Stress Management & Wellness
Many clients refer themselves to the practice to explore what changes they could make in their lives that would bring them closer to balance and wellness. There may have been a time that people would only seek the support of a psychotherapist for a mental illness such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Today many people seek our support to address what is not working for them as they want their life to be more fulfilling. Stress has become all too common a word in today's fast moving society. People are “stressed out"," on a “stress leave" or simply not coping well with their disappointments and demands of their daily life.
Psychotherapy can assist people in exploring their perceptions of themselves, others and the world in general. Often these perceptions are not conscious. These perceptions are often formulated in childhood, and affect what we expect for ourselves and others. It can be our view of that creates the stress not the situation itself. Some people are so worried and concerned about what others need and want from them, they are not taking care of themselves. Often people who are consumed about what the other person needs experience intense levels of anxiety. Eventually our bodies will let us know enough is enough, but it will take some work to change the way we think.
Some helpful tips on managing stress:
- Develop a realistic wellness plan and write it out and put it on the fridge
- Be gentle and forgiving with yourself
- Slow down
- Take more breaks
- Deep breathe
- Learn to be present
- Reach out
- Get more sleep
- Focus on things you do (be mindful)
- Make it a habit to learn new things that require mindfulness
- Pay close attention to you patterns of thinking: notice your negative self-talk
- Learn to let go
All of these suggestions require practice and dedication and eventually you will begin to live differently. This may mean some changes in your lifestyle or the way you think. The day I graduated with my Master's degree a professor who I deeply respect, Dr. Claire Hawes gave a speech about as psychotherapists we need to model wellness. She referred to it as having margins in our lives instead of racing around never having breaks or enough time between events. This has stuck with me for 17 years and it is my commitment to myself to practice what I preach. I have discovered yoga over the past several years and have enjoyed the benefits of mind & body control. It is my retirement goal to study and teach yoga in White Rock and Mexico.
I started to see Bonnie for therapy sessions about three years ago. At that time I was juggling raising two children as a single Mom, working full time and working through past abuse issues alone. I felt I had nowhere else to turn and needed help sorting out all my mess. Bonnie is sensitive, professional and extremely brilliant! She has helped me understand with more clarity the alcoholic home I grew up in, and the abusive relationships’ I would continue to choose for myself. Her therapy has helped me become a confident mother and a stronger woman all together. Bonnie has become a role model to me, a non-judgemental ear to listen, as well she provides me with wonderful feedback. I had zero confidence when I started to attend therapy with her.
I have since stopped smoking, began a fitness program, started university and have had a career change. I could go on and on about the healing that has happened in my life! Bonnie has also been working with my two children, this is also been a huge help for them. They have been able to work through the struggles they had growing up in an abusive home. It’s great for them to have someone neutral to talk about their life and the hurdles with becoming a pre-teen, school and just everyday life. I have so much gratitude for her and the wonderful work she has done for me and my family. I’m a new woman because of her help and compassion!
- Yours Truly, DR, Surrey, BC