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Health & Wellness

How to Go to Sleep Earlier: 9 Simple Tips

Nobody wants to deal with sleep problems.

Getting a full night’s sleep is not only important to ensure you’re alert and ready to go the next morning, but it’s also important for your physical and mental health.

Sleep is essential to your overall health, and yet many struggle to get enough sleep at night. Whether it’s due to sleep problems, poor sleeping habits or even your daytime habits (yes, what you do during the day effects how you sleep at night), not being able to fall asleep is a common problem.

Read on to find out why you should make sleep a priority in your life and how to get yourself on a better sleep schedule.

Why Regular Sleep is Important

When you’re asleep, your body undergoes important physical maintenance. During REM sleep (or deep sleep), your body recharges your heart, heals damaged cells and blood vessels, and helps boost your immune system.

It can also ensure you’re more productive and mentally balanced, while reducing anxiety. So you can probably understand why forming good sleep habits and getting good sleep every night is so important, right?

However, 1 out of 5 Americans suffer from sleep disorders, preventing them from falling or staying asleep (sleep loss). This can cause a myriad of other disorders, all stemming from a lack of sufficient 5eep.

If you have sleep problems and struggle to fall asleep at night or find yourself parked in front of the TV or computer until 2 am, there are some helpful tips you can take advantage of to help yourself fall asleep earlier, every night.

9 Tips To Help You Go To Sleep Earlier

You may think you’re a night owl, but once you get on a regular sleep routine, you may change your mind. Here are five tips to help you successfully get to bed earlier.

1. Create an Evening Bedtime Routine

Setting a scheduled bedtime is one of the easiest ways to solve your sleep problems.

This tip won’t work for everyone, especially if you’re constantly working odd hours. However, if you have a predictable job, regular school schedule, or flexibility to manage your own calendar, then take advantage of it by planning your bedtime routine.

The general premise here according to sleep experts, is to set a time to set a specific bedtime and stick to it — even on weekends. Your circadian rhythm thrives on routine and will help ensure you get better REM sleep. You’ll find yourself actually becoming tired at bedtime and your mind will be in sleep mode.

2. Set an Electronic Curfew

Unplugging from electronic devices can help your mind destress and prepare for sleep. You might think you’re relaxing when watching TV or playing a game, but you’re really keeping your mind engaged and active and preventing yourself from getting quality sleep.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night, research shows that electronics may be to blame. Even if you’re tossing and turning, resist the urge to reach for your phone. The blue light emitted from electronics can actually halt melatonin and prevent your body from falling asleep easily.

3. Ditch Your Alarm Clock

Most of us have alarm clocks on our phone, but some people prefer old fashioned clocks or alarm clocks. If you can read your clock at night, though, it’s more likely to interfere with your sleep.

Have you ever woken up, only to look at the time and realized you only had an hour and a half left to sleep before your alarm went off? This disruption can interfere with your sleep cycle and natural circadian rhythm, and some people may even find it impossible to fall back asleep, getting up earlier than planned, instead.

Instead of looking to the clock and getting anxious about when you have to wake up, remove the temptation altogether. While you shouldn’t look at your phone, if you think you’ll be tempted, plug it in away from the bed, so you’ll need to get up to peek at it.

4. Eat Four Hours Before Bedtime

Eating late at night really can keep you awake. When the stomach is digesting food, it’s harder for your body to understand it’s time to shut down and go to sleep. To avoid this, it’s recommended you have your last meal a minimum of four hours before you go to bed.

This means if your bedtime is 10:30 pm, you should eat dinner at 6:00 pm or earlier to ensure you give your body adequate time to digest. You also need to eliminate late night snacking — even a small snack can impact your sleep cycle.

5. Establish Bedtime Rituals

If you’re dealing with a sleep problem, one of the first things you should think about is your bedtime habit. What are you doing immediately before you lay down?

Creating a pre-bedtime routine can really help your body get in sync and ready for sleep. Doing the same things every night, in the same order can help your body anticipate sleep, helping you fall asleep faster.

Now, everyone has different sleep requirements to “get them in the mood”. But in general, your pre-bedtime rituals should be lowkey and soothing. 

Washing your face, showering, taking a bath, and brushing your teeth are standard tasks to add to a routine. You might even want to add calming activities like listening to soothing music, or reading for 15 minutes to the start of your routine. Any type of relaxation technique that puts you at rest should work.

Heck, some people even like to do some relaxing exercises like deep stretching or yoga. And there are some people who just have so much energy throughout the day that they need strenuous nighttime exercises in order to fall asleep.

If it helps you relax, you might want to incorporate it into your bedtime routine.

6. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

The reason you go to sleep so late might not have anything to do with a sleep problem.

Some people have a tough time going to sleep earlier simply because their environment isn’t set up for a good night’s rest. Everything from the sounds around you to your mattress and pillow impact your sleep environment.

Luckily there are some quick things you can do to fix that. Obviously, invest in a quality mattress and pillows (seriously, don’t skimp out here). Instead of buying a cheap $50 boxspring mattress off Craigslist, find a mattress that fits your sleeping style. Here’s a guide to help.

Second, if you live somewhere noisy like in a major city, invest in some earplugs if you’re not able to drown out the noise. Quietness is a must-have for a good sleep environment.

And for my night owls out there who work overnight and sleep during the day, get yourself a sleep mask to help block out the sun (black-out curtains help too). 

Do whatever you need to create a comfortable sleep environment that lets you relax and unwind.

7. Don’t Rely on Sleep Medicine & Other Sleep Aids

As tempting as it might be to get a bottle of sleeping pills and sleep aids, try to avoid it if possible. That is, unless your doctor tells you that you have a severe sleep problem or sleep behavior disorder that requires medication.

The reason being is you don’t want to become dependent on medication in order to get some peaceful slumber. 

8. Change Your Wakeup Time

The best cure for your sleep problem could be to change your wake time and morning routine. Some people don’t realize it, but your sleep habits also include what happens when you wake up.

So if you want to go to sleep earlier, you need to wake up earlier as well. Think about it. If you’re waking up at 11:00AM every day, the chances of you being tired enough to go to sleep at 10:00PM are slim since your body has only been awake for less than 12 hours.

So how do you wake up earlier? Well, the same way you set a regular bedtime and sleep routine, you’ll need a regular wake time and morning routine. It might be going for a run first thing in the morning, or showering and early meditation. 

The key is just to establish a routine so your body gets in the habit of waking up at a certain time every morning. And of course, it’ll help your body’s sleep rhythm as well since you’re going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day.

9. Nap With Caution

When you’re not sleeping enough at night, your body’s natural reaction is to get sleepy during the day. And of course, that leads to naps.

Naps can be a nice way to recharge your body in the middle of a long grueling day. But be careful! If you’re taking too many naps or napping for too long, it might make your sleep deprivation even worse. 

Remember, your body has a natural circadian clock that it wants to follow. Taking a nap in the middle of the day for hours can throw that off.

So how long should you nap? Generally the shorter the better. But according to some sleep research conducted by NASA, 40-minute naps improved alertness 100%.

Say Goodbye to Sleep Deprivation & Hello to the Best Sleep of Your Life

Falling asleep can be stressful for many of us, and sleep deprivation is no joke. But trying to set a regular bedtime and sleep schedule can help your body fall asleep more easily. Try incorporating these tips into your life to sleep better and see if you’re able to finally wake up feeling recharged and renewed.

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Growth

How To Confront A Liar (and one time when you just shouldn’t.)

Playground politics were so simple.

If someone got caught out in a lie, everyone danced around, pointing, and chanting, “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” The offending party would slink off, justly shamed, and all would be forgiven by the time the school bell rang.

