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Ensuring the Well-Being of caregivers

Chronic health conditions, or psychological or physical health conditions that persist for 3 months or longer (Newacheck & Taylor, 1992), are quite common. About half of all adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic health condition, and about 25% have two or more (Ward, Schiller, & Goodman, 2014). While arthritis and muscoskeletal conditions are the leading cause of activity limitations among working-age adults, psychological disorders are the second leading cause among individuals age 18-44 years old (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006). In 2007, approximately 39% of the nearly 41 million disabled individuals had mental disabilities, which include disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar and chronic depression (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007).

Whose Homework?

For too many families, homework time has become the organizing element in the hours between 5 and 10 p.m., dictating when dinner is served, how parents spend their evening, what family activities can or cannot occur.

Identifying Triggers through Mindfulness Practice

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as an experience during which a person is directly or indirectly exposed to actual or threatened death or serious injury (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). In this definition, scholars include events such as combat, childhood abuse, and rape. Current literature also describes trauma as betrayal, illness, infidelity, job loss, divorce, racism, and other events that threaten one’s well-being (Levine, 2008; Waelde, Pennington, Mahan, Mahan, Kabour, & Marquette, 2010). The resulting stress, called traumatic stress, can cause mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. These include intrusive memories of the event (such as nightmares), avoidant and numbing behaviors (e.g., withdrawal, substance use), hyperarousal (chronic anxiety), and depression (chronic lethargy).

Aiding Communities and Families

This article will discuss the mental and emotional impact of disasters; present a brief overview of research on disaster response; and offer practical suggestions for preparing for and responding to the psychological consequences of disasters.

"You may be the love of my life," said the husband, "but I feel really upset when you ____."

"You may be the love of my life," said the husband, "but I feel really upset when you ____."

Who Unwinds?

At the end of each workday, couples face two goals: to unwind from the day's stresses, and to take care of the family's needs. But can a spouse truly unwind when faced with household chores, meal preparation, and (if there are kids at home) the endless demands of child management? When couples are both wage-earners, each needs to recover from the day's stress. But when there's plenty to do after coming through the door, who gets to relax? Who enjoys the leisure that allows the cortisol level to drop?

Let Those Kids Chill

Boredom? Rather than something to be avoided at all costs, try thinking of boredom as the prelude to creativity. When children sit around with nothing particular to do — "Mom, I'm bored!" — and Mom resists the impulse to rescue them, they're challenged to use their imaginations and find ways to creatively pass the time. What better opportunity than summer to exercise this important capacity?
Major depressive disorder is a relatively common but severe illness associated with significant impairment in functioning. It was identified as the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide in 1990, and it is predicted to be the leading cause of disability by 2020 (Murray & Lopez, 1996). Major depression is an episodic disorder – that is, individuals suffering from depression typically have one or more periods of depression (called episodes) that may fluctuate in duration or severity.

An Effective Strategy for Improving Physical & Mental Health

There are many different definitions of mindfulness, but a commonality exists among all the definitions. Mindfulness, a form of meditation, contains three key ingredients: 1) focused attention on an object, 2) observing moment by moment, and 3) observing nonjudgementally.