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Burnout and the Culture of Impossible Expectations

“No one knows this because it seems like I have it all together, but inside I’m dying.” When you hear people’s deep dark secrets like I do as a therapist, you hear things like this frequently. This is because basically every human I interact with is going through something similar: the profound pressure to do “the right thing” in every area of life, while making it look easy. And expecting it to feel good. It’s the promise and temptation of being one life hack, career goal, or achievement away from perfection. You can be: as slim as a nearly disembodied head with barely a body to hold it up as productive as a super computer as cool and interesting as a celebrity (and employ a staff to pull that off) all while also having a loving relationship and friends. And     . . . read more

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5 Skills for Confident Communication

Do you often leave interactions feeling like you didn’t make your point? Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel like people don’t really listen to you? It’s time for you to uplevel your communication skills so that you can confidently engage your audience. Whether at work or in your personal life, satisfying connections, effective conversations, and the ability to appropriately influence others are important skills for your overall well-being. Stop wasting your energy on poor quality interactions and up your communication game with these 5 key skills and go-to action steps. Skill #1: Set the intention Be aware and thoughtful in your interactions. I often hear people complain that they are stuck in the same unproductive or unpleasant conversations with people. This is often because we are not actively working to be intentional in these conversations. Here are 3 action     . . . read more

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Beat Burnout Early and Often

What comes to mind when you think of burnout? We can often identify burnout when it has already happened: Real fatigue Complete lack of motivation Decrease in productivity Attitude change that is noticeable to colleagues or our family members Beating burnout, however, requires that we catch it well before it becomes a real threat to our well-being. A key to having some balance between work and personal is being proactive in catching burnout when begins to form—not when it’s about to sink us. What is burnout? When I talk about burnout, the thing I’m thinking about is energy. In my definition, burnout is about expending more energy than we are creating. That’s the first clue: burnout isn’t about some objective measure like number of hours worked or numbers of tasks you complete. It’s an energy debt. Identifying burnout before it     . . . read more

The Gift of Good Boundaries

When boundaries are done right, they feel like a gift. When done poorly, they feel like a punishment. There is a lot of confusion about what it means to have boundaries and how exactly to “do” them. This holiday season, let’s do boundaries well. So well, no one even knows you are “doing” them. In that spirit, my gift to you is a simple, three-step action plan to happy, healthy boundaries for the holiday season. Read more…

How to Talk About Politics Without Fighting

This post originally appeared on hannah-curtis.com, Hannah’s site all about communication. Check it out.  Friends, family members, clients, even the cashier at the grocery store, have said to me, “I can’t talk about politics without getting into a fight.” Many people want to avoid conflict, so they just keep the frustration inside. But some of us feel like there is too much at stake to keep quiet. If now is not the time to speak up, when would be? I’m here to tell you that yes, you can talk about politics. And no, it doesn’t have to lead to a fight.  But you HAVE to do it differently. If you want to be part of the solution and stop engaging in the division, buckle up, leave your ego at the door, and take a ride through three unexpected steps that can get you where     . . . read more