As with most things in life, it’s just not that easy as an adult.

Being lied to brings a lot of negative emotions to the surface:

  • Betrayal
  • Disappointment
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Confusion

The closer our relationship to the person lying to us, the worse we are likely to feel.

But before you call someone on their lie, it’s important to remember one thing:

There is always more to a lie than meets the eye.

Lies don’t come out of nowhere.

Remembering this when someone tries to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes can actually serve as a grounding mantra. A lie is very, very rarely about you—and almost always about the person telling it.

Here, we’re covering everything you need to know about how to deal with the people who lie to you.

We unpack the different lies people tell, the reasons behind the lies, and how to confront someone who lies to you—if you’re really, really, really sure that’s what you want to do.

Phase 1: Know When to Hold ‘Em. Know When to Fold ‘Em

There are three questions to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether to confront someone on their lie, or to let it go.

The answers to these questions help us clarify how to approach the situation in a healthy way, maintain our relationships, and protect ourselves.

First up…

1. Who Lied to You?

What we’re doing here is establishing how invested we are in helping a liar to change their behavior. Maybe an acquaintance is lying to you.

Sure, it’s annoying, but it likely has less of an impact on your life than if the lie comes from a close friend.

Realistically, we are more likely to accept lies from an acquaintance. Most of us will just avoid these kinds of acquaintances and shrug off their lies as a character flaw.

We can’t do this if the lies are told by a good friend, partner, or family member. If the lie comes from somebody we care about, we are more likely to invest time in working through the betrayal.

Which leads us to the next question…

2. What Kind of Lies Are They Telling?

According to some experts, most lies fall into one of three categories.

The little white lie:

These are the lies we tell to protect others, or to protect our own egos.

  • “I was invited to that huge event, too, but I had something else on that night.”
  • “No, your butt does not look big in those jeans.”
  • “This chicken is delicious!”
  • “Yes, you’re a great boss!”

When someone tells a Little White Lie, they are attempting to strengthen their bond with you, and to be socially accepted.

The compulsive lie:

Have you ever wondered why someone even bothered to tell a lie, when the truth was harmless?

These types of lies come from people who will habitually lie about anything. Compulsive Liars generally develop the habit early on in life, and are likely to feel guilty about it after the fact.

The sociopathic lie:

A sociopath will go to any means necessary to further their own agenda—which is, essentially, to get what they want.

For sociopaths, lying to you will not even register on their radar as “the wrong thing to do.” If what you are unraveling is a complicated web of lies—as opposed to an isolated lie—it may be more serious than you can fix on your own.

So the burning question remains:

3. Is Confrontation the Best Move?

It depends.

Different types of lies—and the liars who tell them—can need different approaches. In one case in particular, the best approach might actually be not confronting them at all.

The little white lie:

Experts suggest that these types of lies come from a good place: an eagerness to be accepted or liked by you. While lying is a poor way to go about winning friends and influencing people, these people aren’t acting maliciously.

Often, building confidence and providing reassurance can be all the troubleshooting you need to do.

If the lies are starting to impact your relationship and you need to take action, confront the issue carefully, and with compassion.

The compulsive lie:

Psychologists believe this type of lying starts in early childhood, and stems from deep, unaddressed behavioral issues.

Confronting this type of lie is likely to be frustrating and unrewarding, as the liar is likely to feel victimized, defensive, and lie more to escape your criticism.

The best way to support a loved one with this kind of behavior is to encourage professional counselling or therapy.

If you still feel the need to take matters into your own hands, focus on asking questions and trying to understand what drives their behavior.

The sociopathic lie:

In relationship terms, this kind of lie is the ultimate red flag.

Confrontation isn’t likely to be effective in the long term. Sociopaths are very good at manipulating a situation, and are already aware of what they’re doing.

The thing is: they don’t care that they’re doing it.

The best way for someone to address sociopathic lies is to avoid—or minimize—spending time around the people who tell them.

Phase 2: Develop a Solid Strategy

So you’ve determined what kind of lie you’re dealing with. You’ve analyzed the pros and cons of confronting the situation. Now you’re ready to wade into the awkward and murky waters of confrontation.

Here’s how to come out of those waters without getting dirty.

1. Have a Game Plan

Leadership thought-leader, Sheri Staak, says we need to feel confident going into the conversation. Know your facts, practice your wording, and be prepared for any outcome.

Another factor in having a game plan is timing. Choose a time when the two of you can be alone, without distraction.

Very little can be resolved if you are constantly interrupted whilst trying to share your feelings. And it should go without saying, but don’t initiate a confrontation in front of an audience if you want a chance at a positive resolution.

2. Have Some Compassion

It’s likely you’ve got this one down already, because you’ve read this far.

Life coach, Kimberly Giles, says to enter into the discussion with love for the person you’re speaking with.

Your aim, according to Giles, is to strengthen your relationship through an open and honest conversation about something that is hurting you.

3. Make Good (Word) Choices

Avoid “blame script.”

If you talk about how something made you feel, and what you would like to achieve, you are less threatening.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, talking about what they have done, and how they are affecting your relationship, instantly puts the other person on the defensive.

Choose “I felt hurt that you didn’t feel able to tell me the truth,” instead of “Why didn’t you just tell the truth?”

Choose “I would love to have a more honest relationship with you,” instead of “If you don’t stop lying to me all the time, I’m not talking to you anymore.”

If you’re deeper into the conversation and starting to flounder—maybe they aren’t acknowledging that they lied—you could try something more advanced.

“I don’t feel that you’re telling me the truth about this, and that’s disappointing for me. I’ve always valued you, and I hope that you would value me enough to help me work our way through this.”

4. Tell Them Your Boundaries

This is something that very few of us do in our relationships, but it is absolutely necessary, according to experts.

Author and clinical psychologist, Dr. George Simon, says that when you know someone has lied to you: that is enough. You don’t need to convince them or prove yourself, because deep down, they know it, too.

If the conversation goes downhill, the best thing you can do—according to Simon—is state your boundaries clearly.

This might look like defeat, but you’ve still achieved a lot. Your friend, lover, or family member knows that you spotted their lie. They know you are willing to confront them over it. They know you care (because you’ve told them, right?).

Finally, you can reiterate one more point: that you will not tolerate being lied to. No equivocation needed, and no explainers necessary.

A strong example of this could be, “I’m glad we’ve had this talk, so thank you. I really needed you to know that I will not tolerate being lied to.”

Calling Out a Liar Isn’t Easy

The sad truth is that we need to be prepared for a less-than-stellar outcome when we confront a liar.

Ideally, you will hug it out and the lies will stop. The tips we’ve unpacked here are designed to increase the odds of this being the outcome.

More realistically, though, your relationship may feel awkward as you both adjust to the new dynamic. This is normal. With care and time, that awkwardness can lead to a stronger, healthier normal.

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Health & Wellness

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

I’m a lifer—depression for life. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t feel depressed. I was diagnosed for the first time at 14, and so began my journey of medication and therapy.

But I was lucky. At 14, my mother was the one who noticed the symptoms and took me in to the doctor’s office for help. I didn’t have to do that myself. I’ve carried the depression diagnosis (plus more) with me ever since then. It’s just a part of me now.

Not everyone has the luxury of being taken for help when they start experiencing depression. The icy, lonely, isolating nature of the illness makes talking about it feel impossible—let alone talking with a doctor you barely know.

The only way you’ll start feeling better, though, is by asking your doctor for help. If you do have clinical depression, lots of treatment options are available to you. Many who are diagnosed with this condition live happy lives due to successful management of their symptoms.

