7 Ways to Embrace the Holidays and Combat Stress

The holidays are just around the corner, and I am beyond excited to start celebrating. Christmas is literally one of my favorite holidays. There’s something particularly special about bundling up by the fire, sipping hot cocoa, and hanging out with loved ones. The best part, however, is having your heart filled with joy and being completely awe-stricken as you stare at the bright, beautiful Christmas tree that’s taking up half of your living room. There’s really nothing like it…

Even though cookie-cutter holidays are what we all strive for, the holidays aren’t always so cheerful. A great deal of issues come up, including family drama, financial troubles, and sometimes, loneliness. Even though the holidays are perceived as the happiest time of the year, they can bring out some really dark feelings.

Stress rises, demands escalate, and money and time are scarce. Sometimes even the brightest of times can open our eyes to a great deal of hardship. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are some simple strategies to take care of yourself and stay sane…

7 ways to embrace the holidays and combat stress:

Remember what the holidays are about

The holidays are about spending time with the people you love most. We all have that strange Aunt Sharon and creepy Uncle Mark that we’re obligated to see. Regardless, try to focus your time, energy, and joy on the one’s you love most.

Consider obligations

The holidays also call for many obligations, whether familial, at work, or in your relationship. Remember that you are one person, and that you can only do so much. Even though people may expect you to fulfill their requests, it doesn’t mean that you have to.

Set Boundaries

Part of holiday stress is sometimes family, and again, those unfortunate obligations. Be sure to set boundaries. Know your limits, and communicate them to the people in your life. It’s okay to say no when you need to. Again, be sure to take care of yourself…

That money, money, money…

Yes, the holidays are a time of giving, but be sure to give within your budget. It’s exciting to gift the people you love the big items on their wish list, but if it is not fiscally possible don’t do it.

Gifts are about the thought, and your loved ones probably just want to celebrate the holidays with you…

Be present

Whether buying gifts, or having holiday dinner with family and friends, be present. Enjoy every moment. Take in the sounds of laughter, catch all the smiles, really enjoy the eggnog you’re sipping.

Be sure to find fun in the things you need to do as well—there’s always something to enjoy and be grateful for…

Eat, drink, and be merry

Remember to enjoy yourself. The holidays are about happiness and togetherness…soak it all in. Eat, drink, and be merry!

Tradition

There’s nothing more joyful than joining your loved ones in tradition. Whether creating new traditions, or re-living old ones, make them special. Decorate your home, put up a Christmas tree, light the Menorah candles each night…do whatever it takes to embrace the holiday season.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!! 

the holidays | stress | holiday stress | happiness |boundaries | combat stress

Under a lot of stress and not sure how to cope? Check out our 10 tips on how to overcome stress… 

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

Breakups: The Difference Between Heartbreak and Being Broken

Breakups are literally the worst. You feel awful, and you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next. Everyone copes differently, but usually there are tears, tubs of ice cream, and drunken karaoke nights. The thing with break-ups though, is that they don’t always come from the same place.

You would think that most breakups lead to heartbreak, but I don’t agree. I think heartbreak is real, but I also think that many relationships leave people broken. Some relationships are so awful, that the aftermath is actually the best part. The part where you get your freedom back. The part where you get parts of yourself back…

The relationship itself caused so much damage that the breakup was a saving grace.

I had a friend reach out to me a few weeks ago for some support during his breakup. He was heartbroken, and he truly felt that I could relate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. I’ve been in relationships that left me damaged. The actual break-up was the happy part, not the sad part.

It is far more likely that those stepping away from a healthy relationship will experience feelings of grief and sorrow, whereas those walking away from a destructive relationship will experience feelings on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Breakups are never easy, however, if I had a choice, I would take heartbreak over destruction. The heart and the mind are delicate, especially when it comes to love. Missing the person you loved because of  beautiful moments shared is far more desirable then missing someone because you have become addicted to abuse. Being grateful for escaping the wrath and cruelty of a person is a very different type of loss…

At the end of the day, loss is loss…

Here’s how to come back from a breakup, whether sweet or sour:

Talk about it

Talk about your feelings. Share your experience. Whether with a close friend or a mental health professional, let it out. Expressing yourself will help you better process what you’re going through, and hence, learn how to cope in a healthy way.

