The untold benefits of being a young adult living at home

It was perhaps when my parents – who also happen to be my housemates – left to go travelling for a couple months recently that it dawned on me why I had not yet left the family home.

It wasn’t that I relied on them for logistical reasons, or to keep my life in order, or to ease the chaos of the home. These days, I rely on them for their company.

I missed coming home and talking about my day at work, I missed being able to read their faces and sense how their day was. I missed having unique insight into the minutiae of their days, or being privy to the mundane, tiny details that make a life.


Four killer takeaways when you’re tossing up a career change

“I think I want to be a psychologist, but I don’t want to listen to people’s problems all day!”

According to my mum, these were the seemingly contradictory words I uttered as a 17-year-old, nearing the completion of Year 12, and contemplating life outside of the school gates. Fast-forward 30 years and I am indeed a psychologist, but like many of us, my career path has been far from linear.

While my teenage musings may appear contrary to the typical expectations we have of the ‘helping’ profession, I realise now, that even at age 17, I was tapping into my values and strengths, potent ingredients in the recipe for career fulfilment and vocational success. My gut wanted to work with people’s strengths, and my belief system knew that with a positive and supportive approach, we all have the capacity to live better lives. However, in the 80s, the positive psychology movement was unheard of, and the psychological profession was generally more aligned with the traditional medical model, where the focus was on a client’s struggles, what wasn’t working, and what need to be “fixed”.


How to avoid home envy

Thanks to blogs, TV programs and magazines, property perfection is everywhere we look these days. It can be inspiring, but if we’re not careful, maybe even a little disheartening. How can we ever compete?

Here’s how to avoid going green-eyed with home envy.

Have you ever glanced at a ‘for sale’ sign boasting glossy photos of perfectly decorated rooms, only to find yourself desperately wanting to live there?


How to cope after a burglary or break-in at home

Returning home to a break-in is one of those frightening and violating events we’ve seen on TV, or heard other people talk about; but when our own home is burgled, the emotional aftermath can be even more devastating and unsettling than the loss of precious personal belongings.

"When our home is burgled, the emotional aftermath can be even more devastating and unsettling than the loss of precious personal belongings."


Questions to ask before moving in together

You’ve been dating for a while, it feels so right, and in practical terms, you’d love to have more than just a drawer for your belongings at your Sweetie’s house.

Your mutual love for each other seems clear, but what else do you need to consider before you take the plunge and move in together?

First up, grab your partner by the hand, sit down and make some time to talk about the important and often overlooked issues that can arise when we co-habit with another human being, especially one we love.


How to cope when your parents move in with you

Parents. For some people they are the precious souls who nurtured us, taught us how to ride a bike, helped with homework, took us on holidays, and wiped our tears away.

For others, they didn’t understand us, drove us crazy, and appeared to favour our siblings.

And for many of us they tick all of the aforementioned boxes.


How to have a good relationship with property

Your head spins, you can’t sleep, and your nights are filled with passionate and vivid dreams as you imagine the life you will live together.

But it’s not a new beloved that has your heart pounding, it’s the thought of purchasing that so-called perfect piece of real estate, and the more flooded your emotional state becomes, the less clearly you think about what will probably be the most significant financial purchase of your life.

When we fall in love, our frontal cortex shuts down, leading us to suspend all judgement and criticism, perhaps to increase the likelihood of reproduction and survival of our species.


Downsizing: From little things big things grow

It’s the venue of your famous birthday parties, the sanctuary for your newborn babies, the battleground of angry teens and the site of the fragrant garden you planted and nurtured; it’s home, but now it’s time to move on.

Just because you no longer need the space or can maintain the garden like you used to, it doesn’t mean downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one is easy.

If downsizing is on your radar, or that of someone you love, consider the following tips to help ensure a smoother transition.


6 tips to manage expectations during the holidays

With only a few more sleeps until the big man squeezes down the chimney, it’s fairly typical to find yourself running from pillar to post in a frenzied state of shopping, planning, and tying up loose ends at home and work.

The holiday season means different things to each of us – spirituality, a time of reflection, relaxation, time with family, loneliness, grief, fun, managing extended family relations, gift giving, travel and food.

It also tends to bring increased levels of stress.


5 ways to be a better neighbour

Not so long ago, I watched as one-by-one, multiple tree branches were lopped and thrown over our fence and back into our garden.

Although English is not my neighbour’s native tongue, what distressed me more than the wayward flying foliage was that he’d withheld his frustrations rather than communicate his apparent grievances with us directly. Rather than explain his perspective, he took matters into his own Edward Scissorhands.

I’m a psychologist – not a mind reader – but what I do know is that it’s near impossible to support one another if we don’t communicate our needs to those around us.