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Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

This month’s blog is going to be a little different than the ones past. As the New Year approaches, we often think of new beginnings, and starting fresh. When I graduated from High School, my parents got me the book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

Today is your day, You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go through your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.

On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So….be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!

Oh! The places you’ll go!

-Rachel

S.N.A.P.P.

S.N.A.P.P.

It seems like school just started, and yet the holidays are fast approaching! That means it’s time for good food, fun, and family. However, sometimes when families get together, it can be stressful. When that happens, remember to S.N.A.P.P.

S-Stop - When you get triggered by something stressful, STOP what you’re doing.

N-Notice - Take time to NOTICE what’s going on with your body physiologically (increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, sweating, etc.).

A-Allow - Don’t try to change your experience. ALLOW it to happen.

P-Penetrate - Take deep breaths by PENETRATING the body sensations (Breathe in for 3, hold for 2, and breathe out for 7).

P-Prompt - PROMPT yourself to be compassionate towards yourself. Don’t judge yourself negatively, because of the reaction.

And remember, STRESSED spelled backwards is DESSERTS! So if all else fails this holiday season, have some dessert!

-Rachel

The “S” Word: More than Just Sex (Part 3)

So now that we should be getting a bit more comfortable reading and maybe even talking about sex, let’s move on to another important aspect of an intimate relationship; Trust. It’s obvious that “casual” relationships are much more common now than they were even 10-20 years ago. So what does that mean for a meaningful, intimate relationship? It means we have to work That Much Harder at it, and that meaningful, intimate relationship of yours will require much more trust. 

For the most part, we’re all familiar with the basics of trust in a relationship, right? Don’t cheat, don’t lie, show support for one another, be emotionally open, be honest, etc. Well I’m going to go a bit deeper (no pun intended) by explaining how/why trust is important as it pertains to sex and intimacy. 

The act of sex itself is first and foremost dependent upon trust. When we engage in sex with a partner, we trust them with our body and even our mind. We trust that they will embrace our body and not criticize what we personally notice and criticize ourselves. We trust that our partner will be genuine and not malevolent. We trust that our partner will treat us with respect before, during, and after sex. We trust that our partner will be open and honest about anything of importance we may need to know before hand (I’m referring to STI’s and contraceptives here). Personally, I feel that if my partner deceived me, the trust I had in him would be broken. 

Now, back to the relationship itself; I mentioned above most of the basic areas for your partner hold your trust, but I recently came across something that I feel everyone should hear. This involves EVERY area of trust imaginable. Disclaimer: ladies, a man wrote this; but it’s so true! You just have to actually hear/read it for it to sink in. Are you ready for this? Well here it is: “I tell men that if they mess with a woman’s sense of trust, she’ll never get wet” (Dr. Robert Glover, ‘Women, Trust, and Sexual Desire’). How much more straightforward and to the point can you get!? With that though, I’m not saying that men are the only ones to break trust; women are completely capable of that as well!

Infidelity is the number one reason that trust is broken in a relationship. About 70 percent of married men admitted to cheating on their wives! Another study found that 2/3 of women are not aware of their husband's affair. But as I said, it’s not all the men being unfaithful: Most statistics found that about 50 to 60 percent of women admitted to having an affair (Foxnews.com). 

Depending on the person, there are different scenarios that can play out after the affair:

  1. The partner who discovers the affair may want to have nothing to do with their partner sexually, and may not even want to be touched by their partner in general. This may be disgust by what the partner has done with another man or woman, or the wronged partner may feel like this is a good form of revenge for the affair. 
  2. The partner who discovers the affair may want to resume the sexual life as normal, but once into it, they may begin having “flashbacks” to what they think may have gone one between their partner and the other person. This can cause emotional pain, fights, tears, and unwanted words between the couple.
  3. The partner who discovers the affair may want to continue the sexual life as before, but amped up. By this, I mean they want to have sex as much as possible, but this sex is different than what it was before. This sex is vengeful and intense, almost to the point of trying to hurt the other; I personally (among others, I’m sure) call this ‘hate sex’. (Susan Berger, MFT)

Despite what some people may say, infidelity is one of the hardest things to come back from when you’re trust is broken with your partner.  When you lose trust, you lose that connection with your partner, and you lose the sex life you previously had. For some, that’s it, it’s over - there’s no coming back from the broken trust.  For others, through therapy and hard work (individually and together), there’s a chance you can get that trust back with your partner, and have the spectacular sex life you once shared.

Shae Reid

Stress Management

Stress! That word alone can elicit a physical response. School is in full swing, and believe it or not, the holidays are around the corner. With that in mind, I thought this month, it might be good to talk about stress management. So, below are five “A’s” to stress management.

Avoid unnecessary stress: Avoiding all stressors is not healthy, but there are a number of stressors that can be eliminated.

  • Learn to say “no”
  • Avoid people or places that stress you out and can be avoided
  • Take control of your environment
  • Avoid “hot button” topics
  • Trim down your to do list

Alter the situation: If you can’t avoid a stress, try to alter it. Find out what you can do to change things so it doesn’t present itself in the future.

  • Be more assertive
  • Time management
  • Be willing to compromise
  • Express your feelings

Adapt the stressor: If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself.

  • Reframe the problems
  • Look at the big picture
  • Adjust your standards
  • Focus on the positives

Accept the things you can’t change: Acceptance is hard, but it is easier than protesting against something that you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
  • Share your feelings
  • Learn to forgive

Adopt a healthy lifestyle: If you make time for regular fun and relaxation, stressors won’t go away, but they will be easier to handle when they do come.

  • Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar
  • Get enough sleep
  • Set aside relaxation time and do something you enjoy everyday
  • Connect with others

“The habits that took years to build do not take a day to change.” –Susan Powter

-Rachel

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