“Your book helped me while I was going through chemo treatment!” These were the most powerful words uttered by a woman who read Vitamin C Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul: The Healing Workbook. Vitamin C was written because I wanted to highlight the need to address health and wellness from a holistic approach (mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually). More importantly, people who could not access HandinHand Counseling Services would be helped.
When writing the book I simply wanted to help those who were afraid to use their voice, unsure how to use their voice and those in search of their purpose. What do they want, need desire, fear and love? What makes them happy? What makes them cry? What brings them pain/pleasure? How can my story and experiences help the readers?
I entered the social work profession for the same reason I wrote Vitamin C; to help. As I evolved into this profession, I learned that just helping wasn’t a strong enough why to reach people who have experienced so much pain. Accompanying families to court hearings, school meetings and other interagency meetings to offer support and coordinate care with other providers was eye opening. I quickly noticed a disheartening trend; most families struggled to advocate for themselves or their children. This struggle was often connected to the stigma attached to families receiving social services. Witnessing this struggle, I spent time helping parents to get educated on the systems involved in their lives and building the confidence to advocate for their families. This experience also inspired the Family and Community Chapter of Vitamin C, where I delve more into how we can build stronger communities.
Being associated with the entities who founded the Indie Author Legacy Awards has been an empowering, yet humbling experience. Having the opportunity to be in the same room with so much success, passion, excitement, positivity, resilience and courage was surreal. Being honored as 2017 Author of the Year in the health and wellness category for a book written to inspire and encourage others felt like a win for the community as well as the helping profession.
Writing a book is an amazing accomplishment and your words become your legacy. Your words will transform lives. Your words become the solution to someone’s problem, the answer to a prayer, generational healing to intergenerational pain. Remember, healed people, heal people! “Your story can be the key that unlocks someone’s prison”~ Unknown
Share your testimony!!
If you have interest in getting started with writing a book, email Sharise Nance at

Sharise Nance is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Speaker and Award Winning Author. She is the co-owner and co-founder of HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC; and the founder of VitaminChealing, an organization that provides services to non-profit organizations, social service organizations, helping professionals, entrepreneurs and caregivers struggling with self-care, burn-out and work-life balance. She has worked with a diverse population of children, families, adults and couples. Her areas of specialization include Trauma healing and recovery, relationship building, self-confidence building, depression, anxiety, work-life balance and family systems. Sharise has presented keynotes, workshops and seminars nationally for young professionals, entrepreneurs, parents and adolescents. She has been featured on Pittsburgh Cable Television’s (PCTV) Women in Business segment, The Lynne Hayes Freeland Show, Hustle & Heart Podcast with Darieth Chisolm, Pittsburgh’s Soul Pitt, The New Pittsburgh Courier, honored with an Entrepreneurial Leadership Award at Vision Towards Peace’s 2nd annual Passion Meets the Road Award Gala, won a second place award for Vitamin C Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul in the self- care/medicine category from the Author’s Zone 2014 Pittsburgh Author Awards. The Vitamin C Healing for the Mind Body and Soul Healing Workbook also won author of the year in the health and wellness category of the 2017 Indie Author Legacy Awards in Baltimore, Maryland. Sharise resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband.

5 Good Reasons to take a Mental Health Day from Work…Minus the Guilt



You are not a machine, you are human!

As helping professionals, many of us may feel like firefighters.  We are constantly faced with situations where we are putting out fires.  This profession can be exhausting, if you do not find a way to reset and refocus for the next session or next day.

Research shows that many Americans rarely take time off from work.  Further, many in the helping profession allow guilt to get in the way of taking a much needed mental health day.  You love what you do and there are times when you are mentally exhausted.  However, guilt will not allow you to take a day off.

How do you get past this guilt?  You must first ask yourself, what purpose does this guilt serve in my life?

Can you give your clients the best possible you by working through mental exhaustion?

Is it fair to you or those you serve to get a mentally exhausted version of you?


Helping others begins with first helping ourselves!

As helping professionals, we find ourselves in a unique position.  We are providing care for a living and we must save time and energy for ourselves.

I have struggled in this area for many years.  I found myself consumed with guilt when feeling mentally exhausted and needing a day off.  Who would help my clients?  My teammates need me.  What will I tell my supervisor?  Again, I had to remind myself, my clients and teammates do not deserve a burned out version of Sharise.  This statement is used as a guide when deciding if a mental health day is needed.

What are good reasons to take a mental health day?

  1. Stress

We know the negative impacts stress has on us mentally, physically, psychologically and spiritually.  The work we do can be stressful and it is imperative that we listen to our bodies in order to gage when the stress is taking a toll on our ability to be effective.

  1. You can do something for yourself

As a wise woman stated “self-care for the selfless.”  I cannot stress enough that you give so much, so often to so many that doing something for yourself is a requirement as part of your self-care regimen.

