Self-Esteem: What You Can Do To Improve It

Featured image: Self-Esteem Cliparts #251081

Confidence is a precious psychological resource and usually has a highly crucial factor in one’s life. It is closely related to achievements, good relationships, and satisfaction. Having little self-regard can lead people to depression, fall short of their potential, or tolerate abusive relationships and situations. On the other hand, too much self-love can result in an off-putting sense of entitlement and inability to learn from your short-comings. It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism where people behave self-centered, arrogant, and manipulative.

What Can Impact Self-Worth
Everyone’s experience with self-esteem is different over the course of their lives. With rises and falls, self-esteem is like a roller coaster of emotions and will vary even into old age. People who have steady diets of disapproval from people who are important in their lives, like family members, supervisors, friends, or even teachers can develop low self-esteem. Feelings of self-worth, whether high or low, begin in childhood. Some causes could be constant dysfunction at home, work, or school.

What To do To Help Improve Self-Esteem
One important detail is that no one person is less worthy than the other or should be deemed more important. It can help to put aside your fears of being worth less than others. You can also check out this article on what most confident people try NOT to do in order to maintain their confidence. Realize that nobody is perfect, including you. Self-doubt is not always a bad thing. Fear is a signal that you have not prepared enough or possibly need to take a break. Here are a couple of other things you can do to try and improve self-esteem.

  1. Try not to hesitate too much. Don’t obsess over what MIGHT go wrong.
  2. Don’t wait for the “big” move. When you envision someone confident, you may think of someone who takes big, bold actions like running for office. Remember that boldness and bravery in small steps can build on yourself through your feelings of accomplishment and reinforcement from others.
  3. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Some people may fear being overly confident, causing them to “step on people toes,” take up too much space, or being a jerk. Remember, confidence is NOT the same as arrogance or narcissism. When you feel more confident, you often become less self-absorbed. Stop worrying so much about how you’re coming across, so you can pay more attention to those around you.
  4. Don’t fear feedback or conflict. Try not to get defensive when you get helpful feedback. When you have a conflict with someone, do not automatically go into defense mode. It is possible to speak your mind without conviction and listen to someone else’s point of view to reach a compromise.
  5. Do NOT fear failure. Having confidence doesn’t mean you won’t fail. It doesn’t mean you will always be happy or never experience anxiety or self-doubt. It means you know how to handle those feelings and push through to conquer the next challenge.
  6. Everything does not have to be perfect. Perfectionism is considered a flawed way of thinking that contributes to low self-confidence. Thoughts of having to have something completely figured out before taking action can keep you from completing your task.
  7. Don’t believe everything you see in ads. Companies that want to sell their products will usually start by making you feel bad about yourself. For instance, they may state that there is a “problem” with your body that you would have never noticed otherwise.
  8. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. This point is the same as #7. It’s easy to believe that everyone has the “perfect” marriage, a dream job, or supermodel looks, but remember that you ONLY see what they WANT you to see, and a lot of it is heavily edited. Everyone struggles with self-doubt, bad days, and physical imperfections.
  9. Don’t avoid trying new things! New things might bring some failures, but that is OK. Failures and mistakes lead to growth, and being more willing to fail, in turn, may help you succeed more because you are not waiting for everything to be 100% perfect before you try. Taking more shots will mean making more successes.
  10. Try not to focus on yourself. What we mean by this is, when you develop more self-confidence, you are less focused on yourself. We have all thought, “they’re all looking at me. They all think I look dumpy and that every word I say is stupid!” The truth is, most people are wrapped up in their thoughts and worries. Getting out of your head will allow you to be able to engage with others.
  11. Do not allow others to determine your goals. You are the only one that knows what is most important to you. Society says that having a better job, a bigger house or a fancier car is what you need to be happy. It takes strength and conviction to not go along with society’s expectations. Have the confidence to say, ” No, this opportunity is not the right choice for me.”

