10 Ways To Heal From Fat Shaming Experiences With Family

People can be super harsh sometimes! And it’s especially hard to hear someone from your family fat shaming you. What the heck happened to unconditional love and support?! They may try to justify their rude behaviour by saying they just want you to “eat better” and “be healthy,” but this is called concern trolling and it’s almost always less about you and more about them projecting their fatphobia onto you. 

There are SO many non-food-related factors that can lead to larger bodies, like genetics, medical conditions, certain medications, and a lot more. And, medical professionals are now seeing the pitfalls and harms of focusing on weight loss as a medical intervention and have begun to focus on health-promoting behaviours and evidence-based medicine for patients of every size.

Dissecting Weight Stigma 

Society and popular media have perpetuated this “perfect ideal” of thinness, and when someone doesn’t match that EXACT image they get shamed for it! Totally uncool, right? Weight stigma is a type of discrimination aimed at a person’s weight, using fat shaming and concern trolling to maintain the status quo. And, according to the National Eating Disorders Association, weight discrimination even happens more often than age and gender discrimination! 

Fat shaming happens at work, at school, in public, at doctors’ offices, or in the home — and alllll of it causes intense psychological damage, ranging from poor body image to depression to anxiety to eating disorders and more.

Healing From Fat Shaming

It can be suuuper hard to heal from these kinds of wounds, especially when they’re coming from family members who are supposed to accept you no matter what. So, we’ve got 10 tips to help you embrace fat acceptance and hopefully kick that fat shaming to the curb!   

1. Speak Up When You’re Uncomfortable

Tip number 1 is arguably a lot easier said than done! But it’s a BIG step in taking charge of your body and not accepting the shitty things people say to you. As soon as someone mentions your size or asks about something you’re eating, make it known that it’s not okay!!! Their opinion is not welcome and you don’t have to take it. Speak up when you’re uncomfy and put ‘em in their place, babe! 

2. Set Boundaries

Alright, going off of tip 1, actively voicing your boundaries ahead of time or following a fatphobic incident is sooooo important (or else your family might just keep stomping all over them). So, if someone is doing or saying something that is harmful to you — and the right words aren’t at the tip of your tongue — here are some examples you can customize to whatever situation you’re in!  

“I would like it if we didn’t talk about weight when we’re together. It makes me uncomfortable.”

“Negative body language is not something I’m okay with. Let’s talk about something else.” 

“I’m not up for any kind of dieting or weight loss discussions.”

“My body/fashion choices/eating habits are not up for discussion.” 

3. Talk To Someone You Trust 

Talking through your feelings with someone you trust, and someone you know accepts you no matter what, can feel like a HUGE weight lifted off your shoulders! It’s so relieving to have a person validate what you’re going through because your family likely never even acknowledges that what they’ve done is wrong. So, find a close friend, coworker, or sibling who won’t judge you and vent away baby! 

4. Be Kind To Your Body

Being kind to your body can apply to all kinds of things! Just make sure you’re taking it easy on yourself and giving your body what it needs, when it needs it. Maybe that’s intuitive eating, where you eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you’re full. Or, maybe that means joyful movement, not because you’re trying to lose weight but because it FEELS GOOD! Or, ridding your closet of any clothing that doesn’t currently fit you and is uncomfortable to wear (plus, you don’t need that constant reminder of the “goal weight” outfit you’ve yet to fit — trust us, we’ve been there). Finally cut ties with that “friend” who always makes remarks about your bod. Compassionately listen to what your body wants, rather than hurting it to fit some impossible “ideal image.” 

5. Use Affirmations

Sometimes you just gotta look in a mirror and tell yourself how much you respect and appreciate your body! Trust us, it works! Daily affirmations can really help you break the cycle of self-deprecation that your family may have ingrained in you. They change those negative thought patterns into positive ones, boost your self-confidence, and turn your subconscious towards newer (and healthier) beliefs! Give it a try and say these with us:

“I accept my body as it is today.”

“My weight doesn’t define my worth.”

“I’m grateful that my body is strong and capable.” 

“I will not give power to other people’s opinions on my body.” 

6. Do Things That Make You Feel Good 

Back to being kind to your body…you should only do what makes you feel good! ‘Cause suffering through a workout if that isn’t what you want to do will NOT make you feel good and will likely only make you averse to physical movement in the long run. If a high-intensity workout IS what you enjoy, then all the power to you! But maybe your thing is going for a nice long walk around the block, or going for a swim, or having a dance party in your bedroom because you love a good tune. Whatever activity (or lack thereof) that vibes with your body most is what you should be doing, regardless of what anyone else thinks is “healthiest” for you *insert eye roll here.*

7. Wear Things That Make You Feel Good 

We’ve all tried to fit into something that we find super cute, but it doesn’t end up being very comfortable and we don’t feel good because of it! Try to find clothes that fill you well, are comfy af, and maybe even still accentuate those bomb curves, and you’ll feel sooo much better while wearing them. Looking cute WHILE being comfortable? It’s the best of both worlds! And it’ll help you focus on the other things going on in your life, rather than constantly fidgeting in clothes that don’t feel good.    

8. Curate Your Social Media

Social media is where a lot of us spend a big chunk of our time and it can be one hell of a place. So, if you see some toxic positivity on your feed that you’re just NOT vibing with because you’re on a different journey, unfollow those people! Follow plus-size creators and activists who make you feel seen and empowered.  And if it’s important to you, there are accounts that focus on physical movement and gentle nutrition while throwing diet culture out the fucking window. Turn your social media feeds into somewhere you WANT to be — where you feel GOOD about yourself — ‘cause that’s how it should be! 

9. Find Role Models

When we say role models, we mean folks who EMBODY self-acceptance — like Lizzo! She embraces alllll of herself and wants you to as well. ‘Cause you DO look “good as hell” baby! You can also follow some fat liberation influencers who educate the heck out of people on Instagram, like @yrfatfriend and @bodyposipanda. Finding role models who set a good example of how to live a full and meaningful life outside of diet culture can teach us that there are many paths to happiness and self-acceptance without the pressure to change our bodies or shrink ourselves. 

10. Get Involved In Activism

Our last tip is to get involved in activism yourself, and teach others about the realities of fatphobia and weight stigma! There is a whole fat liberation movement giving voice to the most marginalized of folks. As well as body neutrality — which is all about valuing what your body DOES for you rather than how it looks while doing it. Getting involved in movements like these can help change the cultural landscape so that there is less fatphobia for us to heal from in the first place. Activism can also help you feel SO empowered and in charge of your body, and you 1000% deserve to love the skin you’re in and have full agency over your own body. 

If you’ve ever experienced fat shaming or body shaming by people who should have your best interests in mind, we hope these 10 tips will help you start to heal from that trauma. Because you should be able to feel comfortable and loved in all of your relationships at any size! WE love you and have got your back!

 

What Does A Queerplatonic Relationship Look Like?

Attraction comes in so many forms, and today we’re talking about queerplatonic relationships. 

Let’s say that, for you, you don’t have to be sexually attracted to someone to want to develop a deep and connected relationship with them. The sexual aspect doesn’t have to be part of it (or, it could be — the options are endless!). 

Let’s say you want to explore an attraction to a person because you feel like it could be something wonderful, new, deeper and different than any friendship you’ve ever had (totally what you’re looking for in your life). This relationship might not fit into any traditional boxes that you’re familiar with, but that’s okay! You’re not looking for that. 

What you’re looking for is a queerplatonic relationship!

What is a Queer Platonic Relationship? 

