The rise of orthosomnia

Sleep trackers are causing an unhealthy preoccupation with achieving the perfect night’s rest. Dr Alanna Hare explains the risks of striving for sleep utopia Image: iStock The term orthosomnia was coined in a research paper in 2017, and I’m definitely seeing patients presenting with it. Similar to orthorexia, which is an unhealthy obsession with eating […]

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Should I try art therapy?

We’ve got the mindful colouring books, but could drawing or painting be as beneficial for your emotional wellbeing as talking therapy? Image: iStock Art therapy is based on the idea that you can work through your feelings and emotions by undertaking creative practice. Inspired by psychoanalysis and the importance of the subject’s internal world, one […]

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How do we break the taboo around mental health?

If we want to normalise it, we need to talk about it more, says charity consultant Madeleine McGivern Image: iStock The national conversation around how we view mental health is definitely changing. The impact of Time to Change – the anti-stigma campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness – over the past decade has […]

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How to nail a UK staycation

Whether you’re too nervous to travel abroad, or quarantining afterwards is impossible, check out our tips for holidaying closer to home Image: iStock In recent weeks, our social media feeds have started to feature friends’ foreign getaways once again. But whether you’ve decided to avoid the risks and spend your annual leave at home this […]

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Is social media damaging your mental health?

Image: iStock The headlines usually paint a pretty bleak picture. Facebook itself has admitted it can have a negative impact on mental health, while many studies have shown that ‘aspirational’ Instagram content can make young users feel inadequate. Even the Government is recommending new laws around social media sites in the belief that they ‘expose […]

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How to navigate a friendship shift

With research showing how friendship affects our health and happiness, it’s important to keep nurturing those bonds Image: iStock While lockdown prevented us from seeing our friends in person, it would have been even more difficult to navigate the past few months without the support of our friends on the other end of a Zoom […]

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Identify your emotional comfort blanket

In times of distress, it’s helpful to have a few self-soothers in your back pocket Image: iStock Feeling vulnerable, upset, powerless or distressed can be bewildering, so experts agree arming yourself with the tools to manage those emotions is key. ‘If you don’t know how to soothe yourself when you’re provoked, you’ll be prone to […]

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How to talk about sex

We’re told communication is the key to a healthy and happy sex life – but how do we actually approach that conversation? Image: iStock It’s one of life’s strange ironies that talking about sex with a partner can make you feel a whole lot more vulnerable than actually, well, doing it. Whatever your situation, from […]

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Everyday anxiety hacks

Image: iStock For anyone who’s woken at 3am with an iron-hard knot of stress in the pit of their stomach, the impact of living with anxiety will be crushingly familiar. Up to three million Brits have some kind of anxiety disorder – symptoms vary, but include everything from a racing heart to dizziness, breathlessness and […]

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How to beat loneliness

A lack of meaningful bonds is fuelling a loneliness epidemic. So what’s the way out? Image: iStock We’re often quick to assume that only older generations suffer with loneliness, when in fact it’s a widespread problem. Loneliness affects more of those under 75 than over, and thanks to social distancing measures, more of us have […]

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The mental health benefits of volunteering

Taking part in voluntary work is a great way of helping others, but here’s how it could help you, too Image: iStock This week is Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and in light of recent events, lots of us have been thinking about what we can do to support our communities. But while volunteer work can […]

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Should I try beeja meditation?

This centuries-old meditation technique might help to eliminate stress and anxiety, protect your brain and lessen pain Image: Shutterstock Our love of Asian meditation is well established, and beeja (or bija) is the newest-oldest tradition to re-enter our psyche. The Sanskrit beeja translates as ‘seed’ and refers to mantras used during meditation to maintain focus. […]

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