Loneliness Answers

Anxiety and Depression?

Everyone can benefit from therapy. Therapy would be a good support for you during this time and transition in your life.  It sounds like you have been through a lot of changes. It always helps to have someone objective who will listen; someone you are not close to who can listen without judgment and help you set amd prioritize goals and implement coping skills.  Depression can occur suddenly and cause you to lose motivation for simply engaging in the things you typically enjoyed. The anxiety can contribute to our body's physiology; such as, over thinking, shaking, sweating palms, upset stomach, difficulty breathing or feeling out of breath and worry/overthinking. The symptoms can be temporary and meeting with a licensed therapist through a venue like BetterHelp can assist you by teaching coping skills and how to implement them in your daily life. We go to a doctor when we are sick so why not talk to a therapist when dealing with anxiety, depression and/or any other mental health issue or symptom. When we are overcome with anxiety and depression these can also affect our day to day activities such as work, school, relationships, and even self care.  Best practice is catch it early before things get worse. When being away from your loved ones after making changes in your life, can contribute to possibly experiencing feelings of loneliness as well. Everything starts inside us. So it is imperative to learn how to openly express your thoughts and feelings.  Additionally, a therapist can help you learn how to effectively communicate and express your inner most thoughts and feelings. I would love to assist you or anyone else currently feeling lonely or overwhelmed. Overthinking and worrying can keep us up at night; which, both are part of anxiety. Sometimes, just talking things over with someone can help us develop clarity and organize our thoughts better. Having a therapist can help you reach your goals, as well as, organize your thoughts, set goals, sleep better and increase motivation. A therapist can listen, provide support without judgement. It is a safe way to put yourself first.  
Answered on 02/07/2023

What should I do?

Did You A Favor.  What's unfortunate about long-distance relationships is that good people can appear to be disconnected. I am unsure how to read this man's actions, whether they are as shady and disconnected as they seem. On one hand, he was seeing someone else, while with you. Do you think this was a new way of seeing people, something that you have to accept? I know with online dating, there is this norm where people talk to many people to try and understand which ones they want to actually date.  There are many pieces to this that could contribute to your thoughts to either end it and move on, or stay. The thing that pushes it over the edge for me was that he broke it off. I know you said you still want to see him and talk face-to-face, but why? What are you realistically expecting to do face-to-face? What can you offer, and what you are willing to offer? Is it good for you? What I am saying here is don't be willing to go further than he is in this relationship because it will drain you.  I understand finding someone we connect with isn't as easy as it sounds, but settling on someone who is far away and who dated someone else while you were considered together, are those the characteristics of a man you want to be with? Does being with him prevent you from meeting anyone else? If so, that is the problem here. This is why people still talk to someone else while they online talk to another, to make sure they aren't missing any candidates. I am not condoning this, but rather acknowledging how some people internalize and act out something now normal when we might see it as a personal thing against us. From that, is that someone you want to be with?  You did have some opportunities to talk face to face, and either you didn't (such as in November), or you waited until the last minute. Either way, these issues you speak of, why were they not the first things talked about? Was he allowed to control the narrative and therefore didn't want to address it? Did he have to leave conveniently and then break up (too correlated for my taste)? I think he is showing you his true self, but I think you think this is all you deserve. Do you realize that you could also make calls in this and have him respond to you? He could ask you, "are we good?" But he isn't, and you are just left to chase and try to make it all better.  Again, I don't have all the details, but from what I am noticing, you are giving too much of yourself away, and it will end up causing him not to respect you and you not respecting yourself. There are worse things than being single and being with someone you give up everything for; that is worse because it's you giving up on yourself, giving him too much say over your life. Those relationships and that power dynamic do not work, happily long term. 
Answered on 02/06/2023

How can I look at future relationships without letting trust issues cause a problem?

Dear Joann, First of all, I am deeply sorry to hear this news. This is devastating. What happened to the marriage? Did you two seek marital counseling? Did you two try to work it out? There are a lot of reasons why infidelity happens. When problems in the marriage is dealt with, in an appropriate manner, including infidelity, there are high chances for reconciliation, and therefore a deeper and long term trusting relationship.  The Gottman Institute, well known couples counseling team of psycho-education providers, highlights reasons infidelity happens: - Lack of affection - Loss of fondness for each other - Imbalance of give and take  - Breakdown of the communication as far as the emotional and relationship needs - Physical health issues such as chronic pain and disability - Mental health issues such as bipolar, major depression, and severe anxiety - Addiction to substances such as lethal chemicals and/ or impulsive behaviors such as sex or gambling  - Fear of intimacy or avoidance of conflict - Life changes such as transition to Parenthood or becoming Empty Nesters - Stressful period such as long distance relationships due to military deployments or long term work travels - Personal dissatisfaction and low self-esteem Finding out the facts, and connecting the dots, then ultimately coming to the conclusion, validated by the partner, of the deep unfathomable deception, can undeniably be hurtful for you. As you mentioned in your posted question, it could not have been easy for you, because you already had a history of infidelity, before having a family with your recent husband.  Your question is now how do you go on into finding a new partner after these events have transpired. First off, definitely take a pause in starting a new relationship for now. I highly recommend just taking a break and instead learn to date yourself for the time being. Focus on yourself first for now. Spend time healing yourself at this time. You cannot enter a new relationship or even give this recent one (your husband) a second chance, if you are still clearly very distraught about it.  Some proven helpful coping techniques for now: - Stay distracted - Pick a task to do that you never had the time before because you were always with that other person - Gather your thoughts and isolate the ones that have been centered on your relationship first, then redirect them to automatically focus on self-healing starting now ("I can't do this because my husband will say something." Turn this thought around to, "I CAN do this now because my husband can't say anything now!")  - Do something nice for yourself for a change - Take good care of yourself - Work for yourself (and your children) - Set goals towards happiness and kindness towards others - Journal, Paint, Draw, Read, Exercise!  - Surround yourself with positive and supportive people - Recognize you are vulnerable right now and ask for help. Realize that you need to take it one step at a time.  - Remember You Are Good Enough.  - Do what you can. Do not overdo it.  - Do spend quality time with the kids and make sure their needs are met including therapy for them as needed.  - Assure the kids that no matter what happens to mom and dad, they will always be loved first, and make it intentional that this will always be true. - Whenever you are ready, focus on forgiveness. This will be better with an individuals therapist.  - If you want to give your husband a second chance, I recommend a couples counselor.  Good luck! Wishing you the best on your self-healing journey. 🙏🏼 Very respectfully, Grace, LCPC, Maryland Therapist
Answered on 02/05/2023

How do I thrive in my loneliness?

