Posts in Calm
How To Set Boundaries :: Stress Less And Avoid Burnout During The Holidays

“Plays well with others” but also takes fierce care of herself! As a Manhattanite, a stroll down Fifth Avenue this time of year reveals that holiday mania is indeed upon us. It’s the season for parties, events, presents, travel and family—also exhaustion! That bone-deep fatigue that sets intermittently and certainly after the holiday season because you have more things to do and less time for self-care and reflection.

Feelings of overwhelm and overcommitment, the season seems to deliver more frenzy, panic, anxiety, sadness and other emotions and behaviors than peace and joy. As a Manhattan-based Psychotherapist and Coach, I work with busy New Yorkers, especially highly perfectionistic, busy women, who have seemingly boundless reservoirs of energy—that is until they crash! What follows are some tips to help you flow through the season of light without burning yourself out.

Learning to have healthier boundaries is a great place to start! You instinctively move away from someone when they move too close to you. That’s a healthy and adaptive response, and so is setting boundaries with others. You may have learned to acquiesce to the needs of others for many reasons—that’s an old story for you, and now, like many narratives, a part of your “self” that you’d like to rescue. Here are some easy tips…

  1. Learn to say NO without feeling guilty - Guilt is an important response to many things, and helps you develop properly. It’s also not always warranted, overused, reflexive and habitual. It’s not easy but you can learn to say NO. It gets easier with practice but you’ll feel proud of yourself, you may also learn that others will still love you (even if they have a less than ideal response to the new you who says NO). The biggest win is that you’ll free yourself up for things that really

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.
The Stressed-Out, Very Busy NYC Professional :: Is Anxiety And Stress Hijacking Your Life?

Something just doesn’t feel right and while you may think you’re managing all the aspects of your hectic life pretty well, that “off” feeling may be anxiety that's pulling you out of your game. You could benefit from finding a therapist to help you sort things out but you’re too busy to make it to the gym or show up for family and friends as it is. You are a high-achieving, busy New Yorker, you are also struggling to balance personal and professional demands. You can’t do everything, and at times, it feels like you may be sinking instead of flourishing. Many high-functioning New Yorkers also battle chronic, stress-induced anxiety and tension that can lead to physical symptoms and depression.

You may overeat and abuse substances so now that we’ve identified those behaviors, this is a good time to consider whether anxiety and stress are driving some of these bad habits and patterns. Do you feel unwell because of anxiety and is it time to seek treatment for your stress and anxiety? How would your life improve if you found effective help for your symptoms of stress and anxiety?

I always recommend seeking professional support when anxiety is hijacking your life. Licensed psychotherapists have specialized training to help you better manage anxiety and cope better in the many aspects of your life so that you can create a healthier work/life balance. If you find that you are feeling overwhelmed, numb, less resilient, or that you eat and drink your feelings, here is some practical help until you find a therapist to work with one on one.

  1. Pause, Identify + Notice — This is hard for busy professionals to slow down, hit the pause button and observe their thoughts, feelings and emotions or “tune-in” to what’s happening in their body. Who wants to do that especially when you work so hard to avoid unpleasant feelings. The body speaks loud and clear when we

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.
Engage Your Vagus Nerve :: Breathing Techniques For Relaxation And Insomnia Relief

Concerns about the long-term impact of chronic stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia is a topic of concern for many of my coaching and therapy clients. A few stressful, sleepless nights can easily spiral into a regular problem as clients begin to develop a negative relationship with bedtime and sleep. Many will seek the help of a psychiatrist to obtain prescription medications in an effort to break the cycle. Not a bad option in the short-term, but less than ideal as a long-term solution. I always recommend lifestyle modifications and attempts at simple changes in the environment first. Before we move to information about engaging your vagus nerve and the relaxation response, let's clear the path to create an optimal environment for sleep. 

