Winter Solstice

Self Love

  • How to Advocate for Your Health

    By Dylan Foster

    Advocating for one’s health can be a complex task even for those in the best of health. Data show that well over half of American adults have at least one chronic medical condition, which can make health management even more difficult. The following are several ways that you can become a stronger champion for your health.

    Live a Healthy Lifestyle
    A healthy lifestyle is the foundation for good physical and mental health. Make sure to practice healthy eating basics. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and make sure to get enough protein, either from plant or animal sources. Minimize processed sugar and drink plenty of water.

    Fitness basics are just as important to your overall well-being. Incorporate cardio, strength and flexibility exercises into your weekly routine. If you have not been working out regularly, start out slowly to avoid injury. Even busy individuals can increase their physical activity by taking the stairs, going for short walks during breaks, or performing a quick exercise routine. Incorporate other forms of self-care into your daily routine, including sleep,
    recreation and relaxation.

    Choose the Right Professionals
    Even the healthiest individuals need at least one medical professional to help them stay well. A primary care physician is an invaluable asset no matter your health status. A primary care doctor performs a variety of tasks, including:
    • Routine physicals
    • Treatment for minor illnesses
    • Coordination of specialist care

    It is important to receive regular dental and eye exams as well. If you have other health concerns, you will likely need to add other specialists to your care team. No matter what type of doctor you are looking for, it is important that you feel comfortable addressing your concerns. Ask friends and family for recommendations and read online reviews.

    If you are an older individual in need of round-the-clock care, a senior living facility may be beneficial. Read reviews and reports online. Ask a loved one to join you when you visit the facility. Research costs and speak with your insurer to determine affordability.

    Speak Up
    Unfortunately, talking to doctors can be difficult. Sometimes, these professionals don’t speak in understandable language or rush to get to the next patient. However, asking questions and voicing concerns is the only way to get the care you deserve. Make a detailed list of questions and concerns before your visit so that you have something to reference while in the office. Consider asking a loved one to join you. They can ask questions you may not have thought of and provide moral support. If your provider has a patient portal, get the registration information from the front desk staff. You can use the portal to send messages to the doctor after the visit if necessary.

    Maintain Your Own Medical Records
    Your personal health record is an important tool when advocating for your health. Write out your medical history, including surgeries and allergies. Ask for medical records from past providers. Medical record requests can often be made electronically, but don’t get discouraged if you have to call or visit in person. If you have medical images in your health record, use an online tool to quickly combine videos and images. Select the images you’d like to share and then download them to your device.

    The human body is complex, and so is the medical system. As a result, managing one’s health can be a daunting task. Advocating for your health, in medical settings and through your daily decisions, is key to overall well-being.

    If you’re facing mental health challenges, the therapists at Winter Solstice Group can help you overcome obstacles. Schedule an appointment.

  • Tips and Resources for Growing Through Grief

    By Lucille Rosetti

    Grief is something most adults have struggled with at some point in their life. Sadly, it’s often misunderstood or swept under the rug. If you’ve lost someone and aren’t sure how to cope, it can feel difficult to know how to manage your feelings. Some days, it might even feel like there’s no hope. The truth is that grief is hard and comes in waves, but there are ways you can use your grief to grow.

    Learning From Grief

    Life is short. No matter where you are in the grieving process, you likely already know this. When you’re grieving, it’s natural to take a look at your own life and goals and consider ways you’ll make the most of your life going forward. For some people, it’s helpful to come up with a new focus or passion. Whether this means picking up a new skill, going back to school, earning a therapy degree to help others who are grieving, or signing up for an online class to stay distracted, it’s okay to work toward your own goals as you grieve.

    Maybe you’re like many people struggling with the way your family is responding to the loss of a loved one. Going back to school to earn a therapy degree or a degree in something you’re passionate about might be a way to help you begin to move forward. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to get into accounting, there are many programs available that can help you get started. And because online schedules are flexible, you’ll be able to start when the time is right for you. The reality is that having an education behind you when it comes to grief can help you navigate emotions you might not have expected.

    Taking Care of Yourself While You Grieve

    If you’re in the early stages of grief, it can be a challenge to maintain routines like exercise. Some people have trouble even getting out of bed and dealing with daily hygiene as they grieve a serious loss. If this is you, it’s important to go easy on yourself and take one day at a time. Start by finding ways to get exercise if you hope to improve your energy levels and begin feeling more like yourself. Something as simple as a daily walk can make a big difference. If you’re working, small adjustments like taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help get you back on track.

    Reaching Out for Help

    Most people benefit from professional mental health support during times of grief. If you’re hesitant about reaching out to a therapist, one way to do it is to schedule an online therapy appointment where you can meet with a professional from the privacy of your home. Not only will you pay less for mental health care, but you’ll also save money on travel and have more therapists to choose from.

