Summer is here!

We hope you are doing well and enjoying some of the glorious weather we’ve had lately. We know how a little sunshine can go a long way!   The dark, cold and dreary days of winter are behind us. A new season is unfolding. Homework, holidays, carpools, and even some of our jobs are going on hiatus. The frantic and frenetic mode that we experience during the year is slowing down to make way for lazy mornings and relaxing evenings.   The transition isn’t that simple. Lots of shopping for those of us with teens going to camp. Reshuffling of carpools. Kids slamming doors all hours of the day, dripping ices across floors and dragging dripping towels through house. Some of us crave order and routine especially when we are not feeling our best. Some of us feel safer in the peace and quiet of our homes and don’t do well sitting outside with neighbors, in the heat and with all that noisy conversations.   So here are some pointers to help you enjoy your summer to the fullest, whether you’re a summer fan, or whether you prefer cozy winters.   1. Drink! The hot and humid weather can really […]

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The Stress is Real- Tools to Help With Pesach Prep

To our dear Yad Rachel family members,   Purim has come and gone! We sincerely hope that you were able to tap into some of the joy and celebration that comes along with that magical and mystical Yom Tov.   Can we sit back and relax now? Not quite. The Jewish calendar is once again calling for us to keep busy.   All around us, there is a palpable tension in the air. Conversations of cleaning, cooking, shopping can be heard. Shelves in grocery stores being lined and filled with Pesach products. Pesach kitchens being opened and scrubbed down. Lines in kids clothing stores with purchases and returns. For a large majority of us, all this activity fills us with dread and anxiety. The lists seem so long. The errands seem endless. The cleaning seems insurmountable.   When? Where? How?   The anxiety can turn to panic; the panic can then turn to anger. “Is this Simchas Yom Tov? Really? Scrubbing and cleaning?”   The anxiety can turn to shame, which turns into feelings of inadequacy. “Everyone else is managing. Why am I crying and why am I the only one not coping?”   The anxiety can turn to avoidance, which then turns into unmanageability. “The list is too long. I can’t […]

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When a Loved One Has Depression

8 tips to help you cope.   The suicide of beloved comic actor Robin Williams has again brought the topic of depression to the forefront. I cannot imagine what it feels like to have the weight of such unendurable despair that is so intense you cannot bear even staying in this world. But I know all too well what it is like to live with family members who have depression. One of my parents, a sibling, my husband, and one of my children have also suffered from this black cloud, in varying degrees, and for varying lengths of time. I have spent much of my life living with people I love with all my heart who often have trouble feeling happy or optimistic. This is in itself is very, very painful. Depression runs in families, and seems to be especially common among Ashkenazi Jews. Maybe our difficult history somehow let it seep into our psychological DNA. Depressive episodes don’t necessarily have causes. While traumatic events can trigger depression, in many cases it is part of a person’s psychological make-up, and I was at first baffled when years ago, my daughter, who had everything going for her, including friends and success […]

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Dealing with Depression

  There is a world of difference between clinical depression and having a bad day. When I was a young rabbi and I first encountered someone with depression, I vividly remember thinking to myself, why can’t he just snap out of it? What does he mean when he says he sleeps most of the day and can’t concentrate on anything? We are all tired and dealing with stress. Just resolve to get out of bed and get going. I remember not being able to understand why he was so depressed. After all, by all measures, his life was pretty good. If he were to just focus on the blessings and simply choose to be positive, he wouldn’t be depressed at all. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful that I didn’t articulate any of these sentiments to him, but nevertheless, I feel ashamed and even guilty for having being so ignorant and insensitive to what depression is all about. We perpetrate a terrible disservice by using the exact same word to describe how we feel when our favorite team gets knocked out of the playoffs or when our cell phone breaks, and a chemical, clinical illness that can be debilitating and […]

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Recovering from PPD- It’s a process!

Most women who reach out to us are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. The pain, sadness and almost constant anxiety is more than they can bear, and they are desperate for a quick and fast solution. It’s important to realize that the recovery process is like a JOURNEY. A number of steps leading up to an amazing goal- BUT one needs patience and time to get there.   The process of recognizing, getting treatment and recovering can take weeks and sometime months. “WE KNOW THAT CAN BE FRUSTRATING” Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand- we wish there was. Healing can’t be rushed- it takes baby steps and time. It might take effort, hard work and lots of acceptance. But you’ll get through it- and G-d willing reach a complete recovery- WE PROMISE!!! You will be able to experience the joy of motherhood- without the fears, loneliness or insecurities! Your confidence and love of yourself will return. You’ll be stronger and wiser, and will trust yourself more than ever! IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER: Don’t compare your recovery to others. Don’t expect that you should before your time. Don’t give up! You will get there!  

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