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The Requirements of a Life in Transition

Every time my toddler learns something new, like amazingly-awesome new, she can’t sleep very well. She rolls around for an hour in her crib before falling asleep or gets up in the night and just looks around, sometimes for hours. It happened when she learned to crawl, walk, walk outside, say words, form sentences, talk in paragraphs, and use the potty. Small children provide clues into basic human nature. What my daughter is showing is that life transitions, these big changes, have an impact. They take work and energy to process. We need time and space to make the shift. Adults don’t have to make as many changes as kids. We also don’t seem to be as graceful at growing. Therefore, we may struggle even more under big life changes. It’s easy to forget that even positive changes are stressful.     . . . read more

Looking Way (Way) Back: An Evolutionary Perspective for Modern Mental Health

  Note from Hannah: This the first in a series of guest posts with the goal of providing new perspectives to mental health, wellness, and being a human. This piece was bravely shared by our guest writer, David.  My brain is broken, I thought to myself, as I sat in a plush, brown leather chair in my psychiatrist’s office; the perfect cliché- in an old brick building in downtown Portland, Maine. I stared, vacantly, through a large bay window, the sun’s rays cast upon my face, warming my skin through the white sheer curtains. Being a few stories up, I gazed at a slightly veiled view of  the modest skyline of the city I grew up in, amidst the backdrop of sparkling ocean and blue sky. The view made it easy to transport myself elsewhere, in avoidance of what I     . . . read more

The Truth About Procrastination

I have always heard from self-proclaimed procrastinators that they “need the pressure in order to perform.” I used to accept this as a legitimate reason to procrastinate, feeling that if it works for people then it’s fine. But somewhere down the line, this way of reasoning has lost its validity. Now I say to you procrastinators everywhere, “Procrastinate if you want, but you don’t need the pressure, you choose it.” So there. I’m calling you out on this one because I care. Really, I do. I’ve already outlined all the reasons I believe procrastination sucks the life out of you. Time to take away its power. I’ve put my health correspondent on the task of compiling all the research studies of how procrastination makes you ill. But for now, you’ll have to accept antidotal evidence that it just isn’t good     . . . read more

Pre-start to Prevent Procrastination

It’s back to school week here in lovely Portland, Maine. Whether you are a student or not, it seems like an appropriate time to revamp work habits. Last week I detailed my dislike of procrastination and this week I think it is high time we do something about it. It’s easy. My first piece of advice for addressing procrastination is to know how to get started. Actually, I’m not even going to make you start, only pre-start. It’s like preschool for procrastination. It gives you a solid foundation and it’s pretty easy. Really. Take 2-5 minutes to get the drift. The idea behind pre-starting is that you simply take 2-5 minutes to understand what the project, assignment, or duty is that you need to complete. Pre-starting means that from the moment you know about an assignment or some other thing     . . . read more

Why I Hate Procrastination

Procrastination is not about being lazy. It is not about being complacent. In fact, most procrastinators care very much about how things turn out. Procrastination is a way to avoid the fear of failure until the last possible moment. Then we say, “Oh, of course I did badly, I didn’t have enough time.” Or we just do good enough, so our best possible work goes undone and not judged by others. Procrastination is a fear-driven behavior. It is the opposite of going all in. Another problem with procrastination is that it provides all of the stress on the mind and body of actually doing the work, without any of the reward. We spend our time and energy thinking about the work we should/want to/need to do. We worry about when and how we will do it or how it might     . . . read more

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