Tag Archives: mental health

3 Tips For Managing Social Anxiety

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3 Tips For Managing Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is an increasingly prevalent problem for many people around the world. If you find yourself feeling anxious when meeting new people, spending time in large groups, or even one-on-one, you definitely are not alone. Since the coronavirus pandemic swept the world last year, social interaction became even more digital than it was before. For young people, especially, this has only extrapolated any social anxiety they experienced before the pandemic.

Dealing with social anxiety is very challenging, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. Life is too short to live with anxiety symptoms. Here are three tips for managing social anxiety:

Confide in a close friend and stick with them:

If you are going to an event where you are likely to experience anxiety symptoms, it’s time to buddy up. Make sure to take a close friend with you who knows about the way you feel in social situations. This will improve the situation in many ways, simply because you can confide in them if you begin to feel anxious.

With your buddy by your side, you can take small breaks by stepping outside and talking through how you feel. You can even leave the event with your friend taking care of you, to ensure you get home safely if things get too much. Everything is achievable if you work as a team – so make sure to confide in a close friend about the way you feel. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of and you deserve to feel supported in difficult times.

Seek therapy for your anxiety:

If your anxiety is overwhelming and is stopping you from doing regular things such as going to work, running errands, or seeing friends and family, you should seek help. Therapy or counseling are fantastic tools that can equip you with skills of anxiety awareness, inform you of your triggers, and help you to eventually overcome the symptoms you experience. A licensed therapist can talk with you about where your anxiety might stem from and what to do if you become anxious in a social situation.

If you are looking for anxiety therapy, you should speak to your doctor or go online to find therapists in your area.

Use natural remedies to calm your mood:

Finally, there are natural ways to calm your mood, without resorting to prescription medications. Prescription medications are absolutely fine if your doctor has recommended them, but some people want to go down a more natural route. Natural remedies such as CBN hemp oil can help you sleep better, providing natural and safe sedative effects that will alleviate anxiety. You can self-administer these natural remedies safely, but you should always read the directions and make sure you are taking the right amount for your weight and age.

If you are struggling with symptoms of social anxiety, the most important thing you can do is take immediate steps to change this. Nobody should have to live with anxiety, and by using the techniques detailed in this blog, you can help turn the tide on your symptoms.

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Easing Anxiety & Taking Back Control Of Your Mind

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Easing Anxiety & Taking Back Control Of Your Mind

The past year has been incredibly stressful for most people throughout the world. The demands of everyday life can take their toll at the best of times, but a global pandemic can be enough to push people over the edge. It can feel near enough impossible to avoid the crippling sense of anxiety that can take over.

The times when we feel the most anxiety is when we feel as though things are out of our control – and the past 15 months have felt a lot like that. One of the only ways to overcome anxiety is to do what we can to make sure we can focus on the things we can control to make our lives a little easier. Here are some of them:

Stop Putting Things Off:

Some things that we have to deal with in life are unavoidable. Bills need paying, as does the rent, and toothaches can only go so long before booking an appointment with family-friendly dentists when the pain can impact on getting things done. People are often guilty of putting things off out of fear. The dentist is a good example. Not for having an appointment with the physician themselves, but for the fear of the pain that may occur during the appointment.

However, most know that once the appointment is done, treatment takes place so that they can live a relatively pain-free existence. Continuously putting things off will not only make anxiety worse, but it may also be detrimental to health. Untreated dental pain can cause some pretty severe health implications in addition to potential tooth loss so the answer is to stop putting things off that feel scary or uncomfortable. In many situations, the issue will only get worse as time goes on.

Stop Being Angry and Not Doing Anything About it:

Social media and the news is a great tool for making people feel irrationally angry. They can also make people feel hopeless, too. While feeling angry about a situation is not a bad thing, if not followed up by action then there’s little point to it at all.

If a worldwide issue is making somebody feel angry, then there are always things that they could be done in an attempt to make things seem a little better. Know that bigger issues can be helped by a few people making little changes. Climate change is one of them. Start by making small steps to reuse items and to recycle the things that can be and know that it is part of your contribution. Decrease water usage, eat less meat, and walk when possible are also always good choices.

Social media can make people feel resentment, inadequacy, and all kinds of FOMO. The same rule applies – unfollow the folks who contribute to feelings of not being enough. Time on Facebook should be entertaining, not another thing that upsets you.

The most important thing to focus on during continuing feelings of uncertainty is to be thankful for the things that bring comfort, joy, and peace. There is so much in this world that is beyond anybody’s control, so it is important to focus on the things that can be in order to create a better life.