Symptoms of Depression

It’s normal to be sad, lonely or uninterested in life once in a while. When these feelings last for a long period of time and begin affecting your everyday life, you might be experiencing depression.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, Major Depressive Disorder affects approximately 16.1 million American adults in a given year. Here are some of the many symptoms caused by depression:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Constant sadness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • An “empty” feeling
  • Sleep disturbances (sleeping too much or too little)
  • Loss of interest in activities you enjoy

If you notice you’ve been feeling one or more of these symptoms for a long time, don’t brush them aside. Get yourself some help.

Why You Should Ask for Help

Depression isn’t something you can just talk yourself out of. If you’ve been experiencing strong negative feelings for a long time, they’re not going to disappear with the snap of a finger. 

Clinical depression causes physical and emotional symptoms that can get in the way of a successful life, or even threaten your life. Most of the time, someone diagnosed with depression needs medication, therapy or both to manage their symptoms and feel better.

Nobody should go through the isolation of depression alone, without help. The first place to start is your family doctor or general practitioner. These guys are your first line of defense against depression.

Your doctor can run tests to find out if a physical condition is causing your symptoms. He can also get you started on medication and refer you to other specialists if necessary.

Opening up Is Hard

Depression is a tricky monster because the disorder itself can make asking for help seem impossible.

Depression has a funny way of telling me little lies like, “you don’t deserve help,” “you’re just being a big baby” or “your doctor can’t help you with this problem.” It’s really hard to see through these lies and do the right thing to take care of yourself.

You might not be close with your doctor and have trouble opening up about this problem. You’re probably embarrassed to talk about it at all.

I recommend reading up on the illness to prepare yourself. It will help you realize that this is a clinical disorder, that requires clinical treatment.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression

You’ve decided to make some changes and have a talk with your doctor, but you have no idea how to do it. Something as simple as telling your doctor you’re sad all the time feels like baring your soul to the universe.

You might not be comfortable talking about your feelings, let alone with a near stranger. So how do you break through the barriers and get the help you need?

1. Make the Appointment

First, make an appointment with your doctor. This step alone can be terrifying when you’re facing depression. Call your main doctor’s office to make an appointment, and when asked what the appointment is for, simply say “mental health” or something similar.

That’s all it takes to get on the road to recovery. You can also bring up your suspected depression at an appointment for another issue.

2. Start Talking

You’re at the appointment, and now you have to get the words flowing. Start by simply telling your doctor the symptoms that are affecting your life. This will get the conversation started and spark some questions for your doctor to ask you. Some example conversation starters:

  • “I’ve been spending too much time sleeping lately. I’ve slept for entire days at a time and missed important events or appointments.”
  • “Lately, I’m having trouble making myself accomplish simple things. It feels so draining to do even the most everyday tasks.”
  • “I’ve been much more irritable than usual. It seems like every little thing and person sets me off.”
  • “It’s been hard to eat lately. I usually have such a great appetite but it’s completely gone.”
  • “I’m having trouble enjoying life and feeling weighed down by something. It feels very empty lately.”

It may be extremely difficult to get those one or two sentences out. But if you can get that far, you’ve won half the battle. Now your doctor can take over by asking you more questions and assessing your mental health.

3. Mention Other Symptoms

Now the conversation is flowing, and your doctor is assessing whether or not you might be experiencing depression.

To make the most accurate assessment, your doctor needs to know all your symptoms and history, both physical and mental. This way, she can explore any underlying health issues that could contribute to your depression.

Be sure to mention any of the following, which can help identify underlying health problems:

  • All medications you are currently taking
  • Family history of mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • A chronic illness
  • Big life events

It’s best to paint the whole picture so your doctor can screen you for depression with as much information as possible. This will lead to a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

4. Ask Questions

You’ve gotten through the hard part. You’ve taken the most important step and asked for help. Now the conversation should be flowing, and you should make sure to ask questions.

Take control of your health by asking the questions that are surely on your mind. Here are some example questions to ask your doctor:

  • “Will I need medication to manage my depression?”
  • “Could any underlying health issues be causing me to feel this way?”
  • “When do you expect me to begin feeling better?”
  • “What should I do in an emergency?”
  • “When should I follow up with you?”

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your mental health is just as important as any other aspect of your health, so it deserves the same amount of attention and care.

What to Expect Next

If your doctor diagnoses you with depression, there are a few treatment routes he may take. First, any underlying health problems will be treated. Then, depending on your type and severity of depression, the doctor may:

  • Refer you to a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist
  • Prescribe medication
  • Adjust current medications
  • Link you with community resources

If you begin taking medication, it’s wise to follow up with a psychiatrist who specializes in mental health medications. That way, you’ll ensure you are taking the appropriate medication and receive care specialized to mental health. Make sure to continue your treatment, even if you’re feeling better.

Living With Depression

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. If you were diagnosed with a heart condition, you’d take medication and see specialists. Why treat depression any differently?

If something seems off, trust your gut and tell your doctor. If you’re still uncomfortable talking about it, bring someone you trust with you to the appointment. They can help explain how you’re feeling to the doctor or just serve as moral support for you.

Your life depends on the proper treatment and management of depression. Seek the help you need and keep faith that you’ll find an effective treatment option.

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Growth

10 Smart Ways to Deal with a Narcissist in Your Life

The term narcissist is defined as “a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves”. This word is often used to describe someone who acts as if the world revolves around them; someone who is obsessed with their own needs and puts their needs above all others.

It’s important to note that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a real mental health condition. It’s a personality disorder whereby those who are afflicted with the condition legitimately have an exaggerated sense of themselves.

Individuals who have NPD believe that they are more important than anyone else; they have a strong desire for an unwarranted amount of attention and appreciation, and they lack empathy.

However, while they may appear to have a high level of self-confidence, those who suffer from NPD actually have very low self-esteem and are often put out by the smallest amount of criticism.

People that have been diagnosed with NPD experience difficulties in many aspects of their lives; their personal relationships, career, finances, and struggle with their own self-worth.

While NPD is a legitimate mental health condition, it is possible for people to show signs of narcissism without being formally diagnosed with the personality disorder.

For example, individuals who have narcissistic tendencies may:

  • Constantly call attention to and/or exaggerate their achievements.
  • Demand constant praise and appear angered when they don’t receive it.
  • Set out to retaliate against those who criticize them or do not “put them up on a pedestal”, so-to-speak.
  • Fail to acknowledge or care about other people’s needs.

Given the symptoms of NPD, it can be extremely difficult to interact with someone who has been diagnosed with the condition or who displays narcissistic tendencies. After all, who would want to deal with someone who thinks they’re better than everyone else?

If you’ve been confronted with a narcissist, you may be tempted to just walk away. While that might seem like the most obvious solution, it may not be the most viable option. What if the person is a family member, a colleague, or your boss?

How can you effectively handle a narcissist? Below, we share 10 methods that you can use to help you deal with someone who has been diagnosed with NPD or who exhibits narcissistic behaviors.

1. Pay Attention to Their Behaviors

 Unfortunately, narcissists can be quite charismatic. When they want something, they can ooze charm in order to get it, which is exactly why many people are easily drawn in by narcissists.

However, once they get what they want, they often tend to diminish, excuse, bash, and/or degrade those who accommodated their needs, and then they move onto the next unsuspecting victim.

If you notice someone who seems to be the “big man or woman” on campus and is everyone’s buddy and pal, before you get sucked in, stand back and watch from afar.

Pay attention to how the individual treats those around him/her and his/her overall disposition and morality. Does the person in question backstab those he was just praising? Does she lie, cheat, or manipulate to get what she wants? Does he bash others once he gets what he wants? Does she talk about everyone behind their backs?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above-mentioned questions, tread lightly. There’s a very good chance that you could be victimized by the individual, so you may want to reconsider investing too much (or even a small amount) of energy on him or her.

When dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies or NPD, the first thing you should do is acknowledge who they are and accept it; unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change the way they think about themselves and treat others.

2. Avert Your Attention

Narcissists demand the attention of others and they’ll do anything they can to get it; it’s just their nature. It doesn’t matter whether the attention is positive or negative, as long as it’s some type of attention, the narcissist will be happy.

Avoid falling into the trap of giving the person the attention that he or she expects. If you give just a little, the person will ask you to give even more, and eventually, you will be stuck in a vicious cycle where his or her needs are the only thing that receives attention and your needs are put on the backburner indefinitely.

If you do have to deal with a narcissist, completely avoiding their constant demands for attention may be impossible. If that’s the case, keep your guard up and stay focused. Don’t devote yourself to the individual; otherwise, you’ll end up stuck in their trap.

3. Use Your Voice

Narcissists have a tendency to rile people up. They like to make others uncomfortable so that they can feel better about themselves.

If this is something you are dealing with and you want to or have to maintain a relationship with the individual in question, use your words to express how he/she makes you feel and your annoyance with the situation.

No matter how tempting it may be, don’t scream, shout, or use derogatory language to illustrate your frustration; doing so will only satisfy the narcissist’s desire to put you down or make you feel bad to life him/herself up. Instead, speak calmly, rationally, and be direct and to the point.

Articulate how the words that the individual uses or the actions that they make are affecting you.

Be specific with your summary and reference clear and perhaps even documented examples. It’s important to let your displeasure be known; however, it’s important to note that you should be prepared for the individual to either not understand where you are coming from, or for them to simply not care at all.

4. Establish Boundaries

Those who have NPD or narcissistic tendencies are absorbed with their own wants and needs. Therefore, they often believe that they have every right to do what they want, when they want to; and that may include demanding you give your time to them.

To avoid scuffles, establish boundaries, and make those boundaries clearly known. Let them know that if they fail to abide by those boundaries, you will be forced to enact consequences. Stay true to your word; if the individual pushes your boundaries, issue a consequence. 

5. Recognize Where the Narcissist is Coming From

It might be very difficult to do, but often, people with NPD or who exhibit narcissistic behaviors have extremely low self-esteem.

In order to make themselves feel better, they inflate their egos; especially in situations where they feel as if they might fail or be judged.

If you notice that the individual seems to be on his or her “high horse”, assess the situation.

For example, if they’re about to make a presentation, the ego-driven personality might be because the person is feeling self-conscious. If that’s the case, try offering reassurance to settle the inflated ego.

6. Remain Positive

As mentioned, narcissists tend to put others down in order to lift themselves up, and they get a real rise when they see that their negative actions have impacted those they have set out to attack.

If you’re on the receiving end of a narcissistic put-down attack, do everything you can to remain positive.

Put on a happy face and keep on trucking; of course, you don’t have to direct your positivity to him or her, but just make it be known that their attempts to drag you down aren’t working.

If they can’t tell that your feathers have been ruffled, the behavior will start to diminish.

7. Remain Indifferent

If it’s hard to remain positive (which it undoubtedly will be), then be indifferent. Don’t react to anything that the person says, unless of course you have to fulfill an obligation.

For example, if it’s your boss and you’re required to complete a task that your job calls for. However, otherwise, remain indifferent. Just let it roll of your shoulders and eventually (hopefully), they’ll move on.

8. Get Support

Seek the support of others; people who also have to deal with the narcissist, as well as individuals who have no link to him/her at all.

With a support network, you’ll have people you can turn to and let out your frustrations in a healthy way, or just escape the difficult nature of your relationship with the narcissist.

If your primary point of contact is someone with narcissistic tendencies, you’ll eventually fall under the pressure and your self-esteem and mental health will suffer immensely.

9. Recognize That Professional Help May Be a Necessity

Narcissists often don’t realize that they have a clinical problem; therefore, they may never get the help that they need.

If their tendencies are worsening and nothing seems to be working, you may recommend that the individual seek the guidance of a mental health professional.

However, do be aware that the person may not follow your advice, and in fact, may dismiss you or increase his/her attacks.

10. Walk Away

Despite your best attempts, you may not be able to successfully deal with a narcissist; after all, doing so can be quite taxing.

If all else fails and you have tried everything you can think of to maintain your relationship, it may be time to think about walking away.

Though it may be hard to leave, in the end, it isn’t worth sacrificing your social-emotional well-being just so you can stay tied to someone who has made it abundantly clear that you don’t matter.

Categories
Health & Wellness

I Tried CBD Oil for 30 Days. Here’s How I Feel

Chances are you’ve heard about CBD; it’s hard not to. It seems like you can’t walk into any health food store or even spa without seeing CBD for sale. It’s so sought-after these days that its move passed the people-only market and is popular among the pet community too.

I couldn’t stop hearing about CBD, and how it was so amazing for everything, like anxiety, pain stress, even asthma, so I had to try it. And so, I did, every day for 30 days.

If you’re wondering what CBD is and how it can make your life a little brighter, read on.

What is CBD?

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, THC’s non-psychoactive cousin. I’m going to repeat that – non-psychoactive, as in – will not get you high.

CBD is the second most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis and can be derived from the marijuana or hemp plant.

CBD performs multiple functions in the human body, and the research is still growing, but one significant way that CBD works is by supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

The human ECS runs through our entire body, and it plays a critical part in our survival by maintaining homeostasis.

Bear with me; we’re almost there.

The ECS works with three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

The endocannabinoids help bodily functions operate smoothly by binding to specific receptors. The enzymes break down endocannabinoids after they’ve finished doing their job.

Research shows that CBD inhibits the enzymes that break down naturally produced endocannabinoids, allowing them to stay in our bodies longer, and extending their calming and balancing effects.

One of the endocannabinoids that CBD reduces the breakdown of is anandamide, which gets its name from the Sanskrit Ananda, meaning bliss. Anandamide manages the production and uptake of serotonin and also regulates pain.

So with CBD, more of this bliss producing and pain-alleviating compound stays in our bodies for longer. 

In addition to stress, mood, and pain relief, by supplementing the ECS, CBD can also help other vital body processes like immune response, sleep, appetite and metabolism, digestive function, inflammatory response, memory, pleasure and reward systems, fertility, and more stay regulated and perform optimally.

More Benefits of CBD

Clinical research on CBD is still limited, but the research that exists has found that CBD can:

What Did CBD Do For Me?

Now that you have an idea of what CBD is supposed to do, here’s what it actually did for me after 30 days.

(Here’s my review of the CBD oil I tried by the way!)

Easy Breezy Me (Well As Close As It Gets)

The main reason I wanted to try CBD was that I’m always anxious.

Everything from driving to booking flights gives me anxiety.

And let’s not forget the racing thoughts when my brain maps out every possible “what if” scenario for any action: queue racing heart and trouble breathing.

From the first time I took high-quality CBD, I almost instantly felt more mellow and way less anxious.

Over 30 days, I planned my daily CBD dose with my most anxious moments.

While CBD didn’t make my problems disappear, it made everything easier to deal with.

Even in those verge of panic attack moments where it’s hard to breathe or move, it filled me with a sense of calm, grounding, and presentness.

The anxiety that may have otherwise made me want to avoid things and head back to the comfort of my bed was put on the back burner. I was able to tackle whatever had to be done.

Fewer Aches and Pains

I don’t suffer from much physical pain in my life, something for which I have immense gratitude.

But, after arriving back in the states from traveling for five months and adjusting to the routine of things, I became a lot less active.

