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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I was never short of energy and life as a young child. My young adult years were filled with spontaneity and a lust for adventure. I was always hiking, spending day and night outdoors with friends and photographing everything I found interesting in nature. I loved being outside. Growing up in rural New Jersey, there was no shortage of local parks and hiking trails to explore.

After I graduated from my masters program in 2016, I started to slow down in more ways than one. I began working a full-time job and I started to become tired. I was feeling bits and pieces of this fatigue during graduate school but quickly dismissed it as I was getting up early to commute into New York City and spending long hours writing papers and reading — not to mention working at my internships.


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Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

I’m no stranger to long work days — in fact, I’m all too familiar with working 6 days — sometimes through an entire week by simply convincing myself that doing so will be financially rewarding for my bank account. How often do we find ourselves regretting this decision to only find ourselves repeating the process shortly after?

We can find all sorts of excuses to not acknowledge that we might be working too much — to the detriment of our health. We might need money, we might aspire to climb the professional ladder, or we simply work to avoid dealing with real life problems. …


Why We Don’t Talk About Grief

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Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash

I am no stranger to grief. I have had loved ones pass away far too young and others who have lived full lives before passing. I’ve experienced losses of people who are still alive that I never thought I’d lose. I have had life experiences that resulted in losses to my physical and mental health that changed me forever.

At the start of my career as a young therapist, I found myself actively avoiding working any type of bereavement. In my personal life, I moved through life never quite dealing with my losses in a healthy way. I would bottle up my feelings until I couldn’t anymore. During these moments, I often isolated and cried by myself. …


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Photo by DanDrew Photography on Unsplash

In our fast paced world, we equate work with productivity sometimes working ourselves to the detriment of our health as we push to meet our quotas of success. We often put work before our needs and ignore our health symptoms until they have reached a level of severity that rattles our attention. Porous boundaries in both personal and professional life can create a level of stress that can be hard to shake off.

Job stress is not unusual — even if you love what you do for work. We have long accepted that stress comes with the job description — no matter what job it is, we have likely experienced job stress at one point or another. …


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Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Childhood wounds are not just the wounds we get from falling off of the monkey bars as kids on the playground. They are the wounds and painful experiences that have been imprinted in us from our youth. These are our first memories of painful experiences that when left unhealed — leave lasting negative effects well into adulthood.

These wounds represent moments where we felt abandoned, betrayed, humiliated, and hurt that have been buried deep within our bodies and subconscious. As children, we don’t try to make sense of these experiences like we would as adults — picking them apart. Or perhaps, it might be too terrifying and shameful to acknowledge them. …


5 Ways Deactivating Social Media Helped Me

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Although, social media can be an excellent tool in connecting those over long distances, promoting a cause or in marketing a business — we should be mindful of how we utilize it and the impact of daily use. I am in no way blaming social media for any stress or challenges that I have experienced however, I do recognize that in setting a limit — I realized the following:

1.) My sense of awareness amplified. When you’re “connected” through social media, the temptation to open the app or website is there. Whether it’s taking a few minutes to see what someone is up to, who is traveling where, who is eating what, what new product is being advertised, inspirational quotes that may or may not be applicable to your life — you find yourself absorbed into the world of social media. Before you know it, your attention is robbed from general productivity and redirected elsewhere. You are connected to a virtual world, yet completely disconnected from your own. I’m a believer that happiness is found in “little moments” and details that make up the bigger moments. So, how can I appreciate those details if I’m giving in to feeling distracted, frustrated, anxious and fixated on why those “bigger moments” aren’t happening? During my lunch breaks at work, I would walk around the block to the local coffee shop, engrossed in reading a political debate someone was having through a post or liking baby pictures. Now, I throw my cell phone in my purse and take a true “mindfulness walk”, noticing how good the sun feels, breathing in fresh air, and how grateful I feel to have a break from my hectic work day. …


The Other Side of Addiction

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Photo by: Jeshu John

We hear and read about statistics of overdose deaths, the effects alcohol and drugs may have on the brain and body, police blotters outlining arrests for possession or DUI’s but we don’t hear about the “other side” of addiction too much. The side where families, spouses, or friends helplessly watch their loved ones spiral into addiction and the lifestyle that it entails. In fact, I find it to be a topic that most avoid to ever bring up.

What is it like to silently suffer in pain and heartache in this way? This kind of pain appears to be never ending, a roller coaster going up and down with no definite time of when it will actually stop. To go even further, what does it mean if the roller coaster were to stop? Death? Sobriety? Although I initially addressed addiction as a whole, I’m going to elaborate further on a specific drug that has been destructive in many ways to my life as a non-addict: heroin. …

Amber Mareena

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