We have so many clients that come into our office with burn out. Many people think that you need to be employed to have burn out; but they are wrong. Burnout is caused by a person being overwhelmed by tasks, not providing themselves sufficient self care opportunities consistently enough, not asking for help, and the general feeling of immense pressure. In short terms, it’s doing too much for too long. Today, we are focusing on a very specific demographic: MOMS.
We all know the saying “ it takes a village”. But it seems like these days, the expectation for mothers in particular, is to be able to do everything on their own. There are even songs about it nowadays such as Miss Independent. The media glorifies independence, to the point where it takes away our ability to even feel comfortable to ask for help. In fact, asking for help now looks like you can’t handle things yourself, so doing so comes across as a weakness!!! What a joke if you ask me.
What changed in our world for it to go from taking a village to raise a child to being a “miss independent woman” with such high expectations? Having to do the same tasks it takes a village to do but now on our own? When did these expectations change? And how are they helping us today?
It’s easy. They aren’t. In fact they are ruining us!! They ruin our self confidence, our self esteem, self worth, and self appreciation. These expectations cause us to hide when we are struggling, to make everything look perfect through a lens, and lead an isolated and lonely life. They make us feel less than. And I ask this simple question, for what? For independence???
No matter what way I look at it, I cannot for the life of me see how this makes sense. So I started digging. What caused us to make the change for this incredibly unfair shift?? And when?? When have women been taking on the burden of motherhood “independently” ?
One of the things I came across disgusted me. It was a commercial from 1982. Enjoli perfume. It states that it is an 8 hour perfume for the 24 hour woman. TWENTY FOUR HOUR WOMAN?? That tells me that women shouldn’t sleep. The lyrics to the song are below:
Cuz I’m a woman.
I can bring home the bacon.
Fry it up in a pan.
And never let you forget you’re a man.
I can work till 5 o’clock.
Come home and read you tickety tock.
Tonight I’m gonna cook for the kids.
And if it’s lovin’ you want I can kiss you and give you the shiverin’ fits.
Looking further into it, I read articles based around a variety of commercials, media outlets, and other methods of communication that reach the vast majority of the public. The general consensus is that the expectation is a superhuman role of a full time worker, full time mother, full time wife, and full time lover. The media has set an expectation that because you’re a woman you should be able to do it all, and do it all on your own. And it looks like the majority of society has bought into this expectation.
Again, what a joke.
As financial obligations became heavier, many women were required to enter the workforce to help support their family obligations. Unfortunately, in many cases, the division of the household labour and the children did not happen with the other partner within the relationship. With commercials and other media outlets reinforcing the fact that women can do it, and quite frankly should do it, on their own has slowly but surely creeped into the way that we live.
Although I cannot change or control what the media does and what social media you follow, I can help you redefine how to operate as a Mom. I will often ask clients who their village is. Typically I am met with a blank stare. Sometimes I am met with a face that flat out rejects my question. As if THEY need a village. And many times, I will be told that they have no family around to help, so therefore they do not have an opportunity for a village.
Before we do anything else, I’d like to help you address and define exactly what that of a “village” is. Because it is not just the grandparents or siblings to help babysit your kids. And it really does extend beyond friends as well, although they are a key part to a village. People seem to think that the people in their village need to be “free”. Why??
Members of your village can be:
- Your childs(ren)s teacher
- Your grocery delivery driver
- Your house cleaner
- Your dog walker
- A sports coach
- Your boss
- Your Counsellor
- Your Doctor
- Your personal trainer
- A babysitter/daycare provider
- Sleep trainer/Potty trainer
- And many others
This is a small list of people that help you! That is what a village is. It is important to provide not only your children with a village but yourself. A village is a variety of people who can help shape and mould the little people that you are raising and support you emotionally, mentally, and physically while you are raising your family. It provides an outside source from just yourself to have your children be accountable to, to respect, and to support them and yourself. A village’s purpose is for you to be able to lean into when you need help, an extra set of hands, or more time.
