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By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

At the beginning of last year I set a goal to exercise everyday in 2016. I am happy to report that I achieved that goal and I learned a few things along the way that I would like to share with you.

There were two main reasons I initially made the goal. First, I wanted to set a good example for all of my counseling and coaching clients. My system of counseling and coaching includes a strong emphasis on health and wellness and I wanted to ensure that I was practicing what I was preaching!

Second, I have three little grandkids that I adore and I want to not only have tons of energy to play with them, but also be around for many years to see them grow up. Being physically fit gives me the best chance at accomplishing both of these intentions.

In order to stay healthy and avoid any overuse injuries I did a wide variety of fitness activities and workouts. This allowed adequate recovery time for any soreness from a particular workout and it also prevented any boredom from setting in.

The workouts I did included weight training, cardio (elliptical and stationary bike), kettle bells, martial arts, and walking. I also did yoga everyday–several days per week at a studio (You and the Mat) and other days at home. I kept a daily fitness log to track my training and ensure I was having a balanced approach.

Here’s what I learned from my yearlong exercise journey:

1. Mornings Are Best–By exercising in the morning I ensured that nothing and no one could chip away at my workout time. This meant getting up a little earlier, but it was totally worth it. When we work out later in the day there are so many things–work, family, emergencies– that can pop up and take away from our workout time. Get the workout done first thing in the morning–and if you have extra time in the afternoon or evening you can actually do another workout if you like. That’s what I did!

2. Weight Loss is More About What You Eat–If your goal is to lose weight (reduce bodyfat), then exercise is a great adjunct to that goal, but the amount and type of calories that you take in is very important. During my year of daily exercise I lost a total of 10 pounds. My fitness routine inspired me to eat healthy 90% of the time, but I still enjoyed treats on holidays and special occasions without worry because I knew I was working out so much. If my goal had been solely focused on the weight loss I would have had a stricter diet.

3. Physical Fitness is Good For Your Health–During this year of exercise I had fewer colds, flu or other sickness than any year I can remember. And the couple of times I felt like I was coming down with a cold, the sickness had a much shorter duration than previous years.

4. Exercise is a Great Stress Reducer–I have a very busy schedule. I am in private practice doing counseling, coaching and interventions, I run the nonprofit foundation CarePossible, and I lead the recovery program Lifelines that meets Fridays at The Crossing Church. Each of these pursuits means I am often dealing with individuals or families in crisis which can be stressful. Gratefully, the regular exercise leaves me feeling calm and relaxed everyday, even in the midst of stressful situations. If you are stressed out, I encourage you to add regular exercise to your routine!

5. Exercise Provides Opportunities for Other Healthy Growth–I love a good win/win situation and fitness activities provide a lot of opportunities for win/wins. While on cardio machines you can read books or watch TED Talks, while walking outdoors you can listen to audiobooks or lectures from The Great Courses, while taking fitness or yoga classes you can make friends and get healthy social support and connectivity.

Bottom Line–Regular exercise is great for both your mind and your body in so many ways. So, no excuses! If a busy, old guy like me can workout every day for a year, then you can work out at least a few times per week. I urge you to make this a year of health and fitness so you can reap all the rewards of a fitness lifestyle. If you need help getting started I love to do wellness coaching and would be honored to work with you. And will I exercise everyday in 2017? I’m not sure, but I haven’t missed a day yet!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com.
Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!) Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

So the New Year has begun and most everyone is ready to go back to school or back to work. While on holiday break perhaps you had a resolution or two pop into your head. Or a thought about something you’d like to accomplish in the new year. But you’re already back to the grind and not really sure if you’ll really make your resolutions and goals come true.

Here are a few tips to help you make your resolutions a reality, to achieve your goals, and to make this year your best year ever. Everybody needs some coaching, even the highest level professional athletes and top level executives, so here is some coaching for you on how to achieve your goals.

Whatever it is that you’d like to accomplish this year, use the acronym SMART to help you shape and define your goals so that you have a much greater chance of achieving them.

