How Healthy Is My Relationship? Take this quiz and find out.

How healthy is my relationship? It’s an important question and a good one to ask yourself regularly.

Long-term relationships start strong but without regular tending they can weaken over time. Much like managing your apps on your phone or keeping your status fresh on Facebook, it is important to always be checking your relationship for updates.

Healthy relationships are important to a healthy life so yourself regularly How healthy is my relationship?

So, what questions do you need to ask? Let me suggest the following:

#1 – Can you talk about anything?

Being able to talk about anything is the key to a healthy relationship.

Can you tell your partner when you don’t like something that he does? Or that seeing his mother EVERY Sunday is more than you would like? Or that you really don’t like extra sausage on your pizza? Or that that thing he likes to do in bed is just a little bit much for you?

Being able to be honest with your partner about everything in your life and relationship is a key to keeping it healthy.

#2 – Do you enjoy the sex?

Having a healthy sex life is an important part of every healthy relationship.

If your sex life is something that you just put up with, don’t really enjoy, or even dread, then it’s time to act.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and figure out together how to make things work for both of you.

#3 – Do you like each other’s friends and family?

Liking each other’s friends and family is another really important part of a healthy relationship.

Like it or not, when someone becomes part of a couple their partner’s previous relationships come along too. And if you don’t get along with his friends and family it can cause a huge rift. He will want to spend time with all of you and if he is forced to choose he will resent it.

So check in to see if you are both on board with liking each other’s friends. It’s important that you do.

#4 – Do you respect each other?

Of course it’s important to like and love the person with whom you are in a relationship. What is even more important is that you respect them.

If you are in a relationship with someone who you can’t respect, for whatever reason, who you regularly are critical of and treat with contempt then you are not in a healthy relationship.

Respecting the person you are with, respecting the choices that they make, the values they uphold, the way they are in the world, is an essential part of being happy together.

#5 – Do you laugh and have fun together?

Laughter is the number one aphrodisiac that I know of. People who can laugh together, often, will stay more attached, emotionally and physically, then those who don’t.

Do you and your partner laugh together and have fun together. Do you laugh often, even in times of stress? Do you like to do the same things? The things that make you happy? Do you have inside jokes that only you share?

Make sure that you and your partner enjoy life together. You will be glad you did!

#6 – Do you want to spend time together?

This is a big one. Do you and your partner actually make an effort to spend time together? Or do you make excuses to not have to do so?

A client of mine would come up with every excuse in the world to not spend time with her husband and volunteering at the kid’s school was a great way to do that.

Guess what! He found someone else, someone who wanted to spend time with him.

#7 – Do you feel good about yourself?

Feeling good about yourself is key to a healthy relationship.

If you don’t feel good about who you are in the world, if you don’t feel like you need someone to ‘complete you,’ if you know that you will be just fine alone, then you are in a place to have a healthy relationship.

People who are needy or clingy or fraught with insecurities do not make good partners. So take care of yourself and be all that you can be so that you can be a contributing half of a healthy relationship.

#8- Do you have plans for the future together?

People in healthy relationships share their plans for the future.

They think about tomorrow, next week, next month and even next year.

They do so because they are invested in being together and part of being together is making plans for the future.

If either one of you isn’t interested in talking about the future then you are not in a relationship that has one.

# 9 – Do you know each other’s love language?

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages speaks to the belief that everyone has a way that they express and receive love and that everyone’s language is different. And, often, people express love in the ways that THEY want to be loved as opposed to in ways their partners want to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry but our partner might feel loved when we do a chore for them. So if we give them a piece of jewelry they won’t feel loved, even if we might, but if we take out the trash then all is good.

Does that make sense? Check out The 5 Love Languages here for more information. Everyone just wants to be loved.

So how did you do on my questionnaire?

Can you answer the question How healthy is my relationship? in an affirmative way?

If yes, YAY!

If no, make an effort to tweak the things that seem a bit off and see if you can bring your relationship around to a healthier place.

Make an effort to communicate. Make sure your sex life is good. Enjoy life and each other’s friends and families. Respect each other and plan together. And read more about the 5 Love Languages. They always help!

So get to work NOW! Make your relationship a healthy one…

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

Are You Productive? Find Out By Answering These 5 Questions

Are you productive? Do you find yourself struggling every day to get everything done that you need to get done and still have some time left for yourself?