    You Don’t Need to Grieve Alone

    At the end of the day, you don’t have to struggle with grief alone, and the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with support. If you’re not sure where to start, consider reaching out to a fantastic therapist or therapy group in Upland, such as Winter Solstice Therapy, to help guide you through the stages of grief and give you hope.

  • Self-Care: The Mental Health Benefits Of De-Stressing

    Every day, millions of Americans try to cope with stress, anxiety, mood disorders such as depression, and the physical issues that can be brought on by those feelings. For some, the stress that comes with everyday life can lead to issues at work or in school, problems within a relationship, and feelings of guilt or inadequacy when it comes to parenting. These are very real problems that can lead to bigger issues if left untreated, which is why it’s so important to practice self-care and de-stress once in a while.

    It’s different for everyone; what works for you may not work for someone else, so don’t be afraid to customize your routine. Whether you want to try a new workout regimen to burn off some of that negative energy or just carve time out of your busy schedule to sit down with a good book, make sure it’s something that makes you happy and relaxed.

     Here are a few tips on how to get started.

     Create Your Own Space

     Everyone needs their own space to relax in, especially if they have a large family. Create a place where you can go to relax. A meditation room can work wonders for your mood on those long days when nothing seems to be going right; all you need is a yoga mat or comfy chair, some soft lighting, and perhaps a scented fragrance oil or some relaxing music. This should be a place you can go when you need a few quiet moments to yourself, so don’t put in too many distractions. For some great tips on creating such a space, read on here.

     Get Some Good Sleep

     Adequate rest should leave you feeling like a million bucks when you wake up. Unfortunately, many of us face the day feeling groggy, achy, and wishing we could go back to bed. This could be due to a lack of good R.E.M. sleep, which can be caused by any number of things. For some, it’s the need to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night; for others, it’s a pet or partner who is restless in bed. Taking steps to get good sleep can help you feel more confident during the day and will keep you from feeling fatigued when you have a lot to get done, so cut off liquids an hour before you go to bed, turn off all electronics, and consider investing in a good mattress or pillows that will help you get restful sleep all night long.

     Just say no

     Being unable to say “no” to people when they ask for your time or attention can lead to quite a bit of stress. It’s important to learn how to deflect those situations when you’re feeling overwhelmed so you don’t take too much onto yourself. There’s no need to be rude; simply let the person know that you are currently at capacity where your time is concerned.

     Do Things You Love

     Spending your time doing things you enjoy is a great way to reduce stress, and the beauty is, you can change it up every day if you want. Sit down with a good book, go for a hike with your dog, start a garden, or play a game of basketball with your friends. Whatever it is you love to do, set aside some time to do it as often as you can.

     Practicing self-care is one of the best tools we have when it comes to reducing stress and living a long, healthy life. Talk to your family members about how they can help — for instance, not bothering you when you’re in your meditation room — and take time every day for yourself.

     About the Author

    Dana Brown is the creator of, which aims to provide Internet users with helpful content and resources that will lead them to make healthier decisions.


    Check out this article for more information on how create your own personal stress-free meditation space:

  • Making The Most Of A Bad Situation

    Using Holistic Methods To Grow From A Major Life Change

    Going through a major life change can have strong effects on your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, whether good or bad. It’s difficult to know how to move forward after such a change, especially if it involved the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a move to a new and unfamiliar town, because those events can alter us in unexpected ways. However, it’s important to learn how to cope and make those changes work for you, even if it seems like it’s in a limited way at first. Taking this opportunity to better yourself or your life can help you heal following such a major transition, and using holistic wellness techniques can have a major positive impact on your overall well-being.

    Here are some wonderful holistic approaches to wellness after a significant life change.

    Get organized

    Getting a divorce or making a big move can be extremely stressful; however, if you look at it as a chance to declutter and get organized, you’ll actually be helping to improve your mental state. Holding onto physical items from the past can keep you from moving forward, especially if there are strong memories attached to them. Go through your belongings and make a keep pile, a trash pile, and a donate pile, and think hard about what you want to keep. Letting go of some of those things — and perhaps finding a good home for them somewhere else — can help you move on after a major life change. Remember that you don’t have to get rid of everything; if there are several items that you don’t use much anymore but want to keep, consider boxing them up to go through at a later time when things have slowed down a bit and the task doesn’t feel as overwhelming.

    Give back

    Helping others can have a huge positive impact on your mental health and emotional well-being, and the time period following a big change in your life is one of the best times to get involved. You can use your own experiences to make a difference in the lives of others; for instance, if you lost a loved one to cancer, you might start a nonprofit that raises awareness about the disease, or sell your artwork and give the proceeds to a local hospice. Think about the best ways you can get involved in your community.

