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5 Stages of Grief

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By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I recently lost a very dear friend to an unexpected and sudden death and have naturally been grieving her passing. I also currently happen to have several clients that I am counseling and coaching through seasons of grief. So this seems like an appropriate time to share about the 5 stages of grief.

We can experience grief with any type of serious loss. In addiction to the death of a loved one, we may experience grief from divorce, a hard break-up, even from getting fired from a job we liked.

We all deal with grief in different ways. Some may cry for days on end and completely neglect their own self care. Others may even laugh because they cope with pain using humor. While still others may just feel totally numb–perhaps even judging themselves for not crying or laughing like other people.

There is no right way to grieve. Grieving styles vary from person to person and culture to culture.

The most well known model of grief is from Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and is well known as The 5 Stages of Grief. Here are the stages in order, but remember, someone who is grieving may go through these stages in any order, and may even return to previous stages.

1. DENIAL–This is where a person may say, “This can’t be happening.” They can refuse to accept the hard fact that a loss has occurred. They may minimize or outright deny the situation. It is suggested that loved ones and professionals be forward and honest about losses to not prolong the denial stage.

2. ANGER“Why is this happening to me?” When an individual realizes that a loss has occurred, they may become angry at themselves or others. They may argue that the situation is unfair and try to place blame. They may be angry at God, at another person, or even at themselves.

3. BARGAINING“I will do anything to change this.” In bargaining, the person may try to change or delay their loss. For example, they may try to convince a partner to return after a breakup, or search for unlikely cures in the case of a terminal illness. They may even try to bargain with God.

4. DEPRESSION“What’s the point of going on after this loss?” At the stage of depression the individual has come to recognize that a loss has occurred or will occur. The individual may isolate themselves and spend time crying and grieving. They may have trouble sleeping, lose focus at work or school, or lose bodyweight. The good news about this stage is that depression is a precursor to acceptance because the individual has come to recognize their loss.

5. ACCEPTANCE “It’s going to be okay.” Finally, the individual will come to accept their loss. They understand the situation logically, and they have come to terms emotionally with the situation. At this point the person is more able to move on with their life.

If you are currently experience grief of any sort, I strongly encourage you to seek support. Even though you may feel like isolating, processing through your grief with wise and healthy support is highly recommended and may actually reduce the length of your grieving process.

Many hospitals and churches offer free grief support groups. There are also many wise counselors and therapists who can help you process your grief in a healthy way. Be sure to ask if they have experience with grief recovery. There is also an organization called GriefShare that can help you find local grief support groups. You can also sign up for a daily encouraging email on their website: https://www.griefshare.org/.

Special thanks to GriefShare and TherapistsAid for info used in this post.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Call me at 949-303-8264
Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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Refresh Your Life

refresh your life

As a counselor, coach and interventionist I am passionate about moving people in a healthy direction in every area of their lives. Here is a fun and easy tool for you to quickly assess how you’re doing and come up with some action items. So grab a pen and piece of paper and take a few minutes to Refresh Your Life– you are worth it!

Now that you’ve made your list, the final step is to enter your action items into your calendar so you are sure to follow through!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or what one of your action items are.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:
www.carepossible.com,
www.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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Top Daily Habits of the Ultra Successful

Habits of Highly SuccessfulAs a counselor, coach and interventionist I am fascinated by the habits and disciplines that help people live healthy and successful lives. That is why I just love this infographic that I found on success.com. Here is a link to their original post: 13 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People.

The bottom line is that one is wise to have a disciplined and focused daily schedule, be a lifelong learner, exercise regularly, and maintain a positive mental attitude

What works for you? Is there anything you would add to the list?

I would love to hear your comments!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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I Exercised Everyday for One Year–What Did I Learn?

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

At the beginning of last year I set a goal to exercise everyday in 2016. I am happy to report that I achieved that goal and I learned a few things along the way that I would like to share with you.

There were two main reasons I initially made the goal. First, I wanted to set a good example for all of my counseling and coaching clients. My system of counseling and coaching includes a strong emphasis on health and wellness and I wanted to ensure that I was practicing what I was preaching!

Second, I have three little grandkids that I adore and I want to not only have tons of energy to play with them, but also be around for many years to see them grow up. Being physically fit gives me the best chance at accomplishing both of these intentions.

