Problem Solving 101

I mentioned problem solving in my last post but did not fully outline the steps, so I wanted to do so here. This is a little more of a technical and a little less fun post, but it is important for those of you out there working through difficult choices. I find the use of a whiteboard particularly useful during this activity. Sometimes, I even like to use colored markers. But you can do this with good old fashioned pen and paper as well.

Steps to Problem Solving:

  1. Clearly identify the problem that you are trying to solve.
  2. Brainstorm every possible solution (even crazy or impossible ones - you may end up coming back to these) to the problem.
  3. Make a list of pros and cons next to each one. Be honest with your appraisal of each option.
  4. Decide which option makes the most sense based on the balance of pros and cons. Sometimes the path will be clear, but sometimes you'll be faced with many possible good choices.
  5. Follow through with whatever action you chose. 
  6. Reflect upon how whatever you did worked. Sometimes, it worked great, and you're done with the problem and might know what to do when similar problems arise! Other times, it wasn't that great. If that is the case, go to the next step.
  7. Return your original brainstorming list and choose a different option! Carry it out, assess, repeat. 

Now you know the basics of problem solving! Good luck to you all in tackling your decisions!


Managing Depression

Depression is a hot topic right now, with 1 in 5 Americans suffering from the disorder. Both medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy have been shown to be effective treatments, and finding the right provider can be a HUGE help! In addition to treatment, there are some basic lifestyle changes that may help decrease symptoms. 

1) Eat nutritious meals that include protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Limit sugars and alcohol.

2) Exercise regularly. Recommendations vary, but most experts agree that 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise at least 3 days per week is the minimum to see changes in mood. If possible, exercise daily for at least 30 minutes, preferably outside in the morning sun.

3) Get enough sleep! Experts recommend getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day. 

4) Spend time outdoors in the sun. 

5) Connect with other people in person. Social support can help you manage stressful life events and your mood.

If you are interested in a pursuing treatment with me, information about the process and fees is available here.