• Staying Connected To Your Partner During COVID-19 April 24, 2020

    Unprecedented times, like the current stay-at-home orders, can add stress to our relationships with those we love. When learning to make adjustments like working from home or spending more time at home, it’s understandable that people are asking the question, “How can my partner and I stay connected during the coronavirus ‘lockdown’?” We put together a few ideas that may help you strengthen your relationship with your partner.

     

    Create Quality Time Together

    While “dates” will look different during this time of quarantine, it is still just as important to be intentional about quality time for you and your partner. Couples and Sex Therapist, Leah Simmons says, “For our couples in lockdown, it is important to remind them to create quality time together, which can be with a game, movie or walk… Find ways to be creative and engage in laughter or get out of their comfort zone and have a dance party in any room in the house.”

    Communicate Regularly

    Communication is always important for relationships, especially during a stressful time.

    Between work, kids, and other responsibilities, days can go by quickly! One way to be intentional about communicating is to have daily check-ins. Set a time each day, maybe after the kids go to bed, to check in with your partner about their day. Ask questions like “How are you feeling?” or “How can I support you?” Take this time for each of you to really listen to one another and to communicate your emotions, anxieties, needs, etc.

    If both partners are working from home, it may be a good idea to spend just a few minutes each morning reviewing work schedules. This can be especially useful if one or both of you are conducting meetings over video or phone calls!

    Leah Simmons says, “If couples want to find new ways to communicate they can create a time to watch Brene Brown’s Call to Courage on Netflix and identify how they can engage in better communication.”

    Remember Self-Care

    Most likely, you and your partner are not accustomed to being in the house together all day, every day! Leah Simmons says, “It is important for each of them to have some alone time and engage in self-care for themselves so they can better connect with their partner.” Taking time alone to engage in self-care will provide each of you a chance to recharge and reflect, which will strengthen your relationship!

    This pandemic is a new experience for all of us, and we are here for you as you navigate it. If you find your relationship needing additional help, please reach out to your counselor or contact us.

  • Staying Connected When Feeling Disconnected April 9, 2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, social distancing has become our new normal. Social distancing refers to increasing the amount of space between people in order to slow the spread of the illness. But, for most of us, our new normal probably looks a lot more like only leaving our homes for activities that are absolutely essential. With all of this time at home and away from people we are accustomed to seeing regularly, many people are feeling lonely and disconnected. We want to share a few ideas to help you stay connected to those you love during your time apart:

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  • Parenting & Social Distancing: How Do I Keep My Sanity? March 31, 2020
    The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything we have seen before, and with it comes unique challenges – like having the entire family home together every day. With everything that is going on, you may have found yourself asking “How do I keep my sanity with my kids home all day?” We have compiled a list of ideas to help you thrive during this time of social distancing:

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  • All About Online Counseling March 26, 2020

    Did you know that Garrett Counseling recently began offering online counseling, sometimes referred to as teletherapy? We are excited to be able to offer this service to you, especially during a time when you may not be able to come to the office or you just don’t feel comfortable getting out. Our counselors are working hard to support you during this time, including opening their schedules to more appointments and assisting you in the transition to online therapy if you’re interested. This blog is designed to give you all the basic details about online counseling. If you’re interested in learning more about the specific online counseling that we offer at Garrett Counseling, you can get more information by reaching out to your current counselor or by visiting our new online counseling webpage (insert link: https://garrettcounseling.com/online-counseling-services/ ).Continue Reading

  • Grief March 21, 2019

    Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to you. You may feel a variety of emotions, like sadness or loneliness. And you might experience it for a number of different reasons. Maybe a loved one died, a relationship ended, or you lost your job. Other life changes, like chronic illness or a move to a new home, can also lead to grief.  Everyone grieves differently, but if you understand your emotions, take care of yourself, and seek support, you can heal.  Your feelings may happen in different stages as you come to terms with your loss. Every person goes through these phases in his or her own way. You may go back and forth between them, or skip one or more stages altogether. Continue Reading

  • Growing Your Relationship – Building Connection March 20, 2019

    As we begin a new year, we tend to reflect on the past and set new goals for ourselves. Perhaps focusing on building connection with your partner is one of the best things you can do for your relationship this year. Think about it: At the beginning of a relationship, we put a great deal of effort into it – going on dates and talking for hours. Then somewhere along the way, we stop doing those things and begin to run on “autopilot.” Relationships thrive when we put effort into them. That’s why in this blog, we’re sharing a few ideas for building intimacy in your relationship.Continue Reading

  • Why You Should Drink More Water (& Some Tips To Help You) January 11, 2019

    Drink Water

    Water has many benefits for us, and most of us probably aren’t drinking enough! In this blog, we will share a few reasons why you should be drinking more water and a few tips to help you increase your water consumption.

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  • How Sleep Affects Your Mental Health (+ Take Our Sleep Quiz) December 27, 2018

    Most of us know that sleep is extremely important to our health – both physical and mental. Yet many Americans report they struggle with getting enough quality sleep! In fact, some studies have found that 40-60 million American adults struggle with sleep issues and disorders (1) and over 60% of American children have difficulty sleeping at least one night each week (2). In this blog, we’ll take a look at why getting enough quality sleep is so important for our mental health, how much sleep is recommended, and advice for improving your sleep quality.