Do you wonder if you just don’t have enough time or if you waste the time that you do have?

There are 5 questions that you should ask yourself if you are wondering if you are productive.

#1 – How much time do you spend on your screen?

Cell phones, pads and computers have taken over our lives and they are the number one cause of lack of productivity.

Have you heard of the term “screen suck?” It means the time that we spend on our computer when we don’t mean to. Like when you go on to ‘quickly check your email’ and end up still on an hour later having watched too many cute animal videos.

Being sucked into our screen kills productivity.

So how much time do you spend in in front of your screen? If it’s more than hour, spent surfing instead of getting work done, your productivity is probably lagging.

#2 – Do you have a ‘To-Do’ list?

The most productive people have a list of things that need to get done.

As much as we would all like to believe that we can maintain a running list to-do in our head, it is almost impossible to do so.

Between work and family and social life and work there are so many things that need to get done and to get them done you must keep track of them.

So, if you don’t have an ongoing list, one that prioritizes things that need to get done, you most likely aren’t as productive as you could be.

#3 – Can you say NO?

You know when that mom approaches you at pick-up time and asks if you would mind running the annual school auction? Or when your boss asks you to take over yet another project? How good are you at saying NO?

The most productive people know how many hours they have available in the day and are strong enough to say NO instead of adding one more thing to their already heavy load.

On top of being less productive, when you take on too many things you also become less effective. You can’t do the things you take on as well as you might because you just can’t devote the mental and physical energy needed to do it.

So learn to say NO! Your productivity will increase immediately if you do.

#4 – Can you ask for help?

The most productive people in the world are NOT the people who try to do it all themselves. The most productive people in the world are the ones who are willing to delegate and share tasks to get things done efficiently.

Do you need to do everything in order to get that new project completed on time or are there people you can ask to support you in this endeavor?

Can you take on that school auction and still keep your household running well or might it be a good idea to get someone in to clean your house a couple of times a month?

In this world it’s almost a badge of honor to be so busy that you barely sleep and feel constantly overwhelmed. But the most productive people don’t wear that badge. They know that by asking for help they will be more efficient and effective in their endeavors and not struggle with being overwhelmed and exhausted.

#5 – Are you taking care of yourself?

Being a productive person in the world depends a lot on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you are someone who never gets enough sleep, doesn’t eat well or struggles with depression being productive will be challenging.

To be productive you need to have mental clarity and physical stamina. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, take a walk and pay attention to your mental health.

If you do you will be well fortified in your efforts to be productive.

So, after asking yourself those questions, what is the answer? Are you productive?

If not, then follow my suggestions.

Limit your screen time, make a list, learn to say no, to ask for help and take care of your physical and mental health.

This is a jam-packed, chaotic and exhausting world that we live in but you can make your little corner of it less so by managing your habits so that you can be productive.

Imagine going to bed at night with most of the things on your list crossed off? How great would that feel?

So go for it! Change those habits and answer YES to the question ‘Are you productive?’

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

What It Means When You’re Feeling Depressed But Nothing Is Wrong (And What to Do About It)

Have you recently been feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?

I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.

This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it, and I was. Until I wasn’t.

One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.

A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with clinical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.

That day changed my life.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be clinically depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.

So what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions.

#1 – Ask yourself a few questions.

A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are clinically depressed is to ask yourself some questions. They are:

  • Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Are you more irritable than usual?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
  • Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
  • Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
  • Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
  • Are you more anxious than you used to be?
  • Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
  • Do you have a hard time focusing?
  • Do you think about committing suicide?
  • Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches.

If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions you might be struggling with clinical depression.

#2 – See your primary care doctor immediately.

If you are feeling depressed and nothing is wrong It is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.

Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.

Either way, see you doctor right away.

#3 – Stick to whatever regimen the doctor prescribes.

This is a key part of dealing with clinical depression.

What often happens is that a doctor prescribes a medication to help someone manage their depression and then once they are feeling better they stop taking it. And what happens next? The depression comes back.

So stick to your treatment. Continue to take your meds. Just like you would if your doctor had prescribed meds to help you with a thyroid issue. Or diabetes.

#4 – Surround yourself with people who love you.

Many people who suffer from clinical depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family. Making the effort to spend time with people and to pretend to enjoy themselves is just too much. So they don’t.