    Treat your body and your spirit right

    Many life changes bring stress and anxiety or even depression, so it’s important to focus on your health and use the time immediately following to get serious about the well-being of your body, mind, and soul. Daily exercise helps tremendously with stress and anxiety and can help you get into shape, if that’s what you’re after. Eating well-balanced meals with plenty of dark leafy greens is a good idea, too, as is getting enough rest. This can sometimes be easier said than done when you’re going through a rough time, so establish a bedtime routine that includes relaxation, such as taking a hot bath or lighting a lavender candle. Take a break from the screens — computer, phone, and television — before bed as well, as this can help you sleep better.

    Eliminate toxic relationships

     Going through a period of change in your life means you can really get to know who your real friends are. The people who are there for you and support you unconditionally are the ones you should maintain relationships with; anyone who only contributes toxicity to your life should be let go. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who you feel good being around.

    Holistic health in addiction recovery

    Perhaps one of the biggest life changes someone can experience is beginning a path to sobriety after struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction. Holistic therapies, especially when combined with the above tips, can be extremely beneficial to those in addiction recovery. Acupuncture and hypnosis are therapeutic and cathartic, and patients may see benefits as early as their first session. Activities like yoga and meditation can be performed alone or with a group, and can help establish a lifelong mindfulness practice that will be helpful on the journey to long-term sobriety.

    Remember that you may need someone to talk to during this transition period, so consider seeking a counselor or therapist who can help you get through it. Reach out when you’re feeling low, especially if you think you might be suffering from depression.

    Author: Dana Brown

  • Creating a Happy 2018

    …With Goals You Will Actually Keep

    The new year is upon us, and everyone is making New Year’s resolutions and setting goals. But according to Statistic Brain, only about 9 percent of people who set resolutions are successful at keeping them. So, what does that mean? Technically speaking, it means that New Year’s resolutions just don’t work. That’s why you need to create effective change in your life by creating sustainable goals that become habits and will lead to a healthy and positive 2018.

    Create Your Own Environment
    One of the things you can do right away is to create a relaxing and comforting home environment. In other words, set aside a room in your home without electronic distraction for your creative pursuits. Buy a comfortable chair, some paintings of nature, and other relaxing decor to inspire less stress. Also, consider adding an aromatherapy device, soothing fabrics, relaxing music, and greenery. Stress can lead to serious illness, and part of a healthy lifestyle is learning how to manage it effectively.

    Cut Down on TV Time
    Binging on your favorite Netflix show may seem like a relaxing activity, but studies actually show that this leads to increased depression and feelings of loneliness. According to CBS News, “binge-watching involves obsessed, intense, and dedicated behavior, characteristics indicative of addictive behaviors.” It also leads to other negative activities such as overeating, which can cause obesity, and a whole slew of other mental and physical health issues.

    Get Some Sleep
    Sleep is the time in which your body regenerates cells, and tissue recovers. That’s why sleep deprivation has been shown to be directly linked to a vast amount of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Make it a goal to get at least eight hours of sleep most nights of the week. If not getting enough sleep is a problem for you, try creating an environment solely for this purpose. In other words, banish things from your bedroom like TVs and laptops and add things like soothing colors and soft fabrics.

    Drink More Water
    Drinking more water is a fairly sustainable goal since most of us are drinking something throughout the day anyway. Just make the simple change of keeping a full bottle of water on your desk, and drink half your body weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, make sure to drink 80 ounces of water. Not only will this replenish cells and keep your organs healthy, it will also keep your stomach full and reduce cravings.

    Practice Gratitude
    It may be hard to believe that the simple act of being thankful could have such a positive impact on your well-being, but according to Psychology Today, people who practice gratitude have more positive moods than those who don’t. They suggest doing things every day like writing in a gratitude journal, reflecting on people who have helped you, and taking walks in nature. Make this a daily habit, and you will be surprised at how much more optimistic you start to feel.

    Do Yoga
    Yoga is a more sustainable form of exercise than running or cycling, simply because of the more relaxed nature of it. But it’s one of those activities that will affect every part of your being positively, including body, mind, and spirit. In addition to the numerous health benefits of yoga, it also increases serotonin levels, leading to a happier and healthier state of mind.

    It’s important to think holistically when setting goals and creating healthy habits. If you can incorporate activities that benefit both your mind and body, you will be more likely to stick with them because of the incredible way they make you feel afterward. Most importantly, never try to change everything all at once. Avoiding burnout is one of the main keys in setting and sticking to goals.

    Author: Dana Brown