Oct 192013

Getting approved to become an adoptive parent can be a long process, when you take into account waiting lists, home studies and all of the other things that you need to do before you are even considered. It’s no wonder that once you finally do make it over all the hurdles, you are so excited and just can’t wait to have your new baby placed with you. Therefore, it may come as a bit of a shock when you realize that you still have many months to go before you are matched with your little bundle of joy. Here is some good advice on how to cope with all that waiting.

 waiting for adoption1 Waiting For Adoption

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First, it is very important to continue to follow your normal routine. This will help you to cope with the anxiety of waiting, whereas if you start to live your life differently, this will add stress and make the time seem much longer. Make sure that you get plenty of sleep and exercise, and eat healthily. Keep in mind that when your baby does arrive, you are going to be very busy, so you need to be in good shape.

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you may find that you can’t help being agitated. If this is the case, then there are a number of things that can help you to cope. First of all, consider keeping a journal or diary. Not only will this keep you occupied, it will allow you to express all of your emotions, rather than just bottling them up inside. Also, make sure that you talk to your partner and share your feelings openly. You will be able to give each other support, and helping someone else makes you focus less on your own problems. Finally, surround yourself with people who are happy to support you – friends and family who want you to be happy and are willing to listen.

Avoid going back to your adoption agency all the time or visiting their website to see if there has been any progress. This is going to increase your anxiety. It’s not a healthy thing to become obsessive – you may even start to wonder if there is something wrong with you because you are not being matched quickly. However, what you need to understand is that for a mother to consider adoption, she needs to think very hard about what type of family she wants for her child, and typically has some quite specific requirements. This doesn’t mean that you are not a good prospective parent – just that it often takes a long time to find a match.

 waiting for adoption2 300x200 Waiting For Adoption

 Image source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-B3vSHtpteSY/UZb55uY8wLI/AAAAAAAABG0/FTytgL9y0kw/s1600/babyftft.jpg

Finally, try not to do things like throw baby showers or get the nursery ready before you know that you have a match. These activities are much more enjoyable once you know you have a placement, when you can relax and share your good news openly with everyone. Furthermore, if you do these things too early and your placement takes a long time, they only serve as reminders of how long you have been waiting.

Oct 052013

One of the greatest pleasures of summer is enjoying the great outdoors, and having an outdoor party is one of the best ways to do this. You might be thinking of a barbecue with a few friends on the back patio, or a big event for the entire neighborhood, but in all cases some careful upfront planning is needed to make your party a huge success.

 plan the perfect outdoor party1 300x200 Plan the Perfect Outdoor Party

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First of all, you need to think about how you can make your party a relaxed and comfortable event. To do this, take a lesson from indoors. Make sure there is plenty of comfortable seating where your guests can chill out, eat and talk, and make it inviting by adding things like throw cushions.

Also make sure that there is enough lighting for when it gets dark, but remember that there is no need for bright lights – as long as there is enough light for people to see, their eyes will adjust. Colored outdoor lights are perfect – not only do they provide the right level of illumination, the colors really help to set the mood as the evening sets in.

If you are having a really large party – for example, a get-together for 100 or more people at the local park – then you also need to get the logistics right and plan for contingencies. For example, what would happen if it rained? People can’t just run back into your house – and if they head off to their own houses then the party is over. Instead, think about party tent rental. This will provide cover for your guests if there is a downpour, and also gives them somewhere cool to go if the sun gets too bright. You also need to think about providing restroom facilities – and easy access to these if you have anyone coming who is disabled.

Large family-oriented events are a great opportunity for parents to get to know each other better, but this can be difficult with the kids in tow. At the same time, you want the children to enjoy the party as much as the adults do. So, think about setting up a supervised area where children can play together, and even considering hiring a children’s entertainer such as a clown or magician. The kids will really enjoy themselves, and the adults will get a little me time as well.

 plan the perfect outdoor party2 300x200 Plan the Perfect Outdoor Party

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Catering is also a consideration. If you are having a potluck, then try to get everyone to agree in advance exactly what they are going to bring. This way, you won’t end up with 50 bowls of macaroni salad and nothing else. At the same time, think about people who have special dietary needs. For example, up to 13% of people say they have food allergies, with peanuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish being among the worst offenders. Also make sure that you cater for people who are vegetarian or vegan – you want them to enjoy the party just as much as everyone else.

Aug 232012

Real Relationship Advice

phoenix 300x300 Get Help With PTSD

When we are acknowledging trauma, it is imperative that we talk it out. The majority of Support Groups are centered on a form of trauma (for example; grief, witnessing addiction, rape). The reason for these groups is simple: sharing your experience, releasing that shame, is vital to true healing. However it is not the magic bullet. Sure, you will feel better but true healing will only take place when you deal with the experience as an adult and bring in forgiveness. I know, that is a very tall order but now you see why a professional will assist you in getting to the place where you can forgive.

There are specific forms of therapy that work best with PTSD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used frequently in working with PTSD. With the use of behavioral techniques, such as exposure, the therapist systematically introduce the client to lesser forms of the trauma/stressor until the client becomes comfortable with the stimulus. The problem with this is that not all trauma is that clear cut so as to work with exposure. This works well with PTSD which has created phobias.