S—Specific—Who, what, where, when, why! Goals should be written out in very specific terms. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight this year” or “I want to read more this year”, one should say, “I will lose 20 pounds this year” or “I will read one book per month this year”. By having a specific target we know exactly what to aim at.

M—Measurable—From and to! When setting a goal, how will you measure your progress? If weight loss is the goal, the obvious way to measure is with a scale. But some goals are more complex—like healing relationships or growing spiritually. Determine in advance how you will know you are accomplishing your goal.

A—Attainable—How will you accomplish the goal? It is really great to dream big and to stretch oneself, but it is important to set goals that are realistic and attainable. Is it realistic for you to lose 20 pounds a month or to earn ten million dollars in the new year? Setting unattainable goals really does more harm than good. Dream big, but keep it real!

R—Relevant—Is the goal worthwhile? Ask the question of whether the goal is really relevant in your life. Say I set a goal to ride a motorcycle across the country this year. While this would be a fun and memorable experience, the amount of time and energy it would take is not relevant or worthwhile at this stage of my life. Make sure your goals are relevant to your life, your family, and your career.

T—Time Based—When will you accomplish the goal? It has been said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. A goal must have a specific time frame in which it will be achieved. People work better with deadlines—goals do, too. Instead of saying “I will lose 20 pounds this year”, say “I will lose 20 pounds by May 1st”. Set your deadline to increase your chances of success!

Here is an example of a goal that meets all the SMART criteria:

“I will lose ten pounds by March 1st through exercising five days per week and limiting my daily calorie intake to 2000 or less.”

What is one SMART goal you have for 2017?

I’d love to coach you to set and achieve your goals and make this year your best year ever! You can contact me at 949-303-8264 or randy@randymoraitis.com for a free consultation. Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Our social support system is truly a key factor in both our mental and physical health. Having a lot of friends on Facebook may be fun, but it is not a true social support system. Here is a quick look at what social support is, and why it is so important.

What is Social Support?

Definition of social support: social support is the perception and actuality that one is cared for, has assistance available from other people, and is part of a supportive social network.

There are four different types of social support, and each of these is very important. As you’re thinking about the health of your social support network, you want to think about the structure, but you also need to determine whether or not you have all four kinds of these supports readily available.

The first kind of support is emotional support. This is where you have someone who will listen to you and will give you a shoulder to cry on. We need those emotional support providers.

The second kind of support is informational support. Sometimes we need someone to bounce ideas off of or we need people to provide us with advice about our situation.

The third type of support is tangible, or practical, support. This is someone who might not be skilled emotional support or who might not be a good problem solver or advice giver, but they can at least help you cook dinner or do some chores or tasks.

The fourth type of support is companionship or belonging support. Feeling isolated is difficult and unhealthy. In this type of support this isn’t the individual that you necessarily tell all of your problems to, but it is someone who is willing and able to spend time with you. This is that person who calls for no reason, and you feel connected.

Social Support and Our Health

Numerous studies link our social support systems to our mental and physical health. When you think about it, it seems obvious that our social networks—the people we spend the most time with—strongly influence our behaviors. Behaviors with long term consequences like smoking, diet, and exercise.

Research shows that lower social support is related to greater cognitive impairment and disability in adults. Conversely, strong social support equals a much better chance of survival after a heart attack as well as lower mortality risk among women with breast cancer. In addition, during pregnancy, greater social support is linked to fewer labor complications and better birth outcomes.

Conclusion

Take a moment to honestly assess your current social support system. If you do not have people in your life that can provide emotional, informational, practical and companionship support then perhaps it’s time to get out there and join a support group, club, church, or class where you can connect with healthy people. My goal as a coach, counselor and interventionist is to help people be the healthiest version of themselves. You can only be your best with a strong social support system.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. My email is randy@randymoraitis.com. My websites are www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.com.

Special thanks to the work of Jason M. Satterfield, PhD for info in this post.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

As a coach, counselor and interventionist I am extremely passionate about helping my clients have long term, healthy change in their behaviors and their lifestyles. So many folks have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight, quit smoking, stop abusing drugs or alcohol, or other unhealthy behaviors. Some have short term success but very few have long term success.

