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5 Strategies for A Successful Return to Dating After Divorce

Visit your nearest search engine and read the tops stressors in a person’s life. You’ll learn that after the death of a loved one, number two on that list is “divorce.” Thus, it is important not to underestimate its potential impact on you.

It’s okay if you were hurt. Or just knocked off balance for a while. Even if you feel relieved and happy to be single again, such a major change takes time to process.

Now, part of moving forward may involve a return to dating for you. If so, this milestone manifests differently for each person. However, some general guardrails should be considered. Therefore, it is essential that you simultaneously trust your gut while factoring in some universal advice.

Post-Divorce Basics

Reentering the dating world can be a tricky blend of excitement and apprehension. But before you get to that, you want to handle some basics, e.g.

  • If you have children, prioritize their wellbeing and emotional health
  • Prioritize your own wellbeing and emotional health
  • Safeguard your finances
  • Prepare for waves of emotions when you may least expect them

Once the idea of meeting someone on a romantic basis feels feasible, follow some well-worn advice:

  • Don’t talk about your ex on your first dates — and probably not unless you see lots of this new person.
  • Never lie about having children. Yes, this could be a dealbreaker for some people. Respect that boundary but do not let it inspire you to “forget” to mention that you are a parent.
  • Try dating apps but remember, in-person meet-ups are still the best.
  • When creating a dating app profile, get input from trusted friends and loved ones.

If you’ve reached the point of dating apps, it’s definitely time to hear some fundamental guidelines for what lies ahead.

5 Strategies for A Successful Return to Dating After Divorce

1. Be As Ready As You Can Be

This is a fine line to walk. If the idea of dating fills you with dread, you may tell yourself you’re just not ready. Conversely, you can end up rushing in. So, let’s set up a few guidelines:

  • The divorce is final
  • Your children have at least somewhat settled in their new situation
  • You’re over your ex

Set yourself up to succeed. Being in too much of a hurry can sabotage a lot more than your dating life.

2. Have a General Idea of Why You’re Dating

Are you looking for something casual? Perhaps you’re considering another long-term commitment. Are you lonely? Ask yourself tough questions. Give yourself honest answers. Talk them through with a non-judgmental friend or loved one. Proceed with as much clarity as possible.

3. Let Go of Anger and Resentment

Divorce is often a painful and contentious experience. It’s only natural that you may build up a fair amount of anger or resentment. These are powerful emotions that must be processed in a healthy manner. Post-divorce therapy is an ideal setting for this up to happen productively.

4. Open Up Beyond Your “Type”

Depending on how long you were with your ex, it may be a long time since you were in the dating pool. Don’t limit yourself. Your “type” has probably evolved a lot over the years. This is where online dating can come in mighty handy.

5. Don’t Introduce Your Kids Too Early

If you have children, keep their needs in mind. You may head-over-heels about someone. That does not mean you should feel compelled to set up a family meeting. When it comes to all things post-divorce dating, patience is your friend. When it comes to protecting your children, patience is non-negotiable.

There is no how-to manual for a successful return to dating after divorce. But counseling can be the most productive way to navigate and smooth out this new phase of your life. The path forward after divorce is often navigated best with support. We enjoy seeing our clients recover and reconnect in the dating world when they are ready. If you would like to know how we can help you, please contact us for a confidential consultation.

Navigating and Recovering from Divorce

The idea of a divorce is enough to spark fear in the hearts of even the strongest person.

After you’ve planned a future together and dreamed of what your life will be like with your spouse at your side, it can be hard to visualize a future without them. They were in all your dreams of the future, so you don’t have a roadmap for a life without them. Because of this, divorce can make you feel lost and alone. Depending on your beliefs about marriage, divorce can also make you feel like you are a failure. It can be difficult to imagine how you could ever recover and move on from this terrible life moment.

Making a Decision, One Way or the Other

Do you feel stuck in the doorway of your marriage? It’s easy to become stuck with one foot out the door and the other half yearning for what was. When you’ve visualized only one image of your future, it can be difficult to see the alternatives that are open to you. Whether you want to reconcile or move forward independently, clarity will help you make the best decisions.

The number of open doorways you can choose to walk through are unlimited. Can you see them? Everyone in your life has an opinion about what you should do because they are all vested in outcomes that are influenced by their own biases. Will you be able to recognize and choose the doorways you want to walk through with confidence? When you can see yourself living a future you will enjoy, your answer will be yes. And your decision can flow from that confidence.

