Women

1-Minute Read: Fun Facts About Feelings

Copy of Fun facts about feelingsAs we close in on Valentine’s Day, I want to share with you some “Fun” Facts About Feelings.

• Feelings can be simple or complex
• Feelings are influenced by our thoughts
• Feelings come in many layers. Often we will experience multiple ones at the same time.
• Feelings are contagious.
• Feelings are not right or wrong. They just exist.

Many females have learned how to suppress their feelings and be ashamed of them. This needs to change.

Identifying, owning and explaining your feelings will lead to greater CONFIDENCE.

Yes, I am sure.

If you are not sure how to go about creating this change for yourself, I would like to help you.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (540) 316-6362 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: A Strong Sense of Self

1-Minute Read- A strong sense of selfIf you don’t already have it, it’s time to develop your own strong sense of self (aka confidence). Confidence involves embracing your strengths as well as your weaknesses. It also involves developing a sense of yourself without being self-centered.

Yes, you can do this.

Here are some suggestions on how to build a strong YOU!

• Know who you are and what you stand for
• Be okay with others not liking you
• Speak up for what matters to you
• Let go of trying to be perfect
• Own your weaknesses (it’s a strength to do so)
• Be REAL!

I believe in helping our kids to set realistic goals for themselves, too. Be good enough! Try enough! Like yourself enough! Really, enough is good enough.

P.S. This goes against the popular belief that we must strive for excellence… how stressful and unrealistic!


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (540) 316-6362 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: How Do You Cope With Stress?

1-minute-read-how-do-you-cope-with-stressI often hear from my clients (both women and girls) how STRESSED they are feeling. Stress is real and the effects can range from mild to serious. Studies show that chronic stress can have life-long impacts on our health (emotional and physical).

To counteract stress, wouldn’t it be worthwhile to revisit your toolbox for dealing with stress? I think so (especially this time of the year).

Ideally your De-Stress Tool Box should contain a mixture of action steps and mindfulness techniques.

Action Steps usually involve self-care, such as:

Take a walk or have some form of a physical outlet.

Have a cup of tea and take a break (even when you feel like you can’t).

Enjoy a hot bath.

Spend time with friends or by yourself.

Reach out for support / share with a friend.

Mindfulness techniques can include:

Acknowledge when you are feeling stressed and give yourself permission to feel the way you feel.

Watch your self-talk and change the negative to a positive (i.e. “I realize that I am overwhelmed but I know this feeling will not last forever. Let me figure out the first step I need to take to climb this mountain.”)

Ask for help. Use your voice. Don’t try and do it all.

Stress is a part of all of our lives. One way I determine my personal success is by how I handle stress. For me, changing my self-talk has made the most difference. I am also very aware that my daughters watch me to decide either how they want to act in the face of stress or how they do not.

Which do you want to role-model? Get the conversation started!


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (540) 316-6362 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Worried About a Possible Eating Disorder?

1-minute-read-worried-about-a-possible-eating-disorderMost of us are familiar with Anorexia and Bulimia but there are other, not so obvious, eating disorders as well — binge eating disorder, purge eating disorder, and night eating syndrome.

Some warning signs of possible future problems include:

• Over exercising
• Restricting calories
• Body obsession

The old belief was that somehow parents were to blame for a girl’s eating disorder. Now we know there are so many factors involved that no ONE thing or person can be at fault. Eating issues are often complex and they exist on a spectrum.

A girl’s desire to “fit in” and “look good” is packed with emotion. Girls will often shut down and refuse to talk about this or deny there is an issue. As always, my best advice is to remain calm and stay observant and connected.

Tips for Parents:

• Lose the scale
• Refrain from making comments about her weight
• Talk to her doctor or a counselor to get guidance

This is a growing theme I am seeing in my practice. Growing up Girl is not easy!


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (540) 316-6362 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: To All Girls Who Struggle with Body Image

1-minute-read-girls-struggling-with-body-imageI read that 80% of all girls dislike their bodies. How very sad. Yet girls are not alone in the body-image struggle. Women also struggle.

We are bombarded with images from the advertising media and social media about how we should look (i.e. perfect, 6-pack abs, wrinkle free, thigh gap — and much more). Females get screwed-up messages about their bodies.

Parents who talk to their daughters about diets, health, body image, and media messages will be doing prevention work for future issues. The earlier you start this conversation the better. Middle school is a time when peer pressure to “look good” hits hard.

Girls often see themselves through other’s eyes, not their own. They’re worried about:

– Being judged
– Being compared to airbrushed images
– Being ugly or less than
– Being unlovable

Important messages for girls to hear:

– You are not your body
– Find your own standard of beauty
– You are beautiful (even when you do not feel beautiful)
– Beauty will shine through in smiles, kindness and courage

I started dieting in high school. In college I gained about 20 lbs in my freshman year. I didn’t like my body and there wasn’t even social media back then. It wasn’t until years later when I discovered “healthy eating” that my body image improved.

It’s a journey. Help your daughter get there before you did.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Does “Killing Them with Kindness” really work?

1-minute-read-killing-them-with-kindnessWe often hear the phrase “Killing Them with Kindness” as a suggestion when dealing with difficult people. It’s a well-meant suggestion but does it work?

Over the years I have done a lot of research on this topic. My conclusion is no, it does not work – meaning the person realizes the error of their ways, apologizes and backs off.

Whether you are a child and you are being picked on or you are an adult and you are being mistreated, difficult people can be a source of great struggle and emotional pain.

Here are some suggestions that do tend to work when dealing with rude or bullying behavior.

• Hold your head high. Call the person out on their rude/hurtful behavior (a brave thing to do). For example, you could say “I can’t believe you just said that to me” and walk away.

