As December rings in the holiday season, traditionally a time of togetherness with family and friends, many people grapple with loss and grief. Poignant reminders can surface as an empty seat at the table, a casual exchange reflecting on the year’s achievements and regrets, or an unconscious comparison to others’ beaming social media posts. With lost traditions, income, and, for some, the profound loss of a loved one, your holiday celebrations may feel more melancholy than merry. Grief is a difficult journey, and the holidays can be rocky terrain. Acknowledging your grief and creating a strategy can make navigating through the season easier.
You’ve heard about Groundhog Day, right? I’m referring to the blockbuster hit where Bill Murray lives the same day over and over again! November is a time many of us reserve for gratitude and thankfulness before rushing into the holiday scramble. But what would happen if you took the time to practice gratitude over and over again? Recent scientific research reveals gratitude’s extensive benefits to you mentally, emotionally, physically, and in building healthy relationships.
We all celebrate victories, fawning over the achievements of others. Yet we rarely acknowledge that failures often pave the road to success. With our focus locked on shining accomplishments, we crave success yet fear the process that will bring us there. It’s unrealistic to expect to win without ever experiencing loss.
Confident people value themselves, knowing their imperfections and others’ opinions don’t define their self-worth. Uncertainty and self-consciousness can be debilitating, holding you back from achieving, or even attempting, to achieve your potential. While some people are more inclined towards confidence, it’s not an inherent trait. This state of steadfastness is a skill that you can learn. Developing your self-confidence will help you step out of your comfort zone with less fear and anxiety, motivate you to achieve your goals, and remain resilient when facing challenges.
Have you ever felt alone, confused, and like your life was spinning out of control? Have you envied friends, family members, or strangers because your observations made you believe they had nearly perfect lives? For me, these were daily thoughts and struggles I brought to my counselor and shared only with my closest friends. No matter how hard I tried, I felt like nothing was improving in my life.
As these feelings and thoughts persisted, I started sharing less with my closest friends because I felt like my struggles were becoming worrisome for them. I felt embarrassed each time I went back to my counselor with no significant progress to share. I wondered, what more could I do to improve my circumstances and, ultimately, my life? After some gentle encouragement from my counselor, which was met by initial resistance from me, I built the courage to walk into an Al-Anon meeting.
Everyone has their own ideas about child-rearing. For parents who are no longer in a relationship, the transition to raising children together while separated is challenging. It requires skills like communication and flexibility, which can be difficult at the best of times. Toss in intense emotions, a seismic shift to routines, and new living arrangements, and you are working through layers of complexity. Learning to work together with your co-parent is a skill you can learn over time. With the right approach and plenty of patience, you and your co-parent can set your differences aside and create an environment where your child(ren) can thrive.