Monday, August 14, 2017

How To STOP Feeling Lazy, Guilty & Selfish For Taking Care Of Yourself

Now more than ever, you need to take care of you. Here's my recent piece on giving yourself permission for self-care.

Women tell me all the time how they want to slow down and take time out from their busy lives to chill, but they can't.

They tell me there's way too much to do to keep things going in their world, and no one else to do it.

Besides, they tell me, taking time for myself is selfish.

They tell me doing stuff for the kids, partner, parents, grandparents, friends, dogs, cats, is more important than me-time.

When they do make time for exercise, yoga, painting or a class, they feel guilty. Isn't cooking and freezing meals for the next decade, helping kids with their homework and vacuuming dog hair for the umpteenth time this week more important than self-improvement?

When they sit and read, take a walk or meditate for 30 minutes they wonder if they're being lazy. What about the cabinets to be cleaned, the extra work they could be doing at their job or preparing the gourmet meal their partner would be thrilled with?

The oxygen-on-the-plane metaphor is something I often invoke. Everyone understands that if you can't breathe you can't help your 4-year-old breathe. Think of taking a little time for solitude as something to help you breathe.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

3 Ways To Build A Super Strong Bromance (Because Guys Need Friends, Too!)

One of the things that's really helpful post-divorce is your friends. If you're like many guys, you may have neglected friendships, so here's my take on building them back up...

There are have been a lot of famous bromances throughout history. Explorers Lewis and Clark. Presidents Adams and Jefferson. Authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. President Obama and VP Biden. And, of course, a bromance for the ages: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
But don't laugh at or make light of the bromance! Because research shows that relationships — friendships included —  are among the most important factors contributing to happiness and longevity. Yes, your (or your man's) bromance might just help him live longer!
That's because loneliness is unhealthy and breeds stress.
According to Geoffrey Greif, psychologist and author of Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships, both men and women expect friends to be understanding, trustworthy, dependable individuals with whom we have things in common.
But we may not teach boys and men how to be good friends. 
Read more here…

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 Ways To Get Out Of The Bad Mood That's Ruining Your Day

There are plenty of post-divorce times when your mood threatens to ruin the day.

I've got some ideas for you from my last YourTango piece. There's a little partner advice and you can apply it to anyone.

It starts like this:

My ballet career ended abruptly after a performance as Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. 

Remember when Tinker Bell is dying and the audience has to clap to bring her back to life? Instead of gracefully floating down facing the audience, I flopped down with my butt toward the crowd. 

I must have been about six. 

I can still hear the barely stifled snickers, probably from siblings forced to attend.

While there were many positive events in my childhood, the memories of them tend to be less elaborate and persistent than the Peter Pan incident, as it became known in my family. 

There were recitals in which I did not blunder. Why don't I remember them?

The psychological reason is simple: the bad outweighs the good

Read more here...

Friday, May 5, 2017

7 Self-Help Tips From My Yoga Practice

Post-divorce we are always seeking ways to move calm down, move forward and stretch. Here's my latest piece to help with all of these.

I'm never quite sure if yoga imitates life, or vice versa. I am sure the lessons I learn from my yoga practice are the same lessons my clients and friends often struggle with.

Certainly, yoga reduces anxiety and improves mood, but the practice is compelling for its subtle teachings. Whether it's recovering from the breakup, improving your health and wellness, or trying to balance work, family and life, applying these principles will help you grow.

1.      No one is perfect. In yoga, the pose that was so accessible yesterday may feel impossible today. Our bodies are different each day. So are our minds. While yesterday you worked, got the kid to soccer, got your steps in, made dinner and it all felt seamless, tomorrow is a different animal. One hiccup can throw everything off. The angry boss, the veggies you thought you had ready for that healthy meal, or the back pain you woke up with, each can undermine our best laid plans. No one can do it all, all the time. Stop beating yourself up and just order the pizza.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Keeping The Bromance Alive. Yes, You Can!

Now that you're divorced, you may be feeling the need for some connection. If, like many men, you've allowed friendships to go by the wayside during your marriage, take heart, there are solutions. My recent post addresses this.

Now that Obama and Biden have left the building, is the bromance over? We'll have to wait and see. But why not use this as an opportunity to evaluate your relationships with your bruhs.

Why bother? Because research shows that relationships are among the most important factors contributing to happiness and longevity. Loneliness is unhealthy and breeds stress. 

According to Geoffrey Greif, psychologist and author of a book about men's friendships, both men and women expect friends to be understanding, trustworthy, dependable individuals with whom we have things in common. We also expect our friends to be available for activities, to reach out to us and to stay in touch.

I'm sorry to say that men are often not so good with reaching out and staying in touch, behaviors that nurture relationships. When you're young, it doesn't take much. You go to games, work on projects or party together. As those activities disappear, generally after college, you have to find new reasons to get together. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

4 Marriage-Material Qualities To ALWAYS Look For (And 4 To Ignore)

So when you start looking for that new guy, consider this.

As Daniel Gilbert described in his aptly named book, Stumbling on Happiness, we don't always know what will make us happy. The same can be said about finding partners for relationships that are likely to make us happy.

My clients and friends tend to have a laundry list of things to look for in a guy, who absolutely, positively has to be attractive and intelligent, love the beach (especially for watching a sunrise or sunset), speak a few languages, enjoy travel, desire many children, and many more.

You may want to reconsider that list.

While we say we want a handsome mate, if we also want an understanding one (as most of us do), recent research shows that the handsome partner who is not understanding will be a terrible disappointment.

Read more here... 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 Happy Reminders Of Why Divorce Is Sometimes A Beautiful Thing

My teenage son bought me a Kavu bag for my birthday to complete my "hippie look." It was the perfect gift given only by someone who really gets you. I thought about how strong our relationship has become. 

Similar to many post-divorce occurrences, it's not that it couldn't have happened when I was married, it's just that it counts as one of many happy results emerging from an unhappy situation.
These are 10 lessons I learned from those happy results of life after divorce: 

1. I can be closer to my child. I'm not saying you can't be married and close to your children. But often there seems to be a unique bond between the divorced and their children. Not having to divide attention between spouse and child accounts for some of it. 

Maybe the rest comes from having to live together through difficult times. I'm grateful for that closeness and work hard to cultivate it.