Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Conquering Fear at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

Taking a lesson from the athletes of the winter Olympics and overcoming your own fears, remember, 'You can't score if you don't take a shot.'
Ice Hockey - Day 9 -Russia v Slovakia

Overcoming fear of pain. Downhill skier Lindsey Vonn severely bruised her shin during training last month and feared it might prevent her from competing in the Vancouver Olympics. But she gave it a try anyway, saying before the race, "It's tough…I know what I have to do. I know how to ski. It's just fighting the pain." And fight it she did, winning the gold medal in the women's downhill.
Alpine Skiing
Afterwards, commenting on her efforts, she said, "Nothing comes for free." You may have your own pain - physical or emotional - to work through as you are pursuing your goals. Keep in mind the determination you need to succeed as you struggle to prevail.

Overcoming fear of pleasure. Lindsey Jacobellis skid off course in the snowboard cross semi-finals, once more loosing any chance at a medal. After first feeling frustrated, she told reporters of her thoughts, "I still can have fun in some way. I just felt like doing a nice, fun truck-driver grab, that's the spirit that it is."
Snowboard Ladies' SBX - Day 5
Other competitive snowboarders agreed with her attitude. Nate Holland commented, "It's not always about winning. It's about fun, style, showing your stuff." And Nick Baumbartner explained, "it's not about the finish…It's all about the journey. It's all about taking the wild ride." So, even when you're in the midst of a competitive trial of your own, don't forget to enjoy the process - have fun and be playful.

Rely on your courage, endurance and sense of fair play as you meet your challenges and achieve success. You may not receive a gold medal but you can be a winner just the same.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coping with Fear at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

Watching the jumps, races and lifts at the Winter Olympics can make us gasp with awe at the amazing feats the athletes have accomplished. While preparing themselves through practice and hard work, they have had to make modifications and take risks in their behavior. While as a Sandwiched Boomer yours may be less dramatic, nevertheless they are just as important to you.

Overcoming fear of risks. In order to succeed as an Olympiad, athletes need to conquer their fear of the unknown and go for the gold anyway. As Canadian hockey great Wayne Gretzky has said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." Snowboarder Shaun White understands taking measured risks and won the men's halfpipe gold medal by hard work and his readiness to take chances. Although he was already the winner after his first run, he chose to attempt his difficult, signature moves in a second run.
Exuberant after accomplishing his 'Double McTwist 1260,' he said, "I have fun, I have dreams, I have goals, and I'm just now trying to do them." After preparation of your own, outline the risks you feel comfortable tackling and then address them with gusto.

Overcoming fear of change. With the poor weather conditions in Vancouver, many Olympic events have been postponed, throwing schedules into disarray. Athletes need to adjust to these shifts without a decrease in their readiness to compete. One athlete who initiated her own major change was figure skater Yuko Kawaguchi who gave up her Japanese citizenship and moved to Russia to be trained by legendary coach, Tamara Moskvina.
Figure Skating Pairs Free Program - Day 4
Although she did not medal at the Games, she lived her dedication to her sport by her move. When you are forced to modify your own original strategy, don't hesitate to put your Plan B into action. It just might be a winner.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Facing Fear at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

We all enjoy watching the skillful way that Olympic athletes are able to compete. But behind their performances in Vancouver are long, hard years of dedication to their sport. Today we look at two more fears they have faced and defeated. You too can triumph over your fears, if you are a Sandwiched Boomer or not.

Overcoming fear of competition. Performance anxiety is a term familiar to many of us as it is one of the most common phobias. Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno is no stranger to competition, having conquered his own fears and come away a champion, not only on the short-track but also on the dance floor. Ohno entered many races and has already beat the record for the most U.S. medals in the Winter Games. Ohno doesn't always win, but he does strive to perform to the best of his ability each time he competes.
Men's 1000 meter short track speed skating event at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
To overcome your own stage fright, there are some techniques you can employ: remember to put the competition into perspective; do deep breathing and relaxation exercises; concentrate on your own actions, not those around you; practice, practice, practice.