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Tips For Getting Back To Dating After A Breakup

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Tips For Getting Back To Dating After A Breakup

Breakups can be exceedingly difficult and traumatic, and can have long-term effects on your well being. When you break up with someone – whether it’s your choice, theirs, or a joint decision – it is always hard to move forward. Relationships often leave a lot of unanswered questions, like was it my fault the relationship didn’t work, should I make changes to see better success in the future, and the age old question of why couldn’t we make it work? Living with those unanswered questions isn’t always easy to do and can have a big impact on your mental health.

After a breakup, it’s normal to want to take some time to deal with any feelings that the breakup has caused, such as issues with self-esteem and self worth. Once you’ve dealt with those feelings and processed how you feel about the breakup, in time, you may want to start dating again. If you’ve decided that the time has come to start dating, you might be feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the concept of starting over again.

The good news, is that there are lots of steps that you can take to make the process of getting back out there a little easier to manage. Believe it or not, it is possible to actually enjoy dating, it’s just a case of knowing how to approach it. Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to some of the best tips and tricks for getting back to dating again after a breakup – read on for everything that you need to know:

Think about what you want from a relationship:

One of the most important steps that you can take when it comes to getting back to dating is taking the time to think about what you want from a relationship. If you are unsure of what you want from a relationship, you will find it difficult to meet anyone who is a good fit for you and your needs. Are you simply looking to have fun or are you looking for a relationship that’s more serious and settled? It’s important to take the time to think about these things as they will have an impact on how you should go about dating again.

Be mindful about how you date:

It’s also important to be mindful about how you date. Don’t just date anyone, take the time to think about the kind of person that you want to date. What values do you want that person to have? For instance, you might find it beneficial to date someone who shares the same values as you do. Say, for example, you eat a plant-based diet, you might find that dating someone who also eats a plant-based diet could be a good fit and that dating sites like https://myvegandating.com could be useful.

Take things slow:

Don’t be afraid to tell the person or people that you’re dating that you want to take things slowly. After a traumatic breakup it’s perfectly normal to want to take things slow; there’s no reason to rush things. It’s not easy adjusting to dating again or starting a new relationship, but if you take things slowly you should find that it’s easier to adjust.

Speak to the person you’re dating and explain that you have just come out of a serious relationship and you need to take things slowly. Chances are that they will understand and be willing to do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable.

Date virtually first:

If you don’t feel comfortable dating in person just yet, it’s worth considering doing some virtual dating instead. Virtual dating can be a great way to adjust to dating again as it can feel safer and less stressful than dating in person. The great thing is that there are lots of fantastic apps for dating virtually, so you should find it really easy to start meeting people online.

Once you’ve met someone who you click with online, you can then arrange a video date where you can chat and get to know each other in a safe, stress-free environment. Then, if you feel like you would be comfortable meeting up in person, you can opt to arrange an in person date, but only once you feel comfortable doing so.

With the current pandemic, virtual dating has become extremely popular, and more and more people are now choosing to date virtually in a bid to stay safe. So there’s no reason to worry about suggesting that you date virtually first, as it’s an extremely common method of dating right now.

Hopefully, the tips above will help to make the process of starting to date again after a breakup a more seamless transition, as well as a far less stressful one.

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COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

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COVID Precautions I’ll Be Keeping

Hello! We are all eager for the COVID-19 pandemic to be over and done with and while there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a ways to go. It is exciting to think of what our lives will be like after the pandemic but it is important to not throw caution to the wind and act haphazardly with the health of yourself and those around you. I, for one, plan on keeping these precautions in place post pandemic:

Masking Up:

Thinking back to pre-pandemic times, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t wear a face mask if you aren’t feeling well and need to be out in public. I have always been good about staying home if I am feeling under the weather but I will continue to be keeping face masks handy in case I need to go to the doctor or the pharmacy. I also plan on wearing face masks even after the mandate is lifted in crowded areas like grocery stores and shopping centers. You can just never be too safe after living through a global pandemic!

Social Distancing:

I don’t know about you guys but I actually love the social distancing in public. I value my personal space and it has been nice to not have people all up in my business while running errands. Protecting my personal bubble while I am out and about will continue to be a priority for me because it really has made me feel so much more comfortable while in public.

Contact Free Grocery Shopping:

A few months ago, Johnny and I began doing contact free grocery shopping to help limit our exposure and have both agreed that we could never go back to doing in store shopping again. At our local grocery store, Giant Eagle, the curbside grocery pickup is free and incredibly convenient. Our shopping gets delivered right to the car by an employee and it has completely changed our grocery game. The curbside pickup has been an option at Giant Eagle even before the pandemic began and we will definitely keep on making the most of it.

