May 08 2018
Oh, moms. We have such an immense amount of pressure resting so precariously on our shoulders, don’t we? Pressure from ourselves, our partner, our families, society. To be the perfect this, the perfect that, the mom carting her smiling kids off to class after class so that they’re well rounded, good members of society. We run ourselves ragged attending appointments, cleaning, ensuring all the bills are paid on time, stress over finances and budgets, stay up late making sure things are prepared for the following day, counting down the hours of sleep we might get if we fall asleep right NOW. I was on FaceTime with my mom complaining of my exhausting and lack of time to shower for the past 3 days when I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Mind you, I’m a mother of a newborn and a 2 year old, so most days I do feel pressed for time to pay attention to myself, but let me tell you, that is the LAST thing you want to forget about. I realized I hadn’t showered in 2 days, I was wearing the same clothes, that had spit up and various things wiped on it from my toddler, I could smell my BO every time I lifted up one of my babies, yet kept telling myself that I’d shower as soon as they were asleep, only to get caught up in clearing the sink of dirty dishes. Moms, and people everywhere really, STOP! Self care is so incredibly vital for you to continue doing what you do. As mothers, I’m very aware of the judgment that comes with pretty much every move we make. Go out one night, and you’re hearing the backlash saying all you do is party and you’re never with your kids. Go out, and enjoy yourself. Have that extra drink, eat that last mozzarella stick and laugh and joke about completely inappropriate topics, your kids will have a better ‘you’ tomorrow because of it. I let my 2 month old cry it out for 20 minutes while I showered and lathered on my nice lotion, something minor, but also something I usually skip to tend to one of them. And you know what? I’m more relaxed, I smell good, and that 20 min was enough to make me lovingly pick her up and soothe her quickly, whereas 30 min ago I was ready to tear my hair out and hurriedly rock her to stop the screaming. If you’re not taking time for yourself, you WILL burn out, you WILL yell at your kids out of frustration, and your relationships WILL start to deteriorate. For me, I had to humble myself immensely and understand that while I could ‘do it all’ it was leaving me exhausted and empty, and for my kids, myself, and my relationship, I had to accept help, and start pouring into myself again. For me, that first step was seeking professional help. At first, I was embarrassed. I was scared of the stigma that comes with “therapy”. I didn’t want to seem crazy, like I was incapable, or that I was having serious issues. I sought help at church, but felt like I was brushed off and dismissed, to “let god handle that” wasn’t a good enough answer for me. I researched a little more, and found a therapy group called Winter Solstice, that I was willing to try. After my first session with Dr. Renee Winters, I felt motivated, understood, and like I had a plan to move forward and get shit done in my life. I felt for the first time, that I wasn’t the only one going through the hectic ness of life and maybe not coping so well, but, through a few sessions, that began to turn around for me. While I personally, have been going to her for issues with my relationship, her guidance has leaked into all areas of my life. I know many of my mom friends, and family members can relate to things that I’m going through, nothing helped me more than hearing things from an objective, psychological point of view. Therapy isn’t just for crazies or anger management. I want to lift that stigma from seeking help, and talk openly about these things. No one should ever be looked down upon for wanting to better themselves, and hey, we can’t all do it alone. I truly believe that going to counseling, for whatever reason in your life, is the most beneficial thing that you can do for yourself. Finding the right therapist for you is half the battle, and I can’t recommend Dr. Winters enough. I was skeptical and frightened that I was going to be forking out money to sit on a couch and be asked “how I felt about that” over and over again, but was pleasantly surprised to realize that sessions with her were more likened to venting to an old friend, who instead of listened sympathetically and told you what you wanted to hear, offered constructive advice that produced tangible results. Mamas, daddy’s, family member, old coworkers. I implore you to take care of yourselves before all else. Yes, even before those sweet babies. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Oct 17 2017
Check out this awesome video recap of all the fun we had at our latest event, “Me, Myself & I.” There were raffles, live music, guest speakers and even a food truck! We learned all about how to obtain a better, more healthy version of ourselves while enjoying the great weather, food and drink!
Stay tuned for our next event, it’s going to be a good one!!
Also, check out how much fun we had at our last event.
Apr 27 2017
In today’s society, it’s difficult for a woman to feel empowered. We recently held an all women’s event where we discussed the struggles women have in feeling empowered and finding their voice in not only relationships, but in life. We discussed the importance of boundaries, self care/love and just plainly being nice to other women. In the video, I go into detail on the importance of each of these topics.
Boundaries and self-identity
Boundaries are really important. To have a healthy relationship, both partners should know each other’s wants, fears and limits. You should feel comfortable communicating your needs with your partner without worrying about how they will react. Boundaries are important because they make sure that each person’s needs are being met. In relationships it’s important not forget who you are. It’s very easy to morph into your partner and women are notorious for this. This is where boundaries come into play. Boundaries are put in place in order to protect you and your identity. Don’t let anyone get away with crossing one of your boundaries. Know who you are and don’t let anyone change you.
