Slipping through My Fingers: A Parent’s Guide to Empty Nesting

The acceptance letter is on the fridge, and you and your family are probably both dreading and looking forward to the day your child goes off to college. This is a tense time of transition for everyone involved, but it can also be a time of joy and celebration. So, whether you’re struggling or rejoicing, here are few words of wisdom as you look ahead to your new path as an empty nester.

Every Reaction Is Totally Normal.

Crying yourself to sleep at night? Getting nostalgic over baby photos? Ready for your new college student to get the heck out of the house? Can’t wait to have some alone time? Want your child to never leave? – No matter what you are feeling, it’s important to acknowledge it and accept it for what it is without judgment. No matter what you, your spouse, or the other families around you are experiencing, there is no right or wrong reaction; everyone simply feels what they feel.

What To Do Next

Once the dorm room is unpacked and set up, and you drive away, watching your kid waving goodbye in the rearview mirror, you may find yourself reeling at what to do next. Remember that every relationship is different, so your relationship with you child is going to be different than your peers, and how you shape your life after kids needs to reflect what’s best suited for you and your needs.

Many people need time to grieve. This is a normal step for many parents. It is also a time to celebrate that you did it – you raised an upstanding citizen. Now your next step as a parent should be to take care of your needs and continue living your life.

Even if it seems scary, remember that how you behave is still part of you working as a parent. If you take care of your own needs and wellbeing through this transition, your child will learn from and model your resilience. Even if, at this age, they act as if they are too cool for you, they will still notice.

Summer Time Mental Health Tips from South Denver Psychotherapy

Just like Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen, we all love summer! But just as summer can bring happiness, it can also bring tremendous heat. Here are some summertime tips that will help you beat the heat so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest!

• Have a Routine

Make a regular routine of the things that you need to do. You should also establish a regular schedule for sleeping and waking up. This is a great way to help you stay positive and on top of your daily tasks.

• Exercise and Eat Healthy Food

This will not just make you physically fit, but keep you in shape mentally as well. Regular exercise will help you to be stress-free and happy, as it releases happy hormones called Endorphins. Exercise has even been shown to help reduce depression and other mental health issues.

• Ease Up on the Booze.

The summertime is full of BBQs, bar patios, pool parties, vacations, and many more special activities. All of these are strewn with junk food and alcohol. Try to watch how much you have; you will feel better if you prevent a significant increase in intake.

Learn a Thing or Two

There are always things that you can learn. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to cook gourmet meals, bake wonderful goodies, try a new sport, or play a musical instrument. The possibilities are endless.

Be a Pet Lover and Go Get One

Getting a pet is a big responsibility; it could be one of the most life-changing choices that you will ever make, but it also might be the best decision you’ve ever made. Owning a pet requires much discipline, but a pet’s love is a priceless thing.

• Nourish Your Spiritual Side

Why not go on a quick retreat? Even if you don’t have the big bucks for a fancy resort, the summer is the perfect time to head to the mountains, museums, and other attractions around Colorado. Take a day just for you. Indulge and make sure you give yourself time to relax, meditate, or do whatever it is that stimulates your spirit.

The list goes on and on; these are just some of the mental health tips that are easy to follow. Let’s have fun, enjoy the warmth that summer brings, and don’t forget to call us today to set up your own personal plan.

How to Survive a Family Vacation

The calendar is marked and the tickets are purchased. Summer is here and that family vacation you have been looking forward to is on its way. Despite your expectations, and all of the marketing that pictures smiling families and bright sandy beaches, family vacations can often come with a lot of stress.

This is completely normal! However, there are few basic things to keep in mind to ensure that you have as much fun as possible.

Realistic Compassion Is as Essential as Your Travel-Size Toothpaste.

The stress that comes with traveling and spending a significant amount of time together can be overwhelming. The chaos of being on the move, the tedium of long hours in the car or the airport, worry about expensive lodging and meals, disagreements on activities, and the sheer difficulty of getting everyone together and organized are just a few of the issues families commonly encounter.

As you go through the day, take a deep breath and take a good hard look at those around you. It’s ok to be anxious and nervous, and it’s also ok for those around you to feel the same way. Be realistic, and remember that everyone will decompress at different stages of the trip.

Be in the Now!

Sure, having your tablet, laptop, and smart phone is great while you are on the go. But, once you get to you destination, PUT THEM AWAY! No matter how behind you are at work, or stressed about unfinished projects at home, it can wait. Take the opportunity to enjoy the time you have with your family; you will be better for it.

Enjoy the moment, immerse yourself in it, embrace it. Don’t long for the next place to see, or the next activity, or for that hour when you can use the hotel Wi-Fi. Just live and enjoy yourself while you have the chance.

Resources You Do Not Want to Miss

If you have ever attended one of my sessions, you know that you can grow leaps and bounds by simply opening yourself up to new ideas. This can be as simple as doing research on your own or reading a book or resource I recommend for you. No book, website, or quote can take the place of professional counseling, but here at South Denver, the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smart phone can get you some resources to get you started.

Our Blog

The key to success is accessing as much knowledge and empowerment as you can get your hands on. That is why we offer a regular blog full of seasonal mental health tips, ideas to improve your life, and other suggestions to keep you healthy, informed, and ready to take on life’s many challenges.

Our New Facebook Page

South Denver even has a new Facebook page! Looking for inspiration? Interesting articles? Advice to get you through the day? Maybe even a little bit of a laugh? Well, look no further than our new Facebook page. We will update it several times a week, so make sure to include us in your feed to get the most out of your day.

Do not forget to make an appointment to see us all soon.

South Denver Movie Night: Short Videos to Help Us Remember we are not alone


It is one of the biggest feelings that we experience when we suffer from a mental illness or even just challenging periods of their lives. With the stigmas and taboos that circle around mental illness like dust devils before an afternoon thunderstorm, it can be scary to share what we are feeling because we fear the repercussions.

Despite this, it is essential to remember and easy to forget that we are not alone. There are millions of us who face similar things every single day. So this week, we are posting five videos sharing the power of being vulnerable, the bravery of telling your story and the truth that many of us face emotional and mental struggles every day.

On Vulnerability

To start things off, we thought we think you should chat with one of the experts to understand the power and beauty behind vulnerability.

Facing the Black Dog

These two videos find beauty, wonder and awe in both their own battle with depression and the fighting spirit in those they meet along the way.