How to Cope During the Summer Months with a Mental Illness

Summer is a great time for family gatherings, and holidays. However people with mental illness might feel overwhelmed or isolated in the summer months for a lot of different reasons. We know that fireworks can happen a lot during the summer as well as family gatherings where you might feel like you want to hide. Here are ways to help you cope during the Summer months with a mental illness:


  1. Family and Friends: Speaking with your family and friends while being up front and honest may be helpful. Your needs are important. Letting them know what is going on could make you feel better and allow them to adjust to make you more comfortable.
  2. Multiple Plans: Structure can help you manage the unrest caused by summer holidays and gatherings. Watch a movie or listen to music during the height of the fireworks, wear headphones if necessary. Return inside and restructure your mind, do a little deep breathing, and focus elsewhere when you feel yourself beginning to spiral.
  3. Celebrate Summer Your Way: If you would rather not go to a fireworks display or BBQ with an excess of food and alcohol, then suggest a different way of celebrating. Ask your family or friends to go on a hike or take a trip to the beach to go swimming. Create your own traditions, it is Independence Day after all. No one says you have to observe the day in one way or another in particular.
  4. Set Time to Leave: Would you like to attend someone’s party, but not for an all-nighter or want to escape prior to certain escapades begin? Simple. Choose a time to depart, and follow-through. Even let them know ahead of time that you’ll only be stopping by for a short period. Then, stick to that time. Maybe make an agreement with yourself on what you’ll be doing after you leave, so you’ll be more likely to keep the deal you have with yourself.
  5. Choose YOU: Ultimately, you need to prioritize yourself. Being selfish is okay in some instances. Your friends and family will understand, and you need to make choices that support your mental health. Everyone will still have a good time. This point may be difficult at first, but it is imperative for handling situations with a mental illness.

We, at Thrive Counseling, are happy to help you discover more coping mechanisms and support you through difficult times. Contact us today.

The 10 Best Outdoor Activities to Do for Your Mental Health

The great outdoors. There must be a reason nature has been given this label. The list of what it provides goes on and on. And the benefits of taking advantage of these provisions are nearly as endless. An estimated one in four people struggle with mental health, and that number is on the rise.


Here are our ideas for the 10 best outdoor activities to do for your mental health.

  1. Yoga Retreat: Any exercise group that meets outside would be a wonderful option, but yoga has many benefits for your mind. Relax, regroup, center yourself, meet new people, and boost your mental health all in one go.
  2. Mountain Climb: Don’t let this activity scare you. While it may seem extensive, beginners can mountain climb as well as those with more experience. With this choice, you get to focus on agility, strength, and breathing. You brain will thank you for all of those areas getting a bit of work.
  3. Walk: Nothing clears your mind and helps you reset quite like a walk. Whether that means walking your dog, going for a quicker pace, or a leisurely stroll, you will soak up some of that much-needed vitamin D and fresh air. If you live near a beach, walk along the beach and take in the beautiful view. Slowing down and taking a break is really the bigger picture.
  4. Hike: Some prefer a bit more of a rough terrain when they go out. If you have mountains or rocky hills, take a moment to go for a hike. It helps you release tension, enjoy the wildlife, and escape your normal surroundings. That mental respite is much needed.
  5. Bike Ride: Put your feet to the pedals and go! Something about the repetitive cycling motion keeps you from feeling like it’s strenuous, but the action also require enough attention that your worries tend to fade. You are bound to feel better mentally and physically with this activity.
  6. Swim: Physical exertion without the resistance of much of the other enterprises. Choose a lap swim, class, or a more casual water-walk for your pièce de résistance. Many times, putting your efforts towards a repetitive physical pursuit can solve an issue we have been fixated on mentally. Give it a try.
  7. Camp: Schedule a weekend away. Go camping and truly disconnect from the digital world. Many of the other activities in this list can be combined or added to this outing and you reap the rewards. Not only will you be able to have some fun, but you will allow your mind to reset by not staying in a constant state of what you need to accomplish next.
  8. Garden: Dig in and get your hands dirty. Becoming one with nature and nurturing a plant to life and watching the beauty bloom can do wonders for you. The pride, accomplishment, and solace from gardening may speak to your inner-self. If so, let that work be your brain break.
  9. Bird Watch: Perhaps you prefer to be a bystander. Bird watching may appeal to you. Remove the daily stresses and impending deadlines by using the many species of birds as an outlet. You can research the kinds or merely just revel in the magnificence of the different types out there with their splendid colors and variety of shapes, personalities, and chirps.
  10. Gathering: Some refer to an outside gathering as a bbq, others who may not have a grill have picnics or potlucks where everyone brings a dish. Any reason to chat, bond, and get together with friends and/or family serves as a great way to assist your mental health. You are not alone, and a reminder of that proves necessary at times.

