Solutions Community Counseling and Recovery Centers

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Solutions promotes wellness in mind, body and spirit through the provision of
effective, affordable mental health and alcohol/drug services that
promote recovery, overall health and a sense of belonging. 

Communication, Compassion, and Continuation to Get You through the Winter

Posted on: February 19, 2015 1:00 pm

                How many discussions have you had about the weather this week?  I’ve had no less than 10 this morning alone.   With temperatures well below 0, who isn’t thinking about how cold it is outside?  Along with our daily worries about school, appointments, errands, bills, and work, we have to be sure our families have enough layers when trekking outside, and decide who will care for our kiddos while they are off school.  (Who, by their fourth day at home, are bored of watching Big Hero 6 and building snow forts.)  The added stress of these frigid temperatures can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression for people of all ages.

                If the cold days have you feeling down, you’re not alone.  Psychologists from the Boston area have seen an increase in need for counseling for people feeling stressed and worried about the seemingly endless snow they have endured this winter.   With 8 feet of snow to date, the city is experiencing one of the worst winters recorded.   Fortunately, southeastern Ohio’s winter has not been as treacherous, but when it is too cold to go outside, and the weather makes traveling dangerous, it can leave us feeling trapped.  You may be feeling a lack of control, or stress because simple tasks, like a trip to the grocery store, take much longer.  These feelings are normal, and many people experience them in the colder months of the year.  So what are some strategies for coping with the lack of sunshine and lots of time spent inside?

                There are simple things you can do to handle the added stress.  An easy way to remember a few strategies for taking care of yourself and others is to follow the “three C’s,” which are: communication, compassion, and continuation.  It can be easy to isolate when feeling down, yet maintaining social relationships with friends and family can quickly brighten both your day and your friend’s.  Crafts and coloring are a great indoor activity and fun for both kids and adults.  Also, the weather affects us all, and showing compassion for your neighbors, who are undoubtedly just as cold, can lighten the unpleasant feelings you’re having.  Maybe you can join community members are the Countryside YMCA when they host a health fair from 10am – 1pm?  It's a a free event and there will be many resource booths for kids and adults.  Lastly, continuing your daily routine as much as possible preserves your sense of control when it feels like we are at the mercy of the gusty winds and chilly temps.   We hope to see you at the health fair this Saturday, February 21!  

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Teaching Children to Problem Solve & Self-Regulate

Posted on: March 26, 2015 5:30 pm

Teaching Children to Problem Solve and Self-Regulate

Please consider your own personal opinions for the following two questions:

  1. Why would you assisting our children to learn problem solving skills help them in school, with friendships, and later in life?
    •  Problem solving skills can assist children in developing: friendships, anger management coping skills, identification and verbalizations of feelings, building children self-confidence/self-esteem, promoting their independence, etc.) 
  2. What does it mean to self-regulate? Why is it important for children to obtain this skill?

Problem Solving Steps:

  1. Identify the problem through feelings (sad, angry, frustrated, disappointed, worried, fearful, etc.)
  2. Define the Problem
  3. State the Goals
  4. Brainstorm Solutions
  5. Evaluate the Solutions and Make a Good Choice (Is it safe? Fair? Lead to good feelings?)
  6. Evaluate the Success of the Solution that was Chosen

Principles for Teaching Children to Problem Solve and Self-Regulate

  • Model creative problem solving yourself when you're faced with a problem (for example: deciding what's for dinner, where to park, what movie to watch on movie night, etc.)
  • Encourage your child to play games to learn problem solving skills. Coach them through a problem if it arises during the game.
  • Use stories, puppets, toys, and cartoons to make problem solving fun. Use these as a way of role playing common problem situations that your child encounters. For example, if you child has difficulty sharing toys while at school, you can each be a puppet and have the puppets practice sharing. This is another great way to model positive problem solving skills.
  • Talk about feelings.
  • Help your child to define their problems.
  • Be positive and imaginative.
  • Encourage children to think through various consequences (positive and negative) of the different solutions that they come up with.
  • Clarify the problem situation and help your child identify the feelings involved.
  • Encourage your child to think of as many solutions as possible.
  • Praise your child’s attempts at thinking of solutions and model these for your child.
  • Encouraged to be an “Emotion Coach” by labeling/talking about different emotions during play and throughout your daily activities, providing books about feelings, walking through how to cope with your own emotions, and providing your child with a safe place to express his/her feelings.
  • Remember to praise your child when they safely expresses their feelings and letting them know how proud you feel when they talks about his/her feelings with you.
  • REMEMBER, at first it is the process of learning how to think about conflict that is critical, rather than getting the answers correct.

It is important to remember, one problem solving session will not teach your child all of the skills needed for problem solving; it will take hundreds of learning trials and much patience.

Please check back next week for our review of a new exciting topic.

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