What’s the big deal about breathing?

Take a Deep Breath! What’s the Deal with that?

Chances are someone has told you to “take a breath,” during a time of stress. To be honest, that phrase used to annoy me. I would think – I am breathing. I’m here, aren’t I? Do you have any other advice for me because breathing doesn’t help.

What I’ve come to learn is that there is breathing and then there is breathing. There are shallow breaths, where you take air into your lungs without expanding them. Then there are belly breaths that fill your lungs with air and expand your diaphragm through your abdominal wall. They have very different physiological effects. Especially in times of stress.

Short, rapid breathing, like what most of us do when we are experiencing anxiety, incites the nervous system and triggers a heightened stress response. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, calms your nervous system and signals your mind and body to relax. Moreover, when practiced regularly, belly breathing has been shown to reduce stress levels, increase your attention span and even reduce pain levels.

How Do You Do It?

Let’s try this together –

Put your hands on your rib cage and breath normally. Your rib cage likely does not expand much. Now, holding the same position, place your attention on your abdomen. Take a deep breath and notice how your abdomen expands. Continue breathing this way.

Can you feel your rib cage expand along with your abdomen or does it remain mostly still? In order to gain the calming benefits, we must expand both at the same time.

This may feel unnatural at first as if your lungs and your abdomen are expanding at different rates. That’s okay! It takes time to build this capacity. Your body is used to breathing a different way.

Keep going…

Practice belly breathing daily.

When you go to bed at night. When you are sitting in a carpool line or waiting out a commercial break. Not only will this reduce your overall stress levels, but it will also allow you to better engage this technique, in a moment of crisis, when you need it most! 

It might be helpful to understand the science behind it. Our bodies are miraculous. They function automatically. We don’t have to tell our nervous system to send signals to our brains. But – we might want to influence the kind of signals our nervous system sends.

Our sympathetic nervous system sends stress signals(fight or flight). The parasympathetic nervous system sends the signal a rest-relax response. 

It isn’t possible to “turn off” our sympathetic nervous system and we wouldn’t want to, as it serves to protect us from danger (fight or flight). Given that we encounter more stress and anxiety in our daily lives than we do in any real danger, it is beneficial to learn how to turn down the volume! 

Belly breathing can help. Activates the parasympathetic nervous system, signaling for the mind and body to relax.

Anne
– Stepping Stones Therapist 

Conversation Time!

Is it time to talk about the “Birds and the Bees”?

  • Is your child starting to pay more attention to the differences in human bodies?
  • Is your child asking more questions about sexuality and sex?
  • Is your child showing an interest in exploring their body?

Then it may be time to have a conversation! First, you should know that the conversation won’t be about the birds and the bees. Why we continue to use that as a euphemism to discuss sex with children and young adults still eludes me. Talking to your child about sex and sexuality can be a nerve-racking conversation for any parent to attempt to tackle. However, these conversations are vital to your child’s development and understanding of their body. Although the world of sexual education has come a long way, many parents still fear that having these conversations with their children will encourage them to have sex. While that concern is valid, we have found that children and young people want to learn about sexuality and sex. As parents, you do your best to pass on your beliefs and values to your child and maintain some control over what they can access. However, most of the time, the information they will get about sex and relationships is learned from their friends (Blake, 2002). Believing that they are too young or that sex is not currently on their radar could harm their understanding of their bodies and how to navigate intimate relationships. Without having a safe place to discuss sex, sexuality, and relationships, young people will lack the needed skills to navigate tricky situations they encounter in their friendships and relationships (Blake, 2002). Having these conversations helps remove the shame that is often experienced while trying to understand and embrace one’s sexuality. Opening the lines of communication between you and your child can save them the embarrassment and shame of having to figure it out by themselves. It also allows you to express your concerns and expectations as they are growing and maturing. These conversations are needed but can be hard to get started. Here are some steps to help you navigate these conversations:

  • Embrace the nerves and awkwardness You all are feeling it, so go ahead and say it!
  • Remember, you don’t have to be an expert! They don’t expect you to know everything, and you all can seek answers together
  • Encourage their willingness to share, don’t shame them! Most children are hesitant to share with their parents the fear of getting in trouble. Create a safe space for you all to have an honest discussion
  • Keep it age-appropriate
  • Have an open mind and heart
  • Don’t fall into the trap of Unspoken Expectations!  We aren’t born knowing how to navigate relationships and sexuality. Explaining some boundaries you have when it comes to this topic is essential for them to know
  • Take advantage of teachable moments. Children have more access to technology to find all kinds of things. When they bring something up that they read or saw, help them process it.
  • Check-in regularly
  • Seek assistance

Blake, S. (2002). Sex and relationships education: A step-by-step guide for teachers. David Fulton Publishers.  