If this is your first time hearing about queerplatonic relationships – welcome to the education station, friend! If this isn’t the first time you’re hearing about QPRs, you’re still welcome! 

Before we get too deep into what makes a relationship a queerplatonic one, let’s talk about these other names that it can go by. You might hear: 

  • Quasiplatonic relationship
  • QPR
  • Quirkyplatonic relationship
  • Qplatonic relationship

We’re just going to stick to calling it a QPR for short. Sound good? Okay, so now that we’ve got that established, let’s get into the deets about QPRs. 

When we hear the word platonic, what comes to mind? Friendship, trust, love and all the good feelings ever — just minus the romance and the sexy times. Now, a QPR is a relationship that doesn’t abide by traditional heteronormative rules. It bends and changes the rules of what western culture understands as a monogamous or committed relationship because it’s different from what people usually consider to be socially acceptable for a platonic relationship. It involves so much more than just friendship or romance. QPRs foster mutual deep intimacy and trust between partners with a level of emotional closeness and loyalty usually found in a romantic relationship. The only difference is that the QPR is, well…platonic! 

There are typically hard lines separating friendship and romance, but in QPRs there are NO lines! Societal norms usually dictate that romantic partners should be more physically and emotionally close to each other. Holding hands, cuddling, touching and kissing are seen as things that only people in romantic relationships do. But in QPRs, you can do all of these things and more! With your queerplatonic partner, you can raise children, buy a house, and plan other major life activities that used to be reserved for one person or one romantic life partner. 

What Does A QPR Look Like? 

Even though it’s hard to define, we’re going to try! Okay *deep breath in* here we go! A QPR is based on an intentional commitment without assumptions of sexual or romantic entanglement. 

People in QPRs have a deep (a SUPER deep) commitment to each other in the sense that they want to plan their lives together and around one another. This is generally each person’s primary attachment adult relationship. They don’t have to live in the same house, but there’s a continual steadiness that keeps them grounded and devoted in their relationship. There’s also a commitment to life-planning that involves each other in non-traditional ways. In a QPR, you can be each other’s emergency contacts, move to the other side of the world for your partner, and see you spending your lives together in whatever way works best for you! 

The Rules

Here’s the thing about QPRs — while they CAN be platonic, they can also involve sexual and intimate elements that the people involved are wanting to experience. The most important thing is that the people involved in the QPR make the rules. Each relationship looks different because everyone has different needs that are being met by different people and partners. 

The expectations in a QPR aren’t the same as the ones in a typical heteronormative relationship. Some people in QPRs describe it as something they’ve never experienced before. It totally questions the models of monogamy and says “fuck the patriarchy!” all in one. It’s been described by some as romanticism in a very queer way and also something that fulfils the needs that one might not receive from other relationships.

And, a QPR can be integrated into a polyamorous relationship model if that’s what is desired. It can be seen as a grounding, loving, kind and centring relationship. One person that we spoke to in doing research for this article said that their other relationships were successful because they have their QPR to return to. “It feels steady instead of stagnant,” they explained. ( so is this relationship generally the primary attachment adult relationship generally? I would maybe talk about this if so ) 

Throw those traditional relationship markers out the window! No expectations, only love and a deeper emotional intimacy that is difficult to describe. 

Why The Term QPR Began 

The term “queerplatonic relationship” was first documented on December 24, 2010. Yep — we know the date AND time it was first conceptualized! It was found in an online thread called Kaz’s Scribblings and totally caught on to help describe the desire for an aromantic type of relationship that lives apart from the binary categories of romance and friendship.

QPRs are most commonly practiced by people who are asexual or aromantic. Because of this, the way they describe their QPR partners is different from “partner,” or “boy/girlfriend.” It’s hard to put a label on something that has no clear definition, so why not create your own! Here are two definitions that help classify different types of emotional connections or relationships in a QPR.

Squish, Plush And Squash 

Having a squish is like having a crush — but only in relation to a QPR. It’s a desire to have an intimate relationship with someone that can go beyond what a traditional friendship looks like. 

Zucchini 

Calling your QPR partner a Zucchini originally started as a joke in the a-spec community because they were looking for a word to properly describe their significant other. The joke was that they could call each other anything, including “zucchini,” so the term just stuck around. And tbh, we super love it! 

 

At the end of the day, your relationship is whateverrrr you want it to be! You don’t have to abide by any specific rules or societal expectations. You do what is best for you and your partner! Maybe a QPR is the perfect type of relationship to fit your needs.

(Also, we know that we’re not perfect! We’ve tried our best with this article to include as much information about QPRs as possible and represent and describe the experience as best we can. But if you feel like we’ve missed something or should include something, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know. Send us an email and we’ll happily fix our mistakes!)

 

5 Tips On How To Deal With Bullies At Any Age

When we think of bullies, maybe we automatically think of that mean kid on the playground who pushed us off the monkey bars and called us names, like “stupid head.” Ooh, burn. Kids have the BEST insults, right? It probably still really hurt at the time, though!

That pain is so valid! AND it’s so important to keep in mind that bullies don’t just go away when we grow up and leave those playgrounds behind. Nopeee! Unfortunately, they’re still everywhere. Aside from bullying in school, there are our sports teams, social circles and workplaces. Bullies cross our personal boundaries and try to overpower us because, well…hurt people will hurt people. Bullying rarely ever has anything to do with you, and everything to do with them. Of course, this doesn’t excuse their behaviour, but it can help explain it. And, stating the obvious here, but bullying in any form can have some seriously negative impacts on our mental wellbeing. 

Let’s dive through the different types of bullying and how to deal with bullies (if you’re unfortunate to cross paths with one!).

Types Of Bullying

So, since you’re not on that playground anymore…what even is bullying and what does it look like as you get older? ‘Cause chances are, you aren’t getting pushed off those monkey bars any time soon. At least, we really hope not! There are actually a few different types of bullying, so let’s get into those and what they can look like in your life.

Physical Bullying

This form of bullying includes hitting, tripping, kicking, punching, slapping and pretty much any physical contact that is violent and unwanted. Physical attacks are what most people might think of when they think of bullies, but it looks kinda different when you leave elementary school. Adult bullies can still harm you physically, but they might also stalk you, steal from you or damage your property. They might even threaten to harm people in your life in order to hurt you. Big yikes.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying is all about words. Not nice or super uplifting words, obviously. These words are meant to put you down and make you feel small, like a teensy lil’ bug under their shoe. It can be name-calling, insults, or any off-handed statements that are suuuper hurtful and uncalled for. This form of bullying can also include spreading rumours, gossip, or lies about you to harm your reputation and ruin your relationships. Yeppp, it’s nasty stuff!

Social Bullying

Okay, this is one that’s probs less talked about since it can be kinda…discrete? It’s less obvious than calling someone a name or shoving them, but it’s still suuuper hurtful and unfair. This form of bullying (also called emotional bullying) is just downright MEAN. It’s all about purposefully ostracizing someone by being socially manipulative AF. By spreading lies about you, ruining your relationships and breaking others’ trust in you, these bullies will turn your peers against you to make sure you’re excluded from the group. HOW CRUEL.

Prejudicial Bullying

Ugh, this is all about bullying someone based on their race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs or sexual orientation. It can also involve any other type of bullying: physical, verbal, social, sexual, or cyberbullying and is meant to single someone out for their difference. So basically, it’s an act of discrimination and can even lead to severe hate crimes in the worst cases. WTF…we have no words.