An example that I love is that of a teacher. You get assigned a person/people to spend time with your child day in and day out for 10 months of the year. Someone who you do not even know! And voila! They are part of your village!! They play a key role in your child’s life, helping mould them to learn writing, reading, math, science, and other subjects. You are trusting in this person to make the care and education of your child a priority. How can you not identify them as part of your village?
Now that I have helped you get your mind around the idea that your village doesn’t need to be “free” in every instance, let’s look at the part of your village that is mostly meant for you. Friends. In Motherhood friends can look differently than when you were not a mother. The expectation around friendship varies between life transitions and is constantly changing. As if you didn’t have enough on your plate already, now to add the confusion of friends to it.
I personally like to go off of the saying “You have friends for reasons, seasons, and a lifetime”. I love this saying because in all honesty, it takes the pressure off of friendships. You can have friends prior to having kids, then you have kids, and the friendship looks differently; or maybe it even dissolves. That does not make the friendship less than, invalid, or a waste of time. But simply, that friendship served its purpose for that moment in time. Many Moms will seek out other “Mom friends”, which is great, but there needs to be more substance than the commonality of giving birth or having a child(ren). For example, you could both have children, but your parenting styles differ greatly. That doesn’t make the other Mom not kind or less than, but simply it can be difficult to see eye to eye on certain things which could create a point of struggle. Again, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be friends with this other mom, but you need to have different expectations. They can be a great part of your village, but it’s up to you to decide how they fit in your village.
Making yourself vulnerable to meeting friends through such a transitional part of your life can be extremely overwhelming and down right scary. Remember to focus on quality over quantity. What you should search for in a friend is someone you can vent to, that will not provide judgement but instead a soft place to land when you’re having a low day in motherhood, in your relationship, or just in general. Someone that will not hold your “moments” over you, but instead build you up and support you! I often picture a football player smacking another player’s butt with a “go get ‘em” attitude. That’s exactly what you need in a friend who is part of your village. Dust you off, give you words of encouragement, and get you back in the game—the neverending game of motherhood.
Now a key component to friends—find ones you can accept help from! The ability to ask for help would be even better; but let’s just start practising to accept the help that is offered. It may feel awkward, unnatural, and maybe even thoughts creep in that you’re a failure if you accept help, BUT DO IT! I will always ask my clients if they would help others if they were in need of a hand up, a shower, a vent session, or someone to just sit with to not feel alone. I have yet to have someone say they would not help. We dig into why you would be willing to help; most say it doesn’t take much to help, it wouldn’t inconvenience them, or that they LOVE to help others. Helping others builds your own self worth, gives you purpose, and makes you happy; helping others makes YOU feel better. When I flip the script on clients, it shocks them. Why is it that you hold yourself to a different standard than others? Why is it that you think others will judge you but you sincerely don’t judge others that need a bit of help?
Guess what?? It’s not a big deal to accept help! Help others feel worthy, give yourself a break, welcome the village into your world because Mama, you’re not meant to do this alone. It’s a lot! In fact, it’s too much to do with just you!
A village can be a game changer. I cannot begin to express how life changing it can be when you accept help, offer help, are present with others, and get comfortable in a community that you have chosen for yourself and your family.
Being a mother is hard.
You have a lot on you.
You SHOULD ask others for help.
You have a lot on you.
A village creates an environment of love.
You have a lot on you.
Let’s change the way you work.
You have a lot on you.
Gather people around.
You have a lot on you.
Don’t do this alone.
You have a lot on you.
Your family will thrive.
Take some load off of you.
I am going to leave you with this; get a pen, get a paper, and sit. Reflect, think, and feel. Write down who is in your village, and if this list is minimal or maybe not even existent; what can you do to change this. What can you do to create a village? Join a club? Reach out to a friend?
Each person will be different, so make sure that your village fulfils your wants and needs to help you raise your family. Remember, you do not need to do this alone.Learn More
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects the brain, creating variations in brain development and activity that impact the person’s attention, ability to focus, impulsivity, and self-control.
While standard treatment for ADHD includes medication, counselling can be a safe place to manage your condition without or alongside medication. Qualified and compassionate counsellors at Interactive Counselling help clients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder understand and accept their condition, develop strategies to manage their symptoms, and improve their lives.
ADHD as a neurodivergent condition
The neurodiversity paradigm suggests that individuals with ADHD have brains that develop and function differently. While ADHD has been considered a disorder for decades, recent research has shown that the brain in people with ADHD develops differently, resulting in ADHD traits and behaviours.
Neurodiverse individuals often experience difficulties with executive function, making it challenging to prioritize work and plan effectively. Attention, memory, cognitive flexibility, and cognitive control are examples of executive function cognitive skills that allow us to use our cognitive capacities, organize our time, solve issues, maintain relationships, and manage our impulses and behaviour. These abilities also influence learning and academic achievement. Studies indicate that executive skills are closely connected to behavioural concerns and learning difficulties in people with ADHD.
According to the neurodiversity approach, differences in the brain among people are considered normal variations rather than deficits. Neurodiverse individuals show differences in the way they learn. Moreover, studies indicate that children and adults with ADHD tend to have reduced dopamine levels, making it harder for them to recognize rewards and maintain motivation.
How to recognize ADHD?
ADHD is commonly diagnosed in children and can persist into adolescence and adulthood. ADHD symptoms are most noticeable when a child starts school because the condition affects how well a child does academically. Children with ADHD often have trouble focusing on one thing, making it hard for them to follow directions, stay on track, and finish tasks. They can be disorganized, forget things, repeat their mistakes rather than learn from them, and be fidgety.
However, ADHD affects everything else in their lives. For example, a child with ADHD may have difficulty interacting with others because they struggle to pay attention during a conversation, need help staying focused, interrupt others and blurt out answers, or delay gratification and control their temper.
Both genetics and numerous environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins, smoking during pregnancy, or adverse childhood experiences, can lead to the development of ADHD. Therefore, identifying possible risk factors may help improve knowledge of ADHD and get the proper treatment.
However, the first step in overcoming the problems associated with ADHD is to recognize the symptoms you are experiencing.
Common ADHD Symptoms
The most common symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be divided into two large groups:
- Inattentive symptoms
- Hyperactive symptoms
Common inattentive symptoms in people with ADHD may include the following:
- Being easily distracted
- Having difficulty listening
- Problems holding attention and following instructions
- Difficulties with organization
- Always making the same mistakes
- Difficulties following instructions
- Losing things
Hyperactive ADHD symptoms may manifest in the following behaviours:
- Difficulty staying in one position and always being on the go
- Feeling restless
- Talking a lot, blurting out answers, and interrupting others
- Problems controlling impulses and delaying gratification
You may also experience some subtle ADHD symptoms, such as emotional dysregulation, which can lead you to feel your emotions far more deeply than most people. You may also have difficulty keeping your emotions in check, whether fury, humiliation, sadness, or joy. You may be too sensitive to sensory stimulation, such as odours, tactile stimulation, noises, light, or taste. Additionally, you may have trouble sleeping because your overactive brain keeps you up all night.
Adults with ADHD may also struggle with planning, multitasking, and managing time. For example, you may lack time awareness – because you struggle with executive function, you may have difficulty perceiving time. For example, you might show up to a party a few hours early, miss your flight, be late to pick up your kids from school or be unable to tell how much time is left on an exam. In addition, many adults with ADHD find it hard to manage their finances, deal with stress, meet day-to-day needs, and reach their goals. Because of this, they may experience burnout, anxiety, depression, drug abuse, or other problems with their mental health.
How to Manage ADHD: Counselling for ADHD
If you or your child have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD treatment can help you manage continuing challenges with disorganization, modify unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns, and overcome other ADHD-related difficulties. For example, because ADHD behaviours are frequently disruptive, behaviour treatment can help minimize them while reinforcing positive ones.
Counselling for ADHD at Interactive Counseling can help you:
- Come to terms with your condition.
- Identify the symptoms.
- Cope with the associated mental health issues and emotions that result from ADHD.
- Understand how ADHD symptoms affect your life.
- Develop skills to manage your ADHD daily.
The most effective approaches to counselling for ADHD involve cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), ADHD coaching and behaviour modification, and parent training.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that aims to help people with ADHD change their unhelpful thought and behaviour patterns, overcome ongoing struggles with disorganization, and manage mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
ADHD coaching and behaviour modification
Behavioural modification educates people with ADHD on improving executive functions, including time management, planning ability, and organizational skills.
ADHD Parent training teaches parents of children with ADHD ways to alleviate the symptoms their child experiences, develop behaviour reinforcement strategies tailored to the child, and foster better communication within the family.
In addition, music therapy, art therapy, play therapy, and neurofeedback (brain training), have shown to be effective in helping clients improve executive skills, address emotional problems, and manage and improve their ADHD symptoms.
ADHD can make it difficult for a person to study, work, follow the rules, stay organized, regulate impulses, and establish and maintain positive relationships. Therefore, it is essential to identify ADHD symptoms early and get the appropriate treatment.
The neurodiversity approach sees ADHD as a neurodevelopmental condition. Children and adults with ADHD can learn but need support, encouragement, and proper treatment to effectively manage their symptoms and overcome the challenges linked to ADHD. Counselling for ADHD at Interactive Counselling can help you or your loved one learn the skills to help you manage your symptoms, create strategies to overcome unhelpful behaviour patterns, and reach your full potential.Learn More
How Anxiety Really Looks & Feels
What Is Anxiety?
What would it be like if we could just turn off our stress response? Imagine feeling free from worry and able to fully enjoy life, or completing tasks with ease. Anxiety occurs when your body’s natural responses experience false alarms. These false alarms are triggered by a combination of unproductive thoughts and/or emotional overwhelm that cause activation in the nervous system. Those who suffer from anxiety know that it can be debilitating both mentally and physically.
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or general unease. It can be mild or intense and manifests itself in various ways. For some, anxiety is constant and unremitting. However, for others, it comes and goes in waves but never truly leaves you. No matter what form it takes, anxiety is not easy to deal with and interferes with our daily lives.
It keeps you stuck because it creates automatic patterns without realizing. However, the good news is there is a way out. Let’s break down what anxiety is, how it feels, and most importantly how to deal with it!
What Anxiety Looks & Feels Like
Anxiety is often a response to an imagined danger. We habitually read fearful situations as if they are dangerous, and this leads us into a state of panic where our body feels in danger even though nothing has actually happened. This state is triggered by our fight or flight response.
We have no control over this reaction. It’s a throwback to the days when we were being chased by wild animals or under attack. Our bodies proceed to release
hormones such as adrenaline which make us more alert in dangerous situations and help with quick reactions when it matters most. Essentially it prepares the body for either fighting or fleeing from danger.
This evolutionary adaptation was designed so you would have a better chance of survival in threatening situations. It increases your speed and strength as well as alerting you with something like “this might be really important.” Now, that’s all well and good when you’re being chased by a lion but on a day to day basis, it just wreaks havoc with our mental wellbeing.
So, how does this show up in the modern-day human? Well, no two people are the same and anxiety often manifests itself as physical symptoms such as:
● Racing heart
● Muscle tension
● Even needing to pee more!
For others, it can manifest itself as mental symptoms such as:
● Intrusive thoughts
And for others still, it manifests as both physical and mental symptoms. Have you ever felt your legs turn to jelly or developed subtle butterflies in your stomach before an event? These are all indicators that anxiety has crept in and is keeping you on edge. No matter what form it takes though, anxiety is tough and interferes with our daily lives.