Overcoming fear of sacrifice. After 46 years of consistently taking the gold medal in pairs figure skating, Russia/U.S.S.R. was finally was shut out from the medal podium. How did China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo manage such a feat? They endured many sacrifices along the way. The oldest skaters in Vancouver, they have been together for 18 years and married for the past three. After victories amid numerous injuries, they retired in 2007.
Figure Skating Pairs Free Program at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
But two years later, they put their marriage vows and personal life on hold to retrain and live in the athletes' dorms as they worked to fulfill their dreams of Olympic gold. As you set important goals for yourself, recognize that you too may need to give up some pleasures along the way.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Overcoming Fear at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

As the Olympic Games continue in Vancouver, today we focus on overcoming two basic fears - failure and success. Competitive Olympic athletes have fought them - and so can you.

Overcoming fear of failure. For some, failure signifies humiliation and the loss of self-esteem. But when the goal is to perform to the best of your ability, you can feel good about yourself even when you don't come in first place. As Coubertain stated in the Olympic creed, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." Stay focused on your growth and the series of steps you take - not the outcome.
Men's Moguls - 2010 Vancouver Olympics
Canadian skier Alexandre Bilodeau personified this ideal as he envisioned his courageous brother as a role model - and won the gold medal in the men's moguls in the process.

Overcoming fear of success. Are you stopped in your tracks by thoughts about what might happen once you actually achieve a victory? Do you think you will be hurt by the high expectations of others after your triumph? Believing you must perform perfectly sometimes stands in the way of achieving your goal.
U. S. figure skater Evan Lysacek had to deal with this stress at the Olympics, admitting, "I did have some extra pressure coming in as the reigning world champion." He took the chance for additional success at the Games and skated with passion and skill, winning the gold medal and savoring the experience.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Competing at the Vancouver Winter Olympics

OLYMPICS: FEB 12 The Opening Ceremony of the XXI Olympic Winter Games

Ever since the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896, athletes have worked hard to 'go for the gold.' Baron Pierre de Coubertin brought the ancient Greek Olympiad back to life to recreate the ideals of physical, mental and spiritual excellence demonstrated by the athletes there. This year, the athletes at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are competing again, continuing the tradition of training long hours, maintaining a positive attitude, and overcoming their fears - all in an attempt to accomplish their personal best.

Although as a Sandwiched Boomer you may not be vying for any medals yourself, you can learn something about triumphing over worry and apprehension from the stories of athletes around the world. All this week we will be looking at 8 obstacles to consider as you map out your own personal strategy for success. So be sure to join us each day as we focus on how you can learn to overcome your fears.
Opening Ceremony

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Virtual Book Tour Q&A: "Irritable Male Syndrome"

Many of you women in the Sandwich Generation logged on yesterday to take part in our interview with Dr. Jed Diamond. We had a spirited discussion with the author of The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression. Our thanks to Jed for being so generous with his time – and here are a sampling of questions and his responses:

One reader's comment:

Thanks for this good information. So far my husband doesn't seem to have any problems, but now that I know about IMS, I'll keep my eye out for it.

And another's question:

Great post today with lots of information - thanks. I've been married 8 years and my husband is only 39. Lately he has some of the symptoms you mention - isn't he kind of young for this?

Jed's response:

Irritable Male Syndrome can occur at any age. The two most common times are with young men between the ages of 15 and 25 and older men between the ages of 40 and 55. At 39, that's generally in the common range.

Sally shared her ambivalence:

We've been married 32 years and my wonderful husband has become impossible to live with. I've asked him to see a counselor with or without me but he flat out refuses. I don't want a divorce but I don't know what to do anymore.

Jed's reaction:

Men often are resistant to looking at these issues. Fortunately there is a lot a woman can do. I'm finishing a new book, specifically for women, Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome.

Another question:

I married a strong, in charge guy, and that made me feel taken care of and secure for many years. Now that I'm more confident I want an equal partner. Is it wrong to expect his cooperation in changing the rules?

Jed's answer:

As you point out, what we are looking for when we marry may change over time. Most men like to feel in charge and be able to "protect and serve."

Many women want a more equal relationship over time. The key is to do it in such a way that a man still feels needed and valued.

A concern from Beverly:

I have close ties with my girlfriends and that's great. But I want a deeper relationship with my husband and for me that doesn't mean more sex. Is there any way to make my husband understand?

Jed's thoughtful response:

Men often express their more intimate feelings once they are connected sexually. For women, they are more likely to want to have more sex when they feel closer emotionally.