Thank you for reaching out for support and for submitting your question. I am sorry you are experiencing some challenges and difficulties in your relationships right now. We are finding ourselves in what has been called an epidemic of loneliness. In older civilization, and in ancient times, it was common for millions of individuals to pass away from epidemics such as cholera or flu or plague. Advancements in modern medicine and in sanitation have largely eliminated these. But now we endure something altogether different and previously unknown. We now struggle with behavioral epidemics. In the United States, the average life span, which had been increasing since the 1950’s, is now falling. And it due, in part, to suicide and overdoses which are continuing to escalate at an alarming rate. Contributing to all of this? Loneliness. You truly are not alone in your loneliness. It is a common experience which is increasingly more common. In reality, there are probably people you know that you believe are not lonely – but usually they also experience this phenomenon, yet they simply are not talking about it. Oddly enough, the word did not even exist in the English language prior to about 1800. With industrialization came less social connection and thus loneliness was born. And it is just getting worse. While we are more connected technologically than ever before in the entire history of the world we feel more lonely and isolated than previous generations. Why should we worry about loneliness? It is, in fact, a major health risk. Beyond just making us unhappy, there are actual a variety of negative consequences with which to contend if you are struggling with. Loneliness increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. It increases the risk of high blood pressure. It puts you at a greater risk for severe depression and general cognitive decline as you age. One of the best ways to tackle the issue of loneliness is to serve. Every single one of us can contribute to another. It could be as simple as a smile. Consider this: you might be the only person who smiles at an individual in a given day. Is a smile, then, a small thing or could it be one truly enormous gift which takes little effort, no special skills, and no money to gift to another person? Being of help to others gets you out of your own head and keeps you from ruminating on your loneliness and your own situation. It can be tremendously beneficial in terms of helping energize you and in changing your perspective. Research proves it, too. Acts of service towards other people, towards animals, and even nature helps lift loneliness. There are many, many ways to give. Think about what ways may resonate with you. Giving will allow you to surround yourself with others, which will improve social connections. You will connect with those you may serve as well as those you are serving with. Movement will also be a helpful strategy to employ. In particular, getting out in the world and into nature has been shown to be very beneficial. A recent study demonstrated multiple positive outcomes which came about from simply going for a casual walk in nature. Individual participants found their overall well-being improved, depression was reduced, physical health improved, and they even felt their desire to connect with others was elevated. Sometimes, it helps to be brave and reach out to others. We often can worry that we may come across as too needy or be judged negatively. Yet if the person you reach out to cares about you, they will not view you this way. In fact, more often than not, people are pleasantly surprised when they get a phone call or a message. Again, as noted previously, you might be the only one reaching out to them. They might be quite delighted to hear from you and would love to be invited to spend time together. You do not have to tell the person you are reaching out because you are lonely – unless you would like to say that. Just let them know you were thinking about them. Too frequently, we wait on others to do the reaching out. Or we keep records and think we have contacted them many times and they “should” equally reciprocate or else we just won’t be their friend anymore. It’s okay to reach out first. It’s okay to always be the one reaching out – because sometimes other people are lonely, depressed, or anxious and reaching out is hard for them. And what if you don’t have anyone to contact? Well, then you have an opportunity to begin building a new support network. Maybe there is a neighbor or coworker you can stop to chat with. Maybe there is a class to take or a club to join. Perhaps you begin attending church and get involved in some activities there. Also, too, you could consider meeting with a therapist. A therapist is someone trained to help you work on your communication skills if that might be something you think you may benefit from. They are also someone to practice being more vulnerable with. And they can partner with you to come up with some strategies to help you begin moving out of loneliness. If, too, you find you struggle in your current relationships, a therapist can help you figure out exactly what is happening and help you figure out some ways to improve things.
Answered on 02/02/2023

Help me heal

You Are... If this were a therapy session, I would recommend we spend some time discovering what it is exactly you are experiencing when it comes to this man leaving. I know his leaving you is tragic, but what are you noticing about the situation that got your attention when he left? Do you feel inadequate, abandoned, and stupid for being played and committed? Do you have anything significant from childhood that is being triggered here? Let's take some time to get you to know you better because you are going to be your best advocate in all this. The reason therapy is a thing is because we think we know ourselves pretty well. In reality, we all have blind spots where many of our problems lie, that something like you are experiencing is triggered when it occurs. Your husband did not just leave, you wrote he left you for another woman. You say, "help." Going off of the reminder that you could have written a thousand different things about this situation, you wrote those things. Do you realize what this reveals about you, about how you view this situation and how you have a belief that there is some other way to do this or view this situation providing relief, hence the "help?" I know this seems like it's not what you came here for, but how you are viewing this situation and what is being triggered inside of you is really what we are dealing with, not just the husband leaving, but what it says about us, before, and now.  The "before" part is the part of us that is being triggered; that is the "blind" spot I refer to. You have beliefs and experiences that are in your brain that lies dormant, or at least we think they are dormant, until something significant happens, and then you notice something else about yourself. This is why reflective questions get you to know yourself better. Though I, as the therapist, may see things about you, or view your situation a certain way, none of that matters until you see it, and makes space for that in your life. As I asked before, are there any significant issues in childhood, inadequacies, or beliefs about yourself that are present here today in your husband leaving you....for another woman?  The brain works based on experience. Often the experiences we have are what tell us the world is a certain way, and we are a certain way, and experiences act as a frame of reference for future occurrences. For example, if in childhood I wasn't paid attention to, or my parents didn't allow me to fail because of their own anxieties, my brain makes sense of the world (harsh) and my ability to be in it (cannot be in it as I am). However, new beliefs can override the old ones if they are consistent enough. You can start to believe inadequacies about yourself from this recent marriage if you aren't aware they exist.  Your husband and you's relationship, what did you think about it? What did you notice going through the marriage about him or about yourself? Was this a surprise, or was there a part of you that knew parts of him that could not admit that this behavior fits? If you did not see anything about him, or your relationship, what did you miss, and what were you doing to miss it? These would be good questions to help identify where your head was in the moment, and where it is now, and identify thoughts you may not have said aloud before (hence, getting to know yourself, the blind spots).  So, we've identified beliefs about ourselves from childhood, or most recently, about the marriage and us in that marriage. We have talked about some reflective questions to focus on to help better understand us in that situation. Now, it is time for us to sit with all of this and accept the fact that it sucks and is painful.  Here's the deal with life, it's painful. The type of pain we will experience and why it gets our attention, not another kind of pain, is up to the formed beliefs and the subconscious way we hold it. You are in a state of pain, and that is OK, make space for this pain. One of the worst things people do to themselves is trying to fix or remedy everything they deem uncomfortable. It is not the pain that causes problems, but our belief that we should not feel this pain and that we need to fix it. You don't need to fix it, and you can (despite what your mind tells you) sit with this pain.  Your mind will tell you many things about what to do in the next couple of weeks or months. Your mind will judge you, make up stories, and flood you with inadequacies (possibly), your job is to notice them, make space for them, and remember that your mind does not control you, but it does exist. Your thoughts are not you, but they are there. You, a deeper you than the thoughts, get to choose what you do when the thoughts and pain come up. If you find value in learning and experience and know that someday this all has a purpose, then endure. Do not remedy your pain or try to avoid it; learn what it is like to sit in it. This will equate to a strength unlike you've had before.  You notice thoughts, distance yourself from them, experience the pain, and learn to sit with it, and you will become bulletproof in life. You will learn to experience life, while not letting it take away your experience. You will learn to go into situations your mind says you can't do or that you are scared of. You can imagine yourself standing firm while all the words, firey pain, and then remedy thoughts tell you, "you can't handle this." You won't have to respond to those thoughts; you notice them and continue to do what it is you care most about in this world.  Find that "why," and you can endure any 'how." What do you care most about? What is something you value in life? Go for it, live for that thing, and there you will find that experience, pain, or pleasure, will be your best teacher, and you can even find gratitude for it. 
Answered on 01/30/2023

