What Is Digital Detox?

Something some find harder to do than just about any else.

Digital detox is the act of refraining from electronic devices for a set amount of time.

Some reading this will immediately think doing so sounds fantastic. Others will decide it’s impossible either due to work pressure, because of their love of technology or both.

So, did this term come about from a bunch of technology hating people? Hardly. Technology can take over your life if you’re not careful.

Digital Detox to De-Stress

We’re not talking about snail mail here. We’re talking about what can feel like the need to be available 24/7.

From smart phones to emails, video conference calls, social media and more, it can be like a persistent heavy weight that’s always there.

You may feel pressure to answer emails while on vacation (Seriously? Who’s idea was that?)

You may also feel pressure to quickly answer yet another text message instead of interacting in a meaningful way with your significant other, children and friends.

The stress only compounds in many cases. Those living in real time become resentful and feel neglected, thus increasing your stress exponentially.

The number-one reason people practice digital detox is to minimize stress.

Sure, some do it to connect with people in a way that matters. But even for a reason like that, the underlying purpose is to decrease stress to make life manageable and, hopefully, fulfilling on a deeper level.

I’m Struggling. What Can I Do?

First, know that you aren’t odd if you have this struggle. Many, many people all around the world are having an increasingly difficult time.

Here are a few ideas to regain control of your life and feel better:

Set Boundaries—Talk to your supervisor or clients and let them know that you aren’t available any hour of the day but that you will get with them as soon as you can. Most people will completely understand.

Practice Long-Term Digital Detox—Leave technology for as long as you can. Vacation is a perfect time to try this. If you’re extremely pressured, pick somewhere so remote that you can’t use any kind of technology so you have a good excuse.

Short-Term Digital Detox—Most of the time, an extended time away from technology isn’t possible. Still, there’s a lot you can do including the following:

  • Pick certain hours or days out of the week that you don’t use technology. Replace that time with physical exercise and time with people.
  • Step away from your “fun stuff” that falls under technology. That could mean backing away from the news, social media, television or video games. Again, get out and do something else during that time.

In summary, it’s not that technology is bad. We all can be very thankful it exists. We just need to be careful we’re not “overdosing” on it. Balance is key. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Your Parents Need More Help—Now What?

There must’ve been a trigger for you to take interest in this article. Likely, there were several. Maybe your parent fell in their home, is confused or is isolating.

Either way, the signs are starting to add up. Your parents need more help. And you’re not quite sure what to do.

Although no one solution to this problem is exactly the same, here are some thoughts.

Find Some Emotional Support

If it was just attacking an everyday problem, that’d be one thing. But this isn’t an everyday problem.

Your parents made unusual sacrifices for you and built memories you’ll never forget.

Your parents are declining and that is sad to watch. It’s emotional and you likely feel overwhelmed. That’s completely normal.

Solving the problem is harder because of the strong feelings tied to it. One of the best first steps is to talk with a trusted friend, seek out some advice from a therapist or both.

You don’t need to walk this path alone. You’ll feel much better after getting out your fears, anger, sadness and feelings of not knowing what to do.

By doing so, coming up with the right choices to solve your parents’ problems will be easier.

The Least-Restrictive Solution

Your goal is to provide exactly what your parent needs without infringing on their independence.

No matter how old your parents are, their need and desire for independence will always be there.

Maybe all you need is someone to come in and clean periodically or to provide some meals. That may not mean that your parent shouldn’t drive anymore or needs to move to an assisted-living home. But, then again, it may.

By finding the least restrictive option you’ll save time and money. But more importantly, you’ll empower your parents to remain as independent as possible.

This will strengthen your relationship with your parents. It will build trust and give your parents the hope and courage they need to go forward.

They’ll stay more purposeful and happy as a result.

Delegate Responsibilities

You can’t always do everything you want for your parents. If you’re trying, you probably wrestle with feelings of guilt at times.

You may feel that you need to do everything yourself because your parents did most everything for you.

However, there are times when you just can’t do everything. That’s when you need to delegate some of those responsibilities.

Maybe you can find people from your community or family to provide meals, help with shopping or to regularly check up on your parents when you can’t.

Or it could be time to pay someone to offer services that will help your parents with everyday tasks around the house.

Although it’s hard for anyone to see a decline in their parents, it isn’t the loss of your relationship.

If it’s the right time to get extra help, everyone involved will feel relieved though it may take a while for your parents to see the value in the changes. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

We Aren’t Connecting—3 Things Women Want from Their Partners

You aren’t connecting with your girl like you know you should. Now you’re wondering what she wants and why you’re not enough.

Oh, boy. Where do we start?