Life After Divorce

Divorce doesn’t have to be difficult and painful once the decision is made. Even the most undesired divorce can become a blessing in disguise. If you allow it, divorce can be a chance to grow, to discover who you’ve become, to see your strengths, and to set a course that will ultimately be more satisfying and fulfilling than the one you were following. You can have a fantastic life after divorce.

If you feel like a failure or find yourself full of self-criticism for things you did or didn’t do, dwelling on those thoughts won’t help you create a better future. Deciding who you will be going forward will help you create a future you’ll appreciate. If you’re being hard on yourself, even if the only thing you’re beating yourself up for is being a bad judge of character, it isn’t helping you become the best possible version of you.

Blaming yourself or your partner can create a sticky emotional place that makes it difficult to move forward and doesn’t benefit anyone. Focusing on the best that can be allows you to move forward with confidence.

Therapy That Helps You Decide and Move Forward Confidently

At Affinity, we focus on your strengths and help you see yourself as whole, confident, and capable. We become unbiased partners who help make your decision to stay or go a little easier. Then we work with you to make your path forward more intentional and purposeful. Your therapist becomes a sounding board, someone who isn’t attempting to steer you toward one decision over another, so you are able to achieve clarity faster.

We also know that the pain from a divorce can end quickly or linger for a lifetime. We know why some people are able to move on and enjoy life and why others become locked in an emotional prison. Whether you can feel the possibilities and are reaching for a faster path to stability, or you are in so much pain that it is difficult to get through the day, we will meet you where you are.

It can be easier. It is easier when you don’t try to muddle through on your own. You can learn how to move forward confidently in your life.

Helping someone recommit to their relationship, or recover from the emotional turmoil of divorce, is a special privilege for us. We enjoy seeing our clients blossom faster than they ever believed they could. If you would like to know how we can help you, contact us or schedule an appointment if you are ready to heal.

Career Development and Navigating the Work-Life Ratio

Pressure to achieve success further and faster comes at us from every angle.

You’ve worked hard to prepare yourself for a successful career. But it seems so much more difficult to meet all the demands on your time at work and at home than you anticipated. The pressure is never ending and when you zone out on social media, seeing friends’ careers take off adds to the never-ending pressure.

You wonder if it will ever end. Is work-life balance an achievable goal? You want a successful career, but you don’t want to sacrifice all the things that will make it meaningful, including friends, family, and time for fun. Having a more satisfying work-life ratio seems elusive to you, which creates a daily feeling of never having enough time.

Work-Life Balance Isn’t a SMART Goal

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. Because a goal to achieve work-life balance isn’t a SMART goal, studies show it increases stress. It causes people to feel frustrated and unsatisfied with themselves, their jobs, and the time demands their family requires.

If your life feels harder than it was for prior generations that’s because your life is harder than theirs in many ways. Completely disconnecting from work is challenging. Your boss may expect to be able to reach you and communicate at all hours.

If you manage to get work under control, your family complains you aren’t paying attention to them. When you pay attention to your family, work spins out of control. It’s difficult for you to feel competent in either place because competing priorities keep you feeling off kilter.
You want a happy medium but despair that you’ll ever be able to achieve it.

You Can Find the Right Ratio for You

Ratio is a more appropriate term than balance for two reasons. First and most importantly, because to balance is to be static, and your life is anything but static. Secondly, because ratios recognize individual and situational differences.

If you are pursuing a world-changing passion career, you may want to spend almost all your time on your career. If that’s you, the expectations of people in your life who aren’t part of your career need to be managed. Whereas if your definition of success is financial stability because of its benefits to you and your family, you will likely want to devote more time to your home life.

You get to decide the right ratio for you. The right ratio for you today may not be the right ratio at another point in your life. Attempting to achieve perfect work-life balance can add more stress without helping you achieve any of your goals.

How Therapy Moves You Towards More Satisfaction and Less Stress

Instead of a work-life balance goal, we spend time helping you identify the work-life ratio you would like to achieve. Once you know your ratio, there are two ways to help ease the frustration and anxiety the quest for work-life balance created. One is the use of problem-focused strategies that modify things in your environment by identifying the priorities that matter the most to you.

The second is helping you develop transformational stress management skills that will allow you to feel better and relax more. The degree to which you understand how your brain works and how well you use that knowledge can reduce the amount of stress you experience without changing your circumstances.

