It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Erin Wiley: Erin Wiley, MA, LPCC, is a clinical psychotherapist and the Executive Director of The Willow Center, a counseling practice in Toledo, Ohio. She leads a team of 20 other therapists in their goal of meeting the counseling needs of the people and families of Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan, in addition to clients state-wide through...
Erin Wiley: Erin Wiley, MA, LPCC, is a clinical psychotherapist and the Executive Director of The Willow Center, a counseling practice in Toledo, Ohio. She leads a team of 20 other therapists in their goal of meeting the counseling needs of the people and families of Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan, in addition to clients state-wide through telehealth. The clinical focus of her therapy work is marriage, family, parenting, and relationships. She has extensive training in marriage counseling from the Gottman Institute, located in Seattle, Washington. Her most recent area of research involves the study of the management and regulation of emotion as it pertains to mental health. Visit: https://erin-wiley.com/
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5 Tips to Cope with Grief during Pandemic

daughter-from-outside-bringing-flowers-to-mother-standing-on-the-of-picture-id1214138943 5 Tips to Cope with Grief during Pandemic

Permission to Grieve is Granted

This pandemic has stirred up many emotions from hope in seeing our healthcare and essential workers on the front line, to despair for the deaths and rising cases, to fear over loss of employment, to anxiety for handling the daily updates and home situation, to an even more prevalent one – grief.

During the pandemic, I wholeheartedly believe and affirm that grief is a natural emotion people are feeling for various reasons and one that is justified. Right now, the grief I am seeing in my therapy patients ranges from disappointment and sadness to frustration and anger. People are disappointed by having to reschedule events like weddings, sad about not being able to see family members, frustrated by losing out on once-in-a lifetime events, and angry from the lack of control and unfairness of it all.

The biggest grief reactions I am witnessing are connected to the loss of major events, particularly funerals because of the inability for family members to give their loved one the proper goodbye they wanted. While you can hold a memorial at a later date, there are no do-overs for a funeral.

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Ways to Strengthen Marriages & Partnerships during COVID-19

young-smiling-multi-ethnic-couple-exercising-together-at-home-picture-id1204708812 Ways to Strengthen Marriages & Partnerships during COVID-19

Due to the pandemic, couples are finding they have more time together. Working from home, a lack of late-night meetings, a reduction in travel – all of these combined have meant more time to connect with our significant others. People who are intentional to use this time wisely are shutting off their television at night and working to create greater intimacy with their partner. Meaningful conversation, working together on projects around the house, making meals together, playing games, and having intimate romantic connection are all ways to use this time to benefit your relationship.

When children are involved there’s a secondary layer of stress added. Couples need to remember that this is a time of great stress, and that their (and their partner’s) reaction to everything is likely to be heightened.

It is not uncommon for relationships to struggle under the strain of the pandemic, the economy, general stress of life, knowing how and when to reengage in society safely, loss of jobs, homeschooling and more. However, I believe there are ways to keep relationships strong and healthy during these times. Rather than simply survive this crisis, I advise couples to use this as an opportunity to grow in deeper connection with each other.

Here are 6 tips to strengthen relationships with significant others:

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Tips to Create & Maintain Healthy Mental Health Habits Vital during COVID-19

homeoffice Tips to Create & Maintain Healthy Mental Health Habits Vital during COVID-19

With the recent mandates to maintain social isolation, people are more stressed than ever before. Anxiety and panic are plaguing people who have previously managed stress with ease. Marriages that were stressed are now straining under the weight of so much “togetherness”. Professionals are trying to find ways to manage a new normal as they work to create workspaces in their homes, sometimes with kids around. Parents are trying to tackle the rigors of homeschooling. People living on their own are feeling isolated and lonely.

Being under stay-at-home orders provides an opportunity to focus on embracing simple disciplines that can change our health and happiness for the long haul. Refuse to get stuck in the traps of social distancing: staying up late, consuming too much food, alcohol, television and social media, sleeping in, and letting the day go by without a structured plan or schedule. By throwing all discipline out the window in a stressful time, you lose a unique opportunity to trade unhealthy habits for healthy ones that could change the trajectory of your life for the better.

By adopting healthy coping skills, people can find greater contentment and peace. Creating and implementing new schedules or sticking to familiar routines can give people a sense of stability and security, thus reducing anxiety. Finding ways to connect with others in meaningful ways electronically can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, thus reducing depression symptoms. Practicing mindfulness can lead us to feeling grateful and encourage greater levels of happiness.

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