CornerStone Counselor Snapshot: Angie Gehres, MACM, LPCC

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CornerStone Counselor Snapshot:
Angie Gehres, MACM, LPCC

Angie GehresProfessional
Angie Gehres, MACM, LPCC is a 2006 graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a 2009 graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries, specifically focusing on Pastoral and Professional Counseling.  She has facilitated several DivorceCare for Kids (DC4K) support groups as well as Grief and Loss Groups.  Angie is passionate about working with children ages 9 and up, adolescents, college students, and young adults in the following areas: Adjustment Issues, Anxiety, Assertiveness, Boundaries, Children of Divorce, Christian Counseling, Depression, Grief/Bereavement, Marital, Mental/Emotional Disorders, Relationship Issues, Self-Esteem/Self-Worth, Spiritual Issues, Stress Management, and Women’s Issues.

Personal
Angie lives in Powell, Ohio.  She has been married to her husband for six years, and they welcomed their first child in July of 2014.  She enjoys spending quality time with her husband by taking their dog for walks, playing board games, bike riding, hiking at Hocking Hills, cooking dinner together, and volunteering at Vineyard Church of Columbus in a variety of ministries.  Angie is also an active participant in a Small Group Bible Study through Vineyard and is an advocate for adoption and orphan care.  In her free time, she enjoys tap dancing, playing tennis, Zumba, scrapbooking, aqua aerobics, and baking.

Enhance Your Memory

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memory reminderEnhance Your Memory

By American Psychological Association

Use these strategies to compensate for mild memory loss.

Psychologists are finding strategies to help people adapt to memory problems, including:

  • Take mental snapshots. Good memory is actually good learning, say rehabilitation experts. That means forming a strong association with new information as you learn it.

    Systematically take note of things. When you put down your keys, for instance, take a mental snapshot of them lying next to the fruit bowl on the kitchen table.

  • Train your brain to remember. People in the early stages of memory loss can benefit from simple memory training, research suggests.

    To learn a new name, for example, use “mnemonic devices” that link the new information with familiar information. If you meet someone named “Mr. Brown,” picture him drenched in that color as you’re introduced.

    Another training technique is one called “vanishing cues.” If you can’t remember a name, write down any letters of it that you can remember. Then fill in more and more until your recall kicks in. This training works by bypassing the faulty areas of the brain. Instead, you’re training new areas of the brain to take over.

  • Take advantage of technology.A paging system, for example, can help people remember appointments or other important dates. And a specially programmed personal digital assistant can help guide users through complex tasks.

    Technology does have its limits, of course. For one thing, you have to remember how to use it or even that it’s there for you to use in the first place.

  • Keep your spirits up. Memory problems can affect mood. Exercise and mentally stimulating activities can help.

Adapted from “Mending memoryAPA Monitor on Psychology

Mourning Without Words

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Mourning Without Words

By Trillia Newbell

It was unexpected, swift, and yet seemed like an eternity. The phone rang. Sis is in the hospital. I wasn’t too concerned. I told my husband it sounded serious but felt sure she would be released. Moments later: It doesn’t look good. A few hours later: She’s gone.

That was two years ago. It was her birthday, she was 40, and she had passed on to eternity. It was a sad night, and the weeks ahead were difficult. I was tasked with taking care of things that must be done when a loved one passes—things I never thought I’d need to do so soon. My older sis had a heart that broke and failed, and we were all left with broken hearts.

Over the past two years I’ve mourned her death in various ways. There have been moments of incredible hope. I know that one day death will be swallowed up. I know death has already been defeated because of our Savior. The truth of these verses leaves me longing for heaven, anticipating the day when there will be no more tears or sorrow, but only rejoicing—forever. That day is coming, and it will be glorious. There have been days when my tears could fill a river. I weep for our loss. I have no words. I have hope, but I feel a heaviness that’s indescribable, so I don’t try to explain. I simply cry.