Types of Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, but when it starts happening regularly without any external stressors then that’s where the problem lies.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, each with it’s own set of symptoms. Sufferers can experience general anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks or have specific fears.
No matter what type of anxiety disorder you have, there are treatments that can help. Here at Interactive Counselling we have the skills, knowledge, and experience to help you no matter where your issue stems from.
What Causes Anxiety?
There can be many causes of anxiety but usually, they can be boiled down to one or a host of the following:
● Bereavement and loss.
● Relationship troubles.
● Work pressures or fear of starting a new job.
● Starting college.
● Personal issues.
● General life changes.
● Anything new or unfamiliar to you.
Our thinking style:
● Do you expect the worst to always happen?
● Are you fearful of being ‘found out’ for something real or imagined?
● Do you tend to ruminante or overthink situations?
Some of us are just naturally wired to be more anxious than others. However, despite a natural predisposition, there is always something that can be done to alleviate symptoms.
How Is Anxiety Treated?
Treatments for anxiety disorders typically fall into two categories: psychotherapy such as counselling and medication if needed. Medications however are generally only a temporary fix and for real change to take place additional treatment such as counselling is needed.
Understanding the root cause of your anxiety and learning the right skills to navigate through it is essential. Without understanding why we have anxiety and employing cognitive skills we tend to slip back into old patterns easily.
Counselling, also known as talk therapy, is a form of therapy that involves talking to a therapist about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
If you’re suffering from anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health professional. They can help you identify the causes of your anxiety and develop a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to your needs.
Anxiety can be a difficult thing to deal with, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Interactive Counselling prides itself on really being there for it’s clients and always endeavoring to support them as needed. Our counsellors have a wealth of experience to help you overcome your anxiety no matter how long you have been suffering.
How Can a Counsellor Help Me With Anxiety?
A good counsellor can help you understand why you feel the way you do. They can also provide support and guidance as you work through the required treatment plan. At Interactive Counselling we help you find ways that work for
you. We know that no two people are alike and offer a variety of methods that are personally suited to you.
Counsellors are more than just a placebo effect, as they work through issues that the sufferer needs help with while also providing personal support along the way.
With our clients, we work to find out what is causing their fears. We ask them about any underlying issues and explore the patterns of unhelpful thinking that may be occurring in order to create a personalized treatment plan.
Once these factors have been identified it becomes easier to know which course of action to take. You will be able to slow down your physical response so anxiety doesn’t end up defeating you.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, please reach out for help. There are solutions to every problem!
5 Tips & tricks that help with anxiety
Understanding the root cause of your anxiety will help you take steps toward addressing it. For example, if what’s making you anxious is a fear that someone gave bad feedback about an idea – look at whether this actually happened or not before getting overly attached to these thoughts in future conversations where they may arise again as well!
1: Stop and breathe!
Diaphragmatic breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can help you relax your mind. The act of breathing deeply is an incredible way to calm down, especially when we’re stressed out or anxious about something else in our lives!
2: Ask yourself: “What caused this anxiety?”
Often just simply figuring out what has caused the anxiety in the first place is enough to put a stop to it. Once you know what it is you can begin to question if it’s really true or not. You can decide if this negative thought really deserves your time and attention.
3: Focus on the positive rather than the negative
There are certain things in life that are simply beyond our control. Learning to distinguish between what we can change and what we cannot is key. Redirect your thoughts to what is within your scope and discard what only serves to weigh you down.
4: Switch focus
Redirecting your focus onto something other than your anxiety can help immensely. Make a list of your favorite things to do and turn to this list when you feel anxious. Try incorporating any of the following:
Home chores- clean, cook, or tidy. (There’s always something that needs doing right?)
● Go for a walk in nature.
● Pray or meditate.
● Play your favorite music and dance your heart off!
● Watch a funny or uplifting movie.
● Journal, paint, or try a new crafts activity.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries as a way to improve focus, relieve stress and anxiety, or just get some much-needed rest.
When we are more present in our day – even if it’s only 10 minutes at night before bedtime, it becomes easier to navigate uncomfortable moments when they arise. Learn to see these moments as an opportunity for personal growth by using breathing exercises or your preferred meditation technique.
Will therapy work for me?
Therapy is a personal process-you need to have an emotional connection with your therapist and feel like you are in safe hands. Making sure you choose the right therapist is paramount. Don’t be afraid to shop around and fit the right fit.
Therapy afterall is a commitment, just like any other. People who are in it for the long haul have to work on themselves constantly and be willing to change their perspective about what they believe will help them get better. Otherwise, what’s the point of it all?
Interactive Counselling is dedicated to helping our clients reach their full potential. We offer the choice of four separate locations and multiple therapists to choose from. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!Learn More
Kids NEED multiple role models in their lives!!
Having multiple people to look up to can provide guidance, goals, ambition, and the feeling of being included. It can create a more well-rounded person than just that of a parent can do on their own. That is where the term “it takes a village” comes from. It takes more than just one person to raise a child; to guide them and support them to become the person they can become. As parents, we really weren’t meant to do this journey of parenthood on our own
.Role models can be parents, teachers, friends, family members, coaches; and really the list can go on and on. Funny thing is, sometimes it can be someone who a child doesn’t even know personally. A TV star, an athlete, a musician. Kids (and adults for that matter) can look up to a myriad of people, most of whom don’t even have an idea they are being idolized by that one specific person. How interesting is that? To think that someone has no idea the exact impact they are having on one specific person’s life.
In my 5-year-old child’s world; that would be the Kelowna Rockets, but one in particular! You see, my kid eats, talks, and breathes hockey these days. His best friends are his hockey buddies, his favorite time is on the ice, and he shines when he gets to see the “big guys” play. He has been so fortunate to make it to every Rockets game, he cheers them on, and informs me every game day that he will become a Rocket .Let me tell you, the last few weeks one specific Rocket has changed his world. My son had the opportunity to give out the 3 stars at the end of a nail biter of a game that they won in overtime. He had the chance to get his picture with all 3 chosen stars of the night, but one stood out because of one simple (yet so dramatic to a five-year-old) action. Tyson Feist, who was the first star of the game, got down on one knee: down to my son’s level for the picture. That was it! Tyson was now his favorite player ever!!!! I guarantee that this Kelowna Rocket Captain never thought about it again; but my son sure did. He made him feel important and included, just by one simple action. How amazing is that?
Fast forward to a recent weekend. My kindergarten aged son was given the opportunity to skate in the warm up with the Rockets. I had gone into Prospera Place earlier in the day and while picking up a few things talked with an amazing staff member (Paige). She and I talked about how excited my kiddo was to have this opportunity, but I shared he was nervous. I also explained how excited he was to see Tyson again. Paige was beyond amazing and reached out to the captain and let him know about my son idolizing him. That evening at the game, Tyson got another picture, down on his knee, with my son and gave him a signed puck. My son beat his nerves and went onto the ice with the Rockets and knew where Tyson was nearly the whole time. Well, I know Tyson doesn’t know this, but in my kid’s world, they are buds. Tyson will always be cheered on every game and will continue to get idolized by my son.
You see, kids having other people to look up to can create such a positive impact on their lives. It can create memories, support their goals, and help them define who they want to be when they grow up. Role models can help kids dream in ways they would have never been able to by just looking up to their parents. Just like wanting to be a Rocket!
