Center and Room to Breathe Chicago stand in solidarity with all families, individuals, and communities fighting to end racism, oppression, violence and police brutality against black lives. 

We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you. 

We will and can do better. 

We have donated 10% of profits and our salaries from the month of May and June to the following organizations. 

  • Black Visions Collective:

  • Campaign Zero:

  • Black Lives Matter Chicago:

We will be making monthly donations to the Color Of Change PAC to empower and ensure we have black voters in this election. Join us by donating HERE

We vow to stay in this and keep doing the work. We will continue to be in this movement and keep you informed on resources and voices doing big things in the BIPOC communities. We will use our voice.

Here is a list of mental health resources supporting black people right now:

Here is a helpful tool kit from Black Lives Matter:

Here is a helpful list for white people of things you can do to take action:

Here is a list of organizations that you can support and donate to:

George Floyd Memorial Fund:

Official gofundme to support the Floyd Family:

The Loveland Foundation:

A foundation found by Rachel Cargle, bringing opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls.

Black Visions Collective:

A Black, Trans, and Queer-led organization that is commited to dismantling systems of oppression and violence and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change. 

Reclaim the Block:

Coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods. 

Campaign Zero:

Online platform and organization that utilizes research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America. 

Unicorn Riot:

Non-Profit organization that is dedicated to exposing the root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues. 

Local Chicago Organizations to support and donate:

Chicago Freedom School:

Chicago Community Bond Fund (bailing out our protestors):

Black Lives Matter Chicago:

Assatas Daughters:

Chicago Torture Justice Center:

Good Kids Mad City: #goodkidsmadcity follow at

SOUL Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation:

Equity and Transformation in Chicago:

Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression:

Circles and Ciphers:


 These are heavy times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support.

Corporate Therapy Offering

Center now offers corporate therapy to businesses in the Chicagoland area. Right now, more than ever we are seeing a need for easy access to quality mental health care. We are here to help! We are now offering virtual and on-site* individual and group therapy sessions to help employees deal with stress, improve motivation and increase their overall social-emotional well being. 


Lots of companies are beginning to recognize the importance of taking care and attending to mental health needs. How does your company check in? We believe that all professionals have a story to tell. We approach therapy sessions with a holistic view of self. Would you like to help your coworkers, employees, friends, community, etc. find their own authentic voice, regain control of their self-esteem and worth, and cultivate change in their world? Imagine a workplace where you felt good, felt connected, and felt heard beyond just the work you were producing. 

We will set up a customizable package to tailor to your insurance benefits, EAP, or create an out of pocket agreement. 

Let’s get started! Request a consultation for more information by contacting subject line: CORPORATE THERAPY. Being in therapy as an individual can enlighten you creating a better sense of self. Imagine having a team and workforce all working toward personal development gaining communication skills, self awareness and empathy toward one another! 

*On-site Therapy offering will be offered when we phase back to in-person at Center, continue to check our website for the most updated information. 

Interview with ASweatLife on Mental Health and Quarantine

Our very own therapist, Cami Beauregard, was interviewed by ASweatLife on all things mental health and quarantine. Check out the transcription below! 

ASweatLife: Many of us are feeling pressure to be productive—excel at work, learn a new language, write the great American novel—and then being hard on ourselves when those efforts don't pan out or feel way too overwhelming. Where does this pressure come from, and how can we be aware of it and gentle with ourselves? 

Cami: Great question. The pressure is REAL. I feel it, too. It comes from all over the place - may it be your culture, your community, your friends, your parents, your coworkers - or the scent seeping through your walls from women next store baking every type of bread there is. I wish anyone who responds to the pressure a tremendous amount of luck. It’s important to note that just because we are now at home, the hours in the day remain the same. And in fact, it’s hard enough to find the time during our best days to do some of these things - how the hell are we supposed to accomplish them during a global pandemic? Let’s start there. PAN - dem - IC. I mean, the word literally has panic in it. 