Learning psychological tools that increase your psychological flexibility will help you feel less stressed at work and at home.

If you want to master the art of having it all without killing yourself with the anxiety of trying to achieve it, we can help. Contact us for answers to your questions or schedule an appointment online.

Overwhelmed Parents

Being a parent is the most demanding and rewarding job you’ll ever do. The particular challenges of modern parenting mean that the feeling of overwhelm is the norm and not the exception.

The Added Pressures of Modern Parenting

If you are a parent, you are used to feeling overwhelmed. Most parents today no longer have the luxury of having a full-time parent devoted to caring for the home and children. Even if you have that advantage, there are more moving parts and decisions to make today than your parents had to think about.

For instance, previous generations were more ecologically innocent, so you didn’t have to think about the chemical make-up of your family’s mattresses, or whether the products you bought were packaged with recycled post-consumer waste. Social media can make you feel as if your children are competing for spots at top schools even before they are born. You are more connected via social media but more isolated by time and distance constraints. Private and charter schools can make neighborhood children and their family’s strangers to one another. In past eras, when you left work, you were off. You didn’t have to check your email or field telephone calls during the time you were with your family.

Your children also demand more. Your teenagers receive enticing brochures for summers abroad and postcards of idyllic Ivy League campuses. All your children want an endless list of games and gadgets that cost increasing amounts of money.

Have you felt guilty or inadequate for feeling overwhelmed by your parenting responsibilities?
You are as capable as parents in prior generations. In fact, in many ways, modern parents have more resources and knowledge than their parents had access to.

However, your life is more complex. You have more choices, which means you have to think more. Making decisions can be exhausting, even when you are interested in what you are doing. For your parents, a drive-through dinner was a simple question, “Is it in the budget?” For you, it is complex. Affordability may be one of the criteria you use, but you’re likely to also consider the nutrition and whether they’ve had any other fast food recently. When you add two or three extra considerations to every decision, it is overwhelming.

It’s Difficult to Admit You’re an Overwhelmed Parent

Do you sometimes wonder if you were cut out to have children? The demands of parenting make every good parent feel inadequate some of the time, but few are able to admit they’re an overwhelmed parent. You may worry about being judged by others if you acknowledge those feelings. It may feel like you don’t have the time to even think about your sense of overwhelm. You may fear getting lost in that feeling. If you’re divorced, you may be afraid of losing your children if you admit you feel like you’re drowning. When you do hint at how difficult things can be, family and friends may offer well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful advice rather than just letting you vent.

Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad parent. Feeling overwhelmed comes from having too much to do and not enough time to do all the things, all the time, for all the people, in exactly the right way every time. Who can keep that up? No one. And yet you try, because your family means the world to you.

How Therapy Can Help You Feel Less Overwhelmed

Therapy does not magically take away your life responsibilities, unfortunately. But therapy does have a lot of other things to offer the overwhelmed parent to help them feel less frazzled and more grounded.

A wide assortment of skills, from those that enhance communication between you and your partner and you and your child, to managing your inner voice, to setting boundaries with intrusive people or obligations in your life, all can make parenting easier.

Children pick up on their parents’ stress and act it out in their behavior. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your child will feel, which then makes it easier for you to feel more relaxed. And relaxing doesn’t mean lackadaisical parenting. It means not stressing over every decision and being more intentional about your priorities.

The therapists at Affinity know how to help you create a home you want to live in with a family you enjoy. If you want more of the rewards of parenting and less of overwhelm, reach out to us today for life transitions counseling. Positive parenting approaches will make you feel like a pro.

Families in Conflict

Have you ever found yourself in the aftermath a family conflict asking the question, “is this normal?” Of course, there really is no “normal” when it comes to family dynamics. Each family is unique. Each family argues.

That said, there is a big difference between healthy and unhealthy communication in a family. If your family is locked in conflict then the question really isn’t, “is this normal?” Instead, the question is, “how can we get to a better place?” Family therapy can help.

Does Your Family Need Therapy?

Any family can benefit from therapy. Dynamics in families can be complex and complicated. There are different relationships between and among each family member. Every individual has so many of their own stressors and challenges. Plus, things are constantly changing for both the individuals and the family unit. It’s not easy to manage all of these shifting elements. Family counseling helps families with these types of issues.

Most families come to therapy when they are in conflict. The conflict may be between two or more people in the family. For example:

  • Siblings of any age fighting with each other
  • Parents, whether together or separated, who are in conflict
  • Co-parenting, step-parenting, and blended family conflicts
  • Parent-child conflicts, which may be with one or more parents and one or more children
  • Multi-generational household conflict

For example, let’s say that you are a single mother with three children. You are attempting to co-parent with the father of one of them, who has a new wife. You and your children currently live with your mother. Family conflict could exist between so many of you – you and your mother, your mother and your kids, you and your kids, you and your ex, your mother and your ex, your children and the new stepmother… the list goes on.

Communication is Key

No matter who is in direct conflict within the family, the arguing affects each and every person. It also affects the whole family unit. In order to get past the fighting and into a healthier place, you all need to learn more effective communication with one another.

Therapy for families is all about communication. More than anything else, each family member wants to feel heard. When families are in conflict, everyone feels like no one is listening to them. Therapy creates a safe space for each person to be able to clearly articulate their own experience. This alone is a powerful thing.

Of course, the other component to communication is learning to listen. Therapy allows each of you to say what is happening for you. It also provides you with the space and tools to learn how to truly listen to one another.

As you work through your family conflicts, you’ll be able to really hear each other without defensiveness.

You’ll remember what you love or appreciate about each other. You’ll gain new respect for how your family can function together as a whole.  The more that you communicate effectively, the easier it will be to solve problems together, now and in the future.

When to Call the Experts

There is no wrong time to reach out for family therapy. Your family does not have to be at a crisis point to benefit from therapy. In fact, if you nip problems in the bud by improving communication early, then you set your family up for ongoing success.

That said, families often reach a crisis point before coming to therapy. That’s okay as well. Therapy for families is helpful at any stage of the relationship. If your family is fighting, if you are overwhelmed by family dynamics, or even if you want to process past trauma together, then therapy can help.

Contact us for an appointment today. We believe in your family and want to work with you to overcome problems.

Immigrants

As an immigrant, you face so many different challenges. You have left an entire important world behind. You are working to adjust to a new life. Even when things are going great, there are a lot of emotions to work through. Therapy can help you adjust through the good times and the ones that are particularly hard.

Therapy for Immigrants

You may be wondering what it means to get counseling as an immigrant? In most ways, it’s the same as any other type of therapy. We want to help you deal with the issues that are at the forefront of your mind. We also want to work with you to set and meet your goals so that you can live the life you dream of.

However, counseling for immigrants also takes into consideration your very unique situation. You may want help with issues that are directly related to the experience of being an immigrant. Those issues may include:

  • Grieving the loss of family, home, and culture
  • Redefining what home means in a new place
  • Facing racism, classism, and other social issues
  • Figuring out how your identity fits in to this society
  • Reconciling your hopes, dreams, and expectations with your current feelings and experiences
  • Dealing with multi-generational family issues as children and parents adapt in their own ways

Culturally Sensitive, Clinically Effective

We believe in offering compassionate therapy that recognizes the importance of your culture and your experience as an immigrant while also celebrating who you are as an individual. We are sensitive to the unique challenges facing immigrants today, especially in this political climate. We believe in the value of your cultural experience.

We don’t expect you to inform us or educate us about your culture. It is important to us to educate ourselves, without ever making any assumptions about what is true for you. We see you as an individual with a rich cultural past and we come to the therapy room with a deep curiosity for what your own experience is. We want to know who you are, what matters most to you, what fears you have, and how we can help you to achieve your dreams.

When It’s Time to See a Professional

People often wonder whether or not they “need” to see a professional therapist. Therapy can help you no matter what you are dealing with. You may not think that your problems are “that bad” but you don’t have to wait to be in crisis before seeking help. Therapy can help support you whether you’re struggling just a little bit, feeling completely in crisis, or somewhere in between. Therapy can even help you if you’re just seeking to express your feelings as you redefine your identity in a new home.

If you wonder whether or not a professional can help as you navigate the unique challenges that you face as an immigrant to this country, try giving us a call today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have so that we can make this new life transition as comfortable as possible for you.

Transplants and Relocating to Minnesota

Moving to a new area can be one of the more stressful life events that a person ever goes through, and relocating to Minnesota is no different. Plus, being a transplant in Minnesota isn’t easy.

Even when you’re excited about a move, and especially if you aren’t, all the stressors in your life are magnified. If family members relocated with you, they’re stressed too, which makes communication more difficult. All the while, your support network is likely far away now.

During the first few months after relocating you have to think more about everything you do. Your routines are disrupted, everything is in a different place in your home, at work, and your surrounding environment. Routines help us relax because we can function on auto-pilot much of the time. During a relocation, nothing is on auto-pilot.

When you have more to do than usual and everything requires more thought, the hassles add up and make the situation seem overwhelming. You can begin second guessing a very rational decision to when life seems much more difficult, which it often does during the first months after you relocate.

Are you second guessing your move to Minnesota, or having relationship difficulties as a transplant in Minnesota?

If you’re married, there can be tension because you think your family blames you for anything that doesn’t go well because the move was for your career. If the move was for your spouses’ career, you can begin feeling resentment if the sacrifice feels like too much to handle.

You may find it difficult to maintain connections with old friends because you’re too busy getting the kids settled or working on learning your new job responsibilities. And making new friends is difficult as an adult, period. The idea of trying to make new friends on top of everything else can be distressing, especially if you are longing to go back home.

Plus, there are colloquialisms like, “Minnesotans will give you directions to anywhere except to their house,” that many find to be painfully true here.

Would it help to know this is a normal but temporary part of relocating to Minnesota?

Feeling overwhelmed as a Minnesota transplant is logical. In your normal life, you had a certain amount of change going on all the time, but you’d learned to adapt to those changes. Many of them occur gradually. If you imagine juggling balls, a normal adult has three or four balls in the air all the time and a basket full of other balls that are resting in exactly the right place.

When you move to a new place, all the balls are in the air at once.

Everything you do, from buying toothpaste, driving to work, following conversations with your family about people you’ve never met while trying to keep track of who is who, and even just putting clean dishes away, requires more thought.

Two skills can make a big difference in how quickly you adjust and how well you adapt. Both of the skills are about handling the unknown. One is adaptive. It helps you organize and deal with the chaos until your mind forms new habits that make your new environment in Minnesota feel as comfortable as your old home.

The second set of skills is transformational because it not only makes the relocation to Minnesota easier, it makes the rest of your life easier. The second one is developing coping skills that allow you to handle life’s big and small problems without experiencing as much stress. These skills can make what once seemed like mountains look like small molehills that you can handle easily.

Relocating is a major life stressor. Learning how to handle it will make you more prepared for anything life sends your way in the future. Recognizing the amount of stress relocating causes and proactively managing it will help you successfully settle into your new life here in Minnesota.

At Affinity, we help you develop both adaptive and transformational skills that will ease the strain of being a transplant in Minnesota. Schedule an appintment online or text us so we can help you set up a time to meet with someone here. Several of us have been right where you are today, and we are ready to meet with you and welcome you to Minnesota personally!

Would it help to know this is a normal but temporary part of relocating to Minnesota?

Feeling overwhelmed as a Minnesota transplant is logical. In your normal life, you had a certain amount of change going on all the time, but you’d learned to adapt to those changes. Many of them occur gradually. If you imagine juggling balls, a normal adult has three or four balls in the air all the time and a basket full of other balls that are resting in exactly the right place.

When you move to a new place, all the balls are in the air at once.

Everything you do, from buying toothpaste, driving to work, following conversations with your family about people you’ve never met while trying to keep track of who is who, and even just putting clean dishes away, requires more thought.

Two skills can make a big difference in how quickly you adjust and how well you adapt. Both of the skills are about handling the unknown. One is adaptive. It helps you organize and deal with the chaos until your mind forms new habits that make your new environment in Minnesota feel as comfortable as your old home.

The second set of skills is transformational because it not only makes the relocation to Minnesota easier, it makes the rest of your life easier. The second one is developing coping skills that allow you to handle life’s big and small problems without experiencing as much stress. These skills can make what once seemed like mountains look like small molehills that you can handle easily.

Relocating is a major life stressor. Learning how to handle this new life transition make you more prepared for anything life sends your way in the future. Recognizing the amount of stress relocating causes and proactively managing it will help you successfully settle into your new life here in Minnesota.

At Affinity, we help you develop both adaptive and transformational skills that will ease the strain of being a transplant in Minnesota. Schedule an appintment online or contact us so we can help you set up a time to meet with someone here. Several of us have been right where you are today, and we are ready to meet with you and welcome you to Minnesota personally!

Online Teletherapy

***Seeking online therapy in response to COVID-19/coronavirus? We recognize that this is a new and worrisome time we’re all facing. In response, we are actively expanding our schedules to respond to the increased demand for supportive mental health services.

Now more than ever, we know that prioritizing your mental health will be of the utmost importance. We will support you, as you work to be of service to those around you. We are here for you.***

Those in Need of Teletherapy Services

Virtual therapy is an increasingly popular option for individuals, couples, and families. We know it’s challenging to figure out how to fit even one more thing into your always busy schedule. Engaging in online therapy can be just the tool you need. Being able to meet with a therapist by video, from your own device, from any private location, makes it just that much easier to figure out how to incorporate therapy into your week.

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy, or telemental health, is a way of providing remote mental health services. Simply put, you are accessing therapy services when you and your therapist are not sitting in the same room together. Instead, you are using any of your own personal devices (smartphone, tablet, or computer) to talk securely with your therapist from the comfort of your home or other private space.

At Affinity, the most common way that we meet with clients for teletherapy is by online video. We use several secure video platforms to do this. Some people might find the idea a bit strange at first. However, if you’re familiar with Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, then you can already easily imagine how it feels, and how it works, to do a video therapy session.

Studies have demonstrated that teletherapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy for a wide range of issues. Additionally, all of our therapists are specially trained in the delivery of effective telemental health services. So you can rest assured that we can help you address the issue bringing you to therapy, whether in-person or by video.

You may choose to engage entirely in teletherapy services,  or you may use online therapy on an as-needed basis. We will work with you to find the method of therapy that best suits your exact needs.

Is Teletherapy Right for You?

There are many different reasons that people can seek teletherapy services. There is no one specific type of client that will find it most useful. In fact, the people who utilize teletherapy services are very diverse.

Perhaps you are a busy executive and it’s difficult to get away from the office for a weekly appointment. Or you don’t want to miss your regularly scheduled appointment, but a snowstorm makes it difficult to get to your therapist’s office. Also, couples who have schedules that are difficult to coordinate may use online therapy to more conveniently access services. Teletherapy provides you an opportunity to stay consistent with your therapy work regardless of these kinds of situational challenges.

On the other hand, perhaps you aren’t so busy that you can’t go to therapy but instead have trouble leaving the house to get there. People with agoraphobia and other forms of anxiety may find it so challenging to go speak with a therapist in person that they never make an appointment.

Teletherapy offers the chance to get the support that you need in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re a person living in a rural environment or a small town with limited resources, you can access high-quality therapy services through teletherapy. Or maybe you’re dealing with issues related to oppression or discrimination. You might be worried about showing up in a local therapy office, or you simply want to ensure your privacy. Teletherapy can give you peace of mind. It allows you to reach therapists in other areas who can respect your confidentiality, bring their expertise to your specific issues, and work with you to make empowered choices in the face of your challenges.

Get Started with Teletherapy Today

Teletherapy isn’t right for everyone, but it could be right for you. It’s important to understand that although there are pros and cons to teletherapy, it is not “lesser than” other types of therapy. You will still work with one of our skilled, licensed, awesome therapists who hold themselves to the same standards for teletherapy as they do for their in-person work. Every day there are people using teletherapy as a means to meet their personal goals through this approach to therapy, and perhaps it might be useful to you as well.

If you think that this might be right for you, or if you have more questions about it, contact us today to learn more.

Young Adult, Millenials, and the iGeneration

Your generation gets a bad rap. You know it, and we know it. Others may see you as entitled, not hard-working, and unwilling to follow the rules of “the real world,” but we just couldn’t disagree more.

Your desire to be seen and appreciated for who you really are is courageous. Your need to feel purpose and meaning, in your personal and professional lives, is admirable. At the same time, a lot is riding on the decisions you’re making right now. Your relationships, career, finances, time, interests, and sense of self can all feel highly impacted. It’s not easy to figure out how to chart the right course for yourself.

The questions can sometimes feel overwhelming. Who am I? Who do I want to be? Who can I be? Do I even know who I am or who I could be? Do I see myself clearly? What do I want most? What should I do first? What is the most important? Am I making mistakes? What if my parents don’t accept me as I am? Is it more important to be true to myself or to honor my parents?