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  • Seasonal Affective Disorder: Understanding the “Winter Blues” December 21, 2018

    Winter is upon us, and with it comes shorter days and colder weather. This season is known widely for its holidays, snow covered trees (depending on where you live), cozy nights by a fire, and other traditions. But winter is also a time where we see a rise in something called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the “Winter Blues”. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, with an additional 10-20% possibly suffering from a milder form. (3)

    Throughout this blog, we want to help you understand Seasonal Affective Disorder and  give you some practical tips for taking care of yourself this winter.Continue Reading

  • After the Storm: Part 4 April 8, 2018

    Today is the final part in our series on coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Today, our focus is on adults.

    Typical Behaviors:  Events like the recent storms can cause a significant amount of stress for adults. This stress can present itself in several different behaviors and symptoms. Some of those behaviors include:

    • Replaying the event or memories of the event in your head
    • Trouble sleeping or nightmares
    • Flashbacks to the event
    • Fear, worry, or anxiety
    • Anger, depression, or sadness
    • Increased sensitivity to loud noises or being easily startled
    • Decreased appetite or trouble eating

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  • After the Storm: Part 3 April 8, 2018

    Today, we are moving on in our series about coping with stressful events – like the storms that recently impacted Jacksonville, AL. Today, our focus is on children ages 12-18.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and following events like these storms, children and adults can experience stress. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of behaviors or symptoms. The behaviors seen most often in children ages 12-18 include:

    • Depression, anxiety, or worrying
    • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
    • TEMPORARY problems at school – grades or attendance
    • Withdrawing from friends or family
    • Becoming more accident prone
    • Acting out or rebelling
    • Changing future plans – Ex: “I’m not going on that trip now.”
    • Focusing only on current things or things in the very near future
    • Appetite changes – overeating or undereating
    • Focusing completely on themselves
    • Seeking revenge
    • Engaging in behaviors as a distraction – substance use or risk taking
    • Talking about suicide, self-harm, suicide pacts, etc. (**Seek Immediate Help**)
    • Life threatening behavior or reenactments of the event (**Seek Immediate Help**)

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  • After the Storm: Part 2 April 8, 2018

     

    Today, we are on part two of our series on coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Today’s focus is on children ages 7-12.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and after stressful events, both children and adults can experience significant amounts of stress. This stress can present in a variety of symptoms or behaviors. The behaviors or symptoms typically seen in children ages 7-12 include:

    • Paying close attention to caregivers or parents to watch their anxiety and fear levels
    • Losing interest in usual activities
    • Withdrawing from friends
    • Becoming focused or preoccupied with safety
    • TEMPORARY decrease in grades or school performance
    • Physical pain – including stomach aches or headaches
    • Increased sensitivity or response to loud/sudden noises
    • Difficulty sleeping or night fears
    • Clinging to parents or caregivers  

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  • After the Storm: Part 1 April 8, 2018

    After The Storm: Part 1 (Ages 6 and Under)

    Over the next few days, we will be sharing a series of blogs related to coping with stressful events, like the recent storms in Jacksonville, AL. Each blog will focus on different age groups. Today, we are focused on children ages 6 and below.

    Typical Behaviors:  During and after events, like the recent storms, people can experience a great amount of stress – children are no different. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of symptoms or behaviors. Those most typically seen in children ages 6 and under are:

    • Change In Behavior: Becoming more aggressive than usual, becoming much quieter, etc.
    • Return To Previous Behaviors: Clinging to parents, bed-wetting, thumb-sucking, etc.
    • Night Fears or Trouble Sleeping
    • Physical Pain: Including headaches or stomach aches
    • Heightened Response or Sensitivity to Loud or Sudden Noises
    • Change In Appetite: Eating more or less than normal
    • Confusion

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  • BOOKSHELF: WILD ABOUT YOU December 19, 2017

    Wild About You is a children’s book written by Judy Sierra with pictures by Marc Brown. This book illustrates many themes, such as the struggle of wanting to start a family via adoption and how sometimes it takes a village to raise children. One important theme shown by this book is that despite looking different or coming from different backgrounds, the most important factor in adopting a new member into a family is unconditional love provided by the parents. This book also reveals the difficulties in raising a child without an support system. Without help from others, the pandas and the kangaroo would not be successful in raising their adoptive babies. This book would make an excellent tool to help children who may struggle with understanding why some families adopt, or why other families may look different from theirs.

    Written by Intern Josalyn

    Josalyn is a Senior at Jacksonville State University, double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with an interest in pursuing a career in mental health counseling and advocating for social equality.

  • BOOKSHELF: THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT December 19, 2017

    One day, as Duncan was getting ready to color in class, he opened his box of crayons only to find a stack of written letters. One by one he opens the letters and begins to read. To his surprise the letters are from the crayons! Letter after letter, color after color, Duncan acknowledges each complaint. But what were the crayons complaining about? Each one had a feeling of being overworked , underworked,unappreciated, and/or misused. Duncan came up with a plan and decided to color one big picture using every color to its best abilities. The Picture was so unique and beautiful that Duncan’s teacher gave him an A+ for creativity.

    Activity: Each crayons expresses a different feeling or emotion in the book. Grab a blank paper and go over each individual crayons complaints in the book. Have a conversation with your child about what the crayon is feeling, why it feels that way, and how to resolve those feelings. Then have the child draw the emotions with that specific color or a picture of choice. You can even have them act out a time where they felt the same way, helping to build empathy.Continue Reading

  • EFFECTS OF NATURE THERAPY December 19, 2017

    Nature – Based Therapy is becoming the therapy of choice for many counselors, and with research showing positive results, it’s easy to see why! Nature – Based Therapy refers to programs that promote mental health through an on outdoor environment. At Garrett Counseling, we are big proponents of Nature – Based Therapy, and here is why:

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