 

– ReNeaSha
Stepping Stones Therapist

Dimensions of Self-Care

Self-care occurs on every level of our being. When we think of self-care, we often think about a spa day or something else that is equally “luxurious.” But self-care doesn’t’ have to be expensive, nor does it need to be time-consuming. The dimensions of self-care as it relates to everyone are physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, and emotional. In the big picture, no one dimension is more important than the other, but at any given time in our lives, we may need to focus on one or two dimensions more than we focus on the others.

The physical dimension of self-care involves, well, the care you give to your physical self. This includes fitness (health), sleep, and nutrition. Haven’t seen your doctor or dentist in a while? Well, no time like the present. Do you have a sleep routine in place? It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as taking a shower or bath to signal the beginning of your bedtime routine. Studies show that a 10-minute shower or bath 1-2 hours before bed helps you fall asleep faster and improves your sleep quality. And while we don’t always do it, we know the benefits of a healthy diet. Can’t do it every day? Start small: chose 1 day per week, or even one meal per week to be your healthy choice and go from there. You’d be surprised at the momentum that builds when you make choices that make you proud.

Intellectual self-care speaks to your personal growth and quest for knowledge; a desire to keep learning. This does not have to be learning in a “formal” setting. It can be learning a new recipe or trying a new hobby. It can mean that you spend time each day or each week practicing mindfulness activities. And it can be that you have a positive mindset. There have been many studies that show a direct link between our thoughts and our feelings. The thought “what if no one is there to help” can engender feelings of fear; “I should have…” thoughts can trigger feelings of guilt; “I can’t stand it when…” can trigger feelings of anger. Instead of focusing on the negative, allow yourself to explore alternatives: instead of “I did a horrible job with/at…” try thinking “I did my best.” Remove those “should” thoughts and work to recognize those automatic negative thoughts. And put those negative thoughts on trial; determine if they are based on facts or feelings.

Social self-care includes your support system, those people to whom you can turn for guidance; the ones that uplift you or just listen to you as you vent. These connections help to create a sense of belonging and acceptance. They enhance your quality of life and help build resilience. Healthy social connections can enhance your self-esteem and promote good mental health. Social support provides you with empathy and a sense of being cared for. Social support can be particularly import during times of stress or loneliness; it can help you feel less anxious or stressed during trying times.

The word “spiritual” often prompts thoughts of religion. If that is the case, then your spiritual self-care may involve attending religious services or studying religious texts. In other instances, spiritual self-care is the simple practice of whatever feeds your soul. It is anything that is meaningful to you and brings about a feeling of experiencing something sacred. Spiritual self-care is meant to connect you to your true self; it energizes and inspires you. Spiritual self-care allows you to engage in introspection, which can in turn lead to clarity and comfort. It quiets the mind and honors the yearnings of the heart.

Emotional self-care requires you to care for your emotional needs by being aware of your feelings and emotions. It involves listening to, acknowledging, and honoring them in a way that allows you to move forward. Emotional self-care can be setting healthy boundaries at work or with family. It can be regular meditation, whatever form that takes for you. It means that you schedule “me-time.” It’s engaging in creative activities and acknowledging that it’s okay to have imperfections. Emotional self-care requires you be kind and compassionate to yourself.

So, whatever each of these dimensions looks like to you, I’ll leave you with two reminders:

  1. An empty watering can cannot water a garden.
  2. Self-care isn’t selfish

Sherine Chambers, PLPC

Book Review: A Terrible Thing Happened

Opening up a Dialogue Through Reading

Has your child experienced grief, trauma, or is struggling with big emotions?

