Thursday, October 29, 2020

'Hamilton' Has Become the Score of My Global Pandemic


Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

As if divorce is not enough, now you have COVID, civil unrest and an upcoming election to deal with. 

This piece is a reflection on how the arts helps us cope. It starts like this:

The pandemic thus far has dealt me one unexpected disappointment: the postponement of Hamilton in Atlanta. 

Live performance is something we often experience as uplifting and renewing. Another balm unavailable to us during the COVID crisis.

In no way am I suggesting that this is a big deal. I have mercifully been spared a variety of painful decisions, tragedies and heartbreaks, but the musical has become a touchstone for me.

 The proverbial opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade appeared when I was able to watch Hamilton, with millions of others, as Disney started streaming the original cast production. It was a remarkable opportunity to see an amazing ensemble and the play itself is simply mesmerizing.

Since my month of streaming had not yet expired, I started listening to it while cleaning my house. 

I'd have to say, and being a clinical psychologist, I’m qualified to say, things started to get a little obsessive. As you might guess, paying someone to clean my house means I really don't like cleaning. Nevertheless, I've lately been looking forward to cleaning because it's become my Hamilton time. 

I sing along, even though I've been told I should stick to my day job. I dance; no one has to tell me to stick to my day job. I'm tempted to bound into rooms at the end of my workday belting out, So what've I missed?, as if I'm Jefferson returning from Paris. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

How To Keep Calm And Carry On Despite COVID-19 Concerns

You may be stressing about not being partnered during this crazy pandemic. Everyone is stressed and we have more in common than not. So post-divorce, these same suggestions from a recent piece I wrote are for you.

One of the (many) atypical things about COVID-19, is that the people helping you cope are experiencing and coping with the same thing, at the same time. Whatever your profession, you’re probably also a parent, partner, adult child or friend, and, as we try to help others through this pandemic, we are also trying to help ourselves.

Even as we recognize that everyone has their own specific large and small crises, we can still have a great deal of understanding and empathy, by virtue of being in the same boat.

Whether you have to separate your child from their grandparents, be mindful of your, or someone else’s, compromised immune system, or console your high school grad who will be missing experiences they’ve anticipated for years, there’s still a lot of common ground.

There are some things we must all figure out in order to cope.

How do we manage (a lot of) unstructured time?
Due to a meeting cancelled at the eleventh hour, I had an entire day completely free.

Normally a dream for a busy person, it felt a little more like a nightmare because of the circumstances. It wasn’t like I decided to take a little staycation. It was last minute, so I didn’t have a plan. It was out of my control. Routine was lacking. Hence, it felt more like a worry than a wow.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Why It’s Healthy To Feel Your Negative Emotions

Negative emotions run rampant post-divorce.

But it doesn't have to be all bad. We call it toxic positivity because sometimes experiencing negative emotions can be healthy. My take: 

“'Toxic positivity"keeps you from embracing the discomfort of negative emotions. But consider that you must welcome the fear, pain, and anxiety of a challenge to run your first marathon, return to school after a hiatus, go on your first meditation retreat, or try your first post-break-up date. Allowing the negative feelings in opens you up to new, enriching experiences. Pursue something a little scary — this is the true road to happiness."

Read more here...

Friday, January 31, 2020

3 Simple Hacks To Help You Lose Weight, Get Fit And Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

You're probably trying to get healthy post-divorce. Here are some tips to avoid getting sucked into a plan that doesn't fit your needs...

Is your freezer filled with meals from that expensive diet you abandoned a year ago? Maybe you saw the perfect piece of exercise equipment in an infomercial, spent a small fortune, and now it languishes in your spare room. Perhaps it’s the fitness tracker that tells you what you no longer want to know about your sleep, diet and exercise.

Those items are wonderful if you use them as part of your bigger plan to get and stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.

It’s not the diet or equipment that gets you to your fitness goals, it’s the determination and intention to be in it for the long-haul. That, and a few simple things to keep in mind to avoid the fads and the flops:

1.      Beware of fads. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Consider the claims made about that Clear Quartz in your water bottle. Read more here...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

8 Ways To Figure Out If Your Partner Is 'The One' Based On Marie Kondo's 'KonMari' Method

So you're dating. Great! Now you're having to answer the proverbial questions about whether or not he's 'the one.'

This article helps you ask the right questions. It starts like this:

If you're a Marie Kondo fan, then you know her KonMari method for decluttering your life is amazing and starts with a simple question: "Does this spark joy?"
But the Marie Kondo method for how to declutter is amazing when applied to other areas of your life too, like love and relationships. Yes, there is a way to use KonMari to declutter your mind and reorganize your thoughts when it comes down to finding out if your partner is really "the one."
"Does it spark joy?" might also be the perfect relationship question. Can you look at your partner — the person you fell in love with — and answer yes when asking yourself, “Does he spark joy?” 
Read more here to see how her method can be used to explore your relationship.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Life Coach Notes, Newsletter, Summer 2019

I'm sure you'll find some useful tips for moving forward post-divorce.

Click here to see my Summer, 2019 Newsletter, with recent articles about health and wellness, relationships and making meaningful changes in your life. Read it here. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

7 Reasons Everyone Keeps Telling You To Meditate

The post-divorce period is always one of stress and angst. Meditation is a great practice to help you cope with this difficult time. I speak from experience. This is a piece I wrote about the value of mediation. It starts like this:

I bet you know people who meditate. They’re often hawking the benefits of meditation, right?

 Annoying as it is, they’re correct. 

There is a wealth of research showing the benefits of meditation. These benefits include greater happiness, an improved sense of well-being, better emotional control, more compassion for, and better relationships with, others, less depression and anxiety, improved focus and even less inflammation in the body.

Though you may understand the benefits of meditation, when you imagine yourself in the perfect meditation space…you’re sitting on a cushion, the temperature is just right, there’s a slight scent of lavender in the air, it’s silent except for the tweet of a bird outside…you know you are never going to find that in this lifetime.

You’re busy, it’s noisy everyplace, and there may be a smell in the air, but it’s more likely to be car exhaust or pet effluvia, than lavender. When it comes to meditation, that’s okay!

Read more here...