Sometimes when you’re in a relationship, you can start to forget who you really are. These 4 tips can help you stay true to yourself.
Have Personal Time:
Just because you live with your partner does not mean you have to be together all the time. It’s not healthy to be around one person 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Having alone time can help keep the spark alive and allow you and your partner to miss one another.
Keep Up With Your Hobbies:
It’s common for couples to have similar interests and hobbies. At the same time, you can’t let your partner’s hobbies stop you from participating in your own.
Spending your afternoon finishing a painting or reading a story doesn’t mean you don’t want to be with your partner. It just means you have other interests, and that’s okay!
When you’re in a relationship, it’s very important, to be honest with yourself and your partner. Here’s an example. Let’s say your partner asks you to move in, but you don’t think you’re ready. Don’t put off telling them how you feel. Even if you think the news may upset them, you have to be honest. This helps you continually adjust the relationship to keep it running well.
Loving your partner doesn’t mean you have to do everything they want to do. It is completely okay for partners to disagree and have different ideas. If your partner ever asks you to do something you aren’t comfortable with, don’t be afraid to tell them. They will never know how you feel unless you’re honest.Learn More
There is so much to love about the holiday season.
Usually, we get to spend quality time with family and friends, eat delicious food, and let’s not forget about all those amazing holiday movies!
As you know, this holiday season will be far different than most.
We may not be able to attend in-person events, but with a little creativity and flexibility, we can still have a fun and stress-free holiday season.
Keep on reading to learn more.
Make a Plan:
Even though family gatherings won’t be happening in person this year, planning is not off the table.
Shopping for gifts and decorating the tree sooner rather than later can prevent stress and anxiety.
No matter how prepared you are for anything in life, there will always be last-minute events that pop up and throw us off course.
Maybe your local grocery store will sell out of your favorite holiday cookies, or maybe your internet will glitch during your virtual dinner.
We know it’s easier said than done, but you have to remind yourself that life is unpredictable. When the going gets tough, try your best to be flexible.
Believe it or not, we can still keep our family traditions alive during COVID-19. We will just have to get a little creative.
You can still prepare a festive dinner, watch holiday movies and open presents as a family.
Who knows – you can even create some new traditions!
Practice Self Care:
The holidays are typically very busy. Everything from cooking, to shopping to sending cards can be a lot to take on.
Even though the month of December can be jam-packed, we can’t forget to take care of ourselves.
Getting enough sleep, practicing hobbies and eating right are key all year round and should never be put on hold.
We hope you all have a very happy holiday season and a healthy New Year.
Cheers to 2021!Learn More
We are all human and there is no such thing as a perfect parent.
If you’re wondering how you can help strengthen your relationship with your children, keep on reading.
Model Healthy Behaviors:
You are your child’s biggest role model. Your thoughts and actions impact them in so many ways! If your child sees you remaining calm during family disagreements, chances are they will mimic those actions.
Of course, none of us are perfect. If you ever catch yourself getting frustrated with your child, take a deep breath and step away from the situation. Once you’ve had some time to cool down, you and your child can calmly come up with a solution.
Hold Family Meetings:
One of the best ways to handle family conflicts is to prevent them before they even arise.
Of course, there will always be times where family members don’t see eye-eye, and that is entirely okay.
However, organizing family meetings can help ensure everyone in the household is on the same page.
Whether you have a large or small family, open communication is key.
Put Down The Phones:
Be honest. When was the last time your entire family spent the day together without checking your phones?
Especially now that most of us are working from home, it’s rare to go more than a few hours without checking email.
Even though technology does have its benefits, we can’t let it get in the way of family time.
It’s very difficult to be present in the moment when our phones keep ringing. That’s where unplugging comes in.
Unplugging does not have to be an all or nothing thing. Simply making the kitchen table a phone-free zone can help encourage conversation.Learn More
Everyone worries and doubts themselves sometimes. It is completely natural and part of life. However, too much of anything is not a good thing – especially excessive worrying.
