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05/Jun/2020

As counselors, we all want to be able to live our lives the way we help others to live. Being a walking example of a mindful, open and vulnerable human being can somtimes be tough, but if we ask our clients to do it, so too should we.  At Minds in Motion, we feel it is necessary, or even crucial to walk the walk, and practice what we are facilitating with our clients.  I want to highlight Denise about this very thing, as she went through spine surgery last June, recovering enough to do her lifelong goal of trekking alone in India in October, only to find out she would need a knee replacement in December.

Sometimes life can surprise us with medical issues that we may not be ready for, and this was what happened with Denise. As she was planning for her big trip to India, she made sure she took care of herself to have spine surgery, but the knee surgery soon after these two big events was a big pill to swallow.  Denise hasn’t been in the office very much the last few months and now that she is back full time, I asked her how she got through her time of body surgeries and big adventures.  Here are the gems that she shared when life requires resiliency:

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
Whether she was navigating alone abroad or stuck in bed with a new knee, she was sure to ask for what she needed.  She was sure to say no when necessary and vulnerably ask when it wasn’t offered.

WATCH YOUR OWN STINKING THINKING
When she would get hard on herself, she would notice her dialogue and gently bring herself back to the present moment, trying to be kinder in her self narratives.

SELF COMPASSION
I’m glad Denise mentioned this one because it’s my personal favorite.  We should have self compassion for our  running dialogue of self negative or critical thinking processes.   However, when resiliency is required, we also need to have self compassion surrounding the ripple effect of other consequences from our primary problem.  For example, having compassion for herself that she wasn’t able to work as much due to her knee surgery,  and being more isocially solated because of the icy winter and requiring crutches.

PATIENCE AND TOLERANCE
Whether traveling abroad alone or working through pain on your own couch, having repeated patience and tolerance to unexpected circumstances was crucial for Denise.  Trying not to judge the pain or other people’s reactions, she practiced having patience for not knowing what was ahead or how long the pain would last.

Denise is back and ready to get back into her full practice again, if you have seen her and are missing her, or want to schedule with her, she would be happy to see you!  you can schedule her here:
https://mindsinmotionco.com/schedule-appointment

I feel honored to work with all the Minds in Motion team who tries to live lives of mindful, compassionate and kind lives.  We aren’t perfect, but we all know this is a continual learning process that is about the journey and not the destination.

Warmly,
Angela Melzer, LCSW
Owner of Minds in Motion Clinic


05/Jun/2020

After all the holiday cheer, your system may need a reboot.  The purpose of a short cleanse is to give your organs of detoxification a quick rest.  By not having to process extra toxins, these organs can put energy into self-repair. Your organs of elimination are your skin, your liver, your lungs, your kidneys, your gut, and your lymphatic system (immune pipeline).  It’s easy to give them all a little extra love (and rest) during this Easy Weekend Detox.  

Pick your Weekend
Choose 3 days in a row that don’t require much of you.  Avoid doing this while traveling or during a weekend with a big party planned.  You’re going to take it easy, so try to eliminate distractions. Working on Day 1 or 2 is fine, but try to make sure that Day 3 is a day off.

 

Grocery Shop
The meal plan is “light” for this detox, so stock your kitchen with mostly fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and simple grains.  Don’t forget to pick up all the ingredients for Detox Soup. Dairy should be limited to yogurt only. Four-legged proteins (beef, pork, elk, bison, etc) will be eliminated.  Small portions of chicken, turkey or fish are allowed. No fried food, no sugar, no alcohol, no recreational drugs, and no coffee for the detox. Avoid anything made with flour.  Don’t worry, it’s only for 3 days.  

Sample Menu
Breakfast: chopped fruit, cooked or soaked rolled oats, plain yogurt or nut milk, flax seeds

Lunch: Detox Soup (see recipe)

Dinner: a salad or cooked veggies (like a stir fry or curry) with poultry of fish and ½ cup of white rice

Detox Smoothie (can replace any meal or use as a snack): 1 cup frozen berries, ½ green-tipped banana, handful of baby spinach, 2 TBSP flax seed, additional fruit of choice, nut milk or water, and ice, blended.  

 

Daily Rituals

Deep belly breaths that move your belly out with each inhale and back in toward the spine with each exhale (you can practice with a book on your belly).  You should try to do a set of 10 of these 5 times a day. Its ok if you end up doing them all at once. This helps the lungs eliminate waste.

A minimum of 80 ounces of water per day to support kidney health.  

Detox Tea to help your liver repair.  You can buy this at any grocery store, any brand is fine (Yogi Teas and Traditional Medicinals both make a detox blend).  Try and drink 2-3 cups of this tea each day. Feel free to add lemon for taste.  

