How To Survive A BBQ, Party, Or Other Work Event

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1299806_22026527Some people love office parties. They can’t get enough of socializing with the people they work with all day, even that picky person in accounting.

Others genuinely care about the people we work with, but when we come home at the end of the day, we want to spend time with family and friends. We want to do something that has nothing to do with work whatsoever.

Going to an office party is something we “have” to do, a duty or chore. We make an appearance for the sake of office politics.

For the shy, private person, or one with social anxiety, though, office parties and events are a nightmare. Aside from using your anxiety-management techniques such as breathing exercises and visualizations, what can you do to get through the next office bash?

Some simple tips:

1. Help out. If it’s a non-catered affair, offer to help set up, serve beverages, clean up. If it’s a catered party, offer to hand out name-tags, compose the invitations, do the decorations, get involved in the organization, make phone calls, etc.

2. Invite one or more people to travel to and/or from the event with you. Offer to pick them up and/or take them home if you’re driving.

3. Unless it’s a formal event, offer to be the photographer. Bring a real camera if you have one, rather than a phone. Bring a tripod, if possible, too. The camera is a great prop and conversation starter. You become “the photographer” and people relate to you in this capacity.

4. Ask if pets are allowed. Bring your dog, parrot, or chameleon.

5. If you’re brave, wear a truly ridiculous mask and/or a costume. Walk in and say, “Hey, who sent me that email saying this was a costume BBQ?” (Someone I know did this a long time ago, as a joke. We all laughed, and she became the star of the event. Most of the employees barely knew her name before.)

 

 

 



10 Incredible Quotations About The Power Of Your Thoughts

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1113685_34682217You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

— Marcus Aurelius

Man’s mind is his very essence. Wherever your thoughts are, that is where you are – all of you.

— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

— Plutarch

Guard your thoughts very carefully, because thought can literally create a living thing.

— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.

— Willie Nelson

The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.

— Andrew Bernstein

Think good and it will be good.

— Yiddish saying

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

— Marcus Aurelius

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

— Rene Descartes

 

 



A Collaborative Approach To Pediatric Depression, Anxiety

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

miri compressedWe’re following up with pediatric occupational therapist Miriam Manela, who specializes in behavioral issues, whom we interviewed earlier in the week.

Tell us more about how you collaborate with mental health professionals.

Sure, I’ll give you an example. Recently I worked with a social worker in private practice. We worked together with a client I’ll call Jake. Jake is sixteen and in a special ed school. He’s challenged by learning disabilities and social delays.

He was very depressed and suicidal, making threats of killing himself. He gets very angry and either shuts down, which presents as not talking, or moaning and complaining repeatedly. He also has anxiety.

The social worker has been working with Jake on

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Helping Children’s Emotions & Behavior With OT Miriam Manela

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski
miri compressed

Photo by Andre Reichmann

Pediatric occupational therapist Miriam Manela specializes in helping children and their families with behavioral issues. Occupational therapy may be utilized as part of a multi-disciplinary treatment plan or on its own to help with a broad spectrum of behavioral, emotional, and mental health-related issues.

Welcome, Miriam.

You work with many children with emotional and behavioral issues. The issue we’d like to start with, one that seems to be on the rise in children, is anxiety.

From the perspective of occupational therapy, is there a difference between anxiety in adults and children?

Yes, in adults you feel that anxious energy and you know that it’s not what adults should feel like. In children, you feel that anxious energy, and you may think, “Oh, this is just “kid” energy—they’re just being kids.”

So, it’s not always so easy to diagnose anxiety. Obviously a mental health professional will use specific diagnositic criteria.

From my perspective as an OT, behaviors are a manifestation of whatever is going on in the child’s whole system, not just his mind or emotions. If a child is biting an object or his nails, a psychotherapist might see this as a symptom of anxiety. I would evaluate the child differently than a psychologist would.

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Thirteen Easy Ways To Give Yourself A Break

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

525200_73544751Have you been working hard on yourself, mind, body, and soul? Therapizing? Talking? Discussing? Meditating? Self-assessing? Introspecting? Exercising? Volunteering? Self-esteeming? Motivating?

Good.

Now, give yourself permission to take a break.

By the way, the idea for this post and nine of these ideas on this list were given to me by a client with bipolar disorder. And most of them are low-cost or free.

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Traditional Wisdom & Depression

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

595702_14433699A God in Therapy post:

In our previous post, we ask: Can faith and belief prevent depression?

Today, we ask: Is it possible that faith and belief can help with existing depression?

And, is a traditional technique for helping heal depression relevant, today?

Over two hundred years ago, the great Jewish teacher and mystic, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, explained that you can’t think two thoughts at the same time. He tells us that we have the power to choose our thoughts, and not be victims of them. Therefore, if you introduce a positive thought, the negative thought goes away because your brain cannot focus on both.

Psychology seems to agree. Learning how to replace negative, unhealthy thoughts

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Can Faith & Belief Help Prevent Depression?

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

107023_5283A God in Therapy Post

Many traditional psychological theories posit: Depression is really anger turned inwards.

But is it true?

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Three Tips To Help Calm Your Anger

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

831837_79977773disgruntlement point, n the point at which an internal or external trigger becomes unmanageable and a behaviorally explosive reaction may occur

Feelings of anger can be like steam from a teakettle. If the steam hole (that makes the whistle) is blocked, the steam will still need to be released from somewhere. It might be the spaces between the lid and the kettle, but if there is no other release, the whole kettle will explode.

If you can’t manage to channel your anger in a positive manner, or dissipate it entirely by removing the boiling kettle from the heat source, your anger might explode into more than one area of your life. People you love, colleagues, even strangers might have to deal with dark moods, yelling, and worse.

Sometimes, you might end up holding in these unpleasant feelings, which causes very real physical symptoms, like chest pains, headaches, insomnia, and more.

I use the term disgruntlement point to help clients identify the point at which they need to redirect or re-frame. If anger is an issue for you and the people you’re close to, there are three areas of awareness that can help.

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Combat A Giant Health Risk With Low Lighting

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1437848_58926195This piece in Huffington Post, Why We All Need More Sleep, might be creating a lot of buzz. But are we actually changing our habits because of it? We’re sleeping at least one or two hours less than we did in the 1960s.

The Telegraph reports that researchers from Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Manchester and Surrey universities are telling us that not getting enough sleep puts us at higher risk of cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, infections and obesity.

I’d like to add that the importance of getting the right amount of sleep for mental health and emotional well-being cannot be overestimated. My unscientific observations lead me to find that too much sleep can exacerbate depression in my clients; too little, and more erratic behaviors as well as anxiety and even psychotic episodes can be exacerbated and/or triggered.

Lights Out!

Before electricity (I’m not even going to discuss computers), people generally were able to go to sleep earlier.

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The (Ridiculous) Video That Made Her Lose It

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

SONY DSCLoma Linda University has done quite a few laughter studies, and I want to give my unscientific thumbs up—they’re right, laughter heals what ails you.

Body and brain. Mental sharpness and blood pressure. Emotions and immune system. Humor helps.

The other day I saw Remaining Nameless collapsed at her desk.

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Recent Comments
  • Eugenia: Stigma is real and many people are out fighting against it. With so many people being stigmatized, mental...
  • Lucus: I think this kind of stuff is very interesting. I have tried meditation myself, and continue to use it in...
  • TDB: Have BPD. In a tumultuous relationship with someone I believe has NPD. At it’s best it’s amazing....
  • John Mays: It certainly is not impossible to control your thoughts, but is certainly is difficult and takes practice,...
  • Beatrice: Great article!
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