Are you feeling self-conscious about saying “no” to alcohol in social situations? Here are 16 phrases you can use to turn down a drink.

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Imagine that you are recently sober, and you are hanging out with friends or family. Someone comes up to you and offers you an alcoholic beverage. You look around and see that other people are drinking alcohol. If you have not previously thought about what you might do in this situation, you might find yourself thinking:

What do I do?

Everyone else is drinking. Is it going to be weird if I don’t drink?

Should I…


Self-Care Strategies You Can Use To Lift Your Mood And Fill Time

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For what felt like the hundredth time in the past two months, I found myself sitting in front of a computer screen listening to someone tell me that they want to slow down on drinking, but they don’t know how to stop. Like many others, they explained that they begin each day intending to take a break from drinking, and yet they almost always find themselves drinking each night.

It seems that downtime can be a blessing and a curse. Two months into social distancing, cabin fever is…


Here’s how you can distinguish between casual drinking and a drinking problem.

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Photo by Prem Pal Singh from Pexels

Recently, a friend told me about a co-worker that was openly drinking vodka during a virtual work meeting at 10:00 am. He qualified this story by sharing that people in his office have become increasingly casual while working from home. He then asked if he should be worried about his co-worker.

Obviously, without meeting this person, it is hard to determine whether they made a bad choice, or whether they have a problem…BUT, regardless, the behavior is potentially worrisome for a couple of reasons.

If you are the…


Breathing Exercises That Always Calm Me Down

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Photo by Le Minh Phuong on Unsplash

My heart is racing, my breath is shallow, and my mind is running through several potential worst-case scenarios.

Then, I stop.

I close my eyes.

I begin slowly inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth.

After a couple of minutes, I open my eyes, and suddenly everything feels less daunting. Sure, there are still challenges to tackle, but suddenly everything feels a little bit more manageable.

What just happened?

I used a breathing exercise to slow down my stress response…AND IT WORKED!

How Do Breathing Exercises Reduce Stress?

Time and time again, I have found myself in…


Hint: I fit mindfulness into my existing routine, and you can too!

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Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Sometimes adult life feels a lot like a never-ending marathon with occasional rest breaks that are just long enough to take care of basic needs, and never long enough to rest to the point of feeling rejuvenated. Sure, adults generally acknowledge that this is unhealthy and unsustainable, but few people are actually able to break the cycle. If you are reading this and thinking- “Yes, that’s me,” you might also be thinking- “If my marathon has no end or prolonged break in sight, then what am I supposed…


Here Is Why I Choose To Bring My Own Food To Parties

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Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Parties are fun ways to spend time with the people that you know and care about. For most people, they are (hopefully) places where you can metaphorically let your hair down, relax and have a great time. When most people receive an invitation, they only have to worry about whether they can fit the party into their schedule. However, it’s much more complicated for people with digestive illnesses because they have to think about a whole host of potential issues that “normal” people don’t have to worry about.

As a person that has been in this predicament on numerous occasions…


Studying sucks, here are some tips to make it easier

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Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

Studying for exams can be exhausting, daunting, and frustrating-Especially if you spend significantly more time studying than your peers and yet, your efforts never seem to pay off. After a while, it can start to feel like everyone else is running on a track while you are running in place on a treadmill. This disheartening situation may be a sign that your study strategies need some tweaking. …


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Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

Let’s be honest; we all have that nasty inner critic that pops into our heads and says things like, “you aren’t good enough,” and “nobody likes you.” At first, the thoughts might seem like no big deal, but the longer they go unchecked, the more power they gain. Over time, these negative thoughts can become so ingrained in us that we can actually start believing that they are correct. These thoughts can really mess with our confidence and cause us to give up on our ambitions.

Although it can be hard to change old thinking patterns, we must do it…


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Panic attacks can be incredibly terrifying. Imagine that one moment, everything is fine, and the next moment you are overpowered by debilitating anxiety. Your heart starts racing, and you can’t catch your breath. You feel lightheaded, you are sweating profusely, and you start having pains in your chest. Next, your arms start tingling, and your hands feel a little bit numb. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to get enough air into your lungs. With every second that passes, your anxiety intensifies, and you become convinced that something is seriously wrong. You find yourself desperately wishing that…


For People With Digestive Illnesses, When It Comes To Food, It’s Complicated.

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Photo by Jorge Fakhouri Filho from Pexels

I love food, but most food, unfortunately, does not love me back anymore. By that, I mean that I have chronic digestive illnesses. I had some wonderful times with food but, unfortunately, the relationship between most of those foods and my body turned sour. As a result, I am permanently on a low fat, low fiber, low acid, low nickel, no soy, organic diet. You might read that diet description and think that 1. “That eliminates A LOT of food,” and 2. “Most food that tastes good has fat, fiber, and acidity.” You would be correct on both accounts! …

Lindsay Bowling, LPC

Mental Health Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor, Wellness Instructor, Digestive Illness Advocate & The Human Half of a Therapy Dog Team

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