It's a universal dread - all parents experience cascades of anxiety regarding substance use talk. As unenjoyable as it may be, ignoring the impending danger will not make it vanish into thin air. As parents, we are responsible for overcoming our fear hurdles (and awkwardness) and providing that safe space for open dialogue. The truth is, we're never truly prepared, and it's never the right time. Avoiding the conversation will only prolong the smoldering agony; convincing ourselves that our children would never (!) indulge in such autodestructive behavior will not do us favors, either. So, why wait? Peer pressure is a relentless mechanism, assuming is a nemesis. The most effective (and unobtrusive) preventive measure we can implement is surprisingly undemanding - an ongoing open discussion. These are our tips for talking to your kids about substance use. Let's talk.
The power of language is irrefutably superior to all other forms of communication. We can't hug a profound conversation out and hope for the best subliminal message outcome. We're not mind whisperers. Talking about substance use should start early in their lives, but we need to tread the vocabulary path wisely. A child's brain is a thing of wonder; it's ever-evolving. In order to get the message across in a successful manner, we need to make sure they can relate to what we're saying. So, keep it age-appropriate. Divorce and financial strains are common triggers for developing anxiety in the early stages of development, which could later induce substance abuse problems.
2. Ask questions
Although we may be tempted to perceive our kids as innocent, information-free vessels of our personal joy and (perpetual) worry, they are, in fact, the Earth's leading sponges in absorbing and storing valuable (and random) information. They just know things. More importantly, they're much more educated than we could ever, ever fathom. We were all young once; a young brain is a vast brain. By the age of 16, they are equipped with everything from future-budget concepts to drug buffets. So, ask them questions. How familiar are they with substances? Have they read about it online? Are their school friends familiar with the topic? What are their thoughts? Engage in a meaningful, open conversation.
3. Adjust your approach
Accusation will get you nowhere. The last thing we want is for our children to experience fear and anxiety around opening up. Vulnerability is key to a successful conversation. The tone of your voice is crucial here. Instead of inviting fear, judgment, and hatred, we should try approaching the subject with curiosity and understanding. Introduce the "experimenting phase" term and see if they respond to it and in what manner. Experimenting is an everyday occurrence; it's an empirical given. If you cannot tell whether they have encountered drugs or alcohol before, don't be afraid to ask them. Have an open discussion, explain the "experimenting" rules, and draw the line.
4. Be assertive
One of the most important tips for talking to your kids about substance use: Where you stand as a parent on substance use should be crystal clear from the get-go. It's a NO. Refraining from having "the talk" is also sending a message that could be interpreted as: "I guess it's okay if I give it a try." Kids need guidance. They need to hear a decisive "NO." Now, as parents, our duty is to find that golden ratio in order to get the message across without generating negative emotion. Assertiveness is, by no means, a form of aggression. Coming off as militant, tyrannical and unforgiving will not lead to them accepting the concept of prohibition. Try setting clear but fair boundaries. Moving long-distance proved to be one of the most common triggers in teenagers, as their anxiety levels peak in uncertainty. Before that fresh start, be sure to discuss this with them. It will make everything go smoother.
5. The consequence talk
The concept of lasting substance use impact is elusive when explaining it to kids. They don't understand long term. Instead of trying to scare them with ungraspable consequences somewhere down the road ("If you become a drug addict, it will - XXX"), try laying out the immediate effects list. If you're discussing cigarettes, go straight for the Achilles heel - aesthetics. Bad breath, yellow teeth, poor skin, overall loss of attractiveness. Drunk driving = goodbye, driver's license! + possible death- insert casually. (if not paralysis or immediate death, the driver's license scenario will, 100%, make them think, HARD)
6. If it already happened
If your child has experimented with substance use, pinpointing the root cause is crucial. Peer pressure, school/social status, family trouble, and other stress-inducing factors can greatly impact teenagers, further leading to clouded judgment and bad decision-making. We never indulge in autodestructive behavior out of sheer boredom; there's always a culprit. Finding out what caused the initial use can prevent "the experiment" from developing into a serious addiction problem. Explain addiction and relapse as honestly and thoroughly as you possibly can. Make sure they understand how difficult it is to lose the habit and how detrimental it can be to their mental and physical health. If you're worried about your child's possible addiction, experts from helixmove.com advise moving to a new area.
7. Seek professional help
Financial strains often bring family disruption, but they may also serve as a trigger in adolescent substance use. Experimenting with drugs or alcohol can be a sign of a developing habit. Seeking professional help in the early stages is key. A regular psychologist should be able to provide you with all the vital information, as well as refer you to a substance abuse counseling center. Intervention in the early stages is of utmost importance, as it will provide healthy coping mechanisms and tools for preventing potential addiction. If your child is struggling, be sure to stay as supportive and loving as possible throughout the process.
The last of our tips for talking to your kids about substance use: lead by example. Our children absorb and mimic our behavior. If you're smoking, consuming alcohol, or taking prescription drugs, you're not helping. Mixed signals never get the message across. Be consistent. Be their rock.
