Couples: 5 Relationship repair tips for cracks in your connection

Whether you have been together for years or just a couple of months you will have points in your relationship where you feel the connection has dwindled a bit. You may feel your putting in too much effort and your partner has become aloof and absent. Perhaps, you feel you two are at a standstill and the relationship isn’t progressing or maybe you feel you two are on different pages, that your lifestyles don’t match up anymore. Regardless of what the reason for the disconnection is, if the relationship is important to you there are always tricks of the handle to try and resurface a strong connection.

1. Discover your (and your partners) love language

Are you someone whose love language is words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, or acts of service? Knowing your love language is important and will help you communicate with your partner what makes you feel appreciated and closer to someone. Knowing your partners love language is equally as important because you want to be providing your partner with actions that matter to them and that take the guesswork out of what they are needing from you.

2. Take space

No, this does not mean going on a break! Taking space simply means taking a step back from the situation. Your disconnection with your partner may be such a constant trail of thoughts on your mind that you may need to step back and reconnect with yourself first. Sometimes we allow our thoughts to get ahead of us and we will make a mountain out of a molehill. There could be a chance the disconnection you are feeling about your relationship is actually not as major as your negative thoughts have allowed you to believe. Your partner may not be even feeling the crack! So ask yourself, “Is this situation really that big of a deal, or is it all in my head?”

3. Bring it back to the beginning

There is a theory that if you bring yourself to the spot where your love was at its strongest, the feelings you had there will return. Where was the date you two felt in total contentment and deep connection? Where you felt you two were at your best? Go back to that spot. Being at this spot may re-spark your initial feelings and allow you to remember what your bond felt like before.

4. Go get some cocktails together

Sounds like a first date, right? How long has it been since you heard from someone your interested in, “Hey, want to meet up for some drinks?”….probably too long! Go to one of your favorite restaurants together, put the phone away and act like this is your first night out on the town together! Having fun can be easily forgotten with all the noise. This can also be done COVID style by bringing the cocktails at home. Have a cocktail-making night; most grocery stores have delicious kits and mixes to make right at home.

5. Just ask

If you feel there is a disconnection in your relationship and you are not liking it, just straight up ask your partner if anything is wrong or if they have been feeling the same way lately. This is probably the scariest and most serious option out of them all, but probably the one that will give you the most clarity and answers to your concern(s). Lay out on the table what has been bothering you and what you have been feeling lately. Write it down beforehand if you want; sometimes the most intimidating conversations are the ones that are the most necessary.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer, spread it like a wildfire now

I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you. I never thought in a million years this would be the world my son would grow up in. The pain, the injustice, the suffering. Today as a community, we need to all do better, it takes a village and our children deserve better. I pledge to give everything I have, work harder every day to do my part in healing this world we live in. I do believe we can heal, but it takes the entire tribe. Unconditional love is life’s most powerful healer, spread it like a wildfire now, right now.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Couple in Quarantine

In the interview below I share some pointers for couples during quarantine, and other mental health resources. Be well, be safe, be easy my friends ⭐️

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

How to Survive the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is around the corner and everyone’s getting ready for another season of joy, togetherness, gifting, caroling, and tasty food. Yet, for a large number of people, this time of the year is also a source of a great stress, exhaustion, and sadness.

Studies show that only 10 percent of people in the U.S. report no stress during the holidays. Also, the holiday season may be exceptionally tough if you recently lost someone close and you are still grieving. All the hustle and bustle around the holidays can increase the feeling of your loss, making the sorrow and loneliness feel bottomless.

For all of you who struggle with the jolliness of the season, here are some effective ways to survive the holidays.

Holiday Stress

To lessen or avoid the stress throughout the holidays, you need to learn how to respond to overwhelming holiday hubbub in a composed and healthy way. So, let’s delve on the most effective ways to stay sane during the holiday season.

1. Keep Organized

If you want to lessen the holiday-related stress, try to avoid the last-minute shopping. Rather make a schedule ahead for shopping, decorating, baking, gathering, and other holiday activities. This way you’ll cut your last-minute errands that cause a lot of stress during holidays.

2. Plan Your Budget

Things can easily get out of hand during the holidays. Each year, most of us end up spending a lot more than we originally planned. So, make sure to plan your holiday budget and to stick to it. Also, if you’re struggling with the finances, don’t spend unreasonably. For instance, instead of buying expensive gifts, give something handmade and original.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Although the holiday season is usually a symbol for family get-togethers and friend-reunions, try to devote some time to yourself as well. Take a break from partying, excessive eating and grueling trips to the malls.

Do some yoga or practice mindfulness meditation instead. Read your favorite book and spend some lazy mornings in your bed. Also, this is a perfect time of the year to count your blessings and think of your New Year’s resolutions. Start your days expressing gratitude for all those good things that have come your way.

Devoting time to yourself during the holidays will help renew your energy and help keep the peaceful mind during the holidays.

Loss and Grief during the Holidays

If you recently lost a close person, your life has certainly changed, filling your days with the devastating pain. And the holiday season can be particularly tough for those in a midst of the grieving process. If you’re still grieving, it is totally normal that you feel the apathy and indifference towards the approaching holiday season.

However, here are some things you can do to ease the pain and survive the holidays.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The way you’ll cope with grief and loss during the holidays is only your business. Don’t feel guilty if you cannot enjoy yourself. It is all right to tell people you just aren’t up to celebrations this year.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to mourning during the holiday season. For example, if you don’t feel like joining the family or corporate celebrations this year, don’t want to sing carols or you want to tune out the holiday season altogether, that’s only your choice. So, do whatever you feel like doing and give yourself time to grieve.

