Dear Liz,

As locals who cherish where we live I find myself often annoyed by the increase of inconsiderate tourists who flock to our beautiful area and beaches. Let me say that many are respectful and courteous — and certainly help our economy. But the traffic and illegal parking in and around Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms and waterfront Mount Pleasant have me seeing red. My blood pressure is up and I feel almost run out of the place we have called home for three generations. It is affecting my health and my mood. Help.

Negative impact

Dear “Negative impact,”

I certainly relate to your frustration. It doesn’t take many inconsiderate people to ruin a day. If you choose to let it, that is. What is most helpful to remember is it is our thoughts that control our feelings. When we are thinking negatively, it impacts our health and our mood. First question is, what in this situation can I truly control? And take that action. A phone call to your local law enforcement, and taking photos of offending vehicles with their license tags might help. Sometimes calling a problem to the attention of our local media can also help. I do not advise ever taking the situation into your own hands because you don’t know what could be going on in the head of the offending party. Once you have done all your can control, turn to definitive self care — doing those things which bring you joy and a sense of well being. I love the deep breathing app on my watch. It seems to “know” when I need to calm myself from within. Prepare a list of self care activities — solo and with people and inside and outside, at home and away so you have an arsenal of “go to’s” to help you feel better and empowered.

Dear Liz,

Here we are on a pretty day, on Isle of Palms and we find ourselves surrounded by people who insist upon polluting their lungs and our air space with their smoke. Ugh. The sea breeze doesn’t seem to clear it away when it is all around us. We moved three times the last time. It is the epitome of rude to me.

Trying to relax

Dear “Trying to relax,”

That is one of my pet peeves as well. But not one you have a lot of control of other than frequenting less crowded areas. I find our county park on Isle of Palms to be so convenient. Except for days when the tide is coming in or high and we need to “crowd together.”

We are somewhat spoiled in that we can get away from it most of the time. I find most locals are quite courteous about smoking (grateful). But we do run into people who are very arrogant about it and think it is their “right.” (And is legal in certain areas.) Know those laws so you can avoid the annoyance as much as possible. If you are one of those courteous smokers who is aware of wind direction, children and environment, a special thank you.

Contact Liz via asklizchs@outlook.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.