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Pleasure Principle: Sexual Health Is Important

Think back to what you learned about sex in school or in your family.  You likely heard about pregnancy, diseases, and morality. And you likely did not hear about the pleasurable aspects of sex.  Yet, pleasure is one of the main reasons people engage in sexual activity, both with themselves and with others. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), sexual health is one of the four main dimensions of human health, along with the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.  According to the WHO, “Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of

Autumn leaves are now falling…but how are you doing?

This is the time of year that nature (or a good amount of trees) shed themselves for the winter to prepare for the regrowth and blossoming of spring. Of course we have all heard of “spring cleaning”, but I think there is something to be learned from the way that Mother Nature takes care of herself. How are you doing? Honestly, do you think to ask yourself this question very often? Most of us have automatic emotional or behavioral responses to life’s good and bad events, but we can often times neglect to check-in on our own emotional well being outside of these specific events. Below are a list of questions that may prompt your own understanding of your current state and how you can

Self-Care SOS

Holidays can be wonderful and joyful!  And they can be overwhelming and bring up many emotions which we may have been avoiding all year.  What better time than now to engage in some primo self-care, right as the new year starts? When you find yourself in need of tending, here are a few ideas to contemplate. Consider this a self care menu, which you can alter to fit your needs. Experiment to see which things you find helpful for you. There are no rights or wrongs, and there is nothing to achieve.  Stay curious about what works for you, which will no doubt change over time! Do a walking meditation. I like this one: https://www.wildmind.org/walking/introductionJournalMy favorite holiday moment from childhood - sights, smells, sounds, feelings,

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Carving Season: Pumpkins and “Me Time” (Strategies for Self-Care)

Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of October. There’s talk about Halloween costumes, carving pumpkins, and the upcoming holidays. With that, now is a fantastic time to carve out time for yourself and engage in self-care strategies. [Hehe] “Yeah, sure, sounds great in theory, but, Lyndsey, I don’t have the time. Like, at all. I’m maxed out.” I hear you. I do. But let me tell you, work FOR yourself, not against yourself. I’ll explain what I mean shortly. Sometimes, life feels like it’s going faster than what we can keep up with, while other times, we may feel like there is nothing to do or maybe we feel like doing nothing. This phenomenon happens in large part because we are not placing high

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Suffering

Recently, a fellow cancer survivor friend was asked by a publication to write a piece about an experience that she had with her journey through cancer. She agreed, always happy to spread more awareness of the challenges of this devastating, harrowing feat that many go through. She poured her heart out, speaking authentically about both her challenges and her triumphs, but she quickly received feedback from the editors. They wanted a more "positive" piece, and wondered if she could simply edit out some of the struggle?  Simple? No. Absolutely not.  My Cancer Journey As a cancer survivor myself, I have frequently been put in a position where others have expected me to minimize, or even ignore, my lived experiences in order for them to feel

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Labeling Emotions: Why It’s a Learning Curve

Labeling emotions, what's that? One of the hardest things I teach as a counselor is how to just feel. It seems it's written in some magic rule book somewhere that feelings aren't okay. Furthermore, the words used to describe feelings are usually very narrow. For example, how many times do you ask someone how they're doing and they repeat, “Fine,” “all right,” “okay,” or “great?"? Often, this is the first question I ask when I greet a client, and this is the response I get. Then, when we get all comfy in my office, I'll say, "How are you really feeling?" And the truth comes out. A lot of people find it difficult to put a name to what they feel, says Psychology Today. It’s a

Being a Single Parent and Falling In Love Again

There are 13.7 million single parents in the US who are raising about 22 million children, based on a report released by the Census Bureau. That amounts to about 26 percent of children under 21 in America today, The Spruce says. Given the complications of trying to start a relationship when a child is involved, it’s not altogether surprising that the average single parent is wary of falling in love again. The hurdle of time One of the reasons why single parents find it hard to find romantic partners is the lack of time. In the UK, about 70 percent of single parents do not get any opportunities to meet anyone new in their lives. About 80 percent, on the other hand, do not have

Getting Your Health on Track After the Holidays

It’s that time of the year for mistletoes, Christmas trees and brightly-wrapped gifts. And then you have the never-ending feasts—the treats and sweets, the meat, the wine—it’s no wonder people love the holidays. It’s so easy to derail your diet, though, with the booze and the slews of desserts. But once the holidays are over—gone are the loaded buffets and heaping plates—then you’re back to minding your weight and going for healthful portions. Or are you? If you’re having a tough time getting your health back on track after living off the holiday leftovers in your fridge for days, here are helpful tips for you: Track Your Habits Identify whatever bad dietary habits you picked up during the holidays. For instance, maybe you picked up

The Velveteen Rabbit

The great poet Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” It is true. When we know how to do better, think better, feel better and see the world in a different light, we will. And then, we must pay it forward. We must understand that the world is filled with misery, but it is also filled with love because of people willing to become introspective, engage in another's worldview, tune in to become empathetic, and feel compassion for others and their story. When you know someone’s story, it is difficult to be angry at them. Becoming whole is a spiritual awakening. It is tuning into your most vulnerable spots, so that you can tune into other’s most vulnerable spots in order

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I Have a Confession

I have a confession to make. This time last year, I embarked on a journey to change my physical health because my emotional health had become unmanageable. In July of last year, I experienced an extremely stressful event that was both traumatic and life-altering. By October, my stress and worry had taken a mental toll on my physical body, and I was on the verge of taking a leave of absence from the work I love as a psychotherapist, and the group practice I’ve build over the last ten years. My heart was breaking, and my body was shutting down. During one of my appointments, I felt like room close in on me, everything turn grey, and I almost passed out. I took myself to

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