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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Have you ever found yourself stressed the F out and you just couldn’t shake yourself out of it? Stress can sneak up on you. Sometimes it takes our bodies reacting before our mind realizes what’s going on. That’s how panic and anxiety manifest in my house. So, if you’ve been feeling overly stressed lately, I just want you to know that you’re not alone. Right now, feeling stressed out seems to be the national pastime. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just affect us physically but also, had a profound effect on the mental health of most of the population. Add to that the fact that job satisfaction levels are at an all-time low among many and it’s easy to see why we’re all so stressed out.

Why Is Stress a Problem?

Many people assume that high levels of stress are not a big deal and accept it as just a part of living. However, this is not the case. In reality, it’s not healthy to deal with massive levels of stress in your life. Stress can manifest in all kinds of physical ways that will have you Googling symptoms and self-diagnosing with WebMD. Don’t do it. Here are some of the key ways that stress can impact you that you do need to be aware of. 

Chronic Pain 

First, stress can manifest in forms of chronic pain. Pain like this can impact virtually any area of your body. Due to this, it’s important to make sure that you are working to heal your mind as well as your body. Chronic pain can make it difficult to function effectively on a daily basis. If you are in severe pain, you might assume that it’s a physical issue. In reality, the route of your pain could be connected to a mental health problem. 

Depression and Anxiety 

Stress can also make other mental health issues more likely or more significant. This includes possibilities such as depression and anxiety. If you are stressed, you are always going to find it more difficult to deal with certain aspects of life including problems that you are currently facing. This can lead to people becoming depressed or growing more anxious than usual. This is one of the reasons why levels of stress are often more significant to your well-being and your mental health than most people realize. 

Chronic Health Conditions 

You could also find that you are more likely to develop issues with chronic health conditions if you are more stressed. Various research has found evidence that stress increases the symptoms of certain chronic health conditions. This includes conditions such as RSI, tinnitus and even diabetes. Other research has provided evidence that stress is somewhat linked to certain severe conditions including particular forms of cancer. This is not surprising when you consider that tension will impact every aspect of the body including your muscles as well as your mind. 


One of the main ways people tend to deal with stress is by binge eating or engaging in another unhealthy habit. As such, it’s possible that stress is going to have a ripple effect on your diet. This is one of the reasons why you should absolutely think about monitoring what you are eating and drinking if you do feel as though you are under a lot of pressure. You don’t want to get into a situation where your diet changes dramatically without you fully realizing it. 


You could also find that stress changes your appearance. As mentioned, stress can have an impact on the physical aspects of your body and this does include your appearance. For instance, you might find that you notice changes to your hair. If you are overly stressed, you could notice that your hair seems a lot thinner or frailer. You could also notice that skin conditions tend to flare up when you are more stressed. This could include eczema, acne and dry skin or redness. The good news is that if you read articles like: Is eczema contagious: everything you need to know, you’ll find that you don’t have to worry about issues like this being too serious. The symptoms will gradually disappear over a few days if they are tied to your mental health. 


You may also find that high levels of stress start to impact your sleep patterns as well. If you are overly stressed, you probably will struggle to sleep through the night. This could mean that you have difficulty getting the amount of sleep that your body requires. That in turn can lead to lower levels of energy than usual which will make it more difficult to function overall. You might even develop issues with insomnia if your stress is severe. 

How to Fight Back Against Stress

Now that you understand some of the issues that stress can cause in your life, it’s important to consider some of the steps that you can take to combat it the right way. Here are some of the options that you can and absolutely should consider. 

Identify Your Triggers

First, you should make sure that you are taking the time to identify the triggers of your stress. There can be lots of different types of stress triggers that you might need to consider here. For instance, high levels of stress could be due to your work or career. Alternatively, you might find that it’s something related to the people in your life. If people around you are toxic, then they can cause you a lot of stress. 

Find Ways To Relax 

Next, you should think about finding ways to relax throughout the day. There are lots of options that you can explore to try and relax when you feel stressed or overwhelmed. You might want to try breathing exercises. This helps regulate the level of oxygen that your brain receives each day. As such, it can help you think more clearly and solve problems far more effectively over time. Of course, this isn’t the only option that you can consider when you are trying to relax a little more. 

Try Exercise

You might also want to consider exercise as a way to relax. Exercise will allow you to work off the tension that is troubling you. Again, this can help ensure that you are able to think far more clearly overall and ensure that you are not plagued by issues. 

The good news here is that there are lots of different types of exercise that you can explore which could be beneficial to you. As such, you don’t need to just focus on something like lifting weights. Low-impact exercises such as yoga can be highly beneficial. 

Improve Your Diet 

Next, you should explore the best ways to improve your diet. While stress can change what you eat, stress can also be partially caused by a poor diet. If you are not eating the right foods on a regular basis, then you won’t be giving your mind the fuel that it needs to function effectively. 

This could mean that you struggle to think clearly when you are faced with a problem or a task. That could be why you constantly feel as though you are overwhelmed. There are lots of ‘brain foods’ that could help with this. However, in general, you should make sure that you are getting your five a day and a relatively balanced diet. This will help ensure that stress doesn’t become a major issue in your life. 

Make Changes to Your Life 

Once you have identified the issues that are causing you stress, it’s important to be ready to make some changes. There are lots of positive changes that you can explore here. For instance, you might want to work on setting a schedule for yourself throughout the day. This will allow you to stay on top of targets and avoid a situation where you feel as though things are starting to build up or grow out of your control. 

