NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : stress

Decrease stress, prioritize mental health, and get the most out of time off.

Sarasota FL psychology manage stress with time off

It’s not easy to take time off work especially when we are under stress to perform. Taking time off can be extra hard when it’s for mental health.

In past few years, there has been increasing awareness and chatter about taking mental health days. Near the end of May, Nadia Whittome, one of the youngest members of Britain’s Parliament, reveled she had been diagnosed with PTSD, and was going to take several weeks off under the guidance of her mental health provider.

On her website she wrote, “Through being open about my own mental health struggle, I hope that others will also feel able to talk about theirs.”

Whittome is not alone in her choice to take time away from demands to tend to her mental health needs. Teachers and healthcare workers are leaving their positions reporting burnout from the covid-19 stress.

There seems to be a wave of optimism with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted. However, there may be a second wave of COVID-19 related mental health challenges yet to come. Some of these challenges are related to post COVID adjustments. Other aspects are likely related to the prolonged experience of anxiety, depression, stress and isolation countless Americans faced over the past year.

Given the nations prolonged exposure to stress and trauma it is not surprising that many people are choosing to take time off from work. Research has supported that taking time off has some significant benefits including less stress when returning to work and a decrease in stress while taking time off.

According to a 2020 report from the Commonwealth Fund, Americans suffered more mental health consequences from the Covid-19 crisis than people in nine other high-income countries. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported experiencing stress, anxiety or major sadness that was difficult to cope with alone. These are feelings that shouldn’t be ignored. Unfortunately, taking time off of work isn’t an option for everyone, however as a nation we would likely benefit if more were granted more opportunities to prioritize mental wellbeing over personal productivity.

Make sure you check in with feelings

Taking on work tasks can use up a lot of our time in a week. Taking time off can leave some significant voids in the schedule. These voids provide an opportunity to check in with ourselves and see what if any feelings or thoughts bubble up to fill the voids. Without planned effort we can accidently fill all of the voids out of reflex. Sitting with sadness, grief, anger, fear, depression ect. can be uncomfortable however, I am going to suggest these feelings can be the jump on point to heal and grow again in life. It is pretty normal to want to avoid discomfort when taking time off. However, moving into this paradox, where we welcome what bubbles up and process it during times of break can provide a significant long term reduction in discomfort. The saying “there is never a good time” to feel these feelings probably rings true here. I mean, you finally get time off work, and I am suggesting we can benefit from looking out for bad feelings can feel so counter intuitive. However, I am suggesting that doing just this can be very powerful.

Have a plan for reentry

keep the stress off returning to work with Dr. Davenport Sarasota, FL Psychologist

It is easy to hit the ground running when we return to work, things to get caught up on, and we can easily return to the same patterns. Taking some time to define new healthy behaviors can be a powerful way to continue change. It is suggested to make one behavioral change at a time. Take 2 weeks to implement each behavior. Once it is set add another one. For example, when returning to work it is easy to have a desk lunch while getting caught up on tasks and projects. However, a more adaptive behavior would be to leave the office to be outside and clear your mind or going to lunch with colleagues.

Grateful soothes Stress

In the current era this one can sound a bit burnt out. However, practicing gratitude has been found to correlate to improved relationship and happiness in those around us. After this stressful year with COVID-19, we have so much to potentially feel grateful for.

Even the suffering of the past year could be seen as a opportunity to see where we need to take better care of our own mental health. If we do not take care of ourselves, we will not be able to do our best on other tasks. Again the paradox here, some times working less lets us do more. We have to be able to take a long term approach to see the benefit. When we are stressed we are not as able to play things out as well in the long term. A great example of this is the message on air planes: “if you are traveling with small children please put your oxygen mask on first.” In the short run this can seem selfish even counter intuitive to parenting. However, if you do not put your mask on first, you will not be be able to do your best to help to others.

If you or someone you love is dealing with too much stress or having mental health difficulties call Dr. Davenport today for counseling and therapy services in Sarasota, FL 941-321-1971.

Feeling younger can help protect against stress and health decline!

feeling younger can help you feel less stress and healthy.
If we feel younger we can handle stress better according to study.

In a recently published study published in Psychology and Aging researchers from the German Centre of Gerontology looked at data from 5,039 participants age 40 and older. They considered peoples’ perceived stress and their functional health. They also collected subjective age by asking “how old do you feel?”

The research found that participants who reported more stress had a increased risk for rapid decline in functional health over three years and the connection between stress and functional health increased as individuals were older.

Of note, subjective age seemed to provider a degree of protection. For those who felt younger than their actual age, the link between stress and declines in functional health were weaker.

Conclusions from this suggest that interventions that help people feel younger may result in reduced negative impact from stress and may improve health among older adults. On a larger social level, as we are able to counter negative age stereotypes and promote positivity around age could help people feel younger.

The research was not able to suggest an ideal gap between chronological age and subjective age. Further research is needed to clarify this point. This study references past findings that suggest it’s helpful to to feel younger up to a point but that benefits decrease as the gap between subjective and chronological age increases.

The lead author, Markus Wettstein, PhD, University of Heidelberg, said “Feeling younger to some extent might be adaptive for functional health outcomes, whereas ‘feeling too young’ might be less adaptive or even maladaptive.”