Have the confidence in yourself to make your own choices. Some of our providers specialize in helping others improve their self-esteem and confidence. If you live around the Wichita, Kansas area, give us a call at 316-636-2888 or visit our website at to request an appointment and one of our staff members will get in contact with you. 

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How To Cope With Eating Disorders During COVID-19

Image Credit: Credit: Des –
Copyright: ©Des –

According to the American Psychiatric Association, someone with an Eating Disorder (ED) will experience disturbances in their eating habits. The disorders will also affect how people think and feel about eating, food, and spend a lot of time and energy thinking about food and how much they weigh. They usually have a complicated relationship with food and only eat certain types or brands of food. They might only eat at a particular time of the day with a strict routine. Social isolation and increased anxiety are also some factors that may interrupt recovery.

There are three main EDs:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder

There are many more types of EDs and disordered eating tendencies but may not always fit into specific categories. EDs are mental health conditions, and people who suffer from them also suffer from other mental health issues like anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or drug and alcohol use disorders. However, this is not always the case.

How COVID-19 affects people with an ED
Some people may feel isolated due to social distancing, which can lead to a range of emotions. The most common effects of social distancing are anxiety, depression, and loneliness. A common reaction to a trigger for someone who suffers from an ED can be binge eating, purging, taking laxatives, or excessive exercise. Some people with EDs can also experience social anxiety, and physical distancing measures can make it harder for them to manage that symptom.

With the current situation in our world, routines have been interrupted, and that can throw anybody’s day off. Routines can be an essential part of recovery. It can outline when and what to eat, as well as when and how to exercise. Visiting friends and attending healthcare appointments may be essential parts of the routine as well.

Making a plan
When someone with an ED experiences a trigger, there are some techniques they can use to help minimize their likelihood of engaging in harmful behaviors. Making an action plan based on the level of distress is a great idea. For example, if the measure of distress is at a 3 out of 10, then the person could call a friend for a chat, take a bath, or write in a journal. If the level of distress is at a 6 out of 10, the person could ask an ED organization, trusted healthcare professional, or a close family member for support.

Someone suffering with an ED may want to share what they are feeling with a trusted friend and/or family member and want to keep in touch Someone suffering from an ED may want to share what they are feeling with a trusted friend and/or family member and want to keep in touch during lockdown measures. Video, telephone calls, and social media are all great ways to stay in touch. Talking with a therapist may be beneficial as well. Therapists and mental health professionals may offer video or telephone call appointments.

Setting a routine, and sticking to it
Some people have found that setting a routine has helped. It may include a regular meal plan, exercise schedule, and set times for work and/or hobbies.

Writting it down
Many people with an ED find it helpful to write down a list of reasons why they want to stay in recovery. They can keep it somewhere easy to see, like a noticeboard or the fridge door.

Self Soothing
The things people find comforting will vary among individuals, but some ways to self-soothe may include:

  • listening to music
  • taking a warm bath
  • speaking to a friend
  • limiting social media intake
  • going for a walk, if possible
  • spending time with a companion animal, such as a dog or cat
  • reading a chapter of a book

Where to find support
There are many different organizations offering support to people with EDs during the COVID-19 crisis. Check out this list:

How to help someone else
A person with an ED may find it hard to talk about their feelings or how the People with an ED may find it hard to talk about their feelings or how the lockdown or other corona-virus safety measures have affected them. Friends and family members who want to help can try giving their loved one that is struggling with an ED, opportunities to open up. They can also work with their loved ones on how to avoid triggers. It may mean finding an acceptable alternative to an unavailable food product or avoiding stockpiling food at home.

This help guide has a couple of recommendations on how families can help.