Sexual Bullying

This form of bullying involves humiliating or harming a person in a sexual way. It can look like sexual name-calling, making inappropriate comments about your appearance or sexual development or sexual activity, slut-shaming and even revenge porn. Also, vulgar gestures, unwanted touching, or propositioning fall under sexual bullying. Sexting can even lead to bullying when it involves sharing someone’s nudes without permission to mock that person or violate their privacy, and it falls under harassment. Actually, many forms of sexual bullying can lead to harassment which is sooo scary and sad to think about.

Cyberbullying

The effects of cyberbullying are no joke. Basically, when someone uses any form of technology to harass, threaten or humiliate you, that’s considered cyberbullying. They could spam you with nasty texts or DMs, post embarrassing photos of you without your permission, make a private hate page about you on Instagram, or form a group chat to mock you. Sometimes cyberbullying can be especially terrible when it’s from someone anonymous, so you’re not even sure who’s targeting you. These types of bullies feel safe behind a screen, but their victims feel anything BUT safe — especially since we all use our tech pretty much 24/7!

How To Deal With Bullies

Okay, so now that you know what bullying can look like, but you’re probably still wondering how to deal with bullies! Every situation looks a lil’ bit different, but just know that you do NOT have to just “let it go” and hope the bullying stops on its own. Bullies will continue to hurt people as long as they can, and that’s just the sad reality. We totally get it though — dealing with a bully is not easy by any means! If you’re dealing with a bully, we support you and want you to know that you’re not alone in this. So, let’s have a look at some ways you can handle bullies!

1. Consider Your Bully’s Motivation

Bullying is NEVER okay, so that’s defs not what we’re saying here! But considering what your bully’s motivation is can help you take their actions or words less personally. Maybe they’re upset you got a big promotion over them, so they’ve turned to bullying out of spite. They might feel like you’re more ‘liked’ than them in your social circle, so they try to turn your besties against you. Or maybe you’re dating someone they had a big crush on and they’re super jelly of your relationship. Heck, there might not even BE a real reason other than they just like to be a jerk. But, at the end of the day, there’s no valid excuse for being a bully!

2. Talk To Someone You Trust

Don’t hold all these emotions inside. You might think you’re better off just putting your head down and trying to ignore the hurt, buuut you can only avoid it for so long before you either combust or crumble. Just so ya know, you deserve to feel content and safe in the space you’re in, alwaysss. So telling someone you trust that you’re dealing with workplace bullying, bullying in school, or bullying anywhere else is super important for your mental wellbeing. We know it’s hard, but confiding in someone you know will support you is a good idea. They’ll be there for you every step of the way and make you feel wayyy less alone!

3. Document Everything

Every snide remark in the lunchroom. Every rumour that gets back to you. Every aggressive DM. Every instance of unwanted physical touch or violence. Make sure to keep a detailed record of each contact you have with your bully. Take photos of bruises, screenshot messages and write down their nasty comments. It’s also a good idea to let that trustworthy person in your life know about these instances so they can be a witness for you. It’s important to document the bullying in case it doesn’t stop, or it escalates, and you need to take it to someone with more power. Most institutions like your school, workplace or extracurricular programs will have processes to deal with bullies, so it helps to have the proof to back your claims!

4. Draw A Line

If you feel safe to do so, draw a line with your bully by confronting them about how they’ve been treating you. Bullies don’t always expect to be stood up to, so sometimes it’s helpful to be firm and address the situation head-on. Is it super terrifying, not to mention uncomfy? Absolutely. But pointing out how shitty and unacceptable they’ve been treating you (get specific) shows them you’ve had enough. BTW, you get to decide how you wanna go about this… Alone? Face to face? In-person, but with a friend at your side? In a DM or email, which can also be shown as proof later if there’s pushback? Totally up to you. Having a set plan in place, and knowing what you wanna say and where you wanna say it can help ease up those nerves before you start this big convo!

5. Find Help

If you’ve done all you can and nothing has changed, or you just don’t feel comfortable or safe to confront your bully on your own, then it’s time to call in reinforcements. And by reinforcements, we mean someone who has the power to put a stop to this bullying through some a-c-t-i-o-n! Schools have policies. Workplaces have HR. No matter where you are, those systems are in place and meant to protect you. So, don’t feel ashamed to ask for help! You do NOT have to suffer in silence or “take the high road.” Fuuuck that. 

 

We hope these tips helped you learn how to deal with bullies. We totally understand that every situation is different, and so are the threats that bullies make to their victims. And, some cases are way more extreme than others! If you’re being harassed, stalked, or threatened you have every right to file a police report or take legal action. In these serious situations, law enforcement and the legal system will best help you navigate how to deal with bullies that are dangerous. Take care of yourself, friend. Your wellbeing should be your #1 priority!

 

When To Break Up With Them: 15 Signs It’s Time

You’ve been with your partner for a few months, or maybe even years, and things were great for a while! But nooowwww, maybe things are a little stagnant, you’re fighting more than ever, or you’re starting to notice some irreconcilable differences. You’ve been wondering for a while if this is just a bump in the road that you can overcome, or if it might be a dead-end — you just have NO idea where to even begin figuring that out. How do people know when to break up? That’s why we’re here to help!

How To Know When To Break Up

Knowing when to break up with someone is a tricky feat, and sometimes you find yourself making a pro-and-con list just to get a grasp on what you’re feeling! You probably have a huge pit in your stomach just THINKING about ending things with your partner and aren’t sure if that’s actually what you want or if it was just a fleeting thought. Well, here are 15 signs to consider if it really might be time to say goodbye!   

1. You’re Making All The Sacrifices 

Mutual sacrifices are an important part of a relationship because they ensure that the relationship is sustainable for the long run and there is an equal investment for both parties! But if you find yourself constantly watching the movies THEY like, eating the food THEY want, hanging out with THEIR friends and seeing THEIR family over having your own needs met, then they are not giving your needs and wants enough consideration. 

2. Your Values Aren’t Aligned

Whether it’s about religion, politics, marriage, wanting to have kids or ANYTHING in between, differing values can cause a big rift between partners! Once you encounter a difference in core values, it can be hard to just forget about it because it’s just such a big elephant in the room. If you aren’t able to meet each other in the middle, then those misaligned values will just keep becoming more and more prominent, and will likely sabotage the success of the relationship. 

3. There’s No Trust 

Trust is fundamental in a relationship! And if you aren’t able to go out for drinks with friends without your partner texting or calling to know where you are, trust probably isn’t very present. Because that shouldn’t cause problems in a strong, trusting relationship! If you don’t have trust you might be already thinking of when to break up. Feeling secure and confident in the bond you have is key. 

4. You’re Always Fighting 

It’s normal to fight in a relationship, but usually in small amounts! If you notice you end up having more bad moments than good, then you may be fighting too much. It crosses the line of typical partner bickering and moves towards toxic patterns that are really hard to break! Bottom line: it’s normal to argue over little things, like a misread text, but it shouldn’t be the norm. And especially be on the lookout for if your fights are no longer about specific issues, but devolve into berating the person themself.

5. There’s A Lack Of Communication 

Have they been suuuper distant or just not as responsive lately? Are they just not returning the effort in texts, phone calls and even face-to-face conversations? Then something may be off. Communication should be a two-way street! And if you feel like you’re constantly talking to a brick wall, then it may be time to think about when to break up.

6. Your Needs Aren’t Being Met 

When we say ‘needs’ in a relationship context, we mean you should be getting your physical and emotional needs met! Things like physical touch, but also companionship, affection, security and appreciation, are very important in a relationship. When they aren’t present, it can feel like you’re alone even with your partner sitting right beside you! This can lead to you minimizing your own needs and becoming resentful towards your partner if left unchecked. 

7. There’s No More Effort 

You know at the beginning of the relationship when you went on allll the dates? Your partner always dressed up and even brought you little gifts to brighten your day. But over time, that effort has really deteriorated. You don’t remember the last time you did something special together or even just received a sweet text. And when that effort doesn’t come back, the relationship might not feel as fulfilling. Remember, it’s normal to settle into a routine as the relationship matures, but that doesn’t mean either partner should stop trying altogether.

8. You’re Not Happy Anymore 

This is a big one! Happiness naturally comes and goes in waves, but if it has been a very long time since you last experienced happiness in your relationship, it may be a sign of a deeper issue. If you don’t enjoy spending time with your partner, you might end up resenting them after a while! You should BOTH enjoy being together, because unhappiness results in less affection and just feeling stuck in that part of your life. 

9. You Feel Trapped 

Alright, going off that last one, it’s generally not a good sign to feel stuck or trapped in a relationship. If you feel like you can’t move forward together, or like you have no way out of the relationship, it’s probably a good indicator that you are unhappy and that your partner may no longer be the same person you initially started dating (and maybe neither are you!). The key is to ascertain if the people you have grown into can still successfully grow together into the future.

10. You’re Irritated By Minor Things They Do 

You start to fixate on allll the things that bug you about your partner. Maybe it’s that they chew with their mouth open, they keep forgetting to put the toilet seat down, or they always leave their dirty cups in the sink, and it just annoys you more than it EVER has before! This is a sign that you’re looking for negative aspects in your partner, rather than focusing on the good. Sometimes acknowledging this can be an opportunity to grow and learn to let the little things go, but sometimes it can be a deeper issue or a sign of general incompatibility.

11. You’re Constantly Reflecting On The Honeymoon Phase 

Ah, yes. The honeymoon phase. Every relationship’s golden standard! If you’re constantly reminiscing about that glowy feeling you experienced in the first few months together, it might be ‘cause the present isn’t matching up. Of course, you’re going to settle into a routine after the honeymoon phase is over — but it should just feel more comfortable, not less loving! 

12. There’s Physical, Verbal, Or Emotional Abuse 

Abuse of any kind is one of the biggest red flags in a relationship…but, through rose-coloured glasses, those red flags tend to look just like flags. Once you’re able to recognize that cycle of abuse (the love-bombing followed by constant belittling and gaslighting), you’ll notice how absolutely unhealthy it is to always be on edge like that! A partner should lift you up, not tear you down.  

13. You Don’t Like Or Recognize Yourself

In an unhappy or abusive relationship, you might feel like you’ve lost yourself. You give up your values, stop doing things you enjoy and just become a hollow shell of the person you used to be! Family members and friends no longer recognize you and, honestly, neither do you. If you’re experiencing this, it may be time to consider ending the relationship. Ultimately, you’ve got to put yourself first and say goodbye to things that no longer positively serve you — even though that’s easier said than done! 

14. You’re Always Thinking About Breaking Up

Like we said at the beginning of this article, if you’re making pro-and-con lists about your relationship, you’re probably already considering breaking up with your partner. And if that’s a constant thought process, then this is clearly an issue that’s top of mind! Your gut is probably screaming at you to listen to it and, if that’s the case, then you may have already subconsciously decided when to break up. 

15. You Can’t See A Future With Them

Lastly, and probably most importantly, can you envision a future with this person? If you keep coming up with ifs, ands, or buts then the answer is “probably not.” And that’s okay! You’re probably going to have a few trial-and-error attempts before you do find that special someone (or someones). Sometimes, differing values and beliefs get in the way — and it’s just time to say goodbye.

 

It can be VERY tough navigating how to let go of someone, especially if you’re breaking up with someone you love. But sometimes, you’re just holding on to someone who is wrong for you! You deserve to be happy, have your needs met and not lose yourself in a relationship. So, hopefully next time you ask yourself “When is it time to break up?” you can think back to this article and remember all 15 reasons why now might be the time.

 

8 Effects Of Cyberbullying On A Child’s Mental Health

As a parent, your #1 concern is your kid’s safety. You probably double-check they’re wearing a seatbelt in the vehicle, set curfews and make sure their phone is on them at ALL TIMES when they’re away from home. ‘Cause you love that lil’ rugrat, even when they push your buttons.

Lately, though, you’ve noticed your child isn’t acting like their usual self. They’re kinda moody and snap at you when you ask a simple question, or they go hide away in their room for hours and hours on end. And they don’t seem to hang around their friends much anymore. Actually, when you bring their friends up, your kid suddenly gets reallyyy quiet. Uhh…what’s that all about?

You think to yourself: Maybe it’s just those damn hormones. But they’ve also been suuuper weird about their phone recently. You try not to be nosey and you don’t wanna cross any boundaries by snooping through their messages…but you’re getting pretty worried. And worried parents need some answers! You’ve heard of cyberbullying and how nasty it can be. Maybe THAT’S the reason they’ve been having such a rough time? So, let’s go over what it is, the different types and the effects of cyberbullying on a child’s mental health.

What Is Cyberbullying?

If this is all new to you, you might be wondering: what IS cyberbullying, really? Like, how is cyberbullying real?! Can’t kids just, you know…log off if it makes them unhappy? Yaaa, it’s not that simple. Research shows that 95% of teens in the U.S. are online and have access to the internet from their smartphones. A huge part of their social connection and self-expression is experienced through being online — it’s just the world we’re livin’ in!

Right, back to the original question. What is cyberbullying? It’s any bullying (mocking, intimidating, excluding, spreading rumours) that happens online or through texting. And it’s wayyy more common than you might think! Here are some quick facts about cyberbullying (and some of the effects of cyberbullying) that you should know:

  • About 37% of kids between 12-17 have been bullied online.
  • 30% of those kids have been cyberbullied more than once.
  • 23% of students report that they have said something mean to someone else online.
  • About 50% of LGBTQ+ students face online harassment.
  • Young people who experience cyberbullying have a higher risk of self-harm or suicide.
  • Only 1 in 10 teen cyberbullying victims will tell a parent or adult figure about it.

That’s a lot of kids in a lot of pain. It’s very serious and can be very scary for the person being bullied, and their parent(s).

Types Of Cyberbullying

Bullying is not a new concept, but it can look so different nowadays. You can’t keep up with all the apps your kid is using, either. It just seems like…a LOT. There are a few different types of cyberbullying you should be aware of that can happen online with your kids.

Exclusion: Intentionally excluding or singling someone out from chats or games.

Harassment: Sending threatening or offensive messages, sometimes multiple at once.

Outing/Doxing: Publicly sharing information about someone without their permission.

Trickery: Tricking someone into sharing personal information about themselves to use against them.

Impersonation: Creating a fake profile in someone’s name or hacking their account to pretend to be them.

Cyberstalking: Stalking or harassing someone to the point where they fear their safety offline.

Flaming: Verbally attacking someone online by posting or sending offensive messages.

Denigration: Spreading rumours or lies about someone online to harm their reputation.

The Effects of Cyberbullying

No surprise here, but the effects of cyberbullying can be ROUGH on youth. If this is something your kiddo is going through then you might start to notice these mental and physical effects.

1. Social Withdrawal

It’s super common for kids to withdraw and isolate themselves when they’re being cyberbullied. Instead of turning to their support systems, like their best friends (who could actually be behind the bullying), they do the total opposite. They shut down. They hide away in their rooms (even more than usual). It’s like all they wanna do is be left alone!

2. Low Self-Esteem

Kids are so, SO vulnerable. They’re growing up and still figuring out who they are and where they belong. Fitting in with their peers is pretty much the main thing lingering in the back of their precious little minds alllll of the time. So cyberbullying can really damage their self-esteem and self-worth. They won’t feel accepted and they’ll begin to doubt themselves because of it.

3. Problems With Focusing

Another one of the effects of cyberbullying? Lack of focus. Obviously, this can cause your kid’s grades to start slipping. If they’ve started to isolate themselves or are struggling big time at school then they might even start skipping class to avoid the problem (or avoid their bullies). When kids are being bullied online, it still follows them everywhere.

4. Losing Interest In Things That Make Them Happy

All those activities your kid LOVES to do? Yaaa, when they’re being cyberbullied, that goes out the window. For them, it could feel like all of those things don’t bring them joy anymore, not even as a distraction. Cyberbullying sucks the fun right outta their lives, so take note if they stop playing guitar, taking photos, or playing their favourite video game. It could mean something’s up!

5. Difficulty Sleeping

If your kid is being a huge grump lately or seems like they’re alwaysss complaining about how tired they are, it could be because they’re not getting enough sleep. When cyberbullying is going on, they might toss and turn all night long, sleep way later than normal, or even have nasty nightmares. Cyberbullying puts them under a lot of stress, so sleep will probably be impacted!

6. Gastrointestinal Issues Or Disordered Eating

Ugh, this one is the WORST. There are stomach cramps. The anxiety poops. Nausea because they’re so anxious and upset. Stomach troubles are a common issue when you’re dealing with cyberbullying because their mind is all out of sorts and the body responds to that.

It’s also a possibility that someone being cyberbullied could experience disordered eating. Skipping meals or binge eating might make your kid feel like they’re gaining some sense of control, especially if they feel like they have zero control over their situation. So, watch for changes in their eating habits!

7. Depression

If your kid has been dealing with cyberbullying and all of the not-so-nice feelings that come along with it, it could develop into depression. They could feel hopeless and powerless about the situation and have a hard time seeing a way out of it. And because it’s often so hard for kids to open up to their parents or a trusted adult about these kinds of problems, they feel totally alone. They become stuck. It’s not hard to see why that would bring them down and make them feel incredibly sad.

8. Anxiety

Anddd, last but certainly not least, anxiety. Victims of cyberbullying experience super high levels of anxiety…and can you blame them?! Nope, we think not. Not only will they probably be dealing with a ton of anxious thoughts, but they could even start to experience more physical signs of anxiety, like a racing heart rate, sweating, trembling and even panic attacks. It can be sooo overwhelming for them to deal with on their own!

Many of these signs are significant mental health red flags, as well as suicide warning signs, so it’s important to seek the help of a mental health professional. If you notice any (or all) of these signs in your kiddo, don’t just brush it off as them “just being a kid.” There could be a lot more going on than you might even realize! Even if they don’t come to you first about it, they might just need someone to simply ask them what’s going on.

Be there for them as best as you can and let them know you’re there to support them, no matter what. And if it turns out they ARE being cyberbullied, let them know that you’re there by their side as you figure out what your next steps will be!

 

8 Examples Of What To Say When Someone Is Sick

It’s never easy when a friend, a family member, or a partner comes to you and tells you they’re sick — whether the illness is short-term, long-term, or terminal. And when it happens, you’re probably thinking “Holy shit, what do I say now?” You’ve gotta be sensitive to what they’re going through while also staying away from stupid platitudes like “Everything’s going to be alright” (because that totally invalidates their experience!).

You especially wanna stay away from saying things that will make them ruminate about their condition or illness even MORE! For example, “What do you think caused it?” or “Is it terminal?” Your best bet is to stick to comforting words that will keep them in better spirits (as good as they can be, anyway). And we’ve got 8 examples of what to say when someone is sick!

Short-Term Illnesses 

Whether a broken limb or a bad case of the flu, they’re probably not in the best mood! One of the best things you can do at this moment is to just listen and then choose some of these words of comfort to support them. Here are some examples of what to say when someone is sick with a short-term illness. 

1. “Let Me Take On Some Of Your To-Do List.” 

They’re probably not feeling up to getting groceries or washing the dishes, so see if you can do it for them! It will lift a HUGE weight off their shoulders and it’ll be reassuring for them knowing they have someone to do the things they can’t. 

2. “How Is Your Mental Health Right Now?”   

Let them vent about how they’re feeling — because if they’re locked up in bed with the flu or a broken arm, they’re most likely feeling the burden of isolation and loneliness. Just be there for them and let them talk about what’s going on in their head. 

3. “Is There A Fun Activity We Can Do Together?”

Get creative and find something you can do together that they’re still able to take part in. Whether it’s a game of “Eye Spy” or an embarrassing stories-sharing session, it’ll keep their mind busy and let them keep a positive mindset! 

4. “Call Me Anytime You Need Something.”

They may need something, like pain meds or even just company, when you’re not around. So, make sure they know that they can ask you for whatever they need, anytime — even if that’s just a 5-minute phone call!

Long-Term Illnesses 

Long-term or terminal illnesses are a bit harder to navigate…for example, what to say when someone has cancer or lupus. Maybe it’s a mental health condition, like depression, and it’s reeeally taking a toll on their life. Comforting words for serious illness aren’t usually at the tip of the tongue, but we’ve brainstormed a few to help you get started! Here are some examples of what to say when someone is sick with a long-term illness. 

5. “I’m Here To Listen If You Want To Talk About It.”

Rather than asking them allll the questions about what they’re going through, let them decide what they want to share! It helps them take charge of their illness (and maybe be able to cope with the diagnosis a bit better). 

6. “How Are You Holding Up?” 

Saying something as easy as this lets them know that it’s okay to not be okay. In a serious situation like this, it’s not as easy as just sleeping on it and feeling better the next morning. You’ve got to respect that they’re going to sit in that sadness — and probably for a while. 

7. “Let Me Know What I Can Help You With And When You Want To Be Alone.”

Allow THEM to set the boundaries because only they know what they need right now. So, take the pressure off by letting them tell you if they need something and when they want company. ‘Cause unwanted attention can be especially difficult for someone going through a serious illness! 

8. “You Didn’t Do Anything To Make This Happen.”

Reassure them that there isn’t anything they could have done to prevent this from happening. They’re probably very down on themselves, and a bit of reassurance may help them feel slightly better about what’s happening.

Just a little reminder that words of encouragement aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution! When deciding what to say when someone is sick, make sure you take an approach that best fits the person in your life who is struggling right now. So, feel free to customize the blanket phrases we’ve given you to suit your circumstances. You know… So you don’t end up resorting to this. ⬇

 

What Is Introspection? Everything You Need To Know

You know that little voice in your head that’s always screaming at you when something in your life is just not it? Usually, we drown that shit out and just keep going on our merry way. But a little thing called introspection is allll about engaging in those thoughts and actively listening to them! Right now you may be thinking “What even is introspection?” and we’re here to give you that answer, along with some tools to start practicing it. So get ready to take a deep dive into your thoughts and feelings, ‘cause we’re about to help you get at that beautiful self-knowledge!

What Is Introspection In Psychology?

Introspection is basically a method of examining or observing your mental and emotional processes. You may have heard people call it “heart-searching,” “soul-searching,” or “self-analysis,” but it’s all pretty much the same thing! And, psychotherapist Dr. Courtney Tracy gives us a spot-on definition in a recent episode of the Truth Doctor Podcast.  

“Introspection is about finding yourself, learning about yourself, and realizing that what you’re looking for when you’re introspecting — what you’re looking for when you’re soul-searching — is insight,” she says. “You want to gain insight into yourself. Into your thoughts, your body, your emotions, the situation that you find yourself in, things that have happened in your past, things that you want to have happen in your future.” 

How To Practice Introspection 

If you’re still wondering “How do I even practice introspection?” we’ve got you covered — the BIGGEST thing is asking questions! Ask yourself questions about your past, your present, your future, about your personality and your choices, and about how you are truly feeling. Ask yourself those questions and really take some time to sit with the answers. What do they mean? Is that what you want for yourself? How can you make it better? 

“Figure out who you are beneath the distraction of your external world. And also, who you are beneath the distraction of the cognitive systems that you’ve created in your mind,” explains Dr. Tracy. “These thought processes that get you through the day, from the moment that you wake up until the moment that you go to sleep. Figure out what your body is telling you.” 

After figuring out what your body is telling you comes the importance of listening to it. You have to truly believe in the solution that you’ve come up with for yourself, and be positive and motivating towards yourself while you find that path! Let’s look at how to do that. 

Different Forms Of Introspection 

When you’re trying to practice introspection, it’s important to stay away from self-rumination. But that’s easier said than done, because constantly thinking about your thoughts, your emotions and your memories can be difficult if you struggle with depression and negative self-talk! You’re stuck on the thing you want to change and can’t see the end of the road. Introspection is about self-reflection — you’re actively looking for a solution to your problems and striving for ways to get there, while treating yourself with compassion and leaving the judgement behind!  

It can be practiced through mindfulness, or other types of meditation, which help you focus on the present moment through breathing or connecting with your senses. You can also choose to write it all down and reflect through journaling! A mental health professional can also help guide you through the process, especially if negative feelings tend to come up for you. However you find your way there, that self-awareness will help you get in touch with your inner self and help you live the life that you really want to live.  

Some benefits of self-introspection are:

  • Learning more about yourself, what you do well and what you want to improve.
  • Recognizing different challenges and being able to manage your reactions to them.
  • Finding gratitude for what you’ve been through and the situation you are currently in.

Journaling Prompts 

If you’re having a bit of trouble getting started, that’s totally okay! Dr. Tracy brainstormed a few journaling prompts that can get those introspective juices flowing and help you think about the things that make you feel at your best. So, pull out a pen and a piece of paper and get to introspecting, baby! 

Tell us the story of your day, without describing your thoughts or your feelings, just using your body sensations. 

I am most calm when _______. 

What am I holding onto that is no longer serving me? 

How am I? 

“I hope that someone takes the opportunity to ask you how you’re doing and actually listens,” adds Dr. Tracy. “And to take that a step further, I wonder if you realize that you can be that person. You can ask yourself how you’re doing and you can listen to the answer.”

To learn more about introspection, listen to the “No B.S. Break Down: Introspection” episode of the Truth Doctor Podcast!

 

What Are The 4 Stages Of The Cycle Of Abuse?

Chances are, you have experienced an abusive relationship at least once in your life. And if not yourself, then someone in your circle definitely has. In fact, the National Domestic Violence Hotline says more than 1 in 4 people in the U.S. will experience some form of abuse from an intimate partner! We can all agree that number is WAY too freakin’ high, right? But unfortunately, abuse is also present in family relationships, friendships and working relationships.

If you’re in this situation it’s common to not even realize how bad it all is. This is because of something known as the cycle of abuse. So, let’s figure out what that entails and why soooo many folks get sucked into those toxic patterns without even fully understanding them!  

Types Of Abuse 

There are 5 main types of abuse in a personal relationship and all of them are HELLA shitty. They make you fear for your safety and cause you to walk on eggshells for fear of doing something to make the abuser act out in these ways (even though it’s totally not your fault)! 

Here are some examples of how each of them shows up:

  • Physical Abuse: any intentional physical injury; like hitting, pushing, kicking, etc.
  • Emotional Abuse: constant arguing or opposition; such as jealousy and possessiveness.
  • Verbal Abuse: saying things that decrease your self-confidence and make you feel helpless.
  • Sexual Abuse: being taken advantage of through forceful and unwanted sexual contact.
  • Psychological Abuse: things like gaslighting used to manipulate and distort your thoughts.

And all of these are scary to have to deal with.

What Is The Cycle Of Abuse? 

When those types of abuse spin into a repeating pattern of high highs and very low lows, that’s when it turns into a cycle of abuse. There are 4 stages, and they cause the victim to become isolated from their friends and family, be in denial about how dangerous their abuser truly is and suppress their true selves in order to be a “better” person that won’t arouse a negative reaction! Think Daisy and Tom from The Great Gatsby — he was constantly isolating her and somehow kept her locked in the relationship, even though she knew deep down that she was unhappy. 

“In all relationships that are abusive — no matter what kind of relationship it is — you have this tension building. And, then there’s the event that happens and then there’s the ‘I’m sorry’ reconciliation phase, and then it goes to the honeymoon phase,” explains therapist Micheline Maloouf in an episode of the Anxious Like You podcast. 

Let’s take a deeper look at how each of those 4 phases looks! 

1. Tension Building

Outside stressors, like work or money problems, cause the abuser to feel aggravated and powerless — so they start taking out little frustrations on you, the victim, through anger or paranoia. And because of that, you try to cater to their every need and become suuuper cautious of rubbing them the wrong way! Until, eventually, that tension boils over and leads the abuser to act out.  

2. Abusive Incident

By ‘act out,’ we mean the abuser follows through on one or more types of abuse to hurt you — and it’s never accidental! For example, Tom severely bruising Daisy’s finger (which is really only possible through intense force). The abuse may happen once or multiple times during this phase, along with repeated threats, insults, manipulation and intimidation which cause you to think it was your fault! And it totally wasn’t, that’s just what the abuser WANTS you to think.

3. Reconciliation

During this phase, the abuser will admit that their actions were wrong and basically promise to make it alright again. But, it’s a trap!!! It’s usually just another manipulation using mind games. And, very rarely do they actually improve their behaviour.

4. Calm

The “I’m sorry” phase is followed by calm…or should we say the calm before the storm? Essentially, you feel almost safe again because things have actually been okay for a while! Maybe you’ve even started being all friendly again and almost convinced yourself that things are back to normal (that the abuse was just a little slip-up). Until, sooner or later, that tension phase begins all over again!

“That’s why people stay in relationships that are abusive for such a long time, because they see the honeymoon and the love-bombing and they’re like, ‘Oh, things are changing, things are getting good,’” adds Micheline. “And then you’re back down and you’re kinda fucked in the head cause you’re like, ‘What the hell just happened?’”

How To Break The Cycle Of Abuse 

Breaking that cycle of abuse can be really, really difficult. It’s so easy to fall into that routine of suffering and keeping yourself going by remembering the light at the end of the tunnel that is the honeymoon phase. And, more often than not, you start making excuses for why to stay! 

“You know you feel bad in it…don’t know why…and can’t really put a finger on it. You look at other bad relationships and you’re thinking, ‘Well, at least it’s not like that, I have it really good here,’” explains Micheline. “And then you leave, and you realize that you have all of this emotional pain.” 

Leaving is the hard part. It feels like there’s no way out or like you’re trapped, and acknowledging the fact that someone (who is supposed to love you) is hurting you can feel like the most difficult thing in the world. But we’ve got some tips (in no particular order) to help you start working towards an out.

1. Keep Records

Write down, or take screenshots of, everything your abuser has said or done to you. Take pictures of injuries or damage (like a hole they punched in the wall).

2. Don’t React In The Moment

An emotional reaction is exactly what they’re fishing for and will only gas them up more. (Reacting and expressing yourself later, when you are safe, is 1000% valid!)

