What Does It Really Mean To Be Sober Curious?

man and woman drinking juice

After a summer of rosé all day, you might be feeling like it’s time to take a break from alcohol. Even if you’re not fall-down drunk, you still might be sick of hangovers or too many days when you just feel a little off.

You’re not alone. The “sober curious” trend is quickly gaining traction thanks to books like Sober Curious and This Naked Mind. “Sobriety influencers” are sharing the ups and downs of what a sober or “sober curious” life looks like.

Continue reading What Does It Really Mean To Be Sober Curious?

Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

woman looking stressed in bathtub

A few weeks before my wedding, I caught a nasty cold.

I remember marching into my therapy appointment — head pounding and body aching — furious that I was sick. I was frustrated that being sick was getting in the way of what I thought I had to do to feel beautiful and relaxed on my wedding day. Things like: run every day, tone my arms, double-down on my skin regimen, cook homemade meals, get a haircut, drink green juice, and meditate regularly. I was overcome with guilt that I didn’t have the energy to do any of it.

“I’m just so tired,” I blubbered to my therapist in between sobs. Continue reading Are You Numbing Out On Self-Care?

How to Break a Bad Habit

cigarette burning

Last week I was using my husband’s laptop to respond to some quick emails before heading to work. I was frantically typing away, wanting to hit send as fast as possible to still make my train, when a notification popped up on his screen: “don’t bite your nails today, Brian!” I laughed out loud and wondered — can you really break a three-decade habit with a Google Calendar reminder?

It turns out the answer is yes. Habits form after much practice and repetition, and that’s also how they’re broken. A daily ping on his laptop, cell phone, and iPad reminds Brian cyclically to change his behavior, making him more committed to reaching his goal. Of course, Brian’s habit is mild on the bad-habit continuum, so it’s easier to break as long as he’s dedicated. I have habits like this, too — eating meals in bed, almost always having a phone that’s out of battery, leaving my clean laundry in the hamper, unfolded for too long. But there are also strong, addictive habits, too, such as substance abuse, which can be much more difficult to break. Continue reading How to Break a Bad Habit

10 Low-Cost Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day

women in line for the ice cream truck

When summer rolls around, it’s tempting to think the sun showers and beach days will wash away any mental health maintenance struggles. But for many, the warm weather brings new challenges like baring self-harm scars, dealing with body image issues, managing high expectations to have the perfect summer, coping with a lack of structure, and carrying the financial burdens of the heavy travel season. Continue reading 10 Low-Cost Ways to Spend a Mental Health Day

What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

man waiting for the subway pulling his hair in stress

Mental health isn’t simply about what’s going on inside your head. What’s happening outside your head is important, too — from a cluttered bedroom to a poorly-lit office to the view from a window — it can all impact your well-being.

Physical environments directly impact our psychological health. It’s easy to see why: we spend a lot of time thinking about what’s around us. And all that external stimuli has an effect! Maybe the laundry hasn’t been folded in three days, and it bugs you every time you go to bed. Or your kitchen is dark and gloomy, and so cooking dinner makes you sad. Continue reading What Role Does Physical Environment Play in Your Mental Health?

Low-cost Solutions That Can Improve Your Mental Health

Piggy bank

The wellness industry, which grew 12.8% from 2015-2017 to a $4.2 trillion global market, has done an amazing job at convincing us that self-care is a luxury.

I fell straight into the trap of thinking exotic yoga retreats, expensive green juices, and fancy trips to the spa were the only ways to practice self-care. Over the years I’ve learned (as has my wallet) that self-care doesn’t need to be so elaborate. Rather, the best forms of self-care are those everyday practices that help you feel more balanced, more present, and more intentional on a regular basis. Continue reading Low-cost Solutions That Can Improve Your Mental Health

6 Tips for Getting in Shape When You’re Depressed

Shadow of woman in gym

Experts often say that exercise helps cure depression — but for many of us, regular exercise is already one of the world’s most difficult challenges. Getting to the gym while depressed? That’s asking a lot.

But the experts aren’t wrong: a regular exercise routine does help with depression. Exercise helps you sleep better, improves your overall health, and gives you confidence. Plus, exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins are part of what make you happy.

Not sure how to stick to an exercise routine when you’re already feeling down? These tips may help. Continue reading 6 Tips for Getting in Shape When You’re Depressed

Can You Really Exercise Away Depression and Anxiety?

Woman stretching on exercise ball

On the internet, there are endless lists of the things you can do to heal yourself of any ailment: from depression to migraines, from anxiety to irritable bowel syndrome. Apparently you can cure anything simply chant positive mantras, drink enough water to become a camel, and practice yoga 24/7…maybe even shower while standing on one’s head.

The internet would like us to believe that this is particularly true when it comes to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard “just do X to snap out of Y,” I’d be retired, sipping umbrella drinks in Tahiti. Continue reading Can You Really Exercise Away Depression and Anxiety?

Why Other People’s Accomplishments Sometimes Make You Feel Terrible

woman standing in front of waterfall holding sign that says i'm here not you

Have you ever become spiteful after hearing about someone else’s accomplishments, and felt like a complete jerk? Maybe you’ve felt your heart sink a little bit when someone shares their own good news in the form of an “I’m so excited to announce…” Facebook or Instagram post. Chances are, yes, you’ve felt a little terrible at least once when you’ve watched someone’s success from the sidelines. You find yourself looking at your phone, feeling like a failure, even though you’re not!

Continue reading Why Other People’s Accomplishments Sometimes Make You Feel Terrible

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