Make an effort to get yourself out there and spend time with people who love you. Spending time with people who make you laugh, who keep you out of your head and make you feel good about yourself is very important to managing your clinical depression.

#5 – Don’t be embarrassed.

Many people who are diagnosed with clinical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up.” That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.

Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can ‘suck it up.’ You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head on.

Clinical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease.

Clinical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong? Luckily more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma about mental illness.

So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Clinical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong then you may be struggling with clinical depression.

The best way to deal with it is to get yourself to see your doctor right away and then stick with the medical treatment they prescribe. Also make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who love you.

You, like millions of other women, can have a full and happy life living with clinical depression. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call your doctor.

Do it TODAY!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Emotional Skills Women In The Best Relationships Have Mastered

I think that most women would say that being in a great relationship is a priority in their life and yet many women struggle with the skills necessary to maintain such a relationship.

There are 5 keys skills that all women need to master, skills that will allow them to have a great relationship and succeed in other areas of their life.

#1 – Believing in oneself.

This is the most basic skill that a woman must possess to be in the best relationship. Because if a woman doesn’t have a good relationship with herself she will never be able to have a good relationship with others.

Women who don’t believe in themselves look to others to ‘complete them.’ They aren’t confident in their ability to make their way in the world alone and think that without a mate they will never be able to do so.

This lack of self confidence puts an incredible amount of pressure on a partner, to expect them to carry the one they love. Most people are working hard to carry themselves through life and having to carry another is a burden that is often too much to bear. And the relationship fails.

So work hard to believe in yourself. Have your own life and friends and a job that feeds your soul and your self-confidence. Carry your own weight in the world and you will be a good partner in a relationship.

#2 – Being willing and able to communicate.

Communication is essential in every relationship. Without it a relationship is doomed.

Being able to talk to your partner about everything, both the good and the bad, is a key skill to have in a good relationship. If you aren’t able to tell your partner that you love them or appreciate them then you won’t be able to reach the closeness that you desire.

And if you can’t tell your partner that they have hurt you or that you are angry with them, and instead internalize your emotions, then your relationship will fail.

So work hard at developing good communication skills. Make an effort to verbalize your feelings, both good and bad. Tell your partner that you love them every day. Make sure that if something is amiss you talk about it before it grows into something big and destructive.

You will be glad you did.

#3 – The ability to be alone.

Maybe women struggle with being alone. Alone in their home, alone out in the world, alone.

A key part of being in a good relationship is the ability to be happy alone.

Once again, the need to rely on someone else for your happiness and ease can be very destructive in a relationship. If any time that your partner needs to do something without you you get clingy and needy then you will push your partner away.

Make an effort to learn how to be alone. Develop hobbies that you can do when your partner is away. Make plans with friends. Don’t rely on your partner to keep you feeling happy and secure.

Because if you don’t do so you will find yourself alone, permanently.

#4 – Being willing to talk about sex.

For whatever reason many women struggle with being able to talk about sex. And sex is a very important part of a good relationship.

What do I mean by the ability to talk about sex? I mean the ability to communicate with your partner how you feel about the sexual part of your relationship. If you are struggling with some aspect of it or particularly enjoy another.

Sex issues can wreak havoc in a good relationship and if partners aren’t honest about how they are feeling the issues will snowball.

On the other hand, the ability to talk about the good parts of your sex life can only make it better. Being able to tell your partner what you like not only enhances your pleasure but talking about it outside of bed is really, really fun!

So make an effort to share your feelings about sex with your partner. And I can guarantee you if you tell your partner what you like about what he is doing he will happy to accommodate you whenever you want him to.

#5 – Being honest.

No relationship of any kind can survive without honesty.

Why? Because honesty is the basis of trust and without trust a relationship simply can’t succeed.

It is essential that you are honest with your partner about everything, from the small and inconsequential to the very important, scary stuff.

If you don’t like the way he slurps his coffee to the point that you don’t want to drink coffee with him, tell him. If you don’t like that you have to spend every Sunday morning with his parents, tell him.

Because if you are honest with your partner you can work together to resolve an issue. If you don’t tell the truth then the issue will be left to fester and the relationship will founder.

So tell the truth. Let your partner know that they can rely on you to be honest with them about issues in your relationships. And if you do they will respond in kind.

