying “I feel,” “I think,” or “I need,” we take responsibility for our emotions and invite a collaborative dialogue that fosters empathy and understanding.

In addition to avoiding these harmful words, active listening, and practicing empathy are crucial for effective communication. By genuinely listening to others and seeking to understand their perspective, we create a safe and supportive environment for open dialogue. Reflective listening, paraphrasing, and asking clarifying questions demonstrate our willingness to engage and validate their experiences.

By avoiding words like “always,” “never,” and “you,” we can create a more positive and inclusive atmosphere for meaningful conversations. Embracing alternatives like accurate expressions of frequency and utilizing “I” statements allows us to convey our thoughts and emotions without resorting to blame and generalizations. Applying these simple changes in language may be a necessary catalyst to strengthening your personal and professional relationships.

Are You A Quitter?

What if you saw quitting as a decision that required courage?

What if you saw quitting as making an intentional move to create more margin in your life?

What if you allowed yourself to see “quitting” as a positive and felt a sense of release from having to “white knuckle” your way through life?

There can be value in quitting, it can guide you in how to recognize when it is time to let go and the potential rewards that await you on the other side.

  • Recognizing When to Quit: Knowing when to quit something can be a challenging process. It begins with self-reflection and an honest evaluation of our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Pay attention to persistent feelings of discontentment, frustration, or burnout. When a task constantly drains your energy and joy, it may be a sign that quitting is the healthiest choice for you?
  • Another Path: Quitting can lead us on a journey of self-discovery, allowing us to explore new avenues and uncover hidden passions. By relinquishing what no longer serves us, we create space for personal growth and development. Embracing change with an open mind can open doors to unexpected opportunities and help us redefine our sense of purpose.
  • Building Resilience: Quitting requires courage, as it often involves stepping out of our comfort zones and confronting the fear of the unknown. By making the decision to quit, we cultivate resilience and strengthen our trust in ourselves. We learn that it is okay to prioritize and seek environments that align with our values and aspirations.

Quitting is not synonymous with failure. Rather, it is a choice that allows us to redirect our energy towards more fulfilling endeavors. This summer, consider quitting something. A negative thought pattern, a harmful habit, a one-sided relationship, or walking away from a job that isn’t in alignment with your values. This is a valuable journey of letting go of what no longer serves you and embracing new paths that align with your values.

The Value of Boredom


Are you a parent? School is out for the summer!

Maybe you’re bracing yourself for the repetitive phrase, ‘I’m bored!”

Is your first inclination to make sure your kids have a full summer schedule full of camps, play dates, vacations, and memory markers?

These are all wonderful, however, maybe this summer you can challenge yourself to lead your family in doing the opposite.

Here is a valuable insight to consider as summer break is in full swing: the value of boredom. In our face-paced world, it is tempting to fill our children’s schedules to brim with activities and engagements. However, allowing for unstructured time and embracing the beauty of boredom can have profound developmental benefits for our kids.

Boredom provides a unique opportunity for children and adolescents to tap into their creativity, foster independence, and develop essential life skills. When children are not constantly occupied with planning activities, they are encouraged to use their imagination, explore their interests, and create their own fun. This unstructured time allows them to become self-reliant problem solvers, as they learn to entertain themselves and discover new hobbies and passions.

Boredom also cultivates resilience and adaptability. When children are faced with moments of idleness, they are given the chance to confront their own emotions and thoughts. They learn to cope with uncomfortable feelings and discover healthy ways to navigate through them. This, in turn, enhances their emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and ability to regulate their own behaviors.

Unstructured time fosters social development. When kids are not bound by a rigid schedule, they have the freedom to connect with others in a more organic manner. They learn the art of negotiation, conflict resolution, and compromise as they engage in spontaneous play and interact with their peers.

So, as summer approaches, resist the temptation to overschedule every minute of your child’s summer schedule.