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September 23, 2014

Looking for something fun, new, and different to do with friends or coworkers?

Willow Tree Wellness invites you to an evening of pampering! Enjoy a 10 minute massage and receive a facial & makeup makeover for only $15 a person.

 

Please call today to schedule your Ladies Night at 570-317-2999.

 

We encourage you to bring snacks and beverages of your choice to help you relax and unwind.

September 17, 2014

by Nicole Iacovoni, LCSW, Founder & Executive Clinician at Willow Tree Wellness & Counseling, LLC

 

I admit; sometimes I’m a hypocrite. I frequently preach about the benefits of good self care and urge everyone I meet to make self care a routine priority. Yet, I myself am guilty of not taking my own advice. I can always tell when I haven’t taken care of myself the way I should. However, it usually dawns on me far too late.

 

Making time for myself, doing the things that bring me happiness and pleasure, or taking space and time to be alone wasn’t always as hard as it is now. Back in the days of being single or married without children, I had ample time to indulge in long afternoons reading at the cafe, napping, or aimless window shopping. Then, life got complicated with the addition of two dogs, 2 houses, 2 kids, and 2 jobs. (Luckily, I have just one husband or things would get really tricky).

 

Now, I have to strategically plan “me time”. I have to carve it out, set it aside, and protect it from being invaded by unmet deadlines at work, strong urges to clean up the mess that I know will reappear in 10 minutes, and guilt about leaving my toddler when she’s begging me not to go. Sometimes I’m successful at reminding myself how much I need to be a woman before I’m a wife, a mother, or a business owner, and I follow through with my advice and plans for good self care. Other times, I give in to meeting the wants and needs of others before my own. I over-extend, over-commit, and convince myself I’ll be ok without doing whatever it was that I was looking forward to doing for myself.

 

Yet, time and time again, I always regret giving up self care. Because it’s happened so many times, I was forced to become more aware of my own needs, and motivate myself to put all else aside to meet them. Here’s how to tell you need better self care:

 

1. You feel overwhelmed.

Overwhelm is a clear sign you’ve taken on too much. Once you begin to feel like you can’t take on one more single thing, don’t take on one more single thing. Stop. If you forge ahead when your mind is telling you it needs a break, you won’t be able to organize your thoughts or your life.

 

2. You feel resentful.

Resentment is usually the bi-product of noticing all the people who are doing things they enjoy and hating them for it. If you find yourself pissed because people around you are happy, content, and relaxed, and you “don’t get to be”, you need to make yourself like those other people. The reason they’re content is because they made time to do what they love. You need to do the same. Don’t wait for someone to create the opportunity for you. Do it yourself.

 

3. You feel exhausted.

It’s fairly common for us to overestimate what we can accomplish in any given amount of time. We try to cram in as much as possible and we burn ourselves out. Knowing when we need to rest, and actually doing it, is critical self care. The work will always be there, but you’ll be useless if you don’t recharge your batteries.

 

4. You want to be someplace else.

When we live in the moment, we experience contentment. That is unless we’re really unhappy about what we’re doing in the moment. If you find yourself fantasizing about being somewhere else, anywhere else, it’s a sign that you need to spend some time there…wherever that is. For some, it’s in a hot bath. For others, it’s out on the town with friends. If there is a longing to escape the current moment, you’re in need of self care.

 

5. You’re distracted and unfocused.

Most likely, you’re thinking about to-do lists. On the one list, you have all the things you have to do, and on the other, you have all the things you want to do. When we only mark off the to-do’s on the “have to” list, we start daydreaming about what it would be like to visit the “want to list”. Not only does this sabotage accomplishing the have-to’s, but we then have even less time for the want-to’s. It’s a vicious cycle.

 

Self care takes many forms. It’s as unique to us as we are as individuals. What calms, soothes, and creates balance for me may irritate and annoy someone else. The important point is that we each know what to do to help ourselves feel in alignment with our true self and that we incorporate those practices into our lives on an ongoing basis. Yes, it’s challenging to make sure we make adequate time for self care, but merely being aware of when you need it can be a self care measure in and of itself.

