Sorting Socks Too Difficult? It May Be Work Related?

Whether it is meeting a deadline, getting along with colleagues, dealing with a work crisis, managing a big deal, catching up on reports or supervising staff—work-related stress can become overwhelming.

Sometimes all we want to do is leave work at work, get out and forget about it. We want to reach our homes and provide our families with all of our energy to help around the house, whether with helping kids with their homework, preparing meals or any of the numerous other tasks around home. When we are overly stressed, time we want to spend with our families may feel like a burden, added things to do on a seemingly never-ending list of daunting duties.

Excessive stress can lead to the failure of our usually effective coping strategies and significantly impair daily functioning. Things like humour, relaxation, music and other coping methods no longer seem to work. We may then appear to be ‘trying’ to do all these tasks and functions with our families, yet not really meeting the mark and finding we feel adaquate in our role.

If we could step outside of our bodies for a moment and watch ourselves try to do it all, what would we look like?

Are we snappy when our kids ask for help? Do the simple requests from our spouses annoy us? Is sleep being disrupted by racing thoughts or tension? Would you see yourself struggling to get to sleep, waking at night or simply feeling unrested in the morning? Do you find it hard to sit down and enjoy a meal? Is it becoming more difficult to show family that we genuinely enjoy time with them?

When we are unable to effectively cope with work-related stress (or other stressors), it resides within us and enters our homes as we do. We may like to think we have a handle on things but our relationships with our families can tell us differently. Others may also become quick to anger, less open to hearing our concerns and feelings and may become more tired and drained. Unmanaged stress can be very draining on energy levels and, of course, get in the way of sleep, intimacy, eating and overall quality of life.

Often, when under too much stress, we can easily turn to less healthy coping strategies such as drinking, smoking, over or under eating and arguing and fighting in an attempt to resolve matters.

Seeking counseling for work-related concerns can help us sort through work challenges and create strategies to potentially resolve some issues and find new ways to cope with stress in a healthy and effective manner.

When we identify our difficulties at work, and home, and talk through them we can find solutions that lead to increased peace and contentment. We can also be more engaging with our loved ones. If you would like assistance  Contact us today!


Photo credit 1: clarita from
Photo credit 2: orchid from

“I Hate to Admit It”

They tease each other, pick on one another, make fun, wrestle, and yell. Their confrontations always end up with one crying, or bleeding, or slamming doors.

Will they ever get along? Can we ever achieve serenity in our home? I’ve heard of sibling rivalry; but this is a bit much. How do I know when I need to get more help for my kids?

These are questions that many parents may ask as their children display increased conflict. Some may not know this, but conflict is actually a normal and healthy part of relationships. When the emotions and behaviours to express and resolve conflicts are carried out appropriately, both parties achieve closure. Conflict can teach us many things:

It can teach us how to appropriately present our perspectives.
We may learn how to confidently rebut other viewpoints.
When done correctly, we refrain from inflicting emotional and physical harm on one another. (both verbal and physical harm inhibits communication and learning and can fuel a variety of mental health issues).

So when is the right time to get help? Teaching children the appropriate ways to resolve conflict can become very overwhelming in the heat of an argument. When parties have had time to separate, breathe and calm down, examining their experience (Time-out), it can then be helpful to bring them back together to sort through the argument and develop solutions (Time-in).

Of course it is easier said than done, especially when habits have developed and conflicts are occurring frequently. Family counselling may allow all members to express their concerns in a respectful manner and learn new ways of resolving disputes.

In family counseling, families can establish goals for themselves as a family and individually. Together they learn to cope with stressful events that occur in their lives (relationships, school, work, etc.). In a safe, professional, therapeutic environment, families have the opportunity to enhance their relationships and create a strong support system for one another. Call us today … we can help.

Guess what… struggling is normal. For years, the Maid of the Mist fought against the current, carrying thousands of passengers into the mist of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The excitement, nervousness and uncertainty all part of the ride; all part of the motivation for going on this tour in the first place.

Think about how your life would be if you had no problems; no conflicts between family, friends, or co-workers; no challenges to face; and no obstacles to overcome. What would that look like for you? Some may say peaceful or amazing. Some may jump for joy and yell, “FINALLY!”

I say….BORING! To live without struggle is to live without development and growth. A life without conflict would result in a lack of learning skills like how to develop effective communication, negotiation, assertiveness and problem-solving skills. Well, after years of service, it seems the Niagara company grew complacent. Never facing any real competition or pressure, the Maid of the Mist just kept providing service until a few years ago when the company’s contract ran out and another firm surprisingly won the bid to take over.

And what about goals? Should we not strive to achieve things that don’t actually come easy to us? A life without struggle may actually be suggesting a life without achievement. Maslow’s humanistic approach to psychology encourages the notion that we all strive to achieve certain needs; he identified a hierarchy or needs. When those needs are met, we then attempt to fulfill another, then another. These needs, according to Maslow, provide us with the ultimate goal of reaching self-actualization (our highest and greatest potential).

We may not know now what our greatest potential looks like, however, the steps we take to get there are the building blocks of healthy growth and development. It takes patience, time, and practice to accept struggles and conflict as a normal positive aspect of our lives.

We are constantly learning how to do this; over time coping better with situations of grief, loss and all kinds of unforeseen challenges and changes we are facing. If you want assistance developing life skills faster, contact our registered, Oshawa-based counsellors and Let us help!

Entry #1)   Expressing anger and frustration well is an art developed over time and with good coaching or learning opportunities. In this series of three posts, one family reveals their challenges with going “from zero to 100” on the anger scale. While they are recognizing outbursts as part of a long-standing pattern, that can be thought of as an addiction, change requires a skill that has been minimized over time…patience.

Read today’s entry from the teen daughter…

“Having parents that are rage-aholics can feel like the worst thing in the world.  When they fight I feel like I have to walk on eggshells so I don’t become the next victim of their anger.  It also ticks me off when they fight over really stupid things. They just get into stupid arguments that can be avoided and that drives me insane.  I know that sometimes I’m the one they get into fights about when I do something dumb and I feel really guilty afterwards.  Really, everything about having even one rage-aholic in the family sucks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Daughter/ Stepdaughter

Recognizing and owning our part in the problem is essential to finding solutions together.

Check out tomorrow’s post to hear dad’s view!