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This past week, and year, has been a whirlwind of political debates in the midst of a pandemic. All of this on top of regular daily stressors can contribute to the heavy emotions and stress you may have been feeling for the last several months, and especially in the days leading up to the United States Presidential Election, as well as, the days following in anticipation of who our next president would be. Regardless of your presidential pick, one thing many of us had in common was something called political fatigue. Political fatigue is the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion associated with direct or indirect political involvement. Here are some tips for combatting this problem:

  1. Unplug - It's important to remember that you do not have to watch and listen to media outlets. You can CHOOSE to unfollow, turn off, unplug, and unfriend any platform that may be too negative or overwhelming for you at this time. You aren't a bad person, mean, or childish for choosing to protect your peace during this time. Set a time limit for how long you watch tv or scroll social media.

  2. Set boundaries - Don't engage in political debates or discussions with family, friends, or coworkers if you aren't feeling up to it. Even with those close to us, these conversations can be very draining and can stir you up unnecessarily. Don't know how to say no? Simply say, "I don't really have the energy to discuss this right now." If they continue to press the issue, you can disengage by physically leaving the situation or not responding.

  3. Back to Basics - Make sure you are eating, staying hydrated, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep. If you were anything like me, you probably didn't sleep very well last week waking up every few hours checking your phone to see if anything changed in the presidential projection. Use this week to ensure that you are practicing good sleep hygiene and overall good self-care.

  4. Distract yourself - Use positive ways to distract yourself if you are feeling too many unpleasant or overwhelming emotions. Engage in your favorite activity, listen to music, cook a new recipe, exercise, read a book, or watch a funny, lighthearted tv show. My husband and I love binge watching our favorite sitcoms on Netflix to distract ourselves and help time move quicker.

Lastly, remember to talk to your counselor if you feel like things are worsening. If you don't have a counselor I suggest you reach out to one TODAY to help process your feelings surrounding the election and more! If you are in Louisiana or Georgia, I would be a great counselor for you lol.

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Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Hello Everyone! I decided to briefly inform current clients and potential clients about what JL Counseling is doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and also give my clients the peace of mind of knowing that their services do not have to be interrupted or postponed. This has been most recently updated September 5, 2020.

  1. I will continue doing teletherapy sessions ONLY until further notice.

  2. Upon returning to the office, a COVID-19 liability release must be signed by ALL clients opting for in-person sessions. Temperature checks and a health questionnaire will be required at the beginning of each session.

  3. ALL face to face appointments will require therapist and clients and any family/friends/children attending therapy to wear a mask. NO EXCEPTIONS. If the client(s) does not have a mask your appointment will be rescheduled until you have one. If your family/friend/children do not have masks they will have to sit in the car, hallway, or if they are small children and an adult is not able to watch them your appointment will be rescheduled. JL COUNSELING WILL NOT PROVIDE MASKS.

  4. If you or someone in your home has been sick or shown symptoms of sickness in the last week I ask that you reschedule your appointment.

  5. I understand everyone cannot always get a childcare provider so please ensure your children have masks as well or schedule a teletherapy appointment if they don’t comply with keeping masks on.

  6. ALL appointments including teletherapy will be 45-50 mins long to allow for time to sanitize in-between sessions.

  7. There will be no changes in fees.

  8. I have hired a cleaning service to ensure that my office is cleaned regularly.

I will continue to update this as new developments are presented. The best way to contact me is via telephone, email, or the patient portal. Stay safe, stay calm, stay healthy.

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Change is hard. It can also be scary. It’s the equivalent to not knowing what’s behind a locked door. One thing I do know is that although change may not come easier, the outcomes are usually (in my experience) have been greater than the behavior or situation I was previously engaging in.

We are all constantly changing. If you aren’t changing then something is wrong. If you have the same mindset or even dress the same as you did 10-20 plus years ago then it’s time for something new. We are all at different levels in our desire and motivation to change. Here are the stages of change and examples of each:

1. PreContemplation- “I’m happy with my weight even if I am fat. These people are just jealous. I’m going to enjoy every last bit of my fried foods and sweets!”

2. Contemplation- “Gosh, this is the third person to ask me if I’m pregnant this week. I think I may need to lose some pounds.”

3. Preparation- “I just got a membership to the gym and brought the groceries to meal prep for the week.”

4. Action- “I have been working out at the gym consistently for 2 months, 3 times a week for 45 minutes. I have been eating smaller portions and limiting my sweets.”

5. Maintenance- “It’s been 6 months and I have gradually increased working out to 4 days a week for one hour. I reward myself every now and then but I always make sure I am eating more healthy foods than not.”

6. Relapse- “Dang, it’s the holidays and my mama cooked all my favorites. I ate way too much. I was doing so good. I’m so disappointed in breaking my good streak.”

It is important to know that at times we may be tempted to relapse and may actually return to those bad habits but I want to encourage you to not give up and do not let on small or big mistake negate all of the hard work you have put in. Make plans for what you will do if tempted during your season of change. If you would like more help with making some changes in your life, contact JL Counseling to schedule an appointment.

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