As you probably know by now, dealing with addiction is rough. And while acknowledging that you have a problem and seeking help is hard, what comes after is even harder. Since you’re surrounded by temptation and triggers, staying clean is a life-long battle. But it’s worth it! Once you’re in recovery, you can start getting your life back on track. And it’s never too late to do that. However, despite all the benefits of recovery, you need a lot of determination to succeed. Even if your brain is telling you that this is good for you, there will be times when you’ll want to quit. So, here are 8 tips for staying motivated in recovery.
No. 1 One of the top 8 tips for staying motivated in recovery is setting achievable goals
After completing your addiction treatment, you might feel that the hard part is over. And this will make you think that you can achieve anything you want now. However, you will easily get discouraged if you set goals that are impossible to achieve. Take it slow, one day at a time, and manage your expectations. You can’t expect to regain everything you lost overnight. For example, if your goal is to get your career back, don’t expect to become a CEO in one month. Start small with a low-level position that you can manage while focusing on your recovery.
No. 2 Stay positive
Having a positive mindset is one of the top 8 tips for staying motivated in recovery. So, drop the toxic thoughts and think positively. Of course, this is easier said than done. While in recovery, you might struggle with negative thoughts brought on by regret, guilt, and loss. But instead, you should focus on improving your life and finding happiness once more.
No. 3 Stay healthy
Since any type of addiction will harm your health, it’s time to improve things in that department. Learn to take care of yourself. Star by making time to eat well and exercise. This will improve not only your health but also your mindset. And you should know that maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health. So, make sure you focus on both.
Now, when it comes to your mental health, it’s not as easy as choosing to eat vegetables instead of junk food. For example, stress represents a major concern for people in recovery. It might even be what led them to substance abuse in the first place. Of course, you can’t avoid stressful situations, but you can learn to deal with anxiety. For instance, if you have to move house, seek help from your friends and professional movers. That way, you can focus on managing the stress of moving house.
No. 4 Stay organized
Keeping busy is a great tip for staying motivated in recovery. The main reason for this is that when you have too much free time, your mind tends to wander off. You’ll start thinking about all your troubles and about using again. So, set up a schedule and stick to it. This will also help you stay on top of your daily tasks and responsibilities. And don’t forget to include your new healthy habits in there as well.
No. 5 Learn to manage your addiction triggers
A major concern when in recovery is dealing with addiction triggers. These triggers can be physical, like seeing the object of your addiction. But most often than not, they are emotional. Because, let’s face it, people usually turn to substance abuse when going through a rough patch. Therefore, you have to find ways to cope with these triggers. And a good tip is to find new activities that you enjoy. For example, the advisors from Mod Movers CA recommend exploring the city you live in to discover what it has to offer. For example, you might enjoy going to the theatre or the cinema or taking cooking lessons.
No. 6 Rely on your support system
Whenever times get tough, you should have a good support system to rely on. And close family members and friends are at the top of the list. After all, the people who stuck by you even after you hit rock bottom are the ones that truly love you. And you have to do everything in your power to nurture those relationships.
But even though your close friends and family will always be there for you, they might not understand what you’re going through. That’s why support groups should also be a part of your support system. Here, you’ll meet people who have faced similar situations and struggles as you. Therefore, they can provide you with valuable insight and advice on how to stay motivated in recovery.
No. 7 Seek professional help
As previously mentioned, recovery is a life-long battle. Therefore, there may be times when you’ll need a bit more help to stay on track. And when you find yourself in these situations, it’s best to seek professional help. For example, a therapist who specializes in addiction can help you see things from a different perspective and teach you some new coping strategies.
No. 8 Remind yourself why it’s worth it
Whenever you feel down, and you think about giving up, remind yourself why you started. Remember all those people that you hurt and all the things you’ve lost while using. Then, think about all the things you can achieve now that you’re clean. Of course, it will take time, and you have to be patient, but good times will come.
Unfortunately, many people struggle with addiction and recovery. So, don’t worry, you’re not alone in it. But choosing to get clean is the best decision you’ll ever make. Therefore, once you complete your addiction treatment, you should do whatever it takes not to fall off the wagon. Yes, there will be times when you’ll feel like giving up, but try to overcome those moments. Use these 8 tips for staying motivated in recovery and get your life back on track.
Attending to your child's needs is a full-time job that often results in a lack of sleep and diminished energy. When your child has special needs, your time and energy demands are significant and persistent. Caring for your family can take a mental, emotional, and physical toll on your body and mind, resulting in fatigue.
Read on to learn how to determine if your level of tiredness is potentially harmful and discover ideas for creating a self-care treatment plan.
What is Parental Fatigue?
Fatigue is much more than simply feeling drained. This state involves extreme whole-body exhaustion and a consistent lack of motivation and stamina that sleep does not remedy. Research shows that chronic fatigue can lead to burnout and feelings of detachment, which can have severe consequences for you and your family.
Are You at Risk?
You focus primarily on your child's daily needs, making it easy to neglect your own. Take some time to identify your fatigue level by assessing specifics, such as:
Can You Overdo Self-Care?
