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Living With Your Young Adult

 

For many parents and young adults who live together at home, life can sometimes be a bit frustrating. Parents may prefer more structure while young adults may yearn for more freedom.

One way for parents and young adults to navigate this complicated time is to set boundaries. Firm, clear boundaries create reasonable expectations for everyone. This becomes the foundations for a living agreement. There are three basic principles that make up a living agreement:

1- Establish privileges and boundaries.

All privileges and boundaries are unique to each family. Start the creation of a living agreement by having a family meeting and having a discussion about what boundaries will work for your family.

Examples: Parents will pay for cell phone costs if the young adult works or volunteers 10-20 hours per week. Or, if the young adult is paying even a nominal amount of rent, then parents can not enter the young adult’s room if the door is closed. Parents will pay for car insurance if the young person does their own laundry, keeps their room and bathroom clean, takes out the garbage and helps out with grocery shopping and other household needs.

There are consequences for not upholding responsibilities. For example, the young adult may not have access to the gaming console if daily hygiene is not maintained. And parents may have to pay $5 to the young adult every time they enter the young adult’s room without permission!

2- Pick and choose your battles.

To start a living agreement, begin with one to three items. These should be small, easy to accomplish items. The living agreement document can and should evolve over time. If an adult child begins to take on additional responsibilities, they should, in turn, have more privileges.

3- Set realistic expectations and boundaries – on both sides.

Setting realistic expectations allows a young adult to feel a sense of accomplishment. And having a young adult set their own boundaries allows for smaller victories to reach larger triumphs.

A living agreement is a great tool for communicating your expectations with your young adult who is living at home. If you are interested in learning more about creating a living agreement, please join us at the Advance LA Parent to Parent Support Group on August 16, 2019, from 6:30 – 8 pm. Our guest speakers are Bonnie Schuman and Hali Paul who are certified mediators who specialize in working with young adults and their parents in resolving conflicts and repairing relationships.

Many young adults may need additional assistance with achieving independent living. Advance LA offers a one-to-one Life Skills Coaching program where our coaches help their young adult clients with independent living skills.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.

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5 Ways to Manage Autumn Anxiety

 

It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy, right? Well, not necessarily.

If thinking about summer coming to an end makes you feel anxious, you are not alone. It seems that a large number of young adults find the thought of starting the fall semester or the upcoming return of chillier weather to be a cause for higher anxiety levels.

Therapists are calling this end-of-summer anxiety, “autumn anxiety”,  after seeing so many clients with feelings of anticipation and nervousness during the last week of August through the first weeks of September.

Some people hate the heat and the laziness of summer and can’t wait until the fall season starts. But there are other people who LOVE the summertime and experience deep and intense feelings of sadness and panic at the thought of the summer season coming to an end. There are often feelings of guilt about not having done all that they wanted to do during the summer, especially as the summer months seem to come with a great deal of pressure for everyone to “make the most of every summer moment.”

Some of the anxiety regarding fall is that, even for adults, there are feelings of new things happening, new schedules, new assignments, and new jobs. It makes sense that people feel anxious!

If these autumn anxiety symptoms sound familiar, here are a few tips for taking back the enjoyment of August:

  1. Go outside: Spending time outdoors and in nature can restore positive mood and energy levels.
  2. Get sleep: Long sunlit days can mean you get up earlier and stay up later — a recipe for sleep deprivation. Your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol when you’re sleep-deprived, which can contribute to emotional sensitivity.
  3. Take it easy: Give yourself a bit of a break. August doesn’t need to be all about preparation. This is the time to rest up while you still can. Stay organized, but know that this is a transitional month, and that means taking it slow.
  4. Seek help: The August blues are something to monitor and take care of. When an inability to focus on a task affects your ability to function at work, at home, or in your relationships, it is time to seek help. Even if seasonal anxiety is something you’ve always had, it is something that is treatable. Talk to a therapist, Life Skills Coach or trusted friend about how you are feeling. Learning strategies for dealing with autumn anxiety can be really helpful.

Summer often feels like a time of optimism — months on end where the sun is shining, and there’s always ample amounts of ice cream — but it’s important to remember that it’s OK to feel the autumn anxiety.

Treating yourself kindly during this end-of-summer time period will likely go a long way towards helping you feel a bit better.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.

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How to Prepare in the Summer Before College

 

July is the month for spending time at the beach, having a BBQ with friends, lounging in a hammock on a lazy afternoon – and preparing for the fall semester at college. The last part of that sentence may have made you think, “what?????” Although it isn’t easy to think about college life during the carefree summer months, spending time in July doing some college prep will have a big pay-off when college starts in September.