For example, have they recently lost a loved one and are struggling with adjusting to the loss? Have they suffered from abuse and are not able to cope with the intense emotions it may have brought on such as anger or fear? Or maybe they have witnessed plenty of parental arguments, and are struggling with adjusting to a recent divorce.  Are you as a parent struggling with helping them express their emotions that they have been internalizing? Talking about and even understanding emotions can be extremely difficult for children, especially younger ones. Oftentimes, having a book they can relate to is a wonderful way to help them feel understood as well as helpful with opening up discussions. The book “A Terrible Thing Happened” by Margaret Holmes, is a story about a boy who had witnessed something terrible and has begun experiencing symptoms from this trauma, such as changes in behavior, nightmares, and increased anger, sadness, and anxiety. This book is a great resource for parents and children who are beginning therapy, as it explains therapy in a simple way for children to understand, as well as explains how therapy can help!

Many times, reading a book like this with your little one before entering therapy can help ease some fear in them as well as normalize the idea of attending therapy!

Alexa,
Child & Adolescent Therapist

Unteaching Adolescent Anxiety in School

It’s not an age-old secret that anxiety impacts the lives of children especially when it comes to school. In fact, symptoms of anxiety are extremely common in childhood and adolescence, which can negatively interfere with general well-being, social life, academic performance, and development of social skills (Mazzone et al., 2007). Today I’d like to focus on the academic piece of adolescent anxiety.

When we look at adolescent anxiety closely, we see issues with memory and cognitive functioning which could lead to poor academic performance such as bad grades, inattentiveness in class, and inability to complete assignments. School failure is more common in girls whereas boys show a more behavioral disruption in their school environment.

  1. It’s hard to watch your child struggle when they should be enjoying themselves and learning new things! However, what is absolutely vital to your child and their functioning, is having conversations with them and opening a door for you to not only strengthen the bond with your child, but it will allow them to share their experiences without fear of judgment, rebuttal, or negligence. It will be tough learning new things about your child that causes them distress, but this is part of the therapeutic process, and it allows you to grow and learn with them!

For example: Let’s say your adolescent has been having consistent stomach aches, headaches, nausea, or general discomfort when they talk about school or when they attend school. Allow them to share what they are feeling because adolescents associate anxiety with physical symptoms, not so much mental as they have not developed those tools just yet depending on their age! Ask questions about how they feel, talk about when they get those feelings, and how long they have been feeling that way. They will feel heard, and you will get more information on how to support your adolescent.

2. Another important element with helping your adolescent succeed would be to do your homework, not theirs! What I mean is for you to take the reins and do your research to understand what your adolescent is going through. Anxiety is a broad horizon that is riddled different subgroups or categories that may pertain to your child.

For example: Have you ever had any difficulty with dropping your child off at school so much so that they begin to act out behaviorally (i.e., scream, cry, throw tantrums)? If this has been going on for well over 4-6 months, there may be a concern with separation anxiety. Another example would be if a child does not participate in class (i.e., not raising their hand to answer questions, difficulty speaking with other students or the teacher), they could be experiencing social anxiety.

Anxiety comes in many different forms! It’s our job as the parents to find out what struggles the adolescent has been having and consult with the teacher(s), school nurse, or guidance counselor to gain more insight.

3. If you notice your adolescent is getting exceptionally overwhelmed, allow them time to take breaks during their work. As adults, we need time to step away from our work and allow ourselves to cool off or decompress, so why shouldn’t we do the same for our children? They go to school (whether it be virtual or in-person), they are assigned homework to complete for the next day, they eat dinner, and off to bed. When do they get time to be a kid? It’s critical to add this to their daily routine so that way they are able to decompress after a long day of school. This will help alleviate some of those anxious feelings that they have.

For example: Your child is working on a math assignment, and they become upset. They may become tearful, agitated, and seem almost unable to complete their work. Their minds are elsewhere, and the side of the brain that allows them to complete these tasks is stifled or turned off because it has become swarmed with the feelings of anxiety. Commend them for the work that they have already completed and allow them to take a break to cool off before they come back to work on it.

These are just a few ways to help support your adolescent school their own anxiety. If the anxiety continues to persist, a healthy option is to have your child meet with a therapist so that they may learn the tools and techniques that they need in order to further school their anxiety. If the anxiety continues to persist after meeting with a therapist, you may also turn to consulting your pediatrician for further recommendations.

I hope this blog helps you in understanding your adolescent a little bit more, and I hope that you continue to communicate with them, cheer them on, and, most importantly, love them!

