Parenting

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

Fighting the Holiday Blues | Life Counseling Solutions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Is it really? For many, the holiday season is a somber time where we remember loved ones lost or the scarcity and pain in our lives. Here are some ways to combat the holiday blues.

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  1. Reach out! As human beings we need to be with people. Making new memories is a great way to combat the holiday blues. Don’t have plans for the holidays? You still have time so start making some! Ask around to see what others are doing or create your own event by inviting friends. You’ll never know the fun you could have.
  2. Closely related to the first suggestion is this second suggestion: Lend your time. Do some volunteer work! Go serve food to the homeless. Look for ways to brighten someone else’s day. When you do these things you will see the joy in others’ eyes and in turn that joy will return to you. This will also enable you to spend time with others.
  3. Watch some funny movies. There is nothing like a good comedy to lighten your mood. Go for a classic or perhaps a movie you’ve seen recently that really had you laughing. The more funny movies you watch the better you’ll feel. They may or may not be holiday related, that’s entirely up to you and whatever will make you feel good.
  4. Read. Pick up a good book (or two). There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. Go to your local library, bookstore, or look online for suggestions on books […]

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

5 Ways to Better Self-Care | Orlando Individual Therapy

I have often heard that we are our own worst critics. I’ve also heard that we talk to ourselves worse than we would talk to own worst enemy! Maybe it’s time to show yourself a little bit more love and respect. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your self-care, to enable a healthier you.

happy young woman relaxing at home, self-care

  1. Get more sleep! Yes, late nights can be very productive but your body and mind need sleep to recover and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad that you did and getting a full night’s sleep will lead to an even more productive tomorrow.
  2. Meditate. Take the time to meditate at least once daily. Clearing your mind can work wonders in your day. It doesn’t matter if you do it before you start your day or at the end of the day. It is a natural way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed time out.
  3. Laugh. They say laughter is the best medicine. Take some time to laugh! Maybe watch a tv show that you find funny. You can also laugh at yourself. Instead of feeling bad about that mistake you made earlier in the day, try to think of it in a bigger picture and how it looks in the great scheme of events. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Get (or do) a hobby! Working on your hobby has many benefits. It’s a good way to release stress. While doing a hobby you would be able to relax and find some enjoyment. […]

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

4 Things You Need to To Know When Becoming a Dad | Orlando Parenting Counseling

In the short span that I have been a father I have discovered and come across a few truths that every new or soon-to-be Dad should know. I have compiled them here and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

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1. Aside from breast-feeding and actual child birth, there is NOTHING that Mom can do that you cannot do. Probably the most profound piece of advice ever given to me relating to becoming a dad. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and never shy away from your duty as a father. You can do anything and everything for your baby (with the exception of those first two, physically-oriented tasks). Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know what you are doing. You know just as well, and perhaps even better, than they do.

2. YOU WILL GET UPSET/ANGRY/FRUSTRATED WITH YOUR NEWBORN. Don’t feel guilty, it happens to everyone. What’s important here is to remember that the baby is just that – a baby. Your baby is helpless and cannot verbalize what’s needed. They will scream and they will cry. Add a sleep-deprived male in the mix and frustration is unavoidable. Have systems in place – if you feel you are becoming too angry to deal with the baby it is okay to gently put your baby down in the crib (or other safe place), take a step back and take a few breaths. You can then re-approach with a calmer mind. Some couples have a code word they use when they […]

The Murder of Our Children | Orlando Child Abuse Counseling

The Murder of Our Children | Child Abuse Counseling

The headlines for child abuse are glaring and unbelievable.  One story in particular has stayed with me and I haven’t been able to let it go.  In February of this year, a Detroit woman was arrested for murdering her two children and putting their bodies in a refrigerator.  At her trial, she showed no remorse.  Obviously, she is mentally ill.  Unfortunately, my search for ‘child murder refrigerator’ brings up too many other similar stories.  These are blatant examples of child abuse.  They are happening today, in our midst.

