Caregiving & Isolation

Caregiving

Three months ago, my husband had a stroke. Doctors told us we were lucky it was not worse: he could speak, find words, and only needed to learn to walk and use his left arm again. The process of rehabilitation began, and I was so proud of him for his motivation and how hard he worked. But I realized that I was struggling with feelings that had little to do with his stroke specifically and more to do with how it had impacted our life as a couple, as well as my life individually. I limited my … [Read more...]

Conquering Back-to-School Anxiety

School looks

     Many children experience anxiety prior to the start of the school year, and for some of them, it continues well into the first marking period.  This anxiety is not limited to elementary school children; it can affect middle school and even high school students. Your child’s anxiety can lead to resistance and lateness in the mornings, arguments about having to go to school, tears or emotional withdrawal.  You want to help your child but what should you do? Here are some ideas … [Read more...]

Learning from Loss

Death of a Pet

I recently read a wonderful story in the New York Times  "Things I Wish I had Known when my Dog Died" called What Emily’s Death Taught Me by Jen A. Miller.  It talks about what a person experiences and learns from the death of a beloved pet.  In this case, the author is a freelance writer who works at home and is single, so her pet dog Emily was perhaps even more of a beloved companion. The author learned many things following Emily’s death: - Most people will say the wrong thing.  They … [Read more...]

Conquering Procrastination in 2017

procrastination_full_155952698

Want to change one thing in the New Year? For many of us, the most valuable would be to stop procrastinating.  Whether you are a student struggling with the conflict between school work and video gaming, a mom who has a list that never ends, a woman who still has not put her winter clothes in the closet, or a manager who cannot seem to complete those deliverables until the last minute, conquering procrastination can help all of us in many areas of life. People procrastinate for a lot of … [Read more...]

5 Ways (& Whys) To Put Yourself First

fitness

Hillel says “If I am not for myself who will be for me?  But if I am only for myself, who am I?”  In other words, we have an obligation to take care of our world, our community, and our family, but it is also appropriate to take care of ourselves. As the New Year approaches, and many of us think about resolutions for 2017, I loved a short article by Karen Baskin on the meQuilibrium website called 5 Ways (and Whys) to Put Yourself First and have excerpted it below. We know that most of us have … [Read more...]

The Effortless House Guest

thanksgiving-photo

In the next few weeks, many of us will either be guests at the homes of friends or family, or be welcoming guests into our homes.  Some of my best holiday memories involve making my family’s stay with us one of warmth and fun. Being an “effortless” house guest insures that you will always be invited back.  What do I mean by effortless?  I mean being someone who does not require that your host and the household activities revolve around you.  I am reminded of my nephew, a vegetarian, who says … [Read more...]

OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?

OCD

Jenny stops by Amanda’s locker to borrow a pencil before the homeroom bell. “Ugh,” Jenny scoffs, eyeing Amanda’s perfectly stacked books and variety of office supplies, all arranged by size and color. “You’re sooo OCD.” Unlike many mental illnesses, which still carry some degree of social stigma, OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — has gained such popular acceptance that it is often dropped casually into conversation to punch up a joke or as a pithy synonym for “neat freak.” Pop culture … [Read more...]

The Real Lessons for the School Year

back-to-school

It’s that time of year again. You are buying clothes and school supplies for your children. You are thinking about how you are going to juggle different school schedules with your commitments to work or charitable organizations. You are wondering how you will ever have dinner together again as a family when each of your children plays a different sport and has a different schedule. You are trying to figure out what guidelines to give your child in terms of the grades you expect from him or her … [Read more...]

Warning Signs of an Abuser

Couple conflict on street Leaning On Wall

Over 15 years ago, the newspaper columnist “Dear Abby” printed a list of characteristics of men who were likely to be abusive in relationships.  I saved it and have given copies to many women and teenage girls.  Specifically, I gave it to those females who said they thought jealousy and controlling behavior were signs of love, whether in a marriage or in a dating relationship. An example would be Steffi, whose husband slowly separated her from her friends and family, took her paycheck every … [Read more...]

Are You an Introvert?

Inside my head

   Recently I met with a young man, a professional in a scientific field, who was concerned that his shyness and introversion were hurting him in his profession. Even in a field where hard data is analyzed and replicated, he felt that his personality or ”nature”, as he described it, was hurting him. He preferred to listen and observe in meetings rather than fight for air time to speak. He was not the first one to propose ideas or champion his own projects. As a result, he got negative … [Read more...]