The Comfort of a Good Manicure



When I lived in Manhattan, way before kids, I used to go to my local nail salon once, sometimes even twice, a week.  What was once no big deal seems like an extravagance these days of >$4.00 a gallon gas.  So what's a girl to do?  Giving myself a manicure not only saves money, it's also be a relaxing exercise.  This YouTube video gives you the basics to get started.  

More on Intimacy



“Passion can never purchase what true love desires: true intimacy, self-giving, and commitment.”  ~anonymous

What Is Intimacy?



Imagine a coin labeled "Relating to Another Person".  On one side of the coin is Empathy, on the other is Intimacy.  Empathy is when you feel and understand what another person is feeling, experiencing.  Intimacy is about how you feel when your significant other is fully understanding what you are feeling and experiencing. When you feel that the other person "gets" you in that close, special way, that's Intimacy. And really good quality Intimacy is both people getting each other at the same time.

If you've ever sat at the dinner table with your kids, and they're rocking and rolling about one thing or another, and you look up into your spouse's eyes and smile to see him looking at you and smiling right back… BAM!  That's an Intimate Moment to be treasured. And no sex involved! 

Here's a corny mnemonic:  Intimacy means 'into me you see'. 

PS.  You can have intimacy without sex and sex without intimacy, but sex with intimacy?  Mmmmm!

The Five Foundations of a Good Relationship



A few years back I had lunch with a colleague who is also a couples therapist.  In our conversation about the challenges of helping couples realize what is fundamental for a healthy relationship, my friend sited these five elements. He thought it came from  Bill O'Hanlon but I haven't been able to find the original source.  When I bring them up in marital counseling they never fail to motivate a thoughtful discussion: 

  • Intimacy
  • Authenticity         
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Love

Amazingly a lot of us don't know what some of these words mean, much less know how to accomplish them in a relationship.   Intimacy, for instance, is often confused with sex.  It surprises people that couples can experience deep intimacy without ever touching each other.  Integrity is another one that's hard to describe.  It's like what that Supreme Court Justice said about obscenity, (paraphrasing here) "I can't tell you what it is but I know it when I see it."  Anyway, it's worth struggling over.  While you dust off the dictionary, re-visit the marriage quizzes.

Perfectionism… The Dark Side



Ten days since since my last post. Ouch. There are many excuses, good ones too, like my bout with stomach flu over a week ago and family events to fuss over. But I have to admit the real reason is a relapse of a recurring affliction… perfectionism. Perfectionism is so much the antithesis of blogging it’s no wonder it froze me out with writer’s block. Perfectionism is a trait similar to obsessive compulsiveness in that our society loves these qualities until they bite us in the ass. If you’ve ever really suffered from the dark side of perfectionism you know what I’m talking about. I saved this New York Times article on perfectionism because I knew there would be an opportunity to share it at some point and here it is.

It’s good to be back on the blog, ready to make mistakes, get messy and embrace the joy of making a fool of myself.

Nuture Your Self-Esteem Today



"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance"   

  ~ Oscar Wilde

The Devil Invented Low-Fat Ice Cream – Part IV



DevilDevil:  You have got to be kidding me!  This can't be good for you.  It hurts!

Angel:  It's called HUNGER and it's not going to kill you.
Devil:  It's giving you a headache.  Face it, you can hardly concentrate, your vision is blurry. You must eat!
Angel:  Remember what your doctor told you when he said you needed to lose weight?
Devil:  That quack?  It's because of him you gained weight in the first place.
Angel:  It was life saving medication that if he didn't put you on your kidneys would have exploded.
Devil:  Side effects are a perk of my job.
Angel:  Yeah… it was bad, but now you're healthy and you need to lose weight.  Your doctor said, "If you aren't hungry you aren't losing weight and if you aren't sweating you aren't exercising."
Devil:  You are hungry therefore you must eat.  Have I taught you nothing?
Angel:  And how has that worked for you? Huh?  It's time for a new mantra, try…"Hunger is my friend."
Devil:  With friends like that who needs…
Angel:  Shut up.

An Invitation To Style



A friend and fellow business woman, Betsy Eberle, President of Confidence In Style, will present an evening seminar entitled "Dressing With Confidence."  It's free and promises to be informative and fun.  I love supporting women owned businesses and plan to be there to get the latest fashion tips. The talk will be at DKBenson Interiors on Main Street in Williamsville, another women run business, and a beautiful setting for a seminar on style.  Click on the link for more information and to RSVP.

Download dkbenson_email_invitation.doc

Could You Be Depressed?



42-15969694.jpg depression woman looking out window A few days ago in the post I called The Frog In the Pot, I described how easy it is to have really bad stress creep up on us.  Depression can be sneaky in the same way.  Here is a good self-evaluation to determine your risk of depression.  Remember, moods come and go.  Being sad isn't being depressed unless you've felt down for over two weeks.   In that case you might have depression and may want to learn more about what to do about it.

Download zung-depression-scale.pdf

If you score 50 or more on this scale, a good place to start looking for help is your primary care physician.  If you haven't yet, talk to someone you trust, anyone who will be supportive and not just blow you off.  If your score is over 70 call your primary care doctor right away to get immediate recommendations for treatment. The good news: There is a known effective treatment for this condition. Help is available.

And you can always call me with any questions or concerns!

To learn more about depression in general go to:

National Institutes of Mental Health.

And here is an educational pamphlet also from the NIH:

Download nimhdepression.pdf

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy This book is a good place to start to learn what depression is and how the best known treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy works. More goods news: You are not alone!

Disclaimer: 
The Zung Depression Scale is a preliminary screening test for depressive symptoms that does
not replace in any way a formal psychiatric or psychological evaluation. It is designed
to give a preliminary idea about the presence of mild t
o moderate depressive
symptoms that indicate the need for an evaluation by a qualified professional.

Real Deal Ravin’ Reviews: About A Boy



Hey there guys! Sorry, my mom and I haven’t really updated lately, but a lot has been happening and the flow of entries has gone down slightly…

Anyway, let’s get on with today’s entry! Today is the newest update of the Real Deal: Ravin’ Reviews. Enjoy.

~*~Vanessa’s Take~*~
I absolutely loved the movie About A Boy. I felt that it was a marvelous film that showed the importance of acceptance, love, and simply being comfortable with yourself. This movie can totally be watched with a parent. I mean when my mom first brought it home I thought it was going to be another boring old movie that I would not be interested in at all! The thing was once I started to watch it I could not pull away from the television scene, even if I wanted too – which I absolutely did not want to do! The film is filled with a plot that will build with suspense as well as comedy and a wonderfully casted cast! Five stars and two thumbs up!<3   

Dr. A's POV :)
I'm glad Vanessa liked this movie so much.  Mom's will enjoy it too, on many levels.  One is Hugh Grant at his sly charming best.  His character, Will, is an aloof independently wealthy man who needs nothing and no one.  The story really focuses on Marcus, a twelve year old so clueless he makes you cringe.  His Mom is played by Toni Colette, a wonderful Australian actress who was the Mom in Little Miss Sunshine.  She is severely depressed, the character, not the actress, and Marcus worries about her.  Each of these characters is alone on their separate islands until Will's witless idea of hooking up with single moms (he figures they're desperate and grateful–disgusting) brings them together.  The boy and his mom make this movie work, they are totally believable and lovable in their dysfunction and they get better without losing their quirkiness.  It's a love story and a bit of a tear jerker withou
t being in your face about it.

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