If you need any professional help for your mental state, we at Thrive are happy to provide that with our counselors and therapists.


Family Counseling, Does it Work?

In some cases, tiffs among family members can escalate or become deeply rooted issues. Attempts at resolving may be difficult without an impartial party to mediate. That’s where family counseling comes into play.


Does it Work?

The short answer is yes. Having someone to actively listen, have a safe space for sharing, and really lighten the load you may be carrying while shining some light on the situation may be the ticket you need to break through any barriers. Rather than putting a band-aid, a temporary fix for a problem your family may be experiencing, family counseling can be a sounding board to work through that problem in a positive way.

Bringing You Back Together

If you feel like you’re stuck in a loop or unable to find the right words, therapy provides that buffer and guidance to form your thoughts and get you to move forward. Whether you have a broken bond you’d like to mend or a bond you’d like to create, seeing a counselor brings you together without judgement. Looking through a new glass may be the key to a better, more open relationship.

No Guarantees

While family counseling helps you to communicate more effectively, solve issues you otherwise cannot seem to overcome, and work together more cohesively as a unit, it does not guarantee the results you desire. Transformation will likely happen, but continuing to use the tools outside of the office will be in your hands. Your problem may be simple and handled in a short stint. However, you should also prepare yourself in case anything unsettling arises that could take longer to fully put to rest and move past. Every person’s timeline is different, and family sessions mean the timeline for one member may differ from another member’s timeframe.

Ultimately, keep in mind that family counseling is a great resource, tool, and can be extremely effective at getting to the root of your problems together as a unit. If you are stuck on repeat with the way in which you approach issues and do not seem to accomplish what you set out to do in arguments, disagreements, or situations, then finding a place to share openly -- like therapy -- would be beneficial to each member of your family. Value yourself, value your family, and spread that value around the home. If you are interested in family counseling, reach out to us at Thrive Counseling and we would be happy to help you find your solutions.

Tips to Help Your Child Focus While Having ADHD


Focus can be hard enough for those without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Children especially naturally gravitate towards moving around from interest to interest. However, for kids who battle ADHD in addition to the child-like wonder for the world, focus becomes as troublesome as a breeze blowing a leaf around.

In order to calm the winded dance, these tips can help your child focus.



The obvious start may not be everyone’s path. Using medication to help your kid with ADHD may be a viable option. You will need to see a professional for a prescription and adjusting of the medication may also be necessary. So, find someone you trust and can have open communication with to find the correct dosage for your child.



While this may seem straightforward, the importance of having the child with ADHD actively engaged in any task will help tremendously. Keeping your child focused means they remain interested in whatever they are doing. If that means homework, then you need to ensure distractions and daydreaming stay at bay. This step could take a little trial and error, but engagement is vital.



Teaching your child how to regulate themselves and monitor how they behave will be a great asset now and in the future. Increasing their self-esteem will also be beneficial as they will likely notice any difference and having that boost of confidence in times of need are not only good for any child, but especially with those dealing with any disorder as well. These tools better equip them to deal with their ADHD and may also allow them to focus more.


Outdoor Time/Games to Increase Attention

Using both time outdoors to release some pent-up energy and games that aid in boosting attention create an amazing resource to have up your sleeve for your child. On those really hard to focus days, a little burst outside can be enough to get their mind back on track. And playing games to boost attention will do nothing short of adding to your child’s ability to recall and replicate when they need to focus on a duty like homework.


These suggestions can be used on your own or in tandem with therapy to help you handle the breeze blowing those leaves around in your ADHD kid. Slow the gusts, add strategies they can pull out in times of need, and guide them through with the support your child needs. We at Thrive Counseling are here if you need an extra hand.

How to Help Your Child Prevent Bullying

Bullying is a huge topic these days. The focus was on in-person bullying prior to the digital age, but now there is something called cyberbullying. Either way, bullying remains a horrible act that no one should have to endure. Counseling offers support for anyone who is going through this terrible experience in their life. However, a lot of times parents can help with a few simple techniques.

Parents, your child could be bullying someone or be the victim. In any case, you should monitor them on social media, text, emails, cell phones, and other electronic devices. These are dangerous tools in today’s society.