Mental Health Breaks:

Working in the care field during a pandemic has easily been one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do and my mental health was really suffering. I have to take care of myself, first and foremost, before I can adequately provide care for others and began being more lenient with myself about taking a day off every once in a while. My mental health breaks allowed me to chill out in the safety of my home and regroup and I would return back to work feeling refreshed and capable.

Post-pandemic, I am going to be much better about listening to my body and what it needs and if that means a day off to get myself together, then that is okay. It is really hard for me to take time away from my clients because I miss them so much even if it is just one day but occasional mental health breaks will allow for me to be the best provider I can for them and it is well worth it.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been insane, for lack of a better word. However, it taught me a lot of best practices that I plan on using long term to better protect myself, loved ones, and strangers. ❤

Which COVID precautions do you plan on keeping? What are you most looking forward to post pandemic? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out

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Is It Worth It? Let Me Work Out

Hello!! Despite not ever really “working out”, I am a fairly athletic person. In my youth, I figure skated for about ten years and had just gotten back into it a year and a half before the pandemic began. I also enjoy running and going for hikes. Throughout my life, I was never worried about the muscular lower half of my body from years on the ice. However, my upper body strength is a totally different story because I don’t have any lol.

This past month, I have been working at home quite a bit and had extra free time in between jobs. I don’t really know what inspired me to start a little at home work out routine but, I gave it a shot on one of my more low key days and have been completing my exercises every day since. In my apartment, I have been doing arm circles, walking my stairs, and doing twenty-five push ups – which I actually didn’t know I could do! Next, I plan on adding sit ups and increasing the amount to thirty.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my body and that, in itself, is a huge step for me because I had an eating disorder in the past. But, I’d like to tone up the upper half of my body for the first time in my life and I know that I am not going to achieve the results I want just sitting on the couch. Even though my work outs are small and basic, I feel really good after I do them and it’s a nice feeling to have because I haven’t been able to skate for the past year.

I’m not trying to get a six pack or super jacked arms but a bit more toning and definition and I feel confident that I will get there even with a slow and steady approach. In the past, I never bothered working out because I got all of the exercise that I need on the skating rink but there is no better time than the present to try something new. I feel proud of myself and it was awesome to hear Johnny say that he was too and I am looking forward to lots of hikes together this spring and summer. 🙂

How do you work out from home? How would you go about toning your upper half? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Benefits Of Greenery In And Around Your Home

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4 Benefits Of Greenery In And Around Your Home

It’s said that nature can be beneficial for our health and well being in a variety of ways. It not only adds beautiful color to your home but can lift your spirits as well as improve your air quality. Here are four benefits of greenery in and around your home:

Nature Makes You Happy:

As humans, there are core connections that we need. One is that we need human connection with others in order to feel content and fulfilled. Whether that’s being a social butterfly or simply connecting with others over the internet or with a small family unit. The other thing is that nature and being around nature can also help make us happier on the inside. There’s something about seeing a flower blooming or that stark green color on a leaf that can improve our mood for the better.

That’s why it’s good to have plants in all of your rooms, especially in places where you need that little bit of extra life, perhaps the bedroom where you’ll wake up feeling tired or sad from a dream you’ve had. Seeing something so colorful and alive can be uplifting.

It Keeps The Air Cleaner:

Whether you’re working with a bud trimming machine in your job or doing some casual gardening outside in your backyard, having greenery around you can impact the quality and cleanliness of the air. Plants and flowers help to purify the air, making it healthier for us humans to be able to breathe in and out. It’s important to incorporate a lot of greenery in your home and around it to help contribute to this science that’s proven to help with your health on the inside.

Helps Improve Mental Health:

Gardening is an amazing activity to take up if you struggle with your mental health. It will feel so good to get outside in the sunshine, breathe fresh air, and help something grow. Gardening is a true testament that if you nurture and care for something, you will achieve beautiful results – much like tending to your own mental health. A new hobby also helps fill excess free time and will provide a deep sense of accomplishment when your first flowers begin to bloom.

You’re More Productive:

Productivity or a lapse in productivity is something that most of us will tend to experience on a daily basis. Sometimes we’ll have good moments of productivity and others, slightly less to none at all. It’s always good to find ways of inspiring and motivating you whether it’s in your personal life or work life. Plants and flowers can help bring that productivity, sending good vibes to your brain to stimulate it. So if you’ve been feeling a lack of it recently, then be sure to invest in a few more plants for your home.

The benefits of greenery in and outside your home are proven to be helpful in creating a happy environment so use these tips for yourself this spring!