The process of mourning the loss of my sister has changed the way I interact with others who mourn. The Scriptures tell us to mourn with those who mourn. We can read article after article that shares the perfect way to mourn with one another. We can scan the Scriptures for examples of how to encourage the mourning. There’s great wisdom in knowing and understanding the Word of God as you mourn with others. It is right and good to go to the Scriptures. Surprisingly, though, the lesson I’ve learned these past two years is that it’s okay to know nothing and say nothing to a mourning friend.

Knowing Nothing

When you see a dripping faucet your first thought isn’t to just let it continue dripping. Each drip annoys you, costs you money, and creates rust. We want to stop the leak; we want to fix it. Most of us don’t know how to fix it, of course, so we call an expert and ask him to pore over the faucet until the drip is gone.

There’s a temptation to treat our mourning friends like leaky faucets that need to be fixed. And the expert we call on is ourselves. We try recalling all the memorized Scriptures in our heads, or we run to the concordance and look up search terms: “mourning,” “sorrow,” “pain,” “Job.” Then we spill this wisdom onto our friend, hoping to fix the leak. The effort is well meaning, and there’s certainly a time and place for it. But too often we search for the perfect knowledge that will bring comfort and joy when all we really need to say is nothing at all.

When your friend is weeping it’s hard to say, “I don’t know, I don’t understand.” We want to know. We want to bring comfort, but in our attempt to “fix it” we can forget that there’s a real person in deep sorrow. Your friend, coworker, or relative is not a faucet to be fixed—they are flesh and blood to be loved. Those moments when you’re anxiously trying to find the perfect words are often the best moments to humbly embrace your weakness and lack of knowledge.

To be clear, waiting doesn’t mean never sharing perceived wisdom. Waiting might actually involve acknowledging you do understand. You understand your friend’s sorrow enough to be willing to bridle your tongue, to speak carefully and thoughtfully, to pray and wait.

Silence Is a Virtue

In a world where our minds are constantly invaded by noise, it’s no wonder the discipline of silence can feel so difficult. Job’s friends should have kept silent and simply wept with him instead of rattling off unhelpful advice. Have you ever spent any time in the book of Job and cheered on Job’s friends? I know I have. I’ve struggled to understand why their advice is wrong. At face value most of it sounds pretty wise. But they weren’t comforting Job; they were accusing him. In Job 16he lays out exactly why these brothers were not helpful, calling them “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2). One even asked a rhetorical question in an attempt to discount Job’s wisdom (Job 15:2).

But did Job’s friends set out to be miserable comforters? Absolutely not. Each had a genuine desire “to show him sympathy and comfort him” (Job 2:11). So what went wrong?

They spoke.

They spoke without waiting and without thinking. And we often do the same. The next time a friend needs comfort and you have no idea what to say, perhaps you shouldn’t say anything. It may be an opportunity to cry together. Maybe you could, with a compassion-filled heart, pray together. But wait on the advice and weigh your words.

Our Lord is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us so we may comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3–5). We must trust him, for he will bring comfort to our hurting friend.

Information on Anorexia

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Anorexia Nervosa (from NIHM)

Many people with anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight, even when they are clearly underweight. Eating, food, and weight control become obsessions. People with anorexia nervosa typically weigh themselves repeatedly, portion food carefully, and eat very small quantities of only certain foods. Some people with anorexia nervosa may also engage in binge-eating followed by extreme dieting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and/or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

Some who have anorexia nervosa recover with treatment after only one episode. Others get well but have relapses. Still others have a more chronic, or long-lasting, form of anorexia nervosa, in which their health declines as they battle the illness.

Anorexia nervosa displays the following symptoms:

  • Extreme thinness (emaciation)
  • A relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape, or a denial of the seriousness of low body weight
  • Lack of menstruation among girls and women
  • Extremely restricted eating.

Other symptoms may develop over time, including:

  • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry and yellowish skin
  • Growth of fine hair all over the body (lanugo)
  • Mild anemia and muscle wasting and weakness
  • Severe constipation
  • Low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse
  • Damage to the structure and function of the heart
  • Brain damage
  • Multiorgan failure
  • Drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time
  • Infertility.

