Archives for the month of: December, 2014

There is such a dichotomy of feelings when it comes to the holiday season. On one hand, you have all of the holiday spirit and joy. The feelings you get when you give and relieve presents or find the perfect gift for someone. Personally, I can’t help but sing along whenever Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer comes on and it brings me straight back to my childhood and singing Christmas carols with Girl Scouts at the mall. But, there are the other feelings that can come up. Dread about seeing long lost family members or worry about where to get the money for those perfect Christmas presents. What feelings are coming up for you this year?

A recommendation for dealing with your emotions is to manage expectations. You simple cannot doing everything. There tend to be a lot of demands on people’s time, money and energy during this time. Make a realistic plan for your resources. You might not be able to do everything you want and that’s okay. Trying to meet your expectations and everyone else’s can lead to burn out and depression. Setting boundaries and establishing realistic expectations will be helpful. What unrealistic expectations are you placing on yourself?

Another way to deal with holiday blues is to immerse yourself in the holidays, such as going to your work Christmas party and the Ugly Sweater party (as long as you mind the suggestion above). If you feel like isolating, you have to push yourself to do the opposite. Meet up a friend at a local Starbucks for a holiday themed drink. Just get out there and have some fun. Increasing pleasurable activities is a way to improve depression. Isolating, withdrawing and ignoring isn’t going to make your feelings go away. What holiday activity do you want to do before the season is up?

If your depression is worsening, making a last minute appointment with your therapist might be the type of support you need at this time. If your therapist’s office is closed, ask about the possibility for a phone session so you have the opportunity to check in, if needed.

Happy Holidays to everyone and I look forward to connected with my readers through the upcoming year with new and exciting blog posts.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

So you want to live your dream but don’t know where to start? The place you start is right here and right now. It’s about making a decision to live your life in a way that brings you happiness. One thing I often hear from people is that they don’t know what their dream is so they are comfortable in the space they are in. If you love the idea of living your dream, then start today. Grab a journal, paper, your phone or anything to put your thoughts down and start writing.

Develop your passions and purpose
What makes you excited in life? What will get you to wake up every morning and greet the day with open arms? This step is about formulating ideas. Maybe you love your job and you can create more purpose out of your current profession. Maybe you have wanted to make a location change but you have been too scared. Start to write down the things you want in your life. Jot down random thoughts like freedom, abundance and love. Formulate bigger ideas like “a job I feel fulfilled in and I make a salary to cover my needs and wants and “I am in a relationship where my physical, emotion and spiritual needs are met”. You can develop these ideas into a vision board or journal entries in order to develop and manifest them into your life. What are your passions in life and how can they be used to create your purpose?

Create goals and a plan of accountability
Once you have a general idea of where you want your life to go, create some goals. You want to make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. You can create a goal for each area of your life you want to shift and then create smaller action steps you are going to take to achieve your goal. An example of a goal would be: Complete one triathlon by March 2015. Smaller action steps would be: sign up for race, put together and follow a workout schedule, purchase biking equipment and put up motivational messages around the house to keep me engaged. What goals will you set for yourself in relation to your dreams, passions and purpose?

Reward yourself and bask in your glory
Do something to reward yourself for achieving your goals and living your dream. How do you best reward yourself for your achievements? Living your dreams will feel good in and of itself. You will end up feeling more connected to yourself and others. You will receive reward from the emotional freedom you will feel from living your authentic life; however it is important to reward yourself in ways that work for you. When I quit my full-time job, I bought a purse I had been eyeing for a long time. It was my reward for stepping outside of my comfort zone. The purse has become the symbol of my shift towards pursuing my dreams. What have you been eyeing that can be a personal symbol for your change? What emotional rewards are you looking to gain by following your dreams?

Interested in setting your sights onto something bigger but need help? Call me or text me at 954-258-8845 for a free 15 minute consultation on manifesting your dreams. I can help you develop a vision, set goals and hold you accountable to what you have set for yourself.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.