Contrast hydrotherapy in the shower.  This will certainly be the biggest challenge on the page.  To stimulate your lymphatic system and invigorate skin, try the following sequence during your showers: 3 minutes warm/hot water, 30 seconds cool/cold blast, repeat 3 times, end on cold.

Magnesium Supplement (such as Natural Calm) each night to ensure a daily bowel movement.  At a moderately high dose, magnesium will act as a gentle osmotic laxative.  This can be helpful during a detox because the gut is the primary way the liver gets rid of toxins.  

Enjoy!

A light detox should not be unpleasant.  You are giving your internal organs a bit of a vacation, so take advantage of the break.  Enjoy low-key activities (light hiking, easy skiing, yoga, etc) and try focusing on “detoxing” your mind-consider daily meditation or journaling. 

If you have any questions about this detox or you’d like to plan out a more comprehensive detox, please schedule an appointment here:
https://mindsinmotionco.com/schedule-appointments-medical

 I would be honored to work with you!

 

In health,

Grace Charles

 

Detox Soup

The following recipe makes a large batch of detox soup.  Feel free to substitute or add any other veggies you have around.  Brussel sprouts, kale, sweet potatoes, radishes and green beans all make nice additions to this soup.

 

Adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, by Tom Malterre  

 

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

3-4 stalks celery, chopped

8 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 small package fresh basil, chopped

½ small package fresh thyme, chopped

½ small package fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp ground pepper

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 TBSP of tomato paste

1 32oz box of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1-2 cans of kidney beans (white or red), drained and rinsed

2 small zuchhinis, chopped

1 small bunch of parsley, chopped

Salt, to taste

 

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large soup pot.  Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  2. Add carrots, celery, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, and ground pepper.  Saute for 3-4 more minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and broth.  Bring to boil, simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots start to soften.
  4. Add beans, zucchini, and parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, add salt to taste

05/Jun/2020

Startling statistics show that social media use is correlated with a “worsening of well-being’ and exacerbated feelings of unworthiness and envy. Facebook’s own former vice president for user growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, advised people to take a “hard break” from social media. “We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,”

We know this, yet many of us continue to scroll. I continue to scroll.

Perhaps the ‘worsening of well-being’ is more connected to how we use, not if. I’m finding the use of these platforms can be done in a way that supports well-being so long as there’s discipline and awareness.

I work to shape my use of social media into a mindful and more enjoyable practice, crafting my feed to serve me, and attempting to use these weird platforms wisely. I practice remembering that what I’m doing in this moment is contributing to what I’m becoming, and that what I take in through my eyes and ears is now a part of me. I’ve certainly not yet mastered this mindset, at times catching myself getting lost and ironically feeling disconnected as I use my device, but these guidelines below are helping me be more productive in my using. It is all a practice, a discipline, and the goal for me being enhanced wellbeing and a sense of connection, rather than perfection, or disconnection.

Some mindful guidelines I implement to curiously and compassionately explore and shape my use of social media. Deep and steady breathing throughout always helpful!:

  1. I consider putting my phone down and don’t even look if it doesn’t feel appropriate to the present moment. I do my best to offer presence to the one I’m with, not the screen. Always a practice, and only I know where my presence is most productively placed.
  2. I ask myself with kindness and curiosity why I’m looking – Connection? work? Do I need a laugh or want to learn and be inspired? Am I wanting to see creative self expression of others? Am I bored, lonely, happy, sad? What need is social media meeting for me in this moment? I look within and listen, some answers may be revealed and then…
  3. I ask myself if it’s wise for me to continue – could I do something else that may feel better or may meet my needs more skillfully and compassionately? So many possibilities – perhaps I’d benefit from calling a friend, taking a nap, going for a walk, or even doing the laundry instead of opening Instagram. OR maybe I’m wanting to be inspired and touched by others, in which case some time on Instagram (or whichever platform) may serve.
  4. I ask myself how I feel as I scroll – Am I noticing any criticism of myself or others as I look through? Do I have self limiting thoughts of needing to be more or less than what I am? Am I feeling inspired, drained, connected, alone? All of this can be insight into areas of me that are needing care and tenderness, and ultimately showing me if my choice of using social media is helping or harming me. After all, judgement of self or others is rooted in my own insecurities, trauma, core wounds. I can reframe the experience to tend to personal growth, an opportunity to turn criticism into admiration, inspiration, and compassion for self and others. Or maybe I just need to set it all down…
  5. Time limits – It works best for me to put a limit on how long I log on – different day to day. Being honest with the above guidelines and awareness of my priorities can help me determine the length of time that best serves.
  6. Set up my feed to feel good – I genuinely enjoy following my friends, supporting and loving them. I check out funny stuff, like Ellen Jimmy Fallon, or @scarymommy. I follow people that inspire me with their wisdom and creative capacity like poets and yogis and artists and thinkers, and I am forever a student and seek profiles that have the intention to expand consciousnes. I attempt to avoid anything that does not contribute to the good in me.