  • Setting a positive example by eating nutritious, balanced meals and avoiding some language such as “diet/dieting”
  • Encouraging the whole family – even if the person with an ED is not eating – to sit down and enjoy a meal together
  • Avoiding attempts to force them to eat
  • Promoting self-esteem with encouragement and compliments that DO NOT focus on a person’s weight

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What To Know About Telehealth Appointments

With the recent closing down of public buildings and institutions, restaurants, gyms, museums, and more to slow down the spread of COVID-19 it has increased some people to feel isolated and anxiety stemming from the situation we are currently in. Telehealth can offer several benefits like convenience and better accessibility. Telemedicine uses technology during your appointment times instead of an in-person appointment to provide a range of healthcare services, including:

  • Psychiatric evaluations and diagnoses
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Client education
  • Medication Management

Psychiatrists can interact directly with clients via telephone or video conferencing by using telepsychiatry. It can be a good option for many people who do not necessarily like being in public, people in rural and isolated areas, unable to travel, or have the time for traditional in-person psychiatric services. It can also be a useful method of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, and schizophrenia.

Who can provide teletherapy?
Therapists that hold a license in the state where they treat the client can provide teletherapy. For instance:

  • Licensed professional counselors
  • Licensed marriage and family therapist
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • Licensed psychologists
  • Licensed psychiatrists

The recent COVID-19 health crisis showed that being able to have access to medical care at home can slow the spread of illness and protect others that are more vulnerable. Telehealth allows people to get mental health treatment at home and not have to risk the spread of infection during epidemics and pandemics. In-person therapy sessions do not require physical contact and make it possible to replicate most therapies virtually with video chat and telephone. Video sessions would require you to log on from a private network, keep your computer locked to prevent others from viewing the session, and to access the session on an encrypted therapy platform to protect your privacy.


Pica And Other Types Of Eating Disorders

Pica is when a person craves or eats nonfood items like sand, ice chips, dirt, clay, hair, burnt matches, chalk, soap, coins, or paint chips. Most medical guides consider pica as an eating disorder. Some pregnant women will develop pica during pregnancy. We will discuss what pica is and other types of eating disorders and what you can do to treat them.

Pica will usually develop in people with mental health conditions, but not all people who suffer from pica have a mental health condition. Pica is more common to show in children and pregnant women. Children will often hide the behavior from their parents or caregivers. Other groups that are a high risk for developing pica include autistic people, people with other developmental conditions, pregnant women, people from nations where dirt-eating is common. Pica is different from healthy behaviors of babies and young children who put objects in their mouths, and they will persistently try to eat nonfood items. They will also develop other symptoms, including broken or damaged teeth, stomach pains, bloody stool, nutrient deficits (low iron, hematocrit, or hemoglobin), and/or lead poisoning.

There are also other types of eating disorders such as:
Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is a condition that typically develops during adolescence or early adulthood. Studies show it is more common in women than men. They tend to devour large quantities of food very quickly, and then takes steps to purge their body of the extra calories. Standard purging methods include self-induced vomiting, taking diuretics, taking laxatives, or excessive amounts of exercise. Signs and symptoms of bulimia can include:

  • obsession with body weight and size
  • repeat binging episodes that accompany a sense of loss of control
  • purging episodes to prevent weight gain
  • a general fear of gaining weight
  • acid reflux
  • a sore or inflamed throat
  • tooth decay
  • severe dehydration
  • electrolyte imbalance that can lead to stroke or heart attack

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is one of the more well-known eating disorders that tend to develop in adolescence or early adulthood and is more common in women than men. There are two subtypes of anorexia:

  • Binge Eating and Purging Type: An individual with this type usually purges after eating. They will consume large amounts of food and might try to excessively exercise to burn off the calories they consumed.
  • Restricting Type: People with this type do not binge eat. They will turn to dieting, fasting, or overexercising in an effort to lose weight.
    Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia:
  • Abnormal restricted eating habits
  • being underweight compared with others of similar height and age
  • a fear of gaining weight, even if they are already underweight
  • obsession with being thinner
  • distorted view of their body
  • basing their self-esteem on body weight or shap
  • avoid eating in public or around others
  • obsessive-compulsive tendencies (in some people)

Rumination Disorder
A condition in which a person regurgitates partially digested food, chews it again, and will either swallow it or spit it out. Unlike self-induced purging, rumination is involuntary. The first episode usually is in response to illness, physical injury, or psychological distress, and regurgitation may provide some relief. This disorder can develop as early as infancy and will get better without treatment. However, persistent rumination could lead to fatal malnourishment. Rumination in older children and adults usually requires psychological treatment.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • A need to burp
  • Feeling of pressure or discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Electrolyte Imbalance
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Sleeping Difficulties
  • Weight Loss
  • Malnourishment

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
ARFID used to be called selective eating disorder and is similar to anorexia in that it is restricting calorie consumption. However, a person with ARFIT does not obsess about their body size or weight gain and can occur due to a lack of interest in eating, or they may avoid eating because of the sensory characteristics of feed. This disorder can occur at any age and could be more challenging to detect in children who are fussy eaters.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Stunted Growth (in children)
  • Severe nutrient deficiencies
  • A dependence on oral nutritional supplements
  • Considerable interference with social functioning

Other Eating Disorders:
Orthorexia: This eating disturbance is an obsession with eating healthful foods. Healthcare professionals do not recognize it as an official condition.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED): A person with OSFED may show signs and symptoms of bulimia or anorexia but does not meet the diagnostic criteria for either condition.
Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder (UFED): When a person does not meet the criteria for any particular eating disorder but will present with similar symptoms and psychological distress.
Laxative Abuse: This is not technically an eating disorder, but laxative abuse involves excessive use of laxatives in order to lose weight and become thinner.
Excessive Exercise: When someone does an excessive amount of exercising in order to burn calories and achieve unhealthy weight loss.

Treatment options for all of these could include:

  • Psychotherapy (Family Counseling or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
  • Medications (Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Mood Stabilizers)
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Medical Care and Monitoring

If you suspect that a loved one has a eating disorder you should encourage them to speak to their doctor. Doctors may refer the person for psychotherapy, psychiatric treatment, or for care at a specialist center for eating disorders.

How To Stop Binge Eating And What To Do To Get Back On Track

Binge eating is when someone eats large amounts of food in a short time. Someone who does binge eat may not be able to control the type or amount of food that is consumed and can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and depression. Those who binge eat at least once a week for three months may have a binge eating disorder and is one of the most common types of eating disorders in the United States. It can also be a sign of bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Here are a few tips on how to stop and what to do to get back on track.

Avoid Dieting
Following a diet plan could lead to feelings of deprivation. The act of sudden and significantly cutting calories from your body can cause it to go in to starvation mode and could lead to episodes of binge eating. Fasting can increase the risk of binge eating and bulimia. Focus on filling up on healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados. Some people would benefit from the 80:20 approach to eating. This involves consuming healthy foods, 80% of the time, and enjoying treats the other 20%.

Regularly working out may help binge eating because it causes the body to release endorphins that boost your mood. A better mood can reduce any risk of emotional eating relating to stress, sadness, or anger.

Identify and address triggers
People may binge eat in response to loneliness, boredom, sadness, or other things. Figuring out what may trigger your binge eating could help you avoid or manage those triggers. Some people keep a food journal of what they eat and what they are feeling at that time.

Reduce Stress
Stress can be a common trigger for binge eating. Research shows that stress reduces a person’s awareness of their hunger cues. You can manage your stress by eliminating stressors by practicing meditation, deep breathing techniques, exercise regularly, practice yoga or tai chi, get enough sleep, or use alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture, or aromatherapy.

Do not skip meals
Not only can your blood sugar levels can drop from skipping meals, but can also prompt your body to crave a quick boost of sugar. Eating those foods can raise your blood sugar levels and crash again quickly, causing a cycle. To avoid things like this from happening, you should plan regular meals and snacks. Studies show that eating three meals and two or three planned snacks can lower the frequency of binge eating episodes.

Try Mindfulness
Fourteen studies have shown that mindfulness meditation effectively reduces binge and emotional eating. Eating slowly will allow your body to be able to recognize your hunger cues, and you are less likely to overeat because your body will notice when you are full.