When you are approaching or experiencing caregiver burnout, shifting your focus to include your personal care has many advantages. However, it can have unwanted effects if you do not create a strategy that balances your needs with your family's. You may start to ask your support network for more help than what is appropriate or try to place most of the tasks on your partner instead of dividing them equally. You may think you can self-treat your depression instead of seeking professional help. Be mindful of potential pitfalls when developing your fatigue treatment outline.
What Tasks Can You Delegate?
Make a list of essential tasks for your child and your household. Consider which jobs you can obtain assistance with or give to someone else. You can get so entrenched in daily chores that you forget you do not have to do them alone. Consider accessing help managing your bills and budgeting from Turning Point Stewardship. Dealing with the finances can strain your marriage when you are already feeling worn down. Find a support group for special needs parents and swap babysitting services. Hire a house cleaning service to help around the house.
How Can You Achieve Your Goals?
You may have put your objectives aside to devote more time to your child. However, working toward your aims can also benefit your family. Spend time pursuing a hobby you enjoy, go back to school to earn a new degree or certification, or start a small business.
Look for a new job if your current position is unfulfilling or is not a good fit for your family's needs. Having a professional-looking resume helps you land the work you want. Update your resume using a fast and free resume builder. Choose a template and customize it by choosing the colors, fonts, images, and text.
Can Small Changes Make a Difference?
You can ease symptoms of fatigue by incorporating minor changes into your routines. Plan time to go outside each day, even if it is only ten minutes. Fresh air and sunshine help refresh your mood and energy. Get some physical activity each day. Go for a walk, run around the playground or backyard or do some yoga in the living room. Call someone to chat for a few minutes each day to avoid feeling isolated.
Stretching yourself too thin does not benefit your child. Remember that your care is also essential.
Lucille Rosetti ~ firstname.lastname@example.org │The Bereaved
When your spouse develops an addiction, it may be one of the most challenging obstacles in your marriage. If there is no assistance provided, the marriage can quickly fall apart. Unfortunately, many couples can’t cope with the stress, anxiety, and unhappiness and end up divorcing or breaking up. So, if you suspect your partner has an addiction, learn how to help them. Read on to learn the dos and don'ts of helping your addicted spouse.
We should state right away that addiction is a medical condition. And you wouldn't generally blame someone for having diabetes or hypertension. Instead, you would be sympathetic and eager to help overcome the disease. Right? Addiction, like other conditions, requires compassion and understanding. As a result, the first step in helping your spouse with their addiction is to recognize that it is a disease, not a personality attribute or a choice. Also, it is essential to understand that external factors can feed the addiction. For instance, stress can be a great contributor and trigger for addictions. And once an addiction begins, it’s harder and harder to control it and stop it from developing further into other and more destructive habits. You might even expect financial infidelity from your spouse or trouble with the law. So be compassionate, build your trust, and work together to solve your issues.
Don’t turn a blind eye.
Out of fear, many people turn a blind eye to their spouse's addiction. They may be terrified of the repercussions, or they may be worried that things will change. Never ignore your partner's issues. If your partner is complaining of chest pain, you would call an ambulance or go to the hospital. If your spouse is addicted, you also need to give them the best advice and help them find a rehabilitation program. Or reach out to professionals that can help you find the best rehab for a loved one. Just ignoring the problem will not make it disappear.
Expect it to be rough.
Rehab will be tough for you and your spouse. That is why many people with addictions are usually avoiding to seek help. They feel a combination of emotions that can drive them to become paranoid and harmful to themselves and the people around them. For instance, people may feel ashamed and believe that admitting their problems would make them lesser. Or they can’t live with the idea that people around them will stigmatize them. Not to mention those who refuse to recognize they have a problem and will not accept help. In any of these situations, you must have a positive attitude and support your spouse unconditionally. And even if it is difficult, try to avoid the don'ts and focus on the dos when helping your addicted spouse. That way, you have a much better chance of success.
Take care of yourself.
Self-care is essential when you are dealing with an addicted loved one. Sometimes, the healthy spouse gets dragged into the addiction or derails their life thinking they are helping their partner. In reality, if you try to live a balanced and healthy life, you are helping more than you think. You need to be well so that you can help those around you. If you let yourself go, you won’t be of any use to your spouse. Therefore, keep your plans alive, stay positive at work, find a hobby, and socialize more. Sure, you can have activities with your spouse, but don’t let them be the center of your day. You need time for yourself to do things for yourself and yourself only.
Don’t give up
Sometimes, you might become frustrated with your loved one if they refuse to seek help or relapse. Unfortunately, you must realize that the struggle might be too much for your spouse, and they will lose a fight or two. However, they are still the person you fell in love with and are worth saving. The addiction is just covering their beautiful personality, but don’t worry. Deep down, your partner is still there, waiting for you to help them. So don’t lose hope and don’t give up. It might be scary to continue, but you might be your spouse's only chance. Addictions can tear people apart, and having strong support can make all the difference. You can be the motivation for the change and the source of strength for your partner. But if you give up, you might be closing your partner’s last gate to freedom from addiction.