In order to stay healthy and avoid any overuse injuries I did a wide variety of fitness activities and workouts. This allowed adequate recovery time for any soreness from a particular workout and it also prevented any boredom from setting in.

The workouts I did included weight training, cardio (elliptical and stationary bike), kettle bells, martial arts, and walking. I also did yoga everyday–several days per week at a studio (You and the Mat) and other days at home. I kept a daily fitness log to track my training and ensure I was having a balanced approach.

Here’s what I learned from my yearlong exercise journey:

1. Mornings Are Best–By exercising in the morning I ensured that nothing and no one could chip away at my workout time. This meant getting up a little earlier, but it was totally worth it. When we work out later in the day there are so many things–work, family, emergencies– that can pop up and take away from our workout time. Get the workout done first thing in the morning–and if you have extra time in the afternoon or evening you can actually do another workout if you like. That’s what I did!

2. Weight Loss is More About What You Eat–If your goal is to lose weight (reduce bodyfat), then exercise is a great adjunct to that goal, but the amount and type of calories that you take in is very important. During my year of daily exercise I lost a total of 10 pounds. My fitness routine inspired me to eat healthy 90% of the time, but I still enjoyed treats on holidays and special occasions without worry because I knew I was working out so much. If my goal had been solely focused on the weight loss I would have had a stricter diet.

3. Physical Fitness is Good For Your Health–During this year of exercise I had fewer colds, flu or other sickness than any year I can remember. And the couple of times I felt like I was coming down with a cold, the sickness had a much shorter duration than previous years.

4. Exercise is a Great Stress Reducer–I have a very busy schedule. I am in private practice doing counseling, coaching and interventions, I run the nonprofit foundation CarePossible, and I lead the recovery program Lifelines that meets Fridays at The Crossing Church. Each of these pursuits means I am often dealing with individuals or families in crisis which can be stressful. Gratefully, the regular exercise leaves me feeling calm and relaxed everyday, even in the midst of stressful situations. If you are stressed out, I encourage you to add regular exercise to your routine!

5. Exercise Provides Opportunities for Other Healthy Growth–I love a good win/win situation and fitness activities provide a lot of opportunities for win/wins. While on cardio machines you can read books or watch TED Talks, while walking outdoors you can listen to audiobooks or lectures from The Great Courses, while taking fitness or yoga classes you can make friends and get healthy social support and connectivity.

Bottom Line–Regular exercise is great for both your mind and your body in so many ways. So, no excuses! If a busy, old guy like me can workout every day for a year, then you can work out at least a few times per week. I urge you to make this a year of health and fitness so you can reap all the rewards of a fitness lifestyle. If you need help getting started I love to do wellness coaching and would be honored to work with you. And will I exercise everyday in 2017? I’m not sure, but I haven’t missed a day yet!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com.
Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!) Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.
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SMART Goals for Your Best Year Ever!

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

So the New Year has begun and most everyone is ready to go back to school or back to work. While on holiday break perhaps you had a resolution or two pop into your head. Or a thought about something you’d like to accomplish in the new year. But you’re already back to the grind and not really sure if you’ll really make your resolutions and goals come true.

Here are a few tips to help you make your resolutions a reality, to achieve your goals, and to make this year your best year ever. Everybody needs some coaching, even the highest level professional athletes and top level executives, so here is some coaching for you on how to achieve your goals.

Whatever it is that you’d like to accomplish this year, use the acronym SMART to help you shape and define your goals so that you have a much greater chance of achieving them.

S—Specific—Who, what, where, when, why! Goals should be written out in very specific terms. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight this year” or “I want to read more this year”, one should say, “I will lose 20 pounds this year” or “I will read one book per month this year”. By having a specific target we know exactly what to aim at.

M—Measurable—From and to! When setting a goal, how will you measure your progress? If weight loss is the goal, the obvious way to measure is with a scale. But some goals are more complex—like healing relationships or growing spiritually. Determine in advance how you will know you are accomplishing your goal.

