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What's Wrong With Me?! Five Question to Ask Yourself...

This is a blog post about those days or times where you feel way off from your normal self. Maybe you're slightly more irritable, or maybe you're just less satisfied overall, or maybe you find yourself wishing it was 8 pm so you could have that beer, or maybe you start to question all of your life choices that ever got you to this place you're in (not least of which includes work, relationship, kids, and location).

What I want you to do when/if you get in that place is to ask yourself these five questions. They're simple, really, but that doesn't mean they don't have a ridiculously impact on our mental health and overall well-being.

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Existential Drift...

I don't even know if that's a term or not, but it makes sense in my head.

Here's what I meant by existential drift - it's that moment in time when you're thinking about the meaning of life, or why you're here, or what's your purpose, or what's it all mean, and then you shift from curiosity and awe into despair, angst, and terror. It's that reeeeally slow shift; that gradual slope that you don't catch until you're speeding down the slide into the deep, dark recesses of your existentially-terrified mind.

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Own Your 'Stuff'

This isn't a fun topic for people, although I would argue it's one of the most necessary things that people should do.  Personally, I love this topic. I love seeing people self reflect in such a way that they can honestly own whatever it is that they're doing in a given situation.  I also personally love this topic – I'd rather know what my stuff is then have it metaphorically slap me in the face later on to the point that I feel completely blindsided. 

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Conflict Avoidance by Listening (Easy as Pie)

You know the song and dance...

Partner one says, "I'm upset about this thing that happened." Partner two says, "I didn't do anything wrong!" Partner one says, "You did xyz!" Partner two says, "That's only because you did abc!" And then the two careen into a fight that has no real beginning and no real end.

Both partners feel justified. Both partners feel vilified. Both partners leave feeling misunderstood, ignored, and frustrated.

IT SUCKS.

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Stress-Busting Tips for a Holiday Host (Guest Blog)

Planning a party is, for the most part, a blast. There’s a certain thrill you get when picking out special decorations, food, and activities for your friends and loved ones’ enjoyment. However, the stress of the holidays can take all the fun out of hosting an event. It can feel like there are too many things to do, without enough time to do any of them. If you want to reclaim the joy of hosting a party while tackling the responsibilities that come with the holidays, try these stress-busting tips (and find additional tips here).

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Why Friendship Matters in a Long-Term Relationship

I think this is going to be a really obvious blog for people who are reading, but I've been surprised before, so it's worth it to share. 

When I work with couples, I tell them that the work they do is broken down into three large themes (too much detail to get into, seriously), all of which are based around the Gottman's work. We spend time on conflict (duh - that's what most people come in for), existential issues (i.e. life roles, dreams, meaning), and friendship

Yes, friendship.

Seems really simple, right? "Just be friends with your partner!" is what they tell you, "Laugh together!" is what they say. But when you're in the throes of conflict, or when you can't even look at your partner without feeling resentment or rage or exhausting frustration or defeat, then laughing together seems like the absolute furthest thing from what you're capable of.

And, to be honest, that's not the type of thing I would tell you

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