3 Ways to Make the Good Parts of the Holidays Last All Year

Two women meet a Santa under a California pier

The holiday season is a special time of year. Many people are celebrating both religious and cultural holidays in a concentrated few weeks. These celebrations help promote the “holiday spirit” where we often honor some of our most sacred values. But what if you could make the good parts of the holidays last all year long?

You can!

While there is no one way to celebrate the holiday season, here are some suggestions that overlap different traditions and cultures that you may want to incorporate in the coming year. Continue reading 3 Ways to Make the Good Parts of the Holidays Last All Year

How to Survive the Holidays With Your Partner’s Family

A man dances with a family member

Some people are lucky enough to love their in-laws. For everyone else, getting through the holidays with your partner’s family is a feat akin to tightrope walking without a net. From passive aggressive sisters-in-law, to uncles who make comments about your personality, there are potentially infinite ways for in-laws to offend you — potentially ruin your holiday season.

Thankfully, there are healthy ways to cope. Here are five tips and tricks to help you survive the holidays without a major blow-up.

Continue reading How to Survive the Holidays With Your Partner’s Family

How to Receive Effective OCD Treatment

A therapist takes notes as she listens to another woman on a couch

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a serious mental illness associated with high levels of disability, there are a number of OCD treatments that will significantly reduce OCD symptoms. Luckily, help is available — in a variety of forms.

It’s normal to go back and double-check that the hair straightener is unplugged or your car is locked — on occasion. But if you suffer from OCD, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so consuming they interfere with your daily life. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to shake them from your mind. Continue reading How to Receive Effective OCD Treatment

Why Family-Time Brings Out Your Demons, According to a Therapist

Spooky mask coming out of trees

Ah, family time. On TV, it seems like getting together with your family is nothing but fun, inside jokes, and loving glances from the people who know you best.

In reality, though, family time can look very different. Spending time with the people you grew up with often makes people feel angry, sad, inadequate, bored, and of course, guilty for those very feelings.

So, why does family time always seem to bring out your worst self? Continue reading Why Family-Time Brings Out Your Demons, According to a Therapist

Does Science Back Up Anxiety and Depression “Miracle” Cures?

Colored viles

Fact: Americans are anxious. Research shows anxiety is the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 18.1 percent of Americans each year and one-third of Americans over their lifetimes. So, it’s no surprise that a blanket marketed as able to assist with uneasiness and nervousness raised $4.7 million on Kickstarter.

It didn’t start with blankets, however, and it doesn’t end with blankets. There are adult coloring books, aromatherapy candles, essential oils, sun lamps, and a slew of other products that claim are designed to calm people down. So, do they? Continue reading Does Science Back Up Anxiety and Depression “Miracle” Cures?

Should You Get Back Together With Your Ex?

Woman holding out dried flowers

There’s a saying that goes, “Sometimes God sends an ex back into your life to see if you’re still stupid.” Well…that saying’s definitely a little harsh, but it’s got a point.

Exes are your exes for a reason. Either you dumped them, they dumped you, or you came to a “mutual” agreement that things weren’t working out. However, breakups are rarely a clean break, and exes oftentimes find their way back into your life — especially through reminders on social media. Continue reading Should You Get Back Together With Your Ex?

What to do When Someone Won’t Forgive You

Hand offering olive branch

Like every other human in existence, you have hurt somebody. This could be relatively small: you made a joke about someone’s appearance that really didn’t land well. Or it could be really, really big: you sexually assaulted somebody. This raises the question: what can and can’t be forgiven?

Regardless of the scope or scale of harm, we all hurt people. But we can also all learn to practice accountability. Accountability doesn’t mean apologizing to save our reputations, or making excuses for our behavior. Accountability means taking a deep, long look at ourselves, what we did, who we hurt, and the consequences of our actions. Continue reading What to do When Someone Won’t Forgive You

Why Therapy Isn’t Just for “People with Problems”

Huddle hand stack

I recently had a discussion with a friend considering therapy for the first time. Though she had been ruminating on it for a few months, she remained hesitant.

“I just feel like there’s nothing really that wrong with me, you know? All things considered, I’m doing alright. I should just deal with it,” she told me.

I did know. Just a few years ago, I was in the same boat. Despite lifelong anxiety and years of depressive episodes, I was convinced I didn’t need therapy. The ups and downs were normal, just a part of life. I managed to tell myself that my particularly bad stretches were merely situational: a response to the challenges of graduating college and navigating the real world, of tackling work stressors, and dealing with failed romantic endeavors.

This worked for awhile. Until it didn’t. Continue reading Why Therapy Isn’t Just for “People with Problems”

Is Anger Therapy Right For You? Tips for Controlling Your Anger

A man holds up a painted piece of cardboard with an angry face

We’ve all experienced anger. But if your temper is hijacking your life, making you feel like you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable, overbearing, powerful emotion, it may be appropriate to use professional counseling or psychotherapy solutions — anger therapy — to help with your anger issues.

Maybe you’ve felt the full spectrum — from fleeting annoyance to uncontrollable rage — maybe multiple times a week. And for the most part, some anger is to be expected in life. Anger is a necessary human emotion, one that’s usually healthy and normal. But there are times it can get out of control and be destructive, hurting personal and professional relationships and one’s overall quality of life. Continue reading Is Anger Therapy Right For You? Tips for Controlling Your Anger