You do you. To be the best version of yourself, you need to be able to take a step back and take care of yourself. Take the time to treat yourself to that new top you’ve been eyeing, that new lipstick shade that came out or those new running shoes. Go get a mani/pedi or a massage or go for that workout you’ve been putting off. The hour or two that you take to yourself when you need it will recharge your batteries in a way you never thought. As women, I know that it is sometimes difficult to be able to justify spending time on yourself, especially if you are a mother. There is always something that needs to get done. However, not taking care of yourself can put you in a worse situation. Your attitude towards things may change and you may find yourself to be less happy. It’s ok to be selfish when you need to be. Showing yourself some love can have everlasting effects and will benefit you and those around you.
Feb 21 2016
As a solution-focused therapist, I can help you tap into your inherent strengths and uncover your true potential. Helping you understand and resolve challenges in your life is my focus
Nov 19 2015
Unfortunately, not every person is successful when it comes to dating, and if you seem to fall into that category, there are some things you can do. Therapy is a great way to find the person of your dreams.
The most important thing to remember when you date is to know yourself. If you don’t have a clue of who you are, maybe it is time for some therapy work. Broken people find broken people. Knowing and loving yourself is imperative if you want to be successful when it comes to dating.
Don’t know a good therapist? Call and schedule an appointment so that you can find the underlying cause of your unsuccessful dating patterns. Dr. Renee Winters is an expert when it comes to dating and can help you come to terms with what you do and do not like about yourself.
Write down a list of qualities that you are looking for in a potential partner. Make sure that you include, “no go’s,” and, “would consider,” traits. Be detailed and concise with your list writing down such things as, “I want him/her to be caring.” Ask yourself what you mean by caring and who you want your potential dating partner to care for or care about. Caring can mean caring for a family member or a four-legged animal member. If you want a potential partner to be caring, it is important that you dialogue with your date to see if he is capable and willing to provide the type of care required to meet your needs.
Date with a List
If you have a habit of getting caught up in the emotional aspect of dating, you need to step back. Feeling a connection, an unbridled passion, sparks, or fireworks does not dictate a strong and healthy relationship. The whimsical romance displayed in movies can lead to disappointment, movies glamourize this attraction. That connection you feel may be purely physical and could quickly fade once you get to know each other better. Always date with your list in hand.
You are searching for someone to share your life with, not a kitten, or a puppy. It is important to stick to your goals and remain true to yourself. Settling for someone because you are afraid to be alone can lead to an emotional roller coaster that can be hard to end. Be picky, after all, marriage is forever.
Understand Dating Rules
Make sure that you understand the dating rules before you head out the door. That way you can make wise and informed choices. There is a right way and a wrong way to conduct you on a date. Know the protocols for each specific date and how to begin and end each of these dates with the right amount of involvement.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Renee Winters who can help you understanding the dating rules more clearly and can help put together an action plan for better dating results.
While on a date if items illuminate that are “no go’s”, politely finish the meal and call the date over. Don’t waste your time with someone who has a “no go”, even if it is the hottest celebrity you know. Again, we are not settling for a puppy, but rather a life mate. Be considerate of feelings, but verbalize clearly that you have no intention of moving forward.
Look for Red Flags
Make sure that you are constantly checking for red flags as your dates progress. Remember, people tend to put their best foot forward at the beginning of a date, therefore there may be underlying red flags that you aren’t seeing. Look for red flags in other areas such as how the person behaves behind the wheel, how he or she treats others, their viewpoints on hot topics, and anything else that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Communication is the key when it comes to any new relationship. If disagreements or arguments enter the picture early, ask yourself why. If your date is argumentive or defensive from the starting gate, it is best to move on. You are not a therapist and delving deeper into reasoning for their bad behavior is not your job in dating.
Dating is a numbers game. Never quit and work through your frustrations. Dating is like fishing. Throw your line back out and wait for the next catch. You never know if “the one” is next on list of potential suitors. If frustration persists, take a time out, catch your breath and go back in with a renewed sense of purpose. What you project out, will land right back in front of you. Date with good energy.
When looking for a life partner, there is no sex in dating until after the 6-7th date. If you want to have sex, find it with someone else, not with a potential life mate. This is a huge rule violation that both men and women struggle with in the dating process that can lead to emotional turmoil and breakup.
Make sure that you always discuss any insecurities or uncertainties with a professional before you consider ending things with your date. Your views may be skewed causing you to say good-bye to your perfect match. Don’t ask your jaded friends, your mother, or your single friends about your potential life partner, as their opinions may not be in your best interest.
