All posts by Dave Tice

New Year’s Resolutions and Its Beginnings

New Year’s Resolutions and Its Beginnings

It is believed that the Babylonians in Mesopotamia were the first to celebrate New Year’s in 2000 B.C. At that time, New Year’s occurred in mid-March. The Babylonians would make promises to their gods that they would return borrowed objects and repay their debts. They believed if they kept their promises, the gods would bestow good things for them throughout the year.

Julius Caesar’s reign over ancient Rome made a change in the months of the year. Caesar added the month of January and named the month for the Roman god, Janus.  Resolutions were repeated annually and renewed the bond between the citizens, the state and the gods. Ancient Roman citizens would reflect on their past and look toward the coming year. The people would trade sweet fruits and honey with each other.

The early Christians believed the start of the New Year should be a time to reflect on past mistakes and work on self-improvement. At that time, the resolutions were more about treating other people kindly and seeking forgiveness from their enemies. By the end of the 18th century, many resolutions involved being more helpful, more diligent and to be a better person.

Isidor Thorner, an American Theologist, did a survey in 1951 to determine the relationship between Protestant values and New Year resolutions. The New Year resolutions according to Thorner helped Protestants manage their emotions. Over time, New Year’s resolutions lost their religious meaning and became a tradition with the general population. Listed below is a comparison of resolutions between 1947 and 2014.Resolution Man

Resolutions for 1947 – Gallup Poll

  1. Improve disposition, be more understanding, control temper
  2. Improve my character, live a better life
  3. Stop smoking, smoke less
  4. Save more money
  5. Stop drinking, drink less
  6. Be more religious, go to church more often
  7. Be more efficient, do a better job
  8. Take better care of my health
  9. Contribute more in home life
  10. Lose (or gain) weight

Resolutions for 2014 Resolution Woman

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Stay fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love

10. Spend more time with family

According to a study done in 2007 by Richard Wiseman, approximately 88% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail. The study showed 52% of the 3,000 participants were confident they would succeed in fulfilling their resolution.

So, what about a New Year’s resolution for 2016? Is your resolution going to focus on:

Returning borrowed objects and repaying debts?

Keeping promises to others?

Renewing a bond between yourself and the state?

Reflecting on past mistakes and working on self-improvement?

Whichever New Year’s resolution you choose, make sure that it is obtainable and realistic. Lastly, make sure the resolution is accountable by sharing it with someone else.  Make it known to this accountability person that you want them to ask you how you are doing with keeping the resolution.

Dave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment, click here.

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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental health condition associated with depression during the fall and winter seasons of the year. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.”

SAD was formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health.  Dr. Rosenthal a psychiatrist, author, and scientist is credited with identifying SAD, as well as, the use of light therapy for its treatment.  Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder.  SAD’s prevalence in the U.S. ranges from 1.4% in Florida to 9.9% in Alaska.

SAD can often begin as mild depression and may progress to a more severe condition.  As the days begin to shorten and available sunlight becomes scarce, some people themselves (or others) may see changes in their mood: they become irritable, possess low energy, are hypersensitive to criticism, and see changes in their appetite (craving for foods high in carbohydrates).  Comparisons of people suffering from SAD to those of a bear preparing for hibernation have been made.

Light therapy is one way to treat SAD by exposure to artificial light.  During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box.  This box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light.  Light therapy is thought to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts one’s mood and eases the symptoms of SAD.

In addition to light therapy, it is important to be sure that your levels of vitamin D are sufficient.  People in Northern Climates simply do not get enough sunlight which supplies this vitamin.  Vitamin D levels can be checked by your physician using a simple blood test.

Exercise and diet may also help relieve or reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Finally, remember that not all winter depression is related to SAD.  If the above recommendations do not work, seek out a professional counselor.   SAD_2

As with most health issues it is important to seek help early because symptoms may start to develop as early as September.  The sooner the SAD problem is addressed, the better.  Winter can be a wonderful season and it provides for some very special activities that can be enjoyed by you and your family. It doesn’t have to be a SAD time..

Symptoms specific to winter onset of SAD may include:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy “leaden” feeling in the arms and legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Dave Tice imageDave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment click here.

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Building a Strong Marital Toolbox

Building a Strong Marital Toolbox

How strong is your marital toolbox?

A “marital toolbox” can provide a couple with an arsenal of tools to assist them with problem-solving and the decision making process. Used effectively, this strategy can form the foundation for a healthy marriage.  Couples that prepare themselves for difficult situations in advance, often handle these situations better.

Here is an example that will help you in understanding this– the “carpenter toolbox.”  Years ago many carpenters built large boxes out of wood to store their tools in.  Whether at the workshop, or at the worksite, these toolboxes went with the carpenter.  Every tool of importance was placed in this box.  No matter what situation came up, the carpenter had what was needed to handle any job or situation.

Like the old carpenter toolbox, the marital toolbox prepares a couple to address many situations.  Being in a healthy and thriving marriage requires time, commitment and communication.  Married couples need to decide which specific tools should go into their marital toolboxes.  Listed below are some ground rules which can assist couples with the tool selection process.

Ground Rules:Tool Box Drawing

  • Respecting your spouse- he/she will have good ideas or insights.
  • Willing to hear your spouse’s perspective without interrupting them.
  • Entering a discussion without having a pre-determined solution in mind.
  • Speaking one at a time when discussing things.
  • Taking time-outs from discussions to cool-off, process information, or seek counsel.
  • Writing notes when your spouse is speaking so you will not forget what was said.

A marital toolbox consists of husband and wife working together to select the appropriate tools.  Participation in such a process assists greatly with future difficult situations.  Like the carpenter, a husband and wife need to be able to handle any job or situation they face.

Dave Tice imageDave Tice is a licensed professional counselor at the Center with over 6 years of counseling experience.  To learn more about Dave, or to set up an appointment click here.

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