I wanna feel more connected
“The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” ~Tom Ford
Don’t you think it’s amazing that we can be surrounded by so many people, even live in a family in a home with other people and yet still be victims of the age of loneliness? Last week, there was an article that tells us that the likely cause of addiction is lack of human connection. “So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.” What do you think about that? (feel free to comment below) We all crave connection but we stuff our feelings of loneliness with food, Facebook, wine, prescription drugs, our phones, exercise…you get my point. Hey, I totally get it – my personal favorites are sugar and Facebook. Deep down we all really want that connection but aren’t so sure how to get it. And we have a sneaking suspicion that it requires us to deal with our own crap and baggage and show up fully – eek! Learning how to be intimately connected to our kids, friends, and partners might not be as hard as you think. If you want to feel more connected, read these 8 tips to turn loneliness into deeper connection or these 9 tips to feel more loved. But if you just want a quick tip to get started – slow down. For most of us, that requires effort in of itself. But when we slow down, we open up a little bit of time and space to look at the person we are with, to notice how they are feeling and to notice how we are feeling.
REAL ACTION: Pick ONE THING from those lists to focus on this week. Don’t get overwhelmed, just one thing.
sex & Nike
“Food has replaced sex in my life, now I can’t even get into my own pants” ~ Lynda Montgomery
If you are like many married couples – particularly long-term marriages – your sex lives are not always in sync. In fact, I think that there are a lot of marriages (specifically marriages with kids) out there that don’t even involve friendship, cuddling, or physical affection. Is that you? This could be called a sex-starved marriage and this TedTalk video nails this topic. If this topic resonates, that video will make you realize that you are not alone! Only have 4 minutes? This one gives you the highlights. This speaker has also written a book on the topic: The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple’s Guide. This has been extremely eye-opening for my husband and me for our own marriage. If you are the one with the lower sex drive, here are a few tips for you specifically. Based on my personal experience and what I have seen with my clients, the “busy factor” plays a huge role in this. I see many women, in particular, who have so much on their mind that they don’t even know if they want sex – their mind is consumed, they harbor resentments towards their partner, and they are simply too distracted to want sex. It pains me to say this – but sometimes, we really do need to “just do it.”
REAL ACTION: Are you the one who wants more sex? Speak from your heart and find other ways to connect first. Are you the one who doesn’t? Adopt the “just do it” mentality and see how it feels. You might find yourself feeling closer and enjoying it!
helping our stressed out kids
“When the wings are too heavy, the bird can’t fly.” ~ Marty Rubin
Our kids are more stressed than ever. Read more here. It can be hard to face some of these topics, but when we are honest with ourselves and are willing to really address what is going on with our kids, we ultimately feel better about ourselves and can more confidently talk openly with our kids (and hopefully help them). We also can establish a closer connection with them because they feel more understood by us. Okay, so this is not news to you, but it still has to be said that because our kids are so stressed and anxious, they are turning to behaviors such as drugs and alcohol, cutting, video games, and social media to distract (numb) themselves from the stress and anxiety that they feel. They are self-medicating. And even worse, some kids are opting out of everything and committing suicide.
Besides informing ourselves, the five key things that I see that we can do for our kids are to
- teach them (and yourself) better coping skills to handle stress – mindfulness, breathing, taking breaks, exercise, and self-advocacy are some examples,
- take off some of the pressure to be so “perfect” (all A’s, best athlete, well-behaved, etc.),
- spend time with them and make sure they know you WANT to know the truth about their lives –> listen, be sincere, engage in what they enjoy doing, disconnect from your devices, connect with them, and make sure that they know that you really love them for exactly who they are now. When they push you away, don’t take it personally and don’t believe that they don’t need you anymore – they do! Perhaps more than ever!
- set some boundaries – kids will resist, but they also can’t always do it for themselves and secretly want you to do this for them – for example, make sure they have breaks from social media, say no to things that aren’t in alignment with your values (rave parties for example), schedule downtime and family time, and help them make choices so they don’t get over-scheduled, and
- stay informed and aware – know what they are doing, how they are handling the social media pressures, what they are eating and drinking (hint: limit energy drinks), and how much they are sleeping (hint: take their devices out of their rooms at night) – you can still help them establish good habits through their teen years.
Every child is different. Some can handle a ton of pressure and get all A’s without much stress. Others crumble. Rather than impose a one-size-fits-all approach to our kids, how can we carefully attune to what’s going on with them and tailor our expectations accordingly?
REAL ACTION: Ask yourself what you really want for your kids. Are you willing to push them towards “success” at the expense of their overall well-being? What would a balanced perspective look like for your family?
New on the Blog this Week: Some Not Too Lame Family Rules for Smartphone Usage
Sorry about the part about our stressed out kids. It’s a pretty heavy topic but one that feels important to talk openly about. Thank you for reading.
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Chief Curator & Blogger