Alter Your Environment 

It’s also worth considering whether or not your environment is contributing to higher levels of stress than usual in your life. This could relate to both your home and professional environment. For instance, it’s possible that your home isn’t set up for good mental health. This can be the case if your home is overly cluttered and filled with things that you don’t need. Research also suggests that keeping a high air quality can improve stress levels and ensure that you will be able to think far more clearly overall. 

Seek Support 

Finally, if you are struggling with high levels of stress and tension in your life, then you should think about seeking out support. It’s possible and indeed likely that your stress is tied to trauma or a deeper aspect of your past. If that’s the case, then it’s in your best interest to make sure that you are doing something about this. Speaking to a professional can help because they will encourage you to tackle a type of trauma like this head-on. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key steps that you can take to fight back against high levels of stress in your life to ensure that it doesn’t have a severe impact on your well-being. In doing so, you can get your life back on track and focus on things that truly matter. 

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How To Protect Your Business from The Big Quit, quiet quitting

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As someone who owns a business, you know that being a business owner presents challenges from time to time. After all, the path to success is long and winding and full of roadblocks. According to experts, one of the biggest challenges that business owners must contend with in 2023 is the Big Quit.

What is the Big Quit? 

The ‘Big Quit’ actually began in 2020 and is a term used to describe the increased rate at which professionals across all sectors began to leave their jobs. The Big Quit appeared to reach its boiling point in 2022, when “between 4.1 million and 4.5 million people quit their jobs each month.

While some experts predict that the big quit may fade out in 2023, studies suggest that many professionals are considering quitting their job in the next few months. Considering your staff are a vital resource when managing a booming business – it’s important you’re able to protect yourself and hold onto top talent. 

How to protect your business from the Big Quit. 

Reduce their workload. 

Many employees cited burnout and unrealistic workloads as key reasons why they chose to leave their job. As such, you should find as many ways as possible to keep their workload at a manageable level without having to turn away customers or clients. For example, if you run a law firm, you could invest in Law Practice Management Software for Large Firms, which will automate time-consuming tasks, saving time and energy. 

Create a positive working environment. 

Company culture also plays a key role in employee retention. As a result, it’s important that you curate a company culture that fosters collaboration and creativity – the kind of space where employees spend more time working and less time stressing. One way in which you can improve company culture is by finding creative ways to show your employees that you appreciate them.

Ask for feedback. 

Asking for honest and candid feedback from your employees can also provide you with the insight you need to make positive changes – and ensure you maintain good retention rates throughout your business. While face-to-face meetings can be useful here, you may also want to provide them with the opportunity to give anonymous feedback. Anonymous feedback is often more honest! 

Reward your employees. 

Offering employees rewards is another great way to incentivise them and ensure that they stay at your company for as long as possible. For example, in addition to training and development opportunities, you should also develop a reward scheme that recognizes hard work and talent. This is beneficial in more ways than one, as many studies have found that workplaces that reward their employees tend to be more productive and efficient than those without reward schemes. As a result, this step can be instrumental in taking your business to the next level!

However, the true merits of reward and recognition lie in the fact that employees feel valued. When they feel valued, they are more likely to work under your leadership with enthusiasm and genuine joy. 

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5 tips for starting to eat healthier

It’s the beginning of a new year and we’re all optimistic about embarking on a new healthier lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to live their best life? However, who really knows where to start. Skinny isn’t necessarily healthy, I should know. Eating healthy is a great way to ensure that your body gets the nutrition it needs to stay strong and healthy. It’s also great fuel for staying active. Many people struggle with eating healthier, I know I do. I’m great until it gets “too hard” and then I give up. I’m not alone, many people feel like the transition is too difficult or require them to make too many changes in their routine. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are five simple tips for starting to eat healthier.

1) Start Your Day Right

A good breakfast is essential for setting you up for success throughout the day. Instead of reaching for something processed and sugary, try having some eggs, a piece of fruit, or some Greek yogurt with berries. And if you’re short on time in the morning, try prepping breakfast ahead of time so that all you have to do is grab and go! I’m putting Overnight Oats, Daily Harvest smoothies and bowls and, my default favorite, avocado toast with a drizzle of honey and sirracha in rotation. All these options can help you start your day on the right foot.

2) Bring Your Lunch

Eating out can be expensive and unhealthy—it’s much better to bring your own lunch from home when possible. Preparing lunches ahead of time makes this easier; you have to grab them from the fridge instead of stopping somewhere on your way back from work or school. Start meal prepping for lunch by packing up leftovers from dinner or bringing tabouli salads and sandwiches made with nutritious ingredients.

3) Drink More Water

Water is life. Literally. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps keep your body functioning well and can even help reduce feelings of hunger that can lead people to overeat. Drinking plenty of water also helps flush out toxins in your system while keeping you energized and focused throughout the day. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you so that you always have access to water when needed—this will come in handy during long days at work or school! I know not everyone is as water obsessed as I am but I’m telling you it is for your best. If you need to change up the taste try adding fruit to your water, a little pineapple, strawberry, orange or lemon can go a long way in the flavor department.

4) Eat More Veggies

Vegetables are incredibly nutritious—they provide essential vitamins and minerals as well as fiber which helps keep you full between meals. Try adding more veggies to every meal by having roasted brussels sprouts or broccoli as a side dish at dinner or adding some spinach into an omelet in the morning. You could even try smoothies by blending some leafy greens like kale with frozen fruit! This is also a great place to add in some collagen peptides and protein via powders. You can tell I’m getting older because I’m trying to make even my healthy foods more healthy with supplements and vitamins.      