If you would like to know more about dating the right way, schedule an appointment with professional psychologist Dr. Renee Winters who can help you find Mr. or Ms. Right. Call or click and schedule your appointment today.
Jan 15 2014
Last week we discussed some of the things that you can do to boost your self-esteem. Most of the tips involved improving yourself from the outside. This week OI want to talk about how you can boost your self-esteem by doing things on the inside.
Some people think that self-esteem has to do with popularity and looks, while others believe that the great body they have been working on for weeks will make them feel better about themselves, and yes, those things can help, but in order to gain self-esteem, you need to appreciate yourself, as much as others do.
Healthy self-esteem is having the ability to know your weaknesses and your strengths. People who take pride in their abilities, understand their accomplishments and faults, but don’t allow those faults to overwhelm the rest of their lives have healthy self-esteem.
Boosting your self-esteem isn’t easy, and it is going to take some practice on your part, especially if you don’t have the tools to heal your self-esteem. A good therapist will be able to work with you to uncover some of the reasons that you think less of yourself than you should.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, blends behavioral therapy with cognitive therapy helping you focus on your problems and the best way to solve them. Behavioral therapy involves focusing on your actions while working together to change unhealthy behavioral patterns. CT focuses on your thought patterns and belief systems. Together you and your therapist will work together to find out how your belief systems and thought patterns may affect your actions and your moods.
In order to boost your self-esteem, your therapist will focus on what your problems are and how best to solve them. Through therapy you can learn how to identify distorted images of yourself and reset those unhealthy patterns by recognizing and changing the way you think the rest of the world sees you. Once you look at yourself in a more positive way, which can be done through therapy, you can begin to say, “I like what I see,” instead of, “I’m so fat,” or, “Nobody will ever love me.”
Of course, all of us don’t perform up to others or our own expectations all the time, but to keep telling yourself that you are a bad person and you cannot do anything is not the solution. If you’ve had a bad moment, bad day, bad week, bad month, or bad year, take the time to acknowledge it and move forward.
The first step to building your self-esteem is easy. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center in order to make a strengths and weaknesses list. On the left side of the paper write, “Weaknesses,” and on the right side, “Strengths,” Make a list of 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses. If you lack self-esteem you will find it difficult to list 10 strengths, but it will force you to dig deep inside in order to find 10 strengths about yourself. If you are still having a tough time coming up with your list of strengths, dig in to your memory banks and try and remember the positive and uplifting comments that people have said to you over the years. Even if your little voice is telling you that it was too small or too stupid to list, put it on there anyway. That time that you helped a dear friend get over a rough patch didn’t go un-noticed. Add it to your list. Once you start thinking about past compliments, you will have no trouble getting all ten on your list, hopefully, even more.
Taking inventory of your self-esteem allows you to see in black and white how much you really aren’t so great at some things, but also shows you that there are just as many things, if not more, that you are really good at.
Next week we will talk about other ways you can improve your self-esteem including adjusting your self-image and setting realistic expectations.
If you have self-esteem issues, relationship problems, or just want to have a healthier mind, body, and spirit, schedule a consultation with your Upland Therapist, Dr. Renee M. Winters.
Jan 07 2014
Self-esteem is something that is instilled in all of us when we are young. Constantly being criticized by your own family, your friends, and society in general tends to wear down even the most confident people. Feelings of low self worth can creep up even in adult hood when an incident can trigger a negative experience from the past.
Low self-esteem can result in a loss of self-confidence making even the simplest decisions impossible. For the next couple of weeks, I’m going to go over some of the things you can do to improve your self-esteem.
Dress up for the Occasion
You are more conscious of your appearance than anyone is and if you find yourself getting a bit too comfy in your jammies it’s time to step it up a bit. Treat yourself to a new pair of jeans or if you spend the majority of your time at home, buy a new pair of yoga pants. Throw out those old sweat pants and put on a new pair of jeans when you head to the grocery store.
Keep it Clean
Your personal appearance includes your hygiene. Bathing, shaving daily, brushing, and flossing, and wearing clean clothes will boost your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself.
It may sound crazy but standing tall exudes self-confidence. Folks who are constantly slumped over give off a lack of self-confidence. Stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. Not only will you feel better, but also you will make a positive impression that will make you feel empowered and alert.
Get Off the Couch
You don’t have to be a work out fanatic to exercise on a regular basis. Find something that you enjoy and stick with it whether it’s a 30-minute walk every day, a 50-lap swim or a row around the lake. When you work out you are doing something to improve the way you look. When you look better, you feel better. It’s also a good way to do something more constructive. When you work out in the morning you feel energized and refreshed making your day much more productive.
Do Unto Others
Give back to the community. Volunteer at your church or local youth club. Help with the food drive or spend Saturdays in the food kitchen. When you give back, you are helping the rest of the world leaving you less time to fester on your personal flaws.