That could be what you’re thinking because women can be complicated. But they also are easy to figure out on a certain level.

After all, economics is a complicated subject but it’s also simple—Just make more than you spend.

For most men, the problem isn’t in understanding what to do. It’s actively doing what they already understand. Let’s give you the simple version of what your woman wants from you.

To Feel Safe

Your woman needs you to be her protector. This has nothing to do with your girl being weak. As you already know, that isn’t the case.

But your girl needs you to hold her hand when she loses a loved one, stick up for her when others don’t and hold her when she’s crying (even if you don’t understand).

She needs you to be her calm during the storm instead of adding to the turbulence.

The Most Beautiful

Beauty means a lot of different things to people. Everyone can look at a sunset and agree that it’s beautiful. And the reasons people find sunsets beautiful would be pretty much the same.

But there are way more complexities in determining the beauty of a woman. Yes, a segment of our culture would have you believe that beauty is only how hot a woman looks in a bikini.

Physical attraction is important but there are plenty of more enduring qualities that make your woman beautiful. Physical beauty wanes and quite quickly in more than enough cases.

So, given that fact, here’s a good question to ask:

If my woman lost her physical beauty, what about her would still be beautiful?

Those other positive qualities you come up with make up the entire beauty of your girl. Those traits you came up with were always there. They’re just easy to take for granted.

By making a conscious effort to appreciate the full beauty of your woman, you’ll see that she’s far more beautiful than you give her credit for.

At this point, it’s time to tell her she’s the most beautiful. Besides her physical traits, she may have a great sense of humor, be self-sacrificing, intelligent and generous among other things.

Guys, the most beautiful thing about your woman is that she’s willing to put up with someone like you. No matter how much of a stud you think you are, not many women would be willing to do that!

If you treat your wife like the most beautiful woman in the world, the funny thing is she’ll become exactly that. If you try to do it the opposite way, things won’t go well. You can’t build someone up by running them down.

A Marathon Runner

Yep. Sprinters need not apply. Your woman needs you there for the long haul.

Your woman needs someone to grow old with. Someone who resolves never to leave her even when times become absurdly difficult.

It isn’t so bad giving the most beautiful woman in the world what she wants. Trust me. You’ll be handsomely rewarded and your difficulty connecting with her will quickly become less of a problem. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Be Patient in a New Relationship

Are you in a new relationship? If so, you’re likely well-acquainted with the battle to be patient.

You’re trying to balance going too far with your affection with your fears and apprehension.

How can you be patient in this phase of your relationship? For starters,
(no pun intended), here are some ideas.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

Think of your best friends. How did they become such great friends?

You likely didn’t just walk up to them one day and ask, “Hey, do you want to be my BFF?”

You probably would’ve weirded them out, right? You may have lost the potential for a fantastic friendship before it ever started.

There needed to be a gradual time for the friendship to grow into your life naturally.

The same makes the most sense and works best in romantic relationships though it can be way harder to be patient.

Keeping this in mind will help. Otherwise, you could push a potentially great fit away.

Mentally preparing yourself will minimize the stressors of a new relationship. Some things just won’t happen until the proper time no matter how hard you try.

And they may never happen at all if you try too hard.

Be Considerate of Your Date

Welcome to the ongoing give and take of any relationship no matter how new or advanced.

Ironically, being too pushy accomplishes exactly the opposite of what you want.

If you pressure your new date to be more physical than they’re comfortable with they’ll shut down and push you away. Or, worse yet, they’ll give in to the pressure and later regret doing so.

If you pressure your date to spend too much time too early, they may start avoiding you.

The reason there’s resistance to impatience is that the impatient person is only thinking about what they want.

The person feeling pressured notices this selfishness and instinctively resists it. This kind of impatience, if not kept in its place, can cause your new and vulnerable relationship to break down and possibly even fail.

Do your best to notice cues from your date and be considerate of their feelings. That’s what healthy relationships are all about—a love that’s willing to sacrifice.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

Lastly, before getting too far into a relationship, take some preventative steps to stay patient.

Ask your good friends or a therapist for some advice about ways to protect yourself and your new date.

Suggestions may include a specific plan to limit time spent, doing things with your date in public instead of going home together and limiting texts, for instance.

By learning patience in your new relationship, it’ll grow the quickest it can and you’ll both get what you want in the process. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

How to Help Your Children Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Children can develop high levels of stress and anxiety just like adults. We’re often tempted to downplay that fact.

We hear things like, “children are resilient” or “they’ll get through it all right.”

But the truth is that children are too often exposed to stressful life situations with few resources to help them.

Are you concerned about the stress and anxiety level of your child? Here are some ideas about how to lessen the problem.