I went from walking miles and miles a day, going on hikes, climbing up and down cliffs, and more, to driving everywhere and not finding much time to exercise.

During the month when I was first trying CBD, I decided to work out again.

The next day my lower back was killing me. After a full dropper of CBD tincture, it completely went away.

CBD also made my menstrual cramps and body aches that come with them so much more bearable.

And CBD brought me some sweet relief from an awful migraine – the kind where every time you move, your whole head feels like it weighs a ton. After taking CBD, I stopped noticing any symptoms and was able to get on with my day.

Throughout the month, CBD also helped relieve stomach pains from indigestion when I overindulged in some not so healthy foods. It even helped keep me “regular,” if you know what I mean.

Alcohol Hangover Relief

I used to be the girl at the bar drinking straight tequila, not even shots, just straight glasses of tequila. Okay well, I took the shots too.

But I don’t drink much these days, other than some wine here or there or on special occasions.

The 30 days when I tested out CBD happened to coincide with a couple of weddings. The first wedding involved taking multiple shots for the first time in almost two years.

The second wedding was a more casual celebration with no vegan food options, which led me to foolishly drinking lots of prosecco on an empty stomach.

Rookie mistake, I know.

Both nights, I was ready for an unforgiving hangover in the morning, but CBD saved the day.

I took CBD both of the mornings after and was able to get on with my day, as usual. I wasn’t feeling 100% but close enough; no headaches, no nausea, no need to lay in bed all day.

I’d say that’s pretty impressive. Especially since the night of too many Proseccos hit me so hard that I had to leave the venue to go for a walk and keep from puking on the ride home.

Weed Hangover Relief 

I’m not a big fan of the term weed hangover because I don’t think weed and alcohol hangovers are on the same page.

But, I have always experienced some symptoms after smoking weed, a “weed fog” if you will.

I don’t smoke much anymore because it usually makes me anxious. But other times with the right strain and setting, I feel on top of the world right after chilling with Mary Jane.

Either way, I usually don’t feel as great afterwards. Instead, brain fog, sleepiness, lethargy, crankiness, or the occasional slight headache settle in.

If I smoke at night, that means waking up with these symptoms the next morning.

But when I take CBD a few hours after smoking or right before bed, it feels as if I never smoked at all.

My boyfriend, who indulges in the medicinal magic of marijuana a lot more than I do also experienced these results.

CBD can counteract the effects of THC because it’s a negative allosteric modulator of the CB1 receptors.

In simpler terms, CBD and THC both bind to CB1 receptors, but in different areas.

When CBD binds, it changes the shape of the CB1 receptors. This makes THC less binding and reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.

With this reasoning, you should also be able to use CBD to reduce the effects of a too intense high, but I haven’t had to try this yet. But knowing I have the option, does relieve some of the anxiety that comes with THC.

A Reverse Tolerance

Studies show that unlike THC, CBD doesn’t build up a tolerance. Meaning if you keep taking CBD, you don’t have to take more and more each time to feel the effects.

Some people find that CBD has a reverse tolerance effect, meaning the more they take it, the less of it they need.

I mentioned before that I took my daily CBD dose when I was the most anxious. During the first week of taking CBD, there was no shortage of times that I wanted to take it. The second week was similar, but I was overall, less anxious.

During the third and fourth weeks, I felt so much less anxious than usual. I would forget to take my CBD until the late afternoon or evening or sometimes close to going to bed.

Anything that works well enough on my anxiety that I forget to take it because I’m not feeling as anxious is gold as far as I’m concerned.

A Bit of Bliss

I try to be a happy and optimistic person, and most of the time, I succeed, but I’ve also dealt with depressive thoughts and episodes since my early teens.

Sometimes these heavy, dark moments are fueled by literally nothing – my mind’s unfortunate version of a joke, and somehow, I’ve always missed the punchline.

Other times, it’s family issues. These hit me especially hard because as an empath, I feel people’s problems as my own, and feel like it’s my responsibility to fix them.

With CBD, even in these dark moments, there’s a bit of bliss that settles in for me. This little bit of bliss is enough to motivate me to get on with what I have to do with a greater sense of appreciation.

Or if I have nothing to do, it motivates me to go for a walk or paint or do something else I enjoy, which in turn boosts my mood even more.

Better Sleep and More Wakefulness

One of the noted benefits of CBD is helping relieve insomnia, so you might be wondering if it’s going to make you tired all the time.

The few times I took CBD close to bedtime, it did lead to a great night’s sleep. But when I took it during the day, it often inspired a greater feeling of wakefulness or awareness.

To better grasp how this works, it’s important to remember that CBD doesn’t work as a sedative when used as a sleep aid. Instead, it helps improve sleep by reducing anxiety and pain and bringing balance to the wake and sleep cycles.

If it helps, you can think of CBD as an adaptogen that works with your body’s natural rhythms to improve their function.

So, when taken during the day, CBD can help trigger wakefulness through its anti-anxiety and serotonin-boosting properties. At night it can help you get to sleep by relieving ailments that would otherwise keep you up.

If you’re worried about CBD making you too relaxed or not relaxed enough, many brands make specific blends designed to help you chill out or amp up.

Are There Any Downsides to CBD Oil?

I’ve been taking CBD for over 30 days now, and I haven’t noticed any downsides myself. But I’ve heard people mention that it can be rough on the liver.

The only studies that have proven a chance of liver toxicity caused by CBD have been animal studies. In these animal studies, any adverse effects are associated only with extremely high concentrations of CBD – way more than what you need.

Also, in cases related to CBD as a treatment for epilepsy, some participants reported symptoms like diarrhea, weight and appetite changes, and fatigue. These symptoms are a lot better than the side effects of pharmaceuticals for epilepsy.

Overall, research shows that CBD has a favorable safety profile in humans.

So, the cliché “even too much of a good thing can be bad” applies to CBD too. It’s all about using it in a way that helps you, not abusing it.

Getting the Most Out of CBD

To get the most out of CBD, you need to choose a reputable brand that’s using quality full or broad-spectrum hemp extract. This really matters.

You also need to play around with your dosage. I have a moderately sensitive system, so taking the recommended bottle dosage works just fine, but you might need a bit more or even less.

For the fastest and fullest effect, I like to keep the CBD tincture drops under my tongue for longer than the recommended 1-2 minutes, and I try to take it on an empty stomach.

Should You Try CBD?

Okay, CBD isn’t a cure-all, but I don’t think there is one.

But CBD does help, and it helped me a lot. Enough so that before the bottle I had for my 30 day trial period was even close to being finished, I ordered more CBD.

It might seem ridiculous for me to say that CBD has changed my life – but it has.

It’s like I have this little bottle of superpowers that gives me comfort in knowing that when I’m faced with overwhelming anxiety, I’m not feeling well because I have my period, or drank too much, or ate poorly, if I’ve strained my body, need a social boost, or need to elevate my mood, I can.

And I can do it in a natural way. That I think is something worth trying. So, if you ask me if you should try CBD, I 10/10 recommend.

Categories
Growth

Six-Steps to Live with a Narcissist at Workplace

According to expert quotes, about 0.5% of the United States populace has actually a problem called conceited personality disorder. This is about one person out of every 200, so if you’re managing a narcissist at the workplace, you’re far from alone.

A narcissist is a person that has a personality disorder where they’re incapable to empathize with other people. Due to this, they’re really self-indulgent and also like to extol their very own success.

Managing a person at the workplace that has a God facility is hard and bothersome to navigate. I’ve had to do it, and knowledge ludicrous as well as irritating it can be.

The good news is, I learned that there are some methods to deal with your narcissistic coworker that can make your life much easier. Keep reading for some suggestions on how to take care of a narcissist as well as reclaim your workplace sanity.