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Midnight Library By Matt Haig Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we are going to be talking about the super popular The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. A month or so ago, I felt like I was constantly getting recommendations to read this book and, obviously, I caved since we are discussing it now! Multiple people told me it was “one of the best books” they have ever read and I was definitely interested in seeing if it lived up to the hype.

While I can certainly understand why people really enjoyed this book, I didn’t think it was the best thing I have read by any means. I was into it for the first two hundred pages or so but it dragged out quite a bit and I was ready for it to be over. Let’s discuss further but before doing so I will put a trigger warning in place as The Midnight Library deals with suicide.

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Nora has had a bad day and, according to her, an all around bad life filled with regrets and what ifs. She had the potential to be an Olympic athlete or a rock star but now she lives alone in a shabby apartment and just got fired from her job at a music shop. Broken family relationships and friendships leave her feeling even more alone and her cat died. Her life feels unaccomplished and meaningless and she wants it to end. So she takes an overdose.

But, just when Nora thinks her life is over, she wakes up in a library that is filled with an infinite number of books and is overseen by the librarian at Nora’s high school twenty years ago, Mrs. Elm. This place is called The Midnight Library and it is where people who are hovering between life and death might find themselves. It looks different to everyone but the idea is the same: You can try out any kind of life you would like and if you find one that makes you especially happy, you can stay there.

Before Nora gets to take a different life for a test spin, she must face her own personal Book Of Regrets. As you can guess, its pages are filled with all of the things Nora wanted to do but didn’t. By confronting these regrets, she is able to narrow down the lives she might like to try, like if she really did become an Olympian or a glaciologist. However, despite all of these different lives, Nora always ends up back in the library because something about it didn’t make her completely happy.

Nora can’t stay in The Midnight Library forever and she is quickly running out of time but none of the lives have fully restored her will to live. She is in a place where people are either born or die so what will she end up choosing? Read The Midnight Library to find out!

Now, let me start off by saying that I absolutely LOVED the idea of The Midnight Library and the possibility to live a multitude of different choices, careers, and lifestyles all around the world. I also deeply appreciated the resounding theme of the book that true happiness can be found within yourself and your perspective. Happiness doesn’t come from what you did or failed to do but how you are best living in this one moment because each one opens up a new universe. Like Nora, I struggle with mental health issues and and this was a powerful and inspiring message to me.

Overall, I liked The Midnight Library a lot but it lost a lot of its initial momentum at the halfway mark. The first few times Nora was transported to a new life it was exciting but then there was another, and another, and another… And it just felt like it was never going to end. There was so much build up for an ending that was very easy to be predicted and all of the extra life hopping and parallel universe theories seemed unnecessary and, frankly, it got to be a little boring.

Despite being too drawn out for my taste, this book kind of had a Mitch Albom The Five People You Meet In Heaven vibe and it was a good read. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve read recently but it wasn’t the worst, either. I am going to rate it with a seven out of ten stars. I enjoyed the story line and the hopeful message. It is also a great reminder to always be kind because you never know what someone is going through. I recommend giving it a read!

What are you currently reading? What did you think about The Midnight Library? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

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My Thoughts On The Elisa Lam Documentary

Hey! So yesterday, we discussed various forms of my lock down entertainment but I left out one major talking point in the TV section. I had just watched the Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel and it was all news to me. Despite the Elisa Lam story apparently being huge in 2013, I had no idea about any of it – the haunting viral video, the dark past of the Cecil Hotel (American Horror Story even based Hotel off of The Cecil!), and all of the conspiracy theories of what could have happened to Elisa even though her death was ruled an accident.

Because I had no past recollection of the Elisa Lam story, I devoured the four part under four hour long documentary in one evening. It took me a while to digest all of the information because the “elevator” video was playing on a loop in my head. However, after thinking about it for a few days, there is still something about the Elisa Lam story that just doesn’t sit well with me. At the end of the day, we have no firm idea of what her last few days were like which makes the case feel severely lacking in closure. I don’t believe in any of the far fetched conspiracies about the case but I have a feeling that the management of the Cecil Hotel knew more than they were letting on. The hotel manager didn’t seem particularly trustworthy to me and she had an extremely defensive standpoint throughout the documentary.

Speaking of conspiracies, I thought that this documentary focused way too much on them. I was completely shocked to learn at the very end of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel of Elisa Lam’s struggle with her mental health as well as her family’s confirmation of it. Instead of starting a conversation about mental health, the documentary almost encouraged the Internet Sleuth sensation while only briefly glazing over a life that these “detectives” ruined – Pablo Vergara’s. Elisa Lam’s story just felt like it got added in after the fact.

