“I love my kids, but I just need a break.”  This is the refrain I hear from dedicated, loving parents over and over again this past year.  It’s often said with a hint of shame for feeling so frustrated and fed up with the constant demands of parenting.  We live in a society that says we should love our kids unconditionally, and if we’re frustrated or annoyed by them, then[…]

parenting, burnout, stress, exhaustion

You’re not imagining it.  Parental burnout is worse than ever these days.  It’s that feeling like you just can’t keep it all together, let alone get one step ahead of the chaos.  It’s that sense that you’re juggling a set of plates while walking a tightrope as someone keeps lobbing water balloons at you.  And it may explain why you utterly exhausted and you find yourself snapping at the slightest[…]

Mother’s Day is a holiday meant to honor and celebrate motherhood.  It’s supposed to be an opportunity to shower moms with signs of appreciation and love.  Yet many mothers find ourselves working as hard as ever on this holiday, hosting events and accommodating everyone else’s schedules and needs.  We expect moms to do it all, all the time, for everyone else without having needs of our own.  It should be[…]

covid vaccine stress

Many people have excitedly awaited the COVID-19 vaccine as a step toward feeling protected and safer to return to a life that looks a bit more “normal.”  The idea of getting vaccinated to prevent serious illness and death from this virus holds great promise as a relief from so much stress and worry of the past year.  Yet many people are experiencing a new kind of stress after receiving the[…]

embracing highly sensitive person

Many highly sensitive people struggle to understand and accept this part of themselves. They tend to undervalue the positive aspects of this sensitivity and instead keep wishing to be less emotional, less reactive, less hurt.  Learning to understand and embrace your highly sensitive self is the key to emotional freedom.  When we befriend this part of who we are, we can feel so much better about ourselves, our relationships, and our world.  Understanding the Highly[…]

emotional avoidance

Emotions are running high these days.  It can feel like a rollercoaster with quick shifts and sudden drops that turn your stomach.  Other times it can feel like relentless challenges continually crashing into you, like waves in a rough sea.  We’ve all experienced losses in the past year, big and small.  And these losses may spur feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, longing, loneliness, or fear.  These are painful feelings we often try to avoid or ignore.  Understanding why[…]

couple support

We all want to feel safe and loved in our relationships. We want to feel free to share our deepest emotions and feel understood.  Yet we can sabotage this very safety by taking on the responsibility for our partner’s emotions. Our efforts to care for the people we love inadvertently creates conflict, distance, and misunderstandings. The problem is often based in romantic ideals we have that intimate partners should be[…]

letting go, stress coping

Coping with chronic stress doesn’t mean you need to add more to your life: more self-care activities, more responsibilities, more work.  In fact, for most people, this is the time to let go and do less. As we settle into the realization that our lives are going to remain disrupted for some time to come, many of us are left feeling exhausted, drained, and depressed.  The uncertainty about what our[…]

social distancing

After two weeks of psychotherapy sessions largely focused on how to cope with the impact COVID-19 has had on our lives, I’ve decided to summarize the advice I’ve given and share it in hopes that others might find it helpful. Acknowledge the stress.  These are very strange times.  We are all adjusting to living our lives in new ways and significantly altering our plans for the near future.  The layers[…]

Most of us are extremely hard on ourselves.  In the privacy of our inner thoughts, we spend a lot of time judging ourselves harshly, pointing out our failings, and beating ourselves up for every misstep.  We say things to ourselves, about ourselves, that we would never utter about someone we loved.  And this dark voice in our heads contributes to depression, anxiety, low motivation, and relationship troubles. Most of us[…]