A—Attainable—How will you accomplish the goal? It is really great to dream big and to stretch oneself, but it is important to set goals that are realistic and attainable. Is it realistic for you to lose 20 pounds a month or to earn ten million dollars in the new year? Setting unattainable goals really does more harm than good. Dream big, but keep it real!

R—Relevant—Is the goal worthwhile? Ask the question of whether the goal is really relevant in your life. Say I set a goal to ride a motorcycle across the country this year. While this would be a fun and memorable experience, the amount of time and energy it would take is not relevant or worthwhile at this stage of my life. Make sure your goals are relevant to your life, your family, and your career.

T—Time Based—When will you accomplish the goal? It has been said that a goal is a dream with a deadline. A goal must have a specific time frame in which it will be achieved. People work better with deadlines—goals do, too. Instead of saying “I will lose 20 pounds this year”, say “I will lose 20 pounds by May 1st”. Set your deadline to increase your chances of success!

Here is an example of a goal that meets all the SMART criteria:

“I will lose ten pounds by March 1st through exercising five days per week and limiting my daily calorie intake to 2000 or less.”

What is one SMART goal you have for 2017?

I’d love to coach you to set and achieve your goals and make this year your best year ever! You can contact me at 949-303-8264 or randy@randymoraitis.com for a free consultation. Websites: www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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Coping With Job Stress–Do You Have a Gas Tank or Solar Panels?

stress

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Job stress is both a real and a growing problem. Current research shows that 30% of U.S. workers are often or always under a lot of stress at work.

People who have a high level of occupational stress have up to three times the rate of back pain–usually lower back pain. Research also shows that high job stress doubles the risk of death from heart disease and was associated with increased cholesterol and body mass index. So it’s a big problem affecting millions of people and needs a solution.

One way to help combat job stress and prevent burnout is to do some perspective shifting, so let’s give it a try.

Start by making a decision about whether you have a gas tank or you have solar panels.

Gas Tank Mindset  

Imagine a person goes to work tomorrow and has a very busy day. They start the day dealing with their first task, it’s challenging but they succeed. This burns a little fuel from their gas tank. As the day progresses they deal with multiple issues, problems and tasks, each draining more fuel from their tank.

By the end of the long, hard work day they’ve completed all of their tasks and duties, but now their gas tank is empty and they’re exhausted. So they go home to their family exhausted.

Solar Panel Mindset 

 
The second option is to imagine a person going to the same workplace. They also start the day dealing with challenging tasks and duties. And they continue to have challenging tasks throughout the day. But they have the perspective that they are blessed to have a job, and privileged to have skills and talents, that can contribute to helping others and making a difference in someone else’s life.

In that moment where they focus on the privilege of connecting with others and making a difference, the thought radiates on their solar panels and they feel charged. They carry this perspective throughout the day and by the end of the work day they may be physically tired but their soul feels charged. And that’s what they take home to their family.

So you decide. Do you have a gas tank or solar panels?

I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences with job stress. Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com. Websites: www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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5 Keys to Making Changes That Last

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

As a coach, counselor and interventionist I am extremely passionate about helping my clients have long term, healthy change in their behaviors and their lifestyles. So many folks have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight, quit smoking, stop abusing drugs or alcohol, or other unhealthy behaviors. Some have short term success but very few have long term success.

Here are Five Keys to Making Changes That Last that I use with my clients and encourage you to use in your life.

1. Realistic Expectations–The first key to making changes that last is to have realistic expectations or goals. If we set unrealistic, unattainable goals, then we set ourselves up for failure, disappointment and eventually giving up.

It’s much better to set ourselves up for success by using SMART Goals. Smart Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Click here for more info on how to set SMART Goals.

If we keep it real, then we can make it happen!

2. Internal Motivation–Motivation is the activation of goal oriented behavior and is either intrinsic (internal-coming from inside) or extrinsic (external–coming from outside).

Doing an intervention is a form of external motivation that can help save someone’s life when drug or alcohol use is out of control. But for lasting change, at some point the person will need to find some internal motivation. This is because intrinsic, or internal, motivation is much more powerful for lasting behavioral change.

For optimal internal motivation towards achieving a healthy goal one must truly value the benefit of the goal or lifestyle change, have self-confidence in the ability to achieve the goal, and be in the appropriate social settingfor achieving the goal.

