FRGN NewsletterHeaader

Therapist's Corner...Waddington Tracy
Be the Best You!

     As a Therapist who works with a diverse population of age groups across the lifespan, one of my favorite populations to work with and to make a difference with is our Youth! I am incredibly blessed to learn and grow daily from them. They teach me how important it is to just listen, to not judge, and to most importantly help them to find their inner voice and how to make peace from within. Even amidst the mountains we have to climb in life, we need to be mindful that even in the roughest of times there is beauty in life lessons to be learned even amidst the chaos.
     In my work with youth, I use the metaphor of what it means to live life like that of Chameleon. In other words, what does it mean to learn how to be a Chameleon who loves his/her own color and never needs to change his/her color based upon each environment that we find ourselves in. WE MUST LEARN TO LOVE AND ACCEPT AND APPRECIATE OUR OWN CHOICE OF COLOR! How do we accept our color in a world where we have to constantly adapt to so many? Being true to ourselves, means that we have to first and foremost love who we are. It is being aware of our values, our morales, and not changing them because of peer pressure, because it is the most popular, in order for me to be a part of another group or within a different environment.
     Many times, it means being able to be okay with being in the minority than the majority because we don’t lose sight of our values and what we believe in. Teaching our youth to love themselves and to believe in their values, learning how to set boundaries and stick to them even in the midst of peer pressure is the truest test of all.
     Surrounding ourselves with positive influences, people who love us and accept us for who we are, not asking us to change our beliefs and morales in order to fit in, and who help us to stay grounded in what makes us special and unique is what learning to love ourselves is all about. THAT IS BEING TRUE TO OUR OWN COLOR!! Don’t lose sight of who you are, you are a gift; be PROUD of your heart, your determination, and your will to being YOU!! Be a devoted Chameleon that loves and embraces your color your uniqueness and stay true to what makes you, you!

~ Tracy Waddington, Therapist

Ryan Linda

Therapist's Corner...
Anxiety Strategies 

     Most people, when dealing with a conflict situation, feel anxiety that comes with some sort of physical sensation. We feel the sensation in some part of our body.  Perhaps the back of our neck stiffens, or our chest tightens, or our throat constricts.  These sensations signal that our nervous system is becoming stimulated and that if we don't pay attention and do something, we will probably proceed further into a deeper physical reaction.   In fact, we can fairly quickly and easily fall into a "fight or flight" type of reaction.  We are flooded with emotion and become upset.    Flooding is a natural response to stress but it is rarely helpful in personal interactions.  Flooding makes it harder to think, listen, and communicate effectively.  We can avoid the conflict, but then we also end up avoiding the relationship.   The best alternative is to learn a ritual to calm down and cope creatively with the conflict rather than run away from it.

     Here are some tips to help you develop a ritual that works for you:

   1. Pay attention to the physical sensations in your body.  Notice any tension.  Notice your breathing.  Is your heart beating faster?  Is it hard to concentrate?  You may be flooding. 
   2. You may need to learn how to take a break before you become extremely upset.  As calmly as possible, say to the other person that you need a break to calm yourself.  Then do exactly that.  It takes about 20 minutes for your nervous system to recover from the release of the stress hormones.  During that 20 minutes, start by focusing on your breathing.  Inhale and exhale evenly and deeply at first until your breathing becomes easier.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, blowing softly. 
   3. Pay attention to those physical signs you noted previously.  Notice the areas of tension.  Tighten those specific muscle areas and hold them tense briefly, then relax those same muscle groups.  Notice the difference in the way they feel when tensed or relaxed.  Notice the warmth or even heaviness of the relaxed muscle group. 
   4. When your body is feeling more relaxed, visualize an image or idea that makes you feel calm. 
   5. Finally, visualize yourself going back to the conversation, and in a calm manner, identifying your feelings and assertively stating your need.