As the old saying goes: “Knowledge is power!” Therefore, learning about addictions and treatment will help you and your spouse. Research alcoholism, drug abuse, or dangerous substances and learn about their symptoms and available treatments. Also, look for rehabilitation centers and specialists that can help your partner. Look for support groups for codependent partners to help you understand what is going on and what to expect. You can only help your loved ones when you fully understand what they are going through.
Other things you can do to help your addicted spouse:
While addiction might be lonely, you and your spouse do not have to be or fight this challenge alone. Many others have gone through or are going through addiction and can help you with advice or recommendations. Also, some might have the knowledge and resources to help you and your loved one overcome addiction. Therefore, for the sake of your marriage and family, do what is best for you and seek out people who can assist you. They will educate you on the dos and don'ts of helping your addicted spouse and how to fix and strengthen your relationship. God bless!
There are no shortcuts to healing after a breakup. Often, it's hard to get back on your feet. It's impossible to say how long it will take to recover, and it's unavoidable to go through the experience of some agony. However, in the toughest moments, you should try to keep a clear head. We know it's challenging to maintain your mental health after a breakup, but we're here to help.
Find your self-esteem through loneliness
After a breakup, it's typical to have feelings of loneliness. During the time you were in the relationship, you could have felt as if you had lost part of your independence. So, you might be confused about how to reconnect with yourself now. It's also possible that you're having trouble with your self-esteem, particularly if your ex-partner often put you down or tried to emotionally manipulate you during your time together.
So, take advantage of your alone time to do something that you've always wanted to do but never had the time for when you were in a relationship. Take a course or teach yourself a new skill. Or become an aspiring entrepreneur. Ideally, it should be something that you can invest your whole self in. As you get better at it, your self-esteem will re-establish and grow.
Surround yourself with positivity
Do not dwell on the past or the unpleasant emotions that come with it, such as sadness and regret. Your brain becomes stuck in an unhelpful habitual groove the longer you linger on negative ideas, and worrying behaviors develop. Instead of allowing yourself to become stuck in a rut, try rewiring your brain to develop new habits that will eventually become your default state. All kinds of art are fantastic ways to alleviate suffering. Listen to a heart-wrenching power ballad, or try:
Your friends are your best allies
Keeping a healthy environment is an important component of self-care. So, surround yourself with friends and colleagues who love and support you. It might be tough to stay positive, especially if you're working from home. But, make sure to spend some quality time with the ones that know you the best. This will help you increase the secretions of serotonin and dopamine in your brain. That will help neutralize the other negative processes that happen during this time.
Don't be afraid to seek help
The help and support you get from friends can be amazing, but sometimes it's just not enough. If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed by your current circumstances and believe that you may benefit from further help, you should think about scheduling an appointment with a therapist or psychologist. If the relationship ended in a tumultuous fashion, if you feel that you are continually brooding about how the relationship ended, or if you are experiencing self-critical thinking patterns, meeting with a mental health expert might be extremely useful.
If you have symptoms such as feeling unsafe or suffering from intense anxiety, flashbacks, or nightmares for an extended time, you might be suffering from PTSD. In that case, it is imperative that you look for professional assistance in order to start feeling secure again.
Gather the team
When times are difficult, the more people you have on your side, the better. Besides family, friends, and mental health professionals, you may find help in some different areas. If you just got a divorce and you need to move out, contacting professional movers can be a huge relief. It's important to have help during the process because that means you'll have someone experienced dealing with the things you're too sensitive to deal with. For example, moving professionals can handle packing all the memories that would hurt you if you had to do it yourself.
Keep track of your thoughts and feelings
Take advantage of this time to examine your feelings and discover what works best for you right now. When going through a divorce or split, maintain a journal to record your thoughts and feelings. The best place to begin is with your sentiments ("I feel") or the underlying motivations. Also, you can write down the constructive steps you intend to take to address the issue at hand (e.g., I need to get my budget under control). This will help you track your progress. So, a journal may be a great tool to employ.
Getting dressed to impress yourself is a good way to maintain your mental health after a breakup
Even if your relationship is finished, your desire to look nice doesn't have to be. A breakup may be emotionally and psychologically draining for both men and women. So it's important to find that moment when you dress for yourself, not your ex. Feeling beautiful is a potent remedy because it may help you see yourself in a more favorable light. You don't have to spend an enormous amount of money on this task (money management is always important to keep in mind). You can work with what you've got. So, put on things that make you feel good about yourself, and embrace your figure, your style, and everything else that makes you unique. Your self-esteem will soar as a result of your newfound assurance.
No breakup is easy. And the sadness won't certainly go away in a heartbeat. It is crucial to take the necessary time to completely process your feelings after the end of a relationship before moving on to a new romantic partner. If you are experiencing difficulties with your mental health after the end of a relationship, remember that you are not alone and that things will not remain this way forever. Don't give in to the negative thoughts and take all the steps necessary to maintain your mental health after a breakup. Remember, there is a rainbow waiting after the rain. Take your time and discover it.