Remove Temptations
Having access to sugary and processed foods making the foods readily available. Replacing those foods with healthy options instead will help you make better choices on what to eat when you are hungry. If you are out and about good snack options to take with you are fresh fruit, no sugar added protein bars, small amounts of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Do not confuse thirst and hunger
Try drinking a glass of water if you start to feel hungry before you eat anything. If the feeling goes away, you may have just been thirsty. If you still feel hungry, then you should eat a balanced meal or snack. Research has shown that drinking 500 milliliters of water before every meal reduces the number of calories that you eat by 13%.

Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential to regulate hunger and appetite. Lack of sleep can increase stress and mood, which can trigger binge eating and can contribute to obesity by increasing food intake, decreasing energy throughout the day, and affecting hormones that regulate appetite. The recommended amount of sleep is 7-8 hours every night.

Keeping a routine can help you get back on track and keep you moving forward after a binge. Some people will brush their teeth, signaling an end to overeating. Treatments for binge eating disorders can include psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Therapy typically helps address the emotions and issues that underline the eating disorder and could help you identify your triggers. Individuals who suspect that they may have a binge eating disorder should speak to their doctor. They can vary from mild to severe and can be a short term issue or can last for years.

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Can A Smile Really Make A Difference?

There’s a good reason why some people will tell you to turn that frown upside down, even though that is not always what we want to hear. Studies have shown that just the act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system, and could even prolong your life. You might be thinking, happiness is what makes us smile, not the other way around, but as Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explained, a smile causes a chemical reaction in the brain and releases hormones including dopamine and serotonin. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness, and serotonin is associated with reduced stress.” Low levels of both of them are associated with depression.

So actually, smiling can trick your brain into believing your happy, which can bring on actual feelings of happiness. Dr. Murray Frossan, an ENT-otolaryngologist, states that studies have shown “over and over” again that depression can weaken your immune system, and happiness can have the opposite effect, boosting your body’s resistance. An interesting study performed by a group at the University of Cerdiff in Wales found that people who had botox injections so they could not frown were happier on average than those who frown. A study done at the University of Kansas published findings that smiling helps reduce the body’s response to stress and lowers heart rate in tense situations.

Smiling is contagious, much like yawning. It is because we have mirror neurons when we see actions according to Dr. Eva Ritzo, a psychiatrist and the co-author of “The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful.” Some people have started smiling when they can feel like they are beginning to feel stressed out, smiling does help. For instance, when they are in traffic while driving, they are uncomfortable due to a headache, during a workout, at themselves in a mirror, and when they are tired saying it makes them feel calmer. Of course, smiling does not always do the trick, and it should never take the place of other forms of therapy that may be necessary depending on the situation, but it is worth the try.

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10 Ways To Do To Start Your Day Off Better

Do you ever feel like your day was rushed since you woke up? Snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out of the door can make the rest of your day feel chaotic. That is because the tone of your morning will determine the tone of the rest of your day, so planning ahead of time can help cut down on the crazy mornings. Here are 10 morning habits that can help you start your day off right.