Panic is an overwhelming sense of fear or dread in response to an imminent threat. . . if someone was having a panic attack, would you blow a horn and tell them to begin the marathon? Probably not so how does this time differ? Although we may not be experiencing the somatic symptoms of a panic attack . . . unconsciously, we are using our bodies fight or flight response to this collective crisis. If learning a new language or writing a book feels good for you - that is amazing! I encourage you to try it out. But if it doesn’t, that is okay too. 

This is no small feat. We don’t know when or how or if things will return to normal. I believe the first step of becoming aware of these pressures is as simple as recognizing that we are all responding to a trauma. 

Many of us likely haven’t thought of this as a trauma - because on the surface - what’s so bad about being asked to sit at home and watch tv? We may deem it an ‘annoying’ or ‘frustrating’ experience but not a trauma. The heavy reality is we are sitting at home, binging netflix to preserve lives. Even if we find ourselves not directly impacted, we are still receiving information surrounding us and experiencing trauma vicariously. 

Our nervous systems have been designed to help us survive. It’s important to note that some of our brain has shut down in order for us to get through this. Feeling out of touch is normal - and for people with a history of trauma you may be more apt to feel anxious depending on your predisposition to dealing with extreme stress. 

Ask yourself: What do I need to do to care for my mental and emotional health? Can I do those things without judgment? Can I give myself permission to feel? 

Here is my reminder: there is no such thing as a normal response to this global pandemic. Just go with it. Give yourself a larger margin of error. Find grace in the hard, messy times. 

ASweatLife: What advice can we give to people sheltering alone? In cramped quarters with a roommate or partner? With family?

Cami: Yes. Another great question. A lot of clients are struggling with this. Conversations of feeling lonely and isolated all by themselves - moving back into the family home after years of being on their own or spending much more time at home with your roommate. There are pros and cons to all situations, right? 

I will answer this question generally because I believe at the base of it, we need to do the same things. It is natural to feel like your life is spiraling out of control.  Annnnnd, guess what - unfortunately, we are not in control of the outcome of COVID-19. We have no control over when we will be able to move freely again. Suffering usually comes from trying to take control of things that are out of our control. So the question is not what CAN'T we control, but what CAN we? 

The first thing that comes to mind here is our routine. We MUST have some sort of structure to our days. Wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth, change out of your night time pjs into your day time pjs. . . . .  stick to your patterns as much as you can. And on the days where it feels too overwhelming, remember that that's okay too. You didn’t wake up everyday before this peppy and excited to go to work, did you? 

Next --- boundaries. This applies to both living alone and living with others. Just because you may not be “busy” does not mean that you have to say yes to virtual happy hours, chats, work outs or walks, cooking, conversations around the house. My suggestion on boundaries is similar to structure - create it! From this time to this time, I will be working. From this time to this time, I will be exercising. From this time to this time, I am available to hang out and “be social”. AND from this time to this time, I will be laying on the floor, looking at the ceiling……...and I will be busy. 

I probably sound like a broken record at this point but give yourself some grace. Your roommate is probably annoying you, your parents are likely driving you up a wall, or you may feel extremely lonely and frustrated with your thoughts. We don’t have control of how we are going to feel but we do have control of how we will respond to those feelings. Be honest with yourself. What’s coming up for me right now? Am I responding or am I reacting to the uncomfortable emotion? Can I adjust this behavior? Just remember that your “empty space” doesn’t mean “open space” 

ASweatLife: How can we manage our anxiety right now, when our current strategies might be inaccessible (i.e., hitting your favorite workout class) or not pack their usual punch?

Cami: Yeah, work out studios are shut down, favorite restaurants are no longer open, museums, or simply just hanging out with others on your couch! It’s likely the majority of our self care strategies have been halted. Which --- there's no other way to say it --- really stinks. Remember, this is a WEIRD time. Before your stressors were different, so your coping strategies were different too. We are faced with a new situation --- uncharted territory --- we have to have some trial and error, some wiggle room.  

ASweatLife: How does uncertainty exacerbate our anxiety? How can we learn to be comfortable with discomfort?

Cami: Anxiety - yes, hello good friend. How can we learn to be comfortable in discomfort? I always explain anxiety to my clients something like this. . . . . . ANXIETY IS A NORMAL AND HEALTHY EMOTION. It’s the gut reaction we have to make choices between danger and safety. But it’s when we feel excessive worry or fear that it becomes a problem. So how can we have anxiety sit next to us rather than in front of us. 

Our brains are designed to a certain degree to be able to predict what’s going to happen next and try to prepare for it. For example, a deer is in the road - our reaction is to slow the car down. The ceiling appears low, we duck as we walk under it. 

But in the case of COVID-19, the response isn’t that clear. But the reminder here is ---- certainty is an illusion. Think about going to work - you have a normal routine of how you are going to get there and you can likely predict that it’ll take you 30 minutes yet you come across an accident and are delayed an hour. The routine provided you comfort but now what that you’ve been stopped - you likely get frustrated, anxious, say things like ‘i should have left earlier’ ‘my boss is going to be so mad’..... But things happen and how were you to know? You were launched into the present moment when the bus stopped - and that is really the only thing you can ever be certain of. What is happening right here. Right now. That’s hard to accept. 

I believe we can learn to be comfortable with discomfort when we release our expectations. It is when we release those expectations that we find gratitude and grounding in each and every moment.  

Interested in working with Cami? Contact her at 

Myths About Therapy

As a culture that is constantly changing, we have to do our best to keep up with the times. Research is growing, technology is evolving, and we as mental health professionals are also adapting. However, I have noticed that the concept of therapy for many people is still this dated notion that you will come into my office, lay on my couch while I analyze your dreams and offer you advice.  While some therapists might actually offer dream analysis, (and I definitely have a comfy couch in my office ☺) I would love to dispel a few common myths about therapy that may be preventing you from understanding what actually goes on in therapy and how it can be helpful.


Myth #1: Therapists are advice givers

Contrary to popular belief, psychotherapists are not in the field of advice giving. I tend to steer away from giving my patients any advice at all. In fact, I often have to correct my patients when they make statements like “what advice do you have about...” or “some advice you gave me weeks ago that was really helpful was…” What I’ve noticed in my work with patients is that observations I make about their behaviors, or insights I have surrounding a situation is then interpreted in their mind as advice. I have to remind my patients that the feedback I gave was not advice at all rather they made their own interpretation about what I said and thus made a decision based on my feedback. Advice giving does not empower patients to make decisions for themselves and it is my responsibility to remind patients of their ability to make healthy decisions. A common issue that often comes up in therapy for many patients is a lack of trust in their own abilities, which translates into low self esteem and imposter syndrome. My goal is to help patients find their voice that was lost through people telling them what to do. Advice is often internalized as “I can’t trust myself” and our work is challenging that thought.

Myth #2: Therapy is for fixing broken people

Whew! If I had a dollar for every time a patient came to me saying they needed to be fixed, I’d be writing this blog post on my private island somewhere! The bigger issue in that statement is that we have been socialized to think that any emotion other than happiness is problematic and needs to be “fixed” or eliminated immediately. I often have to remind patients that happiness is actually a fleeting emotion. We unfortunately experience suffering more often than we experience joyful moments and that reality can be difficult to accept. For instance, everyone experiences some level of anxiety regularly, and that is also normal! These emotions become problematic when they prevent us from taking care of ourselves. These emotions also become harmful when we try to avoid feeling them at all costs. Pain, sadness, and loneliness are just as important of emotions as happiness, joy, and excitement. All emotions exist to communicate something to us that we need to be aware of and curious about. Avoiding uncomfortable emotions only prevents us from understanding ourselves fully, thus, making is difficult for others to connect with us as well. With that being said, sometimes we as humans are just having a difficult day or week, and that is okay. It is okay to not be okay. You are not broken. You are just human.


Myth #3: I am happy with my life so I don’t need therapy

Patients will often come into session and say “I don’t know what to talk about today because I had such a good week” or “I think I want to stop coming to therapy because now that [insert problem that brought them to therapy here] is resolved, I’m good to go! Although we sometimes are problem solving in therapy, (some more than others depending on your therapist’s theoretical orientation) therapy is also a great place to talk about your successes and your progress. By exploring how well you’ve been feeling, we can discuss what about your lifestyle is working for you. Are you noticing that making a gratitude list every morning helps you feel less stressed throughout the day? GREAT! Let’s talk about why that is. How can we plan for challenging days in the future? What are you learning about yourself in sessions that have helped you in your relationships?  Are you feeling connected to your partner and loved ones? If not, how can we work on improving those connections? How do you feel about your relationship with your therapist? Does your therapist challenge you enough? Are there areas of your life you feel hesitant to share?  When do you feel most connected to your therapist? There are so many other areas of your life that can be explored in therapy once you move past this notion that therapy is only for solving issues that feel pressing. Think about therapy as a place that is slowly fine tuning your life, or ironing out the wrinkles in your mind. As long as you are learning more about yourself and your relationship with others, your work in therapy can continue. 

Myth #5: Depression runs in my family so there is nothing a therapist can do to help me

When I hear patients say this, what I am really hearing is “I feel helpless and stuck in my depression”. While this is a common thought by many people, it isn’t true! There are so many interventions that can help alleviate depressive symptoms. Talk therapy, medication, and behavior modification, are just a few interventions that can be helpful. The trickiest and sometimes most frustrating part about therapy is that there is not a one size fits all therapeutic intervention. Trust me, I wish it were the case. But I’ve never met two patients who were exactly the same, which means the type of support I offer will vary among every patient. Sometimes you and your therapist will have a trial and error period where you are trying different approaches to alleviate your depressive symptoms. Your therapist might suggest journaling, meditation, exercise, and good sleep hygiene before you begin to notice any symptom relief.  Often, I find that a lack of connection in patients’ interpersonal relationships to be a main factor in depressive symptoms. The biggest challenge I see with patients is impatience. Many patients have been suffering for so long that they are eager to feel instant relief, understandably so! But therapy takes time, commitment and patience in order for it to be helpful. 

Interested in working with Richla? Contact her at

Guest Post on Compassion Fatigue in a Pandemic by Haydyn Anigian, Counselor in Training!

Imagine, for a moment, that the future is going to be more stressful than the present. Maybe you don’t need to imagine it. You probably believe it. 

As a society, we are in the midst of a large psychological experiment. What happens when a nation is demanded to stay home? Increases in:

  • Grief

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Substance Abuse

  • Isolation

  • Strained Family Dynamics

  • Financial Concerns

  • Domestic Violence

  • Emotional Tension

  • Suicide

  • Chaos

But unlike a laboratory experiment, these issues have real effects on real people. Researchers are warning that the COVID-19 pandemic could inflict long-lasting trauma on a global scale.  

The emphasis on the importance of mental health is growing, but so is the toll on mental health professionals. There is a cost to caring. 

The term “compassion fatigue” has been used to describe the negative effects that working in a psychologically distressing environment may have on a person’s ability to feel compassion for others. The biggest symptom of compassion fatigue is that the individual stops caring. 

Mental health professionals may feel indifferent to other people, and ultimately feel as though they don’t have anything to give to clients, family members, friends, and others. 

There are both physical and emotional signs of compassion fatigue. Many feel just plain worn out and as though the workplace is an unbearable weight on one’s shoulders. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue

  • Sleeplessness

  • Changes in appetite

  • Increased body aches and pains

  • Guilt

  • Neglecting self-care

  • Social isolation

  • Irritability

  • Checking out emotionally

  • Faking empathy

  • Lack of focus

  • Lack of fulfillment

  • Hopelessness

In a time when mental healthcare providers are being called upon to aid the growing number of those suffering from consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, how does one alleviate the impact of compassion fatigue?  

First and foremost, mental health professionals must acknowledge that they too are personally impacted by this global pandemic. Our emotional capacity has changed. What once was as big as a mug may now be the size of a shot glass. 

This may be hard to accept. Many have extensive experience working in situations that elicited collective trauma—disaster zones following wars, storms, disease. There is, however, a key difference. Previously, helpers were able to both enter and exit the disaster zone. Helpers could retreat from the chaos and recharge in the safety of their tent.

Today, we don’t have the ability to recharge. Mental health professionals walked into this emotional cloud that does not have a dissipation date. The luxury of pausing and walking away is gone. 

It’s true that these professionals chose a high-stress career. It is a passion. These individuals want to sit in the struggle with their clients, letting them know they are not alone. These professionals hope to shine a light in times of darkness and providing companionship in rough waters.

There is a well-known comparison between responder self-care and airline safety protocol. 

“Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the 

overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and

 nose before assisting others.” 

This virtue of self-care though is often minimized. However, now is the time to prioritize this principle. 

Managing self-care is a key responsibility. In theory, taking an hour or two for self-care is great. In practice, it may not be realistic. Therefore, mental health professionals must understand their own individual way of being. How do you maintain your happiness? Physical health? Mental health? What do you need to do in order to be the best counselor you can be for your clients? 

As mental health professionals continue to battle stressors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider the following as tools for managing compassion fatigue during this time:

  • Take Care of Basic Needs – It is imperative to make time to eat, sleep, and move. Food is fuel, you need the energy. Sleep allows the brain to reset. Movement allows those unsettling emotions to dissipate through the body. 

  • Take a Self-Compassion Break – When we are stuck cycling through negative thoughts, take a step back to disrupt this inner dialogue. Focus on your breath. Write down several coping statements to help you through dark moments, “this situation is a challenge, not a threat. I can do this.” It’s important to recognize that, under extreme conditions, we are doing the best we can. 

  • Remember Your Why – Ultimately, remember why you chose a career as a mental health professional. Remember the moments when you helped a client view themselves as something other than a victim of their trauma. Keep a journal of these moments and return to them when you feel overwhelmed. 

Let’s continue to offer hope in the midst of what may appear hopeless. 


Finding Your Sense of Control

We have partnered with Center for Reproductive Care in an effort to provide their patients with additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Center for Reproductive Care is proud to help couples and individuals achieve their dream of creating a family with the assistance of fertility treatments, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. After an initial consultation and diagnostic testing, your physician will meet with you to review options and develop an appropriate protocol that works for you. Click here to learn more!

This post was written for Center for Reproductive Care by our very own Katie Tesensky, our Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Check out her thoughts on finding your sense of control below!

In this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult to find security and safety. So many aspects of our lives are out of control, making it hard to find ways to ground ourselves in this ever changing world. For those who have had to put fertility testing or treatment on pause, this can be especially frustrating. Too many things feel just out of grasp, leaving us with a myriad of mixed emotions. These mixed emotions are valid. The anger, frustration, and sadness you may feel are real and understandable. 

However, that is not to say that finding control is out of reach. COVID-19 is requiring that we adjust our expectations, and pay close attention to how we are taking care of ourselves. Too often we try to set goals that are too high, causing so much stress, and inadvertently putting a big stop to any motivation we have to reach them. It becomes this push and pull to complete the big goal, but having little motivation to do it because it requires way too much. This has been a constant theme of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are being bombarded with things to do to make this time productive, rather than utilizing this time to rest, recuperate, and focus on things on a smaller scale. 

We must listen to ourselves and our bodies. What do we need right now? What is going to provide us comfort, while also encouraging us to take care of ourselves? This may look different from what you are seeing on social media or in the news. Taking care of yourself may be setting boundaries, honoring your own needs, spending time alone, declining virtual social invitations. Or it may consist of meditations, intentional movement, keeping in touch with loved ones, limiting news consumption, slowing down, and extending grace to others and ourselves whenever possible. 

If you or a loved one is needing mental health support at this time, feel free to reach out to me at . I would be happy to set up a video session to talk more, and offer any support I can. I can also help you find appropriate referrals if needed too. We are in this together.

Comparative Suffering is Dangerous

Across the world people are experiencing grief.  Missing our friends, feeling sad about cancelled celebrations, losing jobs and income,  and, often, tragically grieving for loved ones lost. These are challenging and unsettling times.   We suffer collectively. We are slowly adjusting to a new ‘normal’, for right now. Sometimes it can be tempting to make sense of our own pain by comparing our feelings to what we assume others may feel.


Comparative suffering happens when individuals try to make sense of their own pain by comparing it to other people’s pain.  We all do this to a certain extent. The benefit, of course, is it helps us to establish perspective.  The danger is that it minimizes the legitimacy of our feelings.  


The pull toward comparative suffering comes from a good space.  Typically, it happens when we remember all the good stuff we have in our life.  Why do I feel sad when so much of my life is so full? “I live in a safe home, have a family that loves me and a dog to get me outside every day!”  


Comparative suffering is a defense mechanism. And if we know anything about defense mechanisms, we know that they only are so good for so long. Comparative suffering can walk us right into resentment, bitterness and feeling burnt out.  Here’s a typical example of comparative suffering: “While I didn’t get into any of the colleges I applied to, I still have the resources to go to college. I am so lucky! I’ll just reapply next year.” While it is true that many high school seniors don’t have the opportunity to go to college, it is also true that it is a huge disappointment not to get into any of the schools you thought would be a good fit.  Despite your awareness that college may still be in your future, it is important to acknowledge disappointment and frustration. It will help you move forward with strength and resilience. Reflect, review, and re-try.


Another risk with comparative suffering is that it can make you judge others suffering.  A friend calls you up to complain about her decreased salary. You roll your eyes behind the phone thinking how dramatic she is about sharing her feelings. If only she thought about those who are out of work.  


Processing our feelings and acknowledging our own suffering allows us to grow our compassion for those around us. As Brene Brown shares, “Empathy is not finite. When we practice empathy, we create more empathy.” Empathy is rarely a one-way street. When we forget to be kind to ourselves, we generally are unable to share kindly with others. When we grant ourselves permission to feel the feels, we allow others to shine, too. We automatically offer support by releasing our own struggle


Think about airplane rules:  Put your mask on, before assisting others. Help yourself so you can help others. Disappointment and hurt look different in every individual life. Each time we honor ourselves, we water our personal soil – ultimately, growing our ability to share kindness with others. 


As a result of COVID-19, we are collectively experiencing losses.  These losses come in a myriad of forms. Whether it be from missing our coffee shop, not being able to celebrate a milestone birthday or losing a loved one, collectively, we are all grieving for what once was.  Your suffering is significant. Burying feelings and pretending your struggles aren’t real doesn’t help anyone. Be grateful for all that is good in your life but remember to give yourself the space to feel your truth.  This is a challenging time for all of us. Acknowledging your struggles will help you grow awareness, gain perspective and grow your empathy muscle.


Practicing Self Care

I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out.

—Beyond Codependency


Rest when you’re tired.

Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty.

Call a friend when you’re lonely.

Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed.

Many of us have learned how to deprive and neglect ourselves. Many of us have learned to push ourselves hard, when the problem is that we’re already pushed too hard.

Many of us are afraid the work won’t get done if we rest when we’re tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people, who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe.

They are well-timed, efficient, and Divinely led.

—Melody Beattie

On Sara’s couch: I find it super difficult to define self care and self soothing without feeling like there is this big expectation to make hours of time in our day to do luxury things. But the truth is, self care looks different in every individual life. Basic self- care is just keeping yourself comfortable. Checking in, drinking water, moving for 30 seconds, screaming into space (maybe a pillow, so as not to worry anyone) to release… it is anything that feels good and allows you to reset for just a moment. The act of self care brings you back to the body that holds you and helps you live. 

My biggest “prescription” this week was “do nothing, lay down on the floor, your bed, the couch, anywhere, place your hands on your belly, breathe and stare into space. You don’t have to time it, or you can set a timer if that gives you comfort. You choose what feels most comfortable to you.”

This is a traumatic time. It is a WEIRD time. There is a lot we cannot do, but there are a few basic things that need our attention right now:

Our bodies

Our hearts

Our brains

Give yourself 30 seconds to 2 minutes today. Affirm in the silence of your mind, “Today, I will practice loving self-care.”  See where that takes you. Enjoy!

Stuck at Home with ED

Your everyday life may look a little different recently. You’re probably spending much more time at home, changing up your normal routine of commuting to work, hitting the gym, meeting up with friends. Maybe you find yourself suddenly back with your parents, an environment that stirs up old family dynamics and memories. Whatever it may be, it likely looks different than once before. This new ‘normal’, let’s just say, is far from ideal. 

