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“Dump Your Significant Jerk Week”

In Health, Lifestyle, Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

For many of us, it takes a while to reach an epiphany that we’re in a bad relationship. There is a natural denial that the relationship is not right, borne from the time and emotional investment we have put into the other person. It is also easy to stay in these relationships longer than we plan, because break-ups are really hard. However, if you have decided that you are in an undesirable relationship, there is a week in February for you! Dump Your Significant Jerk Week Dump your significant jerk week, sometimes celebrated as dump your significant jerk day, occurs annually in the week prior to Valentine’s Day. This “holiday” is obviously tongue in cheek, as many significant others are not actually “jerks”. Nevertheless, the overarching purpose of this week …

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Groundhog Day and Getting Out of a Rut

In Health, Lifestyle by Elizabeth Stephenson

Groundhog day is Friday, February 2, 2018. For the uninitiated, Groundhog Day is an annual tradition that is believed to forecast a change in seasons. It derives from a Germanic belief that if a groundhog emerges from its hole and sees its shadow, the animal will return to its hole—which forebodes six more weeks of dreary winter weather. In contrast, if the groundhog does not see its shadow, then the spring season will come early. In 1993, Bill Murray starred in a fantastic movie of the same name. He played a jaded, big-city weatherman who is sent to a small town to cover the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day celebration. The annual event involves waiting for a famous groundhog, named Punxsutawney Phil, to emerge from its hole. Murray’s character wants nothing more …

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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 …

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Safely Dating After Your Separation

In Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Dating after a separation can be an intimidating prospect. Gone is the comfort and complacency of your prior relationship. Instead, we have to open ourselves up to the whole dating game again. This involves the nerves, the possibility of rejection, the awkward silences, and the waiting for an eternity to hear back from the person you went on a date with. However, the payoff for these risks is the prospect of finding love and companionship again. But dating again also raises the issue of your emotional and physical safety. When weighing whether to take the plunge again, please think over the following. Are you emotionally ready to date again? This is a critical question. It is entirely possible to put yourself out there too soon. Be sure that you really …

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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 …

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Coping with Holiday Stress

In Health, Lifestyle, Separation & Divorce by Elizabeth Stephenson

When you have experienced a separation or divorce, the holidays can be a particularly brutal time. You are in the midst of a major life change, you are grieving, and you are adjusting. Unfortunately, you are also in a position where you are pressured into social functions based on the time of the year. Whether this is at holiday work functions, parties, or family gatherings, you are no doubt subjected to questions, comments, or looks that serve to remind you of your life change. Or worse, people who were talking about something go silent as you approach. Ultimately, even if your friends and family have the best intentions, you cannot help but feel lonely during the holidays. In addition, if you have children, you have the added sadness and stress …

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Christmas on a Budget

In Lifestyle, Wealth by Sarah Hink

Separation and divorce are expensive. Many families struggle with money when intact, so imagine what happens when a couple separates. In order to get a divorce, a couple must live separate and apart for an entire year. This means an additional monthly rental payment and utilities, and other costs of living separately. After the dust settles, all issues have been resolved, and attorney’s fees have been paid, you may find yourself financially hurting. The holidays certainly don’t help you save money. There are parties, entertaining, meals to host, travel expenses, and the presents. So many presents. So with an understanding that financial ruin is not an option, keep the following thoughts in mind: Prepare yourself a budget. Look at your bank account and your savings, consider all of your recurring …

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Resilience After Divorce

In Lifestyle, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

“Resilience” is defined as the “capacity to recover quickly from difficulties” or the “ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape”. In the world of psychology, this concept is a big one as the ultimate goal for people who have experienced trauma is to develop resilience. Separation and divorce are very much a trauma for the couple separating as well as for their children. For your sake, and the sake of your children, please think about the following: Know that resilience does not mean “getting over it”. It means coping with grief and recovering quickly. However, “quickly” is relative. Everyone has different personalities, personal histories, coping mechanisms, and speeds of recovery. Therefore, take it easy on yourself and your children if the recovery process seems to take …

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What Not to Do When You Separate

In Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Separations are an incredible emotional challenge. In a best case scenario, we are sad and numb, but can carry on with our daily functions while we suffer. But often, people make decisions during separation periods that they later come to regret. Compounding this problem is that couples in North Carolina must separate for a year before they can seek an absolute divorce. This one year can feel like a long time and means that resolution does not come quickly. Ultimately, the goal when you separate is to move forward with your life without making rash, detrimental, life lasting decisions. With this goal in mind: Never sign a separation agreement “to get it over with.” You have strong legal rights in the context of a separation and divorce. This includes an …

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Halloween Fun with the Children

In Parenting by Sarah Hink

Happy Halloween! With October 31st right around the corner, you have no doubt noticed pumpkin patches and costume stores popping up everywhere, pumpkins at the grocery store, and aisles of Halloween costumes and candy at Target and Wal-Mart. Even if you are weary of all the money you are about to spend this season, Halloween is a great time to be a parent. Whether you have younger or older children, there are fun events available to entertain them. We would like to offer some friendly Halloween entertainment suggestions throughout the month. So even if you don’t have the children on Halloween night this year (which is on a Tuesday), there are still a plethora of options to celebrate with them. For the Whole Family If you have the children on …