Find yourself

It is possible to get lost in a relationship, good or bad. Find yourself. Rediscover those missing pieces. You will feel whole again, and it will make moving forward much easier.

Access your support

Rebuild lost relationships. Find your support network. Whether it be friends or family, surround yourself with people who love you and bring you joy.

Smile

Learning to be happy again is honestly the worst part, but you have to try. The first step is to smile. Remind yourself of the beauty around you, as well as the beauty within.

Don’t place blame

Placing blame doesn’t help anyone. Yes, I’m sure both you and your ex were equally responsible for how things went down, but don’t let whose right or wrong bury you. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is letting go. AND be sure to NOT blame yourself.

Embrace being alone

Being alone again is terrifying, especially if you had been attached for a long period of time. Face the fear, and embrace being alone. I can honestly say that learning to be on my own again taught me so much. I learned that I can do anything and everything independently, even though my ex-partner thought otherwise. This allowed me to dispel many of the shortcomings my ex claimed I had, and I was able to reclaim my autonomy.

Get your life back

Get your life back. I mean that in every sense possible. Do the things you love, spend time with people that make you laugh, be happy. Take back all the things, and parts of you, that your ex seized. Take back the power and strength that were stolen from you. Get your life back…

breakups | heartbreak | being broken | love | relationships

Not sure what the long-term effects of an unhealthy relationship are? Read up on what the emotional consequences might look like… 

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

7 Things to Try When You’re Feeling Stuck in a Relationship

Feeling stuck is a place no one thinks they’ll end up, nor is it a place anyone wants to be. When one meets their new heartthrob, you can literally foresee what the next several years will look like—so much happiness that it’s coming out of your nose, an abundance of laughter, and more loving feels than you ever imagined possible.

But what if life takes a different course? A course that involves less happiness than you expected, and a whole lot of resentment and wishing things were better? Unfortunately, this is a reality in many relationships. The crazy part is that this is usually the case with the love affairs we expect to last forever.

So where do you go from here? You feel like your relationship has hit a wall, and sometimes you feel like you want to bang your head against that same wall. You’re feeling stuck. Do you walk away? Well maybe…? But what if you just need some space? You love your other half so much that words can’t do that love justice—seriously, how did you end up here?

Well, the first (and most important) question you need to ask yourself is if you’re feeling stuck because of you, or because of the relationship.

In order to figure it out, try these seven things:

Take a step back

In order to get a wide angle view, sometimes you need to step out of your comfortable bubble. What does the picture look like from a different standpoint? Do you like what you see? What would you do differently if you could move pieces of the puzzle around?

When we look at our lives from a different perspective, from a different lens, it’s possible that new things may come to light…

Brainstorm

Spend time considering the issues you’re facing. Once you have that down, brainstorm how to overcome those issues. It’s okay if you can’t do it alone; be sure to ask for help.

Rediscover you 

Feeling stuck can sometimes be related to losing sight of who you are, and which direction life is taking you. This happens—a lot—and it’s called a crisis. Rediscover yourself. Reinvent yourself. Learn new things, try things you’ve never done before, spend time alone. Be sure that you’re able to figure out what it is that you need to get unstuck, and pursue it.

Reconnect with your social network

Humans are social beings. Yes, being in a relationship is great, but don’t cut out the people in your life. Rather, make it a point to reach out to those people. Spend time with others, especially good friends and family members. So much of who you are comes from the strong bonds in your life. If you can reconnect with an important person, it’s possible for you to reconnect with healthy parts of yourself you forgot existed…

Be basic

No one wants to be basic, but I promise, this is a good kind of basic. Go back to the basics. The best parts of you stem from the things you love to do—the things that make you who you are. We all grow up, move on, and forget the things that we love. Go back there. Go back to the places that make you smile, and do the simple things that bring you absolute, unconditional joy.