And for those whom have created a healthy rhythm of #selfcare routines to protect their maladaptive behaviors, this might be triggering. Here are some tips on what to do now that you have worked so hard on eating disorder recovery and feel a little thrown from your rocker now that your stuck at home with ED.

First of all, this is hard, weird, uncomfortable, name it how you want - it’s not fun. Hold some space for yourself and your old friend ED. Listen to what is coming up, acknowledge it and remember you deserve healing. 

  1. Create some structure. Although your routine looks different then normal, can you mock up a schedule that feels similar? Maybe you are used to walking to work. Can you go on a walk before you plug in? Maybe you get a meal from the restaurant next to work, can you recreate the recipe from home? Or schedule time to rest. Lay down, place your hand on your belly and stare at the ceiling. Take a few deep breaths.

  2. Your full pantry of stocked goods may feel like a trigger right now. This might be more food you’ve had in your house for ages. It may not feel safe. It may be challenging your food rules making you feel out of control. Ask yourself ‘What do I have control of?’ Write these things down where you can see them. Can you change this situation so that it feels safer? 

  3. You might be home alone with the fridge. This means no one is there to ‘watch’ you. What would it be like to invite your friends to chat during a meal? Are you at home with loved ones? Can you use them for support when you find yourself slipping into old patterns?

  4. Remember, although your support clinic may not be open for in person sessions, it is important to continue to seek help from a trusted professional. You are important. You matter. Just because the world is slowing down doesn’t mean your recovery has to!  

****Center is offering telehealth and accepting new clients at this time. We are here to help! 


How are you adjusting to life at home?


During quarantine you have the right to spend time the way you want to. May it be rest, setting boundaries, honoring your needs, taking breaks from social media and spending some time alone. Now more than ever it’s important to maintain your mental health. REMINDER: Just because we are stuck at home, we do not need to say ‘yes!’ to every virtual invite. 

How are you adjusting to life at home? We may find ourselves less motivated and more discouraged. That’s okay. It is a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty. The most important thing right now is to ask yourself, “what is it that I need?” Some might find this a time of creativity and others may find it a time to crawl into bed and go nigh nigh for the foreseeable future. What is it that you need right now? Do you need that time to look inward? To slow down? To take a deep breath from the pulsing outside world? Might it be that you feel extra creative? Extra inspired? Motivated to make change? 

Whatever it may be, notice how you are feeling both in your body and in your mind. The loss of control and the fear of not knowing the future is VALID. Yet, fear is a faster spreading and a more dangerous invisible virus. Our brains are wired to respond to things we perceive as threats in our environment. We become automatically triggered as a defense to keep ourselves safe. The amygdala is a part of the brain that houses our emotions and detects things that we associate with danger. When the amygdala is fired up we usually respond with a fright, freeze, flight or fight reaction. 

As humans, we unconsciously can sniff out other people's survival reactions due to fear. This may be the reason there is a lack of toilet paper! You may have found the person in front of you at the store stocking up an excessive amount which in turn made you follow their lead, momentarily becoming frightened and fighting for the last roll on the shelf, as a survival mechanism. The danger comes when we dwell and turn those feelings into unhealthy habits and/or behaviors. One way to prevent this from happening is by cognitively shifting our thoughts by focusing on rewriting the fear narrative to a hopeful narrative. 

Can you discern others' fear and your own? It’s a fascinating social behavior we all do, can you break the cycle? What is a thought that makes you feel out of control? What are some ways you can challenge that thought? When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. 


If you are having a hard time, grab a pen and paper and try this exercise at home. 

  • What is the situation? 

  • What am I feeling? 

  • What am I thinking? 

  • Can I shift my thoughts into a more positive, hopeful narrative? 

  • Affirm a compassionate statement to yourself such as, “It is okay to take time for myself right now. I am loving and compassionate to myself and others.” 

****REMINDER: Center is still accepting new clients at this time for virtual sessions. Reach out if you need support!;