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Parents, here are some tips to prevent bullying:

  • Awareness: Have your child always think about what they post. Teach them how to be kind to others online. Tell them that sharing anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone is not acceptable or nice. Share a story with them so that they can understand first-hand.
  • Password Protection: Tell them to keep their password a secret from other kids. Even children that seem like friends could give their password away or use it in ways that could be harmful. Only allow your parents to have your passwords.
  • Visibility: Think about who sees what they will post online. Make sure your kids have privacy settings on at all times. Friends? Friends of friends? Privacy settings provide a way for you to control who sees what on each social media platform.
  • Communication: Discuss social media with your children and let them know you want to be kept in the loop. Ask them what they are doing online, and who they are talking to, etc. Inform them that you are always a shoulder for them no matter what is going on in life.

Have these conversations with your children:

  • Tell your child if they see someone getting bullied, talk to a parent, teacher, or another trusted adult. Let them know in confidence that you care about them and their friends.  
  • Educate them about the term bullying and how to be kind to the kid who gets bullied. Have them offer to sit with the victim at lunch or on the bus, talk to them at school, or invite them to do something. Merely hanging out with the child who gets bullied will help them to know they aren’t alone, and not all people are mean.
  • Teach them to speak up and say something to a trusted adult; otherwise, it could make the situation worse for everyone. Even the smallest bullying can still be harmful.

Parents, if you do not feel comfortable talking to your child about this, seek professional help. There are many ways to help you and your child cope with this important topic. Whether they are bullying someone or they know someone getting bullied, it is imperative to talk through the interactions thoroughly with someone.

Call today and book your appointment 330-703-6578

Does Counseling Really Help?

People are usually very nervous or scared about getting started with counseling. That feeling stems from a bad name getting attached to it, or that people expect miracles. Counseling can REALLY help. Even if there aren’t any underlying mental disorders, it is good to sit down and talk about your thoughts or feelings.

Here are some doubts that people have before starting counseling.

  • Therapy doesn’t work.
  • Therapy is not for me; I do not have anything wrong with me.
  • Talking to someone about my problems won’t help me.
  • I can fix the problem myself; I don’t need professional help.

It is common to have these thoughts, and more. However, these are NOT true. These misconceptions prevent people from enjoying the positive, life-changing benefits that will result from counseling.


What is counseling?

Counseling helps you navigate your feelings and relate to your thoughts differently so that life can be more favorable for anyone. Therapists have different theories and approaches to use that will help you. They teach you ways to build emotional resilience so that you can have a much happier day to day life.

Therapy doesn’t work.

Many people think that therapy is only for people with severe mental health issues. This assumption is not true, and at some point in everyone’s life, they might experience a sudden change in their life that leads to counseling. Do not be scared. When someone does take the leap to go to therapy and has a bad experience, they will likely not go back or think that all professionals will be like the one associated with the bad experience. The truth about therapy is that it honestly works. Counseling helps more than medication to treat anxiety, depression, and mental health issues. Therapy teaches you skills that will help you in the long-term.

I don’t need therapy–I can fix it on my own.

In life you have experienced stress, felt anxious, overwhelmed, sad, or depressed; it is only natural. Sometimes, we can work our issues out on our own, but other times, we notice things that we can’t change on our own.

Therapy is the most effective route to overcome emotional and behavioral issues. Professional therapists know how humans process thoughts and emotions; they can help you.

Therapy is for people with serious mental health issues.

Therapy is undoubtedly useful in severe situations. It can also be an incredibly valuable method to treat moderate conditions. There are many ways to change how you think, feel, and act but therapy is usually the most effective and safest route. Also, if you catch issues early, they may need less work and care to be resolved. Counseling is for everybody, and can help you anytime you’re working through a behavioral or emotional issue. Give us a call today, and let us help you thrive!

Six Ways To Know If Counseling Will Help

Life can be challenging much of the time; every day we face constant obstacles and bumps in the road. This adversity can lead to high levels of stress and, in turn, affect our mental health. Have you had a recent challenge in life that has caused nothing but a headache, digestive problems, high blood pressure, or something else? Then you will want to get counseling. Counseling is a great way to talk about your thoughts, feelings, and problems. It provides a safe outlet to get everything off your chest and move forward.


Many signs show when you might need help, such as counseling. If you are feeling any of these, call us at  (330) 703-6578 to set up an appointment.