Want to go for a bike ride by the beach? Or swing on the playground all day? Or just cuddle in your mom’s lap while watching rom-coms and sipping on hot cocoa? Yeah, do that—do all of that. It will ground you.

Talk to your partner

It may feel like you’re the only one feeling stuck, but maybe your partner’s on the same boat. Talk to each other. Let your partner know how you’re feeling and have a discussion. It’s possible that the two of you may have grown out of this relationship. Or maybe you just need some fire to re-ignite that flame. Whatever it may be, communicate your thoughts and feelings with your partner.

Make changes

At the end of the day, whether moving forward solo or with your partner by your side, something needs to change. Figure out what you want, and go after it. Life is too short to be unhappy, and you’re the only person who can make you happy…

feeling stuck | relationships | communication | change | self-care | back to the basics

Still not sure if you’re in the right relationship? Here’s how to know if it’s real love…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

7 Ways to Be a Supportive Partner During Tough Times

We all have ups and downs in life, and being a supportive partner requires a delicate balance. It can be particularly difficult to watch the person you love most go experience hardship. Being a supportive partner through this rough-patch is important to you, but you’re not quite sure how to approach it…

You love your partner to the moon and back, and would literally do anything to end their suffering. Some of us are fixers, while others may choose to sulk in their sorrow prior to engaging in damage control. Regardless of how you handle hardship, you should approach the topic in the same way that your partner chooses to move forward.

Every single person copes differently, and depending on the situation, as well as your partner, you may need to maneuver with caution. Model after your partner. If they’re gung-ho about getting out there and fighting the battle, join them in that confrontation. If they need to take time to think and feel their emotions, feel with them.

Again, there is no right or wrong way to cope or be a supportive partner. What’s most important is remembering that this isn’t about you, it’s about your partner.

Check out these tips on how to support your partner during a difficult time…

Pay attention

Sometimes people aren’t openly willing to share what’s happening. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in behavior. Is she not as talkative? Is he not his cheerful self? Does she look like she’s been crying? Does he seem angry and irritable? These may be signs that something’s up…

Ask questions

If you notice a difference in your partner, ask what’s going on. This will show your partner that you care, and will also provide them the opportunity to talk about it. Be sure not to probe too much, however. Do not push your partner to share if they are not yet comfortable doing so.

Listen

If your partner is ready to share their experience, listen. Don’t judge, and don’t interrupt. Just listen. Verbally talking about thoughts and feelings is a way to process what’s happening—this can be very helpful, especially if your partner is taking time to let things sink in.

Offer help

When we love and care for someone, it’s likely that our first instincts are to help and protect. This may not always be what your partner needs, so be sure to ask how you can be supportive. It’s possible that listening is all the help your partner needs, and that’s okay. If more help is asked for, be sure that it falls within your boundaries too.

Provide encouragement

Remind your partner of how intelligent, kind, and strong he is. Remind her that she is talented and capable of achieving anything. Provide him that delicate push and support he needs, and remind him he has the skills to overcome this, as well as any, roadblock.

Stand united

Help your partner see that you will be there through thick and thin, and that you’ll stay by her side no matter what happens. Let him know how much he means to you.

Hug it out

Physical touch can be very helpful, especially during times of hardship. Research has shown that something as simple as a hug can release happy chemicals in our brain, such as Oxytocin. Not only that, but it will continually strengthen the bond you share. If you feel uncomfortable doing any of the things listed above and only want to give hugs, it’s just as helpful…

Being there for your partner, no matter in what sense, is incredible. Remember to breathe, and everything will work itself out. Stay hopeful, and remember to search for the silver lining…

supportive partner | love | relationships | hardship | communication | support

Still not sure how to convey wanting to be a supportive partner? Check out these tips on how to best communicate with your partner…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

9 Tips on How to Unplug from Social Media

I truly have a love-hate relationship with social media. Times have changed, and we now have 24/7 access to excellent tools that allow us to surf the web at any moment of the day—we literally have the entire content of the internet at our fingertips.