5) Plan Meals Ahead of Time

It’s much easier to stick to healthy habits if meals are prepared ahead of time, so cooking isn’t an option when hunger strikes late at night after a long day at work or school. Meal planning takes away some of the stress associated with preparing healthy meals each day; simply take an hour on Sunday afternoon (or whenever works best for your schedule) and plan out what meals you want during the week ahead! This will save time during busy weeks when eating healthily might otherwise feel impossible due to lack of time.

Eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated – start small with simple steps like drinking more water throughout the day, bringing lunches from home, eating more vegetables each meal, planning meals ahead of time, and starting off each morning right with breakfast! With these easy tips, you can easily start eating healthier without any stress or hassle! 

If you really want to feel your best, move. It doesn’t matter what you do, just move your body for at least 20 minutes a day. My favorites are walking indoors or outdoors, yoga, rowing and working out with Obe fitness. I’ll share more about that in an upcoming post, as well as, daily on my instagram stories. Good luck. We’ve got this.

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How to Spend Less Time Stressing

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The new year is the opportunity to consider your new year’s resolutions or more honestly, reconsider your life choices. But, while many resolutions concern improving yourself, you can also look at better ways to deal with the world around you. In today’s world, a common issue experienced by many people is stress and anxiety. Although it is a natural feeling, stress is one that can also cause severe problems for many people, especially those who work full time and have to juggle family demands. If you’re looking for a positive change in the new year and beyond, consider these tips to spend less time stressing. 

Be More Active 

More activity and exercise can positively impact your stress levels. You don’t need to become a bodybuilder or run a marathon, but you can still find an activity that works for you. Yoga, short runs, or walks around the neighborhood are excellent options to begin with, and you’ll quickly find an activity that you love. If you’re looking for something more team-based, there should be plenty of clubs nearby that you can explore and join. 

Spend More Time Outside

With more activity comes more time spent outside, but you don’t need intense exercise to get the benefits of fresh air and nature. Again, walking is a fantastic solution, especially if you live close to nature walks while getting a dog could give you a reason to get out of the house. Even so, simply going outside more often rather than sitting on the sofa watching TV could make a significant difference to your stress levels. 

Find A Routine That Works For You 

Everyone is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, you should find a routine that works for you. If activity and nature don’t hit the right notes, you can still find something beneficial. Many people will choose to unwind with a book, while others may prefer to celebrate the end of each day with a delicious home-cooked meal. If you have trouble easing out of work mode, supplements and products like Delta 8 THC Vape Carts can help you find the clear-headed calmness you need. 

Be More Organized 

Strong organizational skills are a clear sign of productive people who do not encounter as much stress. By being more organized, you always feel ready for whatever’s coming up. You are prepared for meetings, and you have a straightforward list of tasks and projects you need to focus on for the week. By referencing this list, you can stay on top of everything, making it easier to manage your time and stay on top of all your responsibilities. 

Accept What you Can’t Control 

No matter who you are, there will always be things out of your control, but it’s often stressful when you feel powerless, which can cause many other problems in your life. Looking for solutions to problems you can’t solve or control will only make you even more stressed. The sooner you recognize what you can and cannot control, the easier it will be to manage your stress. You can focus on more important things and avoid unnecessary stress and panic that could impact your performance and happiness. 

Get Off Your Phone

Your smartphone has been a godsend for many reasons. You are always connected to friends, family, and the office, so you never miss a thing. However, this is as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Spending too much time on your phone can make it difficult to get to sleep as the blue light affects your brain chemistry. Social media also forces you to compare yourself to others, especially strangers. You can feel like you’ll never match their incredible and exciting life, making you feel stressed. 

Lower Caffeine Intake 

Although coffee and tea have been fantastic friends throughout the years, relying on them too much can cause issues. One significant reason is that caffeine can increase stress and raise your blood pressure, and these two problems often go hand in hand. You don’t need to ditch your morning coffee (although a cold glass of water can give you the same wake-up jolt), but you shouldn’t rely on it all day, especially not anytime after 2 PM. 

Balance Your Time Better 

The work-life balance has become a popular topic throughout every industry over the past few years. Thankfully, more people realize that their leisure time is just as (if not even more) important than their work time. Many people cannot afford to ditch their job, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find ways to balance their time better. Many people experience stress because they work long hours and don’t get time to unwind. If you want to overcome this, being kinder to yourself and setting workplace boundaries should help you treat yourself and benefit your professional and personal life. 

Stop Procrastinating 

Everyone has that project they have been putting off for days or even weeks. It seems too complicated or dull, and you’d want to do anything else. However, the project is not going away, so preventing procrastination will take a load off your mind. Simply facing up to the task at hand can provide relief, and this will make it easier to tackle your next project without too much stress along the way. 

Have Stress-Busting Solutions 

No one can live without some stress, and there may be times when this stress is inescapable. Rather than have a negative reaction, you must find stress-busting solutions. You may be amazed to see how effective deep breathing techniques are in stressful situations. These techniques provide positive coping mechanisms rather than shouting or panicking. Breathing is not the only option. You can also try mindfulness or meditation to ease any stress you encounter. 


You won’t go through the year entirely stress-free, and stress is sometimes good for you. Still, allowing stress to become a frequent part of your life can cause many challenges, which often compound to make your experience worse. With these tips, you can find ways to overcome and avoid stress when it’s not needed to ensure you feel happier and more positive. 

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letting go, breaking free in 2023

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Letting go and breaking free sounds like I’m jail breaking from my life but that’s not it at all. It’s more like I’ve made the conscious decision to give myself permission to live my authentic truth, regardless of anyone else’s thoughts, expectations or opinions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been one to place my value in other people’s hands but I’m human and, on some level, like everyone else, I want to be celebrated for being me. Thus far, my only measure of me has been the world around me. That stops now.

