Separation-anxiety

Weekend Wit: The Break-up Blues

Ever had the break-up blues? You might wonder why on earth we’d make light of that but, when you think about it, it really is one of life’s most pathetic moments. It’s not a memory you want to savour, take photos and stick up on your Facebook page, now is it?

Then again some people put everything on social media. He’s dumped me. I’m crying. I’m listening to sad songs and crying. Oh, the pain! Seriously, no one wants to see that crap. Imagine your next job interview? They do ask for your social media links, these days. You didn’t know that? Well, you do now!

Having seen your last 50 Facebook statuses or hearing it via the gossip vine, friends and family may try to console and comfort you. What’s with that? You are miserable. It’s no secret. You certainly won’t be the best company. Why would anyone in their right mind want to spend time with someone who is miserable?

Bottom line: It makes them uncomfortable. They need you to feel good, so they can feel good. Basic social psychology, folks. You thought it was your selfish stage to mourn and grieve, right? No. It’s your friends and relatives selfish stage. They have the best of intentions, but they are usually blissfully unaware of what they are doing or why.

That won’t last long though. Miserable people repel others. You’ve been whinging, whining and totally obsessed with your broken heart and your ex. Ever time they try to change the subject, because you’ve driven them crazy, you change it right back. They need to get as far away from you as possible. NOW – before they crack!

This is when you’ve learned break-ups are best handled alone. You can begin to grieve without distraction. Instead of hiding tears when your friends suggest watching a comedy and something reminds you of your ex, you can ball your damn eyes out. You can avoid showering, eating right, maybe drink too much, avoid sunlight, ditch work, and generally make a complete and utter mess of yourself. Now, this here is your selfish stage!

Maybe this is what your well meaning friends and relies were trying to save you from. Yeah? No. Be 100 per cent, research assured, it was their needs they were tying to meet, but weren’t they useful while they were doing it? At least you didn’t smell bad.

This period of chaos only ceases when you’ve hit rock bottom and you are faced with two very distinct options. The first is to pick yourself up, right here and now and get on with living.

Then there’s option two. Your job will go if you neglect going to work, that’s a given. Then, you’ll have no money. Makes sense doesn’t it? Homelessness will then become a very real probability. That is, unless you can manage to convince one of those well meaning friends or relies to take you in so you can “lounge surf” until you’re ok.

The only thing is the stress of having no fixed address, no job, no money and, of course, no partner will be considered stressors, in psych terms, and provide ideal conditions to bring on an episode of mental illness. What? You don’t think this happens? You clearly haven’t spoken to any homeless men!

Yes, folks. This is the grim reality of the break up blues. Next time those “helpful” friends and relies come to the rescue; think back to option number two. Welcome them in. Thank all that is good and holy that they are selfish enough to want to come and save you!

Image via pad3.whstatic.com

November 1, 2014

How To Deal With Toddler Separation Anxiety

When it happens for the first time, separation anxiety can be cute and make you feel special. You can see that your baby wants you and you only, and your heart melts. But by the time your baby turns into a toddler, it has long become tiring and frustrating. You hate to see your toddler upset, but you have to work, run errands or simply take time out for yourself. Here are some ways to deal with separation anxiety gently, so that you can make time apart as easy as possible both for yourself and your child.

RELATED: How To Survive The Day Care Drop-off

Let your toddler get familiar with the caregiver

It’s completely normal that your toddler doesn’t want to stay with strangers and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Whenever possible, choose a caregiver the child knows well or allow time for them to get to know each other before you go. If your toddler is starting day care, come in a couple of times beforehand, so that your child gets familiar both with the caregivers and the new space where she’ll be spending her time.

Talk to your toddler about what’s happening

Explain to her that you’re leaving and tell her when you’re going to be back. Your toddler doesn’t understand the concept of time, so to give her an idea how long you’re going to be away for, tell her what’s going to happen in the meantime. For example, “You’ll play with Grandma, have lunch, then you’ll have a nap and I’ll be back”.

Say ‘Goodbye’

It can be tempting to sneak out while your child is occupied and avoid the tears, but don’t do it. Next time she’ll be watching you like a hawk and you’ll have a harder time separating. More importantly, you’ll be breaking her trust. Her world will look unsafe and unpredictable  – one moment mummy is there, the next moment she’s gone.

Stay calm

Allow your child to express her feelings and don’t give in to the temptation to show anger, irritation or that you’re upset, too. By staying calm and loving, you’re showing your child that you’re accepting her just the way she is, both of you are safe and everything is ok.

Gradually increase the time away

If you can, start small to get your child more comfortable and reassure her that you always come back. If your toddler is starting day care, have a few short days and pick her up early. As she relaxes, you can increase the time you spend away without causing more anxiety.

Leave a comfort object

Toddlers can take great comfort in a favourite toy, blanket or something that reminds them of you – a scarf or a shirt.

Give lots of attention when you return

Your toddler will running low on love by the end of her time without you and she’ll need her love cup refilled. Read a book together, do some craft or something else your child loves to do and give lots of cuddles.

As difficult as it may be, your toddler’s separation anxiety is a normal part of her development and she will outgrow it eventually.

Image by TaniaVdB via pixabay.com

October 28, 2014