Having access to the internet and social media has been life altering in many positive ways, but is it possible that people are pushing the limits? Is it possible that we have begun to encounter more negative aspects than positive ones? Is having constant access to the internet changing the way in which people interact, view, and experience things?

There are many aspects, such as connecting to others, that have had such a positive impact on the way that people interact. I absolutely love seeing what my friends are posting on social media—whether it’s photos of their burritos, boyfriends, or babies—seeing how happy they are brings me so much joy.

However, there are parts of the online experience I don’t necessarily enjoy. One in particular is when I’m spending time with someone who cannot be bothered to put their phone down long enough to be present and enjoy the time we are spending together.

It’s important to consider if the hype of social media is causing people to forget what living life is all about? Is the need to post a photo, or see someone else’s photos worth missing out on your own experiences?

Life is meant to be personally seen and experienced so we can create memories. Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words, but what if one can’t remember what made taking that photo so special in the first place?

A while ago I posted an article about how the new FOMO is not being able to unplug and enjoy being present in the life you’re living—the fear of missing out on real life experiences and joy. With this, it’s also important to learn how to unplug.

Check out these 9 easy tips on how to unplug:

Put the device down

Seriously, the first step is to put the phone down. When with others, turn it off or put it on vibrate and focus on those in your presence. Enjoy the time you spend with others—time is the one thing that we can never get back, so make it worth while…

Look around

You may see things you never saw before. Beauty is sometimes in the places we least expect. So again, put the phone down, walk with your chin up, and enjoy your surroundings.

Engage others

Spending time with your friends? Great. Talk to them. Shoot the shit. Laugh together. Whatever you do, just enjoy yourself.

Live for you and no one else

Engage in activities because they will improve your quality of life and add value to your life. Refrain from doing things because “everyone else” is, or because it’s “cool.” Imagine yourself looking back twenty years from now—will that memory make you smile and have positively contributed to your life somehow? If the answer is no, it’s definitely something to re-consider…

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Social media may not be an accurate depiction of people’s lives. Hence, it’s important to live the best version of your own life. Yes, FOMO is a real thing, but make sure it’s a fear that’s actually worth giving up valuable time and experiences.

Unfollow models and bloggers

Seriously, unfollow. The lifestyle that people are paid to lead is not realistic. Do not feel like you are missing out. The sooner you can unfollow these accounts, the sooner you can live the amazing life sitting right under that beautiful nose of yours…

Focus on you, because you are beautiful.

Do not seek validation online

The number of likes on your Instagram or Facebook are in no way equal to your worth as a person—you are worth so much more than a virtual thumbs-up. The sooner you can see this, the sooner you can put that phone down…

Less is better

Privacy is a beautiful thing. Less is better. The less you post, the less people know about you. There is so much data on the internet, and that can sometimes be scary. Do you want everyone to have access to where you are and what you’re doing? Remember, once something is posted, it can never be unseen. Post with discretion.

Go off the grid

Going off the grid can be so badass. As mentioned above, people are now able to access our every move and see exactly where we are and what we’re doing—some secrecy can go a long way…

social media | unplug | be present | less is better | internet

Is social media bringing you down? Read up on how it might be destroying your self-esteem…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

Millennials and the Transition from Twenty to Thirty

The transition from twenty to thirty has proven to be rather special for millennials. Unlike previous generations, millennials have had ample time and opportunity to live out dreams and adventures. Although the desire to explore life still exists among those in their thirties, there is definitely a drastic shift in lifestyle between twenty and thirty. Whether it be the way millennials in their thirties socialize, make lifestyle choices, or love their partner, it is not nearly the same as being twenty.

I was definitely one of the millennials that had the opportunity to move away for college, travel, develop friendships that will last a lifetime, and really figure myself out. The way I lived when I was twenty is very different than the standard of living I desire now. It is possible that this is due to societal norms and expectations, but also, I think people grow out of certain things.

Growing out of things, or growing up has a lot to do with sense of self, the stability one creates, and maturity. Over that decade, each person is able to discover the direction in which they would like their life to go. Regardless of being single, or married, in a career, or in school, or living in your parents’ basement—we all make choices that allow us to best convey our values.

