“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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

joy, holidays, stress

Let’s face it.  The holidays are stressful.  Routines are turned upside down, expectations are high, and the emotional triggers are everywhere.  Maybe this year feels overwhelming with family and work events, endless obligations.  Maybe this year feels lonely and empty, wishing your situation was different than it is.  Maybe this year you’re dreading family gatherings and hot topic debates.  Or just maybe this year you’re ready to try something new[…]