Remember Who You Are

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When you have begun the process of counseling you will change. It’s inevitable. This is a sign of growth.  The woman you are becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. Choose her over everything. So, remember :

1. My self worth does not depend on what others think and say about me.

2. My self worth does not depend on how I look or what I weigh.

3. My self worth does not depend on my marks or performance.

4. My self worth does not depend on my number of followers.

5. I am enough just as I am.

6. I can succeed despite a bad day.

7. I am beautiful and valuable – and will treat myself with kindness and respect.

 

Photo by Artem Kovalev on Unsplash

How to Interrupt Negative Self-Talk

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Photo by Fernando @dearferdo on Unsplash

Those who people who struggle with depression or anxiety often have an internal audio track of self-hating thoughts. These can sound like:

– I am worthless.

– I deserve the pain from my mistakes.

– I am weak and need to get over this.

What can you do if you are struggling with depression and self-hating thoughts,  it is important to see a therapist who can assist you. Additionally, you can replace The following things are commonly used to interrupt negative self-talk and thoughts of despair and worthlessness:

– Treat yourself the way you treat your friends. You deserve better than hating yourself.

– Do something different – stand up, take a walk, sing – to interrupt the negative self-talk.

– Take a few moments and breathe deeply, breathing in your surroundings.

Please remember that speaking to a therapist can be profound step in your healing to overcome depression and feelings of self-hatred.

Seeking A Relationship Because You’re Lonely

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Photo by Montse Monmo on Unsplash

The  most important relationship you’ll ever have is your relationship with yourself. Feeling whole  and satisfied in your being is crucial to a healthy relationship with another. You can’t receive nor give what you don’t offer to yourself. In other words, how you feel and care for yourself sets the foundation for the other relationships in your life.  If you don’t love yourself, it’s harder to love others and receive actions of love in return.

When you’re in a romantic relationship, you bring with you all of you (that includes past hurts, traumas, biases, unhealthy patterns, etc ) and therefore unresolved and unhealed parts of you can influence future relationship whether by choosing an unhealthy partner or by potentially sabotaging a relationship 

In my opinion, the key is to recognize you’re a complete  individual. Meaning that you don’t seek a relationship to complete you. If you are looking to be in a relationship to fulfill a void, you may find yourself disappointed and heartbroken. Learn to be happy and fulfilled as a single individual. Make sure you have goals, interests, all on your own and when dating that this person adds to your life and not simply becomes your life.  (Single simply means you are without a romantic relationship. It doesn’t refer to all the other relationships that surround you.)

Be mindful that if you seek a relationship because you’re lonely you will attach yourself to the first person that comes along (whether they have a genuine interests in you or not!).  Therefore, have a strong and secure sense of self.  Present that self to whom ever you court.

 

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Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Unsplash

As a couple’s counselor and someone who studied and continues to study relationships, I am often asked how to engage in a healthy relationship and/or identify that you are in a “right” relationship. When it comes to relationships there aren’t any guarneteed certainties, however, if you are intentional in seeking and courting a partner, ask questions, and mindful of your relationship; you will learn whether your relationship is healthy and has a future. Although there are no absolutes, I have identified 6 principles that are applicable when reflecting on your relationship. These are:

1. Knowing yourself is important! The the time to know   what you want, and do not want. Who do you envision as a partner (qualities not necessarily physical attributes). 
2. You deserve respect. No matter what make sure you are in agreement in every aspect of your relationship (in all its stages). You have the right to say “no” at any time. 

 

3. Have knowledge on healthy boundaries. Be aware of what behaviors cross the line and impose on those boundaries. Unsure what is healthy boundary? Then go out and talk to relationship experts on the topic. Make a list of questions and ask for a consultation. 

4. Take a risk! In order to meet people you have to be willing to get out there and people. expose yourself to new things and  meet a wide range of people you might be pleasantly surprised. 

5.  If you box people you might not notice someone who is an ideal partner. Be open to being surprised! Sometimes people get fixated on their “type” and although you should be attracted to your partner solely focusing on their physical attributes could limit you to meeting people.

