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            May is National Mental Health Awareness Month             


JordanTherapist's Corner...
The Key to Balance is……No?

We all know that balance in a good thing, right? A balanced diet, balanced budget, balanced home and work life. Yes, these are all good things that are not always easy to come by.  Every day we are bombarded with expectations that threaten our ability to find balance in our lives.  Whether it be fitting in one more errand over our lunch hour or taking on one more volunteer position, there are always opportunities that force us to feel unbalanced in our lives.  Balance does not happen without good boundaries, and good boundaries cannot be set without the word no.  Many people feel guilt in using the word no.  No is the best way to directly communicate boundaries to employers, friends and family members.  So next time you are confronted with the conundrum of answering no or compromising your balance, ask yourself

1.) Is this something that drains my energy?

2.) Is this something someone else can just as easily do for themselves?

3.) Am I avoiding answering no, because I feel guilty?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then, you have been presented with an opportunity to set good boundaries with the word NO.

~ Jordan Plummer-Allen, Therapist

TillmanDClinical Director Contemplations...
Seeds for Growth 

Well, May is finally here, and so too is the warmth and wet weather. Spring time is in full swing, and those who love gardening, are returning to their love; the soil. Seeds are being planted, the satisfaction of watching those first sprouts emerge, and you guessed it…the weeds. 

Gardening for me is a beautiful metaphor for so much in life. From changing an old habit, to being a different type of parent, to building a different relationship with friends and family; all seeds to be planted.  And much like everything in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Dive right in, get those hands dirty, and live the metaphor of change.    

To really give these seeds a chance for growth, first the soil needs tilled. The old crusted earth needs broken through.  For some in life, this tilling is by chance, an accident if you will. For others it is deliberate; a sense that the old must be broken through for seeds to one day sprout. We know this is a part of growth, but it is a bunch of work, and not all that much fun frankly.

Then, the seed(s) to be planted is selected. Next, the bed is planned according to outside factors such as sun light, and proximity to water. The seeds are then planted, water applied, and then…wait. Not every seed planted follows the urgency of the sower. Some break through reaching for the sunlight when they are darn good and ready. All the while, leaving the planter to wonder if the seed was really “good”. This is life teaching us patients and positive thinking. Before long, the garden is in full bloom and the bounty ready for harvesting.

The next time you pass a garden, or see the gardener on his or her hands and knees, I hope you will see the effort differently. If you are a gardener already, I suspect this metaphor was nothing new. If you lack the space or time this year for a garden of your own, I don’t know anyone who would not welcome a friend to pull weeds with.

Be well!

~ Doug Tillman, Ph.D., Clinical Director

Emerton SeanneHer View From Home...
Overconnected and Distant 

Seanne writes for an online magazine. This article can be found online at
overconnected-and-distant/                       Posted 13 May, 2014

How often do you and/or your spouse sit at the dinner table (either at home or at a restaurant) and instead of communicating with each other, you are connected to your phone? Or how often have you felt dismissed when you are with a friend, and instead of tuning into you, they tune into their phone first? This is a growing issue with everybody it seems. While smart phones are great, it’s as if they have become the primary relationship. And there’s an addiction to them. Some people even sleep with them. And some people are overly possessive of them, wrecking havoc with trust in relationships.

There’s a time for everything but when you are with your partner, with the intention of sharing time or sharing a meal, this is not the time to be absent or distant by not being totally present.

Not only that, but it’s an invasion of our own personal space and can negatively impact mindfulness as well as our own self care. It’s so easy to impulsively respond when you hear you have a text, an email or notice from FaceBook, Twitter or Linked In, etc. BOUNDARIES, dear friends, BOUNDARIES. Yes, easier said than done. We have become an instant society, expecting instant responses yet it does not bode well for our emotional/physical/spiritual selves. It also does not teach our children much about what’s really important.

Ask yourselves this: what are you NOT DOING because you are spending time with technology? Again, technology itself isn’t the bad guy here…it’s the lack of intentional discipline with it. Are you hiding behind the appendage of your phone? Are you being totally present with the person you are with? Where is your focus? We go towards what we are focused on….so be sure you are aware of what that is. Stay awake.

Tips To Stay Truly Connected with Self and Other

  1. Get outside in nature without any technology; smell the roses and hear the birds.
  2. Give yourself a technology break every now and then, especially when you are with another.
  3. Be in the moment with who you are physically with: fully present, aware and focused.
  4. Set a time limit for your tech connecting…and stick to it. (Some people successfully choose to only check email, FaceBook, etc only once or twice a day.)
  5. Set boundaries with your family, such as no electronics at dinner and no answering the phone.
  6. Identify the Top 5 things that are most important to you in life and ask if your tech time lines up with those.
  7. Ask for support from your family and friends if you become serious about the value of setting tech boundaries.

Bottom Line: Manage your connected time so you really stay connected and close, not distant, from those you love most.

~ Seanne Emerton, Marriage and Family Therapist

Sandstrom JudyTips from our EAP...
May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

Research has shown that social support wards off the effects of stress on depression, anxiety and other health problems. Do you need to be more connected to others? Here are some tips to help you create a plan to make, keep and strengthen connections in your life.

Social Media. An increasingly popular way of connecting with others is through social media. While it does not, and should not, replace face-to-face interactions, social media can be a useful tool for keeping in touch with others and staying up-to-date on current events and trends. Before setting up an account on a social media site, you should consider what you’d like to achieve by signing up, and decide how much information about yourself you would like to share so you can adjust privacy settings accordingly. But post with caution – a recent study suggests that using Facebook may cause a decline in life satisfaction, whereas direct social interactions led people to feel better over time.5

Making Sense of Popular Social Networking Sites

Facebook: Good for keeping in touch with friends and family; sharing thoughts, videos and photos. You can share with your entire network by posting on your timeline, sending instant messages, or sending private messages.

Twitter: Keeping up with news and microblogging (telling how you feel or what you’re doing in 140 characters or less) are Twitter’s main uses.

Pinterest: Online bulletin board that allows you to collect images and videos and share them with others, popular among hobbyists.

LinkedIn: This is like Facebook for professionals. Use it to share your resume, look for jobs, and establish and communicate with business networks. www.linkedin.comInsta

Instagram: Used for taking photos, applying interesting and “artsy” filters, and sharing photos with your network.

When Social Connections Aren’t Cutting It. If you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, or that stress is affecting how you function every day, consider connecting with a mental health professional. Whether it’s a social worker, pastoral counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or other trained professional, getting connected to a professional is the first step to feeling better.

Family Resources of Greater Nebraska is here to help.  Call 308-381-7487 or visit to find out more.

~ Judy Sandstrom, EAP Coordinator

1Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 674-84.
2Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ 2008;337:a2338. doi: (Published 5 December 2008)
3Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med 7(7): e1000316. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316
4Nature 435, 673-676 (2 June 2005) Retrieved from
5Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Demiralp, E., Park, J., Lee, D. S., et al. (2013, August 14). Facebook use predicts declines in subjective well-being in young adults. PLOS One. Retrieved from

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