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Holidays 101: Handling Holiday Stress

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Thanksgiving may be behind us, but we are still entering the major holiday season… or the major stress season for some. The holidays are stressful for many during a normal year, but couple that with shipping delays, shortages, and inflation, many people may be finding it hard to cope this year.


So how can you better deal with your holiday stress? Experts suggest the following:

  • Talk with your family and find out what holiday traditions mean the most to them and focus on those activities and not ALL of the holiday activities.
  • Make a holiday schedule and invite your family members to help you keep on that schedule.
  • Make it a proactive event to find out what worked and what didn’t from year to year.

In the News Autism Acceptance Month – Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Continued from Part I…)


Autism can affect anyone at any span in their life, but research has shown that early diagnosis can lead to a better quality of life. Things to watch for in young children include:

  • Prefers solitary play rather than playing with other children/peers.
  • Prefers predictable, structured play over spontaneous or make-believe play.
  • May not respond to name being called.
  • Struggles to make eye contact to communicate interests and/or needs. 

Therapies take up the large bulk of treatment and support of those living with Autism.

Occupational therapy teaches skills that help the person live as independently as possible.

Sensory integration therapy helps the person deal with sensory issues.

Behavior and communication therapies address the range of social, language and behavior difficulties associated with ASD.

Speech therapy helps to improve the person’s communication skills.

Education therapy are highly structured educational programs that children with ASD often respond well to.

The prognosis for a child with autism depends on the severity of their initial symptoms but can be influenced by early intervention and treatment. For years autism was thought to be irreversible. While autism is a lifelong condition, there are now evidence-based treatments that can help and support people with autism.

In the News Autism Acceptance Month – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

This April, across the world Autism Acceptance is celebrated. In order to accept those living with Autism, we first must understand what Autism is, the diagnosis of it, the treatment of it and the prognosis of it.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex, lifelong developmental condition that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation.

The way Autism affects everyone is different. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is often referred to as a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

While there is no known cause of Autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive resources that can support the choices and opportunities needed to live a full and successful life.

Autism is diagnosed by persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments. This can look like: 

  • Being nonverbal, nonspeaking, or having atypical speech patterns, having trouble understanding nonverbal communication, difficulty making and keeping friends, difficulty maintaining typical back-and-forth conversational style. 

Autism is also diagnosed by restricted and repetitive behavior, patterns, activities, and interests. This can look like: 

  • Repeating sounds or phrases, repetitive movements, preference for sameness and difficulty with transition or change in routine, extreme sensitivity to low sensitivity to sensory stimuli. 

(Continued in Part II…)

Fitness for All Self-Care Challenge – Awareness in April

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Sometimes being fit isn’t just about working out, burning calories, and building muscles. Being fit also includes metal fitness. So, this month, we offer you the Self-care Challenge.

Besides working through these daily challenges, take time for yourself to meditate or walk during this month.

  • Create or reaffirm a goal.
  • Make a gratitude list.
  • Name one thing you like about yourself.
  • Create a dream/vision board.
  • Treat yourself.
  • Do a short yoga routine.
  • Do a random act of kindness.
  • Donate a thing you don’t need.
  • Share something that makes you happy.
  • Do something unusual.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Organize one room or closet.
  • Walk barefoot in the grass.
  • Have a movie night.
  • Start or add to a bucket list.
  • Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Share a thing you are proud of.
  • Color or draw a picture.
  • Track your water intake.
  • Share a recent accomplishment.
  • Give up a bad habit for the day.
  • Confront a problem, big or small.
  • Share your favorite song.
  • Compliment a stranger.
  • Make a healthy snack or meal.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Share a fond memory.
  • Do something fun.
  • Exercise or stretch.
  • Share how you feel after completing the challenge.

In the News: Self-Care Tips for December – Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The month of December is notoriously known for being the busiest month for most people. Because of all the hustle and bustle, many people find themselves feeling overwhelmed. Here we offer you some tips for making the month of December a little less overwhelming.


Keep a gratitude journal. Include things that you are grateful for as well as things you accomplished each day. This will help you to remain grateful and positive.

Make a new holiday recipe. Trying a new recipe will challenge you and keep your mind active. You might even find a new holiday treat.

Get creative by writing and/or crafting. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked. These activities help you express yourself through art and keep your creativity flowing.

Think of something that you want to improve. Maybe you want to practice a foreign language or pick the guitar back up, whatever it is challenge yourself and you will find that through success you will be rewarded. 

Show love to someone. Reach out to an old friend or family member. Go out of your way to make someone feel special. Even a simple thank you card can be very meaningful. 

Write about a fun memory that you have had. If you are feeling in a funk, remembering a good time can sometimes help you get back into the happy mindset. 

At least for one day, take a break from your phone. Stay away from social media and the news. Spend more time getting to know yourself during this holiday season.


Continued in Part II…