Here are Five Keys to Making Changes That Last that I use with my clients and encourage you to use in your life.

1. Realistic Expectations–The first key to making changes that last is to have realistic expectations or goals. If we set unrealistic, unattainable goals, then we set ourselves up for failure, disappointment and eventually giving up.

It’s much better to set ourselves up for success by using SMART Goals. Smart Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Click here for more info on how to set SMART Goals.

If we keep it real, then we can make it happen!

2. Internal Motivation–Motivation is the activation of goal oriented behavior and is either intrinsic (internal-coming from inside) or extrinsic (external–coming from outside).

Doing an intervention is a form of external motivation that can help save someone’s life when drug or alcohol use is out of control. But for lasting change, at some point the person will need to find some internal motivation. This is because intrinsic, or internal, motivation is much more powerful for lasting behavioral change.

For optimal internal motivation towards achieving a healthy goal one must truly value the benefit of the goal or lifestyle change, have self-confidence in the ability to achieve the goal, and be in the appropriate social settingfor achieving the goal.

To value the goal it can be helpful to write out lists or reasons why the goal is important to you. It can also be very helpful to visualize achieving the goal.

To increase self-confidence it can be helpful to have a coach, counselor or sponsor on board to help give tools and encouragement that continually build self-confidence.

To maintain a healthy social setting we must remove triggers from our environment. This may even mean entering a treatment program for a more structured, healthy environment for a period of time. It also means having good stimulus control which is removing unhealthy triggers (such as foods, drugs, alcohol) from the environment.

3. Core Skills–These are the skills needed to help you make changes that last. It’s not about willpower, which can often fail us, especially if we get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT).

Core skills include the abilities to honestly observe and evaluate ourselves, then react and respond accordingly. For example, giving ourselves a form of reward or punishment based on how well we’re sticking to our goal plan.

Core skills also include daily disciplines, stress coping strategies and self care. As a coach I emphasize these skills in every session with my clients!

4. Action Plans–The action plan includes all the elements of the SMART Goals–that we have a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goal in place. The action plan has a start date, a deadline, and a list of resources needed for success.

The action plan should also include regular assessments and consultations with one’s coach, counselor, and/or physician. Ironically, having structure can actually give us freedom from unhealthy impulses.

5. Social Support–Who’s in your tribe? Jim Rohn once said, “We become the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. To make lasting change we need to set boundaries with unhealthy influences in our life. This may mean terminating unhealthy relationships and deleting contacts from our phone. If you want a new, healthy life, then you will need some new, healthy friends!

When you assess and change your social circle, it is important to let your circle know about your new goals and values so they can support you on your journey to success. Healthy lives happen in healthy community!

So there you have it–the Five Keys to Making Lasting Change–Realistic Expectations, Internal Motivation, Core Skills, Action Plans, and Social Support. Put these keys into action and they will unlock the healthy lifestyle that will help you be the very best version of yourself!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

For info on counseling, coaching or interventions please contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com or 949-303-8264, 0r visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis
Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Everyone experiences stress to some level on a daily basis. Stress is when the outside world gets inside of us. Not all stress is bad, in fact some stress may actually be good. A little bit of stress—just the right amount—can actually help improve our performance.

Stress is the biological, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social responses to a stressor, which is the real or imagined event that sets things off. To thrive in life we need effective strategies to cope with stress.

We all have different ways of coping with stress. One way to measure coping is to use the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, developed by psychological researchers Folkman and Lazarus. This 66 item questionnaire divides coping into eight different categories or strategies.

Here are the 8 strategies, further divided into active and passive methods of coping:

4 Active Coping Strategies

  • Confrontive coping: You take action and confront the problem.
  • Seeking social support: You seek informational and emotional support. An extremely effective strategy.
  • Planful problem-solving: You make a deliberate and analytical plan to solve the problem. Also an extremely effective strategy.
  • Positive reappraisal: You try to create a positive meaning and focus on personal growth.

