We often hear of the challenges that single parents have, but another group sometimes get overlooked: solo parents are those who are not divorced or widowed but carry a very large portion of the family load because their spouse is often away. Whether it’s due to military service, religious commitments, or irregular work hours, many parents (women in particular) find themselves shouldering the bulk of the home and family responsibilities. Here are some strategies to cope as a solo parent:More
With our recent snowstorm, my ability to pretend winter isn’t a thing, has quickly evaporated. On sunny days I get through the winter by making sure I spend plenty of time standing in front of my south facing windows soaking up the warmth that shines through. On overcast days it can be more of a challenge. Add in the stress of holiday shopping and parties and expectations, and winter can be a bit of a downer (to say the least). Here are a few suggestions to help cope with winter blues:More
According to Julie, think of a recent situation where you experienced pain, whether from a physical injury or an emotional one. It might be anything from a fight with a friend to a breakup to someone’s passing. She suggests asking ourselves these questions:
- “What did I tell myself about my pain?
- Was my self-talk nurturing or was it critical?
- Did I validate my suffering or minimize it?
- How did I behave toward myself when I was hurting?
- Was I able to provide nurturing, comfort and validation to myself?”
The way you talk to yourself matters. The thoughts we indulge in dictate how we feel. When your mind is spinning in negative self-talk and pessimistic views of life events, it makes perfect sense that you would feel defeated, depressed, or anxious. Trouble is, negative or critical thinking is a powerful habit that feels to happen TO us. That is actually not true, we have power over what we think. But, the thoughts can become automatic and difficult to avoid when it’s been our way of viewing the world for a long time. It’s often been taught to us in our family of origin since we were very little, and we may not have ever known how to have a positive or optimistic thought!
But research has shown again and again that happy people have inner dialogues that are optimistic and self-compassionate, even in difficult or embarrassing circumstances. Research has also shown that we have power to improve the quality of our thoughts. I believe it is a fight worth under-taking. It is never to late to work on your thinking and improve your base level of happiness day to day.More
We talk a lot about developing good self-esteem: an inner confidence rooted in who you really are.
Studio 5 Contributor Julie Hanks, LCSW owner of Wasatch Family Therapy, says self-compassion matters more.
Additional Self-Compassion Resources
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