Owner of Move Forward Counseling, LLC Alison Pidgeon, MA, LPC offers helpful tips as part of the “Ask the Expert” blog on Susquehanna Style magazine’s website. Links to her blog posts can be found below.
Motherhood and the process of starting a family is a major life transition. Setting realistic expectations can help new parents adjust more smoothly. Those who find themselves in a situation where they might need a little help navigating such a life change can take a few steps to get back onto a healthy track.
As each new season comes it can be helpful to write down a few goals you would like to accomplish during the next couple months, for example fun family activities such as apple picking or a hay ride in the fall. Once your goals are set, focus on intention. Practice being mindful – taking in the sights and sounds around you, watch your children and take in their enjoyment. This important skill can help reduce stress.
It is no secret that sending your children off to college can be a difficult transition for everyone involved, especially the parents who may experience a sense of loss once the last child has “flown the coop.” There are a few things parents can do to help ease into their new life: focus on hobbies/interests you weren’t able to pursue while parenting, think about roles in your life you would like to expand (wife, friend, employee, etc.), strengthen the relationships around you, and allow yourself to feel the different emotions you might experience during this time and talk it out with a friend or loved one.
Alison offers strategies on how to not let perfectionist tendencies take a front seat in life. Some suggestions she offers are: practice the concept of “good enough” vs. “perfect,” give yourself a time limit to accomplish goals, and jump in with both feet but course-correct as you go.
Instead of striving for “work/life balance” we should be striving for “work/life flow” – after all when was the last time your life was in balance? Understand that certain parts of your life may need more time and attention than others. Here are some tips to help maintain flow in your life: set limits and boundaries, put time aside for yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Managing stress can be crucial to keeping your health and sanity in check. Stress management doesn’t have to be time consuming, in this post Alison offers a few 10-minute-or-less ways to keep stress in line, they are: stop “should-ing” yourself, take a walk in nature, smile and laugh even if it’s fake, keep a gratitude journal, and practice being mindful.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.