4 Passive Coping Strategies

  • Distancing: You expect that the problem solves itself (involves detachment). This is the second to least effective strategy.
  • Self-controlling: You make efforts to regulate feelings and actions.
  • Accepting responsibility: You accept your own role in the problem.
  • Escape-avoidance: You try to avoid the problem by wishful thinking and behavioral efforts. This is the least effective strategy.

Big Question

Which is your go-to strategy for coping with stress?

Big Takeaway

The best strategies for coping with stress are seeking social support and planful problem-solving. So the next time you feel stressed-out, reach out to healthy community for support and/or sit down and think through an analytical plan to tackle the problem.

In addition to social support and planful problem-solving, I am a big fan of prayer, meditation and exercise for stress management. If you aren’t already incorporating these tools into your life, perhaps now is the time to start!

I would love to hear your favorite strategy for coping with stress. Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com or www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

It’s so hard to be your best when you’re stressed! Hard to focus, hard to see the big picture, and really hard to be productive. Productivity isn’t just about time management and work–it’s also about having fun, time with family and time to pursue your dreams.

Here are 5 Easy Tips To Be Happier and More Productive that I often share with my clients.

1. The “Top 3 Priorities” Rule: Throw out to-do lists that are miles long! They will just create anxiety and leave you feeling like a failure when you fail to cross everything off the list. Instead, make a list everyday of your Top 3 Priorities–the 3 most important things for you to accomplish that day. The 3 things that move you closer to your work or life goals. Then make sure you do those three things!

Side note–it’s also wise to have a list of your Top 3 Priorities for life in general!

2. Be 10 Minutes Early for All Meetings: Make it a habit to plan on arriving 10 minutes early for all of your meetings or appointments. If you encounter a delay, you will still be on time. If you arrive early use the extra time wisely–pray, meditate, send a note to a friend or loved one, or even write your Top 3 Priorities for the next day!

3. Delegate: One of my favorite sayings is “Only do what only you can do!“. Find one task at home or work that you can delegate to someone else. You don’t have to do everything yourself! Sometimes when we fail to delegate, we rob others of the opportunity to serve, grow or learn.

4. Take a 5 Minute Fun Break When Feeling Stressed: If you find yourself on the verge of getting stressed out, then take 5 minutes to do something fun like play with your pet, watch a funny video on Youtube (only 5 minutes! Be careful–Youtube is where time goes to die!), go for a walk, or do some deep breathing. The point is that your mind-shift will get you back on track and give you a productivity boost.

5. Manage Your Transitions: When you have short gaps of time between meetings and tasks avoid distractions that have no payoff. Instead of wasting time on social media, keep a list of 15 minute or less “filler tasks” (like online banking, returning emails, etc.) and get something done instead!

Challenge: pick one of the above and implement it tomorrow!

You do not have to do all 5 tips right away, but doing at least some of the tips will lead to increased happiness and productivity. You may also find that it’s easier for you to leave your work at work and enjoy more of your home life!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com to share your thoughts or for info on counseling or coaching. Find me on the web at www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)
Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Do you have a family member in recovery from addiction? Maybe drugs, maybe alcohol, maybe both? If so, then you know all about the pain, the stress, and the fears that are part of your family culture.

I also know all about the pain, stress and fears–you see I write this post not only as a counselor who deals with families affected by addiction on a daily basis, but also as a person whose family has been impacted by addiction for several generations.

There are a lot of metaphors used to describe what it’s like to have a family member who is an addict:
it’s like living in the eye of a storm.
it’s like always having to walk on eggshells.

While the sayings give a glimpse into what it’s like to have an addict in the family, they really don’t express the depth of the pain and anguish that family members–parents, children, siblings–go through when their loved one is afflicted by addiction.

Here are 5 tips to help families to move in the direction of healing.

But first, a very important question: Are you a family with someone in recovery, or are you a family in recovery? 

