How to Get Out of a Rut?

Recently I posted a YouTube video talking about ruts and routines. This post is a follow-up to that. Sometimes its hard to recognize when we are in a rut because maybe it used to be part of a routine we had. Let’s say we like to watch tv in the evening after work or before, but now all we do is watch tv in the evening, this starts to sound like a rut to me. I also like to think about values when I’m talking about routines and getting out of ruts. Take a few minutes and think about what’s really important to you, how do you want to be living your life. This exercise is part of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy or ACT. Write down at least 5 things that you value and think about how your routine in daily life are serving you. Are they getting you closer to these 5 values? I like to think about concert examples of ways to get closer to our values and write those down as well. For example, one of my values is creativity. If I’m watching tv all evening every evening I’m probably stuck in a bit of a rut and not living according to this value of creativity at all. So what I might do is think about ways to do that like spend time doodling/drawing before I watch television, take a pottery class, practice watercolor, or go to art supply store and look at art supplies to inspire me. This is just one way to get out of a rut. Hope this helps. ~Shannon

Lessons Learned in Therapy

Hi! It’s Emily! I’ve thought a lot about therapy and how it can elevate our lives. It has definitely helped me in my own life. Therapy can be used to work through specific events or disorders, but it can also shift our perspectives on life.

Part of being a human is experiencing the full spectrum of emotions in this life, even the painful ones. What tends to bring most people to therapy is the avoidance of some of our most uncomfortable feelings. We have all done it. The more we run, the more these feelings follow. Before we know it, we are on a never-ending rollercoaster ride that we did not sign up for. This can feel incredibly draining.

When we allow ourselves the space to feel it all, our experience is enriched. We can truly appreciate our joy when we’ve had to sit in our own darkness to find it. It can feel difficult and downright terrifying to feel all of our feelings, especially the distressing ones. But when we accept and allow what comes up, we change our lives for the better.

One of the most important components of therapy is the ability to acknowledge and welcome feelings. Whether we are applying Exposure Response Prevention Therapy or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, you will learn how to make space for all of your feelings and emotions. Although the journey to get to the point of acceptance can be hard, what lies beyond it is.

YouTube and Other Social Media

Hi! It’s Shannon here! Making a YouTube channel has been a really challenging experience.  Let’s talk a minute about exposure…I have social anxiety and OCD, so putting myself out there  online, public speaking or being around new groups of people is difficult. In the past I might’ve  shied away from a video or any type of recording due to the feelings of fear, shame, and  embarrassment I experience. I’ve been challenging myself with exposures in this area for quite  sometime now and honestly I haven’t noticed a huge change until recently. I think its because  I’ve been able to really engage this fear by making YouTube videos. I’ve posted more  frequently and allow myself to make mistakes and feel whatever shows up with that. I still hate  watching or listening to myself. Every once in a while I’ll feel like that doesn’t sound too bad or  I’ll think I’m getting better at this. Never did I think that as a therapist I’d become a social  media expert or YouTube aficionado. I laugh as I say this because neither is true, but I’m  learning and becoming less self-conscious. Check out these YouTube videos on the channel at  The Anxiety & OCD Treatment of Central Pennsylvania and our podcast Finding the Thing on  Spotify.