As you all know by now, I’ve been on a journey to re-wire and strengthen the Right side of my brain. Once I allowed myself to be open to a fun, creative, and stimulating world, I feel like my life has added a new kind of meaning and joy. This is a life-long journey for me. I am constantly looking for brilliant new ways to help me learn and grow. In this blog series, I want to share my findings with you. Every month, I will highlight three resources: one for your mind, one for your body, and one for your soul. I hope this carefully curated list of books, websites, YouTube channels, articles, podcasts, games, or just quick quotes will enhance your life, help you grow, and bring you joy and health as much as they did for me and my family. Here is August’s list:
For Your Mind
1. Difficult Personalities By Helen McGrath and Hazel Edwards
I am SO happy to have found this book. I’ve been looking for so long for a book that could help me explain personality disorders to my clients. This practical guide to managing the hurtful behaviors of others (and maybe your own)-as suggested in the title is a crazy, easy-to- understand book for every-day people not just for psychologists. It stays away from clinical lingo and covers personality traits that are frustrating, annoying, confusing, and damaging. It talks about the extroverts vs. the introverts, the planners vs. the optionizers, the thinkers vs. the feelers, the anxious, the inflexible, the demanding, the passive-aggressive, the bullies, and the straight-up sociopaths. It goes over strategies to manage each one of these personalities, and encourages assertion and healthy ways of managing conflict.
For Your Body
2. Classical stretch workout at Essentrics.com
Exercise does not come naturally to me. I have to make myself do it because it’s obviously good for you and as a psychologist, I know it’s a great anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medicine. But I go through ups and downs as far as consistency. When I finally find something that makes a difference, I have to share. Yes, I know PBS does not exactly make you think of hip and exciting, but that’s exactly where I found my August pick for your body.
Based on the intelligent fitness technique Essentrics, created by Miranda Esmonde-White, each 30-minute episode of Classical Stretch features a full-body workout with dynamic strengthening and stretching exercises: all-standing, all-floor or all-barre. Miranda has spent decades helping professional athletes, ballet dancers, and Olympians overcome potentially career-ending injuries and guiding MS patients and cancer survivors toward pain-free mobility.
She is a big believer in that the root of nearly all pain is movement—or lack thereof. She strongly encourages all to move our bodies to refresh, nourish, and revitalize our cells. Without physical activity, our cells become stagnant and decay, accelerating the aging process and causing pain. People who suffer chronic pain often become sedentary, afraid that movement and activity will make things worse, when just the opposite is true: movement is essential to healing. I love her videos and it feels so good to stretch.
For Your Soul
3. Mindful Games By Susan Kaiser Greenland
I am an overthinker and a worrier so quieting my mind down is generally a struggle. I often recommend breathing and mindfulness exercises to my clients, but I am very aware that for some us, the Type A, usually these are not easy tasks…thus, when something is too complicated, I try to simplify by using children resources for adults. Mindful Games is such a perfect resource for kids, teens, and families. It teaches life skills such as focusing, quieting, seeing, reframing, caring, and connecting. It helps one to tolerate and manage difficult emotions, to focus on the positives and daily gratitude, and how to stay away from destructive overthinking and rumination….and it’s all in the form of games. When I tried it with my kids, it consisted of 20 minutes of laughter trying to focus on breathing and 1 minute of breathing exercises…but we did it and totally worth it!
ABOUT: Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a private practice psychologist in Litchfield Park, Arizona with experience in family therapy, ADHD, stress and anxiety management, and executive coaching. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier Marriage. Click HERE to check out her free resources on effective communication, emotional unavailability, intimacy, and anxiety management or join her at www.ruxandralemay.com for monthly blogs posts.