Now, the only measure of me is me and the only person whose opinion counts on how I’m showing up for me is me. It’s finally clicked that caring what other people, more precisely strangers, think of me is absolutely ridiculous almost to the point of insanity. Aside from the Big Guy and my girls, I obviously want to be a good role model for them. But mostly, I just want to be seen…really seen and that starts by me showing up for me; listening to my own wants and needs. For the first time in a really long time (or maybe ever) treating myself with the unconditional love, respect, patience, forgiveness and tenderness that I give to the people I love.

This year, I’m not doing resolutions. I’m changing perspective and taking accountability. No more waiting for the universe to show up. It’s been there all along. I just wanted to be rescued. It’s time to save myself.  I’ve decided that this is the year that I am letting go.

Honestly, I’m kind of being forced to let go on one level. Bella is graduating from high school and time is running out. While there is no expiration date on motherhood, it is always evolving and tomorrow will never be the same as today. Bella may not be going to magically disappear at the stroke of midnight on her 18th birthday but things are slightly and increasingly changing every single day. It is amazing to watch the baby they laid on my chest all those years ago, the one who made me mad with love (I laughed and cried simultaneously the moment I met her), grow into one of my favorite human beings and I’m not just saying that with mom goggles. She is truly a good human being. Sure, she can be a little difficult and she’s not for everyone but who is? Her heart is so big and devoted that those lucky enough to be loved by her will be blessed with complete and unconditional adoration. She’s fiercely loyal and kind to those she cares about. Letting go is not going to be easy for me, even now, in my self-proclaimed state of free-range mom of teen girls. My inner helicopter mom still sees their toddlers within and it’s making this round of evolution hit even harder.

When I say that “I’m letting go” I’m referring to every area of my life. I’m not giving up, that’s a foreign concept to me. I’m breaking free of my own self-inflicted shackles of expectation built upon a foundation of societal norms and parental inflicted trauma. I’m done trying to hold onto people and things that not only don’t serve me but actively waste my time and energy. I’m finally ready to be responsible for my own choices; consequences and all.  I’m ready to begin living for me because I am enough to live for. I am complete. I always have been, even though sometimes I felt unwhole and broken.

Things like envy, worry and hatred I’m trading them in for pushing myself harder to chase those dreams, actively working towards health and happiness goals and forgiveness of others and myself. I’m no longer going to let other people’s actions ruin my day. I’m choosing happiness and I’m holding on with both hands.

I’m letting go of other people’s expectations of who I’m supposed to be. I’m not saying I’m going to bulldoze my way through life without considering other people’s feelings but I’m going to give myself the same permission I give everyone else in the world to live my truth and let others live theirs. I don’t judge others but I am highly critical of myself. I live in a constant state of suffering from imposter syndrome. I’ve always been a perfectionist; maybe it’s the bipolar or maybe it’s the ADHD or maybe it’s my secondary toxic trait right after my unrelenting optimism? I don’t know and I don’t even care. It is what it is. It’s me and it doesn’t work anymore. It isn’t healthy. No one is perfect and things don’t always work out. Nothing is perfect and I’m no exception so I need to forgive myself for my imperfections and be more grateful for the people, things and talents that I do have.

I’m letting go of holding on to one sided friendships of all kinds. It’s tiring and exhausting to try to read other people’s minds. People always seem to appreciate my acts of kindness and are surprised by my thoughtfulness but, surprisingly, seldom ever think to reciprocate or initiate. It’s a whole lot of taking.

Look, I know that no relationship is 50/50. It’s ever changing to meet the needs of the relationship but when it becomes me always giving and others always taking, that’s a red flag for me. I’m choosing to refuse to ignore it going forward. I’m not saying I’m going to cut you out of my life but if I’m doing all the heavy lifting, you’re going to notice that I’m going to start taking it easy and investing my time and love elsewhere into the places and people that acknowledge my efforts.

I’ve decided that I’m getting too old to relentlessly keep trying to make anyone like me and life’s too short anyways. Either we like each other or we don’t. Either we’re friends are we aren’t. I’m resolving to not take it too personally and I’m choosing to let that go. I’m not too narcissistic to realize that I’m not for everyone and that’s ok. Just be straight with me. Have enough respect for me to either be in or be out but don’t string me along in business or friendships. I promise I won’t fall apart if you tell me that you’re just not that into me, just be civil about it. After all, I am human.

I’m letting go of worrying about and overthinking every, single thing in my life. It is exhausting and changes nothing. Instead, I’m prioritizing and spending my time wisely where it matters most to me.

I’m letting go of chasing the perfect body and the perfect weight. There is no such thing. Instead, I’m looking for that healthy high. I have goals and they have nothing to do with the size of my ass or the pertness of my breasts. Like I said, my most important thing to keep in mind is that my girls are always watching so why would I ever put them on the crazy train of body dysmorphia and eating disorders? I’ve been there and I’m still battling this relationship with my body. But no more. Namaste body. I love you. I want to protect you and I want to worship this body and treat it with respect and love. This begins with letting go of what the world says that’s supposed to look like.

I’m releasing myself from feeling guilty for not having the same body I had when I was 25. I’m not feeling bad about myself or punishing my body for not being the same size or shape as the mom next to me and I’m definitely not comparing my seasoned body to a teenage super models. I’m not giving up but I’m giving myself over to new possibilities and reframing my own perspective and embracing realistic expectations. The goal is a healthy body not a skinny one.