3. Find A Support System

Friends and family may be able to help you gather the strength to leave. If you don’t have someone to help you, find a local domestic violence organization that can help counsel you, find you protected housing (if needed) and help you find more resources (mental health professionals, law enforcement, etc.).

How To Heal From Emotional Abuse

Once you’ve finally broken free from the chains of abuse, everything will feel reeaallly weird at first. You may even begin recognizing your old self again because you’re no longer trying to appease the needs of someone else every minute of your life! But those old patterns can still follow you through future relationships, even if your new partner is nothing but healthy and supportive. And this can even last for years without the help of professionals. 

Talking out your trauma with a mental health professional can be very beneficial in healing those wounds! It will take time and patience, but it will help you come to terms with your emotions and help you spot those red flags if they ever come up in the future.

If you’re experiencing abuse in your relationship and feel you are in danger, you can call domestic violence hotlines at 1-604-875-0885 (Canada) and 1-800-799-7233 (United States). 

For more information on the cycle of abuse, tune into the Anxious Like You podcast episode titled “Recognizing Abuse with Olympian Laurie Hernandez.”

 

10 Ways To Deal With Repetitive Thoughts And Rumination

Have you ever had a super negative thought you just couldn’t shake from your mind? It keeps playing over…and over…and over again on a loop. Like when the same line of a song is stuck in your head, only sooo much worse. These are the kinda repetitive thoughts we DON’T want because they make us feel so fucking awful. But, no matter how much you don’t want to think about this nasty thought, you just can’t stop! The thought is still there and it’s starting to weigh you down like an anchor. You’re not sure what it means…or how you can end this cycle for good!

What Is Rumination?

This not-so-fun cycle of thoughts is called rumination. Basically, they’re repetitive thoughts that our minds can’t seem to stop obsessing over. Unfortunately, they can be ROUGH for our mental well-being. You might call them racing thoughts, or feel like you’re always in your own head. Maybe you consider yourself an over-thinker (we feel that). Or maybe you lay awake all night long ‘cause you just can’t seem to switch your brain off. Those thoughts could be about your grades, your performance at work, or a big conversation you had (like during a breakup). Whatever they’re about, ruminating thoughts just don’t let up that easy!

Whyyy does this obsessive rumination even happen? Great question. Ruminating thoughts can happen for all kinds of reasons — and none of ‘em are a good time. If you’re stressed out or have something stressful coming up, you might start to have rumination thoughts. Or, if you have low self-esteem or struggle with perfectionism, these thoughts might sound like you’re repeatedly telling yourself that you’re not good enough (to the point where you start to actually believe it). Other times, trauma or fear can ignite obsessive rumination…like reliving a car crash in your mind or constantly thinking about some embarrassing thing you said five years ago (*shudder*).

We all ruminate. A lot of the time, it’s really NBD. Most rumination is temporary and we’re able to think about something for a while but move on after that. When you CAN’T get past a thought and it starts to affect your ability to concentrate, your daily tasks, or the ability to feel any positive emotions…yaaa, that’s when rumination becomes a much bigger problem. 

Rumination And Mental Health

Ruminating thoughts are pretty commonly linked to mental health conditions, but sometimes in different ways. Rumination can show up for you if you have one or more of the following disorders.

– Anxiety. If you have anxiety, you’re probs no stranger to rumination. You might have constant thoughts about what could go wrong, or constantly feel like something bad is going to happen. So, even if you’ve prepared and studied your butt off for a big exam that’s coming up, you still might ruminate over the thought of failing. So fun, right?!

– Depression. When you’re depressed, ruminating thoughts can look like putting yourself down and having an ultra negative outlook of yourself or your life. You might tell yourself that you’re not good enough or that things will never look up for you, and those thoughts are on repeat in your mind. Even though you wanna escape those thoughts they’re all you think about and it just heightens alllll of those nasty feelings that come with depression. Giving this a 0/10 (we hate it so much).

– Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). For someone with OCD, intrusive thoughts are super common and can often be pretty overwhelming. In fact, there’s even a nickname for it — Pure O — which stands for Pure Obsessions. These thoughts could be about harming yourself or someone else, icky thoughts about doing something gross or disturbing, fixating on religious beliefs or morals, or even existential fears. Even though these are thoughts you don’t actually want to act on, they can cause a TON of distress because they won’t go away.

These are the more extreme cases of rumination and they’ll require extra help from a professional, like a doctor or licensed therapist, to work through. If these ruminating thoughts are ongoing for you and they’re starting to affect your quality of life, we highlyyy recommend seeking the help you need! 

As for the typical, short-term rumination that’s still a huuuge pain to deal with, we’ve got ya covered. Let’s take a look at some coping strategies, shall we?

10 Ways To Cope With Rumination

Try out some of these coping strategies for yourself and notice how those unwanted thoughts go POOF and disappear in a cloud of smoke, just like magic! Well…maybe not in a cloud of smoke, but you get the idea. Anyways, try some of these (or all of ‘em, why not?) to deal with your unwanted, no-good, repetitive thoughts!

1. Identify Your Triggers

If you experience those same ruminating thoughts, then maybe you have at least some idea of what your triggers are. So, take notice of what those triggers are for you and try to change things up where needed! Like, if you ruminate over the effects of climate change because you have eco-anxiety, maaaybe it’s best not to doomscroll climate-related articles that upset you. Or, if you struggle with your body image, unfollow accounts on social media that make you feel bad about your body and ignite those thoughts of low self-worth. Protect your mental wellbeing as much as you can!

2. Challenge Negative Thoughts

When those intrusive thoughts do pop up outta nowhere (as they alwaysss do), pause for a sec. Ask yourself, are these thoughts realistic? Are they helpful? Or, are they just downright harmful to that sweet, fragile brain of yours? Are you thinking about this non-stop to solve something, or is it something you can’t actually control? Picking those thoughts apart can show you just how little sense they actually make, and make them seem wayyy less important or scary than they really are!

3. Set Limits

Those negative thoughts can be a total pain (plus they make you feel really sad). So when the rumination starts, set a limit for yourself for how long you’ll allow these thoughts to happen. Set a timer in your phone for 5 minutes and when it’s up say out loud to yourself “DONE!” Try to trick your brain into believing you just don’t have any more time for those negative thoughts. Or, if you’re venting to a friend about these negative thoughts, tell them that you just wanna get it off your chest for just a few minutes and no more. After that, time is UP and you’re gonna move TF on.

4. Find A Distraction

One of the best things you can do when these intrusive thoughts are in the way? Find a positive distraction to take your mind off the rumination! Watch one of your fave funny shows or that new doc series on Netflix you’ve been meaning to check out. Go for a walk if the sun is shining (or even if it’s raining, that can be nice too!). Get all cozied up on the couch and read the next book on your TBR pile. You can paint, do a puzzle, water your plants…literally anyyy activity that shifts your focus away from the intrusive thoughts that are bothering you. 

5. Talk It Out

This probs sounds like the opposite of distracting yourself, and it kinda is. But sometimes a vent sesh can make all the difference! So hit up your friend when you need to work through these repetitive thoughts. Explain what these thoughts look like for you and how they make you feel. Your friend can help support you and break apart those ruminating thoughts to show you that everything is actually gonna be okay. Chances are, you’ll feel sooo much better after getting it off your chest! You don’t have to hold everything inside, okay? Okay, good.

