I had a client ask me recently about the old adage “opposites attract.” She told me that she is in a relationship and it’s so much work because they are both so different. She expressed that she thought the relationship should be able to work because everyone always says that opposites attract. The truth is that opposites do attract… sometimes. In order for opposites to attract and successfully work it’s important that the opposites in question be complimentary.
As an example of opposites attracting but not being complimentary think of vacation destinations. If you’re adventurous but your partner is more laidback, you may want to backpack through Europe while your partner wants to go to an all-inclusive resort in Turks and Caicos. Another example is if you prefer to budget your money and save up for bigger expenses but your partner wants to splurge on things whenever they can: This can lead to fights. It could also be as simple as you like to go out several nights a week and try new restaurants but your partner likes to stay in and make dinner. These opposites will all result in some clashing in your relationship.
However there are opposites that do attract and do so successfully. For example if you tend to be a more serious person and you meet someone who is more of a jokester who brings out your playful, goofy side that would be good thing! Or if you’re super organized and your partner is more go with the flow then you can be the who pays the bills but you don’t mind because you know you’re better at it and you may even like doing these detailed tasks. It could even be as simple as you hate to cook but your partner loves being in the kitchen.
So next time you are on a date and you find this person in front of you who is so different from who you, ask yourself if this person’s opposite is complimentary to you and your lifestyle or if your differences will likely lead to stress.
This week’s blog is targeted specifically towards men going through a break up. Whether it’s the dissolution of a relationship or a marriage it’s always tough. Most women in these situations are heartbroken but may still hold a glimmer of hope in their heart for you. In these cases, women still want to be fought for. To show her she is worth the fight, follow these steps.
- Tell her you’re sorry and tell her that you’ll do whatever it takes to get her back. Give her a specific list of all the things you are willing to do such as going to individual or couples counselling or reading self-help books. This will show her that you have put some thought into your plan. She will feel special as a result.
- Share with her what you have learned from this break up and why you think the break up happened. Then reflect on and tell her how it will be different when you get back together. From her perspective she may be afraid to get back in a relationship with you because she thinks that the exact same thing will happen again. You have to show her that you are willing to change and not repeat the same behaviour.
- Show empathy. Tell her that you understand that she must have felt so betrayed, hurt or lonely in the relationship. Tell her that you understand she doesn’t trust that you will actually change. Explain to her that you will be taking baby steps in the right direction and ask her to trust the possibility that you will change and that trust will grow.
- Give her the time that she needs to heal. If she tells you that she needs space to heal, it’s very important to give it to her. By continuing to call her and text her you are making it about yourself and your anxiety. She expressed her need for space and by reaching out to her you are actually disrespecting this expressed need and her stated boundaries. No matter how sweet the gesture is – if it’s a love letter or flowers – it’s still showing her that you are putting your own needs above hers.
The most important thing is the follow through. If you are saying all of these things, make sure you mean it and are committed to taking action. While she takes the time to heal be sure you are working on yourself in the meantime and working on growing and making positive changes in your life.
While I was pregnant with twins I noticed that I had started clenching my jaw a lot and especially at night. I would go throughout my day and feel happy leading my busy life but when I went to bed my stress seemed to come out and that’s when I would catch myself clenching and grinding my teeth.
The truth is that I knew what I needed to do in order to not clench my jaw at night. Drinking hot tea, taking magnesium before bed, meditating and doing yoga daily and even taking a warm bath are all ways that could help me relax and unwind. This got me thinking and I realized that really everyone knows what helps them unwind and relax, but often are not applying all of these things in their lives.
Take a moment now to list a few things that you love to do, that make you happy. Why aren’t you doing more of these? What stops you? Do you tell yourself that you are too busy? Too tired? When it comes to making larger change in our lives, such as leaving that dead-end job to start a business, or ending that toxic relationship, it is usually fear that stops us. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? How would your life be different if you trusted that everything would work out for you? Would your choices be different?
Starting with small change first can help you build confidence. Starting in the morning, do that thing that you love. Take time to go for a walk, play your favourite music. Slow down enough to take some deep breaths before the whirlwind of the day starts.
Fuel your soul first. Make your happiness a priority first. It’s not selfish but self-care to take time for you. You will actually be a better parent, employee and friend if you start putting your happiness at the top of your list.
Being pregnant with twins (and having a c-section in 4 days!) there are a lot of thoughts running through my mind. I keep having conversations with friends and family about how much more work two babies are compared to just one. I am mentally preparing for it to be hard, especially at the beginning. With two babies my husband and I will be an equal number of parents and children right away and we will be unable to “trade them off” to one another so one of us can get a break, clean up, or even prepare a sandwich. In addition, the sleep deprivation and our needs not mattering as much anymore as we attend to two little people, will all be a big adjustment.
Thinking about this also got me reflecting on my past and everything “hard” I had gone through. I reminded myself that I’ve overcome a lot and gotten through some really tough times. I thought to myself “If I persevered through hard times before, won’t I be able to do this? This is gonna be hard…but I’ve done hard, and came out the other side.” This thought was followed by a sense of confidence and trust that everything always works out. There was now room to enjoy this big life transition called new mom… of two.
