Thursday, June 23, 2011

For A Good Laugh

Sometimes you just need a good laugh.  I have been pretty busy lately and haven't been able to sit down to write a well articulated post.  So instead, this week, I want to share another bloggers work because it had me laughing so hard (though, trying to do it quietly at my desk at work...which we all know can be very difficult and make your co-workers stop to question, "What the heck is wrong with her").  I would highly suggest checking out The Bloggess when you need a laugh and/or need to lift your spirits.  This is what had me LOLing in the office today (Victor is her husband):

Blog entry titled: Psychiatrists are not to be trusted
June 14, 2011

Conversation with Victor after I came home from my appointment with my shrink.
Victor:  So what’d your doctor say?
me:  The usual.  Still crazy.
Victor:  Well, at least you’re stable.
me:  She gave me something to kill the insomnia.  Ro-something?  I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s supposed to just knock you out completely.
Victor:  Rohypnol? Your doctor gave you roofies?
me:  I’m pretty sure my doctor didn’t give me the date rape drug.  It just sounds like rohypnol.  Wait, hang on.   There’s an actual warning on this pamphlet that you have to be careful to not accidentally have sex in your sleep.
Victor:  Your doctor gave you roofies.  Generic roofies.
me:  Wow.  I probably should have tipped her.
PS.  I took the drug and it was not roofies.  Or I’m immune to roofies.  One of those.  But, in brighter news I’m getting a lot accomplished due to not sleeping.  Like, I’m really good at drawing dinosaurs now.  And at making water-beds for cats.  And at involuntary hallucinations and forgetting where I live.
PPS.  It occurrs to me that if you don’t have insomnia you probably missed the day when I live-tweeted  my hour-long attempt at making water beds for cats, so I’m going to reprint it all here.  Because the cats and I shouldn’t be the only ones to suffer.
  • I’ve decided to use all this extra insomnia time to make a waterbed, using only ziploc bags & a cardboard box.

  • It’s going to be awesome. Also, Victor really should stop leaving me at home unsupervised.

  • The waterbed isn’t for me. It’s for the cats. These cats have never even SEEN a waterbed. They’re gonna be ecstatic.

  • I’m going to need some duct tape. And a mop. And some…cat mittens.

  • Hang on. I can totally *make* cat mittens out of duct tape. THESE PROBLEMS ARE SOLVING THEMSELVES.

  • I’m not going to wrap duct tape around the cat’s paws, y’all. That’s inhumane. I’m going to put condoms on them first. Calm down, PETA.

  • I meant that I’m putting condoms on the cats’ feet before I duct-tape them. Not that I’m making them wear condoms for birth control.

  • My cats never use birth control. I think they’re Catholic.

  • No, no, no. Cat mittens are mittens made FOR cats. Kitten mittens are mittens made OF cats. Cats who died of natural causes, probably.

  • My kid just wandered in to see me forcibly balancing a deeply unappreciative Ferris Mewler on a quart-sized ziploc bag.

  • I don’t even know how to explain this. I just told her to go back to bed. She may never sleep again.

  • This is exactly why we need to find a cure for insomnia. Because it hurts EVERYONE.

  • Also, I’m bleeding and the cat is pissed. Duct tape makes terrible shoes for cats.

I hope you laughed and this finds you smiling for the rest of the day!   