Anxiety can be very exhausting, draining and even impact our relationships.
We all experience anxiety in our own way. Sometimes we can feel it approaching, and sometimes it can come out of nowhere.
The next time you catch yourself feeling anxious, these 3 tips can help.
Several studies have shown that just a few minutes of slow and deep breathing can significantly decrease anger, anxiety and even pain.
Keep in mind; you do not want to breathe in too fast or too heavy.
The key is to breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth.
Don’t rush. Take your time. Focus on nothing else but your breathing.
Not all workouts need to take place at the gym. In fact, there are several physical activities you can complete at home or in your own backyard.
It is a common misconception that all workouts need to be intense and high impact in order to be effective. That is far from the truth.
A 15-minute walk around your neighbourhood can be very relaxing and help ease anxiety.
Sometimes when we are anxious, it can be hard to think clearly, and our mind can instantly jump to worst-case scenarios.
Once we get stuck on a path of negative emotions, it can be tough to bounce back.
Writing down our fears and negative thoughts can help us better understand them and challenge them.
If you’re not sure where to even begin, here are a few self-reflection questions that can help you get started:
1) Why am I feeling anxious right now?
2) What small steps can help me feel better?
3) How have I dealt with similar situations in the past?Learn More
Boredom isn’t always a bad thing. It can teach us patience and encourage creative thinking. However, like most things in life, too much of anything is not healthy. For many months now, children have been learning at home and seeing their friends virtually.
Even though staying at home is keeping us safe, the truth is some days can be a little boring. If your children have been complaining of boredom lately, here are some tips that can help.
So many children miss seeing their friends at school, going on playdates and participating in after-school activities.
Even though we are spending the vast majority at home, that doesn’t mean we can’t spend time with the people we love.
Get-togethers will just have to take place over Zoom.
Weekly Zoom calls with friends can boost your child’s mood and give them something to look forward to every week. Work with your children to create a game, fun questions or activity they can do in order to create engagement while on Zoom with friends.
Looking at the same four walls every day can be tough. It’s always nice to get a change of scenery and spend time in nature. Even if it is a little chilly outside, spending as little as 10 minutes a day outdoors can boost your child’s mood and increase their energy levels.
You can take family walks around the block, or your child can play or read in the backyard. To make sure each walk looks and feels different, always go a different route or direction. Anything different is good to help being present.
Preplan with a word game, a guessing game such as “eye spy with my little eye”, or fun questions. That can help keep the walk more interesting and engaging.
Listen To Upbeat Music:
Music is a wonderful thing. It can energize, motivate and inspire us.
Now, tasks like homework and reading should be completed in silence with minimal distractions. However, more mundane tasks like chores can easily be completed with fun music playing in the background.
Not only will it help pass the time, but it’ll also make chores more fun.Learn More
As a parent, you probably woke up one morning and realized your child has become a teenager. This is a big change. Yet, while this is a new challenge for you, at least you were a teen once. It’s important to remember your teen is going through changes too, for the first time. So things seem bigger for them.
If you remember, being a teenager is not easy. Everything from homework to friends to wanting to fit in can be very stressful. Teens need to be able to talk and share to help manage that stress.
Your teen will only talk and share if you have a good relationship with them. Unfortunately, most teens prefer to talk to their friends because their friends will listen versus lecture.
Here are a few tips that can help you better communicate with them and keep your relationship strong. Getting out of that parent/teacher/lecturer role is critical. Here’s how you can do that.
Validate Their Feelings
It’s normal for parents to want to jump in and solve all their children’s problems and worries. You know the answers, right? However, when you do that you communicate to them that they aren’t capable, which hurts their self-esteem. Instead, focus on validating their feelings first.
You may not always agree with how your teen reacts or feels, but that doesn’t mean their feelings aren’t valid. Validating their feelings has nothing to do with agreeing with the facts. “I can see this is hard for you.” Or, “I don’t blame you for feeling this way.” Statements like this communicate acceptance. Acceptance strengthens the relationship.