This is either God's cosmic joke to punish us or an opportunity for each of us to learn the language of the other.

Lizzie wants to know:

How can I help my partner with his ugly moods?

And another common concern:

The changes in my husband puzzle and upset me but he's not at all concerned. As he has never been one to self reflect, am I expecting too much? Or maybe it's me who is different?

Jed's helpful answer:

One of the best tools for helping a man recognize he has IMS is to take the quiz which I've posted at Often a woman will take it and get a score, then ask the man to see what his score is.

Since one of the primary symptoms of IMS is that a man doesn't realize he has it, a woman must often learn a lot herself and make changes that can help, even when the man is still in denial.

We want to thank Jed for shedding light on a challenging subject for many women. As Jed said: "I’ve gotten hundreds of letters from women who want to know what they can do to help the man in their lives, deal with their own wounds, and insure that their relationship survives this difficult period." Stay tuned for Jed's virtual Book Tour, Part II, when his new book, Mr. Mean: Rescuing Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome is published. And clicking on the title of this post will take you to where you can sign up for Jed's free e-newsletter.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Virtual Book Tour: "Irritable Male Syndrome"

Today we are delighted to welcome author and psychotherapist, Dr. Jed Diamond, to our blog for sandwiched boomers. Jed is the author of The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression. He has been researching this problem for years and has lots of wisdom to share. Now see for yourself:

Nourishing Relationships: How did you discover “Irritable Male Syndrome?”

Dr. Jed Diamond: When doing the research for my book series on “Male Menopause,” I found that the most common symptoms were irritability and anger. Although the media focus was on sexual dysfunction, I found that a much more destructive factor was the emotional disconnection occurring in relationships.

I received many letters from mid-life women expressing their pain and confusion:

“Last January a man came home from work with my husband’s face but he did not act at all like him. I've known this man for 30 years, married 22 of them and have never met THIS guy before. Mean, nasty, and cruel are just a few words to describe him.”

“He blames me for everything these days. If his socks or underwear are missing, I must have put them somewhere or done something with them to piss him off. The thing that bothers me the most is how unaffectionate he has become. My husband used to be the most positive, upbeat, funny person I knew. Now it's like living with an angry brick!”

As a psychotherapist, it broke my heart to see so many mid-life marriages falling apart, just when the couple could be enjoying their lives the most. I knew I needed to understand what was going on.

NR: What exactly is Irritable Male Syndrome and how common is it?

JED: IMS can be defined as a state of hypersensitivity, anxiety, frustration, and anger that occurs in males and is associated with biochemical changes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and loss of male role identity.

The medical community is notoriously slow in recognizing new problems. However, A few pioneering practitioners are beginning to understand IMS. “IMS is incredibly common—up to 30 percent of men experience it,” says Chrisopher Steidle, M.D., clinical associate professor of urology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

NR: How does someone know if they, or someone they love, are suffering from IMS?

JED: When I was conducting research for the book The Irritable Male Syndrome, I created a questionnaire that I gave to 1,000 men and women. The following 10 symptoms were the most common: Grumpy, Angry, Impatient, Tense, Hostile, Lonely, Stressed, Annoyed, and Touchy.

I put the full questionnaire up on my website at Over the last five years more than 40,000 men and 20,000 women have taken the quiz and gotten their scores.

NR: I understand there are different types of IMS. Can you tell us about them?

JED: That was one of the most interesting outcomes of the research study. There were fifty symptoms that we explored and we discovered that they grouped together in fascinating ways. We found that there were 7 different sub-types of IMS: Grumpy, Fearful, Aggressive, Unloved, Jealous, Exhausted, and Impulsive.

NR: How is IMS related to male depression and aggression?

JED: When I began studying IMS, in myself, my clients, and the thousands of people who called and wrote to me, I was struck by the level of violence that was occurring. Although most cases of IMS didn’t lead to the most extreme forms of violence, murder or suicide, there was a great deal of verbal and sometimes physical abuse directed at others. I was also struck by the degree of hostility that was turned inward.

I see IMS as the tip of the iceberg that leads down one side into sadness, depression, and (if not treated), suicide; and down the other side into anger, aggression, and (if not treated), violence.

NR: What can be done to treat IMS?

JED: Fortunately, there are many things that can be done including the following:

1. Heal the sprained brain by restoring the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Eat protein rich foods such as turkey, chicken, fish, and dairy products. Avoid anti-serotonin foods such as caffeinated sodas, coffee, or “diet sweetened” drinks or foods. Exercise more and get out in the sunshine.

2. Restore testosterone balance.
Irritability can come from having too much testosterone (men that use steroids to build up muscles for sports) or too little. Surprisingly most men suffering from IMS have testosterone levels that are too low. Have your doctor test for both free and total testosterone.

3. Lower stress levels. Learn to meditate, take time off from work, or walk in the country. There are many ways to lower stress levels and all will help with IMS.

4. Work with a health-care provider who understands IMS. We are still in the early stages of understanding IMS and there aren’t many practitioners who are trained to deal with it. Find someone who understands the physiological, hormonal, psychological, interpersonal, sexual, and spiritual aspects of IMS.

Are there things a woman can do to help rescue a relationship that is in trouble.

I’ve gotten hundreds of letters from women who want to know what they can do to help the man in their lives, deal with their own wounds, and insure that their relationship survives this difficult period. In response I have written a new book, Mr. Mean:Rescuing Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome. The book will be out later this year and will address the most critical questions women are asking about IMS. Those who want to be kept informed can sign up at to receive my free e-newsletter.

Now it's your turn, readers - scroll down to 'Comments' on the lower righthand side of this post and follow the prompts to ask Dr. Diamond any questions you may have. And tomorrow we'll do a wrap-up of your concerns and Jed's responses right here. Learn more about Jed and his work - clicking on the title of this post will take you to his website,

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haitian Earthquake: Recovery after Loss of Loved One

Like the people of Haiti, trust that you will recover after the loss of your loved one. You can increase your capacity to be resilient. It's not easy to maintain a sense of optimism under these circumstances, but you can thrive in the face of adversity. Call on your faith or spirituality. Develop strategies to manage stress and release tension through relaxation exercises. You may find that you have deeper reserves of courage than you realize.
Haiti Struggles For Aid And Survival After Earthquake
Thankfully, the world continues to respond to the havoc the Haitian earthquake has created - even a group of homeless people in Philadelphia donated goods to the homeless of Haiti. Although children still cry for missing parents, orphans are joining their new families in the United States, doctors are delivering babies and volunteers are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

Paraphrasing former President Bill Clinton, in order for the recovery in Haiti to continue, we need to stay involved in the long run. Take his advice about your own recovery. Practice giving back and you'll continue to heal as you honor your memories. Give back to the community by volunteering for a cause that was important to your loved one. Find your spirit of idealism - reach out to someone who is alone or make a contribution to those less fortunate. Blessings can come out of tragedies. Change society for the better and you'll gradually transform yourself.

Log on anytime tomorrow - we'll be featuring Jed Diamond, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. on our monthly Virtual Book Tour. Read our interview about Jed's book, "The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression," and then comment or ask your own questions. Looking forward to having you join us.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Haitian Earthquake: Emotional Support and Personal Strength

If you're like so many Haitians and have recently suffered the death of a loved one, you can take control of what's within your reach. It may not be easy, but you have the wisdom to know the difference between what you can manage and what you can't. Try to get support from family, friends, your spiritual community, a therapist or a bereavement group. Make the decision to ask for help whenever you need it - you don't have to do it all alone.
Haiti Wrestles With Basic Needs As Recovery From Deadly Earthquake Begins
Make a public commitment to those who want to see you do well. Tell others about your intentions and create a strong reality that will keep you motivated. Re-establish routine in your life, both at work and with family. As you set new long range goals and short term objectives, commit to a process of change - and then move forward, one small step at a time.

Primarily rely on your own instincts. Believe in what you’re doing to heal yourself. Maintain firm boundaries and talk honestly about how you're feeling. Realize your hidden internal strength as you trust yourself and look inside for answers. Emotional discomfort can become an opportunity - it serves as an invitation to grow.