My new outlook is going to be one fueled by gratitude for the things I have not envy for the things I don’t, appreciation for who I am today instead of anticipation of the person I want to become and a verve to live each day like it is the only day with less procrastination and less disappointment. Most of all, I’m going forward with an abundance of love for the world around me for what it actually is rather than withholding praise for special occasions. Going forward, I’m letting go of putting conditions on when I start to live to my fullest no more “if this than that” or “when I get here, I’ll do that”. I’m letting go of the fear of success, disappointment in others reactions to my actions and the shackles of the pursuit of perfection and I’m actively going to live every moment present without hesitation or overthinking. I’m letting go of the things I can’t change and embracing the things I can. It starts by believing I’m enough, right now.

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Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

My feeds are full of the news of the sudden death by suicide of Stephen “tWitch” Boss. Everyone is shocked that he’s dead. It’s a travesty. Simultaneously, the world is knocked off its axis by the idea that a seemingly happy man/father/husband/celebrity who appeared to be living his “best life” with everything to look forward to, in fact, committed suicide.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

But, I’m not shocked that anyone commits suicide anymore. Life is hard. Many of us contemplate it, some of us go as far as to meticulously plan it, still others attempt and too many succeed. As someone with Bipolar 1 disorder, I’ve become intimately aware of the statistics that 20-60% of all people diagnosed with bipolar will attempt suicide at least once in their life and 4-19% will succeed.

Depression does not discriminate. It gives no fucks about what you or anyone else thinks your life should feel like. Mental illness doesn’t care how wealthy you are or how charismatic you are. It strikes and it’s a cruel, clingy and unjust bitch. Once she has her greedy hold on you, she doesn’t want to let go. Wave after wave of sadness, grief and melancholy battering every inch or your heart, soul and body. It’s no wonder we start to drown in the seas of sadness. Survival is not guaranteed. Only by the grace of the universe, holding on for literal “dear life” determination and the support system to keep fighting through immeasurable pain, self-doubt, loathing and loneliness until the storm passes do we get to see another day.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

To the outside world, Boss seemed like a man who had everything; a beautiful wife and 3 lovely children, a loving marriage and a career that was glowing up in all the best ways. He looked his happiest when he was with his family. He literally seemed to radiate from within. However, the truth is that we have no idea what was really going on in his heart and his head. He was beloved on the internet for his big personality, devotion to his family and all the good he brought to the online world. He was someone we needed; he was light. But even the most optimistic person has worries and weight. Most importantly, who did he see in the mirror? How did he feel in his own skin? Who was the real him to tWitch? The public is left bewildered and maybe even a little scared because if “it” could happen to him, it can happen to anyone, right? I feel this deeply because I’ve been on the precipice of eternal darkness before and it’s a terrifying and out-of-control place to be.

In my weakest moments as an adolescent, I spend many hours lying awake in the night, quietly full of despair silently sobbing into a pillow because I felt trapped in an inescapable hell, completely and utterly alone. Part of me wanted to disappear and another part of me wanted to be noticed and saved but that other part wanted to cease to exist and quietly float off into the ether. I wanted the peace that could only be found alone in the silence and darkness. These were my constant, ever-pervading thoughts throughout my early teens my early 20s.

But if you were to ask 99%of the people who knew me then, they would describe me with words like “nice,” “sweet”, “smart”, and “FUN” (yep, bipolar mania, professional and consummate compartmentalizer skills), and “funny”. I laugh a lot and I like to make others laugh even when inside, I’m falling apart. I’m one of those people who always holds it together; the deeper the pain, the quieter I get about it, and the less I scream and yell about it. I retreat into myself. I hide in plain sight.  If you know, you certainly know what I’m talking about. Feeling sad sometimes feels shameful because where the hell do I get off feeling sorry for myself when so many others have it so much worse? That’s what I told myself.

In high school, I was the smart, quiet “girl next door”, the “most likely to succeed” type. I got up, went to school, did my best, and got through my days pretending to be happy and good-natured; friend to everyone. I was the type that teachers and other people’s parents loved. But my thoughts were dark. I was sad, scared, anxious and angry. No one knew what was going on at home. I never told them. I was ashamed. At home, I was the victim of physical and emotional abuse from an alcoholic father. Every moment, of every day was erratic and school was my solace. From 8-3 pm every day, I was safe. I was normal.

By the time I got to college, I had become comfortable with pretending. I was on my own for the first time in my life, I was away from my boyfriend and friends, everything was new and overwhelming. I felt out of control. In the beginning, I was scared and felt swallowed up whole by the experience but then I just let go or rather I broke under all the weight of bending. Let me explain, I pretended to be care-free. I pretended to be cool with a lot of things I wasn’t. I pretended that being completely alone in a new place, wasn’t scaring me to death. I pretended that waking up with a guy (I thought was a “friend”) on top of me, slithering off like a thief in the night while I slept…never happened. I pretended that I was tougher than I was. I pretended to be happy. I pretended to be the life of the party. None of that was true. It was quite the opposite.

What the world saw was not me. It was some version of me. She was the only reason I survived. She was the fake it until you make it Debi. Or maybe I was the push it til you break it Debi. Around this time, my eating disorders kicked into high gear. At one point it was so bad that I was consuming roughly 200-300 calories a day while purging (without the binging) sometimes up to as many as 10 times in any given 24-hour period. I felt trapped inside my own body and mind. Never free to be the real me. No. I couldn’t handle that rejection.

In those days, I survived on 3-5 hours of sleep a night, worked full-time, went to school full-time 1.5 hours away from where I lived and had to drive back and forth every day and still maintained a boyfriend and robust social life. I lived like a frat boy, drinking into the early hours of the morning, satiating my id and sleeping on the sofa at my best guy friend’s house. Pretending to be okay. No one met the real me then.

