International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day.Part of International Women’s Day is celebrating the social achievements of women. How does this apply to you?

  • You are juggling multiple roles
  • You are the social glue for your family
  • You provide social support to those who need it
  • You significantly contribute to your household
  • You are balancing work (this includes you, mothers) and home life

Let’s celebrate this day together. I propose that we find one activity today that we enjoy, but have neglected, and do it for ourselves. Today, I set aside my work and household chores and took a 20 minute stroll around the neighborhood.

What will you do today to celebrate you?

Characteristics of Happy People

What makes happy people, happy? According to David Myers, there are several key factors that happy people share. Happy people tend to:

  • Have high self-esteem
  • Be extroverted
  • Be decisive
  • Have close relationships with family and friends
  • Delay immediate gratification
  • Be religious
  • Be forgiving
  • Have an optimistic explanatory style

How do you measure up to these characteristics?

If you think you fall short on identifying with any or all of these factors, you can begin to increase your levels of happiness. I suggest selecting one, maybe two, factors to begin improving or incorporating into your life.

I would love to hear which of these characteristics you select, or are working on as you pave your road to happiness.

The Benefits of Phone Therapy

Typically, when one thinks about therapy, an office outfitted with couch and chairs comes to mind.

A new, emerging trend is phone therapy. Some might dismiss the idea, but studies are showing that telephone therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face counseling sessions.

In a New York Times article, telephone therapy  clients are far more likely to continue with psychotherapy compared to face-to-face counterparts.

One major reason is that there are less barriers to receiving counseling by phone if you consider traffic, location, and transportation as contributing factors to dropout.

Also, although some need counseling, the problem experienced is impeding the person’s ability to begin or continue with therapy. For example, one of the clinical features of depression is lack of motivation. For some depressed individuals, getting to therapy is quite daunting. Phone therapy and online therapy can help resolve these issues.

Phone therapy is also beneficial for clients who live in rural locations, or frequently travel for work. At Good Life Psychotherapy, I have been using phone and skype counseling with clients and seeing positive results.

Phone and online therapy are promising alternatives to face-to-face counseling.

Good Life Psychotherapy website unveiled!!

I am happy to announce that the Good Life Psychotherapy website is live!

I specialize in counseling services via telephone and Skype for women, and I meet with clients living in Austin, TX.

There is a lot of great information on the website, so please check it out!

Some of the common issues I see women for are:

~relationship concerns

~establishing boundaries and assertiveness

~depression and/or anxiety

~family conflict

~grief and loss (including pet loss)

~self-confidence, self-esteem


Thanksgiving: Healthy Eating

While the holidays are  a festive time of year, they can be a bit stressful too.

Usually, one of the concerns I hear about from others is a fear of overeating during Thanksgiving. This fear can create unneeded stress during a time when we should be relaxing and having fun with family and friends.

Overeating during Thanksgiving is something that most of us can relate to. So, what are some tips for controlling our weight this Thanksgiving?

Mandy Seay, LD, RD is a registered and licensed dietitian and author, and has provided several smart suggestions for eating healthy and keeping your weight in check this Thanksgiving.

Here are a few of Mandy’s tips:

  • Keep a realistic frame of mind. Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be frustrating and if you restrict too much you may throw in the towel and just binge. Instead of trying to lose weight, just try to maintain your current weight.
  • Drink plenty of water, staying hydrated controls the appetite. It is not uncommon to confuse thirst cues for hunger.  A study conducted in which participants drank 2 glasses of water before eating, were able to control their food intake thereby losing and controlling weight.
  • Don’t skip meals in an effort to “save” up your calories. You will be more likely to eat more calories than if you had eaten your normal meals.

You can read the rest of Mandy’s great tips here.

Let’s take the stress out of the annual Thanksgiving gathering by using strategies to eat smart and healthy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Working For The Weekend…

I can appreciate the lyrics to the song, “Working For The Weekend” by Loverboy. During the week days, I find myself thinking and fantasizing about my weekends. Whether it’s thinking about a Saturday morning breakfast taco, walking Town Lake, or hanging out with friends, considering the potential for leisure on the weekends is an automatic incentive for working hard throughout the week.

However, I hear from many that instead of venturing away from the mundane and routine, people often become bogged down with work, TV watching, and studying live updates on social networking sites on the weekends. Consequently, the weekend can become an extension of the work week. How many folks do you know arrive home from work and turn the TV (and internet) on as a means of decompressing? Readers, I’m not asking you to cut down on your internet usage, but to balance it out with a meaningful, engaging activity outside the realm of work and household duties.

I challenge you to note one weekend activity that you think about engaging during the week, and actually do it. For example, during my work week, I envision myself on an hour-long hike along the greenbelt. I will commit myself to seeing this idea through if you do the same. So, I want you to think about a manageable weekend activity that you haven’t completed yet, and carve out 1-2 hours this weekend to carry out your vision. Is it dinner out with friends, yoga, or visiting a new museum exhibit?

If you do decide to join me, I want you to take note of the quality of decompressing that comes with your experience. Are you able to distract yourself from thinking about work? Did you notice some of the tension dissolve in specific parts of your body?

I challenge you to live your weekend with added purpose and meaning. After all, we are “working toward the weekend.” Let’s make this weekend memorable.