  1. Stay unplugged from Tech
    If you usually check your smartphone the moment you wake up for messages or work email, you will cause yourself to start off in a reactive mindset instead of a proactive one. Try detaching yourself from your technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and start your day in a place of inner peace and control.
  2. Hydrate
    Drinking a glass of water in the morning is not only an excellent way to hydrate your body, but adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion.
  3. Practice Optimism and Gratitude
    Before you get out of bed, give yourself a few minutes to smile, and practice gratitude. When you smile, it signals your brain to release the “feel-good” neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin) that help lift your mood, relax your body, and lower your heart rate. As you are smiling, think about all the things you are grateful for. Studies show that this helps reduce stress hormones and improves overall mood.
  4. Make Your Bed
    It may seem redundant and a waste of time because you will use your bed again at night, but making your bed is a simple action you can take in the morning and starts off your day feeling accomplished.
  5. Meditate
    Some type of meditation can help ground you and train your mind and emotions which then influences how you react to challenges throughout the day. Here is a simple meditation you can do in the morning:
  • Get in to a comfortable seated position and set a timer for five minutes.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  • Inhale through your nose for four counts, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose for eight counts.
  • Every time you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to focus on your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, release your counting, but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
  • Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention.
  • Open your eyes, draw your arms up to the sky for a stretch, and then move on with your day, carrying the calm energy and intention with you.
  1. Exercise
    It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Whether it is a yoga routine, a walk with your pet, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, or hitting the gym, starting your day with movement energizes the body and mind. It doesn’t have to be complicated, long, or intense, having some physical activity in the morning helps get your blood flowing and keep any mental chatter quiet.
  2. Put Yourself Together
    Putting time and effort into your appearance helps build self-Putting time and effort into your appearance helps build self-confidence, and it is one less thing you have to worry about throughout your day. This includes a shower, wash your face, brush your teeth, floss, comb your hair, apply lotion, dress to impress, any other sort of hygiene/grooming habits that make you feel good about yourself. It could also include picking out your clothes the night before.
  3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
    When you take time to eat a healthy breakfast including lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains you will have more energy throughout the day and be able to focus and concentrate better.
  4. Have a “To-Do” List Ready to Conquer
    Write down a to-do list for the next day. Prioritize it so your list only has 3 to 5 items on it with the most important things first. Writing them down instead of keeping them on your mind helps clear any mental chatter throughout the day.
  5. Get Enough Sleep
    To have any healthy morning habits, it is a good idea to get a well-rested sleep to have a well-rested body and mind for the upcoming day. The way you feel while you are awake has some to do with your sleep habits. If you are feeling groggy, irritable, or exhausted, you may not be getting enough sleep.

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10 Tips To Get You Out Of Bed

There are just some days you don’t feel like getting out of bed. There are many psychological reasons why a person may not have the energy or motivation to get out of bed. We are going to go over ten tips and tricks to get yourself up and going once you wake up in the morning.

  1. Break your goals into steps
    If a deadline is coming up and you’re getting anxious about a particular task causing you not to want to get out of bed, try to split your morning and day into manageable steps. Do not focus on all of your tasks or duties that you have to get done. First, you should concentrate on getting up, using the bathroom, getting dressed, and so on. You could also try to write tasks down as a list and cross them off as you complete them. The sense of achievement can help you feel motivated.
  2. Get a pet
    Studies have shown that interacting with pets dogs, in particular, has a positive effect on stress, feelings of loneliness, and anxiety. It could also encourage you to exercise, but it is essential to keep in mind that a pet should only be considered if you can commit to caring for an animal.
  3. Be accountable to someone
    Friends and family members can help you find a reason to get out of bed. Try making plans with a family member or a friend to keep yourself accountable to someone. Make arrangements to exercise, meet for coffee or lunch, carpool to work, or to talk to each other on your way to work or school every morning.
  4. Focus on a feel-good event
    Focusing on an event that makes you feel positive can help keep you motivated. Instead of thinking of negative events that happened during the day, focusing on the positive can help keep you motivated and bring you pleasure. This can include thinking of the post-exercise feeling, the first sip of morning coffee or tea, a delicious breakfast, or even a friendly greeting.
  5. Visualize successful moments and day
    Remembering successful moments in your life can help give you the motivation to get up out of bed for the day if you are finding it hard to get up.
  6. Brighten up the room
    Dark rooms are suitable for sleep and, in turn, can make you sleepy. If you are having troubles with getting up in the mornings, try turning on a bright light or open up your blinds or curtains when your alarm goes off in the morning.
  7. Turn on some music
    Studies have shown that music can change a person’s mood. A person who uses music for meditation may find that it helps them relax or fall asleep. Someone who uses music when exercising or as a mood booster throughout the day find that turning on their music when they first get up in the morning can motivate them to get going.
  8. Fill up the calendar with things to do
    Getting up and spending time with friends or family can have a positive effect on someone’s mood. It could be as simple as meeting for a meal or going out to a concert or movie. Events can give you something to look forward to that can push them through their day-to-day feelings of negativity.
  9. Do not stress about daily tasks
    To-do lists can be overwhelming to look at, especially first thing in the morning. Try not to worry about getting it all done if this is stressing you to the point you don’t want to get out of bed. Do whatever you can and remember that tomorrow is a new day to accomplish things. You can prioritize tasks that you know are possible to complete to get them off of your list.
  10. Plan to spend time outside
    Being outside can help you feel energized. Fresh air and sunshine can improve your mood, so try to spend a little bit of each day walking, reading a book, or doing other activities outside. It has been said that exposure to green space can help replenish yourself and reduce mental fatigue and stress.

