Mediation Advantage Services - April 2020

APR 2020

(508) 795-1557 | LIFE IN BALANCE

F or most of us, dealing with stress is a daily occurrence. Our lifelong journey is learning how to approach and manage stressors in a healthy way so that they don’t outpace our enjoyment of life. Incorporating daily meditation into my life has been one of the best ways I’ve found to cope with stress. Anytime I’m feeling stressed out, I know I need to unplug and do a guided meditation. I like to start and end my day with meditation, too. I’ve found Abraham Hicks’ guided meditations to be especially helpful, and I often start my day with the video titled “This Is a Good Morning, This Is a Good Day.” I’ve been doing this for the last four years, and it’s been immensely beneficial in helping me tune out what’s stressing me out and focus on my own rhythms. During the day, if I realize I’m letting something get to me, I get up and go for a walk. In early spring in New England, I bundle up, go to a park near my office, and take a walk. It never fails to serve as a reset, helping me put things into perspective and refocus on what’s important. Even in the cold weather, going outside is a good way to get fresh air and clear my mind. On the weekends, I’ll go for a walk in my neighborhood, and I try to take my nephews along with me. They enjoy being out in nature, and I think it helps them find calm, too. My great-niece recently joined our family and is staying with us, so getting outside with the kids has been a great way for everyone to get some energy out and reset. Finding balance by tending to my spiritual, physical, and emotional well- being helps me focus on what’s important and feel my best. I notice that when I exercise and eat well, I’m also more capable of taking on stressful situations without letting them get to me. I recently started back on my fitness journey — 22 weeks of prep, clean eating, and exercise — and it feels good to return to it. It makes you realize how much eating is a part of socialization in our society! Even on this plan, I’m trying not to miss out on social events and time with friends. It takes a little more planning, but the benefits are worth it. HOW I KEEP STRESS FROM GETTING THE BEST OF ME

In terms of clearing my mind, I notice stress eating and eating unhealthy food weighs on me. I often think about what my daughter says: “Your health is your wealth.” It’s so true. What you put in is what you get out. Volunteering and giving back to others can also be effective ways to lessen stress. It takes the focus off of what you’re dealing with and turns it toward helping make someone else’s life better. I try to spend 20% of my time on a monthly basis volunteering, and I always notice the shift in my mindset that comes from helping others. Of course, my favorite tried-and-true method for instant feel-good power is listening to Whitney Houston’s 1997 concert in Saratoga Springs. Dancing to that YouTube video in my living room in sweats makes me feel like I don’t have a care in the world and instantly puts me in a good mood. I highly recommend it. –Polly Tatum

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how the brain grows and adapts rapidly whenever we encounter failure and that failure and mistakes are a part of life. Once they understand that failure isn’t permanent, they’ll be inspired to take risks and solve their problems. Trust your daughter while teaching grit. Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth studies successful people in a wide variety of fields, from business to the military, and has found that the quality most successful people share is grit. The ability to stay engaged with tough tasks for a long period of time is a skill that takes a long time to build, but it’s not impossible for your girl to begin developing grit right now. Duckworth believes the growth mindset can start young girls on a path to embracing failure and moving forward from it. However, a lack of trust in your daughter can suffocate her growth. Despite all the adult-directed activities we give our kids, we need to step back and let them make some of their own decisions. We can give them encouragement and help along the way, but for the most part, we need to trust they can solve problems on their own.

In a time when it’s so easy to let technology and school run your child’s life, what’s your role as a parent or guardian? We often hear motivational quotes talking about the importance of risk-taking and resilience, but it can be tough for little girls to learn from just YouTube videos and school alone. Here’s how you can encourage your daughter to spark her own confidence during her toughest moments. Encourage bravery and a growth mindset. Even children can feel pressured to perform to high standards yet stay within their comfort zone. They might think, “I’m not strong enough to climb this tree.” But whether it’s climbing trees or building things with others, small feelings of bravery can grow larger as they grow older. April is Stress Awareness Month, and among the many aspects of life that can be stressful, going through a big change like divorce or adoption can bring on new feelings, thoughts, and stressors. When you’re experiencing a life shift, it is immensely helpful to have professional help on your side. Here are a couple resources to turn to so that you can confidently navigate this next stage of life. UTILIZE MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT. For couples going through divorce mediation, we often recommend talking to a therapist. You are experiencing many different emotions, and it can be a lot to process on your own. A therapist can help you understand these experiences and find healthy, productive ways to think about and step into this next stage of your life. In general, talking to a therapist can help you feel better equipped to go through life. You can always reach out to us if you’d like some suggestions on therapists in our area. TURN TO GUIDING RESOURCES. Our founder, attorney and mediator Polly Tatum, has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to navigating divorce, co-parenting, adoption, and parenting in general. Polly is a THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORT YOU CAN DEPEND ON TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH LIFE CHANGES Self-empowerment will be a crucial skill in their lives, so encourage a mindset focused on growth through the process of learning. Teach them

When you put faith and trust in your little girl to handle her most difficult problems, she’ll learn to do the same for herself.

