General

Sleep & Enter Sandman: More Than Just a Song

“You need to improve your sleep hygiene?” my counselor admonished me in her straightforward tone.

“Sure, I probably need to floss more frequently. But I brush my teeth a couple of times a day and always -- always -- before bed,” I cheekily responded.

She was too diplomatic to say what she was truly thinking. I knew.

She furrowed her brow and continued. “Matt, you need to sleep. You can’t function on your current schedule.”
Continue Reading

Bullying

Mindfulness and the Subtle Art of Letting Go

This is kind of embarrassing, but I'll tell you anyway: I used to be a chubby kid and I hated when adults called me fat.

To make it even worse, I had moderately long hair, so people often would mistake me for a girl. Nothing wrong with being a girl, but my child self just couldn't handle other people's realities.

Looking back now, I seriously don't remember any adults who called me fat. I know they did...
Continue Reading

College

4 Times You Should Say No to Additional Responsibilities at Work

Think about your average work week: How many of your daily tasks fit into the original job description you were hired to do? Chances are that, over time, out of an eagerness to prove yourself, you’ve taken on a number of responsibilities that fall well outside the realm of your core role. But how much of this newfound accountability is contributing to your professional advancement -- and how much of it is just running you ragged?

Top performers can be a prime target for additional requests because they enjoy challenge and frequently seek out new ways to demonstrate their skills. But do you find yourself saying yes every time your boss asks you to take a stab at a project that’s in no way related to your core competencies simply because you want to look like a team player?
Continue Reading

Bipolar

New Zealanders’ Improving Perception of Mental Illness

I am a 63-year-old New Zealander. I’m happily married with two adult sons and two grandsons and work from home in the suburbs of Auckland as a freelance writer. I also suffer from bipolar disorder, which I believe I manage very well. Over the years since I first became ill as a teenager, I have seen huge improvements in the public perception of mental illness, but believe we still have a way to go.

I was about 10 or 11 years old when my father first was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment. I can remember being very confused and asking my teacher if my dad had gone mad. This was back in the '60s when no one really discussed mental illness. If it was talked about, it was in hushed tones. Sufferers were described as being “nervy” or having “bad nerves.”

Continue Reading

Happiness

Here’s Your 5-Step Guide to Taking Life Chances


You can HANDLE this!

The very thought of a life-changing decision brings chills to most of us, yet from the moment we are born, we keep taking these big steps toward change. Some of us feel a ton of stress and think through everything, and others jump blindly into the unknown.

Sometimes we make risky decisions, not because we believe we can do it, but because someone else is so confident in us so much that it makes us believe too. Other times we go for it because we just can’t bare the situation we’re in anymore and we have to believe that there’s something better on the other side.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

4 Quick Steps to the Calm You Deserve

I am a highly sensitive person (HSP) who happens to deal with a lot of anxiety. This anxiety can range from full force to slightly triggered. When so many things affect me as an HSP, at times it feels like I have no power or control. I feel helpless. I feel like my well-being is in the hands of anyone and everyone but me.

When I am around other people, how I feel is in their hands. When I enter certain environments, it is controlled by that. Even when I am alone and my nervous system is firing off for no reason, my well-being is in the hands of my racing mind telling me I am not safe.

Continue Reading

College

How to Get Over Your Fear of Talking about Money (And Get the Pay Raise You Deserve)


Talking about money can be difficult, even scary. It’s a topic that makes many people feel uncomfortable. Whether you’re negotiating higher pay in response to a new job offer or vying for a promotion in your current role, discussing salary is downright stressful.

You’re afraid of getting turned down, making things awkward, or even offending your manager. So, you make excuses as a way to sidestep the conversation. You tone down your requests -- or worse, you don’t...
Continue Reading

Caregivers

The Embodiment of Motherhood

As my tired eyes squint from the harshness of a brightly lit grocery store, my gaze follows all different types of mothers: young and old, frazzled and worn, rested and carefully put together. These are your average, run-of-the-mill mothers, standing impatiently at the grocery store with newborns in baby carriers and a toddler navigating an iPad with impish delight.

As my gaze slides to the scuffed tile and lands upon my feet, I have an epiphany. It is a realization that I am not only one of these mothers, I am the embodiment of all these mothers. I never thought I would even partake in motherhood, let alone have it embody my entire life.

Continue Reading

Creativity

Why Vulnerability Will Make You Successful

I am a writer who blogs about being a highly sensitive person. I sit in my writing chair with my Mac and various beverages strewn about me, and write. It is very cathartic. I write about my emotions, feelings, thoughts, struggles, eccentricities, questionable habits, phobias, and anxieties. It feels so good to get them out. I finish my pieces and edit them for publication. I get ready to release them to the world. Then, as easily as they come, those cathartic feelings soon dwindle to just traces that quickly get absorbed by vulnerability.

What a word, Vulnerability. It doesn’t look nice. It doesn’t sound nice. It sure doesn’t feel nice. However unappealing the word is, vulnerability and I have been getting a lot closer lately. It’s not something I set out to do, like a New Year’s resolution:

Continue Reading

Depression

How to Get Out of Bed When You’re Depressed

A woman on ProjectBeyondBlue.com, my depression community, recently asked me this: “You exercise daily and eat the right things. You research and write this stuff for a living. But what about those of us who can’t get out of bed in the morning? What about when you are too depressed to exercise, eat right, or work? How do you simply get out of bed?”

The honest answer is that I don’t know.
Continue Reading

General

How to Love Your Partner When They’re the Least Lovable


Last week I walked in my front door after a long day of seeing clients, arms full of groceries, and was welcomed by a barking dog, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, and my husband cheerfully waving “hello” to me from his comfy spot on the couch. My heart sank and my blood began to boil.

As I proceed to trip over the dog, kick her water bowl and spill it all over, and drop a bag of groceries, praying the eggs didn’t break, all I could muster was a sharp, “Umm, could I get some help, here?” To which my husband responded with a bubbly, “Ya, hold on, let me finish watching this (YouTube) video -- this is hilarious!”
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Touched with Fire: A Film about Bipolar & Artistic Genius

My name is Paul Dalio. I’m a filmmaker, husband of my NYU film school classmate, father of two children, and bipolar. Of these labels, the one I'm certain stands out in your mind is bipolar -- and not in a good way. That’s no fault of your own, since you probably don’t know much about it, other than what you’ve heard.

So how do I deal with this label? What other label do I have to choose from that’s not a disorder, disease, illness, or defect in my humanity? I remember when I received the label at age 24. All every medical book had to offer was that if I stayed on these meds, which made me feel no emotion, I could live a "reasonably normal life.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I was pretty sure it sounded like "just get by."
Continue Reading