Caregivers

5 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Spouse after Baby

If you’re a new or expectant parent, you’re probably relishing all of the joy, excitement and memories your new baby will bring. You’re also probably fretting over the changes and challenges that will occur, too.

No one prepares us for the relationship struggles that happen after a baby arrives. We don’t realize how taxing sleep deprivation, uncertain parenting roles, money worries and everyday stressors can be on our marriage. You soon realize that your precious arrival has set off a bigger cascade of problems between you and your spouse than you ever knew possible.

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Books

3 Tips for Really Listening

We all want to be heard. We want to be understood. We want undivided attention as we share our thoughts, feelings, worries, triumphs and trials; as we share ourselves. That means the other person isn't playing with the phone or watching TV. The listeners aren't distracted in other ways. They aren't interrupting us. They aren't judging us. They aren't rushing us. They're listening, quietly and patiently, to what we have to say.

But a lot of us aren’t very good at listening. Because, as it turns out, listening isn’t all that easy. It isn't a natural instinct or a character trait. Listening well is a skill. It takes effort.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Get Out of a Work Rut or Career Slump


Have you ever had a day when things felt off? Maybe you continually lost focus, had an utter lack of motivation, or simply couldn’t rally to get anything done. We’ve all had unproductive days here and there, but occasionally, these slumps can span days, weeks, or even months.

A single bad day is one thing, but a lingering work rut can be detrimental to your happiness, well-being, and career. When you’re in a slump, you don’t produce your best work and may become disengaged from the tasks that used to excite you.
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Depression

6 Ways to Get Through the Holidays

I feel guilty writing that: “getting through the holidays.” I’ve done an excellent job this year of scheduling events that will force my brain to appreciate the magic of the holiday season: I actually participated in a cookie swap even though sugar makes me suicidal; I made time last week to attend a friend’s holiday concert and to celebrate afterwards; and I even went to the Nutcracker ballet with my daughter last weekend.

However, now that the kids are home for two weeks, and snowball cookies (you know, the balls covered in powered sugar) are lying around, I know I’m in the danger zone. The 14-days ahead of me are critical mental health days where I must reach for any and all discipline that lies inside me.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: December 12, 2015


This week's Psychology Around the Net is full of some surprising information (for example, did you know many doctors in training suffer from depression?) as well as helpful suggestions (such as how to handle awkward personal questions during your next family gathering).

Dig in!

Signs of Depression Are 'Unacceptably High' Among Doctors in Training, Study Finds: Are all those years of medical training actually providing a "crash course in depression," too?

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Family

3 Tips to Make Saying No a Whole Lot Easier

We need to say no in all areas of our lives, to all kinds of people, to all sorts of situations. You might need to say no when someone asks you to take on a task or invites you to a social event, and you’re already depleted (or you simply don’t want to).

But saying no is hard. Maybe even painful. We feel guilty. Often we don’t want to disappoint, hurt or anger someone; or we don’t want to leave them high and dry, said psychotherapist Lena Aburdene Derhally, MS, LPC (“even though it is not your problem”). Other times, there’s immense pressure to say yes, she said.

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Family

4 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

Each year during the holiday season, my otherwise carefully constructed routines become derailed. Despite my best intentions, I find myself overindulging in multiple ways every late fall and early winter. In addition, I experience a level of stress that far surpasses what I typically allow to infiltrate my life.

I have learned, through the years, that there are several practices that help me to maintain emotional and physical balance during the holidays. Here are a few of them:

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Bullying

I Won’t Make the Same Mistakes My Parents Made

“I will not make the same mistakes my parents made.” It may be one of the most common sentiments in the world of parenting. But when we express this desire, it is often met with rolled eyes or some other doubtful response. Why is that? Deep down inside, I think we all sense it is much more complicated than we are willing to acknowledge.

Changing our parenting approach from the way we were raised is extremely difficult. The only easy solution is to swing the parenting pendulum to the opposite extreme, which does very little to improve the situation.

It is as though we are hardwired to behave in the same manner. In reality, that may be the truth. Our brain has been wired to perceive reality in a certain way.

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Bullying

5 Ways to Survive the Holidays with Difficult Family Members

Heading home for the holidays this year? Is there a particular family member who rubs you the wrong way, causes drama, or is just downright annoying, mean, or offensive? Do you want some coping skills that are healthier than heading straight for the bottle of wine? Below are five tips for handling challenging situations so they don't ruin your holiday.

Clarify your values.
Do you value honesty, fairness, kindness, support for others, or social justice (or something else)? It is important to think about what matters to you, because you are responsible for your own actions as it relates to this person and situation. Sometimes our values can conflict, so it is a good idea to clarify what you care about most. At the end of the day, you want to be able to know deep down that you handled the situation the way that matters to you, not everyone else.

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Addiction

Substance Abuse and the Holidays

Family celebrations tend to take center stage during the holidays. Unfortunately, many a holiday get-together is marred by disruptive, rude or antagonistic behavior on the part of one or more guests. Whether it’s a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker, when disturbing behavior takes place, it’s tough to know the reason. Here are 10 signs drugs or alcohol might be the culprit.

Nodding off at the table.
If you spot someone at the table who's struggling to stay awake, this is a telltale sign of alcohol or drug involvement. Alcohol is a known depressant, as are certain drugs. These cause a slowdown in the body’s central nervous system and can put you to sleep. Too much alcohol or drugs, however, can quickly escalate to a critical point, causing unconsciousness, a blackout, or worse.

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Family

5 Reasons Not to Go Home for Christmas

“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays...” So begins one of the Christmas songs that is incessantly on the radio this time of year. The song celebrates the holiday fantasy of a happy family going on a sleigh ride, enjoying themselves around a table laden with holiday foods or gathering around a warm, homey fire. The strong cultural mandate to go “home” is hard to resist. But there are good reasons for staying put in the new home you’ve made.

It’s hard to disappoint the people who will be disappointed, but maybe the healthiest thing you can do for you and yours is to take a bye this year.
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