Optimum Living can help you live your best life. With help and treatment for a range of common issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and anger management. Plus we also offer special services just for mums. To make an appointment call (02) 9016 7197

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Life!

Spring is well and truly here and now is the perfect time to take stock, simplify and let go of all the things that are weighing you down and holding you back. So here are my tips to get a fresh start and spring clean your life

De clutter Your Life Areas

It’s very easy to lose yourself to the everyday demands of children, marriage career and friends. Often, for many of us taking care of them and their needs becomes more important than taking care of ourselves and looking after our own needs.
Suddenly, you may find yourself not giving enough attention to the important areas of your life or to what really matters to you.
So, spend some time thinking about each of your key life areas:
• Career/business
• Finances
• Health and self-care
• Parenting and family
• Intimate relationships/romance
• Personal growth and learning
• Fun, leisure and social
Consider how satisfied you are with each of your key life areas and how much attention you are currently devoting to each of them. Then think about what your “ideal” level of attention would be. Are there areas getting more attention than they deserve? Are there areas that need greater attention? Are there areas that deplete your energy, could your energy be better focussed elsewhere? Are there areas where you want to increase your level of satisfaction – and what would need to happen for you to be more satisfied? Try and shift your attention and focus on those areas of your life that fulfils you.\

Clean Up Your Life Roles

Over time we can find that our sense of self and identity has slowly been eroded often compounded by the conflicting and competing roles that we play daily. So now, consider your life roles – we all have many that we play. Some bring us tremendous joy, positive rewards and happiness whilst others deplete and drain us. Reflect on the roles you play in your life such as mother, partner, sister, daughter, P&C member, friend, colleague, manager. Often the more satisfied you are in life can depend on how you effectively you are able to manage all the roles, so that you spend most of your time on those roles that energise you and that give you the most positive rewards. Are there any roles that you need to let go of (such as toxic friendships, roles that are excessively complicated, or roles that no longer make you feel good)? Are there roles that warrant more of your attention?

Trim Back Your Schedule and Your To do List

Having too many commitments, a busy schedule and a long list of to do’s can make you feel overwhelmed and stressed. Take a look at your commitments, schedules and to do list and reflect on how you are spending your time. Is your life overly complicated? Are you spending your time on things that are really worth spending time on? Can you cut back on anything? Try to cull your to do list a little each day and cross off any unnecessary tasks, delegate where you can and only keep those that are going to make a real difference to your life. If you have too many commitments and are over scheduled, ask yourself if the activity or project adds to your life? How important is it really? How would you feel if you let it go? Start valuing your time more and remember that it is ok to say “no”. By trimming back you will then have more time to spend on the things that you truly value, on the things that energise you and that make you happy.

Wash Away Your Unhelpful Thoughts

We all have stuff going around in our heads a lot of which is unhelpful, self-critical and negative. Take some time to tune in and listen to what your mind is saying to you about you and your life. If it helps start keeping a thought diary or keep a journal where you can jot down and track your thoughts. Our thoughts have a powerful influence over our feelings. Once you become aware of your thoughts you can take some steps to manage them more effectively. You can simply thank your mind for the thought or consider if the thought helps you to be the person you want to be or helps you to have the life you want to have – if it doesn’t – let the thought go.

Enjoy the flowers and the sunshine.
Bye for now.
Muriel

This information is informational only and is not meant as a replacement to therapy or treatment. If you are suffering from the signs and symptoms of depression please seek professional help from your GP or a Psychologist

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Motherhood Stress Management in Australia

Everyone deals with stress all their lives but motherhood stress is something that is very real and when left unchecked, it could result to more alarming mental conditions. One mental condition that is quite popular among mothers who have just given birth is postnatal depression. Motherhood stress management in Australia is continuously being addressed by public health authorities and by several non-governmental organisations and support groups.

Motherhood stress can be quite serious and debilitating. Its treatment requires a lot of time and support and treatment works best if it is diagnosed early. Luckily for women, there are plenty of mental health centres that specialise in motherhood stress management. Add to that is the large volume of information that pregnant women and new mothers can access through the Internet. Clearly there is no reason for new mothers to suffer in silence and to have their condition worsen because there is always help to be had.

But women are often very reluctant to volunteer information especially regarding their mental health. This is the reason why the number of women with postnatal depression is still quite high. A lot of cases do not get diagnosed and therefore become harder to treat. Today gynaecologists and obstetricians are becoming more vigilant in checking for signs of depression in the pregnant women and new mothers they oversee. Many of these physicians have also established partnerships with mental health professional to be able to refer their cases to psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists.

Women suffering from motherhood stress can always reach out to their community health centre where a social worker can work with them in resolving their mental and emotional issues. Treatment can come in the form of one-on-one counselling or group therapy where they will get the chance to thresh out their problems with other mothers going through the same issues as they are. Mental health professionals today have very good diagnostic tools to pinpoint the kind of depression a woman has and recommend the appropriate treatment protocol.

But perhaps the most effective treatment a stressed mother can have is the love and support of family and friends. Family members should also be educated on the signs and symptoms of stress and depression in pregnant women and new mothers. Family members should never allow new mothers to distance themselves from family and friends, especially in the first few weeks after giving birth.

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Some Advice for Pregnant Women…

It is a known fact that pregnancy and motherhood can bring about a slew of problems, not least of which is depression. In Sydney psychologists provide a valuable service that helps women go through this live-changing event in their life with a stable mental health. Pregnancy is not only about the mother and the child’s physical health, more importantly the expectant mother or new mother should be able to have a great experience, which sometimes mental issues can rob them of.
There are a number of very capable mental health centres in Australia like Optimum Living, that focuses on helping pregnant women and new mothers cope with the stress and pressure of bringing a new life to the world. Depression is an insidious problem that can creep up unnoticed and undiagnosed, placing the life of the mother and the child in jeopardy. If it remains unchecked it can cause some serious problems and consequences that could have been easily addressed with a proper diagnosis.

It is important that pregnant women communicate all their concerns with their obstetrician during their monthly pre-natal visits. In the old days, psychologists are more focused on post-partum depression until evidence emerged suggesting that depression can take hold of a woman even in the early stages of her pregnancy. Today, physicians are keener on looking for signs of depression in pregnant women and recommending a treatment plan immediately. Healthcare facilities have established partnerships with mental health facilities to better address the problem and seek a cure for motherhood depression.
Pregnant women or those who have recently given birth have easier access to mental health care today, especially with the advent of the Internet. They should take advantage of the technology that will allow them to obtain advice on depression online. There are several websites offering information and education on how to counter depression. Women can also find information on where to go should they wish to discuss their problems with a trained professional. Treatment options have already been made easily available to women. Psychologists are better able to prescribe a treatment for women, which could include one on one counselling, group therapy, or even medication for extreme cases. Indeed motherhood depression is now so much easier to manage thanks to the accomplishments of psychologists and the entire mental health profession.

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