Bipolar

My Bipolar Care Plan: A 3-Legged Stool

I often find myself putting other people I meet who have bipolar disorder into two clearly different categories. Either they are like myself and they are manic, or they tend to have depression more of the time. For me, if I have depression, it is normally mixed in with feelings of regret of what has happened in the past. I try hard to not dwell on the past.

As a person with mania, there are many things that I feel are different for me than for other people. For instance, I tend to have manic rage and manic anger. I have manic disappointment as well.
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Creativity

5 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself — No Drawing, Crafting Experience Required

Reconnecting to ourselves comes in many different shapes and stripes. For instance, for Arizona-based art therapist Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, it means solitude: being alone so she can listen to her inner needs and desires. It means expressing her creativity. One of the ways she does that is through visual arts. The visual arts help us to gain access to parts of ourselves, which might’ve been unavailable to us before, she said.

Using art lets us activate the intuitive and emotional part of our body, said Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed, BFA, an art therapist and professional artist in Livonia, Mich. “Creating art is cathartic, allowing you to express emotions in a safe and creative way.”
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Creativity

Using our Sports Culture to Ignite Mental Health Discussion

It’s a strange dichotomy. Endless chatter about sporting minutiae is common, while serious discussion on mental illness remains rare. But inject sports into the mental health conversation, and you find a plethora of Outside the Lines reports, peer-reviewed studies on sport-induced chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and arguments about the respective mental fortitude of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Even when we talk about mental illness in art, as in the Oscar-nominated movie "Silver Linings Playbook," the main characters are Philadelphia Eagles fans. Indeed, it seems mental health only interests our society when it relates to sports.
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Creativity

How to Let Joy Have a Little More Control Over Your Life

I was recently playing a game with my husband. We’d just watched the animated film “Inside Out” and we were casting the voice actors for our own emotions: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Anxiety. We both agreed that Robin Williams would make an amazing voice for Joy.

Then I started to wonder about that control panel in the movie. It was filled with buttons and switches that our emotions press and turn. Then we react accordingly. As we get older, and hopefully wiser, the panel gets more sophisticated. But what’s on that control panel? What’s anger make you do? What about sadness? Is there a button that makes you curl up under the covers and cry?
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Children and Teens

Crippled by Self-Doubt? Your Impostor Syndrome Could Have Roots in Childhood

Do you ever feel like you somehow got away with landing your job without truly deserving it? Do you feel super uncomfortable when your boss praises your work, because you’re sure you haven’t earned it? Do you have a fear of being “found out,” exposed for not being experienced, talented, successful, or knowledgeable enough for your job?

You might be experiencing something called Impostor Syndrome. And you wouldn’t be alone: more than 70% of people report experiencing Impostor Syndrome at some point in their career.
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Books

5 Tips for Doing It All–Really!

We often hear and read that we can’t do it all. We must pick and choose. We need to make serious sacrifices. We can either have a great career or a great family. We either volunteer or have a side business. But we need to resign ourselves to the fact that we can't have everything. It’s a message women regularly receive.

However, writer and author Linda Formichelli asserts that we can do it all. For instance, if your version of doing it all means cultivating a connected family, building a fulfilling career, enjoying fun hobbies, and traveling regularly, you can have that.
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Anxiety and Panic

How to Shift from Work Stress to Calm in 3 Seconds Flat

When you’re on the treadmill of workplace stress, it’s hard to stop the cycle of escalation. With deadlines to meet and demanding bosses to appease, nothing you do seems good enough. It would be better if you didn’t work in that toxic job, but there’s always the specter of economic uncertainty haunting you, as well as the prospect of a long wait between jobs.

When you’re stuck in a difficult place, the best resource you have is to harness your creativity to come up with a genius exit plan. For that you need a calm, clear mind. Enter the simple and easy three-second breathing technique to go from stressed to calm.

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Children and Teens

7 Ideas for Date Night When You Have to Stay in with Your Kids

Maybe your babysitter cancels. Maybe you’re trying to save money. Maybe you’re not ready to leave your baby. Maybe you don’t trust anyone else to watch your child. Maybe you’re too exhausted to leave the house. Maybe there’s some other reason. Either way, the end result is the same: You’ve got to stay home with your kids, and you’d like to spend some quality time with your partner.

“Nourishing your connection with your beloved is essential in your relationship and ultimately, your family thriving as a whole,” said Lily Zehner, EdD, MFT-C, a Denver-based therapist who specializes in sex, intimacy and relationships.

But date night doesn’t have to mean going out. As Zehner said, staying in “just gives you an opportunity to think outside the box.” Below are seven connection-strengthening, stay-at-home ideas.
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Creativity

10 Problem-Solving Strategies that Work

Nobody likes problems. But they are a part of life, so it’s important to find effective ways to deal with them. The following strategies can help you navigate through potential solutions to find the one that works best in almost any situation.

1. Sleep on it


With often-conflicting problems and demands on your mind, it can be difficult to find an inroad to a solution. When you’re faced with such difficulties, a wise course of action is to get some sleep. While you’re resting, your mind is actively working to sift through the list and help sort things into more recognizable shape. You might even wake with some solutions to certain problems. Writing down a list before you retire for the night can help with that.
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