Tag: Coping

Helping A Parent Survive the Loss of the Other Parent

Losing a parent is incredibly difficult.  In addition to managing your own grief you may be faced with helping your children and your surviving parent cope with theirs.  Seeing your parent in pain as they try to navigate their way through the mourning process is heart-wrenching.  Perhaps now more than ever they will need you to be there for them.  This is especially true after the initial burst of support from other family and friends falls away.
While your parent my appear to be holding things together well initially it’s important to remember it can take some time for the reality of things to set in.  It may not be until everyone returns to their separate, normal lives that your parent truly gets a sense of how quiet the house is without their partner.  The mundane tasks of day to day life may begin to emphasize how different and lonely life is without their loved one.  Making yourself a continual presence in your parent’s life can help.  Try cooking together, sharing dinner, going for walks, or even just sitting together.  Sometimes just being there can mean more than words ever could.  Reminiscing about old times and going through pictures together can also be helpful once you’re both ready.
It’s also important to remember that losing a spouse initially can be a very frightening time.  Your parent may be wondering how they can survive without their spouse especially if they were very dependent on them.  This may be the time to develop some very practical solutions.  Maybe that means teaching your parent how to balance a checkbook, cook, or grocery shop.  It may mean figuring out transportation arrangements for doctor’s appointments, etc. if your surviving parent cannot drive on his or her own. Whatever the case sit down with your parent and develop a plan.
This is also the time to keep an eye out for depression or illness.  Pay attention to changes in eating habits, behavior, or medication management.  If it seems your parent is really having a hard time grieving encourage them to seek support through other family and friends, counselors, or spiritual leaders.  Let them know they are not alone.

Photo Credit:  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1750

5 Ways to Cope With a Loved One's Mental Illness

Discovering that a loved one is struggling with a mental illness can be very difficult to cope with.  Most families aren’t prepared for it.  At times it can be very physically and emotionally challenging.  Below are a few tips to help with coping.
1.  Educate Yourself –  Researching your loved one’s mental illness will help you to gain a better understanding of what he or she is experiencing.  That may allow you to offer better support to the loved one.  It can also help break down misconceptions like the idea that the loved one should be able to “just snap out of it.”
2.  Recognize Your Feelings – Many family members feel guilt or shame when they discover their loved one is dealing with mental illness.  While these feelings are common and should be recognized as such, it’s important for family members to know they didn’t cause the mental illness and they can’t cure it.
3.  Find Support -Many families who have a loved one with a mental illness share common experiences despite the specific diagnosis.  Attending a support group can help normalize some of the feelings and experiences as well as provide additional strategies to manage the loved one’s mental illness.  Unfortunately, it can be difficult for families to reach out for the support they need because of the stigma that can be attached to mental illness.  Don’t let that stop you.  Seek support from family, friends, religious leaders, support groups, and mental health professionals whenever necessary.
4.  Take Care of Yourself -You’ve probably heard it said that you can’t take care of others without first taking care of yourself.  There’s some truth in that.  If you’re physically and emotionally exhausted it makes it much harder to provide the support your loved one needs.  Make it a priority to take some time to yourself to recharge.
5. Get Involved – Talk with members of your loved one’s treatment team.  Give them another perspective than the one they receive from your loved one.  Ask the treatment team how you can be most helpful and what expectations you should have for your loved one.  You can also get involved by emailing local politicians and working towards improving the overall mental health system.

Photo Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659

Stressed Out Children

stressed out childrenChildren and teens, as much as adults, need ways to deal with sources of stress.
Their world is full of new and often stressful situations over which they have little or no control.
Even children growing up in the most secure and stable families must cope with situations that we never imagined.
Children are taught to conform to societal expectations by learning to control urges and impulses that are deemed unacceptable. As they mature, they are expected to give up childish behavior to manage increasingly challenging tasks.
Furthermore, children must learn to cope with peers who can be cruel and generally difficult.
Don’t forget that children have very little or no say in most all crucial aspects in their lives. They have no control of where they will live, their parent’s marital relationship, how they fit in with peers or even who will teach them in school.
Finally, children today have much of their time scheduled with multiple extracurricular activities while being expected to maintain honor roll status. All of these things can be stressors. Even when a child’s difficulties are “normal” for children of his or her age, parents must be careful not to dismiss or minimize their importance.

hope & restorationWhen the dark clouds of life roll in and settle over you, it’s important to have someone who can help you tap into your inner strength so that you can survive the storm.  At The Empowerment Group, that’s exactly what we do. We welcome you to explore the possibilities that are available to you. Restore a sense of balance and direction to your life. Whether through therapy, through Family Mediation, or through relationship counseling, we can help you find a path toward resolution and relief. Empowering your life! The Empowerment Group wants to help you bring balance, peace and happiness to your life even when the storms roll in and you feel all hope is gone. We can help:
  • Mediation
  • Therapy
  • Relationships
  • Pre-Marital Counseling



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