Category Archives: Relationships

The Divorce Decision

couple back to backDivorce can be a painful process and is certainly life changing.  One should carefully and fully consider it and other options before steps are taken.

Why Couples Divorce

Why do couples that once married out of love divorce?  The most commonly cited reasons are: finances, frequent arguments, differences in sexual needs, in-laws, differences in child rearing beliefs, and growing apart.

Other reasons for divorce might include:

Communication difficulties:  Different communication styles are very often at the root of marital discord.

Power Struggles: Who’s in charge of what?

Arguing: Learning how to argue “productively” is crucial.

Differing Expectations: Couples must discuss their expectations for marriage beforehand.

Change: Never marry someone with the expectation that you will change them.

Lack of Options: Unhappy couples who feel they have run out of options may turn to divorce believing it to be the only way to become happy again.

Benefits of Marriage Counseling:

Resolve:  The therapist can teach better communication skills to enable resolution of issues.

Clarify:  Clarifying goals can assist in learning to respect your spouses’ ideas.

Your participation: It’s important to learn what role you have in the marital difficulties as we only have control over ourselves, not out partner.

Alternatives: Explore alternatives to divorce such as negotiation and compromise in the marriage.

Whatever you and your spouse decide to do, think carefully, go slowly, and examine all options before moving on.

For the complete article, please go to my page on Psychology Today at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201704/the-divorce-decision

Tips to Maintaining Weight during the Holidays

dessert-4Holiday season is upon us and since I work with many people wanting to lose weight, I am often asked for strategies to maintaining present weight or even to continue weight loss during the holidays. No doubt your willpower will be tested during this season.  Invitations await, cookies and fancy cocktails beckon, and it seems like everyone is begging you to taste their fattening masterpieces. Don’t panic, make a plan and be kind to yourself!

Here are some tips to help you stick to your goals during the holidays:

  1. Avoid hunger. Make sure you eat regularly during the day and always include healthy proteins, which you help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time.  Before going to a party, eat some vegetables and protein so you are not ravenous when the party begins.  Going to a party with a somewhat full stomach will help you avoid some of the temptations.
  2. Do some party planning. Don’t plan to abstain from all the goodies, that’s probably unrealistic and may cause you to overeat in the end. It’s often difficult to turn a blind eye to the scrumptious foods placed before you, so decide in advance what you’re going to splurge on.  If dessert is your favorite, decide to take a bite or two of one to three desserts. Or maybe you’ll skip desserts in favor of a starch at the meal.  Perhaps the hors d’oeuvres are what calls you so you’ll forgo desserts and starches in favor of tasting a few of them.  Planning ahead will encourage you not to sample everything and will help prevent you giving yourself a hard time.
  3. Keep your body moving. Plan to do a little exercise every day.  Take a walk with a friend, take the stairs instead of the elevator, do yoga or dance.  Just moving and exercising with friends will give you that boost of support you may need.
  4. Say NO thank you. When hosts encourage you to eat or drink, learn to say “thank you but I’ve had enough”.  It’s lovely to want to protect other’s feelings but not at the expense of your own health.
  5. Be kind to yourself. You are not what you eat and what you eat doesn’t translate into your value as a person.  Eating well during the holidays is very challenging.  If you slip up, show yourself some kindness and recognize that you can stick to your plan going forward.  Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend you love and admire.
  6. Stay on track while at home. Make sure to eat healthy while at home, loading up on your vegetables and healthy proteins.
  7. Visualize the way you’d like to look in the outfit you’d like to wear. Ask yourself how each choice of food will impact your weight goal.
  8. Celebrate yourself when you stick to your plans and follow your goals.  Make sure to notice your successes and even reward yourself with a massage, facial or something else of meaning to you.
  9. Minimize stress. Holidays can be a stressful time.  Minimize stress by exercising, stretching, meditating and spending time with friends.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

 

 

Uncoupled on Valentine’s Day

friends_having_pizzaTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day that may have some feeling sad and anxious. There is a lot of hype surrounding this day. The media tells us we should be madly in love and strive towards having the “perfect” relationship like we see on TV commercials and in movies. They show us that perfect mate, with a beautiful face and body, who says the most profound, loving  things. And if that’s not enough, they want us to long for the perfect gift!