There was a Debi for school, one for work, another for the boyfriend, one who pretended to fearlessly sleep on the sofa of a house full of guys, and even one more Debi for nightlife. I felt like a little girl playing dress-up. I was not ready for any of this. The time I was the most myself was in the 3 hours I was in the car alone, blaring Alanis Morrisette and Mazzy Star, singing at the top of my lungs. No one knew me. I was a lot of people for a lot of people but I was almost never “me”.

I was tortured but when I was doing what I needed to do, when I was chin-upping it I could avoid reality and the reality was that I wanted to die. Living was too painful. Breathing was a chore. Slipping on and off personalities like comfortable coats was exhausting.

It felt like everyone wanted a piece of me but only the palatable pieces. No one wanted or cared enough to move past the “me” that they needed to really see the “Me” that I actually was. This explains how the body dysmorphia got so bad. My therapist once told me that my perception of myself is so skewed that I can never trust my own eyes to know what I really look like. So, the cost of the chameleon life I led, straddling reality and pretending to be everything to everyone is that I no longer get to see the real me. I’m gone, vanished from my own sight.

As you may surmise from the previous paragraphs, I was chronically and acutely depressed with suicidal ideation and I had a plan. I even had the opportunity and motive. My point is that to the outside world and even to those closest to me, I seemed okay. Some people even called me the life of the party. I was good at hiding the darkness. I was great at pretending to be happy and go lucky when inside I was breaking. I compartmentalized my life in such a definitive way that I built a fortress around my innermost me that cut myself off from everyone and everything I loved. I lost my joy. Even when I was smiling, I was probably actively planning how, when, and where I was going to give myself over to that eternal quiet darkness that I was longing for. I was done but I couldn’t share that part of me with anyone. I didn’t want them to console or stop me. At the time, I felt like there was no way out and I was destined to a fate of pretending to be alternate versions of myself to be loved by others. The burden was too heavy but I wore it like a dress with pockets and no one seemed to notice the gravity of it all.

In the end, we see what we want to see. We choose to believe that some people have it better than others. It’s the lie we tell ourselves to help us make it through the days. To be fair, we only see what people allow us to see of themselves and they only see what we give them access to of ourselves. In a world built on flawless filters where people are so busy that they seldom look up from their screens to see a sunset, how can any of us be expected to check in on our friends who seem to be okay? Or worse the ones who seem to be good? And that, my friends, is the problem.

We live in a world where we don’t have the time or bandwidth to care about others the way that we’d like to believe we do.  We’re a society saturated in our own woes and even when we want to, it can seem futile. But we put on our brave and happy faces and we soldier on until we can no longer endure.

I don’t know what happened Monday to trigger and escalate the situation for Boss. I don’t know what his “no longer can endure” breaking point but I know the pain it feels to be there in the thick of it. I know the sorrow and thick melancholy that makes it hard to breathe and even harder to live. My heart goes out to Boss and his family. It breaks my heart to think of how alone and desperate he must have felt in those final moments when no longer existing seemed the only option.

Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Suicide an insider's guide, depression

People always want to know how and why someone could do such a thing, especially when they seem to have it all. The thing is “having it all” is worthless when you feel completely alone and unworthy of your blessings; when you hurt so much that you can’t even find joy in the things that used to make you profoundly happy; you can’t function normally under the heaviness of the sadness. You begin to doubt the point of your existence and wonder if removing yourself might actually be better for your family and friends.  I’ve been there and now; my daughter is there. Sometimes, I think I survived just for this moment. I’ve been on both sides of the darkness as someone’s child and now, as the parent of someone mired in the darkness and it’s worse than you can imagine.

If you or someone you know is feeling alone in the darkness, having suicidal ideation and/or making a plan, reach out for help. You are not alone. There are so many of us who have survived. There is no switch to turn or pill to take to be all better. It’s painful to survive BUT it’s worth it. Take it day by day, hour by hour or even minute by minute. The pain seems unbearable and the crisis unsurmountable when you look at the big picture, so look for the tiny moments to get you through to the next.

If you’re in the United States, you can call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988, available in Spanish and English language, 24 hours a day. Someone is always there to listen. You are worth saving. You matter.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Food addiction can be much more harmful than many people think because, unlike other addictions, you can’t just stop food. It’s not just linked to obesity, but diabetes and other health conditions. If left unchecked, it could lead to premature death. Nobody wants that, but it’s a difficult addiction to overcome.

The good news is you shouldn’t need to go to an outpatient center to overcome it. It would be beneficial to consult your doctor and then a therapist to get to the root of what’s precipitating this behavior. It could be just a matter of understanding your addiction and getting professional guidance on how to beat it. While it’ll take time and effort, it could be relatively straightforward.

How To Beat Your Food Addiction

1. Know What Triggers Cravings

In many cases, there’s something that triggers your cravings and makes you want to overeat or eat something unhealthy. You’ll need to know what these triggers are so you can start managing them and beat your addiction. While these can take time to figure out, it’s a necessary part of figuring out how to beat your addiction.

Stress, low feelings, and similar triggers can be relatively common. Whatever your triggers are, take the time to understand and deal with them. Your addiction will become more manageable after that, and you’ll have fewer and fewer cravings in time.

2. Have A Distraction Tactic

Having cravings is relatively natural, especially when you’re still figuring out your triggers and how to overcome them. While you’re doing this, you’ll still want to find a way to manage and start beating your addiction. Having a distraction tactic is one of the more notable ways of doing this.

Instead of eating when you feel a craving, replace it with something else. A short walk, and even some music or a television show, can be great options for this. Focus on something that takes your mind off the impulse to overeat or engage in your addiction. In time, you’ll see your cravings fade away.