September 15, 2014

 

Perhaps you’re new to yoga, or maybe you’ve practicing for years. Regardless of your history, focusing on the basic fundamentals can deepen and enhance your practice. Join instructor Jennifer Triassi as she expertly guides you through the elements of a flow practice to review breathing, holds, and alignment. You’ll discuss key poses such as Plank, Chaturanga, Upward/Downward Facing Dog, and others. Learn how to avoid wrist injuries, safeguard knees, and much more!

FOUNDATIONS OF FLOW WORKSHOP

October 4th  10:30am - 12:30pm

$25 Pre-Registered / $30 Drop-In

FORMAT:

     30 Minute Discussion

     60 Minute Beginner Level Practice

     30 Minute Post Practice Q&A

 

 

 

Sink in to your practice and get solid in those oh-so-important fundamentals! We would love for you to join us on October 4th. Register early to reserve your spot and save $5.

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=145114

 

September 7, 2014

 

We place great importance on happiness, and rightfully so. Happiness has been proven to provide all sorts of benefits like higher earnings, better immune system functioning, and enhanced creativity. Not to mention, it feels really good to be happy. As a result, we all strive for happiness, but why?

Happiness is more than just an emotion. It’s a state of mind with intentional and strategic use of cognitive reflections. Happiness is influenced by our own personal expectations and acceptance of that which we can’t change. More so, happiness is dependent upon how we perceive our circumstances and experiences. So, how can be go about achieving a sense of peace and contentment that exist in true happiness?

 

New research indicates that happy people engage in habits that seem counterintuitive to happiness and can actually be considered downrightunhappy. Psychology Today magazine reports that “activities that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people’s lives”. Therefore, happiness isn’t about just doing things that bring us pleasure. It is also about pushing ourselves to try new experiences that exceed the limits of our comfort zone. 

 

Taking risks may seem scary and threatening, and being vulnerable is both uncomfortable and difficult. However, challenging ourselves to invest in activities that promote curiosity and experimentation can propel us further in our self growth. Often, we avoid any instances of discomfort, and in turn, limit the level of happiness we reach in our lives. 

 

There is a misconception in our society that happiness is the ultimate goal. In fact, happiness is most often temporary, superficial, and hedonistic. Real happiness consists of many factors, including occasional sadness, a sense of humor, a sense of purpose and meaning, flexibility in the midst of adversity, and attainment of meaningful relationships. As you can see, happiness is complex and requires a willingness to face negative emotions that arise and gain feedback from less desirable emotions. 

 

People who are the happiest tend to be superior at sacrificing short-term pleasures when there is a good opportunity to make progress toward what they aspire to become in life, (Psychology Today, August 2013). By knowing this, it seems reasonable to assume that in order to become what we aspire in life, we need to determine what we are truly passionate about. Finding our life’s purpose and passion certainly isn’t an easy task, but it is a worthwhile one. 

 

Accessing what experiences we seek out, avoid, or find the most rewarding helps us to discover the meaning of our existence and what to direct our energy toward. One key point here is that we have to be completely honest with ourselves about what we really love and what we wish we loved. We might expect ourselves to be interested in a particular activity, but our true feelings may differ from that expectation. Once we determine which activities are the most important to us, we have to carve out sufficient time in our lives to partake of them. 

 

As you can see, happiness isn’t simple or clear-cut. Surprisingly, a certain degree of discomfort, heartache, and challenging experience lead to greater happiness. It feel happy, we need to have a balance of risk, safety, curiosity, playfulness, and an attitude of gratitude for what we have in the present moment. Likewise, we need a sense of purpose, emotional flexibility, and a commitment to engaging in activities that make us feel alive and excited. Lastly, we need to avoid viewing happiness as a destination instead of a journey. Attempting to achieve happiness only leads to failure which comes with emotional consequences. Being happy is certainly healthy, but craving happiness is detrimental to our well-being.

 

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