Remember They Can’t Handle as Much

Children can’t handle demands on their physical bodies like adults can. Adults can be out in the sun and cold much longer without becoming stressed.

The same goes for emotional strength. Kids need time to grow into these abilities. Things that you don’t find stressful at all could be very difficult for your child to deal with.

Learn to Notice Stress in Your Child

Adults tend to let others know when they experience too much stress and anxiety. Children usually don’t know how to express things so clearly when they’re in similar situations.

Look for physical or emotional changes in your child to help you see if they’re struggling with too much stress and anxiety.

Is your child wetting their bed, fatigued, angry or more emotional than usual?

These could all be indicators that your child is struggling to handle stress and anxiety.

If your child is old enough, ask them about how they’re feeling. If possible, try to find the causes of your child’s stress so you can come up with a plan to lessen it.

Create a Positive, Accepting Environment

There are enough causes of stress and anxiety in the world. Do your best to make sure that your family environment doesn’t add to the problem.

Was your childhood full of anger, negativity or abuse? If so, you experienced more stress than you should have.

Your family doesn’t need to be like the family you grew up in. Do all you can to create a healthy, nurturing and positive environment for your child.

This means that when you give consequences to your child for bad behavior, it should be done with controlled emotions.

It also means that you work hard to provide a happy environment. Do your best to smile often and compliment your child. This will help immensely with any other difficulties in your child’s life that can’t be avoided.

Another part of a positive environment is modeling for your child how to deal with stress in a healthy way.

Keep Your Child Active and Healthy

Obesity in children is on the rise. And it affects more than just your child’s body. It also affects their emotional state.

Teach your child to regularly eat healthily and exercise.

Feed your child plenty of fruits and vegetables and teach them the proper amount of food to eat. This is a great stress and anxiety reducing technique you can work at together.

You also can exercise together, getting rid of anxiety that’s been lurking in the back of your minds.

In Summary

Looking for something else to help your child?

Teach your child to practice deep-breathing techniques, listen to soothing music or watch calming nature videos online.

Also, don’t rule out counseling to help your child through a tough time. If you feel that your child has been through way too much stress and anxiety for his or her age, seriously consider that option.

By working with your child and others, you can help your child reduce their anxiety and stress which will result in a happier, healthier life. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

You Do Not Have to Be the “Perfect Daughter” Anymore

There have been billions of daughters throughout the generations.

Guess what. None of them were perfect.

Not one.

Do you secretly put pressure on yourself to be the perfect daughter?

You need to stop and just be yourself. Here’s why.

Playing the Perfect Game

Want to play that game? Really, you don’t.

Two things will happen if you try.

You may end up extremely discouraged or depressed because you can’t be who you think your parents want you to be.

Or, you’ll begin the adventure of the double life. This option’s probably more common.

You project a perfect image when around your parents but are anything but when not in their company.

This can lead to risky decisions because internally something tells you you’re being unfair to yourself by trying to appear perfect. So, you rebel from that pressure whenever you can.

But the decisions you make when your parents aren’t looking could hurt you. And your parents will probably eventually find out anyway.

Giving up on Perfect Doesn’t Mean Giving up

So, you’re finally convinced that being the perfect daughter isn’t possible.

That doesn’t mean you should give up on forward progress. Progress is your real goal. Just small progress over time.

Imagine that you have a big garden. You don’t want a single weed in that garden but find that there is always one more to pick.

You could just give up and say, “what’s the point of weeding?”

But you probably wouldn’t be proud to show your garden to guests who stop by.
That garden is your life. Keep weeding. Continually work towards being a better person.

But be kind to yourself and stop fretting. Otherwise, you’ll give up trying or pretend that you’re trying when you’re really not.

Who Says You Need to Be Perfect, Anyway?

There’s a good chance that you only think your parents expect that of you. It may only be a flawed perception.

After all, we’re often harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Your parents are full of mistakes just like you are.

They should have the ability to love you through your failures and imperfections. They needed the same understanding from others to get to where they are today.

What If Your Parent Demands Perfection?

That’s not an impossible place to find yourself as a daughter. If that’s you, things won’t be quite so easy.

You need to give yourself permission not to be perfect even though you feel like it’s expected.

Sometimes, parents are too hard on their children because they want a better life for them than they had.

But that can be taken too far.

Try to gain your parent’s approval. It’s a satisfying thing to accomplish.

But also know that you won’t be able to always gain their approval. At times, you’ll need to courageously do what you must even without their approval.

In Summary

You can be a great daughter but not a perfect one. Let the beauty of progress mark your life instead of perfection.