  1. Feeling sad and unmotivated. This emotion isn’t the one where you are indifferent about doing the dishes; it is about not having the motivation to get out of bed and live your life the way you should. You might be experiencing a stage of depression and need to talk through it.
  2. Excessive worry. If you are constantly worrying and cannot sleep at night due to your thoughts running around in your head, it might be a good idea to get some additional help.
  3. Abuse. You deserve to be happy and free. If you are experiencing any abusive relationships, reach out for assistance. These ties can impact your life negatively physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  4. Relationship problems. If you feel that you and your significant other can not communicate and get along as you used to before, then you might want to suggest couples counseling. There is nothing wrong with getting the help that you need. Life is too short, get it back on track so you can enjoy the life you once did.
  5. Life transitions. These changes can take a huge turn in our lives. Something such as a loss of a job, a divorce, or losing someone can cause you many problems. There are ways to work around grief and anger.
  6. Addictions. There are so many addictions such as substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling, etc. These afflictions are unhealthy for you, and you can get the aid required. There could be a big issue that is affecting your everyday life. Learn how to overcome it.

The bottom line is that you are not alone and this is all part of life. It is okay to seek help and try a counselor. Looking for a counselor is meant to be a positive, confident experience. You deserve to be happy, and you can be simply by taking the right steps. Call today and schedule an appointment at either location  (330) 703-6578 .


10 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Depression Triggers


The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for many, but others might feel regretful and depressed. There are endless reasons for feeling this way, and it is normal to have these feelings. We try to talk with our patients around this topic a lot throughout the weeks leading up to the holidays, but we put together a list of ways you can help yourself as well.


Plan ahead

You want to make sure that you have a plan in place and prepare well in advance. You know the holidays are beyond chaotic, so take care of yourself. Whatever you need to do for yourself, plan it. If it’s reading a book or going to a spa, make it happen so that your depression is less triggered. You want to make sure that this isn’t something new but rather something that is in your scheduled daily, or weekly, activities.

Avoid family conflict

We get it that coming together as a family might cause some tension and disagreements, but don’t worry. You can try to avoid it. Simply using phrases such as, "Let's talk about that another time," or, "I can see how you would feel that way,” will help avoid any tension. If you need to escape the room or hang with another relative, do it to keep your sanity.


Forget perfection

We know that things are not going to be perfect, so do not even try. Accept what you can change and can not change beforehand so that you can prepare yourself mentally. You will learn to be more grateful and blessed when you can see the what you have rather than what you think you might need.


Schedule sleep

Holiday activities easily can interfere with your sleep schedule; there are a million things to do. Your list is a mile long, and we don’t take care of ourselves as much as we should around this time of year. There can be a link between depression and lack of sleep, so take the time to get that sleep. Try to get to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day. You will want to avoid large meals and physical activity within a few hours of bedtime.

Get help

If you are going through any signs of depression, or mental health problems, you will want to get help. Sometimes it isn’t always friends or family that can help, that is why we are here for you at Thrive Counseling to help you with those feelings naturally.


Prioritize workouts

Working out is great for your mind, body, and soul. You should do it regularly outside of the holidays regardless but especially when you are under stress. Any amount of working out will help a ton, so don't feel like you need to go regularly (although it could help).

Consider your light exposure

If you live in an area where light is limited, this can affect your mood. Not getting enough light can cause you to feel tired and irritable. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, can be treated by long walks during daylight hours.

Focus on what matters

Often at this time of year, we forget what matters and try to please everyone; we spend a lot of money and have many feelings. The holidays are not just about presents, but finances can be a considerable burden. Try doing secret Santa and picking names to prevent spending a ton of money and purchasing a lot of gifts.

Don't binge on food or alcohol

Stress can increase your food intake and cravings. Instead of trying to eat all the different dessert options, limit yourself to one small piece at a time and learn to say no. Too much sugar can affect your mood, and you want to make sure that your body is getting the right nutrients.

Cut back on commitments

People will invite you to so many events this time of year. It is okay to say no and turn something down. It truly is. Make the time for those important people. It is also okay to meet before or after the holidays when schedules might not be as chaotic.

There are so many ways to help deal with the holiday season and to get out of the seasonal blues. At Thrive Counseling Services, we’ve seen people like you rebound from challenges to lead happy, successful lives. Our counselors work extensively with patients of all ages and types to help them bounce back, and work with doctors to provide the appropriate medication for various disorder types. Our certified counselors are here to help you reach your goals, provide a listening ear, and guide you towards a resolution to manage a variety of issues. We have two convenient locations for you: Canton Ohio and Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, give us a call 330-703-6578.