Fall 2016 Welcome Message

The leaves are turning, the morning air has a familiar crispness to it, and the kids are back in school.

Welcome to Fall! It’s become my tradition here on the Seattle Direct Counseling blog to welcome visitors to our site at the beginning of the Fall season, as well as to welcome back clients who have taken their summer vacations or have been on hiatus for awhile. Welcome back.

There is an exciting buzz of possibility and change at SDC. I (Imei) just completed an Ironman race in August, and physically I have never felt more challenged, stretched… and exhausted! Yet, I am thrilled to bring to my work a renewed compassion and focus on helping each one of you move towards the goals that mean the most in your lives.

Already halfway into September, I have a couple of reminders regarding Seattle Direct Counseling and your mental health

  1. With darkness coming on earlier, I shift evening hours by 30 minutes, so the last session of the day ends at 6:00pm.
  2. Also with the fading light, people who struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) should be considering proactive preparation, such as making sure UV light boxes are in working order, supplementation in the diet is made, exercise increased, and book your strategy session with me early (before October is ideal).
  3.  September is Suicide Prevention Month. Chances are that either you or someone you know struggles with thoughts about suicide. Now is a good time to book an appointment and talk about these thoughts rather than letting them become overwhelming, hopeless monologues. If you are helping someone else to begin therapy because of suicidal thoughts, we are ready to be of help.
  4. By the end of the month, I traditionally see people stop walking or running outside because of the change in weather. Consider your strategy for cross training and for indoor activities that give you a full-body workout, alternating cardio workouts with anaerobic short-intervals of high intensity. Many people find exercise a way to fight winter blues, anxiety, and work stress.
  5. Did you know: Mindfulness Meditation can be a part of your session. Ask us about starting your sessions in the office with mindfulness meditation, as well as meditation exercises you can do at home to help alleviate anxious thoughts and promote focused thought and clarity.

The most frequent request I am receiving now is whether I am taking new clients in September and October. The answer is: YES, as long as there is room on my schedule. If you are just coming by our website for the first time, welcome. Take your time to peruse our resources, and feel free to book your complimentary consultation.

Tips for Go Time

Author, wearing hydration vest, standing outside, with arms upwards in a "Victory" V
When it comes time to complete a big goal, do you choke or sabotage yourself? If you want to experience something different during, “Go Time” read this post for a few ideas. Photo credit: Jackie Donnelly (Spice And Ink).

During  my last manual adjustment and medical massage before I flew to the other side of the country to prepare for my Ironman race, I was excited.

As I headed out the door of my chiropractor’s office, he gave me a piece of welcomed advice, “You know, everyone who does an Ironman is going to encounter a point where you will simply hurt.” Full stop.

And then, he didn’t offer a solution for the pain. Why? Because there is no solution, there is no way around it. There is just pain. You just have to figure out what to do for yourself when you get there.

Well, ain’t that the truth!

The last few months, I’ve been pondering the subject of pain and physical suffering. It’s been a subject easy to think about since I’ve been in pain pretty much the entire Spring and Summer this year. It’s the kind of pain that brings tears to your eyes, that goes with you when you lay your head on the pillow for sleep, and wakes up with you like a heavy dream. There are have been moments of respite, and other moments where I have managed to transform the pain into a whisper of itself. But it still whispers in an annoying sort of way.

What I wanted for myself was to be given the choice to execute on an extraordinary endurance race. Despite a number of difficult challenges, I have arrived on the cusp of that day. It is now, “Go Time”, the point of no return. As Yoda is oft quoted, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

In life, “Go Time” is that moment when  the only way to get the value of the resources invested (time, money, emotions/heart, help, etc.) is to follow through.

Would you be surprised to know that this is the most critical time when people often choke? When you are facing Go Time in your life — with a relationship, a job, finishing your education, or executing a plan on your biggest dreams — what can help you meet Go Time with everything you’ve got? Continue reading “Tips for Go Time”

Attack Anxiety With Breathing

Breathing Exercises for Anxiety

by B. Imei Hsu, RN, LMHC, Artist

Anxiety is a common feature of modern life.  Anxiety is more often a fear of something that has not happened – and may not even happen at all. Contrast the difference between the real fear of receiving an eviction notice on one’s door after failing to pay the mortgage for four consecutive months (cause and effect fear), and the anxiety of that same situation, only you actually possess enough money to pay the mortgage. Generally, Anxiety is a problem when your responses exceed what one would expect in the circumstances you face. In other words, you have an over-response.  Anxieties can show up as a complex and chronic repetition of responses to the unknown, or they can take on the shape of specific phobia so powerful that you develop palpitations, diaphoresis, dysphoria, dizziness, and nausea just thinking about the phobia.  Anxiety attacks and panic attacks can leave one feeling paralyzed, unable to tap one’s usual cognitive and physical skills to get oneself back to a place of safety and security. Other than using narcotics and sleep medication, are there other ways help people encounter their feelings of anxiety? The answer may lie in attacking anxiety with breathing.

Continue reading “Attack Anxiety With Breathing”