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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5 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude Throughout the Day

The benefits of practicing gratitude are innumerable. It helps release toxic emotions such as frustration, envy, regret and resentment while increasing sensitivity and empathy toward others. Being grateful also improves self-esteem and personal relationships by reducing social comparisons and supporting prosocial behavior.

While it’s common knowledge that cultivating gratitude is good for us, it’s not common practice for many of us. Here are five ways to change that.

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Brain and Behavior

Embracing Your Inner Self

Embrace and make peace with life because in this very moment you are right where you were meant to be. We have the opportunity to grow and learn from the past and create an amazing future.

Growing up, I never felt good enough. Not only was this my internal dialogue but it was reiterated by my father. So for years I had to learn how to embrace positive cognitions and self-talk. It hasn’t come naturally to me, but with time and coaching I learned how to embrace myself and take control of my life.

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The Perfectionist’s Guide to Making Decisions: The Art of Satisficing

You’re awesome at your job. You know it, feedback from colleagues and clients has affirmed it, and you consistently deliver results that are above and beyond what’s been asked of you. You repeat this pattern enough times and it becomes the norm -- which, frankly, can be exhausting.

High achievers are prone to this pattern of behavior, which is usually completely unsustainable. Eventually, you realize that no matter how many cups of coffee you drink, after-work happy hours and gym sessions you cancel, or calls from your parents you send to voicemail, there’s no possible way to create what you really need:
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Mental Health Hygiene Habits

Parents, teachers, and doctors regularly encourage young people to establish good physical hygiene habits. Here are just a few: Bathe daily. Eat healthy meals. Brush your teeth at least once a day. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Clip your toenails before they get too long. These habits become routine after a while.

Most of us probably were not intentionally taught good mental health hygiene habits. These habits also bring consistency to our lives, promote wellness and resilience, and protect us from becoming overwhelmed by mental illness.

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Brain and Behavior

Old-School Interventions for Today’s Stresses

We are so busy being busy we approach the day with a vengeance. Today is not a marathon; it’s an Ironman triathlon. To stay ahead we cut corners: skip breakfast; work through lunch; eat frozen dinner while glued to a digital screen. And we wonder why we are tired (but can’t sleep), sickly (yet can’t quite pinpoint the malady), and unfulfilled (in spite of the sacrifices, things are still not coming together).

There are a few old-school interventions that can help to get your head back in the game:

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3 Challenges Unique to Women with ADHD and How to Overcome Them

As a woman with ADHD, you might try your best to keep everything together. But because of your symptoms, it’s that much harder to pay attention, prioritize, perform, get organized and complete tasks. ADHD affects every facet of your life. It comes with a variety of challenges -- some of which are especially unique to women.

The good news is that you can successfully navigate these challenges. The key isn’t to work “harder,” which you’ve likely already tried. And tried.

Instead, it’s to be open to other strategies and perspectives; and be OK with seeking help.
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Anxiety and Panic

4 Tips for Finally Facing Your Fears

We know that the best way to deal with our fears is to face them. But, naturally, this sounds like a terrifying proposition. After all, these are the very situations, experiences and events that we fear.

Thankfully, we can learn healthy ways to approach our fears instead of avoiding and denying them, which most of us understandably do, because these strategies feel better in the short term.
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Brain and Behavior

Why Striving for Happiness Can Make You Unhappy

Our imperative is happiness. We have a right to be happy, or so we think. Especially in America, the pursuit of happiness is seen as a birthright, a covenant we sign with life from our first cry. Happy people smile from magazine covers; merry models make even impotence and incontinence look delightful.

“To the European it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy,’” psychiatrist Viktor Frankl observed in his international bestseller Man’s Search for Meaning. “But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”

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