2. Reach Out for Support

Seek grief counseling. A professional bereavement counselor can help you accept your feelings and build a strategy for coping with emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual reaction to loss.

3. Externalize Your Loss

Talk about the deceased person. Join a grief support group, online or in your community. Sharing your feelings and thoughts with people who are going through a similar experience can be helpful. In addition, doing small things in the memory of a loved one such as creating a certain tribute during the holidays can also help in your grieving process.

4. Start a New Holiday Tradition

Starting a new tradition with your kids, family members or friends doesn’t mean that you have already forgotten a loved one. Doing something different will help you survive the holidays and boost the awareness that you need to move on. Also, don’t feel guilty if you find joy during the holiday season. Enjoying the holidays doesn’t diminish how much you miss the person you lost.

5. Holiday Good Deeds

Consider helping others during the holidays. Think about joining a local charity or volunteering in your community. Helping others will distract your grieving thoughts and give you something else to think about instead. Additionally, giving and sharing with others will boost your self-esteem; you’ll feel better knowing that you are doing something selfless during the holidays.

For many people, holidays can be a stressful and painful time of the year. None of us can escape loss, but the sting of bereavement can be especially painful during the holidays. While you may feel pressure to be happy during the holiday season, it’s totally fine if you don’t.

In the end, if you need support in overcoming stress or coping with grief during the holidays, reach out for support. W e can work on your feelings, boost your coping mechanisms during the holidays, and help you get back on track.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health

Many of us remember the time when a boredom still existed. No-internet time. No-social media time. In our highly technological world today, we are surrounded by devices and information at any given moment of our daily lives and have no spare time to relax and simply do nothing.

How much time during your day or/and night you spend thoughtlessly scrolling through your social media feeds, liking, sharing, tweeting, and updating? Let’s be honest, most of us use every spare moment to check out our social media platforms – those moments we used to chat to another person, read a book or enjoy a view at the beach in our pre-social media lives.

No matter where you are – at your home, at the office, coffee shop, exotic beach, mounting lodge, subway, airport or a shopping mall…you are always connected.

One review study showed that people who use social networks excessively tend to neglect their personal life, withdraw and spend their daytime daydreaming, and experience frequent mood swings. In addition, they are likely to conceal their addictive behavior.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned about cyberbullying and “Facebook depression” as serious negative effects social media has on children and teens. However, the same risks affect adults as well.

Here are some examples of how social media can be damaging to your mental health.

1. Social Media Promotes Social Isolation and Loneliness

Despite the belief that you’re socializing with a great number of people while browsing your social media feeds, studies show that social media use actually leads to greater feelings of social isolation. One study results indicate that more time people spend on social media, the more socially isolated these people perceived themselves to be.

Thousands of friends on social media don’t necessarily mean you are more social and have a richer social life. One study has found that there seems to be a certain cap on the number of friends each of us can handle. Moreover, it takes actual social interaction, not virtual, to keep up our friendships.

A recent survey that sampled 20,000 people 18-24 years old showed that young people are experiencing feelings of extreme isolation and loneliness, with 49 percent of them reporting sometimes or always feeling alone while 43 percent feeling their relationships are not meaningful. At the same time, 47 percent of young people are feeling left out.

As we all know, loneliness is linked to numerous mental health problems.

The false impression of connection that we get from social media seems to be increasing our loneliness. Through our online-filtered lives, we share some of the most intimate moments with thousands, millions of digital friends. Yet, we are forgetting how to have a meaningful conversation with a colleague at the office.

The constant pressure to filter and put a façade on our lives, simultaneously comparing our own with other people’s wonderful destinies presented in social media leads to feelings of profound isolation, anxiety, and depression.

2. Social Media Negatively Affects Your Self-Esteem

Compared to all those wonderful, beautiful, active people who seem to constantly be traveling the world, meeting new friends, staying at expensive hotels, and driving fancy cars, your life seems so small, dull, and unimportant.

Remember, social media is not real life. Don’t fall in a trap of comparing your real life to someone else’s controlled online content.

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media have a negative effect on our expectations and values, our self-esteem and overall mental well-being. One survey of 1,500 people found that social media platforms make half of them feel inadequate and interactive.

According to another survey, 60 percent of people who use social media report that social media affects their self-esteem in a negative way.

Instagram feeds loaded with filtered images of attractive, happy people many times hide the emotional struggle and mental health issues. The pressure to look perfect and impress others leads to pretending that your life is more glamorous and exciting than it is.

Furthermore, the gap between who you are pretending to be online and who you really are can trigger feelings of depression and frustration. In addition, it can make it harder to accept the less-perfect version you really are and seriously affect your self-assurance.

3. Social Media Provokes Anxiety and Depression

A study published in Computers and Human Behavior found that people who excessively use social media platforms (three or more platforms) are more than three times as likely as people using up to two platforms to develop high levels of general anxiety symptoms such as feelings of restlessness and worry, and trouble concentrating and sleeping.

Similarly, another survey involving 1,700 people found the link between the use of social media platforms and the risk of anxiety and depression. The researchers find the reasons for this in cyber-bullying, a distorted picture of other people’s lives, and feeling that the time spent on social media is a waste.

In addition, research has found that spending nights surrounded by artificial lighting can inhibit the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep.

However, social media has brought myriad advantages to our lives and cannot be considered as a universally bad thing. It definitely affects people differently, depending on personality traits and previous experiences.

If you are concerned that social media sites negatively impact your life, we can talk about that.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella