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Behind Silent Smiles: The Story of a Real-Life Wonder Woman

Disregarded and abused in some way by so many people who should have loved her, Catie’s self-concept has been crushed. She can’t see her own worth. Her new colleague and friend Marcy sees it. All that Catie has survived, all that she has become–mother, caregiver to children orphaned or abandoned or delivered to daycare by loving parents off to work, devout Greek Catholic buoyed by her faith, selfless weaver, supportive friend–Marcy believes has made Catie a true, real-life Wonder Woman. Catie thinks Marcy is ridiculous. 

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Use Mindfulness for a Cozy Reading Space

Use mindfulness to create a cozy reading space where you can immerse yourself in your favorite books. Mindfulness and reading enhance wellbeing.
Using mindfulness to create a perfect reading space can boost your wellbeing. Wellbeing is perhaps one of the most important concepts for our lives. It encompasses so much: physical health, mental health, balance, energy to live with purpose and intention are among the important aspects of wellbeing. Wellbeing is the ability to create, maintain, and enjoy a quality life according to your values and definition of such a life. Positive psychologists call this life worth living.

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How to Handle ANTs to Increase Wellbeing, Mental Health

Automatic Negative Thoughts, or ANTs, can decrease mental health and wellbeing. Learn three ways to handle ANTs to enhance mental health, wellbeing.
Knowing how to handle ANTs (automatic negative thoughts) can reduce anxiety and increase wellbeing. Recently, in ANTs—Automatic Thoughts Can Ruin Your Picnic, I explored how ANTs can be pesky little creatures that get in the way of our living life fully. These automatic negative thoughts that pop into our minds in certain situations can cause great stress and anxiety. They can even intensify depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. We all have ANTs (they’re not exclusive to mental illness). Unfortunately, it’s natural for the human mind to get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns that drag us down. There are ways to deal with ANTs so they don’t ruin the proverbial picnic of your life. Here are three approaches whose effectiveness has been proven by research.

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6 Ways Reading Enhances Mental Health and Wellbeing

Reading enhances mental health and wellbeing. Here, discover six ways reading benefits us, including our wellbeing and mental health.

Reading is an activity that enhances our mental health and wellbeing. Settling in with a good book is a very nice thing we can do for ourselves. Our mental health and wellbeing are much more than the mere absence of problems. In fact, the absence of problems isn’t even part of mental health and wellbeing. It’s impossible to live a problem-free life, but it is very possible to create wellbeing and live mentally healthy despite problems and challenges. The process of increasing and maintaining mental health can be quite pleasant. It can involve reading!

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Middle Grade Novel about Abusive Relationships Honored for Making a Difference in the World

 

When I worked as a teacher and then a teacher/counselor in different high schools, I was shocked to discover that a significant number of students, both female and male, were trapped in unhealthy relationships that ranged from toxic to downright abusive. Out of care and concern for these adolescents grew Losing Elizabeth. I wanted to reach teens, starting in middle school but older adolescents as well, through a simple story, stripped of extraneous detail that could detract from the message.  I sought to write a tale of fiction that would entertain rather than preach and one that could reach younger adolescents before they begin to date as well as older ones who themselves might be trapped in a controlling relationship. The result was Losing Elizabeth.

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