The Mental Health Benefits of the Holidays

woman with christmas socks and mug relaxing by fireplace

Often when we talk about the holidays, we tend to focus on the stressors and challenges of this time of year. Nonetheless, the holiday season isn’t all bad, and there are certainly some powerful positive benefits for our mental health this time of year.

It Gives Us Some Much Needed Downtime

For most of us, the holiday season is a period of high stress and represents a strong departure from our regular routines. This disruption can be challenging to manage. On the other hand, it is also a period in which we experience a much-needed escape from our regular obligations and responsibilities. Continue reading The Mental Health Benefits of the Holidays

Getting the Most Out of 2018: SMART Goals and Mental Health Resolutions

2018 goals notebook coffee house plant

The end of the year is here, and for most of us this is a time when we start thinking about how things can change in the new year. Many of us set up resolutions in the new year to be better, look better and act better.

Culturally, goals for the new year often focus on changing our physical selves. But what if we devoted some tried and true goal setting approaches to changing our emotional and psychological selves too?

As we prepare for the new year give some thought to how you’d like for your emotional life to be better in 2018. Would you like to practice better self-care? How about ending some old relationship patterns rooted in past hurt? Continue reading Getting the Most Out of 2018: SMART Goals and Mental Health Resolutions

This Simple Attitude Change Will Dramatically Improve Your Quality of Life

happy woman with laptop lying on couch

This Simple Attitude Change Will Dramatically Improve Your Quality of Life” originally appeared on Fairygodboss, an online career community for women, by women.

What if I told you there was one simple technique that could improve every aspect of your life? No, it’s not a green juice, or the newest superfood, or even meditation, though those all have their benefits! It’s a mindset shift called reframing.

I am a huge fan of hyperbole. Why tell someone I am hungry when I can tell them I am wasting away as we speak, punctuated by as many dramatically place swears as possible, accompanied by a gif. While this approach might be amusing when deployed positively, it can also backfire in negative situations. Using that same mentality, a setback at work can become a career-ender, a holiday weight-gain can turn into berating yourself for lack of self-control, and an unexpected breakup can lead to an internal monologue about how unloveable you are. What I’m referring to is negative self-talk. Continue reading This Simple Attitude Change Will Dramatically Improve Your Quality of Life

Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

woman holding unplug mug snowy winter day

Near the end of each year most of us are chomping at the bit, anxiously awaiting some much-needed downtime. As business slows down and responsibilities wane, people look forward to much-needed rest and rejuvenation. This break is also an opportunity to finally unplug.

There’s a lot of emerging research on the effects of technology use on our collective mental health, but what’s most important to understand about technology is how ubiquitous connectivity can exacerbate worry, fear, sadness and a host of other emotions. If unchecked, this effect could contribute to mental fatigue. Continue reading Why You Should Unplug this Holiday Season, According to a Therapist

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

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

Holiday Anxiety: 5 Tips for Surviving Office Holiday Parties

office holiday party employees celebrating

Braving crowded stores to find the perfect gifts, family gatherings with relatives from far flung places you see only once a year, busy irregular schedules and traveling and decorating and wrapping presents and preparing food, and, of course, don’t forget the office holiday party.

’Tis the season…to be anxious.

With all these holiday activities to worry about, for many people, an office party may seem like a blip on the radar, approached with a combination of obligation, resignation, and for some, maybe even a little excitement. But if you live with anxiety, work holiday parties are probably high on the list of seasonal stressors. And you’re definitely not alone. Continue reading Holiday Anxiety: 5 Tips for Surviving Office Holiday Parties

3 Tips to Survive the Holidays While Living with Mental Illness

snowflakes clouds holiday winter background

As joyous as the holiday season can be, it is not immune from difficulties. If you’re living with a mental illness, dealing with the holiday cheer, increased expectations, and interacting more with family may prove to be overwhelming at times. Stress is often at an all-time high during the holiday season.

Here are some tips to help keep you mentally healthier throughout the holidays.

Tip 1: Be Honest With Yourself

Too often, we rely on others’ standards and expectations for us to dictate how we spend our time during the holidays. This pattern can lead to a crisis when you consider the already stressful season of spending extra money and a condensed amount of time with family members who may not understand your mental illness. Continue reading 3 Tips to Survive the Holidays While Living with Mental Illness

Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment

time to be happy written in beach sand wave behind

Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment” originally appeared on Shine, a free daily text to help you thrive.

“Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness” – Pearl S. Buck

It was a chilly evening in my cramped Brooklyn apartment, so I lit a candle and rolled out a yoga mat. I got into Child’s Pose, and, out of nowhere, I started crying. It wasn’t just a few tears I could dab away with my shirtsleeve—it was a snot-induced, ugly cry. I asked myself, “Why do I feel so unhappy?”

I think about happiness a lot, and I often wonder if I think about the emotion more than I actually feel it. On my tear-stained yoga mat, I realized that I hold out for happiness. Maybe I’ll feel it momentarily, but it’s fleeting. I’m always thinking of the bigger picture and waiting to be happy. Continue reading Why We Can’t Wait Around for That Big Happy Moment

#GivingTuesday: 7 Ways To Give that Improve Your Mental Health

#GivingTuesday present red bow wood table

Since 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is when we celebrate #GivingTuesday. An initiative born out of the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York, the day has taken hold as a time to get in the holiday spirit by giving to charities and nonprofits around the country to support the critical work these organizations do to help those in need.

But more than that, the spirit of #GivingTuesday can be the perfect time to remind ourselves that there are so many ways to give each year, not just through monetary donations, but through our actions toward ourselves and others, particularly around mental health.

So this #GivingTuesday, celebrate the day by giving in a mentally healthy way with these seven ideas. Continue reading #GivingTuesday: 7 Ways To Give that Improve Your Mental Health