In doing so, you’ll be as near perfect as you could be without all the stress, fear, guilt and sadness of unmet expectations. Schedule your appointment for either couples counseling or men’s counseling using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Men Get Sad and Lonely Too

The idea that only women struggle with this problem is a myth. Although men can process sadness and loneliness differently from women, men still are quite vulnerable. Lack of Communication and Loneliness

Men generally aren’t as quick to communicate compared to women. There’s more of a struggle to connect with others on a meaningful level.

It’s not an uncommon challenge for men to develop vital and deep friendships with people they rub shoulders with at work and in their communities. Many feel like they know hundreds of people but their relationships are a mile wide and an inch deep.

Because of this, loneliness in men is fairly common. It’s not that men desire to be lonely. Loneliness is a terrible feeling.

Some men don’t know how to build deep friendships, don’t realize the need or just figure that’s how things must be.

But that isn’t true. Things can and need to be different for men to be healthy

This doesn’t mean that men are to share every gory detail of their lives with others hoping that transparency leads to friendship. They must test the waters and see if there’s trust first.

Some of the best friendships, ironically, are more of something that happens to a person instead of trying to force something to work. Forcing things almost never leads to deep friendship connections.

Men desperately need other people who are “in their corner.” They need people who believe in them.

Sadness and Emotional Stability

There’s a lot of pressure for men to be emotionally stable and strong. While that’s honorable, sometimes attempts to play such as role breaks down.

Men have hurts just like women do. And stuffing those injuries deep in the soul to give the appearance of strength can mean big-time trouble later on.

Men aren’t invincible. There is no superman. The strongest men aren’t those who ignore their sadness.

The strongest are those who realize they have a problem. Men can’t fix their life difficulties on their own. They can’t make their sadness and loneliness vanish while remaining in a vacuum.

Men need others to help them through these struggles. Everyone does.

Although some level of sadness and loneliness are normal, when this becomes constant or ongoing, it isn’t. If you experience consistent sadness and loneliness as a man, you aren’t alone.

You can experience a much higher quality of life than that. You can take courageous steps towards something better.

Whether that means help from a significant other, venting to a loyal friend or seeking the support of a trusted professional, there is hope!

The strongest men aren’t islands. The strongest men know they need others and that others need them.

These realizations and steps towards something better will go a long way in relieving sadness and loneliness in men. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Introverts Are Not Party Poopers –They Are Pooped By The Party

There are two types of very different people: Introverts and extroverts. Most are a combination of both. Usually, though, one or the other is dominant.

In short, introverts are energized by being alone while extroverts are energized by being around people.

Both kinds of people sometimes have a difficult time understanding each other. We’ll zoom in on the introverts for this post.

Not A Personality Flaw

Being an introvert is not a personality flaw that needs to be reformed or changed.

It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, either. You’ve just found out on a deeper level who you really are. Trying to change who you fundamentally are will only lead to frustration.

You’ll struggle to find your deeper purpose in life if you do that. If you’re an introvert, don’t try to be an extrovert.

Excess social interaction will exhaust you. Being drained by or even hating your job if it requires you to be an extrovert is possible as well.

There’s A Reason for Your Uniqueness

Imagine a world where everyone had interests in the same things. Where everyone was an extrovert. Our world would literally come to a grinding halt.

All of humanity would clamor for the limelight or socially immersed roles. Careers like auto mechanic, airline pilot, web designer, accountant or lab technician would be avoided like the plague.

Oh no, my friend, our world needs all types. Our world needs you just as you are. If you try to be someone you’re not, you’ll miss the greatest contribution you can give to others.

Introverts Don’t Dislike You

At least not most of the time. Their batteries are just charged in different ways. They’re often lost in contemplation, found walking in the woods, taking vacations away from people and declining busy social events.

They, as the title of this post suggests, are pooped by the party and can’t help it. Introverts can hurt the feelings of extroverts without meaning to.

They may come across as rude, awkward or disinterested when you want to engage in small talk with them.

They also tend to decline invitations to go to parties, sporting events, a weekend in the city or similar activities.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t be discouraged if your friend turns down a social event. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to spend time with you. Try offering to get together with them one on one and away from people as an alternative.

Are you an introvert? Congratulations for recognizing that fact. Knowing this will cause your life to make a lot more sense. Now you have permission to stop trying to be someone else.

The world is starved for authenticity! Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Changing the Way You Look at Yourself

“How could they say that about me? I thought they were my friend,” we say. We pick up the broken pieces of our lives after hurtful comments. Deep down, our greatest fear isn’t whether we’ll be hurt again. Our greatest fear is that the comments may actually be true, revealing that we’re fatally flawed.