Whether your child has the opportunity to look up to a teacher, a coach, an aunt/uncle or a “star”, each and every person is helping them develop, connect, and expand their world beyond that of just looking up to their parents. How special is that? I encourage every parent out there to provide opportunities for their children to connect one on one with others. Take a moment, ask your children who they look up to and why. Get to know the impacts that others have on your little person’s life. Allow this to be an opportunity to get a bit deeper and explore the world from your child’s point of view. It truly is quite amazing!
Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to thank the Kelowna Rockets for providing children the opportunity to be so included in your hockey club, whether it is riding the Zamboni, handing out the stars, the warm up skate, and the Timbit games in the intermission. Thank you to all the Rockets who were so good to my son a few weekends ago, and special thank you to Tyson Feist. Everyone involved has helped my son (and our family for that matter), create some memories that will last a lifetime.
Sincerely,~ A Hockey Mom~Learn More
Lately I have been doing quite a few interviews on how to keep sane during the Covid19 isolation time that we all are experiencing, so I thought I’d share key points with you!
A HUGE factor in your mental health will to be establish a new normal. Our worlds have been turned upside down through no fault of our own, causing us to have some trying times.
Many are working from home, or may be experiencing a job loss, and kids are now home due to schools and daycare being closed. Talk about a disruption to your life!! Balancing work and the responsibilities of caring for your kids at the same time can be overwhelming. So let’s make a routine!
People THRIVE off of routines. It’s a great idea to WRITE down (you all know how much I love writing things down) a routine for yourself and your family. Have similar wake up times that you did prior to being housebound. Keep your meal times and snack times the same. Incorporate physical activity in your daily regime. Doing all of these things on a regular basis will help you stay out of a funk, and create a productive environment for not only you but your family. Make appointments with your friends, family and other support systems to check in regularly. Carving out times and preplanning to connect with others ensures that you make the time, and take the time to socialize.
For kids, do the same. Establish a routine that can be carried out consistently. Just as yourself, create a plan that has the same wake up times each day, same meal times, physically activity, and their household and/or school work responsibilities. Using visual markers such as charts or checklists for kids will not only help them carry out the routine, but it will build their self esteem and self worth from the act of completing a task. Create a rewards system for things that they enjoy. Don’t forget to include them in socialization as well by doing things like video calling grandparents, aunts and uncles, or even their friends.
We are hoping that this new normal will not be around for long, but in the meantime, it is important to create a routine around this situation to ensure your mental health is cared for.Learn More
Right now it seems like society is in survival mode. Getting through each day, whether it be with dealing with anxiety and stress of the unknown, or the madhouse your kids are creating (let’s be honest, we are all bouncing off the walls a bit), right now is a time where most are putting their relationship on a back burner. It may not be intentional, but it is most likely happening (at least if you have children).
Your relationship doesn’t have to be in a bad place for you to put work into it. But it is important to take the time, yes even during isolation, to spend MINDFUL time with your spouse. No, I am not talking about watching TV together or being in the same room. I am talking about making a plan to do an activity, just the two of you. Pick an evening (or even a naptime if you have little ones) to have a date night in. This creates a point of connection, that isn’t based around the stress or frustrations that can be accompanied with staying home. Do this once a week, and take turns planning. I encourage you to pick the same night weekly to ensure that it is part of your weekly routine, and that your relationship doesn’t continually fall down your priority list.
Are you stuck on what a date night in could look like?? We have compiled a short list to get you going!
– Play a board game
– Do you a puzzle
– Make a meal together
– Have a picnic at home
– Have a fondue
– Do a workout together
– Write down questions and put them in a bowl, take turns pulling them out and answer them
– Try on online “paint night”
– Each pick a new hobby and introduce it to one another
– At home wine tasting
– Order in and just sit together with no kids around
– Catch up on folding some laundry (JUST KIDDING, although that does sound like a good way to tackle the never ending laundry pile)
There are many resources online you can access to help you further if you aren’t creative yourself.
Don’t forget! Add date nights to your routine to ensure that you make your spouse and your relationship a top priority.Learn More