How Much Effort Do Women Put Into Coping With Sexual Harassment in a Day?

women at work uncomfortable with male co-worker touching her on arm

It’s that knot of anxiety in the pit of your stomach when you walk down the street. You step off the train, your bag in front of your breasts, flinching lest the next passerby brush you “accidentally-on-purpose.”

It’s never knowing whether your boss is leaning just a little too close.

It’s turning the music up loud so you don’t hear the catcallers, or turning down an invitation to a work outing because the coworker who’s going has a reputation for getting handsy when he’s drunk. Continue reading How Much Effort Do Women Put Into Coping With Sexual Harassment in a Day?

What Body Dysmorphia Actually Feels Like

female doll in glass jar

Before high school, I rarely felt insecure about my appearance. Other than the typical adolescent female itch to look more like a Barbie doll (smoother skin, whiter teeth, blonder hair, a smaller nose), I was, surprisingly, at peace with my body. I was much taller than most of my classmates (5’9” since age 11), but my parents and their friends reassured me that soon, I would be thankful for my height, and that my friends might even be jealous.

Expectedly, I soon became a lanky 13-year-old with an insatiable appetite for pizza, and had no qualms about eating half a pepperoni pie every day after school as a snack. My friends complained about their “flabby” stomachs while they did crunches together on playdates. I hate exercise, I told them. Continue reading What Body Dysmorphia Actually Feels Like

How I Finally Learned to Manage My Anxiety While Traveling

aerial view of plane wing and New York City below

How many trips does it take to remember that packing only hours before a flight is an anxiety trigger? At least one more, I guess, because there I was, stuffing clothes into my suitcase and sporadically scanning a list of items I needed to bring.

The feeling that I must be forgetting something carried over to the wee hours of the morning when I opened my phone to call a taxi. Confirming the ride only made the anxiety come on stronger. In a few minutes I’d be out the door and out of luck if I had indeed forgotten something.

Waiting at the gate, I was mentally bouncing back and forth between what I could have left and the problems that could come up during travel. Would I arrive OK? Would there be delays? Will I miss my connection? Will there be taxis available if I arrive late? Am I going to get stuck next to somebody who snores on the plane?

The questions of worry flowed freely through my mind. Continue reading How I Finally Learned to Manage My Anxiety While Traveling

Mental Health In Bed: Cheating and Forgiveness

man kissing woman in bed

Anger. Panic. Betrayal. Broken trust. Emptiness. Loss. Suspicion. Grief. Ugly crying.

There are many emotions that accompany the discovery that a partner has been cheating, and they are all justified. Infidelity can rock the picture-perfect view you had for your future with your partner, shake your confidence in all realms of the relationship — including emotional and physical intimacy — and downright feel like a punch in the gut. It can also leave you questioning yourself and the value placed on your relationship.

In short, cheating is one of the worst things that can happen in a relationship. Continue reading Mental Health In Bed: Cheating and Forgiveness

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking Time Off for Your Mental Health

stressed woman at work with coffee and laptop

Today’s working world is becoming increasingly demanding, and stress impacts nearly everyone at some point during their career. Nonetheless, if the occasional exhausting day has become your everyday experience, it may be a sign that you need to take a break from the 9 to 5. Most people need time to relax and destress, especially those of us coping with mental illness.

But how do you know if you need more than a night or a weekend off? If you’re unsure if what you’re feeling warrants a break beyond standard vacations, ask yourself these five questions. Continue reading 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Taking Time Off for Your Mental Health

How to Stop Dwelling on Your Mistakes

business woman nervous during meeting interview

Mistakes can haunt us. Long after the dust has settled, we replay the incident over and over, ruminating on what we could have done differently, analyzing each detail as a reflection of our shortcomings. This pattern of thought is not only counterproductive, it’s bad for our mental health. Excessive self-criticism can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety.

The good news is there are many methods of moving on and forgiving ourselves. It is difficult to let go of the past, but not impossible. Continue reading How to Stop Dwelling on Your Mistakes

An Open Letter To My Catcallers On My Way To Work

street harassment mural brooklyn

An Open Letter to My Catcallers On My Way to Work” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women.

Dear Catcallers On My Way to Work This Morning,

Like a stray hair that slinks down the skin of my back, I can feel your eyes. Like the Spanx under my skirt you strip away with your mind, your words suffocate me.

On my way to the office, I saunter through Manhattan’s Herald Square. It’s crawling with wide-eyed tourists, to whom you’re supposed to be passing flyers and ushering onto double-decker buses. You call me an, ahem, part of the female anatomy because I won’t smile for you. I grip my keys between my knuckles, and I flash you the finger. Continue reading An Open Letter To My Catcallers On My Way To Work

Is Talking About Your Mental Health Trendy?

selina gomez american music awards abc photo

How did talking about mental health go from being incredibly taboo to being — dare I say — trendy? It seems like everyday, another celebrity is coming forward about his or her struggle with mental illness. While the phenomenon of celebrities struggling with their mental health is really nothing new (remember Britney Spears’ 2007 breakdown?) the candidness with which they speak about it and the praise they receive for doing so today is almost revolutionary. If Spears’ breakdown happened this year, a whole decade later, I believe the whole scenario would be handled way differently. Maybe, instead of being mocked, she would have been met with compassion and understanding.

In this past year alone, there’s been a noticeable increase in mental health mentions in pop culture. For example, 13 Reasons Why, a show in which the main character dies by suicide, became one of the most streamed Netflix original series in March and actually broke a record for “being tweeted about more than any other Netflix show in its first week of streaming.” Despite all the controversy surrounding the show, there’s no denying that the series opened up an important dialogue about depression and suicide. Continue reading Is Talking About Your Mental Health Trendy?

How to Use Discomfort to Improve Your Well-Being and Transform Your Life

man hiking in mountain wearing gear

This piece was first published on The Good Men Project, a publication that offers enlightened masculinity and stories from men.

Have you ever had that inner voice inside nudge you to do something you knew was going to be beneficial, but also difficult? One of those things that is tough enough for you to choose not to do it and stay in your comfort zone? We all have. There is an opportunity to go through that difficulty and get to the other side. We know that if we were to take said action we would benefit, but sometimes something holds us back. That something is going through the temporary pain, frustration and difficulty, even though we know there are greener pastures on the other side.

Here are a few things you can do to help yourself push through the pain, get to the other side, improve your well being and thrive! It’s time to get out of our little box and create a life far beyond our wildest imaginations. Without the extra push, we stay stuck and we settle for less than our potential. Continue reading How to Use Discomfort to Improve Your Well-Being and Transform Your Life

Why Doesn’t My Friend Leave Their Abusive Partner – and How Can I Help?

woman hugging comforting her crying friend

You may see your friend crying, hear your friend’s partner make demeaning comments towards them, or notice they seem anxious around or afraid of their partner. Or your friend may open up to you on their own.

Knowing or suspecting that someone you care about is in an abusive relationship can be a deeply conflicting experience. You know it’s taking a toll on their mental and possibly physical health — and you want to help — but you may not feel equipped. You want to swoop in and “rescue” your friend, and yet you know you have to respect their right to make their own choices.

Despite these difficulties, it is possible to support a friend who is in an abusive situation — and often, a good friend’s support makes all the difference. Offering real support means putting our friend’s needs before our own desire to play the hero. It also means learning about the complex psychological effects of abuse.

We can understand the complexities of abuse by answering one common question: If this relationship is hurting my friend so much, why don’t they just leave? Continue reading Why Doesn’t My Friend Leave Their Abusive Partner – and How Can I Help?