- What a year. I have never lived through a year like this one. Events of 2020 include, but are not limited to: The Global Covid-19 pandemic that has struck over 41 million worldwide and killed over a million people, including killing 223,000 US citizens to date; unemployment rates in the US that exceed those in the Great Depression; social isolation and disconnection; earthquakes; murder hornets; Australian wildfires that burned 26 million acres of land, killing a billion animals and displacing nearly 90,000 people; locust plague in Africa threatening crops that feed millions of people; the killing of George Floyd among other POCs at the hands of police; violent protests and political unrest; the largest wildfire season in California’s history, burning over 5 million acres of land; one of the worst hurricane seasons on record…need I go on?
Since the beginning of the year, I have been studying and preparing to become a certified thanatologist. (Thanatologists are experts in the field of dying and bereavement. Don’t worry if you haven’t ever heard of them – I was in your shoes two years ago! I met a thanatologist during a grief training seminar and I was like, “wait- that’s a thing? Sign me up!”) While this isn’t an area of work that many people get excited about – I really deeply connect with it. (more…)
I did something last week that felt really big to me. It may sound like a simple, small, or even a silly thing to you when I tell you what I did. But for me it was momentous and empowering. (more…)
I’ve spent a good part of the year blogging about developing resilience, and we have come to the 6th and last specific skill we can cultivate in order to increase our resilience! This month, we will focus on developing the practice of self-compassion. (more…)
Recently I had the opportunity to attend one of my best friend’s weddings in Los Angeles. The wedding was originally meant to take place in May, but due to COVID-19, was pushed back. Unbeknownst to us, the virus would still be causing problems. I’m not sure a mask-clad wedding party is exactly what the bride had in mind, but it was still wonderful to be able to celebrate with her. She has taught me many lessons on flexibility, working through grief that comes with something like a global pandemic, and the importance of focusing on loving one another and being grateful for relationships. She is an absolute rockstar! (more…)
Like many people who struggle with eating disorders, my eating disorder developed during a difficult time in my life. When I hear clients talk about their eating disorders, it’s never a surprise to hear them describe how their eating disorder helped them through a really hard time. One of the many functions of eating disorders is to help individuals numb out from their emotions, which is a welcome reprieve in a distressing experience. Another function is to feel a sense of control, which can feel particularly important if their life feels out of control. These are just two potent functions that help us understand why eating disorders “work” for people. (more…)
Sometimes I share with clients that depression and anxiety function like con artists. They take some data, usually recent memories or expectations, and weave a story that fits their picture best. They get us to buy in, to give them power and sway, often against our better judgment. To make matters worse, they often work together. A depressive thought like “you’re such a failure” naturally leads to more anxious thoughts like “and now you’re going to fail again, and it’s going to be terrible” and then back to a depressive thought like “and things always will be terrible.” In fact, about 70% of people diagnosed with either depression or anxiety meet diagnostic criteria for the other. Depression and anxiety might be, in many respects, two sides of the same coin. For our purposes, we can consider them two illusion-creators who work in tandem to strengthen their illusions. (more…)
Growing up I absolutely detested hiking. It felt like a really nice way for me to feel foolish and gave ample opportunity to compare myself to my friends and family that accompanied me on the hike. Was I going too slow? Are they not going to want to hang out with me anymore because I’m not very “good” at hiking? Could they hear me breathing hard? Was my face getting red? Could they see the sweat through my shirt? Did they think I was “out of shape”? As you can probably tell, these thoughts are riddled with insecurities and laced with diet culture and body shaming ideology. (more…)