Marriage and Family Therapy

Single on Valentine’s?

Humans are wired for connection so it is no wonder that being single on Valentine’s Day can bring with it a sense of feeling left out.

Society has a way of communicating that being in a relationship is the only way you get to celebrate Valentine’s Day. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! Whether you are single by choice or single for reasons beyond your control (e.g., because we are in a pandemic 😷), you do not have to be in a relationship to take part in this holiday.

There is no rule that says you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day but if you would like to, these tips may help:

—Shift the focus and be your own secret admirer

Practice self-care, compassion, and self-love. Instead of focusing on what you may not have, reframe your mindset onto what you do have and treat yourself well.

—Reduce or eliminate love triggers

Today may not be the day to watch a movie with a romantic love story or listen to love songs. Rather, try a new genre or better yet plan something new that you can look forward to. Focus on your holistic growth by going on a hike, trying a new virtual workout, participating in a new activity, and/or tuning into YouTube for some virtual travel sights. In fact, research shows planning, watching, or re-living a past travel experience in your mind can elevate the feel good chemicals as if you were actually on the trip.

—Plan a Singles Zoom Date with Friends

Get together with others to play online games, watch a movie, cook a meal together, or just hang out.

—Shower someone else with care

Do you know of someone else who is single or recently lost a loved one? Sending a small but thoughtful gift could mean the world to another. Bonus, it may bring increased levels of happiness and connection to you also.

Valentine’s Day can be a joyful time if you are within a relationship but quite difficult if you find yourself alone. If you’re struggling with severe feelings of loneliness and inability to cope, it may be a good idea to reach out to a caring mental health professional. The global pandemic has brought with it a whole array of difficult and residual effects. We all need someone sometimes to help and support.

#alone #valentine #depression #connect #mentalhealth #california #lakeelsinore #temecula #murrieta #therapy #counseling

Marriage and Family Therapy

Tending to the Campfire of Life

When we build a campfire, does it burn eternally? Do we build it once and never tend to it again? No, of course not, similar to our devotion of creating a rich, full, and meaningful life, we have to tend to that campfire every single day to keep the flames burning. Life is similar, we have goals we are striving for, obstacles we face, and things we must put into action to keep our flames blazing. This may include stepping back and assessing the campfire several times a day to add new logs to the campfire and generate new sparks and/ or maintain the everlasting campfire (i.e., a rich, full, and meaningful life). Of course, within balance, once we have a strong campfire built, life is also about just being and enjoying the warmth of the campfire you have built, adoring the dance of the red, orange, and yellow flames, throwing a new log on occasionally to keep the spark alive, and remembering life is not a destination, it is a journey…sometimes a journey that takes many logs being added to our campfire. Live the intentional life, a life full of campfires.

Marriage and Family Therapy

Lighthouse

It may be difficult to see your way to shore amongst the storms of life.

While you may not need someone to row the boat for you, it can often be helpful for another to shine the light onto the path towards a rich, full, and meaningful life.

Providing a safe harbor for my clients to seek refuge and safety from the storms of life.

Marriage and Family Therapy

The Fish Tank of Life

How is your Fish Tank?
Marriage and Family Therapy

Numbness Iceberg

Part of being human is the experience of emotion. Emotions serve to communicate to us when things are going well and not so well so that we may formulate a response. With this, the feeling of numbness may be something everyone experiences from time to time—from feeling overwhelmed by a life stressor to some form of trauma. Typically the feeling is temporary and allows us mental and emotional processes of shutting out feelings in order to move through something difficult. However, for some, this feeling of emotional numbness can linger for a duration—often serving as a protective defense that guards us from further emotional or physical pain. While this shield of numbness can serve us well in the short-term, such as to get through a life stressor; when it stays for a duration, it can have long-lasting consequences such as the inability to problem solve, experience pleasure and other positive emotions, engage in life, and be the whole person we can choose to be.

Numbness can show up differently for each person. The cause could be wide such as symptoms associated with PTSD, Grief/ Loss, Depression, Anxiety, Abuse/ Neglect, and/ or a whole array of past life experiences that have now come to haunt your present. When feelings of numbness linger or stay for the duration and exceed our ability to cope, it may be time to consult a mental health professional to support in unpacking and processing within the causation of the emotional numbness.

Treatment may include a Therapist (such as myself) who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Work, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), and other treatment approaches.