Ways to care for yourself and your family in this crazy busy world!
Ways to care for yourself and your family in this crazy busy world!
Tanna K. Strom MS, LMFT, LPC, RPT-S, CCPS
Licensed Marital & Family Therapist
Licensed Professional Counselor & Supervisor
Registered Play Therapist & Supervisor
Certified Child & Parenting Specialist 
Just an update on my business facebook page. I am have settled into a routine of posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for this time. Unless I have a committment that keeps me from posting on my scheduled days. I am still experimenting with what works best. 
My goal is still to post bite sized pieces of information that can be helpful to your individual well being or to your relationships with your loved ones. Plus, I post information that could be helpful to other mental health professionals. And of course updates on my trainings that I do and other information about my private practice. 
~building connection, fun, & love in your relationships~
 I have added some new categories to my blog. I have added: Well Being and Families in Transition. I feel individual well being is a part of a healthy relationship; thus, the fit for my relationship blog. Due to a lot of work with famiies in transition I wanted to make sure I included this population. My basic categories of Relationship Building, Couple Activites and Family Activities are still in place.
If you have not checked out my blog I hope you will do so. Consider becoming a follower so these weekly posts can be delivered to your email inbox directly. Here is to lots of connection, fun & love in your relationship.
Positive Thinking 
Creating Self Care "Self Talk" and Visualizations
Using self talk and visualizations together is a powerful combination. Below are possible dialogues you can have with yourself (self talk). These are just examples to get you going. You will have your own languaging or wording. For many adding a visual of what you are saying in your head can help in getting the idea to stick in your brain; thus, more likely for this to happen. 
"I enjoy my morning walk. It energizes me and feels so good to be outside."
"I crave eating lush, green salads and beautiful fruits and veggies. They make me feel so light and alive."
"Sleeping a full 8 hours makes me feel so wonderfully full of energy and gives me a joyful, happy feeling to start the day."
Create your own versions, incorporating what your first steps are to a self care plan for yourself. 
A Professional Quarterly Newsletter
those interested in 
Individual Well Being & Healthy Relationships
Fall 2014
Self Care for You and Your Family 
In this issue ...
  1. Individual Growth & Well Being – Your Personal Self Care Plan
  2. Couple Connection & Intimacy – Making Time for Self Care and Couple Care in Our Crazy Busy World
  3. Family: Creating a Healthy Home Base –  Family Self Care and Practical Ways to Make it Happen
  4. Thoughtful Parenting – Encouraging Self Care for Your Children & Teens
  5. Strom Therapy Facebook - Update 
  6. Strom Therapy Relationship Blog – Update
  7. Positive Thinking - Creating Self Care "Self Talk" and Visualizations
Individual Growth & Well Being
Your Personal "Self Care" Plan
Your personal self care is paramont to your individual well being. Unfortunately, it is one of the last things to get added and one of the first to go if we get busy. There is no way around it, self care does take some time. But it does not  have to take huge amounts of time. We can do bite sized, manageable pieces that are easier to swallow and digest. So we are more likely to do it. Personal self care is like you are "unique".
First of all assessing what it is you are needing is the first step and then beginning to make a plan on how to implement what is needed. It does not have to be perfect. We just have to start down the path, one step at a time.
There are of course "The Basics" - healthy norishment of our body, 7-9 hours of deep restorative sleep and physical activity. These are so important to our everyday functioning physically, emotionally and socially. For example: If we are not gettng the deep restoratve sleep we need, we do not feel well physically or emotionally. And for many of us we do not interact with our family and those around us in the most positve way we are capable of. Needless to say, "The Basics" are just that basic to our foundational well being.
It is also important to look at the self care of our "Inner Self.". Things to consider: 1. Am I happy? And if not, what do I need to be doing to be happy? 2. Do I feel I am using my talents? Have I identified what I am passionate about? What do I feel is my purpose or what do I want with my life? All questions to begin to explore and find answers to. Knowing and honoring yourself is a critical piece of good self care. 

Couple Communication & Intimacy
Making Time for Self Care & Couple Care in Our Crazy Busy World
Ok, I admit it we live in a Crazy, Busy World. Or at least we have created this framework for ourselves. We do of course have a choice as to how busy we are. And different folks have different needs as to how much activity they need or want in their life. 
As to Couple Care, we need to consider how much time we are carving out for our sweetheart. If there is none left at the end of the day, then it may be time to re-evaluate our choices and see if they still serve us and our couple relationship. For relationships to grow and thrive, time and focus is involved.
How does this fit with our own self care? One thing that I have found is that when someone cares for themself they are ultimately caring for their loved ones. We can only give what we have. 
Let's go back to the time issue that is prevelant for many couples. We can look at what we do with our time together.  Being together, doing things you both enjoy is a form of self care. Feeling emotionally connected as a couple creates positive, happy feelings for both parties. This is a form of self care. Having the same sleep schedule so you can both get the needed hours for restorative sleep and then you can also have the same wake time to potentially be togther is a form of self care.  Plus,  you have the added benefit of  couple intimacy and closeness that comes from the same sleep patterns. You can as a couple think about ways you can combine self care and couple care. You can find ways that fit for you as a couple in your own unique couple realationship. 

Family: Creating a Healthy Home Base
Family Self Care and Practical Ways to Make it Happen
Combining Self Care and Family Care is a handy way of covering two bases. Sometimes this makes sense and other times not so much. Having a message in your family that caring for yourself is a good thing is something that will serve your children well. Showing children that sometimes this can be done as a family is another message that can serve them well. So what are some practical ways we can combine self care and family care?
"The Basics" are a good place to start. Healthy eating is something that is wonderful self care and family care all rolled into one. Involving the whole family in meal preparation can be a fun adventure. Conversations about why you are eating what you are eating can help solidify why you are taking this path. Physical activity is another way to do self care and family care at the same time. So great for everyone. Not only are you helping to keep bodies in shape and healthy, but the emotional connections you are forming is suberb self care too. We all need a sense of connection and belonging and this is one way to do it. This could be a family walk or run. Or it could be a family bike ride. Or taking a family yoga class together. The possiblities are endless. One of the keys is to find activitites that everyone enjoys or at the least a taking turns of what you do.
Enjoying each other and doing a fun activity that you all enjoy is another form of self / family care. Fun, laughter and being in a "down time" mode is what your mind and body needs. So create what fits best for your family and know you are giving them a gift or model of what is healthy for them. 

Thoughtful Parenting
Encouraging Self Care for Your Children and Teens
When you do self care you are modeling for your children. And as we all know what we do many times counts more than what we say. So do good self care. And . . .
Talk with your children about self care. Not in a lecture kind of way, but as a caring adult who wishes to pass on the the "good stuff" to their children. Ask for their thoughts on this subject. Of course the conversations should be developmentally appropriate and make sense for their age.
And last of all actively do these things as a family and encourage their own self care activities. This can be a combination of "The Basics" and "The Care of Our Inner Self". 
Inner Self Activities might include: A Happy Journal, only recording what has made them happy that day; Letting children take the lead on what extra curricular activities they are involved in, as to what they feel would be the best fit for them (it may not be what we had in mind); Developing a quiet reflection time (they could write or draw or meditate or any activity that lets them be in touch with themselves).
But in ending, your own self care will probably have the biggest impact on them. I think especially when we show how happy it makes us feel and we talk about this directly. So go do some self care today. And remember it does not have to to be perfect. A walk around the block will do.

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