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3 Tips for Reconnecting to Your Family

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

3 Tips for Reconnecting to Your FamilyIn many — if not most — of today’s households, life is hectic. The hustle, bustle and chaos starts early in the morning and continues well into the evening. School, work, errands, sports, cell phones, computers — here are many activities and objects to fill our days.

But in the midst of the madness, you might be craving to slow down, find more ease and connect on a deeper level with your loved ones.

In her book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life, life coach, speaker and author Renée Peterson Trudeau helps families identify their values and priorities, savor the present moment and really connect.

Below are three tips from Trudeau’s Nurturing the Soul of Your Family for helping you reconnect to your family.

When Endings are Quiet

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

When Endings are QuietSometimes, endings aren’t synonymous with an overt break, a startling shatter or a definitive finality. Sometimes, endings are quiet.

There is no burning flame, there is no swirl of chaos. It could be the subtleties that shift; particular nuances that roll in and out of our lives like a low tide, unbeknownst to us as we experience moment to moment.

Sometimes relationships begin to alter ever so slightly or fade completely. Sometimes special traditions cease. Sometimes life changes and moves onward. And we may feel hints of loss when this realization hits us.

4 Secrets for Setting Rock-Solid Boundaries

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

4 Secrets for Setting Rock-Solid BoundariesSetting and sustaining boundaries is essential to our lives. “Boundaries give us a say in how our life goes,” according to Jan Black, author of Better Boundaries: Owning and Treasuring Your Life.

Without boundaries, we are an island with no sea wall, she said. “We are at the mercy of and must deal with whatever the ocean dumps on us.”

Boundaries create the rules for our relationships, according to Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, a relationship expert and author of The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.

Navigating Relationships & Abandonment Fears: Losing Others, Losing Me

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Navigating Relationships & Abandonment Fears: Losing Others, Losing MeAs I have struggled through some very dark days of trauma recovery, I have come to understand some universal laws that have helped make sense of my chaotic life. The most basic law is that the inner child will recreate the challenges of the childhood until the challenges are resolved. To the inner child, the perception of resolution may be very different from the adult’s logical brain.

But I have learned that the resolution can come in many forms.

For a sexual violence survivor, this law holds no more true than when navigating adult intimate relationships. Sometimes, this law is referred to as “women will always marry their father.”

But it manifests in other ways too. It would be easy to address if it weren’t happening unconsciously. Unfortunately, we rarely know we are recreating our childhood. In the case of memory repression, it is worse because we don’t remember the events we are recreating. Sounds like a losing battle, doesn’t it?

When Your Partner is Fatigued & Grouchy

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

When Your Partner is Fatigued & GrouchyAre you one of those people who wake up feeling fatigued and grouchy? Do you stumble out of bed wishing you could roll over and doze for another hour or two? Does your iPod, alarm clock or family member nudge you to get going long before your body is ready? If so, you are fatigued, grouchy and at risk for early burnout.

Here’s Brad’s story:

Brad begins most mornings as a walking zombie. On good days he’s grumpy; on bad days he’s consistently snarling at his wife and kids. Everything seems to get on his nerves. If anyone calls him on his behavior, he offers the lame excuse of “you know I’m not a morning person.”

4 Quick Tips for Helping Someone with Depression

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

4 Quick Tips for Helping Someone with DepressionMost people understand the ripple effect of all mood disorders. Depression, in particular, lurks into all corners of a home, into every aspect of a relationship. Not only does it make the person who has depression feel hopeless and, sometimes, worthless, its effects impact everybody around that person too. Family, friends, loved ones — everybody feels some part of a person’s clinical depression.

So it’s no wonder that I’m often asked what a person should do for a depressed loved one.

Here are four quick tips that help answer that question.

Fathers, Daughters & Learning Self-Esteem

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Fathers, Daughters & Learning Self-EsteemA healthy father-daughter relationship is key for developing a girl’s positive self-esteem. For all little girls, dad is the first male figure in her life. He and mom are everything; they become the child’s world. If that relationship between father and daughter is strained at an early age it can make for a lifetime of internal challenges and struggles with the opposite sex.

This powerful relationship between father and daughter begins around age 2 and lasts a lifetime, but the critical (formative) years are ages 2 through 4. The basic questions that go along with development at this age are: Is it OK to be me? Am I free to explore, to experiment with my new environment and enjoy the things I gravitate toward?

Self-Care Strategies for Busy Moms

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Self-Care Strategies for Busy Moms	When you’re a mom of young kids, it’s hard to find the time and energy to take care of yourself. You’re too busy focusing on your children’s physical and emotional needs, said Diane Sanford, Ph.D, a psychologist who specializes in maternal and child health in St. Louis, Mo.

Even more so, your relationship with your child isn’t just symbiotic; it’s parasitic, according to Ashley Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colo. That’s because it isn’t a mutual relationship.

“Yes, your children are — adorable [and] beloved — parasites, and you are the host, and that’s normal and healthy.”

But it’s also demanding and exhausting. Yet you might feel guilty or selfish for even thinking about your own needs. But, as Eder said, “the survival of a parasite is dependent upon the health of the host.”

So what can you do to help reduce your exhaustion and take better care of yourself?

6 Subtle Signs Your Boundaries Are Being Broken

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

6 Subtle Signs Your Boundaries Are Being BrokenWhen someone has broken a physical boundary, it’s usually easy to tell. These boundaries relate to your body, physical space and privacy. For instance, someone might cross your physical boundary when they stand too close or barge into your room without knocking.

However, emotional and mental boundaries tend to be more subtle and tougher to spot. How do you know if someone has crossed these limits?

Here are six telltale signs, along with how to tell someone they’ve broken your boundary.

Tips for Talking to Your Teen

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Tips for Talking to Your TeenMany parents turn to lecturing to reach their teens. But lecturing doesn’t get you very far — and it usually backfires.

“Lecturing is one-way communication,” said clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, PhD. “Teens today do not respond to lecturing, in large part because they feel unheard and disrespected.”

Duffy sees this as a good thing. Parents want their kids to insist on being heard and respected by others.

7 Tips for Sharing Your Pregnancy with Friends Coping with Infertility

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

7 Tips for Sharing Your Pregnancy with Friends Coping with InfertilityTelling people that you are expecting a new family member is one of the exciting things you get to do when you’re early in your pregnancy. When you announce your pregnancy to family and friends, you expect people to jump up and down, to drench you in love, hoorays, and congratulations.

However, if you have friends or family members that are suffering with infertility, there is a good chance that your pregnancy announcement will be a gigantic, painful blow to them.

It’s not that they are angry with you or not happy for you. But when someone is dealing with infertility, every pregnancy announcement reminds them of what they don’t have.

7 Ways to Survive the Holidays

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

7 Ways to Survive the HolidaysBy the time Christmas carols play on three radio stations and the windows of department stores are dressed with red and green glitter, a majority of the human race will have elevated cortisol levels. (It’s the stress hormone that does a good job of preserving us from life-threatening events, but can disrupt almost all of the body’s processes if it’s not stopped.)

Our job in December is to keep our stress-response system from getting stuck on autopilot, communicating false threats to most of our biological systems. Here are a few strategies.

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