We strongly recommend Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is not just a fad to quit smoking or cluck like a chicken. Hypnotherapy is a technique whereas the professional therapist practices deep therapy with a client while the client is in trance. The trance state helps the client relax and brings down the normal barriers. Hypnotherapy cuts through the façade and gets to the core of the issue quicker and more efficiently while still feeling safe. It is widely used for combat vets and we have seen it used very effectively with abuse, rape and other traumatic life events.

We cannot provide some band aid relaxation techniques for PTSD. You must get treatment from a trained professional. And even though we believe in the value of bringing spirituality into therapy, we strongly believe that praying is not enough. You must seek a therapist with PTSD experience.

Please write us if you have any further questions regarding PTSD or are interested in a referral to a local professional.

If you are in Southern Florida, please contact Phoenix Center for Healing. They do amazing work and have experience with veterans and all other types of PTSD.

Jun 142012

Real Relationship Advice

MH900444553 300x300 When is enough, enough?

We can discuss relaxation or relieving anxiety week after week without needing to repeat ourselves. However, none of this information will make a difference if you continue to overwhelm yourself. Society has put greater pressure on us to be multitaskers. We value individuals who are able to juggle more than a couple things at a time. We revere them. However, is a world full of multitaskers a good thing? How does that affect your ability to relax?

There was a study conducted a few years ago at Western Washington University. The study was very simple. Random students were asked whether they saw anything unusual when they walked across the University quad. Only 25% of those walking through the quad while speaking on their cell phone noticed a clown riding around the campus. In other words, the ones who were multi-tasking were not paying attention. We often wonder if the surge of ADD is not a question of over-whelming and over-stimulating the system rather than a true inability to pay attention.

The only way to create a life of manageable stress is to start out with a life that is not unmanageable. We take on projects with an eye on the outcome without thinking about the time consumption. We keep heaping more on our ‘to do’ pile without regard to how another impending deadline will affect us. The truth is that we are creating our own misery. We are choosing to be overwhelmed. We are choosing to be drowning in deadlines and be mediocre to disappointing in performance.

Moms tend to be a culprit of this behavior. It is expected of us to do a million things and still volunteer our time in our child’s classroom. We are expected to care for our children, husband’s and home and have a life of our own where we join book clubs or workout or have a girl’s nights and do carpools, Dr.’s appointments, play-dates, Mommy and Me, lactation seminars, healthy snacks for soccer, reading time in our child’s class and bake gluten free cupcakes for our daughter’s American Girl Club. A Mom’s life is no longer that of a caretaker but more of a personal assistant/chauffer/chef who keeps everyone’s schedules, maintains the dietary management of all family members, drives more miles than your average cab driver and still open’s herself to more responsibility.

It is no wonder that Moms are taking anxiety medication to get through the day. It is no wonder that women are drinking more today than ever before. It is no wonder that more Moms are seeking out help with stress than ever before. However, no matter how many yoga classes you take, it will not manage your stress if you need to rush out of a downward dog position to go make crafts for your 10 blog post of the week. Too much is just that.

It takes a good woman to handle everything that life throws at you. It takes a great woman to say, ‘no, I do not have the time for that.’ Make yourself the priority of your schedule and your stress will become manageable before you need to bake another batch of nut-free carob chip cookies.

Jun 072012

Real Relationship Advice

watch swing 202x300 Myths of Hypnosis

I was certified as a Hypnotherapist 17 years ago. I have used it as a practitioner and as a client. As the person in the chair I can tell you without any reservation that the benefits I have received from hypnotherapy have been immeasurable.  In many cases, I have been able to go back into my past and right the wrongs, heal the traumas and generally make sense of the senseless. I do not know who I would be today if I had not taken that training all those years ago.

Hypnosis has been used in the field of psychology for nearly 200 years. Freud and Erickson were among some of the more famous users of this technique. Hypnosis is mostly famous for the cheap parlor tricks and the stage shows showing people squawking like chickens or sci-fi films referring to hypnosis as a mind control technique.  These shows do more to hurt than help. The following are a list of myths about hypnosis:

1. Hypnosis is mind control: NOPE! Hypnosis is simply a trance state where the person hypnotized is relaxed and open to suggestion. The hypnotized are not sleeping and are aware of everything that is going on. Also, all hypnosis is self hypnosis since the hypnotized is in control.

2. Only weak minded people can be hypnotized: NOPE! Anyone can be hypnotized. In fact, human beings go in and out of hypnosis all the time! For example: Have you ever been watching TV and someone is calling your name and you do not notice them? That is a trance-state. In fact, they have found that very intelligent people tend to be more susceptible to trance.

3. Hypnosis is MIND CONTROL:  We said, NOPE! People in hypnosis are perfectly capable of saying ‘no’ to their hypnotists. In fact, the person you see squawking like a chicken would probably have squawked before being hypnotized. You are in control.

4. Hypnosis is evil: NOPE! This belief comes from the idea that hypnosis is mind control. Now that you know it isn’t you should conclude that it isn’t an ‘invitation to the Devil’ or ‘demonic’. It is relaxation.

5. Hypnosis is just a parlor trick: NO WAY! Hypnosis is used in all forms of therapy and even medicine. Women use it to offset the pain of labor. Dentists use it for individuals with anesthesia issues. Hypnosis is considered one of the best techniques to manage pain!

Hypnosis is not the scary thing that the media and superstitious types have made it out to be. This is a great way to relax and can be done by anyone.  For practitioners in your area, please leave a comment and we would be happy to make a referral.