Why do I feel so alone even when I have people around me?

Feeling alone even when surrounded by people is a common experience and can be caused by a variety of factors. It may be that you are experiencing feelings of loneliness or isolation, which can be related to mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. It may also be that you are not connecting with the people around you in the way that you would like to, or that you have unmet emotional needs that are not being met by your current relationships. It's important to reach out to a therapist or counselor to explore these feelings and work on developing deeper connections with others. Seek professional help: A therapist or counselor can help you to explore your feelings of loneliness and isolation and develop strategies to improve your emotional well-being. They can help you to understand the root causes of your feelings, and provide you with tools and techniques to cope with them. They can also help you to develop healthy coping mechanisms and improve your communication skills. Build deeper connections: Make an effort to connect with the people around you on a deeper level. Open up about your thoughts, feelings and interests with them, and actively listen when they do the same. This will help to build trust and understanding, which are essential for any close relationship. Also try to be open to new experiences and put yourself out there to make new friends.   Join groups or clubs: Joining groups or clubs that align with your interests can be a great way to meet new people and build connections. This could be a hobby group, a sports team, a community group, or a group of people who have a similar passion.   Volunteer: Helping others can be a great way to feel connected to something bigger than yourself, as well as to meet new people with similar values. Volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community and make a positive impact in the lives of others.   Practice self-care: Make sure to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, and practicing mindfulness can all help to improve your overall well-being. Additionally, make time for yourself, do things you enjoy and practice self-compassion.   Reach out to friends and family: Make an effort to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away, and try to make plans to see them in person when possible. Even though you might be physically distant, you can still maintain and strengthen those relationships through technology or letter writing.   Create a support network: Identify people in your life who you can talk to when you're feeling down or in need of support. This could be a close friend, relative, therapist, or counselor. Having a support network can help to provide you with emotional and practical support when you need it most.   Practice gratitude: Taking time to reflect on the things you are grateful for can help to shift your focus from negative feelings to positive ones. This can be done through journaling, meditating or even saying out loud what you're grateful for.   Engage in hobbies or interests: Engaging in activities you enjoy can help to improve your mood and provide a sense of purpose. It's important to have something to look forward to, it can be something big or small, but it should be something that brings you joy.   Get outdoors: Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, so try to spend some time outdoors each day if possible. This can be as simple as taking a walk or sitting in a park. Being outdoors can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and provide a sense of connection to the natural world.
Answered on 01/27/2023

Where do I start?

Hello, That's hard to be processing on your end when your dream is to be loved and having your own family and not seeing changes on your partner's end. I can help start to direct ideas to think about as you start therapy on the platform.  I might start out with the idea of: what makes you feel loved that you do for yourself in the marriage and is there anything that you feel would be an expression of love from your spouse? An example can be getting a core group of friends to do things with outside the marriage, I need a romantic date night once in a while and I'll reciprocate that as well, I need affirmation or touches daily from my spouse, etc. I understand you mentioned that it has been hard to communicate as well and usually I do recommend on creating a safe place to start talking about things in your relationship. If you're looking to connect more, one idea is to do a fondness and admiration exercise where you start to notice what your partner does that you cherish from them and say specifically how they showed that in that day. I would do it spontaneously throughout a week with words, love notes, etc. This can be something like I really enjoyed being playful last night on our walk when we talked about having a family together, etc. I will also say that it can be normal at times to feel scared if you felt you haven't been connecting with your spouse lately and those thoughts can pop in. I will often say that thoughts are just thoughts, they might not be true and facts can be different. I may recommend couples counseling for you two or individual therapy as a way to build up the courage to start discussing and noticing patterns in your relationships you're unhappy with and noticing often times it can be bettered and repaired to be even stronger. Most relationships will have ups and downs and learning to navigate when you feel disconnected is incredibly important.  I hope this gives you an idea, some validation and how to start navigating your question. Best Regards, Mitchell Daas, MA, LPCC
Answered on 01/27/2023

