Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you. -Wayne Dyer
Written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell, M.Ed, MSW, LCSW
Falling in love and real love are not the same thing. Whether you are single or in a committed relationship, it is extremely important that you know the difference. If you are single, knowing the difference can assist you in making a mature decision when selecting a partner. If you are already committed, knowing the difference may make you think twice about your relationship expectations. [Read more...]
After spending the last twenty-one years working with children as an elementary school teacher, a middle school teacher, a therapist, and a parent, I have come up with hundreds of valuable parenting tips that I have learned throughout the years. Today, I would like to share five important lessons with you. As always, I remind myself of healthy practices, as I remind you. It is sometimes amazing how often we forget what we already know. Please read, your child will thank you. [Read more...]
Written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell M.Ed, MSW, LCSW
Do you anticipate being alone this Valentine’s Day? While there are people who do not care to recognize the holiday and others who are more than happy to spend the day alone, there are others who find the day filled with feelings of loneliness. If you find yourself feeling down and alone this Valentine’s Day, here are some helpful tips.
- Feelings are temporary: Remind yourself that you will not feel like this forever. Your situation will change and your feelings will change. Find positive ways to ride out difficult emotions.
- Practice gratitude: Turn your focus away from what you don’t have and concentrate on what you do have. Make a list of all the blessings in your life. If you are unable to come up with any, please read my blog on Healthy Perspective.
- Give love and receive love: Take flowers or Valentine’s Day cards (the box of cards that elementary school children use will work great) and pass them out at a local nursing home or assisted living facility. You will be surprised at how much love you will feel by making someone else feel loved.
- Make a date with a single friend: Valentine’s Day is about love. That love doesn’t have to be romantic love. Spend time with friends or family members. Make plans to go do something fun.
- Work on a goal list: Having goals will make you feel more hopeful. Work on breaking your goals into small manageable steps. Achieving goals gives you a sense of accomplishment which is good for your mental health.
- Treat yourself: Be good to yourself. Do something that you really enjoy. (Take a walk, listen to music, watch a movie, take a long hot bath, go shopping, get a massage, watch a ball game…) Refrain from watching romantic movies or listening to sad music if you are feeling lonely; opt for inspirational uplifting entertainment. Watching a good comedy can can also be very therapeutic. Laughing is good for the soul.
- Watch your self-talk: Use positive affirmations and avoid negative self-talk. Do not say anything to yourself that you would not say to your best friend.
- Get physical: Exercise improves mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
- Pray/Meditate: Spend time talking to God. Remember, you are always loved, and you are never really alone.
Stay tuned for the next post
Losing the Game Does Not Make You a Loser!
Does your relationship need a tune-up? Have you been neglecting it? Does your energy go elsewhere leaving only crumbs for your partner?
Valentine’s Day is only several days away and while candy and flowers may be nice, the most important thing is nurturing your relationship.
- Check-In Time: Pick a set time at the end of each day and spend fifteen minutes checking in with your partner. Take turns sharing something positive about your day, and let your partner know at least one thing that you appreciate about him or her.
- Create Win/Win Resolutions: When you and your partner disagree, think in terms of the relationship winning, not you as an individual. Work on compromising to create win/win resolutions.
- Give Emotional Support and Validation: You do not have to agree with your spouse, but be eager to listen and validate their opinions and concerns. A healthy relationship is one in which two people lift one another up rather than tearing each other down.
- Practice True Intimacy: Invite your partner into your private world. When you are angry, never use your partner’s intimate disclosures against him or her. This will tear down trust and destroy intimacy. Your partner needs to feel safe sharing with you.
- Be Kind: Love is kind. The classic saying that many of us grew up hearing, Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me, is not true. Harsh words can destroy your relationship. Think before you speak. Communicate with kindness.
- Forgive: Your partner is not perfect. You are not perfect. Your partner will make mistakes, and your partner will let you down from time to time. Keep communication open and let your partner know, in a non-attacking way, how their behavior makes you feel. Be willing to forgive.
- Healthy Communication: When communicating with your partner use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. “You never help me!” is likely to make your partner defensive, opt for this alternative, “I feel overwhelmed and need some help.”
- Schedule Regular Date Nights: You dated when you first met, don’t stop now. Get a babysitter if you have small children. Your children will benefit from the energy you put into your relationship.
- Switch It Up: Get out of your comfort zone. Doing something new can add excitement to your relationship.
- Turn Off Your Cell Phone: Quality time together does not consist of texting other people while you are out on a date with your partner.
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*Be sure to look for the next post:
Feeling Alone on Valentine’s Day: Help is on the Way!
Written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell M.Ed, MSW, LCSW