Are you dragging after lunch at work? Many people hit a bit of a wall with energy in the afternoon hours. The human circadian rhythm (which governs sleep and wakefulness drives) actually has two energy peaks and two dips a day. All of our bodies are wired to have a bit of a drop in … Continue reading Afternoon Energy Dips: To Fight or to Lean in?
Category: Mental Health
Sleep for Seniors
I recently gave a talk to a group of seniors at the Memory Cafe chapter where my dad and stepmom are members. In speaking to that group (and in working with several of my coaching patients), I realized the need for more information specifically on how sleep changes as we age. I hope this entry … Continue reading Sleep for Seniors
Powerlifting as Therapy
Today's PRs Wow, it's been around 10 months since I've written. What can I say, it's been a long pandemic. Somewhere in there I took up powerlifting as a way to be more body positive. I told myself maybe when I had something big to celebrate, it could be my next blog. Well kids, today … Continue reading Powerlifting as Therapy
Post-Electoral Return to the Body
It's the day after the election, and we only know one thing with complete certainty at this point: half the country disagrees with us (whichever side you are on), and this other half seems utterly unknowable. Probably like many people, for the past several days, I found I really didn't feel like doing much of … Continue reading Post-Electoral Return to the Body
Mocktails! Tonics for Liver Health and More
There's a movement called sober curious which is for people who maybe aren't clinically alcoholics, but would like to break out of just the default of a glass or two of wine after work. Before that, there was dry January. And of course, there are 12 step programs and those who have maybe always abstained … Continue reading Mocktails! Tonics for Liver Health and More
Essential Oils and Aromatherapy- More than Just a Spa Treat!
This is a collaboration with my personal acupuncturist and guest author Amber Sharma, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Disclaimer: these therapies are not FDA approved. We are presenting opinion from an integrative health perspective and none of the content below should be construed as a substitute for medical advice or therapies which your physician … Continue reading Essential Oils and Aromatherapy- More than Just a Spa Treat!
Attachment as the Cause of all Suffering (a Comeuppance)
Irony materializes as a surprisingly heavy beach load Well, the blogging has definitely slowed down this summer. I wrote at the start of the season how I wasn't sure what summer would look like with a pandemic confounding it all. Sure, there are not trips home and fireworks in the same way, but I've found … Continue reading Attachment as the Cause of all Suffering (a Comeuppance)
Anxiety and Insomnia While the World Burns
The prevalence of anxiety in the US population was high (around 20%) before COVID. It has spiraled since then (current estimates are around 35%), with no signs of abating anytime soon. And if all that weren't enough, as I write this, Minneapolis is literally on fire (part of a broader national emergency needing urgent attention … Continue reading Anxiety and Insomnia While the World Burns
Summer is Meant to be the Season of Joy. Can it Still Be?
Joy. What a strange, borderline inappropriate topic to wax philosophical about during a pandemic. But the world still spins on its axis. Literally. And that axial tilt brings in the changing on the seasons without regard to public health, economic collapse, or personal suffering. In Chinese medicine, there are 5 seasons corresponding to 5 elements … Continue reading Summer is Meant to be the Season of Joy. Can it Still Be?
Sleep and Mental Health
Sleep and mental health are closely related. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) which categorizes mental disorders contains countless references to sleep as a symptom. Various mental disorders can involve both insomnia and hypersomnia (a tendency to sleep too much). There are also references to nightmares and disturbed dreams. On the other side, long-term sleep … Continue reading Sleep and Mental Health
Front Row Seat to a Panic Attack
In the US, a poll just came out showing nearly half of Americans are already reporting mental health impacts from Coronavirus, with around 20% reporting severe impacts. I was lucky (?) enough to have already had a year or so under my belt of living with anxiety, so I went into these COVID times pretty … Continue reading Front Row Seat to a Panic Attack
Bodies in Space: Normally and During a Pandemic
Here's a vocabulary word for the day: proprioception, which is a fancy way of describing the body's awareness of its own movements and position in space. What a random thing to talk about during a pandemic. Or not. This is a term used mostly by physical therapists. When people have a deficit in this proposed … Continue reading Bodies in Space: Normally and During a Pandemic
Music Therapy: An Annotated Playlist for our Times
I put together a genre-defying "End Times" playlist on my Apple account. It's all over the place. Uptempo ballads, hip hop, metal, and touchy-feely semi-spiritual slow jams. It is heavily concentrated in the 90's (oldest kind of millennial here). Some songs are great for driving into the hospital each day and preparing to help in … Continue reading Music Therapy: An Annotated Playlist for our Times
Maintaining Your Immune System
We all know to wash our hands and maintain social distancing. These go without saying now. But how else can we bolster our immune system? How can we maintain our health whether we are healthcare workers rushing into the front lines of battle, or those stuck at home and suffering from isolation and likely facing … Continue reading Maintaining Your Immune System
Preparing to Grieve
This blog is written for healthcare workers specifically, though we are all likely to lose loved ones in the days ahead. Charcoal Drawing- Jess Schmidt I "graduated" from regular visits with my psychologist a few months ago, but decided I should check in this week, because I knew the days and weeks ahead may be … Continue reading Preparing to Grieve
An Ode to the Holistic Psychologist
Daily mental health insights when the world is (appropriately) losing its mind? Yaaaas please! Access to mental health resources in the US is severely limited. Not only is it hard to see a professional without sometimes months-long waits, it is not always covered by insurance. Few patients can afford out of pocket mental health costs, … Continue reading An Ode to the Holistic Psychologist
Qi Gong- Meditation in Motion
Confession: Yoga just isn't my jam. I know it's life for a lot of people and it's clearly beneficial for health and well-being. I just don't follow directions well, and I'm not particularly spacial or graceful. Form is so important, and I feel inept and like I never can translate the pose of the instructor … Continue reading Qi Gong- Meditation in Motion
Burnout contributed to my almost quitting my job about a year ago. I literally wrote my resignation and tried handing it in. Some wonderfully supportive humans pulled me off the edge, but it was a challenging year or so to get through. Now I'm for the most part on the other side of it, and … Continue reading Overcoming Burnout
Grounding with the Earth and Sea
Why does it feel so good to walk barefoot on the beach or on grass? It’s more than just the tactile sensations on your feet. There are two other fairly magical things which can happen when you connect with the Earth. The soil hosts bacteria which have been found to improve your mood! There are … Continue reading Grounding with the Earth and Sea
Somatic Therapy for Trauma Recovery
A year and a half ago I had a nuclear meltdown. Without going into the gory details, some PTSD from childhood that I thought had been put to bed came roaring back to life. I have a family history of very negative secondary effects from anti-depressants, so medication was never an option for me. Therefore, … Continue reading Somatic Therapy for Trauma Recovery
Meditation for Neurotics
Prescription for anxiety relief: I always thought meditation was something other kinds of people did. The calm types. I didn't think it was possible someone with likely ADHD and anxiety could ever sit still long enough to actually focus on anything (or nothing). About a year ago, I saw my doctor for spiraling out of … Continue reading Meditation for Neurotics