Help for today, hope for tomorrow


Helpful resources in the wake of the Newtown tragedy

The American Psychological Association has assembled select resources for managing distress and building resilience in the wake of tragedy. Please visit the following link for the landing page to this information.

In addition, Scholastic has published some articles about how to talk to children about this type of violence. 

"Talking to Your Kids About Natural Disasters, War, and Violence" — an article offering advice from a child-development expert about how to talk with kids about violent, disturbing news. is

"Talking to Children About Community Violence" — a tip sheet from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry about how to handle discussions with kids about violence in local communities.

 I hope these resources are helpful in this difficult time. I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday,



Don't be SAD

As many as 25% of Minnesotans are prone to experiencing some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) from late September through early April.

SAD has many of the same symptoms as other kinds of depression, but its hallmark features are a craving for sweets, overeating carbohydrate-rich foods, weight gain, disturbed sleep, and fatigue.

Now is the time to implement self-care strategies to keep yourself sunny and productive—in spite of the dearth of daylight. Try the suggestions below and see what works for you.

  1. Get assessed for the use of light therapy
  2. Engage in moderate exercise
  3. Get outdoors for 30-60 minutes each day during daylight
  4. Eat fruits and vegetables
  5. Eat oatmeal
  6. Minimize the use of alcohol
  7. Increase your activity level
  8. Get out of the house more
  9. Plan a winter vacation to a sunny climate

If you'd like to learn more, I recommend the book Winter Blues by Norman Rosenthal, M.D.


Make your regrets work for you

Spring breathes new life into everything. The sunshine, longer days, and green buds growing on dormant branches are powerful reminders of renewal and hope.

Unresolved regrets have a way of holding us in a perpetual state of winter. Spring is the perfect time to bring yourself into a fuller life by facing and working through your regrets.

Learning to forgive yourself and move forward is critically important, but it's also important to make your regrets work for you. Regrets are important life lessons that teach us perspective about the past, wisdom for future decisions, and integrity to make meaningful amends to ourselves and others.


A smile goes a mile

As we think about our New Year’s resolutions, an easy way that we can make a difference, both in the world, as well as in our own lives, is to simply smile more. Research has shown that outward expressions of happiness are good for people’s well-being and are also contagious. Happiness can be passed on to total strangers, spreading outward by three degrees, to the friends of friends of friends. What’s even better is that the transferred happiness can be beneficial to people for up to a year. 

Consider resolving to smile more this year. It’s simple, it’s doable, and it makes a huge difference. Happy New Year!


Let your attitude be your gift

Mother Teresa once said "Do small things with great love." Many of the gifts that we can give this season are intangible and powerful. This year, give the gift of civility. Take the high road. Overlook petty annoyances. Share your gifts of humor, forebearance, compassion, listening, graciousness, courtesy, and cheerfulness.

Happy holidays, Marge