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Filtering by Tag: family drama


Emily Porta

I admit, I have been a little quiet around here but I don't like writing unless it comes from the heart and is something I think you could use. I am sure you are reading all sorts of things about the holidays - how to manage your time, eat healthy, have boundaries with family, be grateful - the list goes on and on. So here is my contribution to the holiday blog roll.

Do you ever recollect a time when things were joyful? It's that feeling of nostalgia. We all have it at some point but particularly during the holidays.  I know I remember as a kid how easy the holidays were and now with my own child - sometimes it feels like a lot to keep track of. (That in part is my own doing, I know..)

Here's the thing I want you to know. Nostalgia isn't reality. It is a memory, looked upon through many filters of your experience. In other words, it can be a little distorted. And while I love looking back, it can make being present very very difficult. And I have been one to use nostalgia to keep me stuck in sadness. It can be used as almost a self abuse. When end up resisting acceptance of our current place in time by longing for something that is no more, we have no where to turn but our memories. Yes, remember, be thankful and learn from our past. But our past memories no longer need to be a marker for what we have and are now. 

So this season, may you find a new way of being in the holidays and doing things in the holidays. Now is the time for new traditions and discoveries. Take the nostalgia and carry on in your life. Enjoy what is.


Emily Porta

Oh the holidays are here and my oh my how we can get distracted. Typically for therapists, this is the slower time of year as people are busy with travel and family plans. Then come January, the flood of new calls come in as the realization for needing help is awakened. During this time you can read a lot of blogs about how to cope with the holidays. Holidays can be STRESSFUL! And what is more stressful is how we don't let anybody else know what is going on with us. We put on a smile and "get through it." So this week we have Thanksgiving coming up. One of the many distractions that we use to cope with stress is eating. When we are with our families or if we are alone we may have an intensity in our emotions that we aren't used to feeling. So, we reach for some more food, zone out in front of the tv and just "get through it." Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of our emotions, not judge them, just acknowledge them. It is in this awareness that we then can cope. If you don't name it, you can't deal with it. I find that as I say to myself, "ok, I am annoyed at my aunt so and so right now," the compulsion to reach for more food diminishes. Yes, distractions are fun sometimes and seem to work in the moment. But like I said, my phone rings off the hook in January after some of the distractions are gone. The distractions don't work. They just put off what we need to deal with to be whole again. So this week, whatever your situation, just take a moment, breathe and say what you are feeling or thinking. 

I was planning to do that...

Emily Porta

I decided to write a blog and noticed that...ahh! it has been a month since the last time I blogged! What? How did this happen? Where did the time go?

Ever notice yourself saying this same thing to well intended plans? I think this happens to us a lot and intentions get lost in the day to day of living. It was a nice reminder to me to continue practicing intentional living. All this means is to be mindful or aware of my thoughts, feelings, behaviors and choices. 

Have you been intending on starting therapy? What is stopping you? Why wait? Trust me. I see people that come to me years after an issue started, stating "I meant to come sooner, but I thought it would get better or go away." So like my blog, instead of expecting it to write itself, I just decided to share my thoughts right now. No need to put it off. Let go of shame or fear and trust what you want to do that is good for you!

Best wishes as your intentions become reality!

Is your holiday not so merry?

Emily Porta

The turkey has been gobbled and the shops have had their busiest day of the year. The air feels crisp and there are fanciful decorations all around. This should put you in the holiday spirit, right? Actually for a lot of us, the holidays are difficult, emotionally overwhelming, and something we just try to get through. Being around family can bring up old wounds and conflicts. We also might reminisce and grief further the losses of those that are not with us to celebrate any longer. Here are some tips to do more than just survive the season.

1. Give yourself some space - It is ok to be alone sometimes. Plan it and do something nice for yourself. Read that book that you have been meaning to get to, take a long bath, get in the kitchen an bake something, or rent your favorite DVD.

2. Give back - When we serve and show compassion to others, it draws us out of our pain and helps us to not feel so alone. There are lots of opportunities this time of year to donate your time and resources to those in need.

3. Surround yourself with goodness - There might be someone in your life that it is hard to be around. This is the time to set a boundary and surround yourself with people that are supportive instead. If you feel like you don't have someone to lean on, find other goodness in your life. This can be time for meditation, eating a favorite meal, watching something funny, or going for a beautiful hike. Practicing the art of appreciation can lift your mood and brighten your perspective.

4. Balance your mind - Yep, somedays are going to be better than others. But remember, this is not the movies, life isn't perfect and that is ok because the pain is temporary and isn't all encompassing. There is some good, some bad, and some neutral. When you start to despair, balance the thought with something that is positive and acknowledge that they both can exist in the same space. The more you fight to not feel the more tension arises in your body and mind. This can be exhausted. Work to find the lightness in your heart.

These are just a few quick ways to cope with the holidays. Call me if you want to talk more about ways you can cope 714.390.1652

May you find meaning in this season- meaning in the pain and the joy.