And you will live happily every after!

Being in a good relationship is a wonderful thing and something that is attainable for every women.

Work every day to develop and perfect the skills necessary to keep your relationship healthy and strong.

Believe in yourself, talk about how you are feelings, be okay with being alone, talk about sex and always be honest. These skills will get your far in your relationship, and in your life.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

The Most Meaningful Career Success Advice For Women

A client recently asked me what was the best career success advice for women that I could share with her.

She was a young woman in her mid-20s and just starting out. I have had 30 years out in the work world and she wanted my insight.

After some reflection, I realized that there are 5 pieces of career success advice that I would give any young women as she takes on the crazy world of career building.

#1 – Be self-aware.

The most important part of career success is to know who you are and what you want to do.

Many of us just fall into jobs. Our parents encourage us in one direction, our friends in another. Or perhaps we decide to take a job just because it pays well. Sometimes we take a job thinking that it will be temporary while we figure out what we really want to do.

And then we find ourselves stuck. Stuck in a job that we hate.

Let me tell you that if you don’t have a job that you LOVE you will have a hard time achieving career success.

Take the time before you embark on your career search to examine what you want to be doing for the rest of your life by asking yourself a few questions:

What are your best skills and the ones you most enjoy doing?
What kinds of work interests you the most?
How important is making a lot of money?
Do you feel like you want to help change the world?
How important is work/life balance?

Once you have the answers to these questions you can start your job search with a clear vision of what kind of work you want. And getting the job of your dreams is an excellent beginning to achieving career success.

#2 – Be brave.

I know that this might seem weird in 2017 but many women in the workplace still have a hard time advocating for themselves.

Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book Lean In ‘that women keep themselves from advancing because they don’t have the self-confidence and drive that men do.’

I am not sure that I completely agree with this statement but I know that some elements of it are true.

As women our tendency is to hang back and observe, to reflect before we speak and sometimes to not speak at all. Women are more cautious. Women don’t apply for promotions unless they fit the profile perfectly and are less likely than men to ask for a well-deserved raise.

It is important that women in the workplace today don’t hang back. It is important that women identify who they want to be in the workplace and what they want and go after it with a vengeance.

They must speak up and lead, even in the face of men who might try to push against them. They must believe, deep down, that they CAN do this job and that they will succeed.

#3 – Be honest.

It is important in all areas of life, but especially in the career world, to be honest. Honest with yourself and with others.

First of all, we must be honest with ourselves. Are we doing our best at work? Are we taking responsibility for getting our job done well and when things go awry are we accepting the blame for our errors? Are we honest with our feelings about our boss and our co-workers? Are we honest about how we feel our careers align with our morals and values? Are we clear that we are doing the right thing for ourselves and our families?

We must also be honest with our co-workers. So many women take on more than they can handle because they don’t believe that anyone else can do it as well as they can. As a result, many women are overworked and overwhelmed.

It is important that we allow ourselves to delegate and share, when necessary, and if our co-workers can’t do the work up to company standards then we must be honest with them and show them how to get things done correctly.

Career success is achieved when women know that they are doing the best job that they can do and that they are doing only their job, not the jobs of others. Being honest will prevent overwhelm and enable you to get the recognition that you deserve in the workplace and thereby achieve heightened career success.

#4 – Be forward thinking.

It is so easy to become focused on the day-to-day happenings at work that we stop looking forward to the big picture.

Yes, you have your job but your job is part of the larger workplace. How does your job fit in that workplace? What can you do to be more of an asset to that workplace? How could your job expand in the future to include more responsibility and contribution? Is there a future for you outside of this job? Do you have a plan to get there?

It is important that you always keep your head up at work and are forward thinking. Career success will be achieved when you have an idea and a goal and you have a clear plan to work towards it.

#5 – Be a woman.

Many women believe that in order to be considered equals to men in the workplace we need to act like men. Back in the 70s and 80s, when women were entering the workforce, they wore suits to work, so that they could appear more manly.

Suits are mostly a thing of the past these days but still women tend to try to act like men in the workplace in order to get ahead.

I believe that, rather then act like men, women need to use their skills as a woman to achieve career success.

Women are intuitive. Women can multi-task. Women are excellent communicators. Women are big picture planners. Women have the ability to connect with people on a personal level. Women know how to fly under the radar and get the job done.

