Emily Roberts, MA, LMHC Tag

Summer is a trigger for anyone struggling with an eating disorder, body image issues or a mental health condition. The lack of structure in the summer months can lead to disrupted routines, which can lead to an increase in emotion dysregulation and unhealthy behaviors.
Test anxiety and the pressure to perform academically or professionally can be detrimental to one's self-esteem. Even some of the most brilliant people can struggle with managing their emotions when it comes to high-pressured situations like presentations, taking tests or speaking in front of others. If your child is showing signs of anxiety around school or if you are feeling overwhelmed about work, the tools in this post will be helpful.
Self-respect can be challenging to practice if you are a people-pleaser. The fear of saying no can keep you stuck in a cycle of neglecting your needs and giving into things that don’t serve you. When we let others take advantage of us, we chip away at our self-esteem, which leads to more anxiety, less interpersonal effectiveness and deteriorates our self-respect.
There is no better time than today to adopt a self-care practice. Science shows taking time to tune in to your own needs leads to emotional stability, a stronger immune system and better relationships with others. Many people forget to take care of themselves before helping others, but it is vital. In the time it takes you to scroll through your social media feed or read an article about a celebrity, you could have been practicing self-care (and yes, sometimes trashy magazines count as a self-care practice).
Teens today are savvy–so many know about mental health, and yet, very few are aware of how unhealthy habits impact their mood and their ability to regulate their emotions. Although many teens may look (and act) like young adults, their brains are still developing. These habits may be "normal" for adults, but due to the sensitive nature of the teenage brain, they are very likely interfering with their mood and their overall mental health.
Radical acceptance is a skill we teach in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) that aims to help you move from anger and pain to acceptance of the realities of life. It is the key to feeling more in control of your emotions. We all face situations in life that interfere with our mental health and overall happiness and learning how to radically accept them can make a profound difference in your life.
Many of us deal with stress and frustration multiple times each day. From delays on the subway to friendship or family drama, these events can interfere with your mood and create more emotional dysregulation if they are pushed away or ignored. During these times, the IMPROVE skill, developed by Marsha Linehan, can be used to reduce the intensity of their emotions in any kind of situation and feel more in control of their lives.
Do you know how to reduce social anxiety? Many of those who suffer from feeling insecure, shy or anxious anticipate the worst outcomes when it comes to engaging with others (even peers that they know). What many people don't recognize is that having some anxiety is healthy, we just don’t always know how to handle it. If you learn about how your body responds to fear, you can implement skills to feel more confident.
Validation is key to building a strong relationship with your child. When children experience invalidation, their self-esteem decreases, as does their trust in you. Many parents, teachers and professionals in a child's life don't realize the tremendous power their words have. "You should do ...." "Why didn't you...." "You should be more like...", are all roadblocks in learning and connecting with your child. When we practice validation skills, we show children that emotions matter and that we are here for them.
No matter who you are, practicing self-care is important for your mental and physical health. It can be hard to shift the focus from family and friends to yourself, and it's necessary. In fact, if you want to be the best for everyone else, you've got to spend some time on yourself first. Self-care doesn't mean avoiding your work to go to the spa or a fancy dinner; it's more about adding in activities each day that help you feel good.