This is the third documentary that I have watched recently on Netflix and I can’t say that I have been very impressed with any of them. Each documentary has just had so much extra crap muddled in that I feel like it doesn’t do the actual story any justice. While the first two episodes of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel were really gripping and informative the remaining two indulged heavily in conspiracy theories which was a missed opportunity for more meaningful conversation.

What are your thoughts on the Elisa Lam story? What was the last documentary you watched? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

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Mental Health And Who Is There To Support You

It is understandable to see how one’s mental health can be effected during the COVID-19 pandemic as everyone’s lives have changed so drastically in one short year. Jobs, finances, and socializing has all been turned upside down and that’s enough to stress anyone out. We all hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and normality will return soon, but in the meantime, if you are finding yourself struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression that you reach out and get the support you need.

Here are some useful suggestions on who you could turn to:

Mental Health Charities:

Mental health charities are wonderful as they have a stash of resources, trained staff, and professionals available to help. They can guide you and assist if counseling is needed, help you assess the best options available in your location, in addition to offering their services twenty-four hours a day. It is worth noting with charities, that there is a vast range of services offered and that some charities may have a more in-depth knowledge relating to specific age groups than others.

Your Family Doctor:

Approaching your personal doctor or physician is also a good port of call if you have any mental health concerns. They will be able to offer excellent guidance on additional support that can be provided and help arrange this for you. Whilst in some cases, they may even be able to prescribe medication to help support your recovery. As you will already have some relationship with this medical professional you may find this an easier first step than approaching someone new.

Employer:

Most employers have some kind of support system in place to help their employees. This will range from office workers that have occupational health benefits or private insurance included to actors and actresses that have an intimacy set coordinator in place to support their mental well being. Although you may find it tough approaching your boss to discuss these matters, know that they are there to help and support you.

Family And Friends:

Sometimes it can be easier to speak to someone you know and trust. Who is better than those that love you the most? Reaching out to a family member or close friend can make seeking help easier for some people. They already have an understanding of your situation, circumstances, and struggles. They are able to offer a friendly ear and, in some cases, can take some of the burdens you are feeling and offer or apply practical solutions to lift your mental load. Schedule a Zoom call with your best friend the next time you are feeling down, it will do a world of good.

It is important to talk about our feelings in such stressful times, not bottle them up! This will only make the pandemic feel more overwhelming. Schedule a call with a professional or a friend you trust to help ease mental health struggles and just know that you are not alone in feeling that way, at all.

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

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Rebuilding A Relationship With An Estranged Family Member

Families can be difficult and, sometimes, you’re going to argue. Usually, disagreements get forgotten and things go back to normal but that isn’t always the case as some families might end up splitting apart and not speaking, potentially for years. Dealing with estranged family members can be incredibly difficult and many people feel as though they want to keep things as they are and not speak to those people ever again.

However, even though you feel like that in the heat of the moment, it’s something that you could come to regret later on. Many people find that when they become parents and they start thinking about the importance of family, they want to rebuild those relationships before it’s too late. If you have an estranged family member and you want to reconnect with them, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Forgive Them For The Past:

If you are searching for an estranged family member because you feel like you’ve got a score to settle, things are never going to work out. It’s important that you forgive them for the past before you reconnect with them so you are going into this process with a positive mindset. Many people are estranged from loved ones that have been in legal trouble, for example. If this is the case, you need to deal with the practical elements, like how to search for an inmate and set up a visit, but you also need to find a way to forgive them for the mistakes they made in the first place. If you are not ready to put the past behind you, meeting up with estranged family members will only make things worse for both of you.

Establish Clear Boundaries:

Putting clear boundaries in place will help you rebuild the relationship slowly and avoid conflict. You should make your boundaries clear from the beginning and what those boundaries are depends on the relationship and the reason for it breaking down. To start, you may tell them that you won’t tolerate lying if that was a big issue before. Sometimes, you may also need practical boundaries in place about what time they can call you or how often you will see one another. The whole process will be much easier if everybody has clear expectations from the beginning.

Maintain Other Family Relationships:

When you rekindle a relationship with a family member that you haven’t spoken to for years, it feels like you have to make up for a lot of lost time. It’s common for people to throw themselves into that relationship and neglect other family members without even realizing it. It’s important that you are aware of this and you take the time to do fun activities with the family and spend quality time with your partner so they don’t feel like this new relationship has taken over everything else. 

These are all important things to consider but the main thing you need to remember is that you must be patient. Healing old wounds takes time, but as long as you don’t push it, your relationship can mend.

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