Category Mental Health

The Comfort of Feeling Uncomfortable

Oh, comfort.  It’s actually quite a versatile word.  The number of things and situations it can be applied to is almost limitless: in terms of fashion (leave it to Allyn to come up with a metaphor involving sweater weather and your comfort zone), being around people, your position in life, how much of yourself you put out into the world, etc.  The phrase “stepping out of your comfort zone” is so overused and cliche at this point that it’s easy to dismiss as useless rhetoric.  But it’s not. If I’m being honest, I think it’s some of the best advice a person could ever receive.  Why?  Because, as humans, it’s in our nature to get comfortable and stay put.  Can I blame anyone for feeling that way?  Absolutely not.  I’m just as guilty of it as anyone else.  As a general example, I love to come home and immediately slip

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When It Comes to Thinking About Your Intuition: Don’t

Intuition. I used to really hate intuition. Everyone can agree that intuition is a subconscious sense of knowing. Knowing where to go, what to do, who that person is, or what will happen next. I used to think some people were blessed with more intuition than others. I used to think I had a gimpy one. How completely unhelpful… Then I began living and studying yoga more intently and a certain amount of fog lifted, but most of it just changed colors. I could still hate intuition, but it’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. Hopefully, if you follow me down the rabbit hole here, you’ll join me at the end in a healthier perspective on the whole intuition-thing. As a yoga teacher, