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Thanks to the numerous and much needed campaigns against social stigma, the word “therapy” doesn’t hold the same negative connotations that it once did for people. In fact, caring for your mental health is considered as just an imperative of an approach as caring for your physical wellbeing.

When it comes to therapy, there are different branches of it to explore. Some turn to it for grief counseling, while others seek help due to anxiety and stress. For some it is the answer to behavioral changes, for others it is a moment of self-reflection. These days, one can also even go online to places like Regain.us to get the help one needs.

Whatever the objective might be, it does help people in achieving their goals in all walks of life.

Even if the goals are to keep a family stay happy and healthy together.

What is Family Counseling?

As the name suggests, family counseling is targeted therapy that caters to issues which affect a family as a whole. Some of these issues include but are not limited to a family member’s addiction to substances; parents going through divorce; or a child/adolescent going through unruly behavior.

The conflicts and stressful situations that can result out of such an issue are often addressed through family counseling.

What Happens During Family Counseling?

In the typical model of therapy, individuals have to attend separate sessions to address their issues. But in family counseling, these sessions are usually held with all of the concerned family members being present in them.

For instance, if the issues are between partners or married couples, then only the two of them attend the session. If the issues have to be discussed between the whole family, then siblings or kids join the session along with their parents or other family members.

From there, a licensed therapist or qualified counselor takes the responsibility to lay out the issue at hand for everyone to discuss, and determine a resolution accordingly.

For instance, if an issue such as addiction involves one single person, then the family counseling is targeted at how the person feels and how other family members could support them. If the issue involves the whole family, such as the parents going through a divorce, then the problem is discussed in how the family could support each other and especially the children through the troubling time.

This same notion applies to matters of grief, bereavement, or other conflicts.

When to Seek Family Counseling?

Even with its clear approach, it could often be difficult to determine when and how you need family counseling. But by knowing the signs, you can seek help in a timely manner.

Typically, the first few signs of needing family counseling are:

  • When your family is going through constant conflict.
  • When your children are acting out for one reason or another.
  • When you and your partner are going through separation or divorce.
  • When your family go through the death of a family member, or has suffered a loss of any kind.
  • When a family member is going through addiction.
  • When a family member is having behavioral, physical, or mental health issues.

It is important to remember that while these are the most common signs to seek out help in the form of family counseling, they are not set in stone. If your family is going through any issues that you think may be resolved with qualified help, then reach out and seek professional help.

Remember, the harmful myths about therapy are just that, myths without any substantial proof. Therapy can actually help your family go through difficult issues in a healthy and safe manner.

The key is to shake off the stigma of therapy and seek help when you need it the most. It could save your family from falling apart, and have all of you come out at the other end stronger than ever.

Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to prepare your home, car, and kids. Make sure you load up on ingredients for winter meals and plenty of hot cocoa. Let’s look at a few tips to make winter easier for you and your family.

Keep the Heat In

Winter gets cold, so make sure your heater is in top working order. Schedule a professional maintenance check and avoid costly breakdowns later in the season. It’s also a good time to change out your air filter. A fresh filter ensures that your HVAC system traps the dust and irritants that cause runny noses and coughs.

The south side of your home gets the most sun in the winter, so open the drapes or blinds on that side. At night, close all drapes and blinds to insulate against the cold window glass. Don’t leave kitchen or bath exhaust fans running for extended periods of time. Turn them off when you’re done. Check your vents and make sure nothing like furniture, carpeting, or drapes is blocking the warm air coming into the room.

Stock Essential Supplies

Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients to make soups and stews. There’s nothing like a hot meal to warm the body on a chilly day. Use spices, herbs, and root vegetables to flavor your winter recipes. While you’re at it, stock up on the supplies you need in case a winter storm downs the power lines.

Some food items to keep on hand include bottled water, peanut butter, canned juices, crackers, bread, and baby food if you have a young child. Also, carrots, squash, apples, raisins, and nuts stay fresh a long time. Keep apples in the fridge for up to a month. Other items important during electrical outages include:

  • Diapers
  • Pet food
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Extra blankets
  • Jugs of water
  • Salt and sand to spread on driveways and sidewalks
  • Medication supplies to last several days
  • First-aid kit
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio and clock
  • Cellphone

Keep emergency supplies in your car too in case you get stranded. Check your antifreeze levels, battery, and tires. Always carry jumper cables, small shovels, an ice scraper, and flares in your car.

Bundle up in Layers

Winter means warm clothes, and nothing keeps you warmer better than layers. Make sure your children wear several layers, like t-shirts, sweaters, and jackets, during cold snaps. A good rule for youngsters is to add one more layer than you wear yourself. Keep plenty of hats, gloves, and scarves on hand for bundling up. If you live in an area that expects snow, make sure your family members all have snow boots.