Welcome Natalie!

We would like to welcome Natalie Valle to the team! Natalie is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and specializes in providing therapy in trauma, depression, anxiety, EMDR trained, play therapy, life transitions, couples, family, individual, groups, and more. Check out her profile on our website at or call us at 316-636-2888 to schedule an appointment.

Having Issues With Sleepiness?

Sleepiness from time to time is completely normal after a long day, but when does it become abnormal? An article by Jon Johnson on Medical New Today discusses how excessive sleepiness can make normal daily activities difficult for people. There are more common causes like not getting enough sleep or poor quality sleep, but in some cases, it may be due to a sleep disorder or another underlying health condition. A study done by Nature Communications in 2019 shows that 10-20% of people deal with excessive sleepiness. We will go over each cause and their symptoms. 

There are many signs that people may be experiencing excessive sleepiness, such as:

  • fatigue
  • mental fog
  • inability to focus
  • grogginess
  • difficulty waking up in the morning
  • feeling sluggish throughout the day
  • frequent napping throughout the day
  • falling asleep at inappropriate times like driving
  • lapses in attention
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty remembering events
  • irritation
  • poor performance at work or school

Cause # 1: Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is when a person does not get enough sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says for adults to feel well-rested the following day, they need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night, but 20% of adults fail to get that amount. People who consistently fail to get enough sleep may constantly feel tired. This can be caused by excessive work hours, personal obligations, or an underlying medical condition.

Cause # 2: Insomnia
Insomnia is another condition in which people have difficulty getting sleep. They may constantly feel sleepy but are unable to sleep. Everyone experiences insomnia in different ways, such as:

  • being unable to get sleep
  • constantly waking up throughout the night
  • waking up early in the morning and unable to fall back to sleep

Insomnia can be difficult to diagnose, and according to the article, doctors will only diagnose insomnia if they have ruled out all other possible sleep disorders.

Cause # 3: Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when a person’s body becomes temporarily starved of oxygen and temporarily stops breathing during sleep. This is the most common cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Very loud snoring and gasping for air throughout the night are both common signs of sleep apnea. There are also two different types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): when soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse, blocking airflow
  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): when the brain fails to signal the respiratory muscles to breathe.

Cause # 4: Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that can cause a person to fall asleep suddenly at inappropriate times and will experience constant sleepiness throughout the day. Most people with this condition will also experience the following:

  • sleep disturbances
  • sleep paralysis
  • hallucinations

Cause # 5: Depression 
Depression can cause sleep issues, including excessive daytime sleepiness and oversleeping. Other symptoms may include:

  • feelings of sadness
  • feelings of hopelessness or despair
  • feelings of anxiety
  • difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty remembering details

Cause # 6: Certain Medications
Daytime sleepiness can also be a side effect of certain medications such as:

  • antihistamines
  • antipsychotics
  • antidepressants
  • anxiety medications
  • high blood pressure medications

If the side effects like sleepiness are too much to handle, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor about these issues before making any changes to your medications. Let us know your thoughts about this topic. 

Check out the original post for more detailed information and treatment common treatment options:

Original author: Jon Johnson
Original article medically reviewed by: Debra Rose Wilson Ph.D, MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT