As my school year draws to a close, the notion of letting go is front and center on my mind. May is always a poignant month for a teacher, but this May has been particularly heavy as I prepare to leave the world of education behind and embark on a new career path. I will miss my students dearly and the person I have become under their tutelage, but as we march toward the last day of school, I am more and more ready to let go of who I have been in order to make space for who I will be.
Most of us have "open to criticism" on our resumes. But truth be told, receiving criticism, especially if it is negative, is not one of our best moments. Criticism can hurt our self-esteem if we're not careful.
Though our society has come a long way in the perception of mental illness, stigmas around this topic are still alive and well. Stigma can be blatant or subtle; sometimes, it’s as small as an individual word or phrase. Here are some tips for choosing the right words and using language to fight mental illness stigma.
While doing a few mental health presentations recently, I was surprised that not everyone knew that hallucinations could originate from any of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell). There are many different types of hallucinations. I have experienced hallucinations from every one of my senses except maybe taste (gustatory). My most common hallucinations are olfactory (smell). I frequently smell chemicals or something burning when there is no source for either one of those things.
This year will be seven years since my cat died, and I’m still not over the pet loss. My cat was a part of my life for 17 years, and it doesn’t seem big enough an expression to describe her death as something that rocked me. Will I ever get over it? I have no idea, but I’ll highlight a couple of reasons preventing me from getting over the loss of my pet.
For Mother's Day, I asked my mom what my post this week should be about. She loves to give advice, and I figured a fresh perspective would brighten my writing. When she immediately suggested I write about gardening, I decided to run with "planting happiness."
Most of us are familiar with imposter syndrome. We tend to feel like we are not good enough, even in areas where we typically excel, and end up sabotaging many aspects of our life, including relationships and professional development.
College is often the change in environment lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) students need to discover their identity, express themselves, and meet other queer people their age. Choosing a school where they can thrive and be themselves is important. The school I attended helped me learn more about LGBTQ+ people and come to terms with my identity. There were a few deciding factors I looked for when choosing a school that would be supportive of LGBTQ+ students and create an environment where they can be themselves.
For most of my life, I was plagued by the question, "What will I do without an eating disorder?" It felt unattainable even to imagine an alternate reality in which those obsessions with food, exercise, or body image weren't constantly humming at the forefront of my brain. Each waking moment was a conquest to burn calories—or simply avoid them altogether. At the time, it seemed euphoric, but now I can see just how bleak of an existence I forced myself to live. So these days, I ask another question: "What can I do without an eating disorder?"
With anxiety, I often feel as though I don't have a handle on my circumstances and surroundings. This sense of a lack of control over my environment causes my anxiety to jump into overdrive, to the point that I can't stop my racing or intrusive thoughts. One of the things I've found helpful is to have something to focus on.
Thank you for your comment. You're right; what I stated was an opinion. There is no way to know that number with any accuracy.
And, in case you were wondering, I actually do have bipolar disorder and have been writing about it for 20 years.
-- Natasha Tracy