Before the first snowfall, buy a sled. The plastic ones are inexpensive and offer hours of fun for kids and adults. Also, keep plenty of board games on hand and extra batteries for electronic games in anticipation of days when staying indoors is your only choice. Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. If you’re shivering, it’s time to go in.

Follow these tips, and remember to bundle up and stay safe this winter.

Kids clothes can easily take over your life if you’re not careful. When your baby is born, your friends all want to shower you with gifts and it brings them great delight to buy your baby clothes. The clothes are cute because they’re miniature and your friends are so thoughtful and generous that the mass of kids clothes acquired soon becomes more than you can bear to dig yourself out from under. Laundry becomes a torturous task that seems to take over your life. 

You spend your days laundering and folding kids clothes, only to find that when you go the put the clothes away, the drawers and closets are overflowing and things are hard to put away. “I’ll just leave this right here on the table for now. I’ll have to go through her drawers to make some room later,” you think. Been there, done that! What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? 

Here are my top three tips for simplifying your child’s wardrobe.

1)      Throw things in the trash. Maybe a harsh first point, but going through your kids’ clothes and tossing anything that is ripped or stained beyond repair is a great first step in simplifying their wardrobe. They probably aren’t wearing these clothes anyway and that makes this an easy place to start.

2)      Pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now. Ever had the battle over the too-small pair of pants at the last minute while you’re trying to get everyone dressed and out the door? Eliminate the struggle and remove things from their drawers and closets that don’t currently fit. Store seasonal clothes in bins and donate or pass down to younger siblings clothes that no longer fit. This will give you a bunch of space to work with and it will also show you exactly how many of each item you have. I did this recently and found that my daughter had 33 tops in her drawer. Many of them didn’t fit and taking them out left us with so much room!

3)      Fill in the gaps – Capsule Wardrobe. Does a capsule wardrobe intimidate you as it did me? Don’t be afraid to give it a shot. You can do as many or as few pieces in a capsule wardrobe. The key is that all the pieces can be worn together. After you throw away all the ripped and stained items and pull out anything that doesn’t fit right now, you’ll be able to better assess what your child needs. Don’t skip those first two steps! They’re essential to getting the capsule right the first time.

These are my top tips for simplifying a child’s wardrobe, but it could work in an adult’s closet too! Tell me – are you a clothing minimalist or do you love to shop and buy?

It’s something that nobody wants to talk about but like it or not, you will get older.

On the plus side, today isn’t the day that we’re about to remind you about the bulging belly and grey hairs that are often associated with aging (although these by no means happen to everyone – the former is a common myth in fact).

Instead, today is all about finances. It might be a seemingly boring topic, but in relation to aging it can also prove to be quite popular. As you’ll soon find out, as you age you will meet your fair share of financial surprises but contrary to popular belief, they’re not all bad.

Surprise #1 – You might earn more

Today isn’t the day that we’re going to bang on about pensions. Instead, it’s about how much MORE you could earn when you get older.

The prospect of retirement can be fun if you anticipate relaxing days spent on sunny beaches, but if you have concerns about potential debt and the general difficulties of living on a fixed income the prospect of retirement can suddenly become scary. A reverse mortgage lender can alleviate many of those concerns by providing you with a non-traditional form of loan designed just for retired individuals. Under the loan terms you can borrow money against the value of your home and pay it back at your leisure using a reverse-loan calculator you can find out exactly how much you’ll be getting per month. No full repayment will be required as long as your primary residence continues to be the home in question and you will continue to be the homeowner for the duration of the loan.

Sure, your pension might aid in this process, but this surprise is probably going to apply to those of you who are still working. This is because studies have found that 90% of over 50s are actually classed as “happy” in their job role. This is mainly due to the fact they have reached their career goals and are regarded as an expert.

As we all know, a happy worker tends to be a motivated one. The domino effect of this is that pay rises and promotions are still on the table – with many people also taking on extra freelance work to supplement the coppers some more.

Surprise #2 – You will probably have to provide for your children even after they fly the nest

We all know the cost of raising children – it spans into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

This figure is seemingly on the rise though. More and more parents are helping out with a house deposit for their kids, for the simple fact that it’s otherwise unaffordable.

It doesn’t stop at bricks and mortar though – it can stretch as far as funerals and elderly care. In relation to the former, many people feel as though it’s better to pay “today’s rate” with a pre-paid funeral plan, to ensure that the family doesn’t have a huge bill. Then, with elderly care, it’s been all over the news over recent times how expensive this is – and it’s not getting any cheaper.

Surprise #3 – You might have more financial flexibility

The final surprise is another pleasant one; you’ll probably have slightly more financial flexibility than you once thought. We’re mainly referring to refinancing and if you need a quick boost of cash, mortgaging is most definitely possible. In fact, it’s something that’s come on leaps and bounds over recent years and while banks may have once been reluctant to loan to the elderly, this is no longer the case. Of course, there are limits, but these are higher than they once were which just carves a few more avenues to those of you who might want to make that luxury purchase.