3. Explore Non-Food Rewards

Everyone likes to feel good, and eating can often be a quick and easy way to do this, especially with chocolate and similar foods. In many situations, your brain treats them as a reward and something to use to feel better about a specific situation. There are ways to overcome this.

Exploring non-food rewards can be an effective way of doing this. These still give you the satisfaction of rewarding yourself without harming your health. Even something as simple as rewarding yourself with a new book can be a great way to do this.

How To Beat Your Food Addiction: Wrapping Up

Figuring out how to beat your food addiction can seem like a complicated process. While it takes time and effort to understand and overcome, it could be simpler than you might expect. You’ll need to focus on the right areas when you’re doing so.

Exploring non-food rewards, knowing your triggers, and having a distraction tactic can all be recommended with it. They’ll help you understand your addiction and overcome it properly. Your food addiction will be in the rear-view mirror in no time.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Going to the gym and working out is always a good idea for your health but you need to know how to stay safe and avoid getting injured. Nothing slows down progress faster than an injury, especially when it comes to your body. Between faulty equipment, people who aren’t paying attention around you, and even over-exercising, there are plenty of ways to get hurt at the gym. This guide will help you understand the most common gym injuries, as well as how you can avoid them so that your workout doesn’t become an injury instead of progressing toward your fitness goals!

Lack of training

There are many different machines, tools, and equipment in a gym. If you don’t know how to use them properly, the risk of injury increases exponentially. If you’re new to the gym scene, take it slow and check with the staff about which machines and workouts would be good for beginners.

Once you know what equipment is available, ask your gym’s staff to show you how to correctly and effectively use the machines so that you can minimize the potential for getting injured.

Faulty equipment

When using any type of equipment in a gym or fitness class, it’s important to use it correctly. But, what’s even more important is to use equipment that is reliable. When the machine suddenly breaks unexpectedly, it could lead to severe injuries. This can be frequent for weight trainer gyms that fail to maintain their equipment. An injury sustained as a result of faulty gear can affect your fitness goals and health for a long time. Ideally, you should always check that the equipment is in good condition. You can also refer your case to a personal injury lawyer, who can help recover your medical bills and lost income in the event you’ve been hurt by damaged gym property. 

Lack of attention

The gym is a place for physical activity, not a mental one. If you’re too busy thinking about work or school, that only distracts from your workout. The answer? Bring your phone in your pocket or handbag when you go to exercise but leave it there. Don’t take it out unless you need it for an emergency call or text. Once you start working out, concentrate on keeping your mind on what’s important—your workout goals! Also, I’ve found that when I’m working out, it’s a great way to destress and focus inward; be present for myself, which is something as a busy mom, I seldom get to do.

At the same time, good gym etiquette requires that you pay attention to the people around you. Many gym members use headphones to stay in the zone. They may not hear you approaching them or may not know you are next to them so keep that in mind when coming up behind someone. 


Never let a day go by without exercising. This might seem like good advice, but it’s actually very bad. While working out several times a week is certainly better than not working out at all, an excess of exercise can lead to overtraining—a condition that occurs when you work out so much you break down your muscles and burn away your gains faster than you can replace them with new ones. The solution? Work out two or four times a week, allowing at least one full day of rest between each session.

Exercising is healthy. But it can include risks if you are not careful. That’s why it’s important to get familiar with the gym environment and your own body to always stay on the safe side of fitness. 

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Day 1 Year 50, midlife awakening

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I still feel 25 just with bad knees. How fast a half a century has gone by. The first 18 years felt slow as molasses for me but I know in retrospect, as a mom myself now, that only the first twelve months move in slow motion, sometimes even feeling like it’s moving in reverse. But every year after that goes at lightning speed. Too fast for me to notice in the thick of it but it was the burden of my parents to feel every bit of it. I had no idea. I do now on day 1 of year 50.

For the first 25 years, I lived recklessly because the burden to worry was my parents. I was afforded the luxury of living in a gilded cage that my young, inexperienced mind thought was an electrified prison. But in reality, I lived so selfishly that even those I thought were important to me were treated callously. Unintentionally, I was not malicious but I couldn’t see past myself.

The last 25 we’re about building a life outside of my birth family. It was the time when love found me, took hold of me and changed me for the better. That love opened my eyes and my heart. Soon, the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction and the selfish, self absorbed girl I once was quietly and I in noticeably evolved into a selfless martyr who sacrificed everything for everyone. My body, my career, my wants and needs, the life I’d so meticulously planned and longed for.

But don’t feel sorry for me. In exchange I got so much more than I could have imagined. Not things but something I never had …. Stability which sounds mundane but not to someone whose entire life has been completely nuanced in tumultuous chaos. It hard for a bird to take flight with a chain and cinder lock around its neck. I got unconditional healthy love with no restrictions and ever replenishing. I got loved for who I was not in spite of it.I felt seen and heard so much so that I didn’t have to tirelessly fight to be understood. I felt peace and safe. Safe to be my most vulnerable self and still love remained. In return, I happily dedicated my life to nurturing those relationships. I built a life with my best friend whom I wholly adore as he does me. I raised amazing human beings who I’m

Proud to know and privileged to love. But pretty soon, they’ll be starting the next 25 years of life and I refuse to put the chain of guilt around their necks. Instead I will raise them up towards the heavens and encourage them to take flight.

My last 25 years have been about putting out fires. The next 25 years I will live my life with intention. It’s time for me to set life on fire. I am no longer going to white knuckle through life wishing and hoping things turn out alright. I’m letting go of things, people and other peoples expectations that no longer serve me. The time of mediocrity and sacrifice has passed.

