4 Strategies for Dealing With The Mental Health Implications Of Chronic Illness

Hospital bedroom

Chronic illness can take many forms. Common types that I see in my practice include migraines, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and chronic back pain, all of which are associated with depression.

No matter what type of chronic illness you have, you are likely all too aware of the profound effects it can have on your mental health and day-to-day functioning. Although chronic illness is a massive challenge to your psychological functioning, there are some ways that you can moderate its impact on your perspective and emotional wellbeing Continue reading 4 Strategies for Dealing With The Mental Health Implications Of Chronic Illness

Why Parenting is the Biggest Challenge to Maintaining My Mental Health

Little girl playing video games

This morning, I was woken up at 5:13 am by my six-year-old, who desperately needed a drink of water — and who apparently needed to whine at the top of his lungs to tell me so. This would not have been such a big deal had I not been up half the night with a bad head cold…the same cold my son had kept me up all night with two days prior.

Needless to say, I spent the morning with a pounding headache, a full day’s work ahead of me that I couldn’t put off, and a good deal of resentment.

This small snapshot of my life is not unusual. As a working mother of two, there is always a lot on my plate. It seems as though someone is always sick, in need of food or drink, or emotional support. And because they are my children and I love them to the moon and back, I find myself putting my children’s needs about ten miles ahead of my own. Continue reading Why Parenting is the Biggest Challenge to Maintaining My Mental Health

How Therapy Helps With Eating Disorders

Spoon in a grapefruit

In middle school, one of my best friends stopped eating. Though she was a notoriously picky eater, suddenly her penchant for munching on trail mix for every meal became less quirky and more concerning as the ziplock baggies of nuts grew smaller and smaller.

Exacerbating the issue, she competed in an image-based performance sport, in which size and appearance were paramount. One day, we were sitting in my living watching the movie Center Stage for the millionth time, when we reached a scene in which an aspiring ballerina battling bulimia throws up a meal in a bathroom stall. I tensed up, wanting to pause the movie and say something, anything, but I didn’t know how. Continue reading How Therapy Helps With Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating Disorders: From Control to Dysfunction

A woman with her head on her knees covered in a black sheet

February 25th starts National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 30 million Americans suffer from issues with disordered eating (ED).

If you’re familiar with EDs, you know they can result in chaotic outcomes for the individual: drastic weight loss, binge eating, or obsessive exercising are just a few possibilities. What you might not know is this chaos often has a very different starting place — control. Continue reading Understanding Eating Disorders: From Control to Dysfunction

How Financial Issues Impact Your Mental Health

Woman with coins over his eyes

It is fashionable to believe that finances shouldn’t have much of an impact on your mental health. According to the media, mental health should be equivalent across various socioeconomic classes. However, when you are struggling financially, it can have a very real effect on your mental and emotional functioning. Continue reading How Financial Issues Impact Your Mental Health

6 Ways to Recover When You Slip Up

Person stepping on a banana

Once the dregs of February and March hit, it’s easy to look back at our starry-eyed New Year’s selves and laugh. “You thought you could lose 30 pounds this year?,” we might chuckle. “You’re dreaming.”

Whether you wanted to lose weight, stop drinking, run more often, or just commit to taking your wee poodle Murphy on more walks, soon enough resolve hits reality. And sometimes, when the going gets tough, we fall off the wagon. Continue reading 6 Ways to Recover When You Slip Up

6 Ways to Build Your Intuition

Looking into a crystal ball

Making a tough decision means trusting your intuition. But how do you determine what’s actually intuition, and what’s anxiety, fear, or anger? Any number of emotions can cloud your judgment, obscuring the truth of what you want.

To simplify decision-making, learn how to trust your intuition. Practice ignoring fleeting thoughts, dismissing anger and fear and choosing your desires — not anyone else’s.

Here’s how to know what your gut wants. Continue reading 6 Ways to Build Your Intuition

3 Signs that Self-Doubt is Getting in Your Way

Nervous Monkey

At home, I’m the ideas woman. I’m full of suggestions to improve my house, streamline my schedule, and make sure I’m making the most of every ounce of free time I have. I watch Shark Tank and throw my hands in the air — you call those innovations? I’m full of ideas for better ones.

But at work, in an environment that urges workers to “fail fast, fail often,” I mostly sit silently in meetings. “I’m sure someone has already thought of this,” I think when fresh ideas come to mind. “If it was a good idea, we’d already be doing it…” It’s an ever present self-doubt that keeps me from voicing my thoughts. Continue reading 3 Signs that Self-Doubt is Getting in Your Way

My Mental Health Ritual: Self-Compassion and Setting Boundaries

a stick of incense burns in the jungle

“Daring to set boundaries is about the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” – Brené Brown

All humans share a desire to be seen, loved, and accepted. Sometimes this longing is so strong that we sacrifice our own sense of self in hopes of receiving validation from others that we matter. Without daily rituals to help me recenter and set strong, loving boundaries, I can become lost in a sea of other people’s feelings, needs, and opinions.

Continue reading My Mental Health Ritual: Self-Compassion and Setting Boundaries