Reinventing Relationships

Whether you are in an established relationship, wanting to start one, or early on in one, in these last several months with the pandemic, we have all been impacted and have had to adjust, adapt, negotiate, re-negotiate or even end our connections. Human nature thrives on social contact. Even if you may be an introvert, you still need that soul-feeding emotional bond with other human beings, maybe not too many, but still. Sometimes it is a family connection; other times it is a friend or a romantic partner. In the words of the 17th century English poet, John Donne, “no […]

Living with Ambiguity

In the last 3 months, we have read, heard, viewed or talked with friends, family, coworkers, scientists, officials and others, and have been exposed all kinds of views, opinions, facts and counter facts. The human brain seeks comfort in consistency and at least a sense of temporary certainty. Alas, we don’t have that. How do you deal with those in your life when it comes to restrictions regarding the coronavirus? Masks, face coverings, social distancing, and other preventive measures have become not only political, but unfortunately and regrettably, reflective of one’s strength of character or personality, or one’s concepts of […]

Can Loneliness Be Good?

Think of painters, writers, innovators, coders, composers or researchers, and many other careers or pursuits that really require functioning ALONE. Being by yourself is mandated, by definition, to provide that state of mind that allows to create, to focus and to work towards a defined goal. The human mind needs that quiet time, that sense of being in flow with the process of being immersed in a self-introspective state. So why do we complain of being lonely, of having more anxiety and depressive thoughts as a result? You may have read or heard all of the recent emphasis on how […]

Chaos Around Us

While we were coping with social distancing, quarantine, isolation, and fear of an invisible virus, as I write this, we are seeing the powerful reactions in our cities to George Floyd’s killing. It is impossible not to be affected by this and of course, certainly not in the LGBTQ community. Any group that is treated as an outgroup, whatever the criterion may be, is familiar with the feelings towards the injustice and discrimination. How are you dealing with this state of the country? How are your relationships and your mind coping with the anxiety, anger, frustration, and depressive thoughts over […]

How to Connect in Isolation

(Photo credit: Robert V. Ruggiero – Unsplash.com) Did you see that the Netherlands was advising single people to quarantine with a “seksbuddy”? (Read it here) Leave it to the Scandinavians to merge liberal views with creativity, to foster resilience and safety from a virus. Good idea, no? Of course, there is the issue of how you choose a healthy or uninfected person. But how do you date without jeopardizing yourself or the other, when we can be asymptomatic but can pass it on? This pandemic has not only created much anxiety and fear around being physically close to others, but […]

Coronavirus Does Not Discriminate

While we are all dealing with isolation, social distancing, face coverings, not hugging or shaking hands and all the unusual things we are living with, I try to look if there can be some sort of a positive end result from this. Not for those whom we have lost, but for all those who live through this crisis, and survive to talk about it. Negativity exacerbates the stress of coping with daily life; if we cannot find some hope, some green shoot somewhere, it becomes a drudge to get through any challenging period. So the virus does not discriminate as […]

Maximum Anxiety

One month into social distancing, none of us is immune to the anxiety created by an unimaginable situation of fighting a powerful and threatening enemy that we cannot see or touch. So if you have found that you are having bizarre dreams, join the club! Whether you are single and live alone, or have a partner or other family, anxiety and depressive thoughts are now to be expected. What triggers anxiety? It is an automatic response, and not something we choose to bring on. It is the body and mind’s response to what is perceived as a threat to the […]

Love in Hard Times

When we are doing what social responsibility dictates, whether or not rules are imposed, how do we maintain our connections with people? As we are witnessing, there is a lot being written, discussed or displayed that underscores how crucial it is to be close to other human, and living beings. Over 50 years ago, Harry Harlow, a psychologist, tested the notion that babies bond with mothers because of satisfaction of physiological needs such as food and water. Contrary to that hypothesis, it turned out that his subjects, rhesus monkeys, sought maternal contact as the primary motivator. Postulating from animals to […]

Living With Isolation

As you read this, it will be about 3 weeks that we all have been practicing social distancing, and isolating in case of those who may have had contact with someone who tested positive. It is difficult to predict how we will be affected by this in the long run, but we do know that prisoners in solitary confinement suffer tremendously. Levels of anxiety and depression go up to be debilitating. We are dealing with a situation most of us never even imagined could happen to us. So let’s take a look at how we may deal with it in […]

My Inner Critic

Do you have that voice in your head that criticizes you when you do something? The one that wants you to be perfect in everything? The one that triggers a sense of blame? Alfred Adler, the Austrian psychiatrist and therapist, held that, “To be a human being means to possess a feeling of inferiority which constantly presses towards its own conquest.” His Individual Psychology was based on this belief. He has stated that “… a child enters the world. It is helpless, small, and needs attention. What effect does this have on the child? What influences how the child adapts […]