Did I mention this is a practice? Let’s go easy on ourselves, find forgiveness and acceptance as we continually shift and shape ourselves moving more into our fullest expression of Self.

Social media can be a helpful, fun and interesting resource. To do so, consider making it a mindful practice, managing your time, and checking in with how you’re feeling when you’re scrolling through – is the scrolling helping or harming you? Perhaps time away from it all would best serve you. And clean out your feed so you get what you need to serve your highest and wisest self. A few excellent resources below that can support the work you’re doing in mental health counseling and mindfulness practices. There’s so many out there. Find the ones that speak to you. Check them out and let us know what you think:

Holistic psychologist – Dr. Nicole LePera. Wise and mindful support and inspiration. Meditations are available on instagram and youtube.

Instagram: the.holistic.psychologist

 

Tara Brach –

Instagram: @tarabrach

Podcast: Tara Brach

 

Michael Stone teachings – Buddhist teacher, and yogi

Instagram: @michaelstonesteaching

Podcast: Awake in the World

 

Michael Gervais

Instagram: @Michaelgervais

Podcast: Finding Mastery

 

Somatic experiencing institute – a nonprofit organization dedicated to resolving trauma. Website: traumahealing.org

Instagram: @somaticexperiencinginstitute

 

Reference:

How To Use Social Media Wisely and Mindfully

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_use_social_media_wisely_and_mindfully

-Cristen Malia, LPCC, E-RYT 500
Cristen earned a master’s degree from Naropa University in Transpersonal Psychology, Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in mindfulness. To schedule with Cristen click here:
https://mindsinmotionco.com/cristen-malia


05/Jun/2020


You might be breathing a sigh of relief that Thanksgiving is over. One holiday down, just a few more to go. While this might sound like a bah humbug statement to some readers, for those who are either trying to cut down or cut out alcohol (and substances), the holiday season isn’t quite so merry. Regardless of whether or not we feel we overindulge, we can all probably relate to feeling some of the stressors of the holiday season and perhaps not always choosing the healthiest coping mechanisms.

Once December hits, it seems like the mercury drops, the stressors rise and the glasses fill. We’re juggling work obligations, kid’s recitals and school performances, present shopping, toy assembly and holiday parties. Then there’s the financial squeeze of trying to give our families everything their hearts desire without going into credit card debt to do it.

We try to jam in as much holiday cheer into a 3-week period all while sprinkling in extended family visits, travel, houseguests and crazy work hours. Then we race to button everything up before winter break begins and the year ends. We kid ourselves into thinking that with each drink we’re celebrating, but, oftentimes, we are medicating. And while maybe that worked to relieve some of our tension in the past, there comes a point when the amount we consume causes us more harm than it helps us to mitigate stress.

If you’ve been wanting to either be completely abstinent, cutback or just feel like you’re in a bit more control of your drinking this holiday season, then here are a few tips to help.

Check-in with yourself.
Are you having hangovers where you’re not only feeling bad about what you consumed, but also feeling regret about how you acted? Is this a historical problem or something more recent? One good gut check is to see if you’re more excited to spend the holidays with Jim, Jack, Johnny, Bud and Jose than with your friends and loved ones. If that’s the case, it’s probably time to reassess your habits.

Have a plan
Don’t white knuckle your way through a white Christmas. The more forethought you can put into this, the better. Picture the old cliched (yet accurate) words of a coach. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.  Your success does depend on you being honest, realistic and reasonable with yourself on this topic. And then following through. The good thing about the holidays is that they are somewhat predictable. You tend to go to the same events, the same celebrations and hang out with the same people year after year. So if you know where your more predictable triggers are, you can plan ahead on how to better cope with them and not be caught off guard.

Recharge your battery
We have a lot less willpower at the end of the day, then we do at the beginning of the day. Most holiday events that can be problematic are in the evenings. So be sure to adequately charge your battery BEFORE you walk out the door. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy, as well as give yourself some time to decompress in between your workday and a holiday evening celebration.

