Friends Articles

5 Ways Autumn Boosts Our Spirits

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Five Ways Autumn Boosts Our SpiritsIn autumn we can succumb to transformation. We can be fickle like the temperatures outside; we can embrace uncertainty and welcome transition, the unknown.

“I think fall evokes feelings of coziness and warmth and is such a multifunctional season,” says Anna Solo, a wellness blogger for freshtheblog.com.

I recently wrote about summer activities that can boost our mental health, and in light of the new season, here are some of autumn’s charms that are good for the soul as well.

Can Handwriting Foster Emotions and Relationships?

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Hand Writing On a Notebook

I have a treasure chest, well ok — a suitcase — in my office of old handwritten letters from friends, ex-sweethearts and family. Every now and then, I open this old-fashioned suitcase and pick out a letter or two reminding me of a great love, a wonderful experience, a heart that touched mine, or vice versa.

The letters from my family members have become especially treasured, as several of them are no longer living.

As I look through them, I can’t help but notice that the letters recount my history up to a certain point in time, about twenty years ago, and then they stop.

How to Love Yourself

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

How to Love YourselfI have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome.” This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact.

This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat the depression and paranoia that come with a mental illness.

I’ve been in some pretty dark places and I’ve thought many times about putting an end to things when I’m having a hard time, but then, every day at 8 a.m. my phone vibrates and I’m reminded that I’m awesome.

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

Depression in Common: Losing a Friend to the Sadness You’ve Silently Battled

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

depression-different-everyoneDepression is personal. It is this aspect of depressive thoughts that make them seem impossible to share. I let mine hold me in silence and agony for years. It had me convinced that nobody cared, nobody could or would help. It played into an overall sense of hopelessness.

I struggled for many years, reading books, going to therapy and soul searching, before I finally felt depression was a thing of my past — not something I was always just staying one step ahead of.

And then an old friend committed suicide. I had known him since childhood, during my darkest days and yet I had no idea he was struggling with depression.

Relearning How to Relate to People After a Major Trauma

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

IsolationWhen I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, it was almost impossible for me to talk to people, let alone relate to them.

If it wasn’t the constant anxiety and paranoia keeping me from engaging, it was the burden of having an 800 lb. gorilla that nobody understood hanging over my head.

How could I possibly get on anyone else’s level when there was this immense self-stigmatizing diagnosis of being crazy sitting on my shoulders?

8 Ways You Can Avoid Turning Help into Hurt in Relationships

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

best friends

Fortunately, we live in a society in which helpfulness and kindness are fairly common values. We typically consult with our friends on our troubles, help a neighbor out and offer problem-solving assistance to our spouses, family and friends. This is a beautiful thing.

However, if we are not mindful, helpfulness and advice giving can be one very small step away from the less attractive behaviors of being passive-aggressive, manipulative, judgmental, attention-seeking and invasive.

Are We What We Wear?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Are We What We Wear? On a hot summer day in Central Texas I exited my apartment in a linen skirt, white short-sleeved sweater, and sandals. My neighbor, who is also a friend, greeted me on this bright sunny morning with the comment “you look like such a counselor today.”

At first I wondered what this meant and felt it might be negative in nature. However, throughout the day I embraced this idea. What does it mean to “look like a counselor?” What could it mean to look like a teacher, attorney, housewife, or barista?

Encouraging Males to Embrace Safe, Platonic Touch

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

twomen9

Touch. It’s a delicate subject. I just read an article that discussed the idea of gentle, platonic touch between men. It made the case that men are often isolated from touch at an early age by both parents, and that the lack of gentle, platonic touch is a killer. The author decided he would try a different approach, and never give up hugging his son or holding his hand when the opportunity presented itself.

As I read the author’s words, this notion of touch between men felt sort of radical, and I started to wonder why. I found myself agreeing that, for the most part, this physical form of isolation seems true for most men, though not all of us. Many of us get cut off from touch at a relatively early age.

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Leaving a Legacy BehindI recently saw “The Fault In Our Stars,” based on the novel by John Green. This heartbreaking film portrays two teenagers, Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who fall in love as they both battle cancer.

Though I’m not interested in reviewing the film (quite frankly, it was a bit too emotionally disturbing for my taste), I do wish to highlight one crucial aspect that “The Fault In Our Stars” emphasized — the concept of legacy.

Recent Comments
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