6. Meditate

Meditation is helpful for oh-so-many reasons. For starters, it allows you to take a moment of pause and take deeeep breaths (which lowers feelings of anxiety, if ya didn’t know). It can help you feel more grounded and draw awareness to things outside of your mind, like the feeling of your clothes on your skin. If you’ve never tried meditation before, it’s all good! There are plenty of free videos to follow along with on YouTube, and guided meditations on your fave music platform. It draws you into the present moment and helps ease the anxiety or stress you’re feeling from those ruminating thoughts!

7. Practice Self-Care

Self-care all day, every day baby! Ok, maybe not ALL day (although how amazing would that be?!) but you should 100% include some self-care into your daily routine. Especially when you’re experiencing a ton of rumination, ‘cause those thoughts will bring you down faster than you can even SAY the word ‘rumination’! Since these repetitive thoughts tend to happen the most when we’re stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, then it’s safe to say that you could use some self-care. Take regular breaks and make time for yourself by doing the things that make you happy and feel 100x more at ease — it matters!

8. Use Positive Affirmations

Repetitive thoughts that are negative and make you feel like shit? Nope, we hate to see it. Whenever they show up and try to ruin your day, use some positive affirmations! The great thing about affirmations is that you get to make them up yourself, and tailor them to the situation you’re in or how you’re feeling. Here are some examples to give you a better idea. I’m focused on enjoying the present. My past mistakes don’t define who I am. I look forward to the future. I choose to show myself love and compassion because I deserve it. Give ‘em a go!

9. Journal

We love love love journaling here at DiveThru. If you haven’t tried journaling since middle school (when your goober little brother stole your diary), that’s okay! It’s never too late to start. Get a cute journal, grab your smooooothest pen and jot down the ruminating thoughts you’ve been having. Writing down how you’re feeling can be so helpful when you need to sort through your thoughts and start to understand where they’re coming from (so you can better control them in the future). What do my ruminating thoughts sound like? How often do I experience these thoughts? How do they make me feel? Unpack it all!

10. Talk To A Therapist

As we said, we all ruminate from time to time. It’s a normal thing to deal with so no, you’re not totally weird if this happens to you. WE PROMISE! But, if you DO notice your ruminating thoughts don’t seem to let up no matter what you do, definitely consider talking to a therapist to work through it. Therapy can be really helpful in showing you why these thoughts are ongoing for you and finding the source of these repetitive thoughts. It could be from a mental health condition or something traumatic that happened to you in the past. Your therapist will find the right treatment plan for you and help you cope in healthy ways. You’re never alone!

Dealing with rumination can be suuuch a struggle, but you can get through it! We hope some of these tips help you get through them and help you feel ready to take them on whenever they show up. You’ve got this, friend!

 

7 Top Mental Health Podcasts For 2021

If you didn’t know, there are some amazing podcasts out there that are all about our favourite topic — MENTAL HEALTH! We know how difficult it can be to access resources to help improve your mental wellbeing. Therapy isn’t cheap! That’s why we’re so in love with these podcasts! They help you understand what’s going on in your sweet baby brain! Now, put on your headphones and start binge-listening to these mental health podcasts ASAP. (You can thank us later!)

Anxious Like You

A therapist? Anxious? Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Well, weeee haaaave! As human beings and therapists, our hosts, Nadia Addesi and Micheline Maalouf, understand how anxiety can consume someone’s whole world. On one of our very first mental health podcasts, Anxious Like You, our hosts pull from their expertise and personal experience to talk about everything and anything related to anxiety. Yes — ANYTHING! 

Each episode is designed to help listeners know that they really aren’t alone when dealing with their mental health struggles, and also give the listener tips and tricks on how to manage their own anxiety. Anxiety education AND a podcast that’s fun to listen to? Who could want anything more?!

Download the latest episode here! 

Happy As A Mother 

Parenting is hard! Okay, that’s a bit of a gigantic understatement! Parenting is fucking DIFFICULT! Every day, moms face questions like: How can I cope with the load of motherhood? How can I raise good humans when I’m just trying to survive? And the biggest question of all: how can I redefine myself after going through the metamorphosis of motherhood? Oof, that’s a lot of heavy shit! 

On Happy as a Mother, host and psychotherapist Erica Djossa gives listeners the techniques and strategies to help cope with the psychological and emotional load of motherhood. Erica is here to help guide listeners on a journey of self-love and acceptance, and answers the tough parenting questions you’re afraid to ask. 

And to put the cherry on top, Erica shares the best-kept secrets of the therapy world by providing knowledge and education that puts you in the driver’s seat of your emotional and psychological well-being to empower your motherhood journey!

Download the latest episode here!

The Mindful Kind

Mindfulness has been found to be an effective technique in managing mental health stresses, but it can be a hard technique to employ if you don’t know what the heck it even is! The Mindful Kind, hosted by Rachael Kable, shares exciting insights into mindfulness journeys and provides listeners with simple and effective practices to incorporate into their own lives.

With The Mindful Kind, you will have weekly access to new ideas, personal experiences and practical mindfulness exercises! We love it! Are you listening to it now and learning? Yes? Great! 

Download the latest episode here!

Not Your Basic Influencers

What comes to mind when you think of influencers? Instagram? Social media? Well, you’d be right! But that’s not what these ladies are here to talk about! 

Not Your Basic Influencers is hosted by Leah & Elyce — two (kinda) basic women and licensed mental health professionals! They’re here to influence you on the things that really matter. It’s defs not one of your standard mental health podcasts. In each episode, they have super relatable and incredibly real conversations about mental health, well-being…and basically what it means to be human!  

Download the latest episode here!

Women & ADHD

More and more women are finding out that they have ADHD later in life — finally getting an answer after decades of hard work and tons of questions. Katy Weber was one of those women and her diagnosis turned her life upside down! That’s why she started the podcast Women & ADHD!

Each week, Katy interviews other women who discovered they have ADHD in adulthood and are finally feeling like they understand who they are and how to best lean into their strengths, both professionally and personally.

We can’t recommend this podcast highly enough! We think that you’d love it even if you don’t have ADHD. Katy and her guests share so much incredible information and education that help women understand themselves and their minds on a deeper level than ever before! 

Download the latest episode here!

Psych Talk

Knowledge is power, right? Well, get ready to become incredibly powerful because Psych Talk is about to fill your mind with all the mental health information you’ve ever wanted to know!

The host of Psych Talk, Dr. Jessica Leigh, is dedicated to motivating, inspiring and educating listeners on everything related to psychology and self-growth! This podcast is for literally everyone! 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a mental health professional, a student in the social science field, are just interested in psychology, or are looking to gain skills to grow into the best version of yourself. Psych Talk will provide you with knowledge and skills that you can implement in your daily life that add up to make a big impact!

Download the latest episode here!

The Truth Doctor

The Truth Doctor Podcast is hosted by none other than the Truth Doctor herself — Dr. Courtney Tracy! Dr. Tracy is a licensed mental health professional AND the internet’s no-B.S. therapist. 

She’s here to help listeners understand their own minds and mental health by diving in and uncovering all we need to know about trauma, mental health and how our mind creates our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. Our minds are blown LITERALLY every episode! 

Dr. Tracy just wants to make the world a better place by helping heal one mind (or many) at a time. TBH we feel called out in the best way and we love how Dr. Tracy approaches the hard subjects with the caring honesty that we definitely need!

Download the latest episode here!

And there you have it! What a good looking list this is! We may or may not be wanting to learn more about ourselves and are catching up on all the mental health podcasts in our network at this very moment! Does that make this article meta? Or is it inception?? We don’t know. All we DO know is that you’re going to learn so much and will thoroughly enjoy listening to these shows! Yaaaa we might be biased but we feel super confident in saying that these shows are some of the best podcasts out there!