Compliment others and you will begin to break the draining cycle of negativity. When you praise other people, you become likable and that builds self-confidence. When you look for the best in those around you, you will begin to shine.
Well it’s time for another client, but I will be back next week for part two of, “How to Improve Your Self Esteem without pulling your Hair Out.” In the meantime, if you are unsure about anything in your life, come in and talk to me. I’m in Upland and ready to take your call or answer your email.
Jun 24 2013
For most couples the day that they said, “I do,” marked the beginning of happily ever after, but life isn’t a fairy tale, and if you and your partner are finding it tough to get along there are some things that you can do to improve your relationship.
Always Look At the Bright Side
Instead of pointing out all of the negatives that annoy you about your spouse or partner, try saying positive things. Don’t complain when he doesn’t throw his clothes in the hamper, instead, compliment him on cleaning out the dishwasher or tidying up the bathroom. Make it a habit to say one nice thing every morning when you wake up. Before you know it those things that you found so annoying could become a thing of the past.
Create a Plan
Money can cause real problems in a relationship, in fact, it is one of the main reasons couples end up in divorce court. Married couples and partners who live together will often fight about how they spend their money and will usually wake up one day finding themselves in debt. If you talk about your finances and create a budget and spending plan, the two of you are less likely to fight about money helping to eliminate future conflicts when it comes to finances.
Four Tips That Can Help Your Marriage
It Takes Two
Often times it is difficult to get used to the term, “We,” especially if you have been on your own for a while. When you are in a committed relationship it is important to remember that you are a couple and using the word, “We,” instead of, “You,” is vital especially during an argument. If the two of you are disagreeing about communication don’t say, “You need to talk,” instead tell him or her that, “We need to talk.” When you are in a relationship, you must look at you and your partner as a whole instead of separate entities.
Sharing is Caring
When the two of you learn to communicate with each other on a daily basis, you are becoming more intimate with each other. Couples who have been married for decades will gladly tell you that they know everything about one another. When you and your partner share your wishes, dreams, and daily thoughts, you both feel included and the bond that you have will begin to grown. When you share with each other, it helps to reinforce the trust that you have and will create a solid foundation for communication.
Of course, not every partnership can survive without the help of a professional. If your relationship is in trouble and you are both ready to call it quits, it may be time to talk to a qualified therapist.
Jun 15 2013
The Truth about Forgiveness
Unfortunately, some people find it impossible to forgive, but when you have a coach that is with you every step of the way, it makes it much easier to move forward with your life and forget the past.
When you forgive it really is the only way that you can resolve those deep feelings of guilt, resentment or anger, whether you are trying to forgive someone else, or forgive yourself. By holding on to those feelings, you are unable to establish close relationships, pursue a degree, or go for that promotion. The inability to forgive could even cause problems with your family.
Unresolved resentment and anger can also contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, digestive problems and even heart disease.
A good life coach will tell you that it is best to deal with any issues that you have regarding forgiveness as soon as possible. Most people know someone who has carried anger with them for days, weeks, months, and even years, and sadly, some of those same people take those issues to the grave. Unfortunately some people will carry that anger toward someone who has passed away never being able to forgive them for something that happened decades ago.
If you want to help yourself forgive, the first thing you need to do is to understand what happened in the first place. A good start would be to write a letter to the person, even if it is yourself, whether dead or alive, about the behaviors that you found unforgivable. You will not have a tough time doing this because those issues will continue to haunt you whether consciously or subconsciously. This letter will not be sent and is just a way for you to voice your emotions and get the pain out.
After you have written your letter, take some time to reconsider everything that happened from the other person’s viewpoint. Although this may be excruciatingly difficult, it is a good way to figure out what it is like to be the other person. Ask yourself what it was that made the other person so angry or what led to their actions that hurt you so bad. What was it that triggered those behaviors?
The letter that you write is a tool that will help you see past the hurt. Human nature may make this difficult to do, but by letting go of the anger or hurt you can get past the fear of being hurt again. When you push past the hurt, you push past the fear.
People who are unable to forgive actually experience a sense of power, giving them a sense of being the righteous one. By forgiving someone, you are letting go of the power and accepting your own responsibility. This could be a hard thing to do, but when you forgive, you are also liberating yourself. Playing the victim is comforting, but will eventually limit your abilities to grow.
Forgiving someone or yourself completely is a challenge and that challenge demands your complete honesty to the other party, and to yourself. Regardless of your age, it is time to deal with others and grow up.
You will know when forgiveness has taken place because the love has been restored, for yourself, and for the other person. Once you have buried the hatchet you can learn and move forward. When you forgive, you heal. It’s never easy, but it is vital if you want to lead a healthy and happy life.