March 30, 2020

How to Get a Better Night's Sleep

If you don't sleep well, you don't feel well. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Sleep helps replenish your mind and body. It helps your mind process and figuratively hit the reset button on the stress and complications of the day. 

What does sleep do for you?  It helps in many amazing ways, such as it

  • Helps your brain sort and process your day. This ability helps create long-term memory and sorts information for when you need it later. Sleep helps your brain learn and remember. 
  • Releases growth hormones which help you grow and help repair your body. 
  • Contributes to healthy brain functioning and emotional wellbeing.
  • Allows your nervous system to relax. 
  • Decreases the stress hormone called cortisol. 
  • Strengthens your immune system by releasing a protein called cytokine. Cytokine help fight inflammation, infection and trauma to the body. 

What are the repercussions of not sleeping?


  • Your brain has trouble focusing and remembering.
  • Your body has trouble healing, which can lead to increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Sleep deprivation increases your chances of weight gain and even obesity.
  • Your immune system may become compromised and have trouble fighting infection.

According to this article from the National Institutes of Health on Sleep Deprivation, "After several nights of losing sleep—even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night—your ability to function suffers as if you haven't slept at all for a day or two.


But sometimes you just can't sleep. Either you have trouble falling asleep or you have trouble staying asleep. I made a video on how to sleep better with tips to help you make sure you are practicing good sleep hygiene.  Good sleep hygiene will make it more likely that you can get a good nights sleep. 







March 24, 2020

Parenting and the Coronavirus - Give Yourself Grace



As the parent who never has the color coded schedule, doesn't have a Pintrest board for what to do with my kids on rainy days, and is not the first one to sign up for that school field trip to the Renaissance Festival, I appreciated this Huffington Post article entitled, "Parents, It's Ok If You're Barely Getting By Right Now.



I love my kids and my version of loving them my way is gonna look different from how my friend does it. Have grace with yourselves, parents. We are going through some insane stuff right now. 
We get scared and stressed, too. If you are showing up for your kids and loving on them the best you can, you are killing it as a parent. It is OK if you are barely getting by right now, seriously. No shame. We are all in this together.

"In this time of the coronavirus, keep your kids safe, make them feel loved and feed them. That’s all."



For more parenting tips, please check out our Wilson Counseling Facebook page.

If you are struggling during this time and want to talk to a Houston Therapist, please call us at 713-591-3612, or request an appointment on our website.

March 13, 2020

Wilson Counseling Offers Online Therapy | Video Counseling


Don't let drive time, physical or medical conditions, concerns about privacy, anxiety about coming into the office, or anything else keep you from reaching your goals, making changes in your life,  and starting to feel better.

Wilson Counseling offers telemental health services, including counseling over the phone and by secure video.
These services make counseling convenient for people who may have trouble getting to our office. Distance
counseling is offered for legal residents of Texas, not just those in the Houston area. 


All video sessions are conducted on a secure HIPPA compliant website. Video-based counseling outcomes have
been shown to be as good as face-to-face counseling sessions, and some clients find they are more comfortable
opening up in this setting. 


Watch this video to see if video counseling is right for you. 


Benefits of Online Counseling


Increased confidential and anonymity
You have online counseling sessions from the privacy of your home or wherever you have a computer.




Save money
Save on gas from not having to commute. Traffic can be a pain and really cut into the amount of time it takes to
get to therapy. Avoid all of that with online sessions. And time is money. This can also be a money saver for
couples or individuals who might otherwise have to hire a sitter for their kids.




Flexible hours available
You can meet with a counselor for after-hours or early morning appointments. You can even do a therapy
session while on your lunch hour.


You can meet with your favorite counselor even while traveling or away from home
Sometime life will take you out of town for work or for personal reasons. You still want to be able to get
regular therapy. Online counseling is their perfect solution. In the past if you were struggling while on break
or on a business trip, you were probably out of luck, but not anymore.




Schedule your session today. You can meet with a licensed counselor on your lunch break, from your home, or
wherever you have access to the internet. Get the benefits of counseling without the commute.