I noticed that when I’m feeling nervous I start to see myself as small. The reality is that I’m not small and in fact I’ve proven my strength on many occasions in the past. Here is what I want you to do the next time you start to feel the same. As soon as you start to feel anxious think of all the things you have overcome in the past. Look for your strengths. You will begin to realize how strong you actually are. Sometimes it just takes slowing down for a minute to remember.
I also want you to make a list of the resources available to you, as a new mom. This could be a list of friends, family, community services, or books you want to read. Be specific and write them down. Then write down a list of your own strengths such as hardworking, resilient, resourceful or positive.
Keep in mind that it’s normal to be nervous since this is new territory for you. Keep the list on your phone or somewhere easy for you to access when you need it. This way any time you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious you can review the list and remember all that you’ve done and all that you have available to you.
When your job is stressful it can be easy to spend your entire Sunday worrying about what you have to do on Monday. Some people have a hard time sleeping on Sunday night, and some spend their entire Sunday dreading the upcoming work week.
Try these 6 ways to stop worrying about Mondays:
- Remind yourself that what you are dreading is not actually here yet. Notice if what you are worrying about is in your control or not. If it is not something you can control, try your best to let it go. Focus instead on things that you can control, such as taking care of yourself before the work-week begins. Relish in your weekend, go to bed early, and take time to relax so you are fuelled up for the week ahead.
- Next think back to past Mondays and try to recall a Monday that wasn’t as bad as you expected it to be. Oftentimes we think that the start of the workweek will be stressful but the truth is most of what we worried about will either not happen or happen much more smoothly than you had anticipated.
- Try catching yourself when you’re worrying about Monday. When you’re worrying about work you’re giving yourself a false sense of control that you will somehow be more prepared for it. However, worrying only robs you of enjoying the moment.
- If you really cannot stop thinking about work, take 20 minutes out of your day and write down everything that is worrying you in a journal. When you are done writing it down close your journal and go enjoy your day.
- If nothing else works then try to distract yourself. Instead of sitting and watching TV, where your mind can still wander, go out and meet someone for lunch or even go shopping. You will notice once you change your environment it will be easier to think of other things, other than work.
- Become more aware of your body and your anxiousness. Try to notice where in your body you hold your stress: Is your chest tight? Is your stomach in knots? Next time you feel stress in that part of your body, take a deep breath and try to change your focus on something else.
There will be many upcoming Mondays in life, I hope these tools help you trust that whatever comes your way, you will be able to handle it.
You may have close friends who are divorced. The current divorce rate is about 50%. Some
of my female clients have told me over the years that on their wedding day they had a gut feeling that he wasn’t the one. Often what these women say is that either they thought he would change once they were married, or they had already invested so much into the relationship and didn’t want to be judged by friends and family. I also often hear that she knew he was bad news but thought she could save him, in some way. Can you relate to any of these?
Oftentimes our intuition may be screaming at us to not do something but our thoughts and fears tell us to do it anyways. It takes a lot of practice to learn to listen to our gut and often takes making mistakes before we realize the intuitive nudges.
You may find that you’re with a man who doesn’t treat you right and isn’t the best partner but you feel like you’ll be able to help him be better. He may even tell you that he’s bad news and that he’s hurt women before you.
I believe that we attract people to us who match our view of ourselves. If there is a part of you that feels that you are worthless, you will likely find that you attract people to you that treat you that way. I have noticed some people, deep down, don’t feel that they are good enough so they subconsciously seek out partners who are dysfunctional.
There are a few things you can do to break this cycle. I suggest seeking counselling to really get to the root of this behaviour and avoid falling into the same pattern again. If you aren’t able to afford counselling right now, try journaling your thoughts and behaviours in your relationships. Take the time to notice patterns in your love life and how you could break them. You can also try talking to close friends. Speak to someone who will be honest with you and will point out patterns you may not have noticed yourself. They could even help point out red flags at the beginning of a new relationship. Change takes time, be patient with yourself. The love you deserve is coming your way. Trust the process.
I’ve noticed recently that so many of our conversations with friends, coworkers and even our partners are centered around what we need to do in the future. Even at the end of the day when you’re talking to your spouse you’re reminding each other of your to-do list. The dinner party you have planned, the laundry you have to do, the cleaning you want to get done this weekend, and on and on.
We also do it with ourselves while we drive home after a long work day – we go over in our heads the endless tasks we have to do. Instead, try to live in the fleeting moment more. Let go of fear and anxiety that everything won’t get done. It will. Next time you think of a “to do” be sure to write it down and then let it go.
Challenge yourself; with practice it gets easier. By worrying about what you need to do you are robbing yourself of this moment and filling moments of your life with clutter. Research has shown that only living in the moment can bring you true happiness. Start with a deep inhale and an even deeper exhale. Look around the room, see what you see and hear what you hear. Feel your feet on the floor. Welcome to the moment!