  1. You can rest

How many 12 hour days have you worked?  How many hours have you spent worrying about the well-being of your clients?  The mental energy exerted to be effective in your work requires rest.  Resting consists of no checking emails, voicemails, completing paperwork or any other work related activity.  Disconnect rest and repeat #3!!!

  1. You will be more engaged when you return

We must intermittently disengage in order to actively re-engage.  View taking this well-deserved mental health day as time to recharge, re-energize and reset in order to be as close to 100% effective as possible.  When we take time away from work, we return more effective, more engaged and find renewal in the work we love.

  1. You can tap into your creative mind

A cluttered mind is not an effective mind.  Use this day to de-clutter your mind and be more “mindful” versus “mind-full.”  When we are operating off of a cluttered mind, it is nearly impossible to tap into your creative mind.  Our creative minds will allow us to think quickly on our feet as well as the ability to get through tough situations which will ultimately lead to our clients receiving the best versions of us!


We chose this profession because we love helping others and want to effect change in the world.  It is so common to get lost in work and lose sight of what really makes you happy.  Find what makes you happy outside of work.  Doing so can make a difference in your work-life balance and satisfaction.  A Refueled, Renewed and Re-centered helper is a win-win for YOU and YOUR CLIENTS!

More information on self-care for the helpers, work-life balance and satisfaction is included in the upcoming workbook: Walking the Tight Rope of Life: Refuel. Renew and Re-Center Your Work-Life Demands!

I would love to hear from you!  What struggles do you have with taking a day off from work?

How have you find a healthy work-life balance?

Relationship 201: What Constitutes a True Partnership?

Most of us long to be in a happy and healthy relationship. Songs are created about finding and sustaining love. In addition; a day has been dedicated to couples celebrating romance and love.  Dating is fun.  Falling in love, while scary, is also fun.  The “honeymoon phase” of a relationship is fun and blissful.  On the other side of this fun are challenges.  All relationships experience the normal ups and downs and ebbs and flows.  Through my observations, experiences and interviewing; I have learned that being a good partner sustains a relationship.

While there are many components to being a good partner, I have highlighted four that I find to be most impactful:

Give 100%: I often hear people say “a relationship is 50-50.” 50-50 equates to each person giving half the effort.  Can a relationship be successful with each person only giving 50% of their efforts?  Is the person you claim to love worth half of your efforts?  True partnership is giving your all with no reservations.

Selflessness: The ability to place your partner’s needs before your own.  You replace the “I” for the “we.”  When making decisions you are factoring how your decisions will impact your significant other. It is not just about you, it’s about team US.

Don’t hold grudges: Disagreements and even arguments will occur in relationships.  Use the disagreements as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of your partner.  Continue to communicate about the disagreement with each other.  Forgive and move on.  Holding grudges with your partner weakens the relationship.

You play for the same team: When your teammate is having a bad day, offer support, encouragement or give him/her the space needed to recuperate.  A good partner does not down talk their mate to others.  A good partner speaks life and has the uncomfortable, but necessary conversations with their mate.

When you’re in a true partnership you learn and grow together. As my husband says, “you become two halves of one whole genius.”

Now it’s time to hear from you! What makes you a good partner? What do you think it takes to sustain a relationship?


Sharise Hemby-Nance is a licensed therapist and award winning author with 15 years of experience in individual and couples counseling.   For more information or assistance with relationship building or couples packages please contact me at or visit



Say Goodbye to Self-Guilt & Hello to Self-Compassion: Tips for reframing self-guilt

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Guilt can rear its ugly head in many facets of your life. You feel guilty because you work long hours, leaving minimal time for your family. You feel guilty because “life happened” forcing you to devote more time to your personal life and less to work. You feel guilty because you do not have the energy to complete another task or an event you RSVP’d to months ago.   And….the most common form of guilt is saying no to everything and everyone else but saying yes to you; better known as self-compassion or self-care.

By no means am I implying that self-guilt is completely bad. Guilt can be a sign that you want to be better and you want more. There is always room for improvement; it is healthy to strive for being a better you each day and holding yourself accountable. Sometimes a little guilt can be the fuel you need to make some changes. However, when you find yourself consistently feeling guilty for wanting to say no, needing to take a day off, wanting to treat yourself and wanting to enjoy life; it may be time to evaluate your level of self-compassion.