• Try a simple response such as “I don’t care what you think.” I recommend this for kids being picked on.

• Kill them with strength – your inner strength. Remind yourself that you do not deserve to be treated this way. Do not keep quiet or isolate yourself. Share with trusted others. Reach out for support.

Coaching girls and women through difficult relationships and situations is a specialty area of mine. I am here to support you.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Healthy & Productive Conflict

1-MINUTE READ- Healthy & productive conflictBeing able to navigate relationship conflict is essential to happiness and success in life.

Conflict often indicates a struggle or a state of opposition. Because many girls and women are uncomfortable with disagreement and seek to “people please”, they perceive conflict as a negative. Of course, conflict can be uncomfortable and even ugly at times but it doesn’t have to be… if you understand how to have healthy and productive conflict.

It’s a simple recipe:

Say how you feel.

Ask for what you need/want.

Remember to check your emotions at the door (if possible) and remain calm.

Here is an example: “I am feeling left out by my friends and I would like to spend more time with them. I’m afraid I might lose them.”

No one can argue with how you feel. It is always okay to ask for something (in my book).

You might have to spend some time understanding your emotions and motivations beforehand so you can communicate what you want/need clearly.

Let’s teach ourselves and our daughters how to have healthy and productive conflict. It’s a great beginning to label conflict this way and let others know this IS a possibility.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Why Girls Have More Anxiety Than Boys

1-Minute Read- Why girls have more anxiety than boysConsider this as one reason why girls have more anxiety than boys… girls use social media in different (and more harmful) ways than boys.

Girls tend to post more pictures of themselves (usually looking cute). Boys tend to post more pictures of themselves doing something (or achieving something). If a girl does not get many “likes” for a photo of herself, she is likely to dwell and internalize the meaning (i.e. no one thinks she is pretty). If a boy does not get many “likes” for a picture of him receiving a medal/award, it doesn’t matter so much because he already got his recognition.

Girls tend to seek more external validation for their self-worth and physical appearance. Boys seem to have more internal validation. As a girl reaches adolescence she is likely to be less happy with her body. The opposite is true for boys.

When girls turn to social media for validation, their self-esteem is at risk.

Fragile self-esteem, an excessive need for external validation, and too much screen-time equal more anxiety for girls.

This is something to be aware of as you raise your daughter in this very challenging time in history. I have not finished raising my daughters (do we ever?) so I am on this road with you. Let’s support each other by keeping the conversation alive.

Here’s to raising strong, resilient daughters.

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Girls and Quiet Leadership

1-Minute Read - Girls and Quiet LeadershipNot all leaders are loud or bossy. Not all girls are loud or bossy. Many parents want to encourage their daughters to be leaders, but many girls shy away from this title – and for good reason. Girls have different personalities and some are shy and quiet and that’s okay.

Girls need to realize that leaders can be quiet, soft-spoken, introverted and thoughtful (as well as loud and bossy). Famous introverts include Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Mark Zuckerberg. I love Rosa Parks’ version of leadership. What she did was say NO! How powerful.

Tips to help girls embrace their own brand of leadership:

• Avoid “excessive” praise of girls who are well-behaved. I want girls to know that it is not the ultimate goal to NEVER get in trouble or to hold themselves up to impossible standards of “always being good”.

• Teach girls that all questions are good (though this may be contrary to how she feels in school) especially in middle school or if she has ever been made fun of for asking a question.

• Encourage girls to have a voice in their friendships. Can your daughter tell her friends what she wants to do when playing or does she let others decide?

• Teach girls the difference between speaking up (which you want her to do) versus talking back (which implies disrespect).

My goal is to help girls embrace their personality type, especially if they are quiet and introverted. They can be leaders – starting in their friendship circles and families.

Here’s to raising strong, confident and resilient girls!

 


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

1-Minute Read: Becoming Emotionally Self-Sufficient Will Increase Your Happiness

1-Minute Read- Becoming Emotionally Self-SufficientMany women are experiencing relationship problems because others (partner, friend, child) are not meeting their “unmet” needs – are you one of them?  

We are all needy in some areas of our lives. It’s okay and it’s normal.

However, some of us can get really out of balance and be “too needy” or “too independent”. I have been both. Since I was very young it was a goal of mine to become emotionally self-sufficient. I wanted to understand my emotions, my moods and my relationships. I wanted to be able to take care of myself emotionally. I never assumed this was someone else’s job.

Just as it is your job to take care of your physical well-being, it is also your job to take care of your emotional well-being. Culturally, this is not the message that many of us women received. Of course, we know that it is our job to take care of others (sometimes to our detriment) but what we were not told was that we must take care of ourselves!!

Becoming emotionally self-sufficient will make your relationships better.  It will also increase your happiness.  

Being emotionally self-sufficient means you know when to lean on others, when to ask for help, and when to go within for answers and guidance. It is a delicate balance. What a wonderful gift to give yourself and your children who (as always) are watching you closely.

Go ahead, look inside. Some of what you will see is scary, some is ugly, but most of it is REALLY GOOD.  

In my blessed profession I have the privilege of assisting others on their journey. Let me assist you, too.


 

Michelle Kelley 10.14 c

Licensed counselor and founder of Girls Stand Strong Michelle Kelley, LCSW, helps girls and women of all ages develop and improve their self-image, self-esteem, relationship and communication skills, emotional understanding, coping skills, the ability to handle difficult situations and people, and resiliency to create a brighter, better and more successful tomorrow. For more information about Michelle’s coaching and counseling services, call (703) 505-2413 or email michelle@girlsstandstrong.com.

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