~ Linda Ryan, Therapist


From Our EAP...
Holiday Stress Survival Tips

     Let’s face it—The last thing we need is more money worries, more hassles, and more stress. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the holidays can bring. However, you can make this year different. Take this opportunity to change your approach to the holidays.
1 Don’t sweat the small stuff.
     Forget what a perfect holiday is “supposed” to be like. Life isn’t like a magazine pictorial—it’s more messy, disorganized, and full of surprises. Instead of focusing on real or imaginary shortcomings, what’s missing, and “oh, where’s that feeling?”—break out a notebook and list one thing you’re proud of and one thing you’re grateful for each day during the holiday season. Put this under a refrigerator magnet and use it as a pick-me-up year-round.
2 List your biggest stressors. How many can you discard?
     Are all the greeting cards you send a “must”? If not, can you stop sending so many? Instead, take the opportunity to catch up with loved ones by calling everyone on your “heart list.” Some of your stressors may involve family visitors for holidays, which means extra shopping, food prep, and even more cleaning, laundry, and associated house work. Hey, who’s helping out this year?
3 Keep a regular schedule.
     Big disruptions compound stress.Grab your calendar now and list holiday tasks that you can fit into your existing routine. Make just one big task your priority for each day. Start early and pace yourself. Don’t let the day before a holiday event be a crisis. 
4 Combine things you enjoy with tasks you dread.
     If you need to clean, turn on some great music with energetic, upbeat songs that you can listen to as you work. Cut a deal with your significant other: “You take the kids away; I’ll prepare the house for guests.” You’ll be more productive and also have the opportunity to take a short break in peace and quiet if you need it—when you need it.
5 Save money by changing the rules on gift giving.
     This year you have the perfect excuse to pare down your exchange list. And it’s OK! Try eliminating gift card swaps. You’ll save time and gas money. If you have a big family, agree that only the kids get presents this year, but be sure they aren’t receiving more than they need.
     Save money and reconnect by giving the gift of time. Offer to babysit for parents with young kids or take a niece or nephew to the park. Schedule lunch or a movie with someone you don’t see often enough. Chances are they’ll value the experience more than receiving another present.
6 Make cooking easy on yourself.
     Simplify your recipes and make cold dishes a few days early. They’ll keep just fine. If you’ve saved enough by cutting back on gifts, consider paying for precooked meals that you can just warm up in your oven.
7 Do some of your shopping from home by using the Internet.
     Websites frequently offer free or reduced shipping during the holidays. True, this route may be a little more expensive, but will it help reduce stress? If not, you can still browse online for ideas rather than wandering around in the mall for gifts. Before trekking across town, call ahead to brick-and-mortar stores to make sure items you want are in stock. 
8 Consider paying for assembly.
     Yes, money is tight, but are five hours and a lost night’s sleep worth saving $15 to assemble a bicycle? Instead, free up some extra cash with money-saving tips and advice at sites like My Money Blog( and Free Money Finance (
9 Add calming foods to your diet.     
     Combine foods high in tryptophan like spinach, eggs, soy, crabmeat, pork, turkey, chicken, and tuna with carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, potatoes, or pasta. This one-two combo releases serotonin, a calming “feel good” neurotransmitter. Kick-start your day with oatmeal or whole-grain cereal to get these benefits early in the day.
10 Finally, remember this rule: If it’s not worth taking action on, it’s probably not worth worrying about. 

~ Lana Lenz, EAP Administrator (resource: Daniel Feerst, LISW-CP,


FRGN Spotlights! 


Our clinical director, Dr. Doug Tillman, received the Outstanding Counselor of the Year Award at the Nebraska Counseling Association. Congratulations, Doug!  


Also, Dr. Doug Tillman, and his fellow professor, Dr. David Hof, gave a presentation at the Nebraska Counseling Association Conference focusing on their work in Lithuania.


Waddington Tracy

Elder Leanne

Leanne Elder (left) and Tracy Waddington (right) are celebrating their 10-year anniversaries with Family Resources of Greater Nebraska! They were hired just days apart! Thank you for your commitment to your clients and to our business!


25 Yr logo for email

Happy 25th Birthday, Family Resources of Greater Nebraska!!

Please join us for a Chamber Ribbon Cutting to celebrate 25 years of service to the community and our clients.

ribbon cutting

Wed., November 9
4 p.m. 
Cupcakes & drawings!
Grand Island office 
3532 W. Capital Ave. 


FRGN Newsletter footer left FRGN Newsletter footer in FRGN Newsletter footer fb FRGN Newsletter footer tw