POSTS WITH TAG: emotional health

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    Years ago I was standing at our library's parking payment kiosk and rooting frantically through my purse to find some change for the parking meter when a passing woman stopped and handed me a few quarters. "Here you go," she said cheerfully. Such a small gesture, but I've never forgotten it.

    A tiny act of unexpected kindness has the ability to change the trajectory of your entire day, don't you think? In the spirit of spreading more of those good feelings around, here are 8 under-$10 ways you can easily bring some happiness to a stranger's life (and your own, of course, because making other people happy feels awesome).

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    Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get strong, or just want to feel better, there’s one healthy habit most moms are missing. Even when you’re working out consistently and watching what you eat, skimping on sleep can derail all your good intentions.

    Yes, it's true. Sleep is the one thing all humans need to survive, and it can be the answer to lasting good health. Perhaps you remember it from your pre-kids days? It’s that activity that lasted beyond six in the morning on the weekend. 

    In case you need convincing that sleep should be a priority for you, here are four reasons sleep is so vital, as well as practical tips on getting more -- and better -- sleep.

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    Ahh, the scale. You’ve had a great week of getting your workouts done, and eating healthy, and you step on the scale with excitement building -- how much will you have lost? Three pounds? Maybe four?

    Cue horror music as you look down and see the same number you remember from last week or, even worse, higher. But the reverse is true, too, when you’ve ... um ... "forgotten" a couple of workouts, and then the kids wanted to make cookies, and don’t forget the pizza. When you check your weight on the scale, certain that you’ve gained, doesn’t it feel amazing to see a surprise loss? 

    Why? Why are we tying our mood, and our self-worth, to a number on a scale? "Duh, because I’m trying to lose weight!" I hear you say. I’m here to tell you: The best way to lose weight safely and maintain your weight loss, is to forget about the scale. Get rid of it, seriously. Here’s why ...

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    Unfortunately, failure and setback are part of every person's journey through this life. No way around it. Gotta go through it. 

    However, just because you're experiencing a personal setback of sorts -- whether it's a breakup, a divorce, job loss, financial pitfalls, or just hard times in general -- it doesn't mean you are forever doomed to live beneath the pile of tissues and twisted sheets and dirty laundry you've buried yourself under. The setback is just where you are right this minute. It's not where you will always be. 

    So c'mon. Try to straighten your body out of fetal position. Maybe even lift a few of those snotty, tear-soaked tissues and walk them to the wastebasket. There you go. That's it. Baby steps. Baby steps to your very own comeback. Girl, it's gonna get better! And here are 13 inspiring quotes to light your way.

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    Reiki is something I've been hearing about for a long time. I didn't know much about it. To me, it went into the same pile as aromatherapy and chakra meditation. But now that I practice both of those things (which I'd previously blown off) I figured that reiki, the Japanese art of healing pain through the power of touch, was worth looking into a little bit more.

    If you're like me (and you probably are at least a little) than you've been watching True Tori. If you haven't been, than here's all you need to know. Dean McDermott cheated on his wife Tori Spelling and now they have a T.V. show wherein they try to save their marriage. This week, they visited a reiki practitioner, and I was reminded of just how much I wanted to research this stuff and see what it's all about. Is it effective, or just a celebrity indulgence?

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    Those of us with sisters know -- that relationship can be tricky. My own sister is just 18 months younger than I am. We played together every day as kids. We fought, we cried, we bonded. We've said horrible things to each other, and then made up. We love each other like crazy and can't imagine life without each other's support.

    That's why it saddens me to see what appears to be some tension between Beyoncé and her sister Solange. Of course, we have no idea what's really going on! But it's because of my own relationship with my sister that I see Beyoncé's posting of photos with Solange on Instagram as a sincere gesture toward peace-making. Sister relationships are complicated! But here's what I've learned about how to manage them, mostly from my own sister's superior example.

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    I am the queen of memory glitches lately. The other day I was running late, furiously searching everywhere for my iPhone ... when it rang in my handbag ... which was on my shoulder ... and my iPhone was right on top. It wasn’t buried under a mountain of crap for once. It was right there. I looked at it, dripping with sweat and frustration, and laughed. I convinced myself my toddler must have stolen it or, in one of my weaker moments, that it was conspiring against me to get me fired. It was surely anywhere but where it was supposed to be.

    To take charge of my raging case of mommy brain, I rounded up experts who are much smarter than I am for some excellent advice to boost brain power and function. Now all I have to do is remember these tips:

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    We had so much fun talking with dream expert and author Lauri Loewenberg about what your husband's nightmares could reveal that we decided to try something new. We asked her to analyze some of the wildest, weirdest dreams we've ever heard about. We could do this all day, all the time. Seriously. It's endlessly fascinating. But we had to limit ourselves here to three (for now!). Hopefully, there's something everyone can take from these three odd dreams.

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    Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I find myself in a compromising position with a near-stranger. It's usually a man, and we're locked in a strange sort of embrace. My fingers might be laced together on the back of his head, pulling his face close to my neck. His hand might be gripping the back of my shirt, one elbow pressed against my cheekbone. We shuffle around awkwardly as if slow-dancing in a school cafeteria to "Lady in Red," softly kneeing each other in the groin.

    Later I drive home, battered from head to toe, a giant bruise already blooming down my arm like a long winter shadow. I can see in the rearview mirror that my hair has pulled loose from my headband in unflattering sweat-slick tufts, and the majority of my makeup has probably been smeared down someone's shirt. Every part of my body aches. I turn up my radio and lustily sing along, butchering the lyrics and caring not a whit. "Clap along if you feel like a broom without a hoof!"

    I'm completely and utterly exuberant.

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    Women have complicated relationships with each other. Any girl who has gone through middle school knows this. One day, someone is your best friend. The next, you are persona non grata. Problem is, it's now happening to more and more grownups too. It hurts no matter how old we are, noted Sarah Jessica Parker in a new interview with British Harper's Bazaar. According to the Sex and the City star, women are more cruel to each other now than ever. And she's right. So when did this mean girl behavior become the rule rather than the exception?

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