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Embracing Winter for a Happier, Healthier Season

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Darcy Forrest, who practices acupuncture and Chinese Medicine right here in Southern Maine.  Winter….. Most people from the Northeast hate it. It’s cold, baron, icy, and brown. Bringing out the trash becomes a slight form of torture, and the thought of getting out of the shower at 6am haunts you as you watch your last show on TV before bed. Then there is the shoveling, the scraping, the dog begging to go out when the thermometer reads 9 degrees…the numb toes, the dry skin, the icy hands, and the overstuffed winter coat that makes you feel like you’re stuck in bubble wrap. Ohhhhh, winter. Why do we loathe thee? I spent a few years in Tucson, Arizona, where the winter is not a winter, and snow literally means a city wide     . . . read more

The Benefits of Small Life Adventures

Before my week off, everyone asked, “What are you doing for your vacation?” I did have some things planned, but for me it’s mostly about what I’m not doing: the same old, same old. I like what I do in a normal week, but it gets stale. For me, vacation is a chance to do something, anything different. It doesn’t have to be exciting to be enjoyable for me. I took about equal pleasure in watching my daughter water pretty much everything in the backyard with her watering can, seeing sites in the White Mountains, listening to live music, and working out in the middle of the day. I find that it’s in the new space of being out of the ordinary that I feel energized. I begin to be more present. I can see the world a little bit     . . . read more

Beyond Postpartum: The Surprising Benefits of Being a Mom

Writer and mother extraordinaire, Lynn Shattuck, recently wrote a great piece for her blog reflecting on her postpartum experience. It was hugely popular because it hit home for many women. It brought back some memories for me, too. It took me a few weeks to regroup emotionally from having a baby in the middle of a dark, cold winter. In the thick of it, I was more exhausted, anxious, and vulnerable than I had ever been. In my worst moments, I worried about everything from dropping the baby, to falling down the stairs, to forgetting her altogether. Who had entrusted the care of this helpless creature to me anyway? Didn’t they know that I occasionally tripped and misplaced things?! I was worn down like all new moms. In the hardest hours, sparks of worries kept me tired and wired in     . . . read more

The Surprising Reasons You Feel the Way You Do

  This week has been all about why having a deep understanding of your emotional life is essential to your well-being and the health of your relationships. Today, I will concede that this can be difficult work. I’ve argued before that emotions are information, but decoding the clues they provide sometimes takes a master sleuth. Did you know that chronic emotional states like anxiety, depression, numbness, anger, or irritability can actually be a way to cope? Many people first come to therapy because they want to decrease these emotions. However, this can be tricky for some people because these states developed as a way to cope with even more painful emotions. For example, if you witnessed a tragedy or violence, you may develop chronic anxiety to cope with terror and powerlessness. The mind wants to feel in control, so you     . . . read more

Emotions and the Binge- How I Learned to Sit With Discomfort

Note from Hannah: This is the latest installment from the New Perspectives Series. This post was contributed by Dawn Clancy (and do yourself a favor and check out her blog and radio show, Growing Up Chaotic). When I set out to write this article, I pictured myself creating it from a peaceful and reflective place. With a mug of coffee to my right, and my computer snug in my lap, my fingers would breeze across the keyboard, breathing life into the ideas gently fluttering in and out of my consciousness. However, where I find myself at this very moment, makes even the roughest of seas on the show Deadliest Catch look like water in my bathtub. I am in the midst of an emotional shakedown and sitting with discomfort has never been a strength of mine. Whenever I feel anything,     . . . read more

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