I believe that as a person, we remain the same. I am who I am, and my age will never change that. However, as I grow up the things that I find to be most important shift.

What the transition from twenty to thirty looks like…

Big dreams

The things we desire in our thirties are significantly different than those in our twenties. The dream is now owning a home, or starting a family. Again, this is a reflection of the life one envisions for themselves, but as we get older, the dreams get bigger and bigger—literally and figuratively.

Time and convenience

Thirty makes it much more difficult to find a reason to engage in an inconveniencing task. Those tedious, awful undertakings, like finding parking in LA, or waiting in line at the hottest “it” bar, can cause one to reconsider whether to pursue that activity or not. Time is of the utmost importance, and wasting that time is not the business.

Health

More than ever before, leading a healthy life in all aspects—mind, body, and soul—is a top priority. Having a burrito every day is no longer okay. Drinking your liver away every weekend is no longer okay. As you grow up, you realize that you only have one body—it’s beautiful, it is a gift, and it’s important to take care of it.

Balance

Balance is crucial to the success of any adult, whether twenty or thirty. Life pulls us in so many directions these days—not to mention, stress levels are higher than ever before. Finding balance in order to sustain wellness is pertinent. Meditate, stop answering work calls when you’re off the clock, get a massage every month—whatever it takes, find balance.

Fun

Ah, fun. The things that change the most. Currently, I enjoy staying in, taking my dog to the park, watching TV with babe, and going to bed at 10PM. In my previous life—my twenties—we would just be starting the night at 10PM. I look back and can’t even imagine how I used to keep up with that lifestyle. Regardless, I wouldn’t change a thing, past or present…

Graduation parties vs. wedding parties

Literally everyone and their mothers gets married around thirty. It’s so exciting to see my closest friends find their soulmates and begin a life together. Marriage is a pretty big deal, even though it may not seem like it. We’re not in college anymore, Toto…

Family

Spending time with family isn’t at the top of your list when you’re trying to figure out who you are, and where your place in the universe is. Twenties are meant for solo time. Thirties, however, are meant for rejoining the family dynamic—or creating a family of your own. Spending more time with your parents and siblings, really getting to know your nieces and nephews, and possibly having your own child, become such a substantial part of your life. It’s quite lovely…

The hott guy vs. the good guy

Choosing a partner is always a task, whether you’re in your twenties or thirties. The difference is, however, that what you’re looking for in a partner changes. You start to consider the long-term: Do you want the same things? Have the same values? Are you compatible? Do you enjoy the same activities? Do you like your partner’s family? All of these things become important. I mean, this is the rest of your life we’re talking about, not just a date to the school dance.

Yes, thirty seems to be more serious, but it’s also a time to cherish all that you have accomplished—you owe it to yourself to live the life that you want, no matter what others say…

millennials | growing up | transition | lifestyle |thirty | twenty

Feel like you’re missing out on all the things you used to do? Check out why it’s important to unplug…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

Relationships: How to Know if it’s Real Love

Relationships are particularly tricky, especially when trying to figure out whether it’s real love or not. When we are in a new relationship, it’s as if the world is now made of chocolate chip coated cotton candy clouds. Everything is pleasant, and peaceful, and your heart is so filled with joy that it’s left your body and made its way up to heaven without you.

This initial stage of love, also known as the honeymoon phase, is so much fun. But once your cotton candy bubble pops, your love can look significantly different. The question is, however, is it the love that’s different? Or is it you that’s feeling different?

Being in love can lead to a skewed perception of reality. Feeling all the love can cause one to ignore possible red flags, potentially turn a blind eye to dishonesty, and even accept behaviors that aren’t okay. Once you’re able to make your way back down to planet earth from those cotton candy clouds, you may, or may not, like what you’re seeing.

There can be a wide-array of barriers when it comes to actually understanding whether the relationship you’re in is right for you. Is it healthy? Is it making you happy? Are you at ease? Every single person has a unique set of needs when it comes to finding the right partner, as well as the right kind of love. There are many things to consider, so what do you need to look for to discover if it’s real love?