How can you modify your environment to promote better sleep? In addition to dimming the lights and reducing evening electronic stimulation, some helpful evening rituals include the following:

  • meditation

  • focused breathing

  • biofeedback

  • guided imagery

  • progressive muscle relaxation

  • restorative yoga

  • gentle stretching to release tension in the body

  • a warm bath

  • a soothing warm drink such as milk, nut milk or non-caffeinated tea 

  • herbs and homeopathic support 

How are you breathing during the day? You may not be aware that throughout your busy day, your breathing has become shallow. Your thoughts likely contribute

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.
Boundary-Setting Mantra :: Sanity During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is one time of year that leaves many of us feeling vulnerable to stress and feelings of overwhelm. The season brings windows dressed with cheer and reminders of other people who appear carefree and happy, while many face the reality of family dysfunction, unrealistic expectations, loneliness, dark days and seasonal affective disorder, poor eating and drinking habits and loved ones who are no longer with us. Perhaps the seemingly happy folks are drunk, it's hard to know for sure. That said, social media now contributes a new platform for us to compare our own lives with the experiences of others, leading to even more isolation and despair. It is also a time when we may do less self-care than usual--at a time when we actually need a little more TLC.

This leads quite natural to the topic of boundaries. Who wants to be the bad guy and say no, right? Sometimes "no" is best for all. The holiday season is a perfect time to learn and practice self-protection. Boundary-setting is very much a learned skill that takes practice and often requires giving yourself permission to put yourself first. Do you know what you need? it's important to know your needs and to identify your own physical and emotional limits. Overload cues present to us in different forms. For some, it's a feeling or nudge

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.
EMDR THERAPY FOR LASTING HEALING :: RESOLVING SEXUAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE

The recent presidential election and divisiveness has activated and triggered many individuals who have unresolved trauma(s). As a Psychotherapist and trauma therapist with a private practice in New York City, I can share that many men and women have sought counseling to deal with trauma symptoms that have recently surfaced as a result of the accusations of sexual assault and boundary violations revealed during this recent election cycle. Clients state that they now feel empowered and sufficiently supported by others and the community at large to begin to tell their personal stories of rape, assault, boundary violations and inappropriate behaviors. Some have never shared their stories--not with trusted friends or even family members. For many, being in the presence of another, to receive their experience, help hold their fear and terror and help sort out confusion and reality can be extremely healing. Some who have suffered in silence will need more support. EMDR therapy is a therapy modality that can successfully heal these experiences from a neurological standpoint, as well as reduce the impact of painful memories, distorted self-concepts and further support healing the body. 

Many patients seek EMDR therapy following slow progress with traditional psychotherapy or when they feel they have not benefitted from traditional talk therapy, hypnosis or CBT. As a licensed psychotherapist in New York City, EMDR has become my technique of choice to treat a variety of concerns. After years of integrating it into my practice, I've experienced extraordinary success

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.
Easy Mindfulness

There is an art to being "present" especially in a stressed-out culture of distractions, hyper-productivity and social media, however you can learn to think differently and even rewire your brain. Many therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists recommend Mindfulness and MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) to help cope with anxiety and depression. What is the goal with mindfulness meditation? To learn to give your attention fully to whatever you may be doing -- eating, loving, working, parenting, exercising, doing chores, as examples. The application of mindfulness is limitless, and can generalize to good health, life-satisfaction and enhanced well-being. 

It's easy. Heres how to begin:

  1. Find a comfortable seat. Keep your back straight, soften and drop your shoulders. You can close your eyes, or keep them open. Take a deep breath.

  2. Notice your breathing, without changing it. Focus on the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils, notice your lungs expanding and contracting with each breath.

  3. It is normal to have thoughts that distract you from your focus on the breath. Acknowledge these thoughts and then return your focus to your breathing. Keep doing this.

  4. Don't judge yourself, simply notice any distractions, sounds in the environment, and especially, that the mind wants to wander.  A new thought comes into your mind, notice it, then return to your breathing. 

Dedicate 5-20 minutes per day to this practice of mindfulness. As it becomes easier, you can practice being fully present with your daily activities--breathing, observing, noticing whatever may be present for you in these moments with acceptance and

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NYC Online Therapy + Coaching for Manhattan professionals, high-profile clients, KIMBERLY SEELBREDE, MSW, LCSW is a licensed Psychotherapist, Coach & Mind-Body Consultant in private practice providing psychotherapy, coaching and psychological consultations nationally and internationally for individuals and couples in transition, crisis or just needing solution-focused support.