Families who see themselves as simply having someone in recovery are much less likely to have healing than families who see themselves as a family in recovery.

Addiction is a family disease. It’s not just the problem of the addict, it’s the whole family’s problem! The best possible scenario is when the whole family works on getting healthier. Be a family in recovery!

5 Tips for Families in Recovery

These tips are designed to give families a big picture outlook on what to expect on the recovery journey and how to best move the family from unhealthy to healthy.

1. Be Aware–the members of the addicts family will still have about the same level of stress and anxiety during the first 4-12 months of their loved one’s sobriety. They may still be dealing with financial or legal fallout from when the addict was using. Or they may be expecting a relapse and dreading every phone call.

2. Be Awarethings might actually get worse during the first 4-12 months of the loved one’s sobriety. They may discover serious health issues or have to serve jail time. Family members may be frustrated with huge bills from treatment.

3. Be Aware–intense family or marriage therapy is counterproductive during the first 4-12 months. Instead focus on getting the family structure back in place, work on individual issues, and work on parenting and family operations.

4. Be Aware–during the first 4-12 months abandonment may be added to the family experience. Either the addict feels abandoned by the family, or the family feels abandoned by the addict. An addict working a healthy recovery program will often go to many meetings and start hanging out with a new crowd. This may make their family feel abandoned at first. It’s OK. Let go and focus on your personal growth and healing.

5. Be wise–I highly recommend all family members get connected with appropriate groups such as Al-Anon, CoDa, Lifelines, AA, NA or other support group. This will help bring healing to all the individual members of the family and help prevent the family from falling back into old, unhealthy patterns.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Comment below or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Visit my website www.randymoraitis.com for info on counseling or coaching, and our nonprofit foundation CarePossible at www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Are you in a role where you care for others? If so, you may experience burn out, compassion fatigue, or even vicarious trauma (if you haven’t already!). I believe that if you are a caregiver, then you must have a self-care plan in place to prevent or repair burn out, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma!

The goal of this blog post is to raise awareness of the need for self-care, and to encourage everyone, especially caregivers, to have an effective self-care plan in place.

Caregivers are so important to society and take many forms:

  • Counselors/Therapists/Psychologists
  • Physicians/Nurses
  • First Responders–police, fire, paramedics, EMT’s
  • Social Workers
  • Pastors/Ministry Workers

If you are in one of the above roles, then a good self-care plan is vital to your long term health, your future success, and your personal relationships.
Compassion Fatigue is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is a common occurrence in most of the roles listed above. Compassion fatigue is also known as secondary traumatic stress. Ask yourself if you may have some compassion fatigue.

Vicarious Trauma is defined as “a transformation in the helper’s inner sense of identity and existence that results from utilizing controlled empathy when listening to clients’ trauma-content narratives. In other words, Vicarious Trauma is what happens to your neurological (or cognitive), physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health when you listen to traumatic stories day after day or respond to traumatic situations while having to control your reaction.” (Vicarious Trauma Institute http://www.vicarioustrauma.com/). Ask yourself if you may have experienced vicarious trauma.

Start Self-Care Now!

One of the most important aspects of an effective self-care plan is consistency. Below are suggestions for self-care. Whichever options you choose–be consistent and put these activities on your calendar to ensure they happen!

Self-Care Activities:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Prayer
  • Exercise/Fitness Activities
  • Martial Arts
  • Counseling
  • Support Groups
  • Church
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Nutrition

I recommend choosing at least two to three items from the above list. As someone who has been a caregiver for many years and has heard and experienced many traumatic experiences, I have done all of the above, over time, to help me stay healthy.

Additionally, caregivers must have a healthy support network of several friends, and/or mentors, that can be counted on for conversation and support when needed.

Finally, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to all the caregivers out there! You are loved, appreciated, and worthy of good care!

I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions on this topic. You can comment below or contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com or 949-303-8264. Visit my website www.randymoraitis.com for info on counseling or coaching, and our nonprofit foundation at www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CPC

Mindfulness is a hot topic today in both psychology and medicine. According to Psychology Today, mindfulness “is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”

I first became mindful of mindfulness (sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun) several years ago while spending time with a friend who is a double board certified physician (family medicine and addictionology).

My friend was passionately extoling the virtues of mindfulness meditation in treating addiction, anxiety, depression, and more. As a pastor I was leery of the eastern mysticism baggage attached to my idea of mindfulness, but intrigued by the potential for healing. So I decided to do some research.

What I learned was both surprising and interesting. After Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin included a mindfulness treatment protocol (MBSR) at the University of Massachusetts for chronic pain, research on mindfulness meditation exploded and today most major medical schools have a mindfulness center as part of their school or hospital.

As my physician friend told me, mindfulness as part of one’s treatment, has indeed helped many patients with addiction, anxiety, depression, attention disorders, and pain management.

And regarding my concerns as a pastor—I found the work of Mark J. Myers, Ph.D. to be reassuring. Dr. Myers conducted a study at Liberty University in 2012 that showed that not only does mindfulness meditation successfully treat anxiety, depression, chronic pain and more, but mindfulness may also improve one’s ability to be present with God. I love a good win-win!

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, anxiety, depression, attention deficit issues, or chronic pain, give mindfulness meditation a try.

Click here for a meditation you can do right now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Email: randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites: www.thecrossing.comwww.randymoraitis.com, www.carepossible.com

anxiety

Anxiety Disorders affect millions of Americans filling them with dread, fear, and uncertainty. In my last blog I shared a brief history of anxiety in society which you can view here: History of Anxiety

This post is focused on treating anxiety. Those who struggle with anxiety experience physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual symptoms, so it makes sense that treatment for anxiety address these four types of symptoms.

Here are the four areas to focus on when treating anxiety. The most complete treatment program will cover each of the four areas.

1. PHYSICAL–this category looks at how the following impacts one’s anxiety:

  • Medications–some help, while others may increase anxiety.
  • Caffeine, alcohol, drugs–these can greatly increase anxiety.
  • Thyroid, adrenal function, anemia, asthma, etc–be aware that these factors may increase anxiety.
  • Food allergies/sensitivities–may play a role in increasing anxiety.
  • Sufficient sleep–can help reduce anxiety.
  • Supplements–may help reduce anxiety.
  • Physical exercise–very helpful in reducing anxiety.

2. EMOTIONAL–looks at the feeling involved and how to have emotional health:

  • Feelings underlying panic attacks–understanding and examining these feelings can lead to healing.
  • Emotionally tagging events–when the brain stores a memory of an event, it also stores an emotion associated with the event.
  • Evaluate your upbringing–learn to let go of anger, frustration, and control issues from your past.
  • Therapies–there are different types of therapy that can treat the emotional side of anxiety including cognitive-behavioral therapy, EMDR therapy, neurofeedback, Alpha-stim therapy, and more.

3. RELATIONAL–this area examines how we interact with others:

  • Choose to be around uplifting people.
  • Get out of toxic relationships.
  • Know and stay in your stress zone.
  • Do not isolate or shut down.
  • Avoid pushy, high maintenance, or unpredictable people.
  • Learn to say no and have healthy boundaries!

4. SPIRITUAL–feelings of anxiety are so deep, that a spiritual side of treatment is very effective.

  • Community–stay involved and connected in your local church.
  • Prayer–pray regularly, including prayers for a spirit of power and peace.
  • Verse memorization–memorize verses that give you peace and comfort and focus on these verses during times of anxiety.
  • Do not get caught up in the world–riches, fame, power–instead focus on the spiritual side of life.
  • Music–listening to uplifting music, such as praise and worship music, can reduce anxiety.

Anxiety is real and can be devastating. The good news is that there is hope and healing available for those with anxiety disorders. If you struggle with anxiety, contact a physician or mental health care professional right away to get on a path of healing.I have helped many groups and individuals have healing from their anxiety and would love to help you or your loved one. For more info lease email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or call 949-303-8264.

Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis
Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.