Here are 5 ways to prepare for college during the summer:

  1. Prepare so you can hit the ground running in the fall:
  • Research Professors: Check out Rate My Professors and Uloop to read reviews from other students at your college. This will help you pick courses and instructors that match your learning style
  • Register for fall classes: When scheduling your classes, be sure to check the campus map to make sure you have enough time to walk from one class to the next.
  • Download a campus map and have it on your phone for easy reference: Become familiar with where the drop-in tutoring program is located and take advantage of free tutoring.
  • Purchase textbooks: some professors post their textbook requirements before class starts. Here are some tips for saving money. 
  1. Practice Your Time Management Skills:
  • Every Sunday in July, take a few minutes to plan out your week. Make plans to spend time with friends, to exercise, to work at a summer job, to read, to clean your room, and to engage in a hobby or favorite activity. Then write down your activities and tasks in a paper planner or paper calendar, on your laptop’s calendar, or on a whiteboard in your room. By doing so, you will become more aware of how your time is spent, how long it takes to get where you are going, and the actual length of time an activity lasts. This is good practice for when you are planning your college schedule. By practicing during the summer, you will strengthen your time management skills for the fall.
  1. Practice Your Study Skills:
  • One of the most essential study skills is the ability to effectively take notes. July is a great time to get familiar with note-taking strategies and find the one that best fits your learning style.
    Effective strategies include paying attention to boldface words and headings reworking main ideas into concepts that are easily understood, being attentive to captions, using different modes of note-taking such as highlighters, sticky notes, index cards, graphs, charts, and diagrams. The goal is to make sure that the notes you take either answer or reference the objective and questions that accompany each lesson. Don’t just write down every word the instructor says. Listen to what is being said and try to relate it to your life. Putting it in your own words will also help reinforce the lesson. Here’s a way to practice: listen to a TED talk that interests you and be sure to take notes as if it is a lecture for a college class. Then highlight the main topics or make note cards with index cards. Study your notes and have a friend or life coach quiz you and see how well you remembered the information. This is a great way to practice note taking during the summer!
  • Create or find a comfortable space to study free from distractions. Some people prefer the library, others a coffee shop, or a bedroom. Find out what works for you!
  1. Practice Life Skills:
  • The summer months are a great time to learn and practice the life skills that are needed for college. Learn to do your own laundry and practice doing it once a week. Wash your sheets and make your bed with clean sheets. Make yourself an appointment at the dentist. Go grocery shopping and then make a meal. Practicing these skills will make life at college so much easier!
  1. Practice Self-Care:
  • Learn to treat yourself well! Practice getting to bed at a time that allows you to wake up refreshed. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and are likely to continue to do once classes start. Make healthy decisions regarding what you choose to eat. Develop a plan for what you will do when you feel overwhelmed, such as meeting with a therapist or life coach or taking a yoga class.

So while you are enjoying the lovely summer season, spend some time preparing for college in the fall. Advance LA’s Life Skills Coaches assist their clients with getting ready for college by helping them practice the above 5 skills. A Life Skills Coach provides support and encouragement to make summertime college prep as fun as a day at the beach!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.

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Health and Wellness

 

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month! Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? The Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend that adults eat 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That seems like a lot! And research shows that most adults eat only 0 – 2 servings per day.

We all know that eating fruits and veggies can help us to feel healthier. But even for the most health-conscious eaters, getting more of these nutrients can be a challenge. So, here are 8 tips for adding more fruits and veggies to your daily diet. And keep in mind that ½ cup of a fruit or vegetable equals one serving.

  1. Choose a healthy snack: Instead of grabbing a bag of potato chips or a candy bar for a snack, try choosing something healthier such as carrots with hummus, celery sticks, and peanut butter, or a piece of fruit.
  2. Keep fruit in sight: You are more likely to eat fruit if it is easy to see. Place bananas and tangerines in a pretty bowl on the counter where you will see them on the way out the door. Have cherries and grapes rinsed and ready to grab from the refrigerator.
  3. Make soup – it’s easy!: Homemade soups are super easy to make and have lots of vegetables in one serving. Just saute carrots, onions, celery, green beans, and corn until tender. Then add a can of tomatoes and 3 cups of vegetable broth – viola! Homemade soup! Throw in a can of beans or some pasta for a heartier soup if you like.
  4. Think of the fruits/veggies!: Make sure every meal or snack you eat is paired with a fruit or veggie. This can be accomplished by add salsa to your eggs, avocado to your turkey sandwich, and fruit to your cereal.
  5. Double up: Two serving of veggies, please! The USDA recommends filling half your plate with fruits and veggies.
  6. Dessert!: A sweet snack after dinner can be a handful of frozen grapes or strawberries – especially delightful in the summertime!
  7. Make a smoothie: A smoothie can be a perfect breakfast, lunch or snack. Start with your favorite fruits, add some almond milk, and then throw in a handful of greens for an added nutritional boost. And if you add a banana or a small spoonful of peanut butter you won’t taste the greens!
  8. Share the cooking! It’s more fun to cook with a friend or Life Skills Coach and experiment with finding ways to add fruits and vegetables to your favorite dishes. Try adding a layer of spinach to the lasagna or a cup of sautéed diced carrots into the spaghetti sauce – you will be surprised how good it tastes!

Having health and wellness as a goal can help to make you more aware of your daily nutrient intake. Grocery shopping and planning meals with a friend, parent or life skills coach is a great way to achieve your goal of choosing to eat in a more health-conscious manner. Happy Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeri Rochman, JD, MS, is the Advance LA Director of Community Outreach, a Life Skills Coach, National Board Certified Counselor and Certified Parent Educator. Interested in learning more about Advance LA’s services? She can be reached at jrochman@thehelpgroup.org.