I was able to assist Eat This, Not That! with their list of 20 things to never say to your family about your health. It’s important to discuss sickness and illness with those who care for you most, being open, honest, and avoiding blame are all things to remember.
I was recently featured in an article on Eat This, Not That! for a few of the listed items on their “24 Things You Should Never Tell Someone Who is Sick” piece, published on September 30, 2019.
Check it out here:
Online stalking and harassment is becoming more common. According to the Pew Research Center’s 2017 Online Harassment survey, 41% of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behavior online, and an even larger number (66%) has witnessed these behaviors directed at others.
The incredible popularity of social media sites and apps make it all too easy for people to stalk others online. If you’re being harassed by someone online, you might wonder: are they just a pest, or are you being stalked?
There is some less sincere online pestering that can be shrugged off or ignored. Sometimes name calling or attempts to embarrass you can be stopped by simply reporting the individual’s behavior, blocking them, or both. However, if you feel like it’s more than annoyance and is starting to cross the line, trust your gut. Here are some signs that your online bully is taking things way too far.
Follows Your Social Media
Stalkers will want to watch everything you’re saying and doing online. They might reply to comments, share your tweets, or like your posts. Pay close attention to see if there’s anyone in particular who spends too much time following your every move.
Unwanted Repeated Contact
Someone who’s stalking you may send repeated emails, messages, calls, or texts that are notably more frequent or numerous than what would be normal. This could also include calls that disconnect when you answer or other ways of forcing you to act or respond, whether or not the person explicitly communicates with you during the event. Repeated contact from someone you don’t see or talk to on a regular basis, or who you don’t know very well, is a classic red flag.
If someone you don’t know well or are not interested in is sending you unwanted flowers or gifts despite the fact you’ve made it clear the gifts and attention are unwanted, this is a sure sign that they’ve developed an unhealthy interest in you.
Finds Your Private Information
Stalkers will be obsessed with finding out more about you, and can find personal information on you by paid searches on the internet or searching public records.
Shows Up in Public Places
If your online pest suspiciously keeps turning up at places you’re going to, this is a very possible sign that you’re being stalked. They could be scrutinizing you or your family or friend’s social media accounts in order to learn where you’re going and what you’re doing.
A stalker may threaten you, your loved ones, your property and/or your pets if you fail to give them the attention or affection they desire. However, even stalkers who do not make any threats or seem to be an obvious sort of danger are, in fact, incredibly dangerous. Because a stalking situation can turn ugly in the blink of an eye and when you least expect it, it’s important to take every stalking situation seriously.
If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you feel you’re being stalked, don’t communicate with your stalker. Keep all evidence and maintain a log showing the date, time and how you were harassed. Notify police and consider getting a court order to keep the stalker away from you if necessary. Remember, you should always take threats or stalking of any kind seriously; inform authorities as well as your family, loved ones, and anyone else that may be in the stalker’s line of sight so appropriate precautions can be taken.
Are you being stalked or harassed, and need the advice and support of a licensed mental health professional? Call my office today, and let’s schedule a time to talk.
Many of us are all too familiar with this uncomfortable scenario: someone initially catches your eye, but for one reason or another you lose interest. After letting them know you’ve changed your mind and are no longer interested, they keep messaging you. Or perhaps you’ve never been interested in someone, but they seem to think you’re wrong about your own feelings and keep trying to persuade you otherwise. Dealing with unwanted romantic attention online can be annoying, anxiety-inducing, and harrowing in many ways. Here are some precautions you can take to do the best you can to avoid these kinds of interactions.
Look for Friends
If you’re just looking for friendships to start off, then make it clear from the beginning that you’re not looking for a relationship. Any woman can tell you that this doesn’t always work to dissuade a persistent harasser, but it’s a great place to start covering your bases.
Start Out Incognito
Don’t give out your cell phone number to anyone you haven’t met in person. Use a Google Voice number or use another messaging app that doesn’t show your phone number and has a blocking feature just in case. You can also get a special email address just for dating.
Don’t tell people where you live or where you work. You can tell them what you do and what city you live in but keep the details to yourself.
Go Somewhere New
When you meet, don’t take them to your favorite spots. Take them somewhere you’re unlikely to return so you don’t run the risk of bumping into them if you have to break things off.
If You’re Just Not Interested
If things aren’t going well and you need to break it off, it’s important that you’re very clear with the person that you’re not interested in pursuing anything romantic with them and don’t want to talk to them anymore. Don’t try to “drop hints” or sugar coat your message. All this does is create wiggle room for the perpetrator to start thinking that “maybe there’s a chance.”
Instead, be direct, and be honest with how you feel. As you’re letting the person know you’re not interested, make sure your message ends with a “final goodbye” at the end. “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested at all,” or “I don’t see this going anywhere romantic. Good luck.” Attempts to take the sting out of your message with emojis or compliments will only muddy the waters and your suitor might take this as a cue to amp up his pursuits.
Stop Responding and/or Block
If they keep responding to you, ignore them as best you can despite how tempting it is to respond negatively. Don’t agree to be friends. If they continue to pester, block their number. Do not answer calls, respond to texts or agree to meet for closure, to return items, or any other reason.
It might seem cold or cruel, but it’s not. It would be cruel to both of you to continue any sort of relationship out of guilt or a sense of duty. It’s better for both of you to move forward and find the right match.
Are you searching for a relationship and need help navigating the single life? A qualified mental health professional can help. Call me today and let’s set up a time to talk.
When we’re school aged, it’s easy to make friends. But as adults, women can sometimes feel on-guard around other women, especially in the workplace, and friendships can be harder to foster. Not only does this lack of friendship make going to work each day feel more challenging, but studies have found friendships, or a lack of friendships, has a big impact on our overall health and well-being.
Here are some ways you can foster real friendships with other women at work.
Make it a Priority
It’s easy to tell yourself you’d like to make friends with the women you work with but following up on that impulse takes real effort. The journey of friendship is one you must commit to and nurture. Ask a coworker to lunch, compliment someone on the fine job she did, and invite others into the discussions you are leading. Each day make it a priority to build a closer relationship with the women you work with.
Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Depending on how many female coworkers you have, you most likely won’t be able to make real and lasting friendships with all of them, and that’s okay. This is not a popularity contest where you try to get everyone to like you. This is about seeking out women with whom you have a connection and putting in the effort to form a lasting bond.
Expect Some Rejection
The truth is, there’s not a whole lot of difference between romantic dating and platonic “dating.” You may feel a connection with another woman at work and ask her out to lunch. She may say no and say it again and again.
Don’t let any form of rejection stop your efforts. Just as no one at work really knows your inner life and feelings, you don’t know anyone else’s. Some women may simply be in a bad space in their life and don’t have the energy to connect with a new person. That’s okay. Move on and keep trying. Eventually you will make a true and lasting connection.
Keep the Momentum Going
Once you’ve had that initial lunch or get-together, keep the momentum going. Building a relationship is like building a fire. It takes a bit of work to get that kindling to catch, but once it does, the bigger flames come.
Like anything else in life, friendships require our time and attention, but when you consider the value and meaning they bring to our life, they are worth the extra effort.
If you’re looking for some expert guidance on navigating the unique stressors of your work or personal life, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Be honest, did you make New year’s resolutions this year that you have yet to stick to? If so, you’re not alone. Researchers have found that typically 77% of people are only able to keep their resolutions for 1 week, 64% keep them for one month, 50% for 3 months, and only 19% are able to keep their resolutions for over one year! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11920693)
If only New Year’s resolutions were more like leather sofas during hot summer months, we’d all be able to stick to them easily. But no matter what we do, it sometimes seems impossible to lose that weight, stop smoking, or learn a new language (among many other pledges).
If you’re feeling guilty for not being able to stick with your resolutions, here are some ways you can stay true to them:
Be Sure They are Doable
Many people set themselves up for failure when setting unrealistic goals. If your resolution is to lose 50 pounds by summer, that may not be realistic for your personal situation.
In order to be successful, you’ve got to pick the right resolution, meaning, it has got to be personal to you, it has got to be achievable by you, and you have to create a plan to get there.
Take Baby Steps
If your resolution is to exercise more, don’t plan on working out for two hours each day, six days a week. Your body won’t be able to handle that if you’ve been inactive for some time. It will feel painful and you’ll want to give up. Instead, start small and build gradually. Decide to go to the gym twice a week for half an hour, then three times a week for an hour, etc.
Tackle One Resolution at a Time
Maybe you want to lose weight, build muscle, learn Mandarin, and start writing that novel. These are all great goals to have, but good luck tackling all of them at the same time.
Your best bet is to prioritize and tackle one goal at a time. Is your health at risk? If so, losing some weight should probably be a priority. Will learning Mandarin help you get that job promotion? Then maybe that should be on top of the list. Only when you feel you have a handle on one goal and have made progress should you consider adding another resolution to your “to-do” list.
You may also want to ask for support from friends and family. Accepting help from those who care is one great way to make sure you stick to your goals. Also, consider seeking help from a trained therapist. Mental health professionals can offer powerful tools that can help you uncover obstacles, where they came from, and tools to help you overcome them.
If you’d like to explore treatment options, please be in touch. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help you stick to your resolutions and move your life forward.
Self-care is complex. Anyone can tell you to do it, but only you can bestow the gift of self-care onto yourself. But before you can begin bestowing, you’ve got to first recognize that you are worthy of caring for yourself as you do others.
How do you do this? By noticing the ways in which you are currently not taking very good care of yourself.
Here are 5 signs you aren’t practicing self-care. If any seem familiar, it is time to make more time for yourself:
1. You Get Sick More Often
When we don’t take proper care of ourselves, our health takes a big hit. Lack of proper sleep and nutrition can lead to a taxed immune system, which in turn makes you vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems.
2. Increased Moodiness
What happens when a child does not get the care and attention they deserve? They begin to act out in order to get any attention. In much the same way, a lack of self-care and feeling of unimportance can lead to increased irritability. Leaving this unchecked can result in personal and professional relationships being negatively affected.
3. Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
What can start out as unpleasant (and even scary) physical symptoms, can be a sign of poor self-care. Symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, headaches, and fainting spells. All of these symptoms should be checked out by your healthcare provider immediately.
4. A Feeling of Isolation
When you feel you don’t deserve to care for yourself, you naturally feel unworthy of enjoying other aspects of life, like socializing and a true connection to friends and family. This can lead to a detachment of others and a sense of isolation.
Feelings of worthlessness can snowball into feelings of hopelessness and depression. If you have noticed yourself slipping farther and farther into a depression, it is important that you seek help from a mental health professional. They can help you recognize where the darkness has come from, and how to break through back into the light.
If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, or would simply like some help practicing self-care, please be in touch with me. I would be more than happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
Until quite recently, people were uncomfortable discussing therapy because of the stigma attached by our society. As a result, there are still some fairly big misconceptions about it. Here are 3 of the most common misconceptions about therapy to help you feel more comfortable and hopefully, take that step to seek treatment.
It’s Just Like Talking to Your Friend
While friends are there to listen and support you, they are not equipped to offer real solutions to your problems. Therapists, on the other hand, are uniquely qualified to help you by offering more than just good advice.
Therapists have trained to have a deeper understanding of human nature. They can help you recognize your own behavioral patterns as well as offer tools to make necessary adjustments. They can also help you to gain a fresh perspective on the events of your life and the choices you’ve made.
And finally, we don’t always want our friends or family to know what’s going on in our lives. Because therapy is confidential and because your therapist’s only vested interest in you is helping you improve yourself and overcome your challenges, it is generally easier talking openly with them. Only by being totally honest and transparent about your life and yourself can you hope to create lasting change.
Therapy is All About Blaming Your Parents for Your Current Behavior
Many people assume therapy consists of spending 45 minutes each week blaming their parents for all their problems. Therapy isn’t about playing the blame game, however therapists do have to look at a client’s history to get a clear picture of their experiences and patterns.
While many people new to therapy may not want to spend any time “wallowing in the past,” they must understand that the first phase of therapy is to gather information. A therapist must ask some questions about their new client’s life history in order to truly understand him or her. Past experiences do have a way of shaping our personalities, and while your therapist is not interested in having you lay blame on anyone, you will need to provide a brief psychosocial history in order for the solution-focused therapy to be successful.
You’ll Start to Feel Better Immediately
Many people new to therapy make the mistake of quitting when they don’t feel better after one or two sessions. The truth is, it will take one or two sessions just to tell your story and develop a sense of trust. Therapy shouldn’t be thought of as a quick fix but a process that is unique to each individual. And, it is important to understand that the process won’t always feel good, though it will be completely worthwhile in the end.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
When it comes to our overall well-being, taking care of our emotional health is as important as taking care of our physical health. After all, when we aren’t healthy emotionally, our bodies react by raising our blood pressure, creating ulcers, and impeding our immune system from doing its job.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your emotional health starting today:
- Get Your Body Moving
Any form of exercise can have a significant and positive impact on your mood. Not only does exercise help your body burn through stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, it also releases feel good chemicals called endorphins, which help fight pain and make you happy. On top of this, you simply have a better self-esteem when you commit to exercising regularly.
- Build a Support Network
It’s very important to have a group of family and friends that you trust to share your problems with. We all need someone to lean on every once in a while who will listen and make us feel less alone.
If you’re currently feeling isolated, reach out to some old friends while making new ones. Consider volunteering or using a social gathering website like MeetUp.com to find people who share your passions and interests.
- Have More Sex
Physical intimacy within a committed relationship leads to numerous emotional benefits. You feel loved and secure because of a deep connection. You also feel good about yourself, and a healthy self-esteem is important to our overall well-being.
If you find you and your partner simply don’t have the time, make the time. Create a schedule and stick to it. It could be once a week, three times a week or even twice a month, whatever works.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
During stressful times, many of us make unhealthy food choices. After all, comfort foods, which are often laden with fat and processed carbohydrates, are supposed to make us feel better, right? Wrong.
Eating food high in sugars or drinking alcohol can negatively affect our emotional health. Sugar and other chemicals found in the foods we eat and beverages we drink alter our brain chemistry, often leading to feelings of anger, sadness, and even hopelessness.
It’s important to eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, and whole grains. Restrict your consumption of processed foods.
- Work with a Therapist
Sometimes, whatever is affecting your emotions may feel too big for you to handle alone. During times like these it’s important to seek guidance from a therapist who can help you understand your behaviors and reactions to events, as well as offer tools to help you cope and manage.
If you’re unsure whether you’re dealing with a temporary emotional slump or full-blown depression, contact a mental health professional as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
When it comes to relationships, it seems there is often a driving force behind the couple, or one partner who seems to always have the upper hand. This is often referred to as “wearing the pants.” The partner who “wears the pants” is the one most often in control of the relationship.
“Wearing the Pants”
But what does it mean to have control in a relationship? For one partner to have more control over the other often means that one partner in the relationship is more committed to and interested in it than the other. If one partner is less interested than the other, then the partner with more interest is frequently the one giving up their power in the relationship. This partner may do a lot of chasing and begging while the other wields the upper hand, giving little.
To avoid this scenario, each person in the relationship must value themselves. Each person should see themselves as “a catch” – a person with value, who deserves an equal and loving partnership.
Maintaining a balance of power in a relationship requires self-respect. If one person in the relationship doesn’t value themselves and they’re willing to do anything to keep the other person in a relationship, they are also setting the relationship up to fail. The person in control will lose respect and attraction, while the person giving up control will build resentment towards their partner.
To create or maintain balance in your relationship, you must learn to stand your ground. Make your demands known, figure out what your deal breakers are, and be prepared to walk away if necessary.
As you make your needs known, be sure to do so in a calm manner and don’t create an argument. If there are important things that your partner needs to change, set a time limit. For example, if they frequently put you down or name-call, give them a period of time in which they have to make significant improvement. Know in advance what you’re willing to accept, and what behavior is unacceptable. It’s possible that your partner won’t change, and if so you need to be prepared to walk away while your self-esteem is still intact.
Are you having difficulties in your relationship, and require the help and guidance of a licensed professional? Call my office today and let’s set up an appointment to talk.