Thanks Giving!

This is a time of harvest, joyous reflection, gathering with friends and family.  This is also a time when so many are triggered and become unwell.  With that in mind, do what you can to take good, loving care of yourself.  Give to your Self the gift of companionship, as best you can.

Don’t look the other way!  Grow a Strong Family has many resources to share, especially around the holidays!  Visit us!  Consider donating on GivingTuesday, Nov 27, or any time!  https://www.facebook.com/donate/183175309291741/?fundraiser_source=external_url

Thank you and have a warm holiday.

Spring Seminars through Bedford Recreation

WHO CARES FOR THE CAREGIVER?
Learning how to actively schedule self-care is a vital skill when nurturing and supporting loved ones with mental illnesses. Give yourself the gift of an evening to acquire some skills that do not require huge amounts of time or commitments that you may not be able to fulfill. You might even have fun while remembering how to have fun!
Monday, March 13, 7:00-8:30pm (min 5/max 25) Fee: $25

HOW TO MANAGE THE HOLIDAYS AND FAMILY CELEBRATIONS WITH LOVED ONES WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES
Throughout the year, there are special times that families gather together and for some families, these can be quite stressful. In the spring, there are religious celebrations as well as Mother’s Day & Father’s Day, graduations, and weddings. This seminar offers effective strategies for moving through these potentially difficult times with our loved ones with mental illnesses or behavioral health issues. (min5/max25)
Monday, March 27, 7:00-8:30pm Fee: $25

HOW TO PARENT CHILDREN WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ISSUES
Parenting is a challenge under the BEST of circumstances. Add a child with behavioral health issues and, well, it is MORE of a challenge! Learn how to step out of the fight of medical/mental health compliance. Examine some strategies to increase your effectiveness in establishing and setting limits. Consider how to have more fun as a parent! This introduction offers a framework for managing the challenges facing parents who are confronted with atypically developing children. (min5/max25)
Monday, April 3, 7:00-8:30pm Fee: $25

Please register through Bedford Recreation: https://apm.activecommunities.com/bedfordma

Managing holidays & family celebrations

Talk about being triggered! Not only do our loved ones have predictable triggers, we do, too. For many, the holidays are a time of predictable, long-standing rituals. When loving someone with a chronic mental illness, unpredictability has become more of the norm and this applies to family celebrations, too. So? What to do?

Here are some tips recently shared at a “How to” seminar:

III. Tips
A. Stick to your “normal” routines as much as you can
B. Eat and drink in moderation
C. Plan on exercise; build in “nature” time.
D. Make sure you have a Plan B and a Plan C in place for the unexpected
E. Keep music that you love on hand and listen to it when needing to
F. Prioritize your time, activities, and commitments (do what you want to and can)
G. Take good, loving care of yourself!

Mother’s Day

Hallmark holidays can be difficult times for families when a loved one has been diagnosed with a mental illness and is not currently functioning well.

To those mothers who are struggling, be kind to yourself. Just because your son or daughter cannot express how much you are loved, valued, and appreciated does not mean that you are not worthy of all of that and more.

How are you going to celebrate yourself? How can you acknowledge that you welcomed the role of “Mom” and did your very best? What one special gift can you give yourself? When you reflect on years past, other Mother’s Days, happier ones, how were you celebrated? Flowers? Chocolate? A special dinner? Breakfast indulgence? Pedicure? Trip to a beloved place? Offer this to yourself. You deserve it!

You can always create a new tradition for yourself, too. Sometimes, these holidays become an opportunity for us to create a new chapter for ourselves. Consider this as an option and an opportunity.

Whatever you do, however you decide to spend the day, just know that you are beloved, appreciated, valued, irreplaceable, and richer for your willingness to love and nurture and accept the very best from your loved ones..