1. Don’t Take What They Say to Heart
Narcissists claim a lot of things in an effort to manipulate people around them.

The ‘do as I state, not as I do’ plan is one that the narcissist enjoys given that it doesn’t hold them answerable for their activities. They will certainly do something while claiming that it’s a poor thing for others to do- a narcissist is always the exception to their very own moral judgments.

Narcissists will additionally claim points to try to obtain you to seem like you’re in the wrong.

Gaslighting is a sort of emotional abuse where a narcissist tries to obtain you to wonder about truth. Instances of gaslighting consist of:

” You need to be puzzled.”
” It’s constantly something with you.”
” Don’t twist my words.”
” You always misremember points.”
” I think you require mental aid.”
A narcissist will likely state things like this to you so that you’re more likely to pay attention to them over your own memories, expertise, and also conscience. The only method to stay clear of sensation poor is to remember that they’re just lying.

In the work environment, a narcissistic coworker will possibly say things to make you feel like you’ve done both morally wrong points in addition to made professional disobediences. There’s absolutely nothing incorrect with your work, but a narcissist won’t want you to ever really feel excellent regarding on your own.

Allow what the narcissist states enter one ear and out the various other. Their words are all lies.

2. Do Not Try to Fight With Them
You shouldn’t take what a narcissist says to heart, however you additionally shouldn’t try to eliminate with them. They aren’t mosting likely to listen to you due to the fact that they aren’t practical people.

Anything that you say in a debate with a narcissist will undoubtedly be twisted around and thrown back in your face. They have no real emotions, so they’ll capitalize on your being reasonably provoked up and try to make you look hysterical.

The narcissist likewise believes that they are, undoubtedly, right in every circumstance.

Since you will not be able to win, you don’t want to obtain right into an argument with someone unreasonable. Narcissists aren’t trying to find a discussion- to them, everything’s just a chance to prove that they’re the best person ever before to exist.

Likewise, because narcissists tend to see emotions as a weakness, obtaining emotional about your job and your concepts is simply something that they can make use of.

It’s finest to simply ignore things they carry and state on with your life, despite just how much they may make you want to yell.

You can also exercise reflection and also mindfulness at home to ensure that you’re qualified of managing and also balancing emotions!

3. Don’t Share Personal Information
There’s another thing I neglected to point out regarding narcissists up previously: most of them are so really charming.

Narcissists often tend to be actually amusing, appealing, as well as fascinating. They make you intend to hang out with them since they have the smarts to claim to be the sort of person you want to associate.

At first, many narcissists will feel like a desire become a reality. You’ll feel a kind of magnetic pull to them as well as wish to befriend them.

Also as soon as a narcissist reveals their true shades, they’ll still have minutes when they seem like the office sweetheart that they once claimed to be.

A lot of narcissists I’ve met have actually likewise informed stories that make you really feel bad for them. They desire you to think that they’re always the victim.

As a compassionate person, this makes you want to end up being close with the narcissist. You’re likely to feel for them and also the struggles that they’ve fabricated and told you around.

You might feel like telling them features of your life as a result of this. Doing this, however, is just one of the most awful points you can do.

Any kind of information you provide to your narcissist coworker is gas for them to control you additionally. They’ll use any kind of understanding that they have regarding you as tools to make you really feel negative regarding on your own in the future.

4. Do Not Go Anywhere Alone With Them
Not only shouldn’t you tell a narcissist anything concerning on your own, however you definitely should not go anywhere alone with them, either.

Many narcissists are abusers, and also they’ll take any possibility that they’re alone with you to take part in abusive behaviors.

Because the person you’re attempting to stay clear of belongs to your workplace, this can be tricky. You could be asking yourself, ‘what should I do if we need to service a job with each other or collaborate?’

These are reasonable worries, yet they can be addressed by having a 3rd party existing when you work together. Ask a buddy or supervisor to be in the room with you as you and the narcissist speak.

If you are required to go someplace alone with the narcissist, ensure that you have your mobile phone with you. If things begin to go also far, it can be made use of to call a person in an emergency situation or as a recording tool.

5. Do Get Everything in Writing
While a recording device is a good idea in severe situations, it isn’t something you’ll want to make use of on a daily basis. The much better alternative is to obtain whatever that the narcissist states in creating.

Narcissists are incredibly great liars. As soon as, I saw a narcissist speak to a superior in an effort to get a colleague put on hold, and also presume what?

It worked.

I desire that the man that was suspended had gotten the truth in composing. Although he came back to work the next week and was great, he really did not deserve to miss that pay.

The ethical of that story is that you need to get your resident narcissist to email you every little thing that they assert that they have done. You’ll want them to be particular.

See to it that you store them in a safe place within your e-mail account. To be specifically secure, you can print them out and also file them away. This will prove to your boss that you’re leveling if anything takes place.

Also, if your conceited colleague e-mails you anything violent, print it out immediately and also reveal it to your superior. This will ensure that your manager remains in the loophole and knows the narcissist’s real character prior to anything drastic takes place.

6. When Possible, do Avoid Contact
While it’s finest for contact with a narcissist to be in composing, it’s also better to avoid contact entirely.

I know, that’s difficult in the office. There are, nonetheless, some ways that you can stay clear of dealing with a tough coworker that you may want to have a look at.

Most importantly else, narcissists want to maintain excellent appearances. Use that to your benefit.

When the narcissist comes near you, make it appear like you’re actually active. This will deter them from turning up as well as bothering you considering that people around you would certainly judge them if they did.

You must likewise obstruct the person on social networks. This will certainly send out the message that you’re onto them and also don’t wish to be bothered by their lies.

It additionally will certainly keep them far from your individual information as well as life, which we currently established they’ll utilize to their advantage.

Ultimately, you can stay clear of contact with the narcissist by making a routine that’s various from their own. Take breaks at various times than they do- it will do you a globe of good.

To Learn How to Handle a Narcissist
Managing a narcissist is obnoxious, annoying, as well as emotionally tiring. If you make use of the ideas that you’ve found out right here, however, I’ve discovered that this ends up being a much easier job.

Now that you know just how to deal with a narcissist, it’s time to do something wonderful for yourself so that all the anxiousness of taking care of them melt away.

To do this, I like to take a long, hot bath with some bathroom as well as a publication oils. Go here to learn more about the best vital oils that you can enter your bath oils to aid you deal with stress.

Good luck- you’ve got this!

Categories
Health & Wellness

What Is Stress Weight Loss & What to Do About It

When I’m stressed, I generally have two polar opposite reactions to food. I either eat my body weight in pasta, chocolate, and other comfort food, or I just stop eating.

While most people relate stress to overeating and weight gain, stress weight loss is also common. Losing weight might sound like a positive component of stress, but it’s not. You never want to harm your body by losing weight for unhealthy reasons.

Significant weight loss from stress can lead to problems like nutrition deficiency, weakness, muscle loss, and more. So, if you’re on the stress weight loss side of the spectrum, what can you do about it?

What Causes Stress Weight Loss?

If you’re experiencing weight loss from stress, here are some of the possible reasons:

Stress Can Cause Stomach and Digestion Problems

When the body experiences stress, it goes into fight or flight mode. In fight or flight mode, the body receives a burst of energy, which increases heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, enhances vision, and more.

To maintain this spike in energy, digestion slows down, or in some cases, stops completely, which can lead to gastrointestinal distress. Gastrointestinal distress leads to stomach pains, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or other symptoms.

Chronic stress can also cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or intensify the severity of symptoms.

The symptoms of gastrointestinal distress and IBS commonly lead to a reduced food intake, which in turn leads to weight loss.

