On one hand, we are expected to be festive and merry; on the other, we are reminded that person is no longer here or in the capacity they once were. It can be exhaustive to cope. Unlike an anniversary or birthday, where the day itself can be dreadful but otherwise there are limited triggers about it, the holiday season is different. The sights, sounds, activities, and gatherings go on for weeks.
In couples counseling, many cite communication issues as being at the forefront of relationship challenges. Giving/receiving the silent treatment, experiencing defensiveness, criticizing one another, and feeling misunderstood by your partner are a few signs that communication issues are present in a relationship.
After a long day, rushing to get your work done, put dinner on the table, and solve the crises everyone runs to you for, you finally get a moment of peace while laying down to sleep. Unfortunately, for many of us, this time can be full of distressing thoughts including memories of the past, fears for the future, and analysis of ourselves. Some even find themselves unable to fall asleep due to these ruminations, making their next day even more tiresome.
Losing a parent is a life-changing, profound experience that almost everyone will go through at least once. In fact, the death of a parent is one of the most common types of death, and as a society, we expect we will outlive our parents. As a result, while the grief that accompanies the death of a parent can quickly be recognized with the inundation of flowers and sympathy cards, this commonality seems to minimize the loss and makes us think we should “get over” it soon. The truth is, it can still be a tremendous loss – and this sense of “get over it” can make the healing even more difficult because it comes with guilt.
Being a parent is not easy. Being a mom is pretty rough too. We often feel overwhelmed and burnout because we feel like the only one on the team who is participating. We plan most things, we are the ones packing for more than just ourselves for vacations. In the mornings, we get ourselves and 1,2, or 3+ people ready for the day, and then ready for bedtime at night. Learning and practicing ways to effectively communicate with confidence can help alleviate this feeling of burnout and make more time for us to be ourselves.
When we go through something traumatic, our brains don’t function like they normally do. We go into survival mode: think fight, flight, or freeze. Our brains automatically direct all of our energy toward dealing with this immediate threat until it’s gone. In most situations, this feeling of being in danger fades over time. Maybe it takes a few hours or a few days but you eventually start to feel better and less on edge.
Art therapy is a newer form of therapy. Art therapy is an integrative mental health therapy that is designed to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities through the process of art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a therapeutic relationship.