If you have questions about scheduling or to discuss whether this option might be right for you, please contact one of our Houston Texas Counselors at 713-591-3612 or via our website here.

March 7, 2020

Worried about the Coronavirus? 5 Tips For Feeling Less Anxious

If you are tuned into the news, you are hearing about the coronavirus, repeatedly. And you may be starting to feel anxious about possible outbreaks. Your fear is understandable, but it may not be helpful. As with everything, you actually have a lot of control over how you feel. You just need the right tools to keep your anxiety in check.


So before you go into pandemic panic, there are a few things that will help. 

1. Get accurate information


First, get accurate information about the virus. Not everything you read is accurate. The CDC is always a reliable source for information. You can read about common myths and facts about the virus on their website. A friend of mine shared this post and I found it really put things in perspective for me. 

2. Turn off the news & social media


Second, spend less time watching the news and reading social media posts about the virus. The more time you spend pondering the virus, the more panicked you are likely to feel. It will keep your mind stuck in a negative place, and this can cause the anxiety to spiral.



3. Recharge with friends, exercise, nature and fun 


Unplug and focus on things you enjoy. Go outside, exercise, go for a walk, read a book you let yourself enjoy your hobbies and friends. These things are recharging and will help you feel a sense of normalcy.

 I find being nature very calming. Walking around Houston, the Live Oaks are strong and green, the Carolina jasmine is in bloom and the world is still beautiful. This video with Louis Armstrong singing "What a wonderful world," always reminds me of the wonder of our world and takes me out of my own stressed out head space when I need it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKOPBjKm0k0

I ran across this version of the same song, and it also feels very joyful. The smiles on the kids from the African Children's choir are precious. 



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddLd0QRf7Vg


4. Sleep 


Get a good night's sleep. It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do to put things in perspective and help you process your anxieties and all of the junk you have accumulated in your mind over the previous day. Your body needs sleep to stay strong, and your mind needs it to help hit the reset button.



5.Wash your hands


Wash your hands. A LOT. This is the most important thing you can do. The bottom line is, washing your hands throughly and regularly will prevent the spread of the virus to most of you. And if for some reason you get the virus,  remember, most people who have contracted the virus worldwide have only mild to moderate symptoms and have fully recovered, especially those who are not in vulnerable populations like the elderly.  So wash your hands and try to avoid touching your face. You have way more control over this than you think.



Stay healthy!

Some people may feel more comfortable staying home these days, but would still benefit from having a counselor to speak to. Wilson Counseling does offer both video and phone sessions for clients. 

If you are feeling anxious and you would like to speak to a Houston counselor, please Contact Wilson Counseling at 713-591-3612 or contact us via email at nancy@wilsoncounseling.org. 



February 11, 2020

Are you growing apart from your partner by doing this one common thing?

If you are in a long term partnership or marriage, you already know how easy it can be to take each other for granted. We lead busy lives, and sometimes it feels hard enough getting everything done, let alone making time for our partners.
 

It can be simple things, like are you looking at your partner in the eyes, giving them a kiss or hug when you leave for the day? Or when your partner is talking with you, are you really listening and responding?



I had a client share a story with me recently about an incident with his wife when he was talking to her and she was on her phone. His feelings were really hurt by it, so he just stopped talking and walked away. In the moment that her husband first started talking, his wife made a choice. She could have walked away or ignored him. She could have reacted in an irritated way. Or she could have stopped what she was doing for a few minutes to engage with her husband. John Gottman, one of the premier experts on relationships calls this process by which you stop and engage in a positive way with your partner, "turning toward." You can read more about this in a Psychology Today article called "The Tiny, Easy Habit That Keeps Love Alive."



Pay attention this week to how often you are turning toward, turning against (expressing irritation) or turning away from (ignoring) your partner. Consciously find ways to turn toward one another. If you don't, you may find yourselves growing apart and feeling disconnected.

If you are struggling with your relationships and would like help, we have Houston, Texas Counselors who can meet with you. You can contact us 713 -591- 3612 or by email at Nancy @ wilsoncounseling. org. This blog is not intended to substitute for professional counseling.