So now you see. A woman possesses all of the skills that she needs to be more than successful in her career. She just needs to pull them out of her toolbox and use them. Every day.

Getting meaningful career success advice is vital for any woman entering the workforce.

Women like to get things done, quickly and efficiently, but in the workplace it is essential to look to more experienced women to help them make a plan and achieve success.

Women have all of the skills necessary to achieve that same career success as men they just have to be prepared to use them and use them well. And then, when they add their feminine superpowers to the mix, the sky is the limit.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

Why Are Healthy Relationships Important To A Healthy Life?

Why are healthy relationships important to a healthy life? Why is it so important that we share our lives with people who make our lives better? The reasons are many and they are worth noting.

We all want to live a healthy life. Happy, strong, loved and nurtured. And while many of think we can do it alone we can’t.

Relationships can be of any sort – a romantic relationship, a familial relationship, a friendship. Having a healthy relationship of some sort is essential for a healthy life.

But I can do it alone you think. And yes you can. Being able to stand on your own is important but you do need people by your side to be truly healthy.

There are 5 elements of a healthy life and how your relationships align with those elements is very important.

#1 – Alignment of morals and values.

We all have a set of morals and values that we live by. Things that we believe are important in our everyday lives. It essential for a healthy life that anyone we have in our lives, whether a partner or a friend, shares some, if not all, of our values.

Because to live a healthy life, to live in integrity, is important. And if someone you are sharing your life with doesn’t have values that are aligned with your then you won’t be living a truly healthy life.

For me an important value is telling the truth. I have been in relationships where men would lie to me. As often as not they said they were trying to protect me but the truth is that lying made me feel insecure and uncomfortable. I would never lie to them…why can they lie to me.

All of those relationships are past now. I knew that to live a healthy life I needed to be in a healthy relationship, one with shared values.

#2 – Alignment of physical health.

Of course an essential part of living a happy life is maintaining physical health. While the goal is to eat well and exercise each of us do that to a varying degree of success. For a healthy life is important is that the people in your life have similar beliefs about physical health.

I have a client who is involved with a man who is in a different physical place than she is. She is vibrant and active and physically fit. Her man has back issues and would rather not exercise more than necessary and has less than ideal eating habits.

She loves him but she struggles with the relationship because they just can’t do all of the things that she wants to do together. He does try but he just can’t. She finds that she isn’t living a truly healthy life because he is holding her back from the physically active life she seeks.

#3 – Alignment of mental health.

Good mental health is an essential part of a healthy life. In this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world we live in many of us struggle with depression, or worse. And part of winning that struggle is being in a healthy relationship with someone who is in a state of mental health that complements ours.

I have a client whose partner suffers from depression and has for years. My client says that she understands the depression but I am not sure if she has really accepted it. She doesn’t understand why he can’t ‘suck it up’ and rally on the days when he is depressed. This causes friction in their relationship and some days she wonders if they will survive it.

For a healthy relationship to stay healthy it is important the partners understand and accept each other’s mental health, that they are willing to support them not matter what.

#4 – Alignment of community.

An essential part of a healthy life is a healthy community, a community outside of your immediate family that shares ideas and interests and values. For a healthy relationship it is important that this sense of community is shared by both parties.

A friend of mine sent her kids to a Waldorf School, an alternative school that has very strong beliefs about food, education and media consumption that are quite contrary to modern way of doing things. She believed strongly in these beliefs and jumped into the community with a full and open heart. Her involvement in this community was a huge part of the healthy life she was living.

Her husband, on the other hand, just didn’t get the whole thing. He thought the educational concepts were whacko and that the other parents were weird. He refused to attend community events and if he did go he was crabby. What she needed to be healthy and happy he just didn’t, and wouldn’t, accept. And without that acceptance the relationship crumbled.

#5 – Alignment of finances.

Ah yes. Money. It often comes down to that.

Healthy finances are an essential part of a healthy life and if two people in a partnership are not aligned on finances the relationship will not be a healthy one.

A client of mine married someone who was very wealthy. She didn’t come from a lot of money but he had a lifestyle that he wanted to maintain and she was happy to spend money to maintain that lifestyle. The issue was that her husband was very frugal and cautious about where the money went in the attainment of that lifestyle but she, because she didn’t have much experience managing money, spent frivolously. This spending was a significant source of friction in their marriage and they were forced to separate.