Davenport Psychology provides therapy and counseling services to gracefully aging adults in Sarasota and Venice FL. Call 941-321-1971 today if you want to talk about stress management or feelings younger.

Election Day 2016: Election Stress 2016

It is Election day in America. This election seems different than many others with a lot of election stress being felt. The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a survey looking at how this election may be resulting in significant election stress for Americans.

In particular, 52% of US adults were reporting significant election stress. Interestingly, both Republicans and Democrats were found to be equally likely  to report the election as a source of significant stress.

Stress and stress management have found to be significantly important to our well-being  both psychologically and physiologically.

The American Psychological Association offers tips to help people manage stress related to the election:

  1. Limit exposure to media  to avoid the ups and downs and instead choose regular times to update yourself keeping in mind  that you will not know the outcome until after the election is over. Fill your time with other fulfilling activities.
  2. Avoid discussing your political beliefs if there is a high likelihood of conflict arising. Be aware of how frequently you are discussing politics with friends, family members, or coworkers.
  3. Be aware of how your worrying about what might happen can lead to increased feelings of anxiety or stress. Work to remind yourself that this is not likely to be helpful to you and redirect your mind to areas that might allow you  to have the greatest impact such as being politically active.
  4. Find reassurance in the three branches of our government maintaining some semblance of stability  and avoid catastrophizing.
  5. Be sure to vote and hopefully by doing so you will feel your taking a proactive step in participating in the election cycle

It should be noted that many of these recommendations by the American Psychological Association  reflect cognitive behavioral interventions which can soothe us but also at times cover up why we are having the feelings or thoughts. Dr. Davenport finds it can also be helpful in being curious as to the origins of the unpleasant thoughts or feelings. This curious exploration can allow us to see if there’s something helpful in the origin of these feelings or thoughts to understand as well. The current nature of social media and news media have us exposed to election stimuli much more frequently than in past years and the findings from the APA suggest that the increased exposure result in increased stress.

election stress and media

Social media exposure and increased rating of election stress.

Election Stress American Psychological Association

52% of adults say the presidential election is a significant source of stress

Childhood Stress May = Impaired Reward System as Adults

Recent findings published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by Duke University researchers suggest a potential pathway where childhood stress may increase risk for depression or other mental health problems in adulthood.

This data is not shocking news nor is it as daunting a finding as it may seem. Our mind bases a lot of what we expect in the future on what we have lived through or expect to experince. When, as children, we have been in stressful situations that we cannot control our minds have a choice of either overcoming (fighting), protecting (flight), or freezing. these reactions can be extremely adaptive when we are young however as adults they can exacerbate a sense of being out of control of our own destiny. This tends to be a recipe for both anxiety and depression. The good news is that many of these are misguided protection attempts by our mind and with some redirection frequently we are able to find change. some of the challenge can be, that as children, change was not an option so imagining this third choice does not always come easily. This can sometimes present a certainty that there is no other way to find change. Sometimes beginning counseling can be a powerful part of this process of change and hope.

Harder exercise helps reduce stress more

It is well accepted, in both the field of psychology and medicine, that there is a powerful link between exercise and stress.

The federal government suggests a minimum of 150 min. of movement a week to maintain optimal health. However, you probably need more to most effectively combat stress.

Dr. Edward Phillips, director of the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at the Joslin Diabetes Center, says that people who spend more time exercising are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

Despite there being a powerful pull to be told what is best for you, there is no exact science about how much exercise is best for beating stress. Frequently is powerful to find a balance between what we know is effective than others and listening to one’s own body for more personal feedback. one challenge in this is that when we feel depressed and is frequently hard to be motivated to do more. However, this can be overcome by scheduling days and times to be active while being mindful of how our body feels after the exercise and the day following.

Additionally, it can be helpful to integrate a variety of exercises to maintain diversity and interest in the activities. In a study published earlier this year, Stanford University researchers found that people who walked in a natural setting for 90 min. or less likely to obsess over negative thoughts than those who walked for a similar amount of time in a metropolitan area.


Wall Street Traders may need therapy.

A recent article discussed how therapy can be helpful in addressing career stress. High demand jobs, such as those in the financial sector, can be tremendously rewarding but also take a toll on well-being and our performance. Although stress can help us perform better, it does so only to a point than we see a sharp decline in performance. This decline can be self-perpetuating, as we see our effectiveness decline we are likely to try to work harder. This loop can lead to feeling out of control of our own destiny which frequently is seen with depression and can bring on anxiety.

Dr. Charles R. Davenport works as a Licensed Psychologist Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC with offices in Sarasota, Florida and Venice, Florida. If you or someone you care about is struggling with career related stress, anxiety, or depression please call Dr. Davenport’s office at 941-321-1971.

Home | Resources | Psychology Blog | New Patient Forms


1224 Ridgewood Ave

Venice Officeon


1608 Oak St

Sarasota Officeon Google+

941-321-1971 Fax: 941-866-0936

Monday-Thursday 9am-7pm
5 out of 5 stars on (6 surveys)

Dr. Charles R. Davenport is a Licensed Psychologist
Copyright 2020
Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy