Ask Maria

June 8, 2022

June is typically a happy month for most of us—a time of year where all sorts of celebratory milestones are enjoyed. Our kids are out for summer break or graduating; we’re attending family weddings; the weather is enjoyable, and we look forward to the start of summer. June is also LGBTQIA+ ...

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I genuinely believe that we have stacked the odds against our youth. Bold statement, I know. Whether it's stressors from a "post-covid" world, like the leftover effects from isolation, fear of the unknown, financial instability, and grief, or the harmful impact of technology and social media, our ...

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Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager, but at the same time, one of the most stressful. It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom ...

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As a mental health and pain management coach, I spend a lot of time talking to my clients about managing chronic pain, chronic illness, and mental health struggles like depression, anxiety, grief, ADHD, bipolar disorder, etc.  In the process, I often hear, "I want to change Christina, but I just ...

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An emotional affair is when you turn to a friend or co-worker for emotional (not physical) intimacy.  The seduction is that this person gives you what you feel that your spouse does not: support, ego boosts, playfulness, empathy, flirting, and understanding. This relationship begins in a very ...

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Stress is a common part of life for everyone, including our children. Kids worry about exams and being accepted by friends, and since March 2019, the have been affected socially, emotionally and academically by the pandemic. Now there is the violence and war in Ukraine. A certain amount of ...

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Navigating through a divorce can be very challenging, especially if it has been a long-term relationship. Although length of relationship sometimes does not matter, it’s the intensity of the relationship and how invested you were that does. Oftentimes we linger on in a marriage even knowing that it ...

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You don’t recover from an addiction by stopping use. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you do not create a new life for yourself, then all the factors that led you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again. You don’t have to change everything in ...

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Stress is a common part of everyone’s life, including our children. Children worry about exams and being accepted by friends, and since March 2020, our children have been affected socially, emotionally and academically by the pandemic, and now, the violence in Ukraine. A certain amount of stress is ...

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Valentine’s Day is a day filled with Hallmark cards, chocolate covered strawberries, red roses and special dining. It’s a day to express our love and affection to those close to us. Some of us have expectations that this day will be blissful; we may even receive that diamond ring that represents ...

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We usually like to give advice because we want to be helpful.  It also makes us feel very good when we can do something for someone else.  We may think we have more wisdom in a particular situation and know that we have experience and know better. Our intentions are good when we set out to help ...

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I’m a Westfield, New Jersey kid. Well, I was a Westfield, New Jersey kid-- now I’m a 40’s something Westfield, New Jersey resident. Regardless, I know the pressures of going through the school system of a well-to-do town—and it’s not easy.  So many of my high school clients are currently ...

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Due to the surge in Omicron COVID cases, several NJ schools have gone virtual…again. Meaning, for some of us, the New Year is off to a chaotic start…again.  This time around, we kind of know what to expect as we attempt to juggle careers, remote learning, and sick family members. So, why then ...

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Ah, winter break. Kids are home from school, and parents have some vacation time allowing families to spend quality time together. However, it’s also primetime opportunity for arguments to ensue between parents, tweens, and teens. So, if tensions are high in your house, you’re not alone. All ...

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In January 2020, a docu-series aired on YouTube called “Justin Bieber: Seasons.” Bieber has been a favorite teen idol since his debut album was released in 2009 at just 15-years old. Now, 27, the singer has opened up about his struggles with mental health.  During the documentary, there was ...

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Family get-togethers are not always easy. Many of us dread having to participate in some of the social events that take place during this time. We may begin to experience stress knowing that our gathering will involve some relatives or immediate family which we really do not like. We may feel ...

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As we approach the second anniversary of the pandemic, most of us have COVID fatigue—meaning, we are exhausted from hearing about COVID-19. Be that as it may, fascinating new research is continually emerging about the impact it's had on all of us. If you're a parent to a teen, regardless of being ...

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Family get-togethers are not always easy. Many of us dread having to participate in some of the social events that take place during this time. We may begin to experience stress knowing that our gathering will involve some relatives or immediate family which we really do not like. We may feel ...

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Learning to trust again after trust has been broken takes time, healing and work. Trust can be broken in many ways including being cheated on, betrayed, lied to, left out, personally hurt, or a break-up. When someone breaks our trust, we no longer trust anyone. This leads to isolation, loss, ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic put more generations under the same roof, and more parents are now helping their adult children financially. Young adults have returned to their parents’ homes due to disruptions in their jobs, closures at colleges, and change in living arrangements and health brought on by ...

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There are two types of anxiety, acute and chronic.  Acute anxiety occurs on a daily basis.  Examples are the reactions we get to stressors such as being late for a meeting, a child waking up with a cold/illness, sitting in traffic, missing a train/bus, etc.  Chronic anxiety is more of a background ...

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Many of us are feeling the anxiety of not knowing what is coming our way.  The current Covid-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty over the economy, employment, finances, our government, relationships and of course our mental and physical health. It is natural to want to feel safe.  The fear of ...

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  Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child. Feelings of sadness, anxiety ...

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We usually like to give advice because we want to be helpful.  It also makes us feel very good when we can do something for someone else.  We may think we have more wisdom in a particular situation and know that we have experience and know better. Our intentions are good when we set out to help ...

Read more »

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Stress is a common part of everyone’s life including our children. Children worry about exams and being accepted by friends, and since March 2019, our children have been affected socially, emotionally and academically by the current pandemic.  A certain amount of stress is ...

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I will begin by quoting a recent Instagram message by Justin Bieber. “Nobody will ever understand the pressures you face! I know we don’t know each other but I’m so proud of the decision to withdraw.  It’s as simple as – what does it mean to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul.  Sometimes ...

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Learning how to set personal boundaries and how to implement those boundaries is a topic that can either make or break a relationship. According to the dictionary a boundary is defined as “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” In psychology, personal boundaries do just that.

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The life of a teenager is filled with challenges and pressures – which can be complicated even more if they have panic disorder. And as a parent, it can be difficult to know how to help your child deal with this anxiety disorder. Panic attacks can happen to anyone, and they are the main symptom ...

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Emotional Eating: Feeding Your Feelings Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings.  Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life. Emotional eating is ...

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SCOTCH PLAINS NJ-- The pandemic has taken a toll on a scale that none of us has experienced in our lifetimes. Individuals and families have had to deal with loss and grief in addition to the extreme anxiety and stress we have all experienced. And the high mortality rate among prime-age adults, many ...

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