Family Psychiatry
Counseling & Wellness

A comprehensive, integrative psychiatric and wellness clinic serving the mental, physical, emotional and preventative health needs of all members of the family. Find better, one step at a time.

Holistic Psychiatry for your Mind, Body & Soul

At Family Psychiatry Counseling & Wellness, we specialize in performing comprehensive psychiatric and psychological evaluations to establish accurate diagnoses and prepare individualized treatment plans. We combine advanced conventional methods with safe alternative treatment approaches to bring about lasting relief and improved quality of life.

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Eat, Enjoy, and be Mindful

Now that we are into the holiday season, it can be easy to be swept up in the festivities. All the family gatherings, the office parties, and the exchanging of gifts can be fun but sometimes people can get a bit carried away. Whether it be losing track of finances or indulging too much in holiday foods it can be simple to fall out of beneficial habits.

While it is great to treat yourself and enjoy time with loved ones if you feel like you need help maintaining your goals during the holiday season here are some helpful tips.

Enjoy in Moderation

With the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be difficult to know when to say no. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the holiday fun; it just means setting some boundaries. Be mindful about what you are eating, try slowing down and really enjoying the food. It takes time for your brain to tell you that you are full so try waiting a bit in between helpings. Even 10 minutes can make a difference and can allow your body to properly communicate how full it is.

Remember to prioritize sleep even during the holiday season. Sleep is so important and can affect decision-making and reduce stress. According to the National Sleep Foundation getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night can keep you healthy. So instead of burning out your candle with the stress from the holidays make sure you set boundaries to give you the proper amount of rest.

Create a Holiday Budget

Often people can get lost in the gift-giving and end up spending way too much. While the notion might come from a good place that feeling of financial panic when the dust settles is something we want to avoid. Instead, try making a holiday budget.

Set aside your budgets for what you would like to spend, such as gifts, vacations parties, and home decorations. If you later find that your budget doesn’t cover your whole list, try to prioritize what is most important to you. For example, maybe you can get creative with your gifts by crafting them instead.

A Little Goes a Long Way

It’s easy to let go of routines and going to the gym is normally the first to go. It’s convenient to say “I’ll go tomorrow” or “I’ll start back in January” but it is proven that it is a lot harder to start over. Instead, try adjusting your gym time, maybe just do a quick 10–15-minute cardio or even go for a walk outside. You can always invite visiting friends or family and do a yoga session or Pilates. Take advantage of the holiday deals most gyms offer, most allow you to invite a plus one if you need some extra support to go.

According to Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, “A regular workout schedule of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity will not only help relieve stress, it will lead to better weight regulation during a time when calorie-dense foods are the norm.”

Don’t be discouraged if you end up skipping a day, it is not all or nothing. Your health and fitness goals do not need to be perfect, instead try to prioritize a healthier mindset by adjusting during the holiday season.

Enjoy the holiday season and be sure to take time for yourself. Check in with yourself and make sure you are giving yourself proper self-care. This time of year is about appreciating relationships and creating positive memories.

In the words of Dr. Beth Frates, a clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, “It’s not as much about filling your stomach with fine food as it is about filling your heart with the love of those around you.”

If you or someone you love feel like you need some extra support during this holiday season, please reach out. We are always here to help!


Time for Togetherness

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and most people are booking flights, coordinating events, or hurriedly looking up recipes. With the rush to see friends and family, it is important to stop and appreciate the holiday. It is a time to get together with loved ones, maybe some that you haven’t seen in years. Unfortunately, recent events have shaped some people to not even want to see anyone. While some might have their reasons, we are encouraging the positives of reconnecting.

While home-cooked meals are an obvious bonus, there are many mental and physical benefits from socializing. According to a study by Barbara Fiese, a professor and chair of the psychology department in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University, the routine and ritual of Thanksgiving can provide security during times of stress and transition and offer physical and mental health benefits to children ages 0-5. Setting aside time to come together and share memories can be crucial for creating positive relationships.

Humans by nature are social creatures. Allocating time to reconnect with others has shown boosts in immune systems and well-being. This holiday is a perfect time to push ourselves to be social and be grateful for the people in our lives. It’s a great time to be thankful and reminisce with your loved ones. Research shows that friends also play an important role in promoting your overall health so if you don’t have immediate family to socialize with having a “Friends-Giving” can be the next best thing.

Of course, gratitude plays a key role in Thanksgiving. Research shows that practicing gratitude can help promote love. Being thankful can encourage affection between others and can help bridge gaps in relationships. It might allow you to see things through another person's eyes and give perspective and understanding. Gratitude can increase empathy, lower stress, and reduce aggression.

Getting together around the table to share stories and bond over delicious food can also increase self-esteem, lower the risk of depression, and build a stronger immune system. Remember to enjoy yourself during this Thanksgiving and take time to be grateful. We want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and if you or a loved one need some extra care, please feel free to reach out. We are truly grateful for your support.


Fall Into Fun

The leaves are falling, the weather is crisp, and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, it’s officially Autumn! It feels like it was just yesterday when we were watching the New Year’s ball drop for 2021 and now it is already approaching the holiday season. While time is flying by, there are still plenty of opportunities to partake in the Fall activities.

Autumn Arts and Crafts

According to research published by University College London’s MARCH mental health network, there are proven studies showing that visual arts can reduce anxiety, social isolation, and bring down stress hormones. Textile crafts such as crocheting, embroidery, and knitting have shown positive effects in participants involving increased enjoyment, pride, accomplishment, and self-awareness. Embrace the shift in the weather by crafting up scarves or beanies to make for yourself or for loved ones. Starting an arts and crafts group can establish a social activity to do with friends or family. Perhaps breaking out some fall colors and diving into a painting can be another beneficial project. Celebrate the season with new hobbies.

Enjoy Fall Food

Whether it be cooking pumpkin bread at home or going out to get a nice butternut squash soup, taking part in the seasonal joys of food can have a positive effect on our mental health. The act of sharing a meal with friends and family allows for everyone to experience a sense of community and security. While cooking a meal can stimulate creative growth, finding new and exciting meals to cook can also be a fun activity too. Maybe building your culinary skills can lead to a sense of accomplishment that many mental health professionals encourage.

Change Up Your Wardrobe

The weather is getting slightly colder so you can take that opportunity to change up your wardrobe. Maybe you are feeling a bit bland with your current outfits and need something new or possibly feeling overwhelmed with the state of your closet. This can be a perfect opportunity to go through old clothes or items you never wear and donate them. There are many psychological benefits from just tidying up your closet. Researchers at UCLA discovered that people who tend to have cluttered and disorganized closets can have an increased level of cortisol, a stress hormone. Having a high level of cortisol can over time lead to sleep issues, high blood pressure, mood swings, and low energy levels. While cleaning out your closet isn’t a fix-all, it can help your stress levels and give you a feeling of achievement.

Embracing the Fall season with creative and engaging activities has been shown to have encouraging effects on our mental health. Whether it be crocheting a scarf or cooking up a festive recipe taking some time to explore new creative avenues can be a great way to welcome Autumn. If you or someone you love would like some extra help with finding new appealing activities to help boost your lifestyle, please reach out. We are always here to help!


(805) 341-3416
Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 6:00pm


31194 La Baya Drive
Suite 202
Westlake Village, CA 91362


30851 Agoura Road
Suite 304
Agoura Hills, CA 91301


© 2021 Family Psychiatry Counseling and Wellness.