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For those of us who love our families and children, and live to make a sincere effort to give our families the best, these stories make our stomach churn.  This kind of evil is unfathomable.  I don’t have a hard time convincing anyone that the above story is a case of child abuse.  But, it is very often that I have a hard time convincing the wounded soul in front of me in a counseling session that they suffered from parental abuse, even when all of the evidence is there to prove it.

Abuse is not just the torture and murder of a child.  Verbal, mental, and emotional abuse happen along a continuum that can make it hard to discern exactly what abuse is.  After all, some people consider spanking to be abuse, others consider it to be a swift and just discipline for poor behavior.  A father believes he is doing his best parenting when he offers his children ways to improve and gives them what he believes are healthy critiques to help them succeed, but […]

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

Fatherless Epidemic | Orlando Marriage and Family Counseling

With Father’s Day approaching I was struck by just how “father” figures are under appreciated in our society. Think about it, do most of us actually recognize all that a father truly embodies to a child? I took this question to the source and I asked my son. I received a plethora of answers ranging from “a love giant”, “superhero” to “booboo kisser” and “my bike rider helper”. These titles may seem childish and somewhat inconsequential at a superficial glance, but with a deeper look these qualities truly are the core of what a father “should be” to a child: a care giver, provider, supporter, teacher, friend, protector.  Unfortunately, there are many children, both young and grown up, who are missing this key figure in their life.

ID-10063601Yes, a mother can, and often will, take on many of these core roles, but research has shown children still need a strong “father” figure in their life. For many the good news is this “father” figure does not have to be the biological father. Realistically, many children who are still in the care of their biological father, are receiving more harm or neglect than good.  Being present, physically is not enough on its own. Many times men who are “not required” to love the child, can take extra steps to be amazing “father” role models.

A recent article on Today.com highlights how imperative non-biological “father” figures can be in this fatherless epidemic.  As the article states caring step-fathers and even boyfriends can be a huge asset to children. Additionally, uncles, brothers, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, etc. can be […]

6 Tips To Help Children Cope With Divorce | Orlando Divorce Therapy

No one goes into marriage hoping that it will end in divorce, at least I hope not. Divorce is never easy, but add children to the equation and you now have a whole new plethora of issues to face. How do I break the news of the divorce to my children? How do I keep my connection with my son/daughter? How do I share my child? How do we divide custody? Every family is going to have to answer these questions for themselves as every family has different dynamics.

OrlandoDivorceCounseling

 

Research has shown there are tips that may help your children cope more effectively with a divorce.

Tip #1: Tell your children why you are divorcing or, at the very least, share with them as much as you are able to. Children often blame themselves or a parent for the divorce, so be prepared for questions. If possible, tell them when both parents are present. Many children need reassurance that they are still loved and they are not to blame.

Tip #2: Be available to listen and always be active in the relationship. Remember, listening is a dynamic sport that takes both listening and reflecting back what you hear. All children cope with divorce in different ways; some may be very inquisitive, while others stay to themselves. Letting your children explore their feelings about your divorce in their own way is important, don’t argue or avoid them. At all times, be patient and involved.

Tip #3: Don’t put your children in the following positions:
-A messenger in parental messages. For example, “tell your father he’s late with the daycare tuition.”
-A weapon between you and your spouse. Children need quality […]

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

How To Love Your Family Better Than A Stranger | Orlando Individual Counseling

Somewhere in my decades old subconscious, I have a memory of being somewhere in the age range of 9 years old and throwing some kind of pre-adolescent temper tantrum. (Well, actually I’m sure that I had more than one of those, bless my parents). It was the kind of tantrum where I was determined to make everyone in the house as miserable as I was.   But in this particular memory, I must have been making every one in my home a little crazy that day. The situation must have gotten to a point of no return because my mom had to step in, but I don’t remember many other details. The only thing I clearly remember is what she said to me that day. It is a thought that is lasered permanently in my psyche. She said to me, “Zuleida, you would treat strangers better than you are treating your own family today.”