To value the goal it can be helpful to write out lists or reasons why the goal is important to you. It can also be very helpful to visualize achieving the goal.

To increase self-confidence it can be helpful to have a coach, counselor or sponsor on board to help give tools and encouragement that continually build self-confidence.

To maintain a healthy social setting we must remove triggers from our environment. This may even mean entering a treatment program for a more structured, healthy environment for a period of time. It also means having good stimulus control which is removing unhealthy triggers (such as foods, drugs, alcohol) from the environment.

3. Core Skills–These are the skills needed to help you make changes that last. It’s not about willpower, which can often fail us, especially if we get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT).

Core skills include the abilities to honestly observe and evaluate ourselves, then react and respond accordingly. For example, giving ourselves a form of reward or punishment based on how well we’re sticking to our goal plan.

Core skills also include daily disciplines, stress coping strategies and self care. As a coach I emphasize these skills in every session with my clients!

4. Action Plans–The action plan includes all the elements of the SMART Goals–that we have a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goal in place. The action plan has a start date, a deadline, and a list of resources needed for success.

The action plan should also include regular assessments and consultations with one’s coach, counselor, and/or physician. Ironically, having structure can actually give us freedom from unhealthy impulses.

5. Social Support–Who’s in your tribe? Jim Rohn once said, “We become the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. To make lasting change we need to set boundaries with unhealthy influences in our life. This may mean terminating unhealthy relationships and deleting contacts from our phone. If you want a new, healthy life, then you will need some new, healthy friends!

When you assess and change your social circle, it is important to let your circle know about your new goals and values so they can support you on your journey to success. Healthy lives happen in healthy community!

So there you have it–the Five Keys to Making Lasting Change–Realistic Expectations, Internal Motivation, Core Skills, Action Plans, and Social Support. Put these keys into action and they will unlock the healthy lifestyle that will help you be the very best version of yourself!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

For info on counseling, coaching or interventions please contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com or 949-303-8264, 0r visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis
Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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8 Strategies for Coping with Stress

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Everyone experiences stress to some level on a daily basis. Stress is when the outside world gets inside of us. Not all stress is bad, in fact some stress may actually be good. A little bit of stress—just the right amount—can actually help improve our performance.

Stress is the biological, psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social responses to a stressor, which is the real or imagined event that sets things off. To thrive in life we need effective strategies to cope with stress.

We all have different ways of coping with stress. One way to measure coping is to use the Ways of Coping Questionnaire, developed by psychological researchers Folkman and Lazarus. This 66 item questionnaire divides coping into eight different categories or strategies.

Here are the 8 strategies, further divided into active and passive methods of coping:

4 Active Coping Strategies

  • Confrontive coping: You take action and confront the problem.
  • Seeking social support: You seek informational and emotional support. An extremely effective strategy.
  • Planful problem-solving: You make a deliberate and analytical plan to solve the problem. Also an extremely effective strategy.
  • Positive reappraisal: You try to create a positive meaning and focus on personal growth.

4 Passive Coping Strategies

  • Distancing: You expect that the problem solves itself (involves detachment). This is the second to least effective strategy.
  • Self-controlling: You make efforts to regulate feelings and actions.
  • Accepting responsibility: You accept your own role in the problem.
  • Escape-avoidance: You try to avoid the problem by wishful thinking and behavioral efforts. This is the least effective strategy.

Big Question

Which is your go-to strategy for coping with stress?

Big Takeaway

The best strategies for coping with stress are seeking social support and planful problem-solving. So the next time you feel stressed-out, reach out to healthy community for support and/or sit down and think through an analytical plan to tackle the problem.

In addition to social support and planful problem-solving, I am a big fan of prayer, meditation and exercise for stress management. If you aren’t already incorporating these tools into your life, perhaps now is the time to start!

I would love to hear your favorite strategy for coping with stress. Email me at randy@randymoraitis.com or visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com or www.carepossible.org.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

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Daily Top 3

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

My job as a coach, counselor and interventionist is to help my clients live more focused and healthier lives. We can get so busy with work, relationships and responsibilities that we can easily lose focus and feel frustrated.

One tool that I teach my clients (and do myself) is the Daily Top 3 List. Done consistently, this tool can lead to increased focus, success, and happiness.