Solitude itself provides a chance to emotionally revitalize. Rejuvenate your spirits with whatever works - listen to music that stirs your soul or curl up with a book that engages your fantasies. Learn to feel more positive through regular meditation or yoga practice. Every night, before you go to bed, write affirmations about what is still good in your life. And log on again tomorrow for more tips that can help you begin to heal after loss.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Haitian Earthquake and the Loss of a Loved One

Days after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, family members battled for a proper burial of their loved ones. Time and again, tragedy followed moments of hope. Yet, despite the death and destruction, the people struggled to survive. And hundreds took to the streets, singing and chanting amid huge mounds of rubble - a clear sign of the resilience of the human spirit.
Haiti Wrestles With Basic Needs As Recovery From Deadly Earthquake Begins
While not in such desperate circumstances, perhaps you too have suffered the death of a loved one. Although you may want the pain to go away, in order to heal you must experience the feelings of loss. First, try to create an inner resource that calms you. Imagine a caring person in your life who comforts you when you're hurting - you don’t have to be totally alone with these feelings.

If your life seems unnaturally quiet, seek out the support of family and friends as you move into this next part of your life. Take your time and don't be rushed by others. You know yourself best. Eventually you'll, once again, do the things you love.

Free yourself from a negative outlook. Although you can't change what has happened, you can have some control over how you handle it. Face your uncertainty with the most positive attitude you can muster. You may be feeling angry, sad or afraid of what is to come. Recognize that your reactions are normal and common. Face them directly as you work through your feelings.

You can share your experiences with our readers by clicking on 'Comments' at the bottom of this post. And join us tomorrow - we'll have more ideas that can help you begin to heal.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Creating Intimacy on Valentine's Day

Other than often sharing center stage on Valentine's Day, what do chocolate and sex have in common? Dopamine - it is released when each are experienced, producing a sense of pleasure. So today we let you in on some more tips for creating intimacy with your partner even if you're not a chocoholic.

Recreate the romance with your partner. Add some mystery to your usual evenings together. Being affectionate and playful can help restore the initial excitement you shared early in your relationship.

Laughter is a great aphrodisiac. Bringing humor into your bedroom will set the stage for a positive mood and a sense of acceptance and trust. Being comfortable with your mate allows you to accept your vulnerability, access your feelings and open up to a close connection.

Unleash your sensuality so you are free to explore and express your sexuality. Now may be the time to vary some techniques in your lovemaking. And since studies have shown that an active sex life slows the aging process, you will be doubly rewarded.

For another look at sharing love on Valentine's Day, click on the post title above and read our article, How to Create More Intimacy with Your Valentine on our website,

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Building Memories on Valentine's Day

A survey of women after last Valentine's Day found that 2/3 of them were disappointed in the way the day had turned out for them. Either their expectations were too high or the realities too low. In either case, why not talk with your partner before Valentine's Day and decide to do something different this year. You can make it a special day for you both, even if you are a Sandwiched Boomer coping with the stresses of growing children and aging parents.

side profile of a couple holding a bouquet of roses and champagne glasses

Do something unique this Valentine's Day. Studies of long-term relationships have found that couples who share novel experiences together actually increase their marital satisfaction and happiness. Why not begin by planning a brand new celebration of your love on February 14th this year?

Savor your special times together, whatever they are. When you give all of your attention to enjoying a positive time, you can build memories of these happy occasions and re-live them whenever you want.

Plan some exciting adventures to bring back the feelings of exhilaration you had when you first fell in love. You can discover new activities you both like to do - take a class, travel, go on an outing. The thrill of a new discovery can release dopamine and bring more pleasure into your relationship, encouraging real intimacy between you.

For more tips on how to generate meaningful conversations with your loved one, click on the blog post title above. You can read our article, Boomers and the Valentine's Gift of Discourse, and browse through additional articles on our website,

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Achieving Harmony on Valentine's Day

With research statistics still indicating that one out of every two marriages in the United States ends in divorce, you can resolve this Valentine's Day to work on improving your marriage. Instead of letting your arguments spiral out of control, vow to use fair fighting techniques and put your differences behind you before you go to bed at night. Here are some tips to get you started:

Couple sitting on bench

Believe in your ability to change as a couple. When you make a pact to let go of old hurt feelings, you can focus on the present and what you can do to transform it. Trust that your love runs deep enough to support the work of strengthening it.

Focus on specific behaviors you would like your partner to change. Identify and prioritize particular actions that upset you and calmly talk about these. Be realistic about the ones you choose - focus on behaviors that your partner is able and willing to change.

