Tag Archives: anxiety

10 Tips for Calming Pre-Wedding Jitters

pexels-photo-371312Spring is here which means wedding season has begun. Are you getting married, planning a wedding and filled with dread and anxiety? Are you wondering what you’ve gotten yourself in to? If you’re having trouble sleeping, eating too much or too little, have difficulty concentrating, are short-tempered and on edge most of the time, you’re probably suffering from pre-wedding jitters. Although this is to be expected, there are steps you can take to calm yourself down.

Calming your pre-wedding nerves:

  1. Spend fun, relaxing, romantic time with your fiancé without talking about the wedding.
  2. Consult with friends and family who have already experienced this.
  3. Designate one night a week where discussion of the wedding is off limits.
  4. Look at photos of happy times with your fiancé.
  5. Talk to your fiancé about specific concerns you might have regarding the marriage.
  6. Let others, especially your fiancé, support and nurture you.
  7. Exercise.
  8. Practice relaxation techniques.
  9. Talk about your feelings.
  10. See an individual or couple’s therapist if you feel you need additional support.

Some of the best and most memorable weddings are ones that didn’t go exactly as planned. It isn’t a sign that the marriage will fail, it’s just life. Laugh about it, brush it off and enjoy your day!

To read the complete article, please visit my blog at Psychology Today which can be found at:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-without-anxiety/201803/calming-pre-wedding-jitters

 

 

Start Today

pexels-photoWe’ve all heard the saying: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”. How can you make that phrase meaningful to you?

Everyday offers us the opportunity to look to the future differently, to take stock of where we are, and to resolve to make the changes we want to make.

Many of us get mired in looking at the past, wondering how we got to this place, wishing we had done things differently, regretting what has been done and said. Perhaps we even feel stuck in our present situation because of past decisions.

It is important to know that decisions you made in the past were made based on the knowledge and information you had at the time of the decision. They could not have been made based on what you know today and it is unfair to judge your younger self based on what you know now. Could you possibly make a decision today based on who you will be and information you will have in 10 years?

Know that you did the best you could do at the time. And know that you will do the best you can do today. The past is over and no longer exists. The future is unknown. But today, you can celebrate you and know that you have the best of intentions for yourself.

Sending your Teen off to College Successfully

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High School graduation is behind us and college is about to start.  For those of us launching our teens off to college for the first time, we have about two months to review skills, discuss expectations, spend family time together, shop and pack.  Doing this with thought and planning will help make the transition a smooth one.

You may have plans to spend every waking moment with your soon to depart student only to discover they want to spend all of his/her time with friends.  Support their time with friends while planning some meaningful time with family.  Try to also spend alone time with your teen, perhaps giving them the option of picking the activity.

Some teens are better able to separate if they’re angry.  They may battle with you and/or siblings more often, feeling it’s easier to leave family with whom you’re angry.  Others may have meltdowns, be cranky or even clingy.  Try not to engage in arguing but to give them some space while understanding that change is stressful and going off to college is scary. Reassure them they are ready.

There are some skills your student will need to have at college that may not have been emphasized while living at home.  They will need to do laundry, iron, make a bed, clean, and manage money and time. Make sure they feel comfortable doing these things by giving them guidance and supportive instruction.

Discuss financial expectations with your student.  Where will their spending money come from and how will they access it? Who will pay for books, food outside of the meal plan, entertainment? It’s best to develop a budget with them and make sure they know how to use a credit card, ATM card, and write a check.

Talk to them about how and how often you will be in contact.  Some parents and students prearrange a day and time for weekly phone calls, some text as needed, others FaceTime or Skype.  Some parents tell their students they will leave the frequency of contact up to the student but will let them know if it’s not often enough for the parent.

Help your teen decide what to take with them to school.  Let them pick their bedding and decorations for the dorm room and be there as a guide instead of running the show.  Be supportive of their choices.  Go shopping with them as that’s a great way to spend time together.

Try to control your emotions. Certainly let your child know that you’re going to miss them but not to the point that they will worry about you when they’re gone.  Let them know you trust them and the decisions they will make.

Remember, all your years of hard work have led up to this point.  You’ve taught, they’ve learned. Show your love and trust.

Best of luck to all of you!

Will I ever fall asleep?

insomniaWhy is sleep so elusive to many of us? Very often sleep difficulties arise when we’re worrying about something, when not feeling well, going through menopause, pregnant, or when worrying about not being about to sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try the following:

1-      Use your bedroom and bed for sleeping only. Don’t read, watch TV, and/or eat in bed.

2-      Don’t nap during the day.

3-      Plan for 8 hours of sleep and go to sleep at a time which would allow for that.  Going to sleep too early will make it that much for difficult to fall asleep.

4-      Tell yourself that you’re going to bed to rest, don’t make sleep the goal.

5-      If you become anxious because you want to sleep and can’t, get out of bed and do something that will keep you busy and distracted. Go back to bed to rest after an hour.

6-      Place your clock out of sight so you can’t stare at the time.

7-      Limit caffeine, including chocolate to before 3 pm.

8-      Limit alcohol intake.

Doing the above consistently for a week to 10 days should take care of the issue.

Pleasant dreams!

 

Do Upcoming Holiday Gatherings Have You Scared?

Family serving Christmas dinnerWhile commercials, cards, and TV shows all show happy family gatherings, the reality is, many family get-togethers cause tremendous difficulties for a lot of us.  Why is that?

There is a great expectation that holidays will be fun, warm, loving. That family reunions will bring joy to all. But that isn’t always the case. Family gatherings can remind us of who’s no longer present, either due to death, divorce, or distance. This can cause sadness and a feeling of loss and longing.

We tend to act out old family roles when the whole family gets together.  So if you were the “acting out” adolescent, you may find yourself in the acting out role again as an adult. If you had competition with your sibling when a child, you may find that the old competitive spirit is alive and well. Old jealousies may rear their ugly head again. Competiton for parental attention for yourself or your children may cause some difficulty.

Here’s what you can do. Remember, holidays don’t have to bring up all or some of the above. Keep focused on the purpose of the gathering: to eat a meal, exchange gifts, or reunite with family members you haven’t seen in a long time. And focus your attention on those that support you, that have your back. This could be your spouse, children, cousins, etc.  Just because others may try to drag you into old dysfunctional patterns and behaviors, it doesn’t mean you have to follow.

Have a peaceful holiday season.

 

To Fear or Not to Fear, You’re in Control

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, in his first inaugural address, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I wonder why. Fear is normal, fear is helpful, fear can actually help save our lives! But what if it takes over? What happens if we feel we can’t control it?

What is Anxiety?The Fear of Fear

Fear is something we all feel at different times and for different reasons. Fear can protect us because it helps us learn to avoid dangerous situations.

But sometimes, we may become afraid of the feelings of fear. Sometimes, we may become afraid that our fear will get out of control and the feelings will never go away.

We become afraid of feeling fear; we develop a fear of fear. This fear of fear is a major aspect of anxiety. Not only do we try to avoid the fearful situation that has started these feelings in the first place, but the feeling of fear also becomes something we want and try to avoid. In fact, this is really the basis of anxiety and panic attacks – the fear of fear. Continue reading