Meta description: Are you having trouble to maintain your mental health after a breakup? You're not alone! Read this article to find useful tips.
It's not always what happens in your life that matters, but how your mind interprets it at the time. The disappointment you experience and the negative emotions that come with it are completely natural, whether it's because of the date who canceled on you at the last minute or the employer that rejected your application. These concepts pile up in the back of your mind and present themselves in the form of toxic thoughts, which can be quite overwhelming unless you find a way to transform them. To help you do this, we've consulted experienced therapists and gathered advice to help you replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. We won't lie—it won't always be easy, but it's completely worth it as by transforming your negative thoughts, you'll massively transform your everyday life.
How to transform your toxic thoughts?
Social anxiety, melancholy, stress, and low self-esteem can all be caused by your negative thoughts. Understanding how you think currently (and the difficulties that arise from that) is the key to transforming your negative thoughts. From there, you can easily apply tactics to change or reduce their impact.
Our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all intertwined, which means that how we think dramatically influences how we feel and act. So, while we all have unhelpful thoughts from time to time, it's critical to know what to do with them so that they don't take over our day. You can always count on help from experienced counselors, but we strongly encourage you to learn how to modify your thought patterns on your own, too. Here are six ways to help you do so.
#1 It starts with mindfulness and self-awareness
Meditation is where mindfulness began. It is the act of separating oneself from your ideas and emotions so you can observe and analyze them objectively. The goal of mindfulness is to alter your connection with your toxic thoughts and help you transform them.
Think of yourself as a factory and consider your thoughts and feelings as products passing by you on a moving belt. You have the power to decide which product (your toxic thought) to stop and examine or let pass you by. Allowing the reasoning half of your brain to take control of your emotional reactions to situations is the goal of mindfulness.
It's been suggested that practicing mindfulness can help people use their ideas more adaptively. According to one study, people who practiced mindfulness had fewer toxic thoughts after being exposed to negative imagery. This implies that mindfulness can reduce the harmful effects of negative thinking.
#2 Identify your toxic thoughts
You can't start transforming your toxic thoughts unless you first identify them. The following are some examples of toxic thought patterns:
There are subtle differences in unhelpful thought processes. However, they all involve reality distortions and unreasonable approaches to circumstances and people. Now that you've noticed the thought, you can recognize it as harmful thinking. Thus, the next time it pops into your head, you'll be able to acknowledge it and instantly start working on transforming it.
#3 Avoid toxic thought-stopping
If you want to take the path of mindfulness, you need to keep yourself from thought-stopping as it's the polar opposite of it. Think about it—there's nothing mindful about constantly scanning for negative ideas and trying to completely banish them.
The biggest issue with trying to fully stop your negative thoughts is that the more you try to stop them from coming up, the more they will show. This phenomenon is known as the thought rebounding, and it can be pretty harmful. Mindfulness is a better way to go since it gives your thoughts less weight and lessens their influence on you.
#4 Remember that you are your own friend and not the enemy
We live in a society where we're all victims of our own minds, and we're being too harsh on ourselves. In fact, self-talk is, in 90% of cases, negative. Therefore, you need to make sure to replace this pattern, and here's how to do it in three simple steps:
Thought diaries, also known as thought records, are a very useful tool for transforming your toxic thoughts. In fact, many mental health professionals use them as a part of their therapy process. Thought journals can help you recognize negative thinking patterns and get a better understanding of how your thoughts influence your emotional responses.
A thought diary post, for example, might break down a person's thought process while on a date, as well as the emotional and physical reactions that follow from unfavorable thinking patterns. You can replace irrational beliefs about rejection with more useful and constructive ways of thinking. But first, you need to do a thoughtful analysis.
#6 Don't be scared to ask for help
Lastly, if you feel you are unable to cope with your damaging thoughts on your own, don't be afraid to reach out to professionals. Remember - you are not alone, and so many people around the world are experiencing the same thing. Simply by acknowledging your problem, you are already one step ahead towards solving it.
By ignoring the problem, you can only make it bigger and more difficult to solve. In the worst case, it can lead you straight to addiction or depression. You can easily end up in a rehab center or on strong medication therapy. So please don't be afraid to seek professional help as soon as you notice any signs.
We hope our article helped you learn ways to cope with and eventually transform your toxic thoughts. Remember - this is not a quick process, so don't give up if you don't experience results straight away. Instead, be patient and persistent and trust us—you'll reframe your thoughts and transform your life. Of course, if you do feel this is something too difficult to handle on your own, don't hesitate to reach out to California's best counselors. The sooner you ask for help, the quicker you'll be able to fully enjoy your everyday life.
Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, life can feel overwhelming. And this is perfectly normal. We all have moments when we think that the relationship issues, the stress at work, and the global and emotional events are too much to handle. And all of this can cause anxiety. While for some people, this is something manageable and temporary, for others, it can feel paralyzing. Nevertheless, mornings are usually the worst, even if you only suffer from mild anxiety. The main reason for this is the spike in cortisol levels (also known as the stress hormone) that takes place during the first hour after you wake up. So, here are our seven tips for coping with morning anxiety.