Why are healthy relationships important for a healthy life?

Because the most important parts of our lives, morals, physical and mental health, community and finances all require balance and alignment between partners in order for us to live the healthy lives that we want.

To achieve that balance it is essential that people in relationship communicate clearly what is important to them and do whatever it take sot come to a place of understanding, support and acceptance of the 5 important pieces of a healthy life.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways Untreated Depression in Parents Affects Their Children And How to Best Protect Them During Dark Times

Living with untreated depression is a horrible thing. Every day is full of hopelessness and despair. Life can seem unbearable. Imagine, then, how untreated depression in parents can affect their children.

Parenting is a 24/7 job. It’s all about modeling good behavior, paying attention, educating and loving our children. Doing these things while depressed can seem almost impossible. As a result, untreated depression can have a huge negative affect on children.

Here I will share 5 ways that untreated depression in parents affects their children and how to best protect your kids during dark times.

#1 – Depression is scary.

For a child depression in a parent is very scary. A child just cannot comprehend why their parent is acting the way that they are.

When depressed, parents can, and do, act a variety of ways – sad, angry, tired, anxious, ambivalent, indifferent, insecure, aggressive. As a result, if those behaviors show up regularly, children can start acting anxious, insecure and aggressive themselves.

#2 – Kids blame themselves.

When my daughter was 15 I shared with her that I had just been diagnosed with depression but that I had probably suffered from it for years.

Her reaction? ‘I am so glad to know that it wasn’t my fault.’

Children are so innocent, and so self-centered, and as a result they believe that anything that happens in the world is a result of them and their actions. Because of this a child can easily internalize their parents depressed feelings and blame themselves for the behaviors.

#3 – Their parent isn’t parenting.

When a parent is suffering from untreated depression they just can’t be the parent that they usually are or want to be.

If a parent is so sad that she must take to her bed for days, or if the depression has made him particularly cranky and impatient, the child will suffer.

If her mom can’t get out of bed to make her dinner then she will have to fend for herself. If her dad is always yelling at her she will feel bad about herself and take to her room.

Parents need to be parents and it’s difficult to be so when they are suffering from untreated depression. And kids need their parents to be parents.

#4 – Their mom and dad don’t seem to like each other.

One of the biggest side effects of untreated depression is relationship instability.

When one partner is depressed the other often struggles to understand what is happening, why their partner can’t just snap out of it. This feeling of helplessness can lead to anger and frustration which in turn interferes with relationship health.

And there is nothing scarier for a child than having her parents not get along. The parental unit is what provides the foundation for a child’s growth. If that is regularly unstable the results can be devastating and permanent.

#5 – They don’t feel safe at home.

Unfortunately, when one suffers from untreated depression productivity can suffer. As a result one’s home can get dirty, meals don’t get made, laundry doesn’t get done, safety standards don’t get met.

As a result, many children of parents living with untreated depression are neglected in some way which forces them to either suffer needlessly or grow up very quickly because they have to take care of themselves from an early age.

How unfair is that?

So, how can you protect your kids during dark times?

#1 – Be honest with them.

If kids, or adults, know what is going on then they are more likely able to deal with it.

Tell your kids if you or your partner is suffering from depression. Explain to them that mommy’s sadness or daddy’s anger is the result of something that they can’t control. Ask them if they have any questions and be willing to answer them.

Being honest will allow your kids to understand, to some degree, what is going on which will alleviate some of their anxiety around the situation.

#2- Explain that it’s not their fault.

More than anything a child needs to hear from his or her parent that the behaviors they are experiencing aren’t their fault.

Understanding that their parents’ instability isn’t a result of their actions will take a considerable weight off of a child’s shoulders. And that is the very important: to not let your child blame themselves for your troubles.

#3 – Remove yourself from the situation.

If you are depressed, make every effort to not overexpose your kids to your moods. When you are depressed, if you are able, send your kids to a friend’s house or have your spouse take them out for the afternoon.

Constant exposure to a parent who is suffering from untreated depression can have a significant negative effect on kids. Even a short break from the moodiness can be therapeutic.

#4 – Get help around the house.

If meals aren’t getting made or the house isn’t getting cleaned consider getting someone in to help.

Children need to be taken care of and, if you can’t do it, let someone else. Your kids will thank you someday.

#5 – Seek professional psychiatric help.

The best way to protect your kids during dark times is to get help!

If depression goes on untreated it just gets worse. Early intervention can greatly reduce the effects of depression in a parent on a child.

See your primary care physician immediately. They will help you get treatment right away so that you can protect your kids.

Untreated depression in parents can affect children in a big way.

Kids of parents with untreated depression often suffer from low self-esteem, insecurity and anxiety and often are forced to grow up way too fast.

It is essential that you make an effort to protect your child if you or your partner suffers from untreated depression. Be honest with them, make sure their needs are taken care of and seek help as soon as possible.

They are your children. They deserve the best, whether you are depressed or not.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

3 Ways Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ Can Save Your Relationship

Have you done something to hurt your guy? Intentionally or unintentionally. Either way, is he really hurt? Do you want to say I’m sorry and save your relationship?

Have you been trying to apologize, to make him see things from your perspective, to get him to understand your intentions. All to no avail?

Hope is not lost. There are 3 ways to apologize that will help you save your relationship.

Before we begin it is essential that you understand WHAT you have to apologize for.

You did something that caused someone pain. And THAT is what you have to apologize for. Causing that person pain. Not for what you did to cause the pain.

I have a client whose wife showed up 30 minutes late on a night where she swore she would be home on time. They were supposed to go out with friends of his from out of town. She had tried to get home but got caught up in a work crisis.

Should she need to say I’m sorry? I mean, she was late because of work. She had no control over that.

Of course she needs to apologize! Why? Not because she was kept late at work but because she HURT HIM by not getting home when she said that she would.

Do you see the difference? The slight is that she caused him pain.  Whatever she did to cause that pain is irrelevant. The pain is what you are apologizing for.

Get it?

Now that you do, here are 3 ways to say “I’m sorry’ and save your relationship.

Sentence #1 – ‘I am sorry that I hurt you.’

This is the perfect first line of any apology. You are acknowledging that you have caused someone pain. They know that you know that you hurt them and by stating it clearly you can, and will, immediately deflate your loved one’s anger.

The most important part of this sentence is that it ends after the YOU and that it doesn’t continue on with a BUT. An explanation of why you were late, and why you aren’t at fault, will completely invalidate the first part of the sentence. Completely.

Again, what you are apologizing for is that you hurt someone.  How you did so is irrelevant in this first part of the apology.

So accept it and say I’m sorry for the hurt you have caused.

#2 – ‘How can I prevent it from happening again?’

This second sentence is very important because it allows the person you hurt to take some ownership for how to prevent it from happening again.

In the case of my client, after he calmed down when he realized that she knew how much he had hurt her, he thought about what could be done differently in the future to prevent her from causing him pain. He suggested that next time she knew she was going to be late she call him so that he could change their reservations. He would also know that she knew she was late and that she was sensitive to the situation.

Armed with this knowledge my client’s partner had the tools she needed to stop herself from hurting him in the future when she was going to be late. It was up to her know when to use those tools and to do so.

#3 – ‘What can I do to make it up to you?’

This one is a fun one. Amends.

So my client’s partner had acknowledged that she had hurt him and did not tried to justify her behavior. Now she wanted to know what she could do to make it up to him….

Once again, my client, the hurt party, was in a position of control. Not a dominating sort of control but in control of how the outcome of the situation could play out. By being in this kind of control my client was given the opportunity to express what he needed to move past this hurt. His partner didn’t have to guess, which is good because because people don’t always guess well.

My client suggested that he go out for a quick beer with his friends and that they all get together in the morning for breakfast. He just wanted some time with his friends but he also wanted them to meet her. This plan satisfied both of those needs. And he was happy

Do you see now how the 3 ways to say ‘I’m sorry’ will save your relationship? How recognizing that you have hurt someone and making amends is the key to making it happen?

Again, the key to the perfect apology is recognizing that you are apologizing for the hurt that you caused and not the behavior that caused it. You hurt someone and that is what you need to apologize for, no matter how much you believe that it couldn’t have been avoided or that you weren’t at fault.

So go ahead. Apologize. Mean it. Move forward together in a meaningful way.

It just might change your life. Try it. You will see.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!