Need support to help me emotionally leave this situation

Hi Shaun! Welcome to the Better Help platform! Thank you so much for asking this great question on the topic about leaving your current situation. Based on what you wrote in your question, it sounds like you have been trying to break ties with your significant other and end your current relationship. How long have you been trying to leave this situation? It appears that you have already made the conscious decision to end your time together. Congratulations on making this important choice. What has this decision making process been like for you? What barriers do you foresee as holding you back from following through with your decision? Would you say that you are experiencing a sense of hesitation about leaving your significant other? It sounds like you are preparing to make a big change at this point. My hope is that I will be able to help you to navigate this experience and assist you in coming up with a plan to move forward with leaving this situation. First and foremost, I would like to commend you for your courage in seeking out guidance on how to navigate your current situation. It is very brave of you to reach out for support on this topic. Ending a relationship can cause significant distress for anybody. Making the decision to end things is a really good first step. I can see why ending this relationship would be a challenge for you as you had mentioned that you have a soul tie to your significant other and that you two talk together frequently. Therefore, it is vital to be kind to yourself and continue to understand your own feelings about the situation. In addition, it may be important for you to recognize your personal strengths as well as make note of your admirable qualities. Doing so can be a means to foster your self confidence, which in turn can aid you in implementing your plan of terminating the relationship. One of the most effective ways to boost self confidence is through therapeutic writing. Take some time to write about your plan of action. Explore your positive qualities through therapeutic journaling. The therapeutic writing process can be an incredibly powerful tool to begin discovering more about your self and can be a wonderful tool to better understand your strengths and skills. You can start this process by writing a pro's and con's list about your decision to end the relationship. For more information about the benefits of journaling, check out the free resources online from the International Association for Journal Writing. The website is: iajw.org As a registered art therapist, I always recommend that individuals participate in art based interventions. The therapeutic art making process can be incredibly inspiring, healing and informative. It is true that painting, drawing, coloring, weaving and sculpting activities can build self confidence, strengthen self awareness and boost self esteem. There are countless options for art therapy interventions that you could put into practice if you are willing to do so. For more information about the therapeutic benefits of art therapy, check out the website for the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). The AATA website is: arttherapy.org An example of an art therapy directive that you could try is to draw a time line of your current relationship. Choose a starting point, such as the time when you first met or your first date. Utilize arrows to signify the direction in which the relationship has been going. Mark down major milestones on your time line using shapes to reflect important moments. Apply a variety of colors to indicate how you were feeling at any given moment in time. This art based directive may help you to reflect on your relationship and determine how you want things to end. Once you have completed your timeline, take a moment to reflect on your relationship. Draw a picture of your feelings about ending the relationship. Utilize this image as a source of strength as you move forward with your plan to leave your current situation. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide when the right time is to end the relationship and leave your current situation. You may need to break ties with this individual completely in order to be able to fully disengage the relationship. I know that you mentioned that the two of you talk every day so it may be challenging at first to cease that ongoing communication. You also noted that your significant other is not trying to move forward with the break up. It seems like you will have to put into practice assertive communication skills in order to successfully employ your plan of action. Despite the challenge you are facing, it is important that you have faith in yourself that you can do this! I want to thank you again, Shaun, for asking this invaluable question on the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum. Also, I would like to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey on BetterHelp. I sincerely hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. Take good care and have a great day!
Answered on 01/25/2023

How do you move past a breakup?

Erratic It's not you; it's her, mostly anyways. Together and breaking up, the extremes seem to depend on her moods. So, what do you do with that? How do you stay with someone who is like that? Do you think you could be with this person as long as you toe the line and keep her happy? No, that is not what someone who embraces an erratic and shifting mood wants; they want chaos and confusion and thrive on it. So, what you can do is to sit with the situation, knowing you can't fix it, or fix it here and either accept the life you would have with her erratic and emotional self or get out and look for something that you know has the ability to reciprocate the feelings and emotions back to you. This person doesn't seem capable of doing that; she seems to be consumed with herself.  The best part about what I said was that it puts the choice back into your possession. She does what she does for whatever reason. Your job is to know what is good for you so you can be good and helpful and good for others. If you must constantly be at the mercy of someone's shifting mood, there isn't much left for anyone else. Are you willing to give up your life and what you mean to others to be with her? The choice is yours despite what you might believe today. You aren't lost. I think you are questioning yourself. She is selfish and can't think of you in all this. If she could, she wouldn't be testing you like this. I believe that you aren't willing to accept the reality that you know what you know about her, and you are going against this knowledge, invalidating yourself, leading to this lost feeling. Lost might mean trying to deny yourself to try and accept an alternative narrative that isn't true.  Trust your gut on this. Trust that what you notice is legitimate and that you can validate and support yourself in this process. The pain here is when you deny yourself and your feelings in the process when you accept these behaviors of someone else, and it hurts you. It's like going to yourself and saying the worst things you would never say to anyone. You are denying yourself when you allow your boundaries to be crossed by her when she comes and goes as her emotions direct her. Knowing doesn't necessarily lead to change. Learning can help us make a change if we are willing to endure the pain. Pain is inevitable no matter what you choose in life. There is pain in staying in the same situation. There is pain with change. Pain has to be accepted. You can experience pain on the way to something valuable to you versus the pain of denying and hurting yourself. Live according to your highest value, and the pain to do it (such as setting boundaries or not letting this other person cause you harm because it's harmful to others) is worth it. The real question is, what matters to you and prevents you from living according to that direction? If a relationship isn't helping you grow but draining you, get out. Endure the pain of turning people down that prevents you from living your highest value. 
Answered on 01/21/2023

Do I put my emotional and mental health first?