Others’ unkind words damage or end friendships. They can lead to bitterness, pent up anger and, eventually, depression.

“Out with the haters,” we say. Sometimes just for the simple fact that we need to survive, we need to distance ourselves from others who hurt us. Those negative comments can stick with us for years, decades or even a lifetime.

We spend our lives worrying about what people think about us though we don’t want to admit it. We begin to worry about how every new person that we meet could wind up hurting us in the end. We put up the walls and get every conceivable defense mechanism in working order.

All of that self-protection is full of some serious irony, though. What if the greatest danger isn’t found outside of us? After all, history reveals powerful nations that experienced self-destruction. There was little need for an outside enemy. All the while, the enemy was lurking inside the city walls.

We’re hyper-aware of what others say about us but often oblivious of what we say about ourselves internally. It’s easy enough to avoid a negative person. That is, unless the negative person is us!

How do you change the way you look at yourself? Be kind to yourself. Take a day and listen to what you say to yourself:

“You always fail at friendships.”
“You were never successful.”
“You are so dumb.”
“You’re ugly.”

Would you stay in a friendship or relationship if you were told those things? Hopefully not!

We all have flaws. The truth is that all of us have negative character traits. It’s actually healthy to improve upon them. We all thrive on progress.

But the last thing we need is more putdowns. That makes our positive traits invisible and paralyzes us from changing for the good. The first and most important step to changing the way we look at ourselves is telling our negative internal critic to get lost. The next step is to replace the negativity with something better:

“I’ll try again.”
“I have a good sense of humor.”
“I can help to ease the suffering of others.”
“I’m worth getting to know.”

In summary, carefully evaluate whether something you want to change about yourself can or should be changed. Consistently change the way you think about yourself and you’ll be on the fast track to a better you!

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Getting Along With A Parent

Struggling to get along with a parent? That isn’t much fun! Whether you just have the problem occasionally or frequently disagree, it can sometimes feel like you’re the only one in the world who has these issues.

The reality is that every child or young adult struggles to get along with their parents from time to time. Some friction can actually be healthy since it shows that you’re gradually becoming more independent. Ultimately, that’s exactly what both you and your parent want. As you work through these completely normal struggles, here are some things you can try to help ease the tension.

Journal Venting

Your emotions and words have great power for good and for bad. Although your parent may not show it, when you say mean things to them, it hurts them. They’ve hurt you with their words, too. Everyone feels like lashing out at people sometimes.

If you feel the urge coming on, try writing out your intense emotions in a journal instead of saying them out loud to your parent. Write out whatever you need to say even if it wouldn’t be appropriate in any other setting. After you’re done, crumple up that page in your journal and throw it away. No one will get hurt in the process and a bad argument could be avoided.

Random Act of Kindness

If you’re having a tough time with a parent, try doing something kind for them. It’s probably the last thing that you’ll initially feel like doing. Try it even if you don’t feel like it. You’ll feel good afterwards knowing that you did something kind and your parent will appreciate what you did too.

Something funny happens when you do something nice for someone you don’t feel nicely about. That person doesn’t seem as bad as they did before you did that thoughtful thing. There are many kind things you could do. Compliment your parent, water their flowers, write them a letter, bake them some cookies or do something of your choosing.

Have Fun Together

You and your parent likely have some of the same interests even though you don’t always get along. Work and school obligations can make you both forget to have fun. Find something fun that you can do together. Go shopping, take a hike, go fishing, go out to eat or whatever you want.

By doing something that you both enjoy, you’ll strengthen your relationship. Hopefully you’ll get to talk without conflict, smile, laugh and build some memories. You’ll remember that your parent isn’t that bad after all and they’ll remember the same thing about you.

Complete a Task Together

The last piece of advice was to “play” together. It’s a human need to have fun things to do. It’s also a human need, believe it or not, to “work.” It makes people feel purposeful. You can look for a job that needs done and suggest helping your parent with that task.

Although it may not be an easy job, this will help to make your relationship stronger. It’ll remind you both that you’re a team instead of rivals. You could do yardwork, organize your attic, paint a room or help to detail your parent’s car. Again, don’t worry if you don’t feel like it. Just try it anyway. Some of the greatest human achievements have happened from people doing things that they didn’t feel like doing at first.

Final Thoughts

Things may be going badly between you and your parent right now but that’s not how things have to stay. You may feel like a victim of your unpleasant situation and that you can’t do anything to improve it because you’re young. That isn’t true, though.

Some of these tips will work better for different people. If one that you try doesn’t work as well for you as you’d hoped, don’t get discouraged. Just try something else and watch your relationship with your parent improve in the process!

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.