There are two parts to the Daily Top 3 List–it is actually two separate top 3 lists. One is a task list and the other is a gratitude list.

Top 3 Tasks

Let’s look at the task list first. Have you ever written out a long to-do list then get stressed out about all the things you have to do? I have. Or do you have long to-do lists where you never finished crossing off all the tasks on the list? I do.

Long to-do lists really only serve to increase our anxiety so stop using them today! Instead carefully think through what are the top 3 most important tasks for you to complete each day that will keep you moving towards your main goals and priorities in life.

Imagine it is the end of the day and you’re laying your head on your pillow. What are the top 3 tasks you would need to have accomplished to feel successful about your day so you can relax and get a good night’s sleep? These are the items that must be on your daily top 3 tasks list. Write them down then do them!

Top 3 Gratitudes

The second part of the Daily Top 3 List is a gratitude list. Research is clear that when we live with an attitude of gratitude we are less stressed, less depressed and have happier relationships. Research also shows that cardiac patients who kept gratitude journals showed improvements in their heart health.

Gratitude is good for mind, body and spirit. With all the busyness in our lives and the craziness in the world we can lose sight of living in gratitude, so we must be intentional about gratitude.

Every morning stop to write down the 3 things for which you are most grateful. It could be family, friends, health–whatever you are truly grateful for–write them down. (And unlike the daily task list, you are welcome to write down more than 3 items on your gratitude list.)

Your Next Step

There you have it–to live a healthier, happier and more focused life, take a few moments every morning to write out your top 3 tasks of the day and your top 3 gratitudes of the day.

I hope this coaching tip helps you move towards becoming the very best version of you!

I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at randy@randymoraitis.com or 949-303-8264. Check out my coaching/counseling/intervention website www.randymoraitis.com.

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)
Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

 

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HALT for Recovery and Wellness


By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

If you or a loved one are affected by any mental health, addiction or eating disorder issue then I encourage you to use HALT as an easy-to-remember tool for staying healthy.
HALT is an acronym that stands for:

It’s wise to avoid getting too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired because when we do, any underlying issues (such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, eating disorder, etc.) can be negatively impacted.

HUNGRY–have you seen those Snickers commercials where Marcia of The Brady Bunch turns into Machete because she’s too hungry (hangry)? It is both funny and true!

While I’m not recommending a candy bar, I do recommend that you keep healthy snacks with you throughout the day such as almonds, protein bars, or fruit. When your blood sugar drops your brain stops working at an optimal level and that means a bad decision or bad mood could easily happen. Keep your mind and body fueled for peak performance!

ANGRY–I love this quote from Thomas Jefferson: “When angry count to ten before you speak, if very angry count to one hundred.” Great advice here! Give it a try when you get angry.

Four Square Breathing is another great tool to use when you feel angry. It can help you calm down and regain focus so you do not make any bad choices. Here is a link to easily learn how to do four square breathing.

LONELY–Human beings need healthy community, healthy companionship. There is a great body of research proving that isolation has numerous negative side effects even causing cancer.

There is a very wise quote which says, “Two are better than one…” (Ecc 4:9). This is so true!

If you find yourself isolating–reach out to a friend, family member, or neighbor. Or join a club, group or activity that connects you to others.

If you know of someone that is isolating, reach out to they. They may need you more than you know.

TIRED–Being tired is bad for our health and can lead us to make bad decisions. Have you ever said anything that you didn’t really mean because you were too tired? Or have you ever failed to have a peak performance because you were too tired?

Research clearly shows that we need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to be at our best. I encourage you to have some discipline with this–turn off the TV and put down the phone or iPad early enough for you to get a good night’s rest. Don’t sleep with your phone right by your head–the light interferes with your sleep.

If you have trouble falling asleep, try the following:

  • Be sure to limit caffeine during the day–especially later in the day.
  • Try relaxation and visualization exercises to help induce sleep.
  • Use a sound machine or app to create a calm, soothing environment.

So give HALT a try. If you apply the concept on a daily basis you just might find yourself having a much healthier and happier life.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
You can email me at randy@randymoraitis.com.
Websites: www.randymoraitis.com and www.carepossible.org

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.