Thank you, and take care 😊

Jill M.
Graduate Counseling Intern

Night Time Routine for People with Sleep Difficulties or Insomnia

Sleep is something that helps us to function both physically and mentally and when we are not getting enough sleep we can often feel dysregulated. Many adults, adolescents, and children have trouble getting a proper night’s sleep. This can be due to reasons such as anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, or other sleep related issues. What most individuals do at the end of the day is simply put on their pajamas, get in bed, and try to sleep. This is not always enough for some, who may end up tossing and turning throughout the night. One thing that can help us to achieve better sleep is to create a night time routine to prepare us for bed. Night time routines may seem pointless, but can actually be very helpful in improving the quality of your sleep. Some suggestions to create your own night time routine are:

  • Pick a set time that works for your schedule at which you will go to sleep Sunday – Thursday, on Friday and Saturday you can extend this time by a couple of hours if you wish. Example: Sunday-Thursday 10pm, and Friday/Saturday 12am.
  • Try to avoid screens (phone, tv, computer) for at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Find a time to wind down before going to sleep, this can be taking warm bath/shower, reading, listening to calming music, or anything that relaxes and calms you.
  • Try to make your bed as inviting as possible by washing your bedding once a week.
  • Pick out some comfortable pajamas,
  • Keep the TV off in your bedroom as it can be too stimulating. If you feel like you must have it on try putting on something that won’t keep you awake such as a music or soundscape video, turning down the volume and brightness of your TV or wearing a sleep mask can also be helpful.
  • Avoid drinking anything right before going to bed, this can disrupt your sleep later in the night because you’re having to get up and use the bathroom.
  • Limit your caffeine intake later in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that can interrupt your sleep if you have it to late in the day.
  • Don’t check your clock. Checking your clock to see what time it is when you can’t sleep can make it even harder to fall asleep. Try having your clock facing away from you or across the room where you can’t see it.
  • If you have trouble shutting your mind off when you go to sleep keep a notepad by your bed where you can write down the thoughts you’re having, and remind yourself to revisit them the next day.

These are just some of the things that can help you to create a successful night routine for yourself. Each person’s routine will likely be different from the next and that’s okay, it’s all about finding what works for you. Hopefully trying out these tips can aid you in creating a night time routine that will help to get a better night’s sleep.

Written by Michelle Brown

Graduate Counseling Intern at Step by Step Counseling LLC

Parenting One Day at a Time

You did it… you brought a beautiful baby into this world. For 9 months, you suffered aches and pains. You heard endless badgering on what to do and what not do regarding your baby. You became vulnerable and hypervigilant to yourself and the world around you. Take a moment and be proud of yourself – relish in the knowledge that you took pregnancy day by day, fighting the challenges it brings, and you made it here.

I think as new mothers we tend to get lost in the thoughts of others and their opinions rather than our own. This brings us back to the badgering from others about what you ought to be doing. Not only do you hear this on a regular basis, but when you get those few moments to yourself to look on social media and you see a mother on Instagram with her baby in their stroller with a fit and toned body after having a baby two months ago, you may think to yourself, “How do they do it? Am I doing something wrong?”. Momma, I’m here to tell you right now that you are perfectly fine where you are. Instagram shows the highlight reel of the mother, but they don’t show the trials they go through much like the trials you are going through. In fact, authors Alison Rogers and Erin White of Breathing Space for New Mothers: Rest, Stretch, and Smile – One Yoga Minute at a Time say, “the comparison game is the only game we play to lose”. It’s time to take a moment and read these few tips or words of advice:

Do not compare yourself to other women

Again, this goes back to the quote mentioned earlier. It’s hard for us to not compare ourselves to other women and become upset with ourselves because we aren’t in the same position as them. Momma, you’re doing it too. You’re raising your baby to the absolute best of your ability – you do not need Instagram or social media to prove that to others. 9 times out of 10, a lot of the celebrity women that you follow on social media that have children, have additional support from a nanny, a personal trainer, or maybe even a personal chef. Not all of us can sit in the lap of luxury, and that’s OK! Each journey is different for each mother. Don’t allow yourself time to compare your journey or tweak your journey to make it look more like the ones you see on social media. Focus on taking care of yourself and your precious baby.

Go easy on yourself.

Motherhood is complicated especially new motherhood. This is a completely different experience for you, and it is a learning experience. Please do not expect to get everything right; don’t beat yourself up when you don’t have all the answers. In fact, use this time to reach out for help. It is so important to make sure that you are taken care of so that way you can provide care to your baby. If you have family that can support you, lean on them during this time and get that additional support. If you need a break or someone to talk to, talk to your best girl friend (or guy friend!) and get all your emotions out there. To take it one step further, ask for the additional support if you need to attend therapy sessions to get back on track (post-partum depression is real, and we are here to help you). The importance of this is to not be so hard on yourself while you are learning. Your baby still loves you.