Don't get stuck in past arguments. Agree not to fight the same battles over and over again. Either try to resolve them once and for all or agree to disagree. When you do, you can let go of your anger and begin the process of forgiveness.

If you want to learn more tips about fair fighting, click on the post title above. It takes you to our website, and our article, Boomer Couples: 5 Tips for Fighting Fair.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Overcoming Stress on Valentine's Day

Couples today are dealing with huge stresses of all sorts - fears of economic meltdown, actual job loss, threats to safety and security, concerns about retirement finances, and, for Sandwiched Boomers, issues arising from children growing up and aging parents growing older. Partners rely on each other to help buffer the impact of these stresses - and, hopefully, to make coping with them a little easier.

Studies have shown that for couples in love there are surges in dopamine, the chemical of pleasure, and in oxytocin, the hormone of bonding. These encourage further closeness and provide the benefits of reducing stress, creating calm, suppressing pain and producing better immune functioning. Researchers have estimated that in about one-third of long-term marriages, couples have the same kind of brain responses to each other as do newly in love couples.

Mature couple holding heart shape gift between them

What then can you and your partner do - on Valentine's Day and throughout the year - to keep the fires of love burning bright and bring a bit of serenity into your daily life? Here are some more tips for today.

Invest time and energy in your relationship. Make time for each other. It is well worth it - your efforts will come back to you many times over. Even if your days are filled with chores, let your nights reflect romance, sensuality and affection.

Share with your partner what you love about him or her. Don't hesitate to give compliments when you think of them. Express the gratitude you feel at having your partner in your life. As you remember why you first fell in love, your feelings will grow even deeper and richer.

Focus on the positives in your relationship. Draw on your partner for support when you need it. Recognize that your mutual trust lets you enjoy being playful and sharing a laugh together. Your relationship can rejuvenate you when the stresses of the world outside weigh you down.

For more ideas about how to maintain your love interest in the face of stresses in your life, click on the post title above. It links you to our website, and our article, Marital Harmony Despite Financial Woes. And come back tomorrow for more tips for Valentine's Day.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Cuddling on Valentine's Day

With record snow on the east coast and heavy rainstorms on the west, what better to do than cuddle for warmth with a loved one? Last week we looked at how singles can thrive on Valentine's Day. This week we focus on couples and how to bring you closer.

Contrary to the new film, Valentine's Day, love alone does not guarantee the success of a close relationship. It also takes a willingness to work on building stronger connections through commitment and communication.

Couple sitting at table with gift, champagne and flowers

Remind yourselves of the commitment you made and the love you created. Plan date nights even when you don't have something special to celebrate. Draw on humor to lighten the mood. As you recall the joyous times you shared in the past, you will be forming new memories for your future together.

Keep your communication open and honest. At the same time, be willing to cooperate and compromise about issues where you disagree. When you are able to deal with your anger and forgive your partner for mistakes he has made, you can both grow from the experience. And you'll feel better if you offer an apology when you have been the one in the wrong.

For more tips on how to keep the romance alive in your relationship, click on the post title above. It links you to our website, and our article, Avoiding Infidelity: 8 Tips to Keep Partners Faithful. You'll find a variety of articles on our website to help you and other Sandwiched Generation Boomers cope with the issues of a family in flux.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Nurture Yourself

All week we've been talking about how to stay centered and nourish yourself on Valentine's Day. But don't save these practical strategies for just one day a year. Use them often and they'll become second nature.

Relax and rejuvenate to relieve stress. Nurture yourself and your body through regular exercise, good nutrition and proper rest. Attend to your mind and your spirit. Practice techniques of deep breathing or your own form of meditation. And set aside quiet time to do what brings you pleasure. This sort of attitude will sustain you as well as promote greater self care.
Woman holding bouquet of pink roses
On Valentine's Day, give yourself the priceless gift of a life less stressed. Mark the calendar with February 14th as the first day of the rest of your life. Commit to keeping your worry in check and maintaining balance in your life. As you savor your newfound power, cast a love spell in celebration of you.

Still want more ideas? Clicking on the title of this post will take you to and an article on ten self-fullness tips for women. And stick around the site for a while - there are lots more articles that may spark your interest.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Make it Happen

As Valentine's Day approaches, you don't have to feel down in the dumps. If you're single and a member of the Sandwich Generation, do you have an aging parent who's not feeling so well or an adult chld who's going through a rough period? Reach out and see what happens to you when you bring a smile to their face.

Give back some love. Go outside your normal routine and get in touch with a relative or neighbor you've been meaning to call or visit - it could brighten the day for both of you. Studies show that when you shift attention away from yourself to others, you actually feel better.
Woman holding Valentine's Day box of candy
Volunteer your time. Nothing makes the day more special than a good deed. And the payback of altruism or giving back can help you see the situation from a much better perspective. Spending the day in a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter helps those in need, increases your connections and can improver your sense of self.

Focus on a relationship plan. If it's what you want, you can define objectives that will move you in that direction. Tell those you trust that you would appreciate being fixed up. Make a list of what you expect in a partner and what changes you may be willing to make. Join a singles group or a dating website. Take whatever steps you think are vital to improve your chances.

Still need more encouragement to feel good about yourself? Clicking on the title of this post will take you to our website,, and an article about how to turn a crisis into a challenge.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Focus on Friends & Family

Just because you're single doesn't mean you have to be lonely on Valentine's Day. As members of the Sandwich Generation, focus on these tips that can reach far beyond a love relationship and perk you up:

Pay attention to the positives in your significant relationships. Notice who you enjoy spending time with and what about them brings you pleasure. And remember that your personal character and qualities make them want to be your friends. Relax into your friendships as you enjoy fuller and deeper conversations.
Granddaughter giving grandmother Valentine's Day card and roses
Connect often with others. Going out with a group of colleagues can sometimes be more fun than going on a date. And having support is especially important when you're feeling down. You can bring more intimacy into your circle of friends. Be willing to reveal your personal opinions and needs so that they have access to your inner world. And encourage them to do the same with you.

Lower your expectations about today. Actually, there really is no perfect day, so relax. Be realistic and proactive. You can take the lead and make a plan for the day - organize a potluck dinner, a hike in the hills or a barbeque at the park. The wonderful memories you create will last long after the day is over.

While we're on the subject of relationships, why don't you click on the title of this post to read an article about the impact of Oprah's support of President Obama at an important time in his life.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sandwich Generation: Love Yourself

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. If you're single and feeling out of sorts, here are some ideas about how to brighten your day:

Give yourself an emotional break and watch what happens. With a deep breath, release any negative thoughts you have about not being in a relationship. Actively dispute the notion that you are unworthy or unattractive. Choose an affirmation that rings true for you - I'm fine just the way I am; my life is full of those who care about me - and repeat it out loud, with conviction and often.
So fine candy heart
Take a step back and trust your instincts. Listening to your inner voice can provide comfort and reassurance about where you are right now. As you recognize your strengths, focus on why you're happy with who you are and what's important to you. Be sure that you're integrating your core values and personal ideals into how you live your life.

Let go of bad feelings and think positive. If you continue to feel frustrated, angry or disappointed, remember that a minor change in attitude can make a big difference in how you relate to others. According to Indira Gandhi, "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist." Try to find humor in your situation and fall back on laughter.

Still having a hard time taking control of your mood? If you click on the title of this post, you can read an article about how boomers can sing rock and roll instead of the blues. And tomorrow we'll be back with more Valentine's Day tips.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Sandwich Generation:Single on Valentines Day

Members of the Sandwich Generation have a lot on their plates. And if you're single, you're likely handling the challenges of parents growing older and children growing up by yourself. At times, this can be overwhelming. Is it even more difficult for you when certain days like February 14th roll around?

Valentines Day is a romantic time for couples - a special day to express love. But it can also put pressure on people who, every other day of the year, are perfectly fine with their single status. Are you one of the millions of singles who is lonely on this day? Feeling alienated or insecure may leave you depressed - and worried that you don't have the energy or motivation to do what is in your best interests.
Woman's arm holding Valentine's Day heart-shaped balloons
But you don't have to react like that. Although you can't control whether or not you have a romantic attachment at this time, you can control how you handle Valentines Day. Log on all week - we'll be sharing tips that can help you put this one day a year in perspective and take your stress level down a notch.

Want to get started today? Clicking on the title of this post will take to our website, Her Mentor Center, and an article about how to beat the blues.

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