pioneer in her family-first approach. She helps couples and families find the solutions and strategies that make life better for everyone and keep family a priority, even when divorce is the best option. FEEL CONFIDENT AS YOU NAVIGATE YOUR NEXT STEP. We believe in providing educational resources to our clients and to anyone who may need them. In addition to the blog posts on our website, Polly recently created a series of informative videos on the topics of divorce mediation, estate planning, and adoption to guide clients through these processes. When you’re looking for guidance, visit our website to access these amazing and free resources. This month only: Mention that you watched one of our videos and receive 10% off any service! Call our office to take advantage of this limited-time offer. 2

M any of us are familiar with feelings of anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, it’s the most common mental health illness in the world, affecting 40 million adults every year. If you experience anxiety, know that there are healthy ways you can learn to process it. In addition to seeking guidance from a therapist or other mental health professional who can help you tap into the powerful benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, here are a couple strategies that may help you ease HEALTHY WAYS TO EASE ANXIETY

Kataria developed laughter yoga, which incorporates stretching and breathing exercises with laughter. Read our Page 4 article to learn more about laughter yoga and how to participate in it yourself. BUILD YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK. Talking to people about what you’re going through can be extremely helpful. When it comes to a support network, it may be different for everyone. All that matters is that you have someone you can turn to when you need support. Maybe it’s a counselor, friend, coworker, or parent. Choose people who bring positivity into your life who you know you can count on in a tough time. If you are feeling alone, there are also resources available 24/7 to help with feelings of anxiety, like the Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741 to connect with someone). Finally, because we know how important it is to have family in your life, our practice focuses on family first. We help clients who may need guidance with divorce, family mediation, adoption, elder law, or estate planning. As a small, local business, our firm thrives when you tell your friends and family about us. Thank you for your referrals!

anxiety and regain your joy in life. FIND A REASON TO LAUGH.

It’s hard to overstate the power of laughter — just think about how great it felt the last time you erupted into giggles over a friend’s story or a comedian’s joke. Laughter tends to be something we do more as kids before we get older and caught up in the day-to-day routine. Let’s change that. Dance to a goofy song with your kids and find the silliness in each moment. Laughter’s health benefits are the reason Dr. Madan

YOUR 30-DAY CHALLENGE 10 MINUTES A DAY OF MINDFULNESS FOR 21 DAYS Because we’re talking about stress awareness this month, I want to encourage you to incorporate a practice into your life that will help you better cope with stress: mindfulness.


This crowd-pleasing dish is sure to be the biggest hit at your next gathering. And it’s good for you, too!



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1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Heat oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. 2. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, shallots, and honey. 3. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. 4. In a small bowl, toss the beets in dressing until they are coated. 5. Place coated beets on baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes. Set the beets aside and allow them to cool. 6. In a large bowl, toss arugula, walnuts, and berries with the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. 7. Top salad with beets, avocado, and goat cheese.

Over the next month, I want you to spend 10 minutes a day for 21 days on a mindfulness exercise.

3 tbsp shallots, thinly sliced 1 tbsp honey

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1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

You can simply sit quietly and observe your thoughts without engaging them, use an app like Headspace or Calm, or use a guided meditation like those from Abraham Hicks to help you as you begin your practice. Good luck! You can do this!

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Salt and pepper to taste 6 beets, peeled and quartered 6 cups fresh arugula 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

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1/2 avocado, cubed

2 oz crumbled goat cheese

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Inspired by


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(508) 795-1557

Polly’s Approach to Managing Stress Tips for Raising Strong, Confident Women Trusted Resources Through Tough Times Healthy Ways to Ease Anxiety 30-Day Challenge Beet, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad Laughter Yoga’s Rise as a Global Health Movement INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 3 4

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The laughter meetup had everyone in high spirits — until the group ran out of jokes. Unsure of what to do next, Kataria found another medical book suggesting the group didn’t need jokes to laugh. Fake laughter is just as beneficial as the real thing because the body can’t tell the difference between the two. Collaborating with this wife, Madhuri, Kataria combined common yoga warmups and breathing techniques with facilitated laughter to create the form of laughter yoga that is practiced worldwide today. If you’re interested in trying laughter yoga for yourself, then you’re in luck. Laughter yoga clubs exist across the United States and the world. Videos on YouTube can teach the basics, but laughter yoga tends to be most beneficial in a group setting. Just think about the last time you found yourself in a fit of giggles with a group of friends or during a comedy show. Didn’t it feel great? Rather than wait for a silly situation to trigger laughter, use laughter yoga to promote laughter and alleviate stress on any day at any time. LAUGH WITH ME! A Lighthearted Approach to Decreasing Stress

We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, and it turns out that human physiology supports this claim. When we laugh, our body releases a flood of feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters. Our blood flow increases, and our production of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, decreases. Oh, and laughing also burns calories! The feel-good, endorphin-inducing benefits of laughter are exactly what prompted Dr. Madan Kataria to develop laughter yoga in 1995. Laughter yoga incorporates breathing, stretching, clapping, and of course, laughing. Kataria developed the initial idea after coming across research into the benefits of laughter on overall health and well-being. He began to put the research into practice by telling jokes to his patients, and after seeing the positive effects, he took his material to a local park. Parkgoers, who were initially skeptical, joined in on the practice, and the first laughter yoga club was born. 4

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