Tanya Ruckstuhl Valenti, LICSW

About Susie Wind LMHC, Art Therapist

Interview for Susie Wind

Are there any mental health conditions that you have a particular experience with?

I have the most experience working with depression and anxiety. No matter the circumstances or diagnoses, I feel positively elated when I get to witness a person’s realization of themselves as a unique and valuable human being.

Do you have any seasonal tips for surviving the coming months of darkness and rain?

Yes I do! Briefly, here are 2 basic strategies. First making sure that each day includes a spot of protein for breakfast, some time outside, and some moderate exercise. Taking the dog for a walk, for example. Second, changing our surroundings with each season. By that, I mean simply putting up a new shower curtain, or a new candle; rotating artwork, putting seasonal placemats at the table, or somehow reflecting the seasons in our daily routine and surroundings.

Many of people seeking mental health services struggle with self care. How do you recommend that busy people with children and jobs incorporate self care into their routines?

There are so many ways to care for ourselves: one of the simplest can be done in 3 minutes. Even the busiest among us can take three minutes to sit quietly, breathe slowly and concentrate our awareness on the information coming in through our 5 senses. This basic activity, when done once, twice, or several times a day can actually help to streamline our thoughts, and focus our awareness on our bodies. This extra awareness can strengthen our ability to self-regulate emotion, and can allow us to be more present for the demands of our children and work.

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