COVID-19 & Distancing: It’s More PHYSICAL than it is SOCIAL!!!!!

For many, adapting to the this new-normal brought about by the unprecedented coronavirus, also know as COVID-19, has been quite difficult.

We are consistently thinking about and yearning for what use to be our normal lives.

We aren’t as active as we once were, with many confined to their homes unless they are leaving for essential purposes, which includes work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and so forth. But let’s be real even those essential activities seem very isolating given the physical distancing guidelines of six feets (6 fts.).

Notice that I have re-termed the phrase “social” distancing to “PHYSICAL” distancing.

I am sure you are probably wondering why I did such and the explanation is quite simple.

When I hear the term “social” distancing, I immediately cringe because the reality is that while we have to maintain a “physical” distance from our peers and individuals in our community we live in a time where we are still able to interact socially with one another through the use of technology (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, video messaging services, virtual services, etc), . Therefore, we are practicing “PHYSICAL” distancing and not “social” distancing

We, as humans, thrive on social interaction and being able to communicate with others is such a necessity in our lives.

Social interaction is pivotal to individuals, young and old, overall development. Social interaction influences ones physical, emotional, and mental state. More specifically, social interaction has been found to boosted ones mood, reducing their risk for depression, provide sharper mind by giving individual the opportunity to engage in instrumental cognitive processing and reduces ones risk for severe and chronic medical illness.

Althougth COVID-19 has significantly impacted the world, we do not have to allow it to adversely effect how we interact with others.

Yes, it may take some creativity on our behalf and no we may not be able to interact with others how we use to, but what is important and that we can still interact with others.

Send emails…..

Schedule video calls…….

Host virtual get-togethers and even secure/supervised virtual play dates for your children…….

Have conference calls….

Do whatever it takes, within the context of the “physical” distancing to ensure you are still engaging in social interaction with your loved one and friends.

Just because COVID-19 has limited us physically, we should not allow it to limit us socially.

Let’s practice “Physical” distancing while engaging in “Social” interactions!

Self-Care if the Best Care……. A Reminder for Counselors during COVID-19!

I am sure by now your days and weeks are now running together and you are unsure of how much longer you can endure the new normal we are all trying our best to adjust to.

Our clients have begun experiencing a heightened sense of anxiety and our families seem to not understand exactly why we are having to, for some still go to work, and why others are having to find a quiet place in our homes to so that we can still provide counseling services during this uncertain and chaotic time.

I can only imagine that this all seems to much for even you, the HELPER and EMPHATIC Counselor, can bear; yet, in it all you are handling the intense pressure well.

Today, I wanted to ask you one question…………

How are you taking care of yourself during COVID-19?

Self Care is the Best Care and in these day and weeks SELF-CARE will be paramount to your ability to continue providing the services that you are to your clients, as well as maintain your health and overall well-being.

While it sounds good to say that you are practicing mindfulness or using stress relieving activities, the reality of it is that none of these techniques and/or activities will be beneficial to you if you are not taking good care of yourself.

But isn’t utilizing techniques such as mindfulness and/or engaging in stress relieving activities what taking care of yourself consist of?

Sure it is, to some extent, however, there is more to taking care of yourself that just therapeutic techniques and stress-relieving activities.

Taking care of ourselves, personally and professionally, consist of many aspects of our lives across various domains.

Physical Self-Care involves us making sure that we are getting adequate sleep, eating healthy, and engaging in exercise on a very consistent, or should I say DAILY basis?

Social Self-Care requires us to make sure that we are maintaining healthy and meaningful relationships with others, to include our significant other, children, other family members and our friends. Social Self-Care also requires us to have healthy communication and time spent engaging in activities that would nurture those relationships that are meaningful.

Intellectual Self-Care includes us doing things that will stimulate and fuel our mind/brain, as well as our creativity, to include: reading books, learning something new, drawing, coloring, completing puzzles, etc.

Spiritual Self-Care is about us as individual developing a deeper sense of meaning and understanding, as well as having a connection with the universe.

A-Vocational Self-Care involves us engaging in those leisure activities we enjoy doing, to include: writing poetry, taking a walk, playing video games, gardening, playing basketball, etc.

Emotional Self-Care is how we deal with and manage those unhealthy and uncomfortable emotions that we are experiencing. Emotional Self-Care includes activities that will help you identify, acknowledge, and express your emotions in an healthy manner on a consistent basis.

Economic Self-Care involves how we manage our finances, automobiles (transportation), and homes (living arrangements).

………………………….. and lastly;

Occupational Self-Care involves are ability to enjoy the work that we are doing and establish and maintain a work-home life balance.

Having realized that Self-Care involve so many domains, what we realize is that self-care is not a one size fits all strategy.

Ultimately, your self-care is specific to you as a person and professional and I encourage you to begin developing your a self-care plan today. You don’t have to tackle every area immediately, but rather, I encourage you to identify those areas in which you struggle more often than not and begin identifying activities that you can do so that you are not struggling and begin taking better care of yourself.

When care for yourself, you will find that you are able to doing things more effectively and efficiently.

Schedule time each day to focus on your individual needs and begin making your self-care a priority!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Please note that the self-care domains are adapted from Dr. Karla Sapp’s “WHOLE-Self Paradigm of Wellbeing”. For more information or to learn about the “WHOLE-Self Paradigm of Well-Being”, please feel free to contact Dr. Sapp. *

You Are Resilient…… A Brief Note to Counselors Across the Globe!