YES! You aren't good for anybody if you are in a situation where you are being bogged down, made to feel less-than, and unsupported to grow into other areas of life. Look, being a man, and being honest with you, "flirting" isn't harmless. It's insidious how the mind works; we cross a line a little bit, then a little more, then a little more, always aware of what we are doing, but getting better at justifying our actions. Certain thoughts from your boyfriend might be, "oh, we are just friends." Or, "Well, I didn't sleep with them."  Maybe a point of argument could be placed on you, that "you are just jealous." Even if none of these have actually been spoken about, the best-case scenario is that they have been conceived. The reason I say, "best case" is because if your boyfriend is engaging in flirtatious behavior and doesn't have to justify it, it means he genuinely doesn't see anything wrong with it, and that shows a deep belief in his lack of respect for you and your feelings. Even though ignorance can gain a pass when revealed for what it is, that he, "didn't know," it still leaves the question of what are you going to do with a man like that. Are you willing to teach him and work with him through it if willing? You mention it has already been five years. How much are you willing to accept that the best the relationship can get is with someone who doesn't know better, or if he does, justifies it? If he isn't willing to work on this or sees it as his weakness, what are you left with but settling for the less than? You, too, will have to accept you are less than, because a weak or unconfident man cannot be with a strong confident woman, and ma'am, he does seem weak. Flirting is Weakness Flirting is validation. Flirting is admitting that though I am in a committed relationship and have a child I could invest in, I would rather get the attention of these women. Someone like that needs it to feel good about himself. a man like that has a shallow self-image, one requiring another's validation of him, which he manipulates to be viewed as adequate.  Coward Not to speculate too much, but in my experience, his not engaging in any extra relational affairs is because the women won't go that far, and he is a coward. That's what happens with weak men, though. They are scared of getting in trouble or being embarrassed. Don't mistake his not cheating as being a good man, but take it as cowardice. Unless he is willing to do what is necessary on some interpersonal work, see a therapist, deal with the inadequate self, admit that he feels inadequate, etc., could stuff get better. If he isn't willing to do that or go there with it, he isn't going to change, and the behaviors get worse as he gets fed up, gets bolder, better at flirting, and then one day goes too far physically with someone. Look for these signs. If you tell him these things I am saying and he gets angry, and says it's not true, you have to then notice that he became angry, because....? Why do people get angry? This is usually from a place of hurt. Why do people get defensive, justify, and blame, because they are victims, and a victim makes everyone and everything their persecutor. None of this is about you doing better or me not saying anything, but it is about him being able to admit the nature of his actions and not admitting the actions.  Now, the part you play, if he can confess the nature of his sins, is if you have been disengaged as well. Or, if he reports that you don't seem to care or something to show he's not feeling connected to you. I don't mean that he is right if he blames you for what he has done, but there could be some truth there. Unfortunately, the truth could be that you are confident and willing to leave; he knows you could do better (mostly because of his poor self-perspective) and therefore wants to break you down. There is always truth in what someone says, but take it in context. If one cannot admit their part and immediately blames them, then that is their problem. If there is self-admission and connecting it to feeling like you are disconnected or don't care, that could be worth investing in to. Lastly Don't get too much advice here. People love to get relationship advice and say what sounds like a dramatic response. It's easy to say, "leave him," but it's hard to stay and work on things. However, if you choose to stay and work on things, then work on things, don't let this moment pass. Hold him accountable, and you hold yourself accountable. You should be allowed to ask questions to learn more about him and what he wants/needs in life. Try to love him again and learn to forgive. That is key here, if you choose to be with him, you have a lot of work to do, not to get bitter, which you do this by forgiving. You will have to make peace with the former, and if you cannot do that, then I have to say it probably won't work together. You will become bitter, justify your bitterness, and then get angry, resentful, and then be mad at yourself for wasting your life on him. He put you in a tough spot, but you are here now. Honesty is always the best policy, so get to know what you feel and think so you can present that. What I mention here is to help frame thoughts and ideas going forward and ask questions to help guide you to where you want to go. 
Answered on 01/21/2023

What should I do?

Figuring It All Out To give credit to the sadness, it makes sense. You are experiencing what many people feel but don't talk about. University can be a very competitive, isolating place. We're made to believe that we go off to higher learning to have fun and grow, but ironically, it requires discomfort to grow. Therefore, your discomfort in any fashion is leading away from the old and into the new, this is what your mind interprets to be something deep, something sad. You see, if you say you are sad, or you interpret your discomfort as something unfair or to be righted versus something required on the road to growth, we seek to remedy our feeling. When you start to remedy pain instead of focus on where you're going, you head nowhere. So, there's the question, where do you want to go? What do you value in life that would lead you to a place you want? Once you know what your carrot is you no longer have to live life merely looking back to avoid the stick. In short, go after what you want, don't live to avoid pain.  Commitment, is to be wholly invested into some purpose. When you commit to something you commit to the consequences as well. We don't like that part, but there are consequences and we have to ask ourselves if those consequences, both good and bad, are worth the changes we are making. What, then, are you doing all of this for, this pain, this loneliness while at University? Look, there's a lot of coping skills/therapeutic techniques/talk therapy wisdom that may make you feel better, but I'll tell you this; nothing changes a person more than learning how to sit with their feelings and thoughts without giving in to them and reacting. It is because of the work I've done and thousands of hours with people that I can say these things. Do not waste time indulging a judgement or narrative or possible conclusion about yourself. Let the emotions pass, thoughts pass, all of it passes unless you make the active choice to latch on to your interpretation of interpersonal feelings. Get to know yourself, your thoughts and identify what you are feeling. Tell me, can you identify what you are thinking/feeling right now? Can you tell me where your head is now or why did you do something before because you may have felt bad? Anytime you indulge a negative self-perception or powerless title you give up all your power to the thoughts. You have thoughts, they don't define you. You have experiences, they don't define you either. You are a context, constantly changing and growing. Identify and let go of stagnant beliefs about yourself, talk to people, get out of your own head. What you are is going to get uncomfortable by doing what you care about, instead of avoiding what you think is scary.  This too shall pass. 
Answered on 01/19/2023

How can I grieve my mom in a healthy way? what strategies or activities can I do to help me healing?

