When Your Friends Are in Different Stages of Life Than You

two girls sitting on swings facing each other

When they were dating each other, I was single. When they were engaged and wedding planning, I was attempting and failing at the dating scene. Married? We were still hanging out, calling ourselves a well-oiled tricycle.

I’ve had friendships fade as we journey through different life stages, but I’m convinced that strong friendships — like mine with high school friends who ended up with the same last name — can last through it all.

Research shows that Americans, on average, only have one close friend. This makes it even more critical to nurture the ones you have as life evolves at a different pace for each person. Here’s how you can stay friends even if you’re not at the same point on the path or if you’re on a different path altogether. Continue reading When Your Friends Are in Different Stages of Life Than You

How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

Until debt tear us apart sign

Before we tied the knot and merged our finances, my husband and I decided to each hang on to a credit card from our single days. Higher limits in case of an emergency and the ability to charge a surprise gift unnoticed solidified our decision. But as I scanned our joint credit card charges last month, I thought back to our individual cards and how easy it would be for either of us to be financially unfaithful.

Marital infidelity is widely known, but research shows that financial infidelity is on the rise. 41% of American adults reported that they’ve hidden accounts, debt, or spending habits from their partner. A recent survey determined that millennials are nearly twice as likely to hide money or accounts from partners than other generations. Continue reading How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

5 Things You Shouldn’t Have to Ask for in a Healthy Relationship

couple holding hands and standing together closely

Relationships involve give and take, compromise, and consideration. But in healthy relationships, there are certain non-negotiables that must be honored to maintain a loving partnership that lasts. Affection and unconditional love are foundational elements, but what else does it take to support a quality partnership?

Here are five things you shouldn’t have to ask for in a relationship. Continue reading 5 Things You Shouldn’t Have to Ask for in a Healthy Relationship

How to Talk to Your Partner About Money (Without a Meltdown)

Crumpled up receipt

Even the best relationships, conflict is inevitable, and it’s no surprise that money ranks as one of the top issues causing stress and division between partners. How to earn money, how to spend it, how to save it, where to keep it, who gets it, and what it means day-to-day are all aspects that couples must address and re-address over time.

It’s not an easy conversation to have. We all bring different habits — often influenced by how we grew up and our family — into romantic relationships and that can quickly create friction. It’s important that couples commit to addressing any conflicts about money in the right way. So how do you start the conversation? Get going on some self-examination and then make sure you’re rested, have a full stomach, a quiet place, and that you’re both really ready to dive in. Continue reading How to Talk to Your Partner About Money (Without a Meltdown)

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

Why Pursuing Your Passions Can Increase Anxiety

woman covering her face with her hands covered in black ink

We all know truly passionate people in our lives. They’re the ones who fully embrace their calling, vocation, or dream and pursue it daily with a mixture of enthusiasm and discipline. There’s the all-star athlete who balances a rigorous training, practice, and game schedule. Or the food blogger who carves out time late after the kids have gone to bed to dive into recipe preparation, writing, and photo editing. And there’s the activist who’s passionate about helping others and logs long hours at a homeless shelter after a full day at the office.

When we’re passionate about an activity, cause, or talent, we’ll do whatever it takes to devote ourselves fully to it, which is exactly why the admirable work of pursuing our passions can slowly ramp up symptoms of anxiety.

Continue reading Why Pursuing Your Passions Can Increase Anxiety

The Truth About Periods and Mental Health

A woman surrounded by red smoke

Bloating. Headaches. Moodiness. These symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are well known, likely because more than 90 percent of women experience at least one symptom before their monthly cycle. But for some women, the symptoms go beyond minor discomfort and a feeling of being off.

“I tell everybody, ‘I’m not myself right now. I’ll call you back when I’m Ronna again,” one woman was quoted as saying on National Public Radio.

Continue reading The Truth About Periods and Mental Health

4 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Mental Health While on Dating Apps

A hand swiping on the Bumble dating app.

When I joined the online dating scene in 2011, I strategically crafted my profile with the right keywords, phrases, and photos that I thought would grant me the best chance of landing a date, and hopefully, a long-term relationship that would end in marriage. It was challenging to accept this new level of vulnerability and publicly announce that I’m single, looking, and by the way, would you please pick me?

Dating apps like Bumble represent some of the highest-grossing social experiences in app stores worldwide. Bumble’s $1 billion valuation comes as it surpassed $100 million in revenue in 2017. It reached these heights by offering something different to the dating app experience: letting the other party initiate the conversation.

Dating in the modern era is a process that requires patience as you swipe, click, and message your way through a sea of potential significant others. To safeguard your mental health from the first day you create your profile, follow these key guidelines as you navigate dating apps.

Continue reading 4 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Mental Health While on Dating Apps

4 Ways Your Stomach’s Microbiome Might Impact Your Mental Health

Latex glove with petri dish

Brain chemistry, self-esteem, and personal relationships all play an integral role in your mental health. Now researchers are looking beyond these well-known factors to understand how microbial activity — specifically in your gut — impacts how you feel mentally every day.

The Human Microbiome Project started in 2007 to catalog the micro-organisms living in our body. Since then, researchers have pinpointed two million unique bacterial genes found in each human microbiome.

While there isn’t an direct connection between our stomachs and our brains, the stomach sends messages to the brain, just as the brain sends messages to the rest of the body. If the microbiome is out of balance and the neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that partially determine how you feel on a daily basis aren’t produced effectively, your mental health could suffer.

Continue reading 4 Ways Your Stomach’s Microbiome Might Impact Your Mental Health

The Upside to Anxiety: 3 Reasons Why Anxiety is Actually Good for You

Woman in park smiling slightly

Most of us can recall moments of anxiety where our chests tightened, our pulses raced, and fear washed over us. For those suffering from anxiety disorders — the most common mental illness in the U.S. — these symptoms pale in comparison to the hyperventilation, dizziness, and extreme panic associated with chronic anxiety.

The U.S. has been unceremoniously dubbed the most anxious nation on Earth, and anxiety sufferers on all ends of the spectrum work diligently to ward off these negative experiences. But is anxiety always bad?

The quick answer: It depends.

Situational feelings of anxiety — not chronic anxiety — can actually be good for you. Here’s why…

Continue reading The Upside to Anxiety: 3 Reasons Why Anxiety is Actually Good for You