General

7 Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself as a Mom-to-Be on Bed Rest

Bed rest might sound like a dream -- like a vacation you’d love to have. But bed rest can actually be a terrifying time for moms-to-be, said Parijat Deshpande, a perinatal wellness counselor who works with women who are stressed, anxious and feel helpless during a high-risk pregnancy. It can be “hard, lonely and exhausting both physically and emotionally.”

Women can face a range of challenges. For one, many people might not understand exactly what you’re going through, making you feel even lonelier. You might feel bored, especially if you’re a go-getter, have a “type-A” personality or are used to staying busy, Deshpande said. You might feel guilty for all sorts of things -- for not being able to help out as much as you normally would, for not being able to spend time with your other kids, she said.
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Anger

5 Proven Ways to Avoid Losing Your Cool at Work

At one point or another, we’ve all felt totally irritated while at work: You pull an all-nighter on a project that then gets scrapped; a client criticizes your team for no apparent reason, or your co-worker shows up late for a meeting again, dumping all the prep work on you.
These office aggravations can make your blood boil. Your focus is immediately hijacked from the important task at hand. Instead, your mind goes into fight-or-flight mode and you become reactionary; not thinking clearly, blaming others, or beating yourself up for getting upset. In this state, you’re prone to making poor judgements and saying things you may regret later.
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General

Your Mental Health is Just as Vital as Your Physical Health

On Psych Central’s homepage, you’ve likely seen the tagline: “Your mental health is as important as your physical health.” But what does mental health really mean? What does it entail? And why is it so pivotal -- so much so that it’s on par with our physical health?

These are the questions I posed to clinicians. Because, in our society, there’s a strong emphasis on taking care of our bodies -- eat nutrient-rich foods, exercise -- and yet not so much on taking care of our mental health. Sure, we see articles with self-help tips. But I’m not sure that many of us really consider our mental health day to day. I’m not sure that we give it the same attention and energy, if any.
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Brain and Behavior

8 Ways Highly-Sensitive People Can Survive Vacation

We are trained from the time we emerge from our mothers' wombs to look forward to vacations as a chance to relax, have fun, and escape from the rigors of life. But for a small percentage of us, vacation is harder than work -- it requires far more stamina than sitting in an office chair for eight hours a day.

I compare the human body to a tower of 54 wooden blocks in the game Jenga. To set the game up, you stack the initial tower with three blocks placed adjacent to each other along their long sides, and perpendicular to the previous level, up to 18 levels. The object of the game is to keep eliminating blocks from the existing structure while placing new blocks on top. Eventually, the tower tumbles.

The normal person starts vacation week with three wooden blocks across each level, so a few unhealthy meals or some sleepless nights aren’t going to make the tower budge.
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Books

5 Creative Ideas for Keeping Your Loved One’s Memory Alive

After someone close to us dies, we may think that our connection with the deceased is over. Maybe we assume that the “healthy” thing to do is to let go and get over our friend's or family member's passing. (Does anyone ever get over a terrible loss?) Or maybe we have a hard time bringing up our loved one in conversation. It’s just too painful to recount the memories when their absence is so palpable we can touch it. Or maybe you’d like to find a unique way to honor your loved one. But you’re not sure what to do.

Each of us mourns in different ways. And these ways may change throughout the years. But our relationship with our loved one is never over. It lives on. It continues to be a living, breathing thing.
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Creativity

6 Tips for Effectively Navigating Information Overload

You’re probably familiar with the term “information overload.” If you’re not, you’re probably all-too familiar with what it describes. Therapist Melody Wilding, LMSW, defined information overload as the unease you feel when you have multiple tabs open on your computer -- except the tabs are in your head. You feel frantic. Your attention is fractured. You have “one foot in and one foot out,” she said.

“Information overload describes the difficulty a person may have making decisions or thinking clearly because there is just too much information to be processed,” said Marsha Egan, CSP, PCC, CEO of The Egan Group Inc., and author of Inbox Detox and the Habit of Email Excellence.
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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: June 11, 2016


Earlier this week, I experienced an episode of sleep paralysis. It wasn't my first time (though I've experienced it only a handful of times at most), but it was definitely the most terrifying time. I was exhausted and decided to take a quick midday nap...only, when I tried to wake up, not only could I not move, but I couldn't keep my eyes open for longer than a second.

During that second I could keep them open? I hallucinated a creepy, hunchbacked old man pilfering around my living room and sheer panic took over.

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Anxiety and Panic

Managing Panic Attacks at Work

When you’re having a panic attack, it might feel like you’re drowning. You feel like you can’t breathe and your chest is constricted. You might feel detached from your body, from your surroundings, as though you’re floating in a dream. You might become overheated with clammy hands, a flushed face and sweat trickling down your spine. You also might be shaking.

This is how Alyson Cohen’s clients have described their panic attacks. Of course, panic attacks are different for every person. Maybe you don’t feel any of the above. But you hear or feel your heartbeat. Your vision is blurry. You’re dizzy. And your ears are ringing. According to Washington DC-based psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, these also are common symptoms.
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Depression

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Difficult Patient

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes is the one where Elaine snoops inside her medical chart and reads “patient is difficult.”

The doctor takes a look at her rash and says, “Well, this doesn’t look serious,” and writes something in the chart.

“What are you writing?” she asks.

He sneers and walks out the door.

Wanting a fresh start, she goes to see another doctor, and realizes her chart follows her there. The new doctor greets her warmly until he reads the comments.

He glances at her arm and says impatiently, “This doesn’t look serious.”

“But it really itches,” she complains.
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General

How to Judge Yourself Less

We judge ourselves for so many things. Maybe it’s what we look like. Maybe it’s the size of our thighs. Maybe it’s the mistakes we made. A decade ago. Maybe it’s the small errors we make at work from time to time. Maybe we see ourselves as weak. Not good enough. Inadequate. Deeply flawed.

Maybe you often think in shoulds. I should be over this by now. I shouldn’t be anxious about that. Psychologist Karin Lawson, PsyD, regularly hears these kinds of statements from her clients. They also judge themselves for their emotions. Their sadness. Anger. Fear. “I hear clients judge themselves for just feeling, for being human.” After all, feeling a range of emotions is part of our humanity.
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Books

3 Ways You Might Be Making Yourself Miserable

There are many things that make us miserable that we can’t control. Our employer is forced to make cuts, and our job is part of the downsizing. Our colleagues are bullies. We’re born with a bad lung or poor eyesight. We’re too short for the sports team we’ve always wanted to join. There’s traffic, construction zones, storms, and a driver who was texting and smacked into your parked car.

But thankfully there are other...
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Borderline Personality

Strikeout

“Who is going to step up?”

How many of us recall this trite saying from our gruff high school coach? We winced every time he muttered these well-worn proverbs. But the Ol’ Ball Coach was right -- just in a different context.

As diehard fans, our attention is misplaced. We can dissect a player’s batting average against left-handed relievers during Tuesday day games. We can analyze a shooting guard’s player efficiency rating against the woebegone Sacramento Kings. We can recite the contractual language for a third-string quarterback. But if we deign to discuss sports and mental health, screamin’ Stan from the South Bronx swallows his microphone.
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