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes. For those who are single, remember that your friends and family are also important relationships. They can be the perfect company for a Friday that just happens to also be Valentine’s Day.

Here are some things you can do to make your Valentine’s Day special:

1-  Call some friends of family members and make dinner plans. Celebrate the fact that it’s Friday.

2-  Watch a movie you’ve been dying to see. If you’d rather not be alone, invite someone to watch it with you.

3-  Buy yourself that “perfect” piece of jewelry, flowers, or chocolates. You’ll be sure to get exactly what you want if you buy it yourself.

4-  Buy a single friend flowers or chocolates, you’ll make their day.

5-  Set up a “secret cupid” gift sharing with friends so you all get something special and unexpected on Valentine’s Day.

6-  Volunteer to work with those less fortunate or with animals.

7-  Tell people what you need so they can be there for you.

8-  Pamper yourself or make a plan to pamper yourself so you have something to look forward to.

I invite you to read a fuller version of this article which can be found at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201402/single-valentines-day

 

Do you Feel Stuck or Trapped?

Your life is not where you’d like or had hoped it to be. You feel trapped and unable to make changes in either your personal or professional life, or even in both. It’s very frustrating to feel stuck in something when you’d really like to be doing something else or would really like to be with someone else. But are you really stuck or trapped?

Do you feel trapped because change seems too difficult? Maybe you stay in your job because looking for a job in this economy seems too hard or because finding a new job seems impossible. So you spend your energy feeling sad, bored, unfulfilled instead of looking to make a change. Ask yourself what you have to lose by looking? You may be surprised at the answer.

Do you Feel Stuck or Trapped?Sometimes we stay in one place even when we think we’d like to be someplace else as a way of avoiding the problem. For instance, does your marriage feel stale, unfulfilling? Perhaps you daydream about leaving the marriage and finding someone more exciting. Is it possible that your daydreams are keeping you rooted in the problems rather than using the energy to work on the marriage? Maybe you and your spouse need to begin to talk about the problems or see a marriage counselor.

Some people feel trapped because they feel locked into something due to commitments they have made. For instance, staying in a job because the income is one you’ve become dependent on due to a high mortgage or children about to go to college. In this case staying put may actually help you to feel better in the long run.

So look at why you feel trapped and ask yourself what you may be avoiding, afraid of, or waiting for. This may help you get unstuck or help you to feel better about the decision to stay put.

Empty Nest Without Feeling Empty

Congratulations, your son or daughter is ready to leave home. That means you have raised them in such a way that they are independent enough to live on their own. Great job! Perhaps they’re going off to college, perhaps getting married, or perhaps moving into their own place to start a job. They are ready to have you cut the apron strings and let them leave the nest. You’re pretty sure they are ready, but are you?

Empty Nest Without Feeling EmptyAlmost everyone faces this new transition with trepidation. Yes, you’re going to have freedom, perhaps have the house alone all to yourself, or to you and your husband, but at what cost? Will you be lonely? Will you be able to find things to do? Will your child still need you? No wonder you’re scared, sad, anxious. Change is scary. You’re transitioning into the unknown. But this is not a crisis. It’s just a new stage in life, an inevitable change that most of us hope we and our children will reach.

For tips on how to face this stage with strength and optimism, please see the full article on Psychology Today’s website at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/life-without-anxiety/201107/empty-ne…

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or you think I can be of some help. I have offices conveniently located in the New York City and Westchester areas.

Improve Your Communication and Improve Your Relationships

Did you ever get the feeling you’re “talking to the wall”? Do you feel that no matter how you say things no one understands you? Or, do you have a hard time understanding what your spouse, partner, and/or boss say to you? As Paul Newman so famously said in Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”.

What do we mean by communication anyway?

Improving Your Communication

According to Dictionary.com, communication is “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.”

Communication is the lifeline of personal and business relationships. If there is a single key to successful relationships, it is communication. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone if we can’t talk to them or if they don’t understand or listen to us, isn’t it. Continue reading