These tips can help you reframe the way you view self-guilt:

  1. Get in wise mind. Guilt is an emotion and emotions are important in certain situations (loving our spouses, children). Getting in wise mind is the medium between reason and emotion. Wise mind is based off your life experiences and what you know to be true. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with guilt, ask yourself, “What would wise mind say?”
  2. Say Yes to You. When you say yes to everything and everyone else, you are saying no to someone very important-YOU!! Feeling guilty for saying no to a request may be perceived as “selfish.” Allow me to explain; someone asks you to do something or invites you to an event and for whatever reason you want to decline. But your guilt will not allow you to decline and you say yes to a request and no to yourself. Remember, no one is going to feel guilty for taking from you so don’t you dare feel guilty for taking care of you. I discuss this concept at length here.
  3. Use Guilt for Insight Only. Why do you feel guilty? What changes can you make? If you feel you have genuinely done something wrong, focus on the lesson and allow it to motivate you to embrace being better.
  4. Apologize, Accept and Let It Go. What purpose does the guilt serve in your life? How is your guilt helping your current situation? If you have done something wrong to someone; apologize and let it go. If someone is not ready to accept your apology; accept this as a part of their healing process. Allow them the time and space they need and work toward letting it go. Your guilt will not help the situation.


Do not put yourself on trial and render a “guilty verdict” for every decision you make. Remember self-compassion and self- guilt cannot co-exist. It is impossible to truly take care of yourself while feeling guilty for taking care of yourself.

Feel free to contact Sharise Hemby-Nance at

*Serious inquires only

A Holistic Approach to Mental Health Wellness: Examining 4 components to maintain a balanced lifestyle

We live best when we are in balance!  Oftentimes life can come at us fast; resulting in most of us losing our center in search of balance.  Most of us seek work-life balance and when one facet dominates our lives we can become imbalanced. This article will discuss strategies for finding balance from a holistic approach in a fast paced society.

As a mental health professional, I have learned that treating patients from a holistic approach is imperative to get to the core of the problem and assist them in developing or enhancing the tools to manage life’s complexities.  There are many components that factor into treating the whole person. In this article, I will highlight the physical, emotional, mental/ psychological and spiritual domains.

Physical Wellness: This may be the most important area to obtaining mental health wellness.  Before we can address the other components, we must he aware of any physical symptoms that may be affecting an individual’s ability to function.  Assessing the physical symptoms before the mental health symptoms is essential.  Most patients present with physical symptoms that mirror mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression (problems sleeping, loss of appetite, panic attacks, and shortness of breath).  When this occurs, patients should be referred to their primary medical doctor to rule out any medical conditions before continuing mental health treatment.  Some questions to consider:

How much sleep are you getting at night?

Do you exercise regularly?

Are you getting proper nutrition?

Do you see your doctor regularly?

Emotional Wellness: People in good emotional health are not exempt from adversity.  However, they are resilient, having the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.  Emotional wellness is the groundwork for what is necessary for identifying and nurturing your feelings, your intellect and your conscious inner-being.  Some strategies for enhancing our emotional wellness include Positive affirmations, practicing self-love, find a hobby, don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t be afraid to say yes, practice forgiveness.

Emotional health also involves the people around you.  Conduct an inventory of the people you spend the most time around.

Are they supportive?

Do they challenge you?

Are they draining or discouraging?

Mental/Psychological Wellness: Individuals who have good mental and psychological health are able to use their cognitive and emotional capabilities to function in society and meet the day to day demands of life. If an individual finds himself or herself suffering from symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, feelings of hopelessness that persist for several days, irritability, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions seek medical attention immediately. Again, medical conditions should be ruled out before patients begin treatment with a mental health professional.  Most mental health disorders are a result of chemical imbalances and some are genetic.  When an individual has a chemical imbalance, he or she may have a mental health disorder.  Seeking mental health treatment is extremely important in assisting individuals in tapping into their strengths to enhance their coping skills in order to manage their conditions.  It is also important to take any medication prescribed by your doctor and report all side effects in counseling and to your doctor.  Do not stop taking medications without speaking to your doctor.  Other strategies for enhancing our mental and psychological wellness include joining a support group, journaling, reading a self-help book and practicing relaxation techniques.

Spiritual Wellness: The activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a higher power and deeper meaning for our lives.  Spiritual wellness involves the values and beliefs that provide meaning and purpose in our lives.  A huge part of spiritual wellness is understanding “Who Am I?”  When the gap between whom we are versus whom we think we are narrows; we begin to have good spiritual health.  The process of spiritual wellness also includes what is real within our own experiences on our journeys to discover our truths.  Consider the following questions for developing spiritual wellness:

Do you make time for relaxation in your day?

Do you make time for meditation or prayer in your day?

Do your values align with your decisions and actions?

Do you accept the values and views of others?

When treating the whole person, the goal is to assist individuals in finding balance in each facet of their lives.  It may take time before one is ready to divulge the information needed to take the steps to achieve the desired results.  There are many different ways to assist individuals in achieving this goal, but the one variable that does not change is meeting individuals where they are!

More information on a holistic approach to mental health wellness can be found in Sharise Hemby’s book Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook for the Mind, Body and Soul, click here

For a consultation, contact Sharise Hemby at