With all of the news about flu season and coronavirus, it is easy to get swept up by fears of illness. Many people are cancelling travel, scheduling extra medical appointments, and wearing face masks to avoid catching the flu or coronavirus. While these behaviors can be helpful for some of us, they can also lead to becoming too fixated on health. Often, our health anxiety can convince us that we have a deadly disease or that we are more likely to catch an illness than statistics show. As a result, we may reduce our engagement in daily activities such as going to the gym or attending social events in fear of catching an illness. But, reducing the frequency of exercise and avoiding social gatherings and can negatively impact our quality of life.

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In the wake of Valentine’s Day, when expressions of love for romantic partners, friends, and family are center stage, many people may be experiencing increased feelings of loneliness. Winter can also be a more pronounced time for loneliness, as cold weather brings increased temptation to stay inside, limiting opportunities for connection. An interesting thing about loneliness is that you can feel lonely even when you are surrounded by people and have a lot of people in your life who care about you. Regardless of the sources of your loneliness, I wanted to share some ideas about ways to cope with loneliness.

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Before becoming a parent, you may have had ideas about the kind of parent you wanted to be. Or maybe, you had no idea what kind of parent you wanted to be and are figuring it out as you go. I encourage you to take time to review your past year as a parent in order to identify the things that inspired you and the things that seemed to get in your way. Often times, we target the areas we believe are lacking, but I think it is more effective to build on the things that have been going well.

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The holidays come with a lot of excitement and things to look forward to, but they can also cause stress, especially if you’re traveling. You may feel run down moving from place to place, consistently living out of a suitcase, eating and sleep schedules may change, and your wallet may be feeling the pressure of airfares and car rentals. You also may have unrealistic expectations for your trip, and feel really let down, which can bring about a lot of unexpected emotions. There are many things you can do to make travel less stressful, more enjoyable, and easier to recover from.

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