Loss. When we lose someone like you've lost your mom, it is devastating for many reasons. It's like your mind tries to find all the ways it is suffering now that your mom isn't alive anymore. The circumstance around your loss tells me you may have suffered twice, the abruptness of mom's death and then not even being able to have the funeral. Now, the time has passed, and the world has moved on, yet your mind remains stuck in the past. You are struggling to move on; I suspect it is because you might be scared to let go.  Your mom meant so much to you that even the pain of the last two weeks of her life could be better than the thought of letting go and putting yourself at risk of forgetting. I think we are all familiar that when we move on from someone, they become a distant memory. I don't think you want that for her. You want your mom to be remembered. You are the youngest, and you want to carry on that legacy of her, those memories of when she was alive, and it hurts.  You recall the support mom gave you. How close you were. Death reminds us of life. Your experience with your mom has now become all you have because death reminded you that she isn't here anymore, and you have to continue on because the alive version of her would have wanted you to. But you don't know what you don't know, so you ask for help.  You tell yourself that you shouldn't be doing what you are doing, feeling as sad as you have been, and crying is inappropriate. You tell yourself what not to do next to some measurement of what you should do. The question is, given the circumstance, what SHOULD you do here? How does one move on? Take a minute to answer that question, what is your mind telling you, you should do?  Often people tell me that their mind tells them what not to do, but then they aren't given any clarity or insight as to what to do. When it comes to pain, loss, grief, depression, and even loss of identity or purpose, we are best to realize the full extent of the situation we are in and instead of trying to fix or turn from it, look at it in the eye. I am talking about fear, loneliness, and sadness; these emotions fuel you to act and think the way you do. If you want to change anything, even cope, you have to acknowledge these emotions and think on what they convince you of, what image or thought you get that gets you to define your situation as painful.  A few tips:  1. Radical acceptance is not agreement. Accept your situation, therefore, acknowledge the sadness and reality of your situation.  2. Practice noticing thoughts, sitting with them, and asking what they want. Sit with the thoughts that tell you you are sad or nervous and be with them.  3. When you notice a thought, resist the urge to be taken down that pathway of thought. I know familiar pain can seem more enticing than the scary and unfamiliar, but it isn't. Get accustomed to being uncomfortable. It will be uncomfortable for you to turn down the familiar pathway of your painful thinking and the images it produces.  4. Not indulging the thoughts pain provokes, is the start of letting go of the situation with your mom; she would have wanted that. I say that she would have because you seem like a loyal child and loyal children have authentic parents. An authentic parent would want their kids to do whatever it took to move on. Your mom would not want you to withdraw from life because you were holding on to the last bits of her life. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, we all end up this way.  5. Be honest with yourself, and your thoughts, and start to acknowledge what you are feeling, thinking, and wanting in life. Be honest, no matter how it sounds. Be honest with where your emotions are. Are you mad at all?  Look, give credit to the grieving body; it is getting your attention. Your body is telling you that you cannot handle much right now, so you better withdraw from life because you are fragile. The earlier you notice these thoughts and beliefs about yourself, the more you can trust and love and be grateful for what you have been given, a life full of real situations, mom included, meant to shape and mold you. Just think, mom would have probably gladly given her life if it meant that you finally got to live yours. Her death will not only be memorialized in your heart, but your experience with her will also be right there with you as long as you live. Because of that, you don't have to hold on to pain anymore. Notice you hanging on to the past and letting go. Cope by making space for these emotions and giving yourself permission to experience them, all the while you continue to do the things you want in life. Don't let the emotions take you out. 
Answered on 01/18/2023

How to transition to a securely attached person?

Who You Are. Your attachment style does not define you, but it could help you understand the difficulties in forming a relationship. Your attachment style isn't a diagnosis either, and it isn't treatable alone, but the totality of this early formation of beliefs can be understood and managed. What is treatable is what you notice in your day-to-day life is affected by what you've identified. Had you not taken that quiz, what would you have noticed about yourself? What did getting a definition do for you? Did you feel validated that you found a reason for failed relationships or feeling the way you do? What exactly did the quiz, and this idea do for you that you now feel more empowered to work on, and what exactly would your life look like with this newly identified problem being solved? Being fearfully avoidant might mean you don't get into a relationship, or if you do, stay to yourself, and hold something back. You've been taught that this world, your partner, and your friends even will hurt you. You avoid because there was a belief formed very early in life 1-2 years old, where your parents didn't give you what you needed, and thus you lack a sense of security, so now you are fearfully avoidant, not just in relationships, but in life I would assume. This lack of assurance goes far beyond relationships and can be seen in everything from the clothes we wear to the trips we take, to the jobs we choose. Everything about us can be in service to a belief about ourselves and the world around us.  What to do with it all? Well, now you have something to tell you why you act the way you do, a failed connection in early childhood, and now you can make all the connections with what you found out about yourself, looking back on your interactions. Now what? Now is the hard part because it is painful. Now you have to leave these fabricated comfort zones to do the thing your mind would rather not do, form relationships despite this internal warning sign going off.  This work is incredibly difficult because it acknowledges the vulnerable childhood self and tries to form new beliefs even though the old ones are stagnant and there, constantly telling us what to do or think. Our core beliefs, our subconscious connection with others, and a general sense of safety have never been developed, and now we think with work, we can create that. Not likely. What happens instead is that you will internalize a less-than state of mind in continuing to fail at being better. Instead of trying to be better by ridding ourselves of a part of ourselves, accept this part of you exists. Learn more about that part rather than deny, judge, or try to alter it. We don't rid ourselves of that part; instead, we accept (which isn't agreement but acknowledge) our way of thinking and learn to live with that part of ourselves. To not accept a part of ourselves, in any fashion, is not accepting ourselves wholly. When we fail to accept or give voice to any part of ourselves that we try to get rid of, we waste our lives and reinforce inadequacy because we fail to give credit to ourselves. If you only accept the good parts of yourself, then you are condemning yourself.  Accept your thoughts as your thoughts, and try not to judge or alter them. Just learn to sit in your feelings and thoughts to improve your tolerance better and grow relationships that you would otherwise avoid. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and notice thoughts, allowing them to pass. Thoughts and feelings always pass; let them. You don't have to remedy or respond to all of them. This will help you the most. It's not about what you think but about noticing how you think. How you think is tied to your avoidant attachment. Anything that promotes fear probably gets your attention well enough for you to react to it. Instead, sit with the thoughts, and emotions, and bypass the reaction to try to fix it. Do what you find valuable and learn to cope with the thoughts that try to keep you stagnant along the way. 
Answered on 01/17/2023

What to do when I feel lonely and I tend to have a gloomier look over my life?

