Staying Grounded During the Holidays

The holidays are a great time to connect with family and friends, and further nurture meaningful relationships.  However, the holidays can also be a source of stress: travel plans, holiday parties, delayed flights, financial stress, dealing with large crowds, dealing with unwanted company, and memories of people we’ve lost. 

It is during moments like these, that we find ourselves going a mile a minute and not checking in with our thoughts and feelings regarding what is happening around us.  It is crucial that we take time to get centered and check-in with ourselves, before we get lost in constant doing. 

Here is a simple and quick strategy, from 5 Ways to Find Your Center When Life Feels Overwhelming by Angela Marchesani (link below), to help you stay grounded and healthy during this holiday season:

           Take a moment to stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Visualize your body as a tree, with your torso representing the trunk and your feet representing the roots. Focus your attention on your core and scan down your legs until you reach your feet. Notice the ground beneath your feet. Feel the strength of your body. You are not “scattered” anymore; you are right here.

When you are able to center yourself in times of distress, you will find that you work more efficiently, relate to others more easily, and feel an improvement in your physical health. Each of the above techniques can be employed anywhere and any time, in just a minute or two.

Experiment with one or all and see what feels right for you.

Life can get hectic, but these simple tools can bring you back to center so that you can enjoy it.”





Gift yourself the present of being present



The Obstacle Remover

The Obstacle Remover


When we first opened up CCAPS, one of our obstacles was figuring out our logo. There is a paradox to this story; the reason we chose the elephant as our symbol, is part of its symbolism as Ganesha - the Elephant God who is known as the obstacle remover! In this post, we want to address what obstacles may look like and how to work with them in order to remove them. 


What Are MY Obstacles?

At CCAPS, we like to work with our clients in helping to identify obstacles. Obstacles can come to us in many forms and are not always apparent. For example, if we are struggling financially, this is an obstacle that tends to be more apparent since it affects our survival and security. We may be more focused on how to eat well, pay rent, etc.  However, sometimes an obstacle is not quite as visible. For instance, we may have an obstacle in allowing ourselves to open up to others. By limiting our vulnerability, the depth and meaning of our relationships may suffer. Without examination we may not even be aware of this interpersonal obstacle dynamic.  


Avoid Making Your Obstacles Your Enemy! 

Rather than fighting against them, the obstacles themselves can inform us of many things. Where we are in our lives, where we would like to be, and potential trips that we may need to take in order to "remove" the obstacles.  This quote by William Arthur Ward translates this concept nicely, "We can choose to throw stones, to stumble on them, to climb over them, or to build with them." Perhaps we can already use the obstacles that are in place and build up from there, or perhaps they do need a complete "removal.”  However, both take patience and practice, as obstacles often build up over time and are not always able to be clearly erased immediately. 


So How Can I Start my Own Obstacle "Removing" Practice?

Although it is possible to identify and work with your obstacles on your own, psychotherapy can be very helpful as it can provide you with someone who can see from a different viewpoint than you, and may have a vantage point that you do not. Once you identify the obstacles, having a therapist can aid in accountability in actively working through them.  Clearing obstacles takes work and perseverance.  In addition, meditation and journaling can be very helpful in this process, to help gain clarity as well as peace of mind. 


Book Review: Declutter Your Mind

Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

This month we read DeClutter Your Mind : How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking. Some highlights we found helpful and wanted to share with you on CCAPS Corner!

Focus on Mindful Goal Setting

In this exercise the authors encourage us that when we sit down to think about our goals for the future, to incorporate both our "core values" and "life priorities" and to make sure they are realistic and achievable. This may be done by the applying the Strategy known as S.M.A.R.T. goals. 


To assist in achieving your immediate goals that are in line with your values and priorities, ask yourself if each goal is S.M.A.R.T, which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  By determining if your goals are S.M.A.R.T, you will be better equipped to set up an action plan and accomplish your goals.  It is also important to check-in with yourself about every 3 months, in order to assess if your goals are still valid.