Inspiration/Advice

I have gained valuable experience and knowledge through my clinical and forensic practice, as well as through my role as a mother of three children, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend. I enjoy writing and sharing that knowledge.

Mental Health Goal Setting

When setting goals for 2017, don’t forget about your emotional and mental health! Make your/your family members’ mental health a priority. Set some concrete goals where your whole family can benefit. Some ideas include:

1. More family dinners. Studies demonstrate that children who have regular family dinners have improved mental health  (they also have improved grades and make better decisions regarding risky behavior).  Here are some additional suggestions regarding making the most of family dinners.  http://drpeggydelong.com/ten-ideas-to-make-the-most-of-family-dinners/

2. Less technology and social media. Studies demonstrate a correlation between depression and the amount of time that teens (and adults!) spend on social media. Keep personal devices out of bedrooms, off the dinner table, and avoid use in the morning before school/work.  Here are some additional suggestions regarding limiting screen time.  http://drpeggydelong.com/six-suggestions-for-limiting-screen-time/

3. Get outside, and better yet, with others! Research demonstrated that walks in nature with others were associated with decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety, and an overall enhanced sense of well-being. Here is a relevant study – http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/10/18/ease-stress-and-improve-mental-health-with-group-nature-walks/

4. Express appreciation every day. This can be formally, through a Gratitude Journal, or simply by telling others that you appreciate them, and what you appreciate about them. One study found that a simple way to improve a relationship was to express appreciation for that person.  Here is an article about expressing appreciation in a relationship http://drpeggydelong.com/one-simple-way-to-improve-a-relationship/

and another article about ways of practicing gratitude http://drpeggydelong.com/one-simple-thing/

5. Don’t be afraid to seek professional support!  A recent study found that one in five children has or has had a debilitating mental health disorder.  But you/your child do not need to have a mental health “problem” to seek support and advice.  Just like we take our children for annual physical check-ups, mental health check-ups and check-ins are helpful as well, and sometimes can make all the difference in the world in a child’s overall sense of well-being.  http://drpeggydelong.com/some-guidance-regarding-when-to-seek-mental-health-services/

What are some of your ideas?

http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/health/don-t-forget-about-setting-mental-and-emotional-health-goals-2017

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