How to know if love is real… 

Self-love

When you find the right kind of love, it becomes a lot easier to discover just how much you love yourself. I truly believe that self-love is part of the foundation of any successful relationship. Alongside trust, communication, and respect, the way in which you love yourself is also how you will accept love. When you love yourself, you have the insight and ability to know whether or not you’re not being treated appropriately, and you can better understand if this love makes you feel good about life and yourself. When it’s real love, you’ll feel it in your bones…

Boundaries

Being able to set boundaries with your partner, and make him or her aware of your needs is crucial to the success of your relationship. Anyone can set boundaries, however, it’s whether or not your partner respects those boundaries. If your needs aren’t being met, it possible that you won’t continue to be cuddled up in your cotton candy clouds.

Things are easy

Yes, all couples have problems and conflict can sometimes arise. But if at the end of the day things flow pretty nicely, and being together is easy and fun, you’re definitely on the path to a healthy relationship.

Relationships are not meant to be hard, they’re meant to be fulfilling and joyful…

Lifestyle and compatibility 

Do you two like the same things, and want to live life the same way? Are you able to complete your partners sentences? Do you know exactly what your partner is thinking when he sees the dog with the rainbow mohawk walking down the street? That’s great. You’re compatible, you want the same things in life, and you understand one another. Being able to engage in fun activities together allows your love to blossom and build a strong bond.

Compromise

When you and your partner are able to make decisions based on both of your needs without becoming resentful, you’re solid. Engaging in a discussion about potential life altering changes, and figuring out how to make those changes, all while respecting one another, has a lot to do with love. If someone doesn’t love you, they wouldn’t be willing to switch things up and make improvements.

Guilt be gone 

Guilt is something you don’t want in a relationship. Being able to put yourself first, whether it be for your career, schooling, or for the sake of balance, without your partner making you feel guilty, is pretty spectacular. Knowing that you are free to do whatever you need without worrying that you’ll come home to an angry partner is truly a gift.

If your partner understands you and provides you the space that you need to care for yourself, that is a selfless act. It’s kind, and it conveys a great deal of love…

Acceptance

Accepting one another, as you are, and not wanting to change a thing is a very loving gesture. It is hard to enjoy every single thing about a person, but if you are capable of doing that with your partner, it’s real love.

Love is all around you. How you choose receive and extend love is up to you…

real love | relationships | love | lifestyle

~Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash~

Getting too comfortable in your relationship? Peek our tips on how to keep the novelty alive…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on PinterestGoogle+FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!

xx,

Paula

15 Non-Negotiable Rules For Navigating The World Of Your Twenties

It’s all about life rules…

Millennials | rules | life | lifestyle

Hey guys! I feel so lucky to have had another piece shared via Thought Catalog. This particular piece is very special to me because it’s about many of the life lessons I’ve encountered over the years. These non-negotiate life rules have helped me lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

Whether in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, know that these rules will always be by your side to provide you the support and logic that you need.

These rules also help you remember what’s actually important in life. Like people, and our families…

Of all the things discussed in the article, this is my favorite:

Have no regrets

Life happens—it is what it is. Regardless of the situation, you must have been able to take something valuable away from even the most awful moments. Life itself is a huge learning experience. Embrace the good and the bad—find the silver lining. The things you learn will come in handy someday.”

Spread love like confetti, and cherish the love and care that you are provided by those that matter. Be happy, and appreciate the little things.

Life is meant to be lived, so laugh, love, and do the things that bring you joy…

xoxo,

Paula

Inspired to make some changes? Check out why you need to unplug…

Why It’s Important to Travel with Your Partner Before Tying the Knot

Travel is such an important part of life. Travel allows for new experiences, personal growth, and the ability to really get to know someone else. Whether doing it solo, with friends, or with your partner, your joint travel experience can define that relationship.