Stress Can Cause Anxiety and Depression

Chronic stress can lead to many psychological disorders, including general anxiety disorder. Both general anxiety disorder and less severe levels of anxiety often lead to weight loss.

Anxiety isn’t the only result of stress; stress is also associated with the development of depression. For some people, depression can cause a decrease in appetite, which can lead to weight loss.

Stress Can Lead to More Activity

When I’m stressed or anxious, movement always helps, walking, running, yoga, moving my body in any way. And I’m not the only one.

Physical activity is known to reduce stress while improving mood and self-esteem. Plus, nervous movements like fidgeting, leg shaking, pacing, and more are commonly associated with stress.

In many situations, using physical activity to combat the effects of stress is healthy and recommended. But if you’re too active, especially while not eating enough, it can quickly lead to significant stress weight loss.

Stress Can Make You Too Exhausted to Eat

I know stress and anxiety well enough to have experienced more than my fair share of sleepless nights laying in bed, internally freaking out. We’ve all been there at some point.

Stress is known to cause reduced sleep duration and increased sleep disturbances.

If you’re constantly stressed out or too stressed out, you might reach the point of exhaustion where you’re just too tired to eat, which can cause stress-related weight loss.

Stress Can Make You Skip Meals

When I’m super stressed about a deadline or juggling multiple projects at the same time, I tend to go into work overdrive, and sometimes forget about meals. I get hyper-focused on work, and next thing I know, it’s 4 pm, and I haven’t eaten.

If you tend to forget about or skip meals when you’re stressed or in work overdrive, by the time you’re done working, it’s likely too late for regularly scheduled meals. This increases your chances of squeezing in a quick, unhealthy meal that makes you feel worse.

Stress Can Cause Nausea

I already mentioned that stress can lead to gastrointestinal disorders and IBS, but stress can also cause nausea.

Just like eating is super unappealing when you’re bloated, uncomfortable, or suffering from stomach pains, nausea is a pretty effective appetite suppressant too.

These are just some of the many ways that weight loss from stress happens, so what can you do about it?

How to Deal With Stress Weight Loss

1. Schedule Meals

If you skip meals when you’re stressed, start scheduling them by setting a timer on your phone.

To make these scheduled meals something you can look forward to, allow yourself to take a quick 20-minute break, and do something you enjoy while you eat, like reading a book.

If you’re struggling to finish whole meals, schedule multiple snacks during the day too.

It’s best to schedule your meals around the same time every day. Proper meal timing can help increase stress resistance, reduce inflammation, better manage gut health, and help regulate circadian rhythm.

2. Take Baby Bites

If your stomach feels like it’s in knots or you experience nausea when you’re stressed, eating big or even normal-sized meals can be a challenge, so start small.

Instead of trying to tackle a huge bowl of pasta for lunch, have a nice bean salad with avocado, and eat small portions.

If even tackling three small meals a day feels like too much right now, then drink your calories, but in a good way. Make healthy smoothies that are full of fruits, vegetables, and nut butters.

You can add to your calories by snacking throughout the day, just keep it healthy, like a bowl of grapes or a handful of nuts.

As you manage to eat small meals and snacks, you can help prepare your body for tackling bigger meals.

3. Eat Foods That Fight Stress and Improve Mood

Food is truly medicine, and while it’s a healing tool for the body, it’s also a healing tool for the mind.

Many foods can help reduce stress and get you in a better mood, like Vitamin B. Vitamin B helps reduce stress, and can be found in whole grains, seeds and nuts, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, avocado, bananas, and more.

And a simple bowl of Oatmeal can reduce stress and release serotonin.

But my favorite pick me up is all-natural, pure cacao. Pure cacao or chocolate that isn’t full of artificial ingredients and too much sugar has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, memory, and immunity and can reduce depression.

Speaking of cacao, if you ever have the opportunity to join a cacao ceremony, do it! I promise you won’t regret it.

4. Notice What Hurts Your Stomach

When your stomach is in pain due to stress, it’s more important than ever to be present and notice how everything you eat impacts your stomach.

A few months ago, I started developing strange stomach symptoms. I’ll spare you the details, but my stomach hurt almost all the time, and I went from loving to eat to never really being hungry.

After I started paying attention, I realized that I had just gone from traveling around tropical places with tons of fresh fruit everywhere to winter in NY and way less fruit around me. I had also been eating a lot more rice.

So, I changed my eating habits and had oatmeal with fresh fruit for breakfast every day, and ate less rice. My stomach started feeling better after a couple of days and went back to normal after a little more than a week.

So try to keep track of when your stomach is at its worst, and keep a list of what you ate that could have caused it so that you can modify your diet.

In addition to bringing awareness to dietary problems, food tracking can help you make better food choices, and it’s a way to practice mindful eating.

5. Choose Healthy Pre-Made Food

There have been so many times when I’ve opened the fridge door, saw that there was nothing ready to eat, and thought, “I’ll just eat later.”

When you’re super stressed and fatigued, preparing food is probably the last thing on your mind. Not wanting to prepare food can easily make you avoid eating and lead to stress weight loss.

So instead, find some local health food stores that deliver or visit your local health food store and grab a few fresh or frozen meals to keep for the week.

If your stress comes and goes, or you get sudden bursts of energy or downtime, you can also try to get into the practice of meal prepping.

6. Always Fuel Up After Exercising

If you manage stress through exercise but aren’t eating enough, stress weight loss is very likely. So make sure to always eat something after your exercise.

Eat something as soon as you finish exercising, so you don’t forget. This doesn’t have to be a big meal but focus on high protein or carbohydrate foods, like avocado, nuts, yogurt, a banana, an apple with nut butter, rice cakes, or a protein smoothie.

You can even buy premade protein drinks at the store, to make it as easy as can be.

Eating after you exercise will help prevent stress weight loss, and has other benefits too, like increased muscle protein synthesis, reduced protein breakdown, and more effective muscle reconditioning.

Eating protein after you exercise can also help improve your performance the next day.

7. Take a Break and De-stress

Schedule one hour a day where you focus on de-stressing. I know that feels impossible sometimes, especially when you have a mile-long to-do list, but one hour is such a small part of your day.

Even if it means waking up an hour earlier to have extra time in the day, putting time aside that’s only for you to focus on de-stressing is so important.

Here are a few ways you can de-stress every day:

  • Spend Time Outside: Spending time immersed in nature reduces stress and anxiety and improves overall health, even if it’s only for 20 minutes.
  • Practice Yoga: There are so many benefits of yoga, including stress reduction. I love sinking into a relaxing restorative or yin flow at the end of a long day.
  • Practice Self Care: There are so many beneficial self-care habits you can practice daily. One of my favorites is a steamy hot, candle-lit bath combined with some inspiring literature.
  • Unleash Your Creativity: Creativity reduces cortisol levels. You don’t have to create a masterpiece, just create anything. Draw, paint, fill a coloring book, write a poem, etc.

8. Get to the Root of the Problem

While all of these tips will help you fight off weight loss from stress, you must get to the root of your stress. Usually, to be stressed out long enough to cause stress weight loss, something has to be having a pretty big impact on your life.

Is it a long term project for work? A new living situation? An unhealthy relationship? Constantly having too much on your plate?

Whatever it is, identify it, and start working on how you can make it less intense. Remember, while some stress in life is inevitable, you don’t have to be stressed all the time, and it’s always okay to ask for help.

If the tips above and other lifestyle changes and stress management methods don’t help, it might be time to consider other potential causes of weight loss.

Categories
Growth

How to Deal With an Alcoholic: 10 Tips to Follow

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, over 14.4 million American adults suffer from alcoholism. So if you’re trying to figure out how to deal with an alcoholic, you’re not alone. 