Treating anorexia nervosa

Treating anorexia nervosa involves three components:

  • Restoring the person to a healthy weight
  • Treating the psychological issues related to the eating disorder
  • Reducing or eliminating behaviors or thoughts that lead to insufficient eating and preventing relapse.

Some research suggests that the use of medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers, may be modestly effective in treating patients with anorexia nervosa. These medications may help resolve mood and anxiety symptoms that often occur along with anorexia nervosa. It is not clear whether antidepressants can prevent some weight-restored patients with anorexia nervosa from relapsing. Although research is still ongoing, no medication yet has shown to be effective in helping someone gain weight to reach a normal level.

Different forms of psychotherapy, including individual, group, and family-based, can help address the psychological reasons for the illness. In a therapy called the Maudsley approach, parents of adolescents with anorexia nervosa assume responsibility for feeding their child. This approach appears to be very effective in helping people gain weight and improve eating habits and moods. Shown to be effective in case studies and clinical trials, the Maudsley approach is discussed in some guidelines and studies for treating eating disorders in younger, nonchronic patients.

Other research has found that a combined approach of medical attention and supportive psychotherapy designed specifically for anorexia nervosa patients is more effective than psychotherapy alone. The effectiveness of a treatment depends on the person involved and his or her situation. Unfortunately, no specific psychotherapy appears to be consistently effective for treating adults with anorexia nervosa. However, research into new treatment and prevention approaches is showing some promise. One study suggests that an online intervention program may prevent some at-risk women from developing an eating disorder. Also, specialized treatment of anorexia nervosa may help reduce the risk of death.

Is My Spouse Good or Evil?

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Is My Spouse Good or Evil?

By Emerson Eggerichs

Q: I have heard you refer to “good will” a lot. What does that really mean and how do I know if my spouse has good will or evil will toward me?

Dr. E says: Good question! The line between good and evil will can certainly get blurred when couples are spinning on the Crazy Cycle! Let me try to unpack this in less than 1,000 words.

Good intentions, poor delivery.

A simple definition of good will is “the intention to do good toward the other person.”

But there is much more to it than that. A spouse may intend to do good, but fail to deliver. Good intentions do not necessarily guarantee good results.

Is My Spouse Good or Evil

The apostle Paul captured the reality of good intentions but poor follow-through when he wrote about his own struggles with the flesh in Romans 7:19: “I don’t do the good things I want to do. I keep on doing the evil things I don’t want to do.”

We all know what Paul is talking about. You or your spouse may want to do the right thing, but you don’t; or you or your spouse may want to stop doing the wrong things, but you don’t.

Most of us don’t plot evil.

When your spouse fails to follow through on good intentions, your definition of good will must also include the idea that good willed people do not mean any harm; they do not intend real evil toward one another. Few of us get up in the morning plotting how we can hurt our spouse.

Your spouse may be neglectful, forgetful, or make a careless, even thoughtless remark. As a result, you may be hurt or angry and may lash out in some way to retaliate.

But despite all these failings, deep down you both care for each other. Beneath the turmoil on the surface of what is going on, your goodwill remains intact.

Some people choose the dark side.

But doesn’t Scripture also teach that “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked”? And aren’t some spouses truly evil-willed?

Even more to the point, Scripture clearly attests that we live in a fallen world in which some people choose the dark side. David describes the wicked person like this: “Even as he lies in bed he makes evil plans. He commits himself to a sinful way of life. He never says no to what is wrong.”

Evil can destroy a marriage.

Scripture also points to how evil can destroy a marriage. A husband can love his mate, but deep within her soul she turns her heart against what is good. She becomes an adulterous, wayward wife with seductive words “who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God” (Proverbs 2:16-17).

And in Malachi 2:13-14, the prophet tells wayward men that God no longer honors their offerings and instead is “acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth” because he has broken the marriage covenant.