I’ve loved the last 50 years. Honestly, I’ve got a lot of great memories and stories. I’ve gained invaluable memories and experience. I’ve gained something that you can only earn with age…wisdom. I’ve lived 10 lifetimes in the past 50 years..but this next part is going to be about me and reclaiming my relationship with the Big Guy.

No more getting by or doing what I’m supposed to do. If it’s not a hell yeah, it’s a hell no for me. Today’s the day, the first day of forever this is not a crisis it’s just the beginning. This is day 1 of year 50 and this is my midlife awakening. What would you do if you could do anything?

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Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

I’m really trying to wrap my brain around what happened in Uvalde, Texas at Robb Elementary. I saw the news when it happened and, like many parents, I was triggered. You know, my kids are the same age as the Sandy Hook Elementary kids. I never forgot. I will never forget. I couldn’t even if I tried. But the more I learn about what transpired on Tuesday in Uvalde, the more tragic it seems and the more preventable it appears. I want to lay some hard truths on you guys. Those 19 children and 2 adults did not have to die. Where were the heroes? Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

Yes, Salvador Ramos pulled the trigger but it is the fact that we live in a country that allows 18-year-old children to purchase assault rifles that got us where we are today. Why are we allowing teenagers, who are hormonal, moody, full of angst and whose brains will not be fully developed until they are 25-years-old, to buy guns? How was he so easily able to buy two assault rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition? How were there no red flags? Push that aside for a moment, if you are wondering how this happened? Why this happened? How it was able to transpire? How Ramos was able to make it into the building to barricade himself in the room with helpless little kids and 2 teachers and no one stopped him? So are the rest of us.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos.

He posted on social that he was going to shoot his grandmother.

This boy shot his grandmother. Authorities were alerted.

He posted after he shot his grandmother.

He wrecked his truck. Authorities were alerted.

He posted before he entered the building.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary


He shot at people at the funeral home across the street from the school. Authorities were alerted.

He stood outside for 12 minutes and fired rounds. Authorities were alerted. Authorities were on the scene.

He is seen in a video walking into the building without anyone stopping him or trying to stop him or even in his line of sight.


He was outside for 12 whole minutes, that’s a lifetime in an active shooter event. Maybe he wanted to be saved from himself. No one did anything.

He gets in the building. Barricades himself inside for 40 fucking minutes. The authorities are captured on video standing outside the gates waiting on I don’t know what the fuck to happen while he is inside shooting peoples children.

Why did no one stop him??? Why?

There is video of parents begging the police to save their children. Pleading with authorities to serve and protect the most precious part of them. When their cries of desperation fell on deaf ears some of the parents were overcome with frustration and anger and lashed out…while they were listening to gunfire and knew their children were locked in Robb Elementary with a gunman while the authorities were safely outside awaiting what? Divine intervention.

Some of those parents were pushed away, handcuffed, arrested, threatened and forced to bear witness to the screams of fear from within not knowing if that was their child or if they would ever get to see their child again. They were made to stand still while their children were murdered. If you ask me, that was as cruel if not more so than what Ramos did.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

There is no doubt that Ramos did an evil thing. But he was an individual who had suffered cruelty the entirety of his short life. He was a product of a system that failed him too. But he chose to inflict the same pain he felt onto the world.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

But what if the authorities had acted sooner? What if those kids mattered to those officers as much as they mattered to their loved ones crying outside and listening to the wailing of the terrified children inside.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

It makes me wonder, what if this was a Caucasian neighborhood? What if this was an elite private school? What if these kids’ parents were influential and wealthy? What if they had power? What if they weren’t poor, humble migrant people? Would these kids’ lives have mattered more to the police if they weren’t brown?

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

So maybe you’re saying, fuck Debi why are you making this about race. I’m making it about race because everything is about race. If you don’t see color, then it’s more than likely that you are privileged. I grew up in an urban ghetto in a time when everyone had police scanners. They called my neighborhood LA (Little Africa), the white neighborhood where the poor kids lived was called ( Little Waco)  and where the Mexicans lived ( Little Mexico), if you lived in those neighborhoods and something happened and you needed the police…they came when they were ready. It made no difference that the police station was literally 3 blocks from my house.

I come from immigrants. My grandfather was a rancher. My father grew up on a farm. He came to the United States and worked in fields and factories. Mexican people are vibrant, passionate, loyal, loving, family-orientated people and we are humble. Even though we are loud, we are humble. We are hard workers, friendly and respectful. My dad loves the United States more than anyone I know and it’s been something I’ve had a hard time reconciling myself with because I’ve seen this country treat my dad like garbage. I’ve seen the people of this country treat my dad like he was stupid because his skin is brown and he has an accent. I’ve seen my proud father be dismissed because he didn’t look or sound like the person he was talking to. I know, firsthand, the disregard with which police officers treat brown and black boys and girls’ lives.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

Honestly, I pray that I’m wrong but I’m not sure that I am. Why did no one rush in to save those babies? Even the ones who survived will never return to who they were before they saw their friends and, in some cases, family massacred in front of their eyes, before they had to play dead to survive before they had to cover themselves in their classmate’s blood to stay alive.

Uvalde authorities stood by as parents begged them to save their children from a mass shooter, Salvador Ramos, uvalde victims, robb elementary

These beautiful brown babies have been failed by our government which they trusted to keep them safe. These parents have been failed by the very country they left their homes for. I know people want to be able to protect their homes from intruders, I get it, I told you I’m from ranchers. But no one without a fully developed brain, under the age of 25, or anyone not trying to mass murder humans needs an assault rifle unless they are in the military. We need to do something, we can’t just keep letting our children be mowed down in a spray of gunfire because the people we elect care more about NRA money than the lives of our children.

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