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I get it. I really do. If you are a mom or responsible for young children in the home. This time of shelter at home is more than challenging. First, this change was too sudden for comfort. No one planned for a pandemic in April. Really, it was just not on the calendar. Now that it is on the calendar. How do we survive...OUR FAMILIES?

Before digging into the substance of this blog, I would like to thank all the people in direct service professions who are doing the essential work so that we can limit the spread of this deadly virus, I send prayers of safety and health to you and your families. 

This blog is particularly for the people who are at home, either working from home with children or off work staying home with children. So here we are. Two weeks into a 1 month shelter in place with our family. What do we do? “How do we survive- OUR FAMILIES?”

In the course of my day to life I have been computing inside my brain an answer to this very question. And from my years of training as a ps...

September 20, 2019

How many times have you said to yourself “I can do that later” or “I will get around to it” in the past 1 week? Too many, I know so have I...

December 25, 2018

As we navigate the holidays, we can become stressed and anxious. Spending more time around family and friends, especially when relationships are strained, can be a challenge. That's where empathy comes in - both for yourself and those around you.

Watch this short video to learn more about empathy & how to use it!

Jessica K. Hairston, MD


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December 18, 2018

Empathy is a wonderful gift that we learn as we grow up, but there's more to empathy than what we learned. In this video, Dr. Hairston shares her definition of empathy and why it matters!

Jessica K. Hairston, MD


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 Bullies come in all shapes and sizes...

They also have many different strategies for spreading their negativity. Many are relatives and call themselves your friends. Professionally I work daily with people who have been deeply hurt by the uncontested words of others. The best protection against people and their hurtful words are recognition of their behaviors and distancing oneself from their influence and impact.

Distancing yourself is a very necessary action because we can influence but not change the behaviors of other people. If asking this person to modify their actions does not motivate them to change their behavior then distance yourself. This is for your own protection.  When one retaliates against a bully the negative impact of the situation increases instead of diminishes. Now 2 people are hurt and wounded without the strength to positively impact the situation 

Here's how to recognize a bully and subtle and not so subtle verbal abuse. If you are experiencin...

Thoughts of a Child Psychiatrist

by Jessica Hairston, MD

Why now ? Why me?

Whether wanted or unwanted, change can be hard. Change can shake your sense of identity, your sense of security, and your sense of purpose. Confusion can swiftly move in where clarity once lived. Birth, death, marriage, divorce, unemployment, new employment, legal problems, debt, bankruptcy, incarceration, trauma, sickness, accidents, and moving location are sources of tremendous change and along with them tremendous stress. Sometimes something as small (or as large) as losing a cell phone or wallet can devastate us.

As a psychiatrist, I ask a lot of myself. I challenge myself daily to forge a path to health amidst uncertainty because in my opinion I must be willing to do that which I ask of my clients.  During the last 4 months, I have taken a step back to reflect on the large scale changes in my life. Below, you will find the 5 ways of handling change that have brought me the greatest strength in times of celebrat...

December 14, 2017

I have been doing more traveling in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years. Whenever I am traveling away from home, I must pay even closer attention to my daily routine, otherwise, I find myself staying awake too late or eating tasty things that are wrong for my body, or having conversations that go nowhere and are ultimately draining. All too quickly, I can get off track and find myself feeling bored, tired, listless, and grumpy. This state of mind is not a good place for me to be when I am in a new place, learning new things, and making first impressions. Therefore, I am becoming aware of better choices I can make to make my vacation time travels more fun for everyone involved- starting with me.  Also, this state of mind is the last place you want to be when visiting my family and friends you have not seen for the last year.

Here are my 5 tips to a Happier and Healthier Holiday Season:

1)  Leave Early: Start your trip 1-2 hours earlier than planned so that you have more trav...

October 5, 2017

As a psychiatrist, I came to terms with the stigma of mental illness long ago.  By doing so, I learned to say with great pride and earnestness that I am a psychiatrist. While others in life go to work with a sense of dread and drudgery, I have a treasure chest of satisfaction awaiting me each day.  I love what I do. I listen to people so that I can understand them and prescribe medications, routines, and lifestyle changes to help bring relief to emotional turmoil and help them achieve meaningful goals. This is not an exaggeration. This is what I do every day and my patients thank me for it.  I am writing this blog to say “Thank You!” to each of them.

First, “Thank You!” for having the courage to walk into my office. Let’s face it, even in 2017 that very first step takes guts. I know that by walking into my office there are people out there, including your family members, who will laugh at you and ridicule you. I am standing up to applaud you because you have taken your life in...

September 26, 2017

Listen in as Dr. Hairston shares her passion for health - 360 Degrees: Mind Body and Spirit.

She will be presenting at Excelerate 2017 on “Being Your Best Self: Making Bigger Impact via Authority” Learn her #1 tip you can use TODAY!

Excelerate 2017 is coming up November 3-4, 2017. Tickets are now available.

Click here to get yours now!

Since my last blog, I have been reflecting on 'Gratitude' and the role that a deep understanding of gratitude has in living a balanced, joyful, and happy life. My appreciation for actions of gratitude continue to increase daily. I welcome the day for when I live moment by moment immersed in gratitude.

In my reflections, I came to the conclusion that after gratitude, having a firm understanding of one's own value, is the second necessary component for a more balanced and joyful life. To me, this means understanding and appreciating the value of your body, your mind, your spirit, your health, talents, creative skills, character, personality, resourcefulness, and time to be alive. With such appreciation, you can value your true self, as-is, right now.  By understanding your value, you can be so very precious and flawed at the same time without losing your value.

So often, I meet people who do not have an understanding of their value. Somehow through the course of living, someone else h...

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At Home - Strategies from a Child Psychiatrist

April 10, 2020

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