I get a lot of mail from spouses who have been the victims of evil treatment by their partners. These partners made a decision to no longer act in good will.

As you read these lines, you may be a victim of your spouse’s evil will. I do not know your situation, so I have no way of knowing if you are totally accurate in your assessment and if your spouse does indeed have an evil will toward you.

What I do know, however, is that it is a serious thing to make the severe judgment that someone is completely evil willed.

A Severe Judgment

We must never label a Peter as a Judas, even though on a certain occasion Peter did act like Judas.

Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of His enemies. Since that fateful act, Judas has been seen as one of most sinister traitors in all history.

But Peter was also a traitor, denying his Lord three times, just as Jesus said he would. Everyone knows, however, there is a 180 degree difference between the spirit of Peter and the spirit of Judas. Full of remorse, but not repentance, Judas committed suicide. Peter matched his remorse with repentance and was restored in fellowship with his Lord and went on to serve Him.

To repeat, when a spouse fails to do good and does bad, this does not automatically mean a spouse lacks good will. When a spouse gets mean or nasty it is easy to label them evil willed. Granted, you may not use the term “evil will” but at the moment you are certainly not experiencing good will and your natural inclination is to react unlovingly or disrespectfully.

Distinguish good character from evil.

But if you are trying to live out Love and Respect, your spouse’s temporary feistiness, nastiness, or selfishness must be distinguished from evil character.

Why do I caution people to withhold judgment of another as evil willed?

Once you profile another as evil willed, there is little hope of reconciliation. Once impugning the motives of another, intimacy with that person will disappear. You will no longer be allies, but enemies. For all practical purposes the relationship is over.

However, this is not to minimize evil! I am not seeking to call evil good, but as in all things, we must be careful to look at the facts and not rush to judgment.

Emerson

Caregivers of Family Members Need Care, Too

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Caregivers of Family Members Diagnosed With a Mental Illness at Risk for Anxiety

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, who studied the emotional distress of caring for a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, found anxiety is high for the primary caregiver at the initial diagnosis or early in the course of the illness and decreases over time.

“This finding is significant,” said Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, the Kate Hanna Harvey Professor of Community Health at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and study’s corresponding author.

She attributes the differences to possibly two factors: the family member becomes more stable with treatment or medication, or the caregiver learns to adapt or cope with the situation over time.

The study also found that women new to caregiving tended to get depressed and angry more than those who provided care for some time. Anxiety symptoms were greater for Caucasians than African-Americans.

The findings are based on responses from 60 female caregivers, age 18 to 65, about their experiences when caring for a family member with anxiety, bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia.

The study represents initial steps to examine the connection between caring for a family member with a mental illness and the emotional toll it takes on caregivers — most of whom are women, Zauszniewski said.

The more educated the caregiver, the more resilient to emotional distress and the more likely the person was to find helpful resources, the study concluded. And sisters of the people being cared for reported feeling less anxious than caregivers who were the patient’s mother, aunt, cousin, daughter, wife or grandmother.

The results were recently published in the Archives of Psychiatric Nursing.

The researchers recruited women through flyers posted in Northeast Ohio social service agencies, churches, coffee houses, libraries and other places.

Each caregiver responded to 10 questions about her negative emotions experienced during the two weeks leading up to an assessment, called the Emotional Symptoms Checklist, Zauszniewski developed to monitor an individual’s emotional state. The caregivers also provided the age, diagnosis and other information of the family member with the mental illness.

The women caregivers had an average age of 46, while the cared-for person was, on average, 37. The breakdown in diagnoses was: schizophrenia (45 percent), bipolar disorder (45 percent), depression (5 percent) and anxiety (1 percent). The average length of suffering from mental illness was a little more than 11 years.

Sixty percent (or 36) of the mentally ill family members did not live with their caregivers, who were primarily their mothers.

Yet 68 percent of the caregivers provided direct support through the individual daily activities and reported being more angry. About one-third of the individuals with mental illnesses received indirect care, such as support and encouragement by the woman caregiver.

While the study focused on African-American and Caucasian women, Zauszniewski said a larger long-term study that includes the emotional distress of Latino women would provide a broader look at the experiences of caregivers. A future study would also examine a caregiver’s emotional state over a longer period of time.

Based on her findings, Zauszniewski believes more attention should be paid to how the stress of caring for a mentally ill family member affects the entire family. She called for interventions for families and education for future nurses that could benefit both the caregiver and the cared-for individual with mental illness.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


 

Anger and Sin

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Anger is not sin in and of itself.  Anger is an emotion.  What we do with the anger and the driving force behind the anger determine whether or not we cross the line into sin, unrighteousness, and destruction when experiencing the emotion of anger.

To learn more about your healthy and unhealthy anger (and how to manage the emotion to be the former), contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459.3003.

Anger and Sin

The Anxiety Wall

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Some level of anxiety in life is good, healthy and normal.  For example, it helps to keep you from walking into a street without first looking both ways (unless you are a distracted walker because you are too busy texting to pay attention to where you are going…but that is another problem).

But there are levels of anxiety that can start to impair our daily lives.  Sometimes that anxiety can feel like a giant wall keeping us from going where we want and doing what we desire.  If you know someone struggling with high anxiety, telling them to “get over it” is not very helpful and can even be hurtful.  If you are wrestling with a wall of anxiety, please seek help.  For example, you may call CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003.

Anxiety Wall

Relationship Problem Solving Tip – Talk To One Another

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Something strange can happen when we talk about our relationship problems – they can either seem to get better or worse.  Seemingly two different results from the same action.

A key in avoiding the “it just got worse” is how we talk about our struggles.  One big help is to do more than talk about the problems or talk at someone about our problems, but to talk with (as in a dialogue) the other person.

When we view our relationship struggles and the issues that arise in relationships as opportunities to work together as a team, things have a tendency to get resolved.  Now, the focus isn’t on “winning” or “being right” but on coming together by talking to one another in order to come up with a solution.

This way, even if the “solution” to the particular issue doesn’t seem to present itself at the moment, the overall result can be a stronger relationship.  Based upon the closer relationship, there can be greater hope and confidence that together, as a team, you can work through whatever comes your way, even if the “answer” to the problem isn’t immediately apparent.

Problem solving

Coping During Disaster Anniversaries and Trigger Events

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Coping During Disaster Anniversaries & Trigger Events

For survivors, loved ones of victims and others who experience disasters, anniversary dates of the event, holidays, birthdays  and other special occasions (‘trigger events’) may be met with joy and new reasons to celebrate- even after a tragedy. However, these times can also be difficult to face and when they are, renewed distress symptoms can appear- almost as strongly as right after the disaster. It’s not unusual for this to happen. 

When you or someone you care about feels emotional distress in the days leading up to and during a disaster anniversary or other ‘trigger event’, try these tips for coping, and remember- you are not alone!

Disaster Distress Coping

What are symptoms of distress?

Symptoms of disaster-related distress can vary person-to-person, and may be related to
other life events like a divorce, unemployment, etc.  Regardless of how or when symptoms appear, if you or  someone you care about (including children & teens) has experienced a disaster recently or at any time in the past, it’s important to learn the warning signs so you know how to help yourself or others cope & get help. Learn about the symptoms of distress here.

Tips for Coping During Disaster Anniversaries & Trigger Events

1. Be Aware that Special Days May Be Difficult

It’s pretty common for some stress and other emotional responses to come back around anniversary
time. Recognizing this may help you to realize that you are not ‘crazy’. So try not be so hard on yourself!  For many people, anniversaries and special days remind them of their losses. You may start anticipating the anniversary or birthday or holidays for several days, weeks for even months before: not having your loved one to share the day….not having your old home or apartment…not having your old neighborhood, your job….it is difficult to imagine that this has happened and hard to believe this is the current reality. It’s normal to have fears and concerns about how the anniversary or special day will make you feel.

2. Be Gentle With Yourself

Be gentle with yourself during anniversary events after a disaster- these include not only the anniversary of  the disaster itself, but other anniversary dates that are related, such as
birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc. Treat yourself on these days with the same kindness you give to others.

3. Participate in Rituals that May Provide Soothing Comfort

Whatever those rituals are: singing, praying, going to the beach, or a movie; sharing a meal, going to a spiritual service. Some may choose to engage in rituals alone as an opportunity for quiet solitude & reflection, others may want to join with neighbors, friends and family to find strength and comfort in coming together: try both approaches!

4. Talk About Your Losses if You Need To

Most people have a need to talk about their losses and how their lives have changed since the disaster. This is normal and may continue beyond the anniversary and special days. Find someone who will listen and understand. And if you prefer to think and talk about the future rather than what’s happened in the past, then that is what you should do. There is no need to talk about distressing events unless YOU want to.

5. Do Things that Might Help You With Complex Emotions

There is no one way that survivors, loved ones of victims, or first responders, rescue & recovery workers who worked or volunteered after the disaster are ‘supposed’ to feel during an anniversary or other special days. For some, they may say that they ‘don’t feel anything’- which in & of itself is a feeling! “Everyone’s acting as if I’m supposed to cry or be sad today, but I don’t feel any of those things.”  Others may in fact cry or feel sad, and still others may feel angry, irritable, confused or uncertain of exactly what they are thinking or feeling.

Regardless of what you are feeling, it’s important to be aware of how you are feeling & to engage in activities that will help you during the day:

  • If you are the type of person who likes to exercise or even simply take a walk, make sure to do so in the days before and during the special days
  • Try writing in a notebook as if you are telling someone a story or just write your thoughts down; maybe write a letter to your loved one telling them you miss them or even just telling them how you are doing
  • Talk to others you trust to understand whatever thoughts and feelings you’re having.

6. Do What You Would Like to Do Rather than What You Think You Should Do

Loss is likely to change the way you spend your holidays and other special days. While there may be a desire to keep things the same, trying to do so may make the losses more evident and distressing. Thingsare different.  Know that you can create new ways to acknowledge and celebrate special days. Don’t feel like you have to try to make things look or feel exactly the same as they were before. Most especially, try not to put the needs of others before your own needs on anniversaries, holidays and other special days. Each person should spend these days in the ways that will be most helpful to themselves. Trying to make things better for others may result in misunderstandings (“I thought that’s what they wanted to do; they thought it was what I wanted to do; no one felt comfortable saying what they REALLY wanted to do”, etc.) and may not allow for the best self-care.

7. It is Natural to Feel Sad and/or Angry

You may feel bitter and angry that others seem to be enjoying themselves when you are having a difficult time. Good wishes and pleasant greetings may just remind you of your losses.  This is a
normal reaction. Try not to fight the feelings, but be aware they are likely connected to your losses and may not be aimed at anyone in particular.

8. Draw on Your Faith / Spirituality

For many, faith and other spiritual beliefs are a source of strength and comfort every day, and most especially during difficult times. Reach out to your faith advisor, spiritual community, or anyone that you feel comfortable talking with about your beliefs to support and console you.

9. Accept Kindness and Help from Others

Support makes difficult times more bearable. There is often a tendency to resist help from others, or to believe that we don’t need help as much as our neighbor and therefore shouldn’t accept any.  We often don’t want to burden others and so many of us value our independence. This is common in many, many cultures and ethnicities across the country and around the world.  Difficult times like  anniversaries, birthdays and holidays may be very important times to open up and “let others in”. Accept their support. Be gracious and allow them the opportunity to share their caring with you.

10. Helping Others May Actually Help Yourself

If you are the type of person who gets satisfaction from helping others, you might want to think of small ways that you can be of help to others in need during difficult times. Helping can be as simple as going through your closet to find gently used clothing that might be of use to someone else.