Hope you are having a great week! I have important move updates for you:
1. I will begin seeing clients at the new location (Plaza Towers, Suite #408) on Monday, October 28th. This is on the 4th floor.
2. The week of October 21st is my final week in Chesterfield Village (Dearborn Office Building, Suite #E202).
3. The phone may be down during parts of the day on Thursday, October 24th due to the installation/transfer of the phone line. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes. If you are trying to reach me and are having difficulty, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here's the Full New Address:
1736 E Sunshine St, Suite 408
Springfield, MO 65804
I know there have been a lot of move updates lately on the blog and not as much psychological content. So, for you Lega-Leaders (Relationship Legacy Leaders) out there who closely follow the blog, I listened to a fascinating podcast recently that I want to share with you (1). This one is a little "off the beaten path" you could say of strict psychological knowledge; it covers the intersection of the mind and body.
One of my beliefs as a therapist is that the mind and body are deeply connected. I believe that what we eat affects our mental health (and our relationship health too). For example, how is a child who didn't eat breakfast supposed to be able to concentrate, be in a good mood, socialize with others, and be ready to learn? How might a child's intellectual and social functioning be different if he or she doesn't eat breakfast every single day in comparison to a child who does? How might a child's mood and functioning be if he or she consumes healthy protein and healthy fat for breakfast in the morning in comparison to a child who only eats something highly sugary? You could even substitute "child" here for "adult!"
Besides... For me personally, I know I get cranky if I don't eat... Raise your hand if you can relate! My concentration and patience is much less when my blood sugar is low. I can definitely tell how my mood and functioning changes throughout the day when my blood sugar is level versus dropping (or very low). That is why I make it a habit to eat when I'm slightly to somewhat hungry instead of ravenous and hangry. This way I'm not having to bounce back mentally and physically from such an extreme low, and my mood isn't on a roller coaster ride. You will just need to experiment for yourself to see what strategy gives you mental peak performance and the most mood stability.
So, today I want to share with you a podcast that explores the current research (that is being done as we speak), on the topic of preventing Alzheimer's (2). If you are a Lega-Leader who thinks about the physical, mental, and relationship health of the people you lead, then you are going to love this episode of Gastropod:
Hope you enjoyed the podcast! I know I definitely came away with some helpful ideas about which foods protect and which foods hurt the brain (you know me and how I love concrete ideas on things we can do right now). With that in mind, I have been planning how I can reduce my sugar intake, increase my omega-3 fatty acids, increase my consumption of fish, and increase my greens.
My sweet tooth is off the charts sometimes, so some of the changes will be hard for me, but I'm going to see where I can here and there cut down on sugar. Today I bought a coffee creamer that has 1 gram of sugar per tablespoon, instead of 4 grams per tablespoon that is in the creamer I usually get (no wonder I liked it so much). Added sugar adds up fast, but I do believe that taking it out in little ways can really add up over the months and years. I drink coffee on most days, so I think that changing my creamer could really help over the long run.
The researchers in the podcast mentioned that if you have a genetic risk for Alzheimer's you may not be able to prevent it entirely, but if you can prevent it's onset for a few years (or more), that would make a pretty tremendous difference. I think so too. Additionally, setting a good example for the kids in your life and helping them form good health habits provides protective benefits beyond just yourself.
Thanks for joining me today! Have a great weekend!
All the best,
PS Can I send you an email about once a week? The email will have a link to my latest blog post in case there is a topic you are interested in. As the business grows and I add more products and services, I will mention in the email what has been added.
References and Links
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Have you heard about the mental health benefits of family meals together? Family meals are protective against a variety of child and teen challenges such as depression/suicidal thoughts, disordered eating, substance use, and violent behavior. This is especially important to be aware of with mental health disorders on the rise in teens.
So, how do you make the most of family mealtime? Well, today I will discuss a few different ideas for leveling up your mealtime game by making your time together higher quality and more meaningful. I will discuss some questions to ask at dinner to spark discussion. I will also explore some realistic goals and expectations to have. There are some insights and observations from my own family I would like to share with you. Lastly, I have a family meeting activity idea and some inspirational questions for you to think about.
Meaningful (and Fun) Questions to Discuss at Dinnertime:
I recommend making the above questions (or another set of core questions that you prefer) a habit that you do as often as possible at dinnertime. You can play around with the questions you to ask to find which ones you like the best. Or start from scratch and make up your own.
Realistic Expectations and Goals for Family Mealtime:
Insights and Observations from My Own Family
Start when your kids are young, and start now. My family (Nathan and Alex) began discussing the dinner questions above at family dinners when Alex was 2. We usually have each person answer all the questions at once, and then we go to the next person. You of course can do them how you like; maybe you ask one question and then have each person take a turn answering the same question. When Alex was 2 she couldn’t always answer all the questions, but she answered quite a few of them. Some days she talked a bunch, and other days she didn't have anything to say. Sometimes she didn't say anything for several days. What was amazing was that because we made it a habit at dinner, Alex started asking us the dinnertime questions at mealtime! She now has all of our regular dinnertime questions memorized and seems to genuinely enjoy our mealtime interactions. Sometimes she even asks other people or her friends the mealtime questions.
I like that my daughter is learning at a young age about the concept of gratitude since so much has come out about how important gratitude is to our mental health. I also know it’s important for me to stop every day and think about the things in life I am grateful for. For me personally, practicing a mindset of gratitude has really helped me to be aware of the things I do have and the things that are going right in my life. It's sometimes easy to get caught up in all the things I have to do, the stresses in my life, or the things I wish were different.
You know, I really look forward to hearing my family answer the questions. It helps me stay connected to my family from the day to day. I have noticed that sometimes information gets shared with each other that likely may not have been shared unless we took the time to ask and check in. There have definitely been moments where I heard a response and I have thought to myself, “I’m glad we ask these questions!” I also enjoy answering the questions—it’s nice to be able to share what happened in my day.
Along the lines of sharing your day and connecting, research is finding that loneliness and disconnection is harmful to our health. Is there someone you can connect with regularly about your day even if you live alone? The article I just linked to about loneliness recommends quality face to face interaction as the best way to combat loneliness, and discusses how social media can actually make us feel more isolated.
My family falls into the category of some scheduling conflicts so I miss family dinner Monday through Thursday (I work and see clients in the afternoons and evenings because that is a good time for couples to come into the office). So, I just aim to be flexible. For example, in the mornings I have the opportunity to have a nice slow breakfast with my daughter. I use that time to connect with her. Sometimes on the drive to my daughter’s preschool I will ask her what she is looking forward to. She has spontaneously come up with a question she wants me to ask her every day—she likes having me ask “what kind of day do you want to have today?” When I ask her, she usually says a "silly day," because she loves being silly! In the evenings after my daughter is asleep, my husband and I will ask each other the “dinnertime questions” so we can catch up with each other. On Friday’s and the weekends, we all have the opportunity to eat dinner together, and so we use that time to ask the dinnertime questions.
Even though parents are the leaders in the family, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the work. Hooray! Find ways to include your kids in thinking about family mealtime. For example, call a family meeting. Have everyone (especially the kids) brainstorm ideas for family mealtime rules (e.g., no answering text messages at the table). Do a separate brainstorm for your set of regular family mealtime questions. Remember the rules of a good brainstorm session: don’t shoot down anyone’s idea, put all the ideas down on a list, and once the brainstorming is done go through and decide what you will do. By including your kids in discussing family mealtime habits and encouraging them to come up with some of the rules, this will help garner more buy-in and interest. Your kids may have so much interest that they might even remind you when you are not following them! You're welcome :)
Thank You for Joining Me Today
Thank you so much for joining me today. I don’t take it for granted. I greatly enjoy being with other Relationship Legacy Leaders. I hope today’s blog got you thinking and gave you some helpful ideas for leveling up your mealtime game. What are your favorite mealtime questions? Please comment below. I know you have some great ideas out there, and I would love your input. My family has been using some of the same mealtime questions for a while, and so I am interested in changing things up and trying out your fun mealtime question ideas!
Have a wonderful rest of the day!
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All the best,
Your use of the website, blog, newsletter, and social media accounts does not establish a professional therapeutic relationship between yourself and Holly L. Harrison. By using the website and related accounts, you agree to these terms.
The information on this website and the blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am not guaranteeing any results.
Please note that the information on this website is not intended to replace or be a substitute for any professional financial, medical, mental health, legal, or other advice.
If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. If you follow or use the information on the blog, website, newsletter, and social media accounts, you agree that it is at your own risk and you will not hold Holly L. Harrison or MoxiePsychology, LLC liable or responsible for the outcome.
MoxiePsychology Legacy is an outpatient mental health clinic and not equipped for emergency services. If you are in need of emergency mental or medical services, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Holly L. Harrison, MA, LMFT