Learning how to deal with an alcoholic is challenging, and if the alcoholic is a partner, family member, or close friend, dealing with it becomes even more difficult. 

But it’s not impossible, and with the right approach, you can learn how to deal with an alcoholic and move towards a better future for both of you. 

It’s important to understand that alcoholism is a serious problem. Alcoholism, or alcohol use disorder, is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, an inability to control alcohol intake, and the experience of negative emotions when not drinking. 

There are certain criteria, determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that are used to deliver a diagnosis of alcoholism. Some of these criteria include: 

  • Trying, unsuccessfully, more than once to cut back on drinking
  • Spending a lot of time drinking or dealing with the side effects of drinking
  • Experiencing strong urges to drink 
  • Continuing to drink despite negative impacts on family, friends, and intimate relationships
  • Missing out on enjoyable activities to drink instead 
  • Experiencing extreme side effects from alcohol wearing off such as shaking, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, etc. 
  • And more

Sometimes it’s easy to notice when someone is suffering from alcoholism. But there are also functional alcoholics. These individuals manage to hold everything in life together, despite their alcoholism. 

The same criteria mentioned above can be used to diagnose functional alcoholics, but functional alcoholics might also drink in secret, joke about their drinking, or set limits on when they drink to keep their problem hidden. 

Whether you have an alcoholic or a functional alcoholic in your life, here’s how to deal with an alcoholic:

1. Don’t Blame Yourself or Take Things Personally 

Blaming others for personal problems or things that happen to us is common, and there are many reasons why we play the blame game. Alcoholics are all-stars at the blame game, and can often be found making statements like “I only drink because of you…”

But it’s 100%, not your fault. 

Alcoholics blame others because they are embarrassed, ashamed, or because they genuinely don’t see alcohol as a problem; they see it as a solution. Remind yourself that a true alcoholic is addicted, and their drinking has nothing to do with you. 

And when an alcoholic says they will never drink again or never repeat a certain mistake, and then goes back on their word, don’t take it personally. 

The amount that alcoholics drink can seriously impact the brain. One effect is that alcohol consumption shrinks the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory and reasoning. 

So when an alcoholic breaks a promise, they might not even know they’re doing it, and it doesn’t mean they don’t care about you, it just means their addiction is too strong. 

2. Release Control

When a loved one is suffering and can’t control it, naturally, we want to help them by taking matters into our own hands. 

But when learning how to deal with an alcoholic, trying to control everything will take such a huge toll on you, and most likely, leave you feeling frustrated, drained, and hopeless. 

Even when you feel like your loved one is headed straight for rock bottom, you should ease up on the control. Sometimes, what an alcoholic needs to make a change and seek professional help, is reaching that destination. 

Research shows that hitting rock bottom, or resource loss is a significant indicator of therapy completion in alcoholics

This doesn’t mean that rock bottom is the only solution, or that you should try to accelerate the journey there. But it does mean you should focus on detachment practices to help you deal with an alcoholic. 

You don’t have to stop caring, but you do have to let others experience the consequences of their actions. 

3. Speak From a Place of Support and Positivity 

Dealing with an alcoholic is frustrating, and it can be easy to be so hurt that you speak to them in a tone of negativity and harshness, but you need to avoid this. 

Instead of saying something like “You are drinking too much, and it’s putting everything at risk,” which can come off as an attack, it can help to say something like, “I’m concerned about how much you’ve been drinking, and I’m worried about you.”

Using “I statements” reduces the perception of hostility and is one of the best strategies for opening a conflict discussion. 

4. Don’t Enable, Do Help the Right Way 

There’s a fine line between enabling and helping, and when it comes to dealing with an alcoholic loved one, it’s hard not to cross it. 

Often, things that you do to “help” an alcoholic can strengthen their addiction. There are many enabling behaviors, including: 

  • Drinking with or around an alcoholic
  • Taking over an alcoholic’s responsibilities
  • Denying or ignoring the problem 
  • Controlling the problem 
  • Overprotecting an alcoholic 
  • Justifying an alcoholic’s behavior 
  • Minimizing an alcoholic’s problems
  • And more

For example, while offering to act as a designated driver for an alcoholic loved one might seem like helping them avoid a DUI or worse, it’s just enabling their drinking. 

Or, while picking a passed out alcoholic off of the front lawn might seem like helping, it’s allowing them to avoid the experience of waking up on the lawn and being faced with their actions. 

Instead, you can help by offering to go to meetings with an alcoholic and engaging in social activities that don’t include drinking with them.

5. Manage Your Expectations 

Like I mentioned before, alcoholism has serious effects on the brain, specifically parts of the brain responsible for reasoning. This means that expectations that would be reasonable for you to have for most people, can be completely unreasonable for an alcoholic. 

Research shows that expectations and happiness are more related than you might think. Enough so that often, happiness isn’t derived from how things are going, but from how much better or worse things are going than expected. 

While it’s important to believe and have a positive outlook, when dealing with an alcoholic, it’s also best to set more realistic expectations. 

6. Don’t Excuse Unacceptable Behavior 

Alcoholics tend to do a lot of unacceptable things. When you love an alcoholic, it’s natural to want to let them get away with some of these behaviors. 

But accepting or covering up unacceptable behavior will only reinforce it. So stop excusing the alcoholic in your life with statements like, “they just had a little too much to drink.”

This doesn’t mean you can’t forgive an alcoholic for something they did while drinking, but there has to be either an acknowledgment of the bad behavior or repercussions. 

Acknowledging unacceptable behavior instead of excusing or accepting it will also help reduce resentment in the future.

7. Leave the Past Behind, and Focus on the Now 

Whether the alcoholic in your life is at a stage where things are getting worse, or starting to look better, no good will come from bringing up the past. 

You might think that bringing up a past event may motivate an alcoholic through guilt, but it will likely just lead them to drink more. 

Letting go of the past and living in the present is a component of mindfulness, and one way to get better at it is through practicing mindfulness meditation. 

Plus, mindfulness meditation has many benefits that can improve your mental and physical well-being. Practicing mindfulness meditation doesn’t have to take long, and can help you detach from the past, focus on the present, and help build a better future for the alcoholic in your life. 

8. Seek Help From Others 

Learning how to deal with an alcoholic on your own is an admirable act of love, but it’s not effective. Alcoholism is a serious mental illness, and often overcoming it is a team effort, so don’t hesitate to seek help. 

You can seek help by going to alcoholism-related meetings with your alcoholic loved one, which may motivate change. 

You can also set up an intervention with family and friends. An intervention isn’t the same as expressing your feelings to an alcoholic; it’s a more extensive process that involves planning, organizing, and working towards an end goal of introducing treatment. 

When you’re ready, here’s an intervention resource you can use. 

9. Take Care of Yourself 

It might sound cliché, but you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

When you’re faced with how to deal with an alcoholic, switching your focus from them to you might feel selfish, but it’s essential. Self-care is how you can ensure that you can function well and be there for yourself and others who need you. 

Self-care can also reduce stress and lead to overall higher quality of life. And it doesn’t have to be some extravagant or expensive thing. Self-care can vary from taking a steamy bath to going to bed earlier. 

When dealing with an alcoholic, self-care can also be setting boundaries and walking away when it’s the best choice for your wellbeing. 

10. Remember, It Can Get Better 

When dealing with an alcoholic, it can be easy to lose hope and think that no matter what you do, the alcoholic is only going to get worse. And while it was previously believed that alcoholism is a progressive disease, meaning one that continually gets worse, this isn’t true. Modern science has found that alcoholism isn’t inevitably progressive, and many people recover successfully.

Stay positive, practice these tips, and remember that in the end, we can conquer so much more than we think.