Let your partner know that you are doing this challenge and have them do it with you. This way you can hold each other accountable. After a few days, notice how you feel. You’re likely to feel more grounded, feel more at peace and even be more playful in your life.
When a woman first hears she is pregnant there are a so many different things to think about. There are so many things that can scare you such as financial fears, the pressure on the relationship, sleep deprivation, as well as the feeling that your life is no longer yours. It’s important to not read all the pregnancy books available explaining all the scary things that could potentially happen which can just intensify your worry and make pregnancy stressful. Instead of focusing on all the fears and the potential negatives try to see it as an adventure.
Life can feel mundane, at times, with the same old thing happening everyday. When you’re pregnant, every week your body will go through more changes and every week this little baby is growing. This is a whole new ride for you and your partner, so why not take a step back and just enjoy the roller coaster. This could be the most amazing phase of your life as your body is literally creating a human being.
This process can actually make you more connected to your body as you have another soul growing inside you. Instead of being afraid of the weight gain and the labour, try embracing the little magical moments along the way. Take time out of your day to observe the changes, slow down, b-r-e-a-t-h-e deep and connect to your body because in 9 months this phase will be over.
Try connecting with your partner as much as you can. Read the book “Your Pregnancy Week by Week”. Instead of scaring you this book offers insight on the size of your baby, when your belly will start to show and other fun changes. You can also journal about how you are feeling, how your body is changing and the excitement you have awaiting your first reunion with your newborn. Also try meditating and relaxing as much as possible.
Connect with other new moms who are just as excited as you. Surround yourself with the people who are also embracing this beautiful stage of life. This adventure starts with quieting the “what if” voice in your mind and enjoying the many little moments until your bundle of joy arrives.
As the season changes it’s always a good idea to reflect on your life. Things can sometimes become robotic and you may feel yourself repeating the same old over and over. When the seasons change, especially into spring, it’s like the fresh air is breathing new energy into your life. Restaurant patios are open, you can take walks on the lake, go roller blading, or have a picnic in the park. This is particularly welcome after a long dark winter of hibernation and feeling sluggish.
One of the first things people associate with spring is spring-cleaning. This year I suggest you to do a sort of spring-cleaning of your life. Look at any clutter you may have that you want to get rid of. It could be setting boundaries with a negative person you work with, a relationship that is no longer serving you or mustering up the courage to have a difficult conversation with someone you love.
Let this spring season of new beginnings and fresh starts motivate you to let go of habits that get in the way of your happiness. Habits such as going to bed too late or spending too much time on social media. Ask yourself, do you want the rest of your 2016 to look different? What do you have to let go of that is no longer serving you? Try to think of at least one thing that you don’t want to take with you into this spring season and the rest of the year. Just like cleaning out your closet: You have to let go of old clothes to be able to bring new ones in.
Once you have removed toxic energy from your life, you will have a renewed sense of peace and vibrance. It’s important to decide what you want to do with this renewed positive energy. Often people try to find happiness in striving for a new car or that house or that relationship. Instead try to think about how you want to feel and focus on that and then do things that will bring that feeling to you. So if you want to feel joyous and energetic try doing activities that you know will create those feelings. For some, doing a weekly yoga class or a daily walk in nature can provide these feelings.
Whatever you choose to let go of and whatever you choose to let in this spring, be intentional. The time is going by quickly, it’s already May. Slow down enough and think about what you really want your life to look like. How do you want to feel? Hold an intention of how you want this season to look. Then be open to all the goodness that comes your way! Here’s to fresh starts and new beginnings! Happy Spring!
Research has shown that half of divorces happen in the first 7 years of marriage, this means if you are married longer than 7 years you are half as likely to get divorced. Research also shows that people who stay in an unhappy marriage are less physically healthy due to the unhappy relationship: Their nervous systems are constantly aroused and always under stress. Additionally, happy couples are likely to live approximately 4 years longer, on average, than those who are not.
For the most part, people take advantage of their relationships until things start going bad. Instead, try to notice if you’re happy and do the things in your relationship that will keep you happy. According to the work of Dr. John Gottman, the health benefits of a satisfying relationship are so high that if a health buff took 10% of the energy they use to do a workout and commit it to their marriage instead they would be 3 times healthier. This means committing just 20 minutes a day to your spouse has vast benefits.
It’s important to note that every couple fights, whether they are happy or unhappy. Even couples that have been happily together for 45 years still have the same typical arguments about money, in-laws and sex. The difference is that happy couples fight more fairly and know when to let it go and say sorry.
One thing that can really make a difference to your relationship is to be interested in your partner’s daily life, try asking what’s worrying them and what’s exciting them. Just try to always have a really good idea of who they are and how their life is going. The underlying friendship that results from these conversations will help you handle arguments with more ease. This is because you have a fondness for the other person and will take arguments less personally. Take a moment to reflect on how much you have invested in your relationship lately. Commit tonight to turning off your phone and the TV. Snuggle up to your partner and enjoy a meaningful conversation.