Friday, December 30, 2016

Setting Realistic Healthy Goals For A New Year

The end of one year and the beginning of a new allows us the opportunity to reflect on the past. We can take this time to consider what we want to take forward and what we might prefer to leave behind. Plenty of us have a piece or two of our lives that we would like to improve. Most of us are aware of the resolutions of "I am going to finally get organized" or "I am going to get in shape this year" and the commitment to "enjoy life to the fullest". While those resolutions sound nice; it is more helpful and effective to set clear and specific goals for yourself that set you up for success. 

A lot of resolutions, especially in the media promote physical health goals, of joining gyms and a certain weight loss plan. Perhaps you can use this opportunity to think of ways to set meaningful healthy goals this year, and not just physically, but emotional health too. Maybe you want to start each day with a gratitude journal, learn and practice meditation before bed, treat yourself with more kindness by giving yourself a daily compliment, work on trusting that gut instinct more, returning to therapy to enhance your self-esteem, wanting to set healthier boundaries with family or friends, wanting to be a more authentic you, and so many more options to better yourself in a thoughtful, kind way.

It can be helpful to explore and define your goals with a professional counselor, who could facilitate objectively what you might want to work towards in the new year. Should you choose to set your goals on your own, make sure you break your goals down into smaller steps; share your goals with someone who cares and will help you keep a healthy accountability, and manage your expectations for a realistic outcome. Once you are "there"...don't forget to celebrate that feeling of achievement and reward yourself in the most compassionate way you know how.

If you would like to see if meeting with a therapist can be helpful for you to welcome new healthy habits moving forward contact us at Gaithersburg Counseling Center at 240-274-5680,, or

Monday, December 5, 2016

Managing Family Relationships During the Holidays

While it might be the most wonderful time of the year for some, for others it may be a difficult time to manage. The happy picture of the family gathered around the table, decorating the Christmas tree, or lighting the menorah may be real for many. There are others that have a different kind of experience in the family of origin and may have other feelings around the holiday season. Gathering with the family may be a tough, conflicting decision to make-wanting to be together with family and at the same time perhaps wanting to avoid a particular relative or keep some distance from some unhealthy family dynamics.

This holiday season try and allow yourself the permission and healthy opportunity to consider and implement what your needs are and what feels right for you. Respecting your own feelings, experiences, and wants and needs could be new to some. This might mean making different decisions or trying a new response to an old situation. That could mean choosing not to attend a gathering, or setting a brief time to go, say to visit for dessert. You may also contemplate getting together with friends, staying home, or creating your own fun and safe traditions.

The holiday times for the healthiest of families can be stressful! If you are struggling with this holiday season and would like to see if meeting with one of our counselors could be helpful for you, contact us at Gaithersburg Counseling Center at, or 240-274-5680.