The truth of that statement hit me hard, in that moment, in a very good way. It stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me pause. Was what she was saying true? Yes! I would have been more polite and loving to someone who I didn’t know in those moments. Actually, if I were honest, I would probably have stopped treating my family so badly if a stranger had simply stepped in to witness how badly I was acting. I might have snapped to better behavior quickly! So what did that say about me? Simply, I cared more about what people who didn’t love me thought then the ones that did.

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10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families |Orlando Family Counseling

10 Habits of Emotionally Healthy Families |Orlando Family Counseling

As a young woman, I knew instinctively that I had some ground to cover if I wanted to one day live out my dream of being a part of a harmonious, happy family. My family gave me a great schooling in what not to do, but that left me very lacking and unsure about exactly what to do to one day have an emotionally healthy family of my own. Most of us have heard the statistics that over 50% of American families end up in divorce, and sadly that trend is not decreasing. So, it stands to reason that I have not been alone in my quest to understand how a healthy family functions.

When a person comes from a foundation of dysfunction, it can be easy to become so fixated on the dysfunction that one forgets to lift their head up and believe that there may be something better. Those of us who come from a place of longing for the safety and security of an emotionally healthy family because we’ve never known it, may want to know that it is possible to take concrete steps today. After over 10 years in various aspects of ministry and as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I want to share with you what I have observed about the habits of those couples who succeed in creating a lifelong, healthy, loving, and emotionally healthy family.

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1. Join a Faith Community Together Let’s face it. Family life is tough. Men and women have multiple roles and juggling acts to carry on their own. We live in an age where support systems for families […]

5 Questions To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist

5 Ways To Choose The Best Orlando Therapist | Life Counseling Solutions 

Did you know that most consumers of therapy don’t take the time to learn about what they need to know about partnering with the best counselor or therapist who can help them be successful in meeting their therapeutic goals?

Firstly, YOU are the consumer so ask questions and “shop” around to find the best fit for you.  It is also best to highly consider referrals from family and friends who have had experience working with a particular counselor or therapist.

ORLANDOBESTTHERAPISTLife Counseling Solutions like many counseling centers offer a complimentary phone consultation or face-to -face meeting. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to briefly explain your problem(s) and ask the counselor or therapist to share how they would approach the problem. If possible, try to chat with at least three different counselors or therapists.   Here are a few questions that you can ask in that initial conversation:

  • How many couples or individuals with similar issues do you work with per week?
    • For example, the more couples that a couple’s therapist works with per week, the more experience she or he has working with couples. Therefore, if you are seeking counseling for your relationship, then you want a therapist who primarily works with couples.
  • Do you work with a couple together or in separate sessions?
    • Life Counseling Solutions believes that it is imperative to see couples together. The therapist can miss the dynamic of how the couple relates when they are seen separately. While there may be a good reason to have one or two individual sessions with each person in the relationship, this should be more the exception […]

5 Tips to Survive End of Summer Blues | Orlando Family Counseling

Summer break is a time when families get to slow down, enjoy quality time and relaxation by getting out of the normal rigid routine associated with school, homework, sports, etc. When “back to school” rolls around it can be tough to get back into a normal routine. Kids and parents alike often show signs of stress and anxiety as they prepare to get back to the hustle and bustle leaving them feeling deflated. Are you suffering from the end of summer blues?

Here are 5 tips to help you get on track and eliminate the unavoidable stress!

summer, vacation, back to school,

1. Get your kids to bed early NOW. School will be starting soon so don’t wait till the Sunday before school starts to begin the early to bed routine. Kids typically need a good 10 plus hours of sleep so get them well rested this will help when early morning rolls around.

2. If you want to be ahead of the game have a plan. This means figuring out what your kids will be wearing the next day, what they are having for lunch and prepping the night before. The more you have done before you go to bed the less you have to rush around getting done in the morning. A few minutes in the evening can give you a much better start to your day.

3. Get up earlier. If you are like me it takes me a long time to get ready and adding another person just amplifies the morning rush. I have found it extremely helpful to get up at least 30-45 minutes before if I want to have a stress free morning […]