 I’m one of those people who can’t travel with just anyone. Because of this, I was pretty nervous about taking a 3-week international trip with my beau. We’ve been together for over a year, and our local trips have been great. I literally can’t get enough of this guy. BUT, traveling across the world, while trying to navigate a new place, in a foreign language, with varying cultural norms, can create some friction. 

The primary question I got from friends when we got home was, “did you guys fight?” This was confusing to me—were we supposed to fight? Luckily, there were no arguments, and we had an amazingtime. 

Having had the opportunity to spend 24-uninterrupted-hours together each day for 3-weeks helped me realize just how much we love each other. However, if we weren’t compatible enough, many things could have gone wrong. And if they did, we may not have returned as two people in love…

Consider these 7 things when traveling with your partner before tying the knot: 

1. Making plans

Making plans is so important. Whether it’s for dinner, travel, your new apartment, or your future family, being on the same page is crucial. What’s your travel destination? What attractions will you visit? What type of food will you eat? Will you rent a car? Or utilize public transportation? Will you stay in a hostel? Or a fancy hotel?

Being able to weight the pros and cons, and make a joint decision that both parties are comfortable with is just the first step. If the two of you desire different things, making plans can potentially become a barrier to moving forward in your relationship. 

2. Compromise

Compromise is also part of making plans—can the two of you work together to settle on something you’ll both be happy with? It can be one person choosing hotels, and the other booking tours, or both of you planning everything together. Whatever it may be, make sure you are both happy with what’s coming. 

3. Lifestyle

Leading a similar lifestyle is vital when it comes to travel. Are you wanting to go on a foodie tour? See the sights? Visit the museums? Or climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Will you both agree on engaging in the same activities? Or will it become a battle? 

My beau and I decided early on that we wanted to eat our way through Europe. We wanted to get lost in each city, and take in as much of the culture as we could. We did not plan any tours, nor did we engage in the craziest activity that city had to offer. Our desire was to enjoy our vacation and go with the flow.

If we hadn’t agreed on the same things, it would have been totally possible for conflict to arise.  

4. Spending time 

I think spending an extended period of time with someone and not wanting to punch them is a reallygood sign, lol. Are you able to tolerate your partner 24/7 for several days and/or weeks? Are you able to remain patient? And kind? And not find something to bicker over? 

If you can handle constantly being in close quarters for several weeks, sometimes under difficult circumstances, you and your beau can really get through anything…

5. Having fun

Do you have fun with your partner? Does your partner suggest activities that you both enjoy? Taking pleasure in the time you and your partner spend together, even if you’re doing nothing, is crucial to the success of a relationship. 

You can’t always be happy, and life isn’t always fun, but there should be more good times than bad… 

6. Listen to your gut

Are you at ease? Or are you anxious? Are the butterflies in your tummy from excitement? Or from nervousness? Listen to your gut. Our bodies can sense things that we might not yet realize. Living a life where you’re constantly on edge is not healthy. Be aware of what your body is trying to tell you…

7. What’s next?

Will you come back from your trip knowing that this person is the one for you? Or will you return wanting to end things? Long trips can do that, and it’s okay. If you can’t tolerate two weeks with your partner, how are you going to endure a lifetime? 

Traveling with your partner before tying the knot can reveal a great deal about both you and your partner. If you’re both on the same page, and have the ability to work together as a team, your relationship is probably in a healthy place…

travel | dating | marriage | relationships | travel with your partner | compromise

Love your partner, but not sure how to show it? Read up on how to love your partner wholeheartedly…

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on the following platforms: PinterestInstagramTwitterGoogle+, and Facebook!

xx,

Paula

10 Emotional Consequences of a Dysfunctional Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a dysfunctional relationship, please raise your hand. Yup—my arm is definitely in the air…

The battle with dysfunctional relationships is that they may not seem so bad at first. The red flags are usually there, but they’re not severe enough to cause alarm until you’re in pretty deep. Or it’s possible that it was a choice to overlook those concerning behaviors all along. Regardless, they’re very misleading…

I decided to address this topic today because a reader recently reached out to me and shared her story. I think it takes a lot of courage to become aware of how dangerous some of these red flags are, and most importantly, being able to acknowledge that you deserve better. I personally went through something very similar, and experienced many of the emotional obstacles discussed in this article.