The next time your teen is upset, don’t fix anything. Instead, be there and listen without judgement and validate their feelings. Then you can ask them what they think might help or work for them? Now you can brainstorm – do not solve it for them!
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to us.
Control Your Emotions
Almost every single teen experiences mood swings.
It’s normal for them to say things they don’t mean or be reactive to their emotions. When we’re upset, we can’t always think clearly and look at things logically. If you have trouble with that, don’t expect them to do what you can’t. This is a key area that we work with in therapy – emotional regulation.
Even though it may be hard at times, the next time your teen loses their temper, try your best to stay calm and be validating and empathetic. “I know you’re upset right now.” Or, “I can see this really frustrates you.” Statements like these lower the fight/flight response and help get them into their thinking and reasoning brain.
Once your teen has calmed down, the two of you can discuss the situation and come up with a game plan.
Do Fun Things Together
Sitting down and having a conversation isn’t the only way to communicate. Doing activities together you both enjoy can strengthen your relationship.
You can go to the movies, hike, or take a cooking class. It’s completely up to you. You might be surprised how much they talk and share while doing activities with you.
The more positive experiences you share, the deeper your bond will become.
Eat Dinner Together
When teens have a lot going on, it isn’t always easy to participate in family time. Having consistent family dinners is a great way for families to connect.
Your dinners don’t have to fancy. All you need is good food and good conversation.
Spending time letting your teen drive the conversation, talking about what interests them, and keep getting to know them. Be validating of their feelings and try to coach them instead of lecture and “fix” their problems. Do these things and you’ll improve your communication and relationship with your teen.Learn More
Going through a divorce is an emotional and stressful time for the entire family.
It’s not uncommon for the children to feel sad, angry, confused, or even like it’s their fault.
Keep in mind that you as a parent may not be able to completely prevent your child from experiencing pain. But there are a handful of things you can do to make the experience easier for them. Keep on reading to learn more.
Sit down with your children and make sure they understand that you love them just as much as you did before, and nothing will ever change that. No matter what happens in life, they will always be your number one priority. Even though the home may feel different – it will still be full of love.
Consistency and Structure:
Children thrive on structure and routine. So many changes in a short period of time can be very overwhelming and bring on anxiety.
Little things like preparing the same meals and sticking to a solid homework routine can help things feel like a little more normal.
Let Them Know They Are Not To Blame:
Even if you tell your child the divorce was not their fault, they may not fully believe it.
It may take some time for them to understand and accept what’s happening. Even though it may be scary, don’t be afraid to be open and honest with them about the relationship. That way, they can fully understand why they are not to blame.
Children pick up on body language and conversations. They can sense a lot more than you may think. Whether you realize it or not, your thoughts and actions can be very contagious. Although it may be tough, we recommend trying your best to remain strong and positive.
Remember, you don’t need to go through this alone. Your friends, family and therapy, can help you move past this difficult chapter, which in turn can help you and your kids.Learn More
Going through a breakup is never easy – even if you were the one who initiated it.
The first step is working to disconnect emotionally from the relationship. This will help you be more emotionally available to date. The loss of the other relationship is going to involve grief to work through. Forget about the old, “just let it go”. Recovery involves accepting whatever loss there is and finding an area of personal growth to embrace. These will help you make a good next choice. This process can be very therapeutic.
Then, take your time to think about how you contributed to the relationship not working. This is your learning to not carry forward. For sure, also think about how the relationship made you a better person.
When To Start Dating Again
When you start thinking you’re ready to jump back into the dating pool, consider the following questions. You may be ready in a week, a month, or a year. It is completely up to you. You may not know the answer right now, and that’s okay! Take your time, this is a process.
How Does The Thought of Going On a Date Make You Feel?
It’s very normal to feel nervous before going on a first date. But there are two types of nerves:
There are excited nerves that often feel like butterflies – which is generally a good sign.
