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Showing posts from October 6, 2019

What No One Tells You About Becoming a Mother

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A psychiatrist explains that difficult emotions are natural in new motherhood—and how partners and society at large can be supportive.

By Jenara Nerenberg


You can find plenty of practical information out there about pregnancy and parenting, but what about the emotional rollercoaster and identity shift that occurs for many women and their partners when they have a child? We don’t talk much about it—and if we do, it’s usually in the context of postpartum depression.

We need a new model to think about the transition to motherhood. That’s the focus of the new book What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood, co-authored by psychiatrists Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf.

In the book, Sacks and Birndorf seek to educate readers about the stage of life called “matrescence,” which is the developmental transition to motherhood. Just as a baby transitions to toddlerhood and a child transitions to adolescence, matrescence is a natural but distinct period of lif…

Creative Chaos

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The transcendent artistry of Green Renaissance Films allows us to enter into the life of a young man who has journeyed through mental disorder and arrived at a place of wholeness with an openness to the chaos of life. He has come to realize that he does not need to hold fear at bay by trying to order his world, controlling everything. Rather he embraces the chaos and unpredictability of daily living as the magic of the real world, allowing more beautiful things to happen, a world full of possibilities. The beauty of the film's location in South Africa adds an even deeper dimension to this young man's profound insights.


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Why the Arts Matter for Kids’ Self-Esteem

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A new study finds that kids who paint, draw, play music, or read more often feel better about themselves.

By Tom Jacobs


Middle school can be tough on an adolescent’s self-esteem. Social comparison often becomes fierce, leading to feelings of unworthiness that can have negative consequences in years to come.

How can a parent help? New research suggests that one great answer is to encourage your kids to participate in the arts—or, better yet, to join them in some creative pursuit.

“Initiatives to promote arts engagement in children may provide a practical and efficient way to improve children’s self-esteem,” report Hei Wan Mak and Daisy Fancourt of University College London. Importantly, they found that kids didn’t have to be good at their chosen creative activity for these positive effects to blossom.

The research, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, features 6,209 youngsters from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study. The kids were born in the U.K. around the …

Could Your Dinner Save the Planet?

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So, you’ve started recycling, maybe even use fewer straws! Is there another easy way you can easily benefit the planet? Why not start with your plate!

You can personally remove 1 ton of greenhouse gas from the planet in the next year! And the best part? You don’t have to make a monumental change in your life. It’s rather simple, actually. We’ll show you how.

“How is this possible?” you might ask, and the answer is simple: start with your plate.

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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The Understory: Life Beneath the Forest Floor

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"The first time I heard anyone speak of the "wood wide web," more than a decade ago now, I was trying not to cry. A beloved friend was dying too young and too quickly. I had gone to see him for what I took to be the last time. He was tired by pain and drugs. We sat together, talked. My friend was a woodsman. Trees grew through his life and thought. His grandfather's surname was Wood, he lived in a timber-framed house that he had built himself, and he had planted thousands of trees by hand over the years. "I have sap in my veins," he wrote once." Excerpted from his recently published book, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, "The Understory" is an examination of the life beneath the forest floor. Encountering the depth and complexity of communication that happens underground, Robert Macfarlane returns to the entangled mutualism at the root of language. 


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Ian Chillag: Everything Is Alive

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Ian Chillag is the host and creator of the original podcast 'Everything is Alive,' in which inanimate objects are interviewed. The inventive, funny and frequently poignant series is almost entirely improvised. "We cast actors, and I have a running list of objects. When we find someone we like, and we have a couple objects that we've vetted through some research, we give them a couple to choose from. They pick the one that speaks to them. Then I get on the phone with them, and talk for about 20 minutes just about basic character notes --like, if you're playing a piece of tape, what about tapeness would inform your personality. Do you feel -- do you have attachment issues because you're always sticking to things. Are you constantly worried about things breaking, because your only encounter with the world is broken things. Are you tense and kind of clenched up because you live in a coil. We ask those questions just as a way to get at the core of what…