The new year is a great time to explore goals and resolutions, but more importantly I think you have the chance to improve overall coping skills. 2016 took an emotional toll on many, so get ready for anything that may arise in 2017 by putting together your emotional toolkit. Check it out here.
Have you considered yourself or your mental health during the holidays? It's such a great time of the year, but it can be stressful and bring up painful and uncomfortable emotions as well. I'll give you 9 concrete strategies for managing your stress levels and finding ways to enjoy this time.
You can probably list a million things you love about the holidays, and a million things that bring you down. It's normal to experience a mix of pleasant and uncomfortable emotions during the holiday season. How much avoiding are you doing, and how much are you missing what's important? I go through 3 easy steps you can take to make the absolute most of your holiday.
What if you can't think of a single thing to put on your gratitude list this year? When you're going through something hard, being grateful can be draining and feel impossible. I explore the role of pain, gratitude, and numbing in my latest post, and how to make the most of these feelings as the holidays approach.
Have you ever heard of infertility counseling? Not many people have. It's something kind of new in terms of therapy, but I've found it to be incredibly effective with people going through infertility. There are so many emotions and symptoms that come in and out during this journey. You deserve support, guidance, and acceptance during this process, and a qualified infertility counselor can provide that.
It's hard to know what will really happen to your relationship after you've had a baby. Conflict increases for practically every couple and most people are shocked by this. They don't know how to handle it and start to stress out, which results in even more fighting. I talk about some things that will happen postbaby, how to move on from conflict, and give you an exercise to see quick improvement in your relationship.
Have you ever thought about what it's like to go through infertility until you're facing infertility? Probably not, unless you have someone close to you that went through it too. Either way, it's hard to know what to expect from this experience. This post explores some of this common issues that people are faced with on their infertility journey. Things will play out differently for everyone, but this will give you an overview of what you may encounter along the way.
Have you ever been afraid to ask a stupid question? If everyone else just knows how to do something, what does it mean about you that you don't know how to do it? And even more, what if it's something really simple? This week I'm diving into a personal experience of googling "how to apply lipstick" and diving into the lessons I learned about therapy from this experience. Asking for help can be hard, especially when it's something we feel like we should know. A couple of take aways from my experience, you are not alone (wait until you learn how many results came up from my google search), no one takes what you know and where you are in that process for granted, and gaining support is essential.
The blamer: the person who isn't afraid to ask the questions, who's comfortable hearing the uncomfortable, and sometimes lacks sensitivity. When you're going through infertility, you'll be met with many different responses. People won't always say the right things, but understanding their intentions can help diffuse the situation and guide you both in moving forward in a supportive way. It may feel like you can't lean on anyone, like no one understands you, but if you let someone in they can be there for you. In this post, I talk about ways to deal with a blamer and turn hurtful conversations into helpful ones.
Continuing the series, this week I talk about the third type of responder-the "existentialist". The existentialist is the everything happens for a reason kind of person, helpful in many ways, hurtful in others. I have some concrete strategies for how to deal with an existentialist and help them meet you where you are, as well as honor your feelings at the present time.
"At least you are able to spend time together as a couple now before you have kids." This comment has been repeated over and over to people going through infertility, as well as "it's going to be ok" "it'll work out, just relax." In this post I discuss my second type of well-intentioned but a little off base responder: the "minimizer". I share what minimizing does, how these people are trying to help, and strategies for how to deal with them.
Even if you aren't going through infertility, I bet you've come across a "fixer"...that person that is already 10 steps ahead and into problem solving mode before you've even finished your sentence. Fixers can be great supporters and awesome friends to have by your side, but there are situations where they're just plain hard to deal with. I'll give you some concrete tips on how to deal with fixers to avoid hurt feelings, sadness, and prevent resentments.
Have you ever asked your therapist if you're allowed to curse in therapy? Or apologized when you started crying? I encourage my clients to express themselves the way they need to in that moment. Anything else is guarded and gets in the way of therapy. In my latest post I talk about some other reasons this is important and why being your authentic self will help.
Do you feel like fighting is the enemy in your relationship? Are you ready to stop fighting all together? My latest post offers some different ways to think about conflict and why your relationship has gotten to where it is. Don't give up, and never stop fighting for your marriage.
Ever wonder how Snicker's bars can make you a better parent? Have you seen that commercial, "you aren't yourself when you're hungry?" I'll tell you about a technique that will help you to stop and think before you start yelling or disciplining your kids in a way that doesn't feel like you. It's easy to lose your patience at times, but this is a way to remember to HALT before you say something you can't take back.
It's National Infertility Awareness Week and the theme is "Start Asking". I hope to increase awareness of issues faced by the infertility community, but also would like to help those who find themselves in a supportive role learn how to start asking the right questions and begin having meaningful conversations around this painful topic. Read here to learn more.
Ever wonder how you should be measuring progress in therapy? How will you know if therapy is working? What are the signs? After all, you don't want to be in therapy forever, so you need to know when it is working, when it's worked, and when it might be time to look at another therapist or treatment option. This post explores some things you will notice as a client if therapy is successful.
It's really easy to get overwhelmed as a parent. Your kids are driving you crazy, you have no time to take care of yourself, how is the house going to get clean? In this post, I share 3 easy exercise to reduce overwhelm and help you feel more confident and in control as a parent. You're doing a great job, and these tips will help you recognize that.
Ever wonder what happens in your relationship after you bring the baby home? Isn't it blissful? In many ways, it's the most wonderful time. In other ways, there are some challenges to deal with. But in the end, there are wonderful opportunities to grow as partners and parents. Read my post to learn more.
In this post, I offer some techniques and tips for how to remain calm and keep from losing your temper during stressful parenting situations, such as when your toddler is having a tantrum in the grocery store. These are the moments in which we feel helpless, defeated, and like failures as parents. The truth is, all parents have moments of struggle. Use those moments as opportunities to connect with others, and follow the steps to show yourself compassion. This is one topic that will be covered at my upcoming parenting skills workshop. You'll want to check that out too!