Identify your support spokes
I like to have clients think about our daily life like the wheel of a bicycle. Picture yourself in the hub with your various support systems being the spokes. Each spoke should be a support beam that keeps you on a healthy path. Support spokes might be friends who are either sober or who don’t have issues with substances. They might be the activities that soothe you when you’re stressed such as music, fresh air or exercise. They can be 12-step meetings or time with a therapist. If you are trying to do this without support, recognize that it will be much harder to gain any traction than with some support spokes..

Keep yourself busy
It’s in those idle moments when our hands are habitually itching for another cocktail. So keep yourself busy. I like to cook, so being in charge of the holiday meal is actually a relief. I’m in my comfort zone at events when I’m helping in the kitchen. Don’t like to cook? Pick up a camera and take photos of the revelry. You are still an active part of the event, but not just hovering by the bar. Or get out your old guitar and pluck out a carol. Throw a football for the younger set outside, organize a sledding excursion, start a snowball brigade or just crack open a board game. Basically, keep yourself engaged in something enjoyable other than your next refill.

Ground yourself in the moment
We spend a lot of our time regretting the past and catastrophizing the future which leads us to want to over medicate. When you feel that anxiety start to creep in, ground yourself in the moment. Feel your feet on the floor, take some deep diaphragmatic breaths to calm your nervous system, orient yourself to your surroundings and acknowledge that you are ok in this present moment.

Have an urge plan
Create a when/then plan. When I  feel an urge, then I’ll call a friend, excuse myself to take some deep belly breaths in the bathroom or go for a quick walk outside. The urge will pass without you needing to indulge it, but it is easier to manage urges when you have a when/then plan in place ahead of time. When I feel an urge, then I’ll call my supportive friend, ask my partner for support or just excuse myself to go to the bathroom and just breathe.

BYOSW
I bring my own sparkling water with me everywhere. I’ve also started bringing artisan mocktail mixers to holiday parties as hostess gifts. If you’re hosting a holiday party, consider having a thoughtful array of nonalcoholic drinks for those who aren’t drinking or who don’t want to overindulge.

Don’t isolate
While you might be tempted to just hole up at home until the New Year, it’s not wise. Being in community is one way we are able to self-regulate and loneliness can be just as detrimental to our sobriety as parking ourselves in the middle of a liquor store. With that said, feel free to skip the usual traditions that might be slippery slopes and, instead, start some new traditions with people you enjoy being around.

Orchestrate your exit
Discuss with your partner or friends ahead of time how long you want to stay at a holiday event. Be communicative about your needs ahead of time so that there aren’t any surprises. Be realistic about how long you think it’s best for you to participate in the party and then follow-through and be vigilant about your own self-care.

Focus on the original intention of the holidays
Despite what we might think when we’re having a rough go, the holidays aren’t meant to be one big tinsel covered torture device. They’re intended to be an opportunity for us to show the people we love how much we care about them. Connect with that original intention and let go of some of the annoyances that can make the season less merry and bright. Don’t just harp on what’s frustrating you, savor some of the good happening right in front of you.<

Let your gift be your presence
No matter how many shiny boxes we all think we need to have under the tree. The true gift of the holiday season is our presence. Alcohol and substances are the ways that we check-out of current situations. They keep us from being present, which is what the people we care about want most from us.

Remember that this is about progress, not perfection…

These are simple suggestions, but, in the thick of it, they are by no means easy. Addiction and alcoholism are much more complicated issues than could ever be covered in one blog post. They merit a thoughtful approach and thorough treatment. Keep in mind that unresolved factors and obstacles can hinder sobriety and keep the maladaptive cycle going. The holiday season is often the wake-up call for a lot of people who would like the additional support of licensed counselors so that they can finally be successful. So take a look at the big picture and seek professional support when needed.

Because, at the end of the day, when managing alcoholism and addiction, the biggest wins come from being SMARTER not STRONGER.

-Matt Larock, LCSW, LAC
Matt has a master’s degree in social work and is a certified addiction counselor II. Matt is also studying to become a Somatic Experience Practitioner, and has completed nature based counseling trainings.  Sturggling and want some help this holiday season?  Schedule with Matt here:
https://mindsinmotionco.com/matthew-larock


05/Jun/2020

Cold and flu season is already here!  And being sick is the worst. This winter, consider a natural and proactive approach to preventing and treating cold and flu in your family.  It’s important to note, that not all immune supplements are backed by research. There are only a few remedies that have been proven by scientific studies to prevent viral acute upper respiratory tract infections (cold and flu) and to reduce the severity or duration of illness.  Here’s what we know:
Elderberry helps prevent colds and helps treats flu.  Take 1 teaspoon of black elderberry syrup every day of cold and flu season or at the first signs of upper respiratory tract infection.  Bonus -it’s delicious! I like the Gaia brand.
 
Probiotics help prevent colds and flu.  Several studies have shown that probiotics at a dosage of 1 billion CFUs per day help prevent cold and flu.  I like MegaSpore for adults and Genestra’s Fit For School for kids. 
Vitamin D helps prevent colds and flu.  Vitamin D deficiency, which is common, greatly increases your susceptibility to colds and flu.  This is a good reason to get your vitamin D levels checked.  
Echinacea helps prevent colds and helps treats flu.  This herbal favorite is effective! I like the HerbPharm tinctures.   
Pelargonium treats colds and flu ….really well.  The research for this herb is extensive and strong.  Extracts of Pelargonium, when taken at the first signs of an upper respiratory infection, reduces the severity and the duration of the illness.  

 

Naturopathic Picks:

For prevention of cold and flu: Immune Support Packets by Designs for Health.  They combine the above preventives with other known immune supportive vitamins and minerals.  One packet (8 pills) taken daily, should help you avoid the worst of it this winter.

To treat colds and flus: V Clear by Intergrative Therpeutics.  This Pelargonium extract is best to have on hand for any colds and flus that visit your house this winter.   You can also get an alcohol-free version for kid-sized colds.   

In health and hand-washing,

Dr. Grace Charles 


05/Jun/2020

When I began my journey in Functional Medicine in 2012, I was trying to find some answers for my own health. I wanted to understand what was happening in my own body that suffered from fatigue, eczema, asthma and acne. I began exploring the root cause of illness and looking at the body more as a whole organism and not always dividing the body into individual organs.

I completed an extensive certification program through the Institute for Functional Medicine which relies on an integrative evidence based approach.

I weave together the pieces of a person’s story to get a more complete picture: genetic (family history and genetic data if availalbe), epigenetics (lifestyle, environment, diet, stress, sleep, relationships), and past illnesses/surgeries and current symptoms.

It is nice to be able to take extra time to dig deeper into a person’s story to decode complex symptoms with the purpose to compliment traditional medicine. Areas of interest include but not exclusive: general wellness, digestion issues, autoimmune disease, lyme disease, mold illness, hormone replacement, detoxification of heavy metals and toxins.

I’m excited to be doing Functional Medicine consultations through Minds In Motion on Mondays, Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoons, and Thursdays starting August 21. Click here to schedule: https://mindsinmotionco.com/schedule-appointments-medical

– Dr. Phaedra Fegley
Board Certified Family Medicine since 2000
Functional Medicine Certification 2016

Dr. Phaedra Fegley is the acting functional medicine/psychiatric physician for Minds in Motion. She plays a pivotal role in helping the team in uncovering and treating underlying health issues preventing a patient from healing. She works in conjunction with the patient and therapist to enhance the treatment process.


05/Jun/2020

Summer is finally here! It is short and sweet and there are a million things happening around us. How do we feel about the things happening around us? Fear of missing out, as I learned from my millenial friends, is referred to as FOMO. It is this frantic push to make sure we fit everything in and do as much as we can with the people around us and not miss a thing that is happening. FOMO is reserved for more social examples, but I'm interested in looking at our tendencies to not want to miss out on ANYTHING..... that outdoor activity, that gardening task, that concert, and the list continues. With such a short summer, what this creates is a sense of what we are doing isn't enough, or we don't have enough time. I'm home for two more weekends before school starts again, and I've caught myself in a funny FOMO paradox. I don't want to miss out on all the things we have booked for ourselves (camping and trips) and yet I don't want to miss out on being home for lazy summer days in Steamboat. I have found myself wanting both worlds and not wanting to miss out on either experience. The irony is I'm not missing out, but I have FOMO anyway, and I'm caught in a losing battle. Sound familiar?


05/Jun/2020

Summer is finally here! It is short and sweet and there are a million things happening around us. How do we feel about the things happening around us? Fear of missing out, as I learned from my millenial friends, is referred to as FOMO. It is this frantic push to make sure we fit everything in and do as much as we can with the people around us and not miss a thing that is happening. FOMO is reserved for more social examples, but I'm interested in looking at our tendencies to not want to miss out on ANYTHING..... that outdoor activity, that gardening task, that concert, and the list continues. With such a short summer, what this creates is a sense of what we are doing isn't enough, or we don't have enough time. I'm home for two more weekends before school starts again, and I've caught myself in a funny FOMO paradox. I don't want to miss out on all the things we have booked for ourselves (camping and trips) and yet I don't want to miss out on being home for lazy summer days in Steamboat. I have found myself wanting both worlds and not wanting to miss out on either experience. The irony is I'm not missing out, but I have FOMO anyway, and I'm caught in a losing battle. Sound familiar?


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