The pandemic has not been kind to many peoples’ waist circumference, or the number of chins they are carrying. Even those who have received the vaccine remain cautious; who knows whether the new variants will prove a danger even to the vaccinated and, anyway, life certainly has not returned to its pre-Covid19 state. Thus, the vulnerability of this group’s response to stress for whom food and/or alcohol has been the remedy for pandemic upset; that urge to overindulge is still very much present. And when chronic anxiety and depression is exacerbated by the current health-related stress, weight gain and substance abuse may follow. Who is most likely to succumb to eating, drinking or using recreational drugs as the most effective route to comfort? According to a recent publication in Clinical Obesity, one group likely to do so is the obese, and in particular, the obese who may also suffer from mood disorders. In a study on the effects of the pandemic on mood, weight, and … [Read more...] about We Need a New Approach to Reverse Pandemic Weight Gain
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Source: AaronAmat/iStock Photo This post was written by Gia Marson, Ed.D. Eating to soothe our worries is a natural coping strategy in times of stress. And with the new variants of COVID-19 emerging, confusion over the rollout of vaccines, and intermittent stay-at-home orders limiting our options for managing anxiety , it’s no wonder that we’re looking to food as a source of comfort or reward now more than ever. But this coping mechanism may be putting you at risk. Here's how to prevent disordered eating or an eating disorder from becoming your pandemic takeaway. Certain foods can remind us of feeling safe and connected to people we love. They serve as a comforting or helpful temporary fix when we are troubled. Perhaps your doting grandmother brought over homemade chocolate chip cookies when you were upset as a child, and now, as an adult, you may crave them whenever you’re in a stressful situation. The warm memories surrounding the cookies may benefit you as … [Read more...] about How to Stop Food Cravings During the Pandemic
Coping With COVID-19 If You Live Alone Source: Photo by Alex Green from Pexels The Covid-19 outbreak and associated physical distancing measures altered the social world for most people, but those who live alone may have been disproportionately affected. For example, a recent study reports on adults who live alone during COVID. It shows that those who live alone are less likely to see others in person or to receive/provide help. But there are several ways that singles can get social support. "More time at home offers more time to call, write, and video chat with loved ones. Consider a weekly video meeting with extended family from all around the country, and/or connect with friends for online happy hours, exercise classes, book groups, and all manner of creative activities,” advises Lorna Hecht, a therapist based in San Diego. Indeed, my research taught me that singles invest more in their social circles and even derive more satisfaction from these connections. … [Read more...] about Coping With COVID-19 If You Live Alone
Source: Jill Wellington/Pixabay Like everyone, I desire happiness , success, and a good, fulfilling life. And, like most people, I find simple and organized lists of steps or rules leading to the good life quite attractive. Drawing lines, designating categories, and summarizing things to simplify our thinking about the world are good things. But, lines and categories don’t make our understanding of the world less complex if our simplifications are incorrect—and in such cases, they can make the world unnecessarily more complex than it was in the first place. That said, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed these days with the mass-marketed, success prescription-lists that every contemporary, intellectual guru appears to be peddling. Everyone, from Deepak Chopra to Tom Cruise, appears to have an opinion on the best routes to happiness, success, and the good life. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos wasn’t enough—now we have even more from his Beyond … [Read more...] about How Many Steps to the Good Life? The World May Never Know
Source: Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net Asperger ’s Syndrome ( Autism Spectrum Disorder ) is more common that we realize and there are increasing numbers of high-functioning adults who are self-identifying or being diagnosed. As an Asperger/Autism Specialist and couples counselor, I work with individuals with neurological differences such as Autism Spectrum Difference (ASD) and Asperger Syndrome partnered with a non-spectrum partner (NS). After seeing recurring challenges that these neurodiverse couples face, I developed the following roadmap and strategies that they’ve found useful: 1. Pursuing a Diagnosis: shame , pain and confusion felt by one or both partners. A diagnosis can be obtained from an Asperger/Autism Specialist skilled in identifying adult ASD. The specialist must also have a thorough understanding of the neurodiverse relationship dynamic and it is important that the diagnosis includes an interview with NS partner. 2. … [Read more...] about Married to A Partner On the Autism Spectrum?