There are anxious nerves too, which may be a sign you’re not quite ready. If the thought of going on a date makes you feel uneasy, your body might be telling you, you’re not ready yet, or the person isn’t right.
Ironically the body sensations of anxiety and excitement are very close! Take time to be clear about which one you are actually experiencing.
Why Am I Going On This Date?
That void you feel after a breakup can be quite painful. It is helpful to engage in solo activities and do things you love. This can help you find your independent self and be in a position where you want someone versus needing them. Get back into older hobbies, discover new ones, or spend time with friends and family.
If you are going on a date because you genuinely want to get to know a person, that’s great!
If you are going on a date because you feel obligated, you may not be ready.
Are You Looking For Validation?
Relationships deliver comfort, connection, belongingness, and support. It’s normal for our partner to feel like our other half.
Once that honeymoon ends, it’s common to believe you need to date someone else in order to feel attractive. If you’re only looking to date to get validation, you may not be ready to open your heart to someone.
Take time to understand your thoughts and feelings. Getting clear about yourself and what you want or need will help you make better decisions when you work to pick a new partner worthy of you!Learn More
Back-to-school season is always a challenging time for kids and parents alike. No more free summer schedules of sleeping in. It’s time to wake up early, get back into a routine and head off to school. Except this year, school will look different right from the start, as learning will be done virtually for most kids.
There are some things you can do as a parent, to help your child get into a routine steady and make sure your children’s learning is not too disrupted, especially for the first days back.
Create a Consistent Routine
One of the best ways to get started right, is to create and follow a consistent daily routine. This will build clear expectations of what’s next and minimize distractions. A routine will also help turn transitions into habits over time. Habits are things kids can do faster without much push back. The routine has a start time, breaks, lunch, recess and an ending. This type of detail will help them transition back to in-person school, when it happens.
Create a Dedicated Work Space – Not Their Bed
Having a place set up specifically for school time, including supplies for their lessons, will help them settle into that consistent routine. When they are at the desk or table and surrounded by the things their brain associated with school, children will shift into thinking about school. Just like when we go to work, we shift into work mode. Their bed is already associated with relaxation and sleep. This is why their bed is a poor choice for school work.
Make the Schedule Visual
Once you figure out what the daily routine looks like, make a chart, use pictures, make it a visual experience so they can learn to follow it. This gives them a resource to consult instead of simply asking you. When you are inevitably asked “what’s next?”, your reply can be, “I’m not sure. Have you checked the schedule?” This is a solid step towards helping children manage their own time and schedules as well as learning to solve their own problems.
When it is time for a break, make sure that break is a ‘move your body’ break, not a screen break. Kids are bouncy balls of potential energy waiting to bounce. Sitting for hours in front of a computer is far from ideal. So when it’s break time, get them outside to run, jump and burn off that excess energy. That will help them manage their fidgety bodies better during the virtual lessons.
Put in some framework work up front to build a routine, then help your children follow it. This effort up front will help make the rest of a difficult year easier.Learn More
Wondering how you can help increase your child’s confidence? Well, you’re in the right place! Keep on reading to learn more.
The Comparison Trap
Remind your child that they have something special to offer that no one else has.
It’s common for children to compare themselves to their classmates, friends or even siblings. Every single person is unique and has their own journey. If your child ever forgets that, encourage them to practice gratitude and celebrate their victories!
It’s so important to take care of our mind, body and soul. Several studies show that eating well and practicing physical activity boosts confidence. What you model for your children is more powerful than what you say. Be sure you are modelling good choices.
Don’t be afraid to get the entire family involved and practice self-care as a family.
No one is perfect and we all experience setbacks.
The next time your child makes a mistake, encourage them to be kinder to themselves. We really do learn so many things throughout our childhood. All of those lessons and experiences will help form them into their future self.
Doing scary things is a great way to gain confidence. No matter what you want to achieve, you may never be 100% ready. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start. In life, you never fail. You either win or you learn.Learn More