You may find yourself worrying about specific issues like the high cost of education, competition in the workplace, uncertainty about the future, the divide between the haves and the have nots, politics, healthcare, money, relationships, and more.

Do you ever find yourself feeling lonely and isolated?

Even though you are connected to more people through social media than prior generations ever knew, you may still be experiencing loneliness and a sense of isolation. You value authenticity but feel unable to share the less-than-perfect moments of your life with friends or family.

Being constantly connected means you are aware of events the moment they happen. As such, you may find yourself feeling hopeless about the fate of the world or your future. If you are disconnected for very long, you might worry about what you are missing. Some young adults and Millenials find themselves feeling constantly on edge, tethered to devices that have the capacity both to activate and to soothe their stress.

Learning to hear and follow your inner wisdom makes navigating these difficult situations much easier.

At Affinity, we see everyone’s value and worth. We use a strengths-based approach to help you feel empowered to answer the questions that plague you and to pursue your unique dreams and goals confidently.

Balancing that out, though, we also know that you are more open to acknowledging that stress and more proactively seeking help for it. Our goal is to help you find your own sense of agency so you can figure out how to make your life work well – for you. When you begin to feel more empowered to chart your own course, the stress level doesn’t feel as crushing as it once did.

When you begin hearing and trusting your inner voice, there is less to worry about, less to stress about, and decisions don’t seem as daunting as they do when you are unsure of which path is right for you. Energy and eagerness to move forward will help you achieve everything you desire when you are able to stop doubting your every move.

Contact us today to set up an appointment. Most young adults and Millenials find it exhilarating when they start to feel alignment between their inner voice and the path they’re following during their life transitions. We can’t wait to see you running more confidently towards a meaningful future!

College Students and Graduate Students

The pressures of pursuing higher education can take a toll on your mental wellbeing.

As a college student or graduate student, it may seem to some like you are a privileged member of society because you have the opportunity to pursue higher education. They may perceive you as being free of the worries that plague those who are working full-time, but you could tell them a thing or two about that.

You worry about doing well in your classes. You worry about how you compare to your peers, who may be your job competition one day. Speaking of that, you worry about getting a good job when you graduate and, now, you worry about a job that will allow you to repay your loans, too. You feel strongly about the education you’re pursuing, but it’s not necessarily reducing your anxiety about the future.

Undergrad and graduate students often aren’t living the college life portrayed in the movies.

The high demands you experience are relentless. There is always more to know and understand about the world. Your workload is larger than any previous generation, and many students are working their way through school at the same time, so there is less space in their lives to relax and rejuvenate. The pressure can even make it can feel difficult to allow yourself to take a break, and when you do rest, you feel guilty for it because the voice in your head says you should have been spending that time working.

You have high expectations of yourself and work every day to achieve them, but your resources are often limited. Has the constant stress from trying to balance work and studies made you anxious, depressed, or feel burnt out?

If you feel that way, you aren’t alone. Research has reported depression and anxiety rates among college students and graduate students that are six times higher than the rates in the general population. Something in the culture and the higher education system is broken. These problems cause you to feel constant stress, which can even interfere with your ability to sleep.

When sleep deprivation and stress are combined, it is more difficult for you to deal with the stress, which can leave you feeling unhappy and depressed at times. This combination also makes you feel less resilient and less able to solve problems that arise. It can rob your day of enjoyment.

While we can’t fix what is broken in the culture and the higher education system for you, we can help you deal with it more effectively. Healthy coping and stress management skills are required to endure the rigors of higher education.

The skills you’ll learn at Affinity provide you with the ability to minimize the amount of stress you experience, so you can work smarter and not harder.

When stress and pressure take up less space in your life, you’ll have more space for other priorities that are important to your overall success and wellbeing. Priorities like restful sleep, meaningful relationships, pleasurable activities, and a sense of satisfaction and pride that you have rightfully earned.

We will help you focus on your strengths so you can use them to help you achieve your goals. You’ll stop borrowing trouble from the future and leave worrying about your first post-grad job until the time when you can take action. You’ll know the difference between an unsolvable problem and a problem that you can’t solve today.

There is much you can do to make college and graduate life less stressful and more enjoyable. You’re likely to think you don’t have time to address the struggles you’re having, but that’s because you’re not factoring in how much easier and faster your work will be when you’re less stressed. Use our online scheduler or contact us to set-up an appointment today.