View Post

International Day of Friendship

In Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

Whatever side of the political aisle you sit, it is hard to deny that we are living in an incredibly divisive time. It seems like every time we look at the news, there are three new national stories that seem to fuel peoples’ passions and widen the divide. For the sake of our Country and for the sake of our own mental health, it is important to occasionally step back to look at what we have in common, instead of focusing on our differences. For example, even if we have fundamental disagreements, we should not doubt that every one of us wants to leave the world a better place for our children. With that in mind, July 30th is the International Day of Friendship. Initiated by the United Nations in …

View Post

Healthy Children and a Healthy You

In Health, Lifestyle, Parenting by Sarah Hink

In the age of smart phones, social media, and video games like Overwatch and Fortnight, children have more and more opportunities to stay home and remain inactive. Childhood obesity is an ever growing epidemic. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has found that the obesity rate in children has tripled since the 1970’s and that 20% of children are now considered obese. Obesity can have very serious physical and emotional effects on a child. This can include an increase susceptibility to diabetes, asthma, and heart disease as children. These health issues can worsen into additional metabolic diseases, chronic ailments, and cancer as adults. Emotionally, obesity can result in children with low self-esteem or depression; and these children may experience some form of bullying from their peers. Lead Your Children …

View Post

April Fools Day and the Joys of Humor

In Health, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

April Fools Day is Here The first of April is upon us, which generally indicates that you should watch your back against playful children, friends, family, and co-workers. It also means that you should take with a grain of salt any panicked calls or messages, or any news that seems too good to be true. For example, you probably didn’t win the Publisher’s Clearing House prize on April 1st, especially since you no longer subscribe to physical magazines. If you have recently separated or divorced, then you understand the darkness and sadness that accompany these traumatic events. But now more than ever, humor should be a regular part of your life and we urge you to completely embrace April Fools Day. Laughter is Healthy For You We say this because …

View Post

Appreciating All Pets! (National Love Your Pet Day)

In Lifestyle, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Tuesday, February 20th is Love Your Pet Day, a day that is arguably more important than Valentine’s Day—at least to animal lovers! To mark the occasion, we would encourage you to spend the day spoiling your loving companion(s). Try a pet spa, make them a fancy meal, and let them break a rule or two. Pet Custody and Divorce If you think about it, human relationships may be fleeting, but your animal will love you for its entire life. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for a cat or dog to have known several of your partners in its lifetime. For married couples, animals also have a unique connection with your children, as you watch them grow, bond, and age together. Therefore, when it comes to family pets and divorce, things …

View Post

Random Act of Kindness Day

In Community, Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

There is no disputing that we are living in divisive and negative times. From television, to social media, to interpersonal interactions, there seems to be a combative dynamic on every imaginable issue. Fortunately, good deeds and basic decency transcend politics and can help us see that we share more common ground than we like to admit. If you want proof of this, read articles or watch videos of complete strangers responding during natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey or the California fire and mudslides. In essence, people are still good, but we need reminders now more than ever. February 17th is Random Act of Kindness Day. Started in 1995 by the eponymous Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, this is a day to celebrate and promote people paying it forward. The …

View Post

Valentine’s Day Will Be Okay

In Lifestyle, Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

Valentine’s Day, as always, is on February 14th. Of course, you already knew that. It is hard to avoid when every grocery store, Wal-Mart, Target, and drug store has garish pink and red aisles filled with endless bears, heart shaped boxes, and special pink M&M’s candies. Also, every chocolatier and bakery is advertising chocolate dipped strawberries, while every florist is running ads for red roses. Some people love Valentine’s Day and everything that it is meant to represent: love, romance, passion, and care. Others don’t care for it. When you have recently separated, Valentine’s Day can be an occasion that you dread and actively despise. If you fall into this category, we have a few ideas to get you through the day. Remember that you are not alone. Just do …

View Post

Seeking Out a Therapist

In Health, Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

Everyone faces some form of adversity during his or her lifetime. Whether it is severe anxiety, depression, addiction, a bad childhood experience, a break-up, divorce, injury, crime, tragedy, or death, people need support. Often, we rely on the loving support of family, friends, or our spiritual community. Sometimes we need more. One increasing common way that people seek help is with professional counseling. Fortunately, we live in a time where there is less of a stigma or secrecy than once associated with seeking therapy. This is because more people than ever know someone who has been in crisis and has benefitted from professional help. In addition, there is a greater emphasis on mental health in the media and in the workplace. The Benefits of Therapy There are many benefits to …

View Post

National Hobby Month

In Lifestyle by Sarah Hink

January is National Hobby Month, a time to celebrate the hobbies that entertain you, stir your passion, and fill your spare time. It is also a great opportunity to discover new hobbies. Why are hobbies worth celebrating and discovering? Because they are good for our mental health. No matter what is currently going on in your life, hobbies can provide a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety. Therefore, New Direction Family Law encourages you to celebrate or to find a hobby of your own. Think about your interests prior to your latest relationship. When we become involved in new relationships, hobbies sometimes fall to the wayside or disappear entirely from our consciousness. This is because new love can create tunnel vision and remove our time and desire to spend on …

View Post

What Are You Thankful For?

In Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized by Sarah Hink

Although Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it is never too late to reflect. This has been a turbulent year. No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall, no one can dispute that deep ideological divisions have been exposed in this country. To make matters worse, it feels like the national dialogue is deteriorating to the point that people seem unwilling to work toward unity or constructive conversation. While negative forces and events seem to grab and keep our attention, it is important for our mental health not to lose sight of the positive. We need a chance to reflect on the good in our lives and now is a great opportunity to do so. Please heed the following advice when celebrating this holiday season. Make a list …

View Post

Black Friday and Our Need For Distractions

In Health, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

For many, Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and football. For others, it is just the day before Black Friday, the ultimate frenzy of overnight lineups for doorbuster deals, big savings on items we would otherwise have no desire to purchase, and debt. Some people spend the days and weeks prior to Black Friday looking at ads, compiled lists of deals, and message board rumors. Making matters worse, many retailers open on Thanksgiving Day, which changes the entire focus of the day for shoppers and for the unfortunate employees of those companies. This is immediately followed up by retailers’ second bite at the apple: Cyber Monday. While everybody loves a good deal, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become reflective of a greater problem: Our incessant need to distract …