6. Pay attention to how they behave towards you and others. Are they kind? Do they make (equal) time to get to know you? 

 

Relationships are an important part of life that we are never taught. We are born straight into relationships (caregivers, families, friends, etc). Despite not learning about relationships, they are extremely influential to our wellbeing. Therefore, if you are unsure and unclear of what is a healthy relalaitonship it is completely appropriate to seek a professional’s teachings and be intntial in having a strong and healthy relationship. 

 

Relational Detox

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There are seasons where I think we need a good detox. If you are not sure what detox means it’s “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.” Substance can refer to anything that is not healthy for you: screen time, social media, food, a cluttered space, etc.  Any time you clean out your body, home, mind; you become aware of the other things in your life that may not be healthy for you, this can include relationships.

Before you go cutting people off, take a good and thorough look at yourself. Are you in need of healing? If so seek it!

Second, take some time to reflect on the people around you. you may find it helpful to look at the relationships in your life and identify weather or not they are healthy relationships. Generally, a healthy relationship is defined by a giving and taking of resources, energy, and time. In healthy relationships there is a shared valued system, prioritization and an investment in the bond of the relationship.

Once you have identified whether the relationship is unhealthy, ask yourself do I want to restore the vitality in this relationship? If so, then outline the steps to do so. If the answer is “no”, then establishing boundaries is he next step in detoxing from unhealthy relationships. Once severed, it is important to process and grieve the loss of the  relationship.

Connections with other have the potential to influence who you are and how you act. It is of the upmost important that these individuals are alined with your values and priorities.

 

Disclaimer: I know it’s not that easy to detox from people especially relationships where there has been a lot fo time invested. It is more than reasonable to seek guidance and processing whenever you are unsure of how to navigate a situation. Photo by Maid Milinkic on Unsplash

 

What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed

 

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Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Overwhelmed can be an understatement for some in crisis. When things begin to pile up it can feel like we are literally drowning. It can be difficult to think of what will help in those situations. I recommend having a toolbox or a list of actions that have helped you in the past manage feelings of overwhelm. If you are unsure of where to begin, here I have outlined some actions to try.

1.Unplug from social media and, if possible, switch off your phone.

2. Try to drop all non-essential commitments.

3. Make sure you get out of the house. Deliberately change your environment each day.

4. Make a list of the things you CAN do, and begin by changing at least one of them.

5. Get a grip of the negative thought patterns. Try to focus on something positive.

6. Ask for help from someone who is safe, either a professional or someone you know cares.

The purpose of these actions is to remove anything that is not essential to you to your life at the present moment. Why? In doing so (removing the excess), you will give yourself breathing room and strictly focus on what matters to you and what is a priority in your life and for you.

How Unplugging Helped Me Connect

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Photo by Nicholas Santoianni on Unsplash

I had a plan. I even blogged it. While away I would still post. I would show my presence in the internet world in some way. Technology is amazing. I will not argue about its effectivness in connecting people. I am able to work with clients virtually, I connect with colleagues nationally. When used responsibly, it really is an amazing tool. Yet, when the time came to post. I did not want to. The thought of posting, checking emails, doing some kind of work was too much for me; even posting or connecting for fun in my personal accounts. I just did not want to do it.

Of course, after giving birth one is tired: psychically and mentally. Yet, my exhaustion was more than that. I just craved the need to unplug. So, I listened to what I needed and in doing so, I was able to be present with my husband and children. I focused on the self-care that I needed. I found a rhythm that benefits my overall well being and therefore that of my family’s.

We are bombarded with so much noise and input that we risk missing and  listening to our own intuition.  As a business owner,  I admit there was a latent fear that if I did not connect, I would lose clients. I would lose my “place” in the ranks and would have to start over. (I am happy to report that all of my clients gladly waited for me-thank you, I am humbled!) But the point is that in unplugging from the noise, I connected ever more powerfully with myself. Therapists are not exempt from natural life occurrences and happenstance; I view myself as a role model of what is possible and therefore help guide others.

I find myself more connected to my mission as a therapist, invigorated to begin again. So, I encourage you to unplug in order to tune inwards. I promise it will feel amazing.