Breathe, breathe, breathe

You’re tired, you’re frustrated, you’ve been pushed to your limits. Take a few moments out of your day to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. While you are breathing, I want you to think about all that you are doing to help your baby and yourself. Understand that you are doing absolutely everything that you can – and you are doing your best. Just be with yourself for a few moments and realize that you are capable, you are relentless, you can do this.

 

I think it’s important to remember that it’s OK to not have all of the answers, and it is perfectly fine to take motherhood day by day. I just want you to know that you are not alone in this. I want you to understand that your emotions, your feelings are completely normal with everything going on around you. If you are a first-time mother, this is a totally differently worldview for you, and I want you to understand that this is a learning experience. You are doing the best that you can. If this is not your first time being a mother, you are still encouraged to practice these tips as you raise your little ones. I hope that these tips help you as you begin your journey through motherhood and immerse yourself in this beautiful opportunity as you continue to learn more and more about your baby.

Thank you, and take care!

Jill M.
Graduate Counseling Intern
Step by Step Counseling LLC

Cleaning with ADHD

Cleaning is something all of us must do in our daily lives whether it is just after yourself or others as well. When you are dealing with ADHD it can seem even more difficult at times, this could be due to restlessness, attention issues, problems staying organized, or the task requires too much mental effort. All of these things can make it more difficult for someone with ADHD to keep things clean. While people with ADHD often do have trouble with cleaning, they are not the only ones who can find it overwhelming. Individuals dealing with Anxiety, Depression and Grief can also become overwhelmed by the task of cleaning. For anyone dealing with these issues it can be hard to find the motivation to get it done. Some tips that can help make cleaning seem a bit less daunting are:

  • Try to fit it into your routine: To start try picking one or two times a week to fit cleaning into your schedule
  • Set a time limit: If you dislike feeling like you’re endlessly cleaning try to set a time limit for how long you will clean. This can be anywhere from ten minutes to an hour where clean as much as you can manage for the whole time.
  • Take Breaks: Taking a break when cleaning is feeling like it’s become too much can often help to give you more energy and put the focus back on cleaning. Try not to make your break more than a few minutes long though.
  • Start Small: If you aren’t sure where to start, start small, try picking up all of the trash in the room, picking up everything blue, or everything that goes into the kitchen.
  • Make your space functional: If cleaning an entire room is too overwhelming for you, start with cleaning enough to make that space functional, and then you can work up to cleaning everything else.
  • Set Easy Goals: If you want to make a goal of cleaning everyday try set a goal of picking up 10-30 items a day to start and then add in more items as you go, this can help you to feel like you are getting something clean everyday.
  • Take Before Photos: Having a photo to look back and see the progress you’re mak
  • Upkeep: If you’re having trouble keeping things clean throughout the week try the basket method.
    • The basket method is a simple way to help those struggling with cleaning to keep things tidy throughout the week. The way the basket method works is as follows:
      • To start get a set of baskets, enough to have one for each room in your house, and label each one with the name of the room you’d like it to go in, kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom etc.
      • Make sure your baskets stay in the room where they belong in by having a designated spot for them to go
      • When cleaning throughout the week set aside a chunk of time 10-20 minutes to do this.
      • During that time pick a room in which you will do your tidying up, if you need to, try doing one room a day or even one a week.
      • For example when cleaning the living room, take the assigned living room basket and fill it with everything that does not belong in that room
      • Once the basket is filled take it to the other rooms in your home and place each item in the basket for the room they belong in, you can repeat this step if necessary, then the next time you go into a room you can take the items from that basket and put them away.

These are just a few ways that can help those with ADHD and anyone who is struggling to find the motivation to clean keep their space in order. Figuring out what works the best for you personally is key. So hopefully these tips can help you on your journey to keeping things cleaner.

Written by: Michelle Brown

Graduate Counseling Intern at Step by Step Counseling LLC

How to Detect Depression in the Elderly

The Coronavirus pandemic has made words such as social distancing, quarantine, and masks part of our everyday language.  This new normal of doing many things virtually can be daunting for members of the older population.  Many independent living, assisted living, and nursing homes have restricted visitor access too.  This has led to many elderly individuals being isolated from friends and loved ones.  In addition, it has also led to the restriction of many activities they would regularly engage in.