While undergoing the internal struggle between the madness of things eventually getting better, or you needing to make a run for it, it’s possible to suffer a great deal of psychological and emotional harm in the interim. With this, you begin to question everything and start to feel that you don’t deserve better. But guess what? You do!

That’s what a dysfunctional relationship does—it causes you to feel as though you are not worthy of love, and care, and happiness, and stability, and all other things that allow one to feel secure and safe. But you are worthy.

Dysfunctional relationships can cause a lot of damage, and whether you’re in a place where you’re contemplating a break-up, or have already walked away, there is a great deal to overcome once it’s over…

10 emotional consequences of a dysfunctional relationship:

1. Decreased self-esteem

It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when the person who is supposed to bring out the best in you makes you feel small.  Actions such as pushing you away, making you feel unwanted or unimportant, constantly placing blame, or only pointing out your faults, can absolutely cause a significant drop in your self-worth.

In situations like this, remember that you’re not the problem. This type of treatment is unacceptable. Be sure to stand up for yourself (if safe), and engage in activities that will your self-love on a daily basis. Constantly use this as a reminder of just how great you are…

2. Feeling at fault

Remember that the way in which your partner acts or treats you is not your fault. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and should be able to address matters in a respectful and kind way. If your partner makes you feel as though they need to treat you poorly, that is not on you. And you shouldn’t tolerate that type of treatment either…

3. Somatic symptoms

Sometimes our feelings can be so severe that they physically manifest themselves. Going through an emotional rollercoaster can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. If you start to experience physical symptoms that are out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

At this point, it is important to consider the way in which your relationship is effecting your health. Your wellness should always be your top priority.

4. Lack of motivation

It’s really difficult to achieve your goals and focus on the things that matter when you’re distracted by your relationship. Not to mention, negative feelings and decreased self-esteem can strongly interfere in your successes.

5. All the negativity

Experiencing a plethora of negative thoughts and feelings over an extended period of time can be very unhealthy. Between the anger, resentment, sadness, self-doubt, and disappointment, it can feel nearly impossible to find some joy.

Try to keep your head above water by surrounding yourself with people you love—people that are supportive. Engaging in activities that make you feel good is also a healthy way to combat some of the negativity…

6. Inapt priorities

Our priorities shift due to life circumstances. When in a dysfunctional relationship, priorities become blurred, and what’s important can sometimes be placed on the backburner. Be sure to always put yourself first and maintain sight of your needs.

7. Isolation

Depending on the direction in which your relationship is going, it’s possible that you may become isolated. Whether you’ve become disinterested in socializing, or spend all of your free time with your partner and his circle or friends, this can be very serious. Try to remain in contact with your friends and family, and make time to see them.

Also, feeling isolated and unsupported can absolutely hinder you from walking away from a dysfunctional relationship, if you decide to. Your social network is a resource—keep the lines of communication open.

8. Learning to tolerate abuse

Abuse comes in many shapes and forms, including emotional, verbal, and physical. Being mistreated so often eventually starts to feel normal. This is extremely problematic, and being abused is never okay. If you need help, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

9. Tolerating dishonesty

Whether lying, cheating, or stealing, dishonest behavior should not be tolerated. Trust is an important part of any relationship, and you deserve better.

10. Losing yourself

Whether losing sight of who you are, or losing your voice and ability to stand up for yourself, this is the most difficult emotional outcome to recover from. Not being heard when trying to speak your mind is destructive and hurtful. Being with a person who is not interested in hearing your thoughts or feelings is a person that is not worthy of you

Dysfunctional relationships are exactly that, dysfunctional. Don’t allow yourself to feel that you are to blame for all of the misfortunes of your relationship. You’re not, and you deserve more

relationships | love | dysfunctional relationship | emotions

Not sure how to walk away from your dysfunctional relationship? Read up on how to prepare yourself here

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on the following platforms: PinterestInstagramTwitterGoogle+, and Facebook!

xx,

Paula