7 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health in a Long Distance Relationship

Person listening to phone

I remember being in a long distance relationship (LDR) a couple years ago that made me feel like I was losing my mind. My life and happiness revolved around when I was going to see my boyfriend next. It was almost like I forgot how to function as a single person…despite having been single basically my whole life.

Suddenly, my days just became me staring at my phone during work, waiting to get text messages from him. My nights became me waiting for a FaceTime call. I knew this wasn’t healthy, especially for someone like me who suffers from depression and anxiety Continue reading 7 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health in a Long Distance Relationship

5 Reminders to Keep You Grounded During Dating Anxiety

Woman Jumping with Umbrella

Dating anxiety affects most single people to some degree. Here are some common anxious questions that run through people’s minds during the dating process. See how many apply to you:

  • Will others find me attractive enough?
  • Will I be interesting/funny on this date?
  • Will I ever find someone I really love?
  • Is the person I’m dating the right one for me?
  • If I end this relationship, will I find someone else?

This anxiety can sabotage your ability to connect confidently and authentically with other people. Here’s how to stay grounded and actually enjoy the dating process. Continue reading 5 Reminders to Keep You Grounded During Dating Anxiety

6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Committing to Someone

Couple holding each other

After countless swipes left and right (mostly left), blind dates, speed dates, awkward dates, always-only-first dates, you’ve met someone you think is wonderful — and he or she seems to think you’re wonderful back. Eventually, neither of you wants to live without each other, so you’re ready to go all in and make a firm commitment.

This is exciting, but it can also be terrifying. After all, finding and committing to the right partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. To make sure you don’t lose yourself in the butterflies and giddiness — and instead create a foundation that’s grounded in an understanding that will guide you and your partner throughout your relationship — it’s essential to ask your partner and yourself some questions before taking the next step. Continue reading 6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Committing to Someone

Is the Idea of a Soulmate Bad for Your Relationship and Mental Health?

Couple riding bikes at sunset

When you’re in a new relationship, your hormones are racing and the newness of your love can be intoxicating. It can be tempting to feel like you have met your “soulmate,” the one person who is made for you and only you.

Even though this idea is very appealing and romantic, there are also down sides to thinking this way. The soul mate paradigm can raise your expectations to an impossible level, ironically making you feel less satisfied with your partner overall. Continue reading Is the Idea of a Soulmate Bad for Your Relationship and Mental Health?

What is a “Psych Evaluation?”

Diagram on a head

If you are new to therapy or are exploring different options for treatment, it’s natural to have questions about first steps. A common, but misunderstood initial step is the psychological or “psych” evaluation.

It may sound intimidating, but a psych evaluation is a simple way for your therapist or health care provider to understand what you’re going through at the moment. Continue reading What is a “Psych Evaluation?”

I Love Yoga, but Still Think Therapy is the Answer

Sign that says reserved for yoga

I would not be the person I am today without yoga.

When I first started practicing yoga, it was one of the only things I did just for me. I cherished every minute of it. Not being responsible for anyone or anything but my own well-being felt like a luxury. “Yoga is a great form of self-care,” Rachel O’Neill, Ph.D. LPCC-S, and Ohio-based Talkspace therapist said. Having been an overachiever my entire life, the idea of self-care was brand new to me. Yoga felt like the perfect combination of doing something that felt productive while also giving my brain a much-needed break.

“One thing that I really love about yoga is the emphasis on mindfulness (i.e. being fully present and focused on the moment),” O’Neill added. “In my work with clients, I often incorporate those same mindfulness principles into the counseling sessions.” Continue reading I Love Yoga, but Still Think Therapy is the Answer

7 Effective Thought-Stopping Techniques for Anxiety

Woman covering her right eye

Anxiety is one of the most common issues I hear about from my clients, one that many people have on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. Of course, anxiety is a normal part of the human experience, and it can be a healthy, biological reaction to environmental stressors.

The problem is when that reaction switches from one of manageable, temporary worry or stress to heightened, intolerable panic. The latter can interfere with work, social activities, and personal relationships. Sometimes anxiety can make it incredibly difficult to function as we normally do, and this is a very scary and uncomfortable feeling.

One of the most effective ways to curb anxiety in the moment is thought-stopping — a strategy that interrupts catastrophic thinking to allow our minds a few moments of clarity to think through the anxiety. Here are seven ways to do it: Continue reading 7 Effective Thought-Stopping Techniques for Anxiety

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support System

House on edge of cliff

When you think of a support system, you might imagine yourself as a character in Friends or How I Met Your Mother. You and your five best buddies, hanging out at your favorite coffee house or bar, ranting about your day. That’s supportive — right?

Yes, friendships are an important element of your support system. But the roots must go deeper, touching both your personal and professional lives and providing a wide range of outlets if one element isn’t working. For example, maybe you need support because your friends are at odds — having multiple resources helps ease your stress.

Science says a strong support system is essential, and can even help improve health outcomes. If your own network struggling, here’s how to beef it up. Continue reading 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support System

3 Ways to Stop an Overreaction When You’re in the Middle of One

Atomic bomb

We’d gone through this before. I knew we had.

I was staring at a co-worker with a flabbergasted look on my face wondering how a pivotal project had encountered a significant delay…again. I could feel my blood pressure rising as my heart raced, propelling me toward a full-blown melt down. I started to formulate my retort, laced with a condescending tone, but after a few words left my mouth, I caught myself.

In the end, I didn’t completely overreact, even though the situation had me dangling perilously close to the point of no return. Here’s how you can do the same: Continue reading 3 Ways to Stop an Overreaction When You’re in the Middle of One

The Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry (and How They Work Together)

Two people talking

“Oh, my daughter is a psychologist too!” my seatmate gushed when I told him that I was a psychiatrist. As I settled into a long-haul overnight flight, I didn’t feel pressed at that moment to highlight the differences between the two oft-confused professions.

Indeed, ask the average person what a “shrink” is or to differentiate between the roles of a psychologist and a psychiatrist, and expect to receive a host of different answers.

While both psychiatry and psychology deal with the assessment and treatment of individuals with a wide-range of mental health needs, there are important differences worth noting between the two fields as well as their practitioners. It’s especially important for the individual left wondering: should I see a psychologist (or another kind of psychotherapist) or a psychiatrist? Continue reading The Difference Between Psychology and Psychiatry (and How They Work Together)