Depression in the elderly can present differently than it does in younger people.  When depression in the elderly is left untreated, its symptoms can mimic other conditions like dementia.  

Here are some ways to detect depression in the elderly:

  • Loss of concentration or other cognitive abilities (not due to a medical condition)
  • Low mood
  • Loss of pleasure in activities
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

If an individual has recurring thoughts of suicide or death (or suicide attempts), that would warrant an emergency psychiatric evaluation.  A comprehensive evaluation by a mental healthcare professional will help to determine what an appropriate treatment will be.  Possible interventions may include medications, talk therapy, change in the social environment, focusing on caring for other physical disorders, or changing medications for other conditions the individual may already be prescribed.

 

Organizational Skills: Cleaning Up Your Life and How to Reap the Benefits (PART II)

Are you familiar with the movie ‘Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves’ and that scene where the kitchen is a complete mess because the daughter wants to throw a party in the parents’ absence? Luckily for them it was just a movie so they had a cleanup crew on standby (I wonder if they would be open to cleaning homes not used for movies…)

Think about your home and how it looks regularly. Any home can look “lived in”, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! I’m focusing more on clutter; clutter that seems to accumulate without any warning or notice. It just seems to show up out of nowhere, and it causes you to become overwhelmed or anxious with the state of your household. Your home is supposed to be your safe place, your comfort zone, a place where you can unwind and be away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. But how are you able to relax when your house causes you anxiety because of the mysterious clutter? Marie Kondo, star of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, says that “the objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment”.

So here are some tips and tricks to organize and declutter your home to maintain your happiness (& sanity!):

 

1) Ask yourself questions while cleaning!
If it’s clutter you are dealing with, you may be inclined to ask yourself, “Is this item of current use to me? Is there any sentimental value behind this item? Will I need this item 6 month or a year from now?”. When you ask yourself these questions, it helps you realize the use of the item you are questioning and whether or not it’s something worth keeping. It almost provides closure if you choose to discard the item. Now, if you choose to keep it, you may set it to the side and work on how to organize it with other things you choose to keep.

2) Motivate yourself
I think there are a certain percentage of people who truly enjoy the art of cleaning and we applaud those who do! If you are one that needs to be motivated to clean, hop on board with the rest of us! One way I motivate myself to clean is listening to music. I like to listen to 70s, 80s, and 90s music while I clean because I feel it gives me the energy I need, and come on… songs during those decades were pretty great. Another way I motivate myself to clean is that I promise myself a reward at the end. This reward could consist of a favorite snack, watching a good movie, reading my favorite book, or rewarding myself with takeout food for dinner (I just cleaned the kitchen, let me enjoy it!). Now if I don’t clean, I don’t get the reward, and I stick to that! Self-discipline is key with this one if you choose to do so! I challenge you to think of some ways you may motivate yourself to get active and to get those cleaning juices flowing.

3) Bins and totes and storage, oh my!
OK so earlier I mentioned asking yourself questions while cleaning which is a helpful portion of managing the clutter. Now what about the items you choose to keep? Let’s work on that! It’s very easy to keep those items piled on a table and leave them for days, weeks, months, but I want to try to avoid that here. Do you have any bins or totes that you can use to keep these additional items in? If so, great! That would be a great place to store these items and keep them away in a storage closet to prevent less clutter in your household. If you are in need of bins or totes, department stores such as Walmart or Home Depot got you covered! Or, if you check out The Container Store (https://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm), they have neat and cheap selections too! When we act on organizing, it provides us with a sense of control that we need in order to maintain our household and its appearance thus allowing us the power to make changes where we see fit.

4) Map it out!
Think of where you would like certain things to go in your house and create a map of each room and what things can be stored in each space. This will not only help keep you organized altogether, but it provides a clearer picture on how you want your house to look and what you can do to achieve those results. You may also use this as a tool when helping your kiddos clean or giving them a chore list that involves cleaning and tidying up.

 

These are just a few tips and tricks among many that are available to help with organization skills. I hope that you find these to be helpful when you are organizing and cleaning your household. And remember – a clean house is a happy house! 😊

Thank you, and take care!

Jill M.
Graduate Counseling Intern
Step by Step Counseling LLC