As we continue to face the uncertainty of this global pandemic that is impacting the lives of millions, I wanted to reach out and remind each of just how important you and your skill set are during this time.

You are “ESSENTIAL” in every sense of the word.

You all provide the world with HOPE in the most darkest of dark moments.

You are willing to give of yourself in ways that are unimaginable to most.

You carry the burdens of others on your shoulders, heart, and mind; yet, you continue to keep a smile on your face and manage to keep your life and family lives in balance.

You are resilient! You don’t break, even when you are stretched ever so thin!

In all of this, I want each of you to know that YOU ARE APPRECIATED and are making a difference in the lives of others.

Remember to make yourself and your family a PRIORITY and Practice SELF-CARE daily.

Happy Counselors Awareness Month to all Counselors across the Globe!

“Real Men Cry”: The Cathartic Release of the Pain They Felt

Over the past month, the world has watched as many athletes mourned the unexpected and death of a Basketball Icon and his daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant; along with seven others.

Many watched as Lebron James rallied not only the Lakers Organization but the Lakers fan base.

Others watched Shaq, a man a tall stature, appear to look solemn and lost, thee day after Kobe’s death as well as right after the Dr. Dre tribute during All-Star weekend.

We as a society felt their loss, sadness, disbelief, and too struggle with understanding how something so tragic could happen.

We were unprepared and wasn’t for sure if we’d be able to embrace this reality.

I can’t even begin to recall how many wives and ladies on facebook during the last month has alluded, through their post, to the emotions their husbands, boyfriends, and male friends were experiencing and expressing as they grappled to not only accept that Kobe had perished but also, to an extent, faced the reality of their own mortality.

Tears formed and they had begun to allow themselves to become vulnerable.

They found comfort in knowing that as they cried they were in good company and had no reason to hide in shame.

As a result of the untimely death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant; many, to include men, were able to have a cathartic experience.

Crying, according to research, has been found to be cathartic in nature. More specifically, the receipt of social support, experiencing a resolution to the event that caused the crying episode, and achieving a new understanding of the event are positively related to catharsis (Bylsma, Vingerhoets, & Rottenberg, 2008).

Crying, despite what society my think, doesn’t make a man appear weak.

Crying allows individuals, especially men, the ability to cleanse their soul by releasing suppressed emotions and the opportunity to experience healing.

Over the last few weeks, there have been many who have experienced healing in a way they never would have imagined, gaining a new perspective on their lives and the lives of others around them.

They’ve challenged societal perception of men.

You know the perception that “real men don’t cry” or better yet, “men who cry are weak”.

Those are the perceptions that have held men captive to their emotions for to long, yet, now that they have had the opportunity to begin releasing them and become comfortable with those emotions they had buried deep down inside.

Real men do and should cry. It’s okay! This past month has proven such!

References:

Bylsma, Lauren & Vingerhoets, Ad & Rottenberg, Jonathan. (2008). When is Crying Cathartic? An International Study. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 27. 1165-1187. 10.1521/jscp.2008.27.10.1165.

5 Random Acts of Kindness to Brighten Someone’s Day

February 17 has been designated as Random Act of Kindness Day or #RAKDay, and is receiving increasing attention as a day that we think about others and show them through small gestures of kindness.

Today, U Matter Consulting, Counseling, and Clinical Supervision wanted to provide you with 5 Random Acts of Kindness you could to brighten someones day, today…..

1. Text a friend(s) some positive words of encouragement

2. Invite a friend/family member/co-worker to lunch or dinner

3. Give someone a hug

4. Smile and Say Hello to people you encounter througout the day.

5. Send/Call/Text “Thank You” notes to individuals who have inspired you and/or made a difference in your life.

Lets show Kindness and Made a Difference in the Lives of Others, each and every day!

We’re Re-Branding!!!!!

Have you noticed the change in our name?

Over the course of the last few years we have been fortunate to expand several of our services which has led to us re-branding and updating our name.

No longer are we known as U Matter Consulting and Counseling…..

We are now Officially known as U Matter Consulting, Counseling, and Clinical Supervision.

In the process of our re-branding, in the coming weeks we will be annoucing some other changes that will allow us to better serve our clientele, partners, and community.

We are truly Grateful for all of you!

Welcome to U Matter Consulting and Counseling, LLC

Do you feel like LIFE gets in the way and you are tired of having no energy left at the end of the day? Do you desire to lead a more fulfilled, stable and happier life?  Are you ready to put yourself first and take care of you?  If you have answered yes to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place.

Welcome to U Matter Consulting and Counseling, LLC.

U Matter Consulting and Counseling, LLC, based in Southeast Georgia, is dedicated to providing a wide spectrum of professional consulting and counseling services within the Southeast Georgia community that will empower, enhance, and improve the overall quality of life.

The practice goal is to help individuals gain a new perspective and improved quality of life by addressing the past and present person as well as becoming a community resource addressing mental health and personal growth needs, promoting awareness and prevention through seminars, trainings, and workshops.

The vision of U Matter Consulting and Counseling, LLC is to guide individuals through the process of change, utilizing a collaborative approach so they may experience the life they desire, transforming individuals into their best.

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