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Connection Mural

With the summer months upon us, school is wrapping up.  As a therapist, I have offered therapeutic services in school settings with grades kindergarten through eighth.  Given the nature of training programs, often times a graduate student will enter into a school in September, build relationships over the year, and then move on to a totally new location and training site the following year.  One of my favorite ways to conclude services with children is to make what I like to call the “Connection Mural.”  The kids may come up with their own name for it, but essentially, it is a great way to work together on something the child can take home with them at the conclusion of their last session. 
What you need:
  • Blank paper  (Depending on the amount of time you have or the age of the child, you can make it as big or small as you see fit. 8 ½ x 11 paper or poster board)
  • Crayons, colored pencils, markers
  • Any other art supplies you want (glitter glue, magazine cutouts, etc)
  • Allow the child to outline your hand, and then outline theirs, so that the fingers cross on the paper
  • Each of you can decorate the inside of your hands
  • On the outside of the hands write inspirational words or phases; topics you spoke about throughout the year; goals or hopes for the future
  • Sign your names (like the artists that you are) and date it!
  • Encourage your child to hang their mural in a place where they will see it daily and be able to remember all the things you spoke about throughout the year.  This is your opportunity to show them that despite the end of your therapeutic relationship, they are still important and should feel inspired.
Each mural will be unique and beautiful in different ways.  Make sure that if you share the work with anyone outside the therapy room, you will need to attain permission from their parents. 
This project would be wonderful for teachers to use at the end of the year as well!  This is an awesome way for the kids to remain connected to their teacher or therapist; and also a way to feel motivated and cared for.  I find that this is a great tool for grades kindergarten through eighth.
*The picture is just an example and not the work of an actual client.  The creativity of the murals I have done in session have been absolutely amazing!  They turn into real works of art.  Have fun with this one, while knowing it will mean a lot to the child. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Moving Process - Stay Stress Free

There is something about the moving process that makes me think of different personality styles.  There are those that love to keep it new and interesting, seeking out a new place to live every time their lease is up.  Those individuals may be the adventurous types that love the challenge and excitement of trying new things.  Then there are the people that find something they like and stick with it.  These individuals may find security and contentment in routine and stability.  There are also the individuals that find a town/home/community and make the financial and emotional commitment of purchasing a home.  Since moving to a city, most of my friends are renters.  In my home town, many of my friends and family plant roots in the community and invest in their home.  Both styles of living are unique and come with pros and cons.  

I came to think about the moving process as I stood in line at the UHaul rental store (Yes...I drove a UHaul truck in the city!) and was mesmerized by the large number of individuals waiting in line with us at 7:00am on a Wednesday.  Some people looked bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for the day; others looked like they had stayed up all night throwing their belongings in boxes for yet another move.  I think I fell somewhere in the middle with a positive attitude, but a "Let's get this show on the road" mentality.  On a side note, I was rather annoyed by the middle aged man who stood 2 people in front of us in line,  then proceeded to take up time trying to return 2 unused moving boxes.  When the lady said he needed the receipt he then tried to exchange the unused medium boxes for small boxes.  Patience were running low by many of the line waiters for this poor guy! 

Anyways, I digress...June apparently is a VERY popular month for Chicago movers and the personalities of the movers I observed were vast.  Here are a couple tips for reducing stress during the moving process for all personality types:
  • Give yourself plenty of time to pack.  Do a little everyday or week for up to eight weeks prior to the move.  Having to do it all the week or day before will do nothing but cause stress and chaos. 
  • Keep yourself organized.  Clearly label boxes with contents, or at least which room the contents belong in. 
  • Purge clutter.  Don't pack up the clothes you "might wear again."  Now is the time to donate your belongings/furniture that you no longer wear or use.  No need to travel with things that will continue to be stored away and re-forgotten about.  If you are getting new furniture, donate the old stuff.  Some places will even come and pick up your unwanted belongings.
  • Ask for help.  Friends will typically be willing to help because they too, at some point, will need help.  Favor for a favor, when it comes to moving, is just fine.  Don't feel bad asking!  Thank your friends by getting coffee and donuts the morning of the move, and buy pizza/sandwiches/beer later in the day.  Having friends around can make the move as fun as a move can be!
  • Rest up.  The night before a move don't try and stay up all night finishing things up.  Feeling fresh and rested will make the entire day run more smoothly.  
  • Be flexible.  If an item gets broken or the rental truck keys magically disappear don't freak out.  Take a couple deep breaths, realize that it's not the end of the world, and then reassess.  Accidents happen and there is nothing that can be fixed by getting all bent out of shape. 
  • Have fun.  It's better to find things throughout the day to laugh at, take a break when you are sick of the unpacking process, and just know that when it's all over with, you will be able to explore your new neighborhood!
If you are moving, try to stay stress free by following these tips.  If you are not, but know a friend or family member that is, ask if they need help. 
*ADDED MOVING BONUS* The moving process is a great need to hit the gym that day!