No. 1 Improving your sleep quality
The quality of your sleep has a significant impact on your mental health. Studies show that sleep problems can cause headaches, lack of concentration and energy, irritability, and anxiety. Therefore, improving your sleep quality is vital. Here are some ideas on how you can do that:
No. 2 Paying attention to your diet
Research shows that there is a direct link between diet and anxiety. Specifically, some of the things we eat can trigger or ease anxiety. Therefore, to cope with morning anxiety, you should pay attention to what you eat. Try to add more fruits, vegetables, and protein to your diet and avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated fats.
Caption: Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is good for coping with morning anxiety.
Alt: A table full of fruits and vegetables.
Don’t forget about caffeine. Firstly, this is a very potent stimulant that can affect the quality of your sleep, which in turn can cause anxiety. Secondly, studies show that caffeine can intensify morning anxiety in people susceptible to this. Therefore, try to eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake.
No. 3 Exercising regularly
Exercising is good for your general health but also for coping with morning anxiety. This doesn’t mean you have to exercise right after you wake up - you can do it at any time during the day. And if you’re not a big fan of sports, you can take a walk. Anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes of walking outside will do wonders for your mood and can ease your anxiety.
Apart from the usual sports and physical exercises, you can also try meditation, yoga, and stretching. These relaxing practices can have a very soothing effect on you. So, it would help if you gave them a try.
Caption: For coping with morning anxiety, try some relaxing practices, like stretching.
Alt: A woman stretching on the floor of her apartment.
No. 4 Establishing a morning routine
When you feel like curling back in bed immediately after waking up, having a solid morning routine can help you get your morning anxiety under control. Plus, repeating the same activities every day can be very soothing. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be very complex. Just set a wake-up time and avoid pressing the snooze button. Then, your morning routine can include:
No. 5 Thinking positively
When you’re dealing with anxiety for some time, your brain can develop automatic negative thought patterns. Thus, the moment you wake up, your mind will automatically bombard you with negative thoughts. Therefore, you must drop those toxic thoughts. Of course, this is not an easy task. Still, you can create some positive affirmations to counteract the negative ones. For example, you can counteract the negative claim “I feel horrible today” with the more upbeat “Yes, I’m feeling anxious, but it’s not the first time, and I know I can manage it.”
No. 6 Getting support from your loved one is good for coping with morning anxiety
Family and friends are the most powerful weapon you have against anxiety. They are your rock whenever life feels overwhelming. So, it would help if you relied on them. Circumstances can always change, and some of your family members can move away. Don’t miss the chance to throw them a going-away party and gather with your loved ones, as that will help both you and them. And afterward, go visit them as often as you can. Maintaining good relationships will do wonders in helping you deal with anxiety.
No. 7 Seeking professional help
Sometimes, even if you apply all these coping mechanisms, it’s still not enough. When you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, seeking professional help might be the best solution. So, if your morning anxiety is so bad that it affects your daily functioning, find a good therapist to help you get through it. And if therapy is not enough, there are other treatment options that mental health professionals can recommend. The important thing is to acknowledge the full extent of your anxiety and not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.
Life throws many things at us. Therefore, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes. And when this feeling persists, it leads to anxiety. While some people suffer from mild anxiety, others have a more challenging time dealing with it. But either way, you have to do something about it. Otherwise, it can affect all aspects of your life. So, use these seven tips for coping with morning anxiety. And remember, if you feel that it isn’t working, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
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Even the most self-assured parent may fidget when it comes to discussing complex topics with their children. It's difficult enough to explain frequent family problems to our children, such as divorce or grief. However, it might feel impossible to put them into words when confronted with major world issues like violence, disasters, and inequality. Unfortunately, trauma affects children's lives regularly, no matter how hard parents attempt to keep "bad things" out of their lives. This is why you should talk to your kids about difficult topics instead of meaninglessly trying to protect them. Although it may appear hard, taking a proactive approach and discussing such things openly can help your child feel safer.
Plan ahead of time
The first step in having a difficult conversation is to outline what you want to talk about ahead of time. You must select a single issue to address rather than several. You might, for example, opt to speak to your children about death. When doing so, try to keep it concise and focused on this one topic. Do not move on to other subjects until your child has had time to comprehend what you've talked about.
Furthermore, think about the approach you want to take, the phrases you wish to use, and the general flow of the conversation. The wonderful thing about the art of parenting is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. So, once the conversation starts, feel free to adjust the plan and go with the flow.
Adjust how you talk to your kids about difficult topics based on their age and developmental stage
Because children absorb information differently as they grow from babies to teenagers, considering their age and developmental stage is always a good idea. Even something as every day as moving to a new home needs a different approach depending on how old your kids are. For example, youngsters may not understand what's happening and why, whereas teenagers will. Nevertheless, you must communicate about this openly with both groups of children, adapting your language as necessary. Understanding how children perceive the world at various stages of development can assist you in providing information in an age-appropriate manner. Of course, each child brings their own set of sensitivities, temperaments, experiences, and other unique characteristics to any discussion. Therefore, before you talk to your kids about difficult topics, determine how well they absorb information.
Make a safe and comfortable environment
It is essential that you, as a parent, create a safe and comfortable environment in which to conduct such discussions in both mental and physical ways. Be open to discussions and do not shy away from such subjects when your child approaches you. Likewise, make a comfortable space in your home where you can sit and chat about complex topics with few distractions. If your youngster catches you off guard with a sensitive subject while you're out and about, save the conversation for later when you get home. Acknowledge the subject or topic and convey your eagerness to talk about it when you are in a more appropriate environment. You must initiate the topic once you return home, and the trip back will give you just enough time to prepare.
Keep your emotions in check
Most of the time, you will be emotionally affected by some of these challenging topics or concerns, making it more challenging to support your child. For example, if you wish to talk to your child about your seasonal depression, you must remain honest about your feelings. On the other hand, it's also essential to avoid being overwhelmed or having a negative emotional outburst during these interactions. When talking with your children, you can demonstrate that even difficult feelings (like anger, fear, or sadness) may be communicated peacefully by staying composed. Therefore, take some time if you or your child need a break to comprehend and deal with your current feelings.
Be honest, answer and ask questions
It's pointless to have these conversations with your child if you feel you have to be dishonest. Of course, we recommend that you present the facts in simple terms that they can understand and leave out any gruesome or disturbing details that they will not benefit from hearing. If your child asks you what an "abuser" is when talking about violence, be honest but pick your words. Likewise, honestly but wisely respond to any questions they may have. However, be honest with them and admit that you don't have all the answers when it comes to these topics. To remedy this, you can do research together or (if your child is too young) research and get back to them with more information. Lastly, ask them questions and hear what they have to say.
Reassure them and give them support
At the end of the conversation, your children may have a lot of uneasy feelings after learning about the terrible aspects of the world around them. Soothe their fears and worries by telling them that they are loved and that you will do everything to keep them safe. As much as you wish to take away these feelings, it's vital to choose your words carefully and avoid phrases like:
Keep the conversation open
Remember that once your difficult conversation ends, it might not be over. Your children may come up with additional questions about the subject to learn more. And, if you did a good job of communicating with them, they'll know who to turn to for answers. Naturally, if you require more time to prepare an answer, let them know and approach them once you're ready. Overall, you must recognize that if you want to talk to your kids about difficult topics, you must engage in conversations with them that will only evolve as they develop.
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Dealing with conflict is rarely easy. This is particularly true when you are a kid. Sometimes kids do not have the needed emotional capacities to be patient in the face of frightening circumstances. This is only natural - children do not have enough life experience to tackle problems in a composed way. Some kids even use conflict to vent their repressed anger or sadness. Others might withdraw to themselves. However, it is vital to address problems your kid might encounter on time. Otherwise, they might adopt damaging coping mechanisms and behavioral patterns that might harm them and, ultimately, everyone around them. For this reason, we will help you understand the way to go about teaching kids how to deal with conflict in the right way.
On the one hand, your kid might be temperamental, making them inclined to react to provocation or disagreement in a brash way. On the other, your kid might be sensitive to criticism and attacks, thus impacting their self-confidence and social skills. Either way, there is a right and wrong way to deal with conflict. As a parent, it is your job to teach your child important skills. From teaching your kids how to steward their money to helping them resolve conflict in a healthy way, there’s plenty you can do to influence your child’s outlook on life.
Take note of the triggers that lead to conflict
First of all, both you and your kid need to understand that conflict is an inextricable part of day-to-day life. After all, being a part entails much more than just financial planning for the newest addition and purchasing baby supplies – it also requires some skills that all good parents need to posses. Knowing how to handle arguments, accusations, discussions, and fights is a skill worth learning. In most cases, your child’s reaction will signal deeper insecurities or struggles. What specific triggers make your kid lash out at your parents, siblings, or peers? Once you know what the actual source of the problem is, you will be one step closer to teaching kids how to deal with conflict.
One way to help your child deal with conflict is to ask about what they feel in situations that result in conflict. Do they feel ashamed, degraded, hurt, or angry? It is also important to pin down their thought processes in these situations. They might have been hurting because of something completely unrelated to the actual conflict in question.
Teaching kids how to deal with conflict is best done by setting a good example
Children are very impressionable, and they will tend to deal with stressful situations the same way they see you do it. As a parent, it is your responsibility to be a good role model to your child. Patience can be practiced, and being patient with and around your kid will set up a behavioral model the child can look up to.
For instance, moving away from home and family and settling in another environment usually makes kids feel anxious or sad. However, setting a good example and approaching the situation calmly will help them accept it. If they see that you are yelling, fuming, and lashing out at everyone that comes your way during the transition to a new home, they will probably feel stressed, insecure, and finally, grumpy and irritable.
Address your kid’s feelings through books, movies, drawing…
If your child refuses to discuss the situation openly, there are other ways to tap into their inner workings. A few good things that came out of the coronavirus pandemic which has had the world switch to working from home, the biggest one being that now you have more time to dedicate to your children and the activities they like. The following strategies are most suited to approaching younger children as they might not even be able to put to words what they feel.
Find a cartoon or book that your kid usually enjoys and focus on the situations and facial expressions. It could be Frozen or the Bible. If your kid is too impatient to read or focus on the screen, you can ask them to draw together. Ask your kid to draw what makes him happy, sad, and angry. Or, bring a chart of facial expressions in the form of a coloring book.
With these minor distractions, you will be able to ask your kid how they feel while doing something that they enjoy. When they are relaxed and engaged, kids tend to lower their defenses. Also, such meditative and attention-grabbing activities also help the child relax and control any feelings of guilt, shame, or anger about the situation. Make use of your kid’s creative impulses. They can tell you a lot about their feelings and the reasoning behind their actions and thoughts.
Once you manage to pull this to the surface, you can teach them how they should behave without sounding patronizing. Also, it is better to use role models and third-person pronouns to do this. For instance, you could say, ‘Isn’t’ Scar’s revenge on Mufasa wrong?’ rather than saying, ‘You cannot fight with your friends in daycare.’
Talk them through the problem
For some kids, understanding what they feel might not be an easy task. There are so many physiological and emotional triggers that make self-assessment challenging. For instance, once kids turn the age of 12, the hormonal changes in their bodies might obscure rational thought processes. Entering puberty is challenging for kids because they themselves do not understand the motivations and urges that make them react inadequately during the conflict. However, verbalizing emotions and thoughts will bring the child closer to understanding what makes them upset.
As a solution, you should try to express interest in your kid’s outer and inner life without passing judgment. Your child must know they can talk to you about the inner turmoil they might be feeling.
And this is not just because of the parent-child relationship. While creating a safe space where your kid feels they can talk to you about their problems is an important building block toward a healthy relationship, it is also crucial that your child gets in the habit of discussing their feelings and opinions. Bottling up can lead to serious emotional neglect and complications that might rob your child of important social skills. For this reason, an occasional honest, calm conversation with your child might go a long way when it comes to teaching kids how to deal with conflict.
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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a particular type of depression that surfaces during particular times of the year. Typically, SAD affects people during the late fall and winter seasons, though sometimes it can also be associated with the summer season as well.
Those suffering from major depression will understand that mental disorder far exceeds mere bouts of sadness, but instead reflects a deeper issue brought upon by physiological and environmental factors. If you or someone you know suffers from SAD, here’s a breakdown of the causes, symptoms and solutions for overcoming the disorder.
The onset of SAD favors the winter season for a variety of factors. While there is no known cause for the disorder, there are several plausible theories based on obtained physiological data. According to studies, people with SAD have an increased amount of a serotonin-recycling protein (SERT) during the winter months. Serotonin is a hormone that dictates mood and positivity. With increased SERT, serotonin is quickly recycled back into the neuron, preventing the hormone from dispersing properly and leading to depression.
Studies also have shown that those with SAD suffered from a vitamin D deficiency, which can be attributed to reduced sunlight. This study is corroborated by data showing the spike of SAD occurs in individuals who live further away from the equator, with 9 percent of those living in far-northern regions suffering from the disorder.
Symptoms of SAD
Those suffering from SAD experience many of the same symptoms of major depression. These may include low energy, lack of interest, problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating and feelings of hopelessness.
In addition to the symptoms common with depression disorders, those with SAD may experience hypersomnia, overeating and social withdrawal. Those who suffer from, or know someone who suffers from, any form of depression disorder should be alerted to the possibility of suicidal tendencies and be aware of the signs of someone who may be grappling with frequent thoughts of death.
Studies have shown that light therapy, or exposure to natural light, can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of SAD. Of course one could spend time outdoors, but the reduced daylight times and frequent overcast conditions of the winter season may not provide enough light. To address this situation, scientists have created a “light box” that more closely re-creates natural lighting needed for the body to produce vitamin D and decrease the amount of SERT in the body.
Adding some natural lighting inside your home could help reduce stress and create more positivity in your home. Try to make this a part of your cleaning and decluttering routine, both of which can also result in a more relaxing environment. Make the most of what natural light you do have by cutting back branches or removing trees that block sunlight from coming through your windows. Trees next to the home are usually dangerous to cut down yourself, so look for a “tree service near me” and find someone with a strong reputation to lend you a hand.
Bring more life into your home environment by adding greenery. Small plants such as succulents help recycle the air, creating a fresher environment and tricking the brain into thinking that it’s a warmer season by seeing green. The colors we are exposed to can have an effect on our mood.
Speaking of colors, consider applying a fresh coat of paint on a wall or redecorating a room with warm hues such as red and orange to evoke warm, positive feelings.
Those who experience SAD and major depression know the paralyzing effect of these symptoms. If you believe that you are suffering from any form of depression, you should seek help. Remember, the first step to overcoming any obstacle in your life is recognizing that there is a problem and then making a conscious effort to fix it.
Lucille Rosetti, guest contributor
firstname.lastname@example.org │The Bereaved
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