Loneliness is not an abstract condition that affects only certain kinds of people. You have gone through some life changes that have impacted your social interactions. Feeling lonely can impact our energy level and outlook on situations. Building deeper connections with the people around you takes time. Think over your friends and acquaintances, the things you have in common and ways to exercise those common interests to strengthen your relationships with them. Focus on things that you like to do together instead of tasks that you are solving for them. You are already doing some great things to combat loneliness by going to the gym, reading and traveling.  Loneliness can create more loneliness by creating a cycle of thinking that reinforces itself. For example, loneliness can make you feel like you don’t fit in or that you are not really connected to the people in your life, which only makes it harder to reach out. This might seem to confirm that you really don’t fit in, which can make you feel even lonelier. When you challenge feelings of loneliness or start to make changes in your life, the cycle of “loneliness thinking” starts to break down. It’s common to feel lonely during transitions. Whenever you’re going through a transition, it can take some time to settle in and find your new place. Loneliness may only be a temporary stop along the way. Were you feeling lonely prior to 6 months ago when you mentioned that you broke up with your girlfriend and moved alone? Time alone may be an opportunity to pursue a hobby, learn a new skill, get into a good book, listen to music, or connect with nature. You mentioned wanting to find your higher purpose, this would fall into this area as well. Pursue activities that are important to you and align with you beliefs & values. Working on building deeper connections within your already existing relationships can help reduce loneliness as well. Think of the friendships that you enjoy and ways to increase your time around them. Building new friendships is another way to reduce loneliness. Think about the types of relationships you want. For example, if you prefer talking with others in small groups, look for opportunities to meet people in smaller groups. If you’re looking for support and understanding around something specific, look for related groups or organizations. Exercise your interests or skills to your advantage:  take a course, or join a club to meet people who already have your common interests. Building confidence is an ongoing process.  It takes time to build relationships. It can be a bit scary at first, but try to initiate conversations or suggest opportunities to spend time with others. Accept that it may take time to feel connected and feel like you’re part of the group. You probably don’t get along with everyone you meet (and some people may not get along with you). This isn’t a reflection of your value or worth. It just means that you haven’t met the right group or individuals yet. Working to reduce a gloomier outlook can be reframing negative thoughts to be more of a reflection of the facts you have vs. allowing the prediction that it will be negative to overshadow the facts. Practicing looking for the positive in the situation can also help shift your outlook. Small gratitude practices each day can bring your focus on the good over the gloom. 
Answered on 01/16/2023

Why am I wanting to end my relationship with a good guy?

Perspective Your situation demonstrates the power of perspective and how your state of mind determines what you want. You think you could go without when you have him and are assured. Then, when you are alone, you question it and want him back. You know the relationship serves some emptiness or lack of self-assurance because when you are with him, his niceness reassures you that you are good. You conclude that you don't want to be here anymore from that good space.  It's a pretty good assessment of how we are doing if we are able to be by ourselves or not. Since you are struggling with being alone, I think you know that you aren't ready for it. It seems as though because you are alone, you lose that reassurance and therefore question yourself and question the relationship, and who knows what you start to think disrupting your life.  Now, it's not good to be in a relationship to "make you better" or to "be completed" that is called codependency, and it usually doesn't go well. When you are with him, you feel solid if it is because you are confident with him that you are healthy. If his presence provides a solid you, now you have an unhealthy dependence on him to make you feel better. You are not defined by the person you are with, and if you feel better with them than without, often that can mean you aren't fully established or confident in yourself. You need to ask yourself who you are, what you like, and what those likes and dislikes, independent of others, say about yourself.  Here's the deal with codependency. You are relying on your partner, whom you find unsatisfying, to reassure you of yourself. However, someone else could always come along who does it better or seems to be what your current man is not. It often happens when someone gets into a relationship without knowing it is unhealthy, only to have enough confidence from the relationship to be with someone else. Then the other person leaves them, and they are a mess.  You have to do what serves you best. What serves you is any situation where you get to discover who you are, probably in those uncomfortable alone times. Who you are, what you want, what you need, and how you define yourself. Maybe be alone for a while if you are questioning whether he is the right guy. You can always come back if you are meant to be together. As long as you stay in the relationship, you never get to know who you are when not with that person. Set boundaries with your current significant other, and learn how to cope when you are alone. 
Answered on 01/14/2023

Why I keep hurting my spouse?

It's You If what you say is true, then it's you. If you can't sustain in the relationship, there's something that you need to work on to get to where you can be a good spouse or just let her go completely. You can't sit in something that you need to sit in and feel you need to react. Why you do this could be helpful. Why you can't sit in a discontent state is most likely what you could focus on here.  Your response to something your spouse does or your response to work or stress that you project onto her is the problem. The question is, what do you believe that you cannot tolerate leads to your response of hurting her, or in this case wanting a divorce and leaving the country? What happens when you feel an emotion where your solution is something that hurts her? What do you push a good thing away for if you say is accurate and you don't believe that she deserves this hurt? Is this all self-sabotage?  What you'll need to do to be able to improve in these situations is to learn the skill of distress tolerance. The issue here isn't as complex as our mind makes it out to be. In actuality, you experience an intense emotion, have thoughts that exist, and are driven by beliefs that get your attention and cause you to react. You are responding to your perception of events and cannot allow the events or emotions pass by. Imagine it, you are in a discussion with your spouse, and they say something that triggers a feeling; you start having thoughts (which can be reminders of the past in some way), and instead of trying to push them away, self-destruct or some other faulty coping skill resulting in hurting her, you let the emotions, thoughts, pass. Imagine you take a step back and notice what is happening, the pain, the attention-grabbing response of your mind being activated. If you can fathom this, then you can do it. You have the ability to let the emotions pass (because they always pass) and to become something greater at the moment, and that is to improve in your tolerance.  Much of therapy focuses on the why of a reaction. For instance, your mind says that she said something and that this thing made you feel a certain way. However, you are actually being triggered when she says something. You are being reminded and then brought back to some vulnerable state, possibly childhood, depending on the information that you react from. You aren't reacting to the moment but reacting to what you perceive the moment to be. If you are being brought back to that state where you had to react to survive or push her away because you don't believe you deserve good things, then your reaction makes sense. You have to start tolerating the distress first but then do the work on identifying what led you to such an emotional reaction that hurt both you and her and is something you regret later.  You don't have to listen to your mind when it says to react. You can let the thoughts pass and stay in the moment. You can be angry and hurt and be calm. You can be in a marriage and still disagree. You can experience hurt as well as tolerate that. You have to start challenging the belief that when you feel something, you have to react. You don't. From what I said here, you can start to separate from these thoughts and being to improve the relationship by growing instead of running.  Notice thoughts.  Allow thoughts to exist (don't fight or deny them)  Sit with them (taking a step back from the moment to notice it) Explain what your thoughts are (improve in the act of articulation) 
Answered on 01/14/2023

What should I do?

Hi, it sounds like you are finding it hard to adapt again now your relationship has ended.  I can imagine for you there are a few parts of this.  One being the relationship break down itself and losing someone you care about.  The judgement about being too comfortable with them earning more money and also loss of the children and the bond you had with them, and now having to adapt to life on your own.  The loss of many things you had which made you happy.  Potentially life was busy  but now it is feeling quieter and emptier and now you are having to change and adjust to this new way of being and managing the loss. I am thinking that part of the process is coming to terms with what has happened.  Perhaps it was outside of your control, perhaps you didn't know it was going to happen, the unexpectedness of it all.  It will take time to adjust and find out who you are again.  What makes you happy, beginning to fill all the spare and empty time you have now.  It won't always be like this, emotions fluctuate with time and are forever changing. For you right now, it is important to explore those feelings, to work out how you are feeling and how you are managing.  In time you will notice small changes that help you to find purpose again.  To explore the feeling of loss you have and how to manage this, and also manage other areas of your life which you may be feeling are hard to manage as a consequence of what has happened. You built an attachment, not just with your partner but with their children too.  You describe them as your best friends.  Here there will be new adjustments needed, you have lost a partner and friends and maybe feel like there is no one left for you to support or even to support you.  Having said you are not good at being alone, tells me you are self-aware.  We can look at this and increase your awareness to promote personal development within yourself to help increase your self-esteem and confidence.    I hope this has given you some ideas of how counselling could potentially help you get through this time of you life.
Answered on 01/12/2023

How do i not feel lost, or lonely when I’m surrounded by people?

I am sorry to hear about being strung along by someone. I think it's important to realize your time and life are valuable, if you want a exclusive relationship, and this person has told you they don't want the same I think its best to move on and keep dating. When you don't have similar goals with a partner you are seeing, this can cause for discord and you will feel resentment if they aren't wanting to commit to a relationship but you do. Realize that they aren't your ideal partner, because if they were you would be in a relationship and feel the same way. Reciprocity is very important in romantic relationships, as we can only control our own feelings, and if you want to grow and be in a healthy relationship its best to let go of things not serving you.  You may be feeling quite alone and down due to moving back in with your parents but this is a common feeling. I don't know the reason you moved home but I try to remind people to look for the positive to this occurring. I do know changes can be hard and feel like one is moving backwards, but often this is a time to re-adjust your life plans and determine the next steps while home, this may be a change your life in some way, which includes a move, new job or new hobbies or interests you wanted to try. I would also put time into re-establishing relationships with your parents as an adult. When one is grown you may realize your parents offer care and wisdom that is valuable. If you can find the silver lining to this time, you will feel better about it when you reflect, and this time will only be a short period of time in the span of your life. When it comes to your friendships I say also reevaluate what you are wanting in friends. Are these people supportive of you and your changes, do you feel they are there for you during your breakup? Keep your head up, find ways to find gratitude, and take time to take care of your needs as well, this includes taking time to better yourself, heal and learn how to make lemonade out of lemons. Therapy is a great thing to do during this time of transition to grow and discover all the great things about yourself. 
Answered on 01/12/2023

How to decide where to live and where to raise children?

Compromise There is going to be an entire conversation that needs to be had here, but for the sake of this question, I think it is essential to recognize what a marriage is. No matter the spiritual, governmental, or companionship aspect, what you choose to do in marriage is secondary to the marriage. You, as an individual, might want something as much as he, but never let it compromise the marriage. For this, I prefer the Biblical definition of marriage, which is a union of two people into one. One leaves their mother and father and joins their partner. That view of marriage may help put things in perspective enough to eliminate some options.  No answer will solve all you want to solve or predict the best future. Honestly, you might be close to family, but then where does that leave him? If he is the "odd" man out, then what does that do to the marriage? One way to determine the best decision for your guys is to decide what you want the most together. Not where you want to live or what jobs, but what values you want to impose on a future child. If your husband feels like having a kid would get him "stuck" moving where you want, there needs to be a very real conversation because that is a pretty significant deal.  You say you are solid. I believe it. However, what is solid? Is it solid to get along? Is it solid going with the flow? The fact that you have been together longer than most marriages last would assume you have had to work through some pretty difficult things. However, now you look to move, and it seems there is a rift. It is interesting if this rift has been here the entire time, and you are just now noticing it. This is why I say it is time for a candid conversation that could result in hurt feelings. Maybe the feelings are hurt because we have expectations about how things "should" go or what our partner "should" do. Perhaps we hold these beliefs deep down and don't bring them up, but secretly get angry when they don't line up. Maybe this is why we are now having this conversation after so many years and there are these issues. We are humans; we avoid pain. But let us at least acknowledge there is pain instead of saying things are going great.  So, have the conversation. Make sure you get really uncomfortable and talk about the parts of you that don't agree versus what you do agree with. Please identify what you as a couple wants out of your marriage, out of life, out of raising a child. Let there be disagreement. Let there be upset feelings if need be. Argue and get down to what matters. I don't want to play nice and resent you later. I didn't articulate what I felt because I expected you to know. No, say and do the honest things, even if it means writing it down and having him read it. Do these things, and if you decide to go to therapy to navigate this you will at least know where to start. Good luck. 
Answered on 01/11/2023

How do I not bring others down with me when I feel so sad?

Hi Catie, I am so sorry to hear you are going through so much and to hear of your mom's diagnosis. Even though you might feel like it's bringing others down, it is important to not isolate yourself. When we are going through a difficult time that's when we need support the most. It is also a great time to see who the more reliable individuals are in your life. Therapy would be ideal to process this.  If that is not an option for you, allow people to help you when they offer or ask. It may be a challenge for you to ask for help, especially if you are independent. However, when you are going through a rough time emotionally you want to work through reframing the idea that "asking for or needing help from others" is bringing others down. I would recommend connecting with a community of faith if you have one where you can receive care, help and love unconditionally or small support group grappling with similar challenges.  Making positive affirmations verbally could also be a good start to building your self-esteem up. Try saying 5 things you are grateful for and 5 things you love about yourself everyday. Being mindful of what your self-care needs are is also priority. Asking yourself about daily hydration, nutritional intake, sleep and exercise habits can improve your self-confidence and improve your overall well-being. You have a sympathetic and a parasympathetic nervous system. Your parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system responsible for releasing endorphins, which are hormones that relax you. The sympathetic nervous system is the fight or flight part of your nervous system that kicks in when you not feeling the best. Being aware of the ratio of how much you are staying in one system compared to the other can help you feel a bit more empowered. I recommend allowing space for your sad emotions and shifting to self-care activities when possible. Maybe set a time frame of 20 minutes where you allow yourself to process your sad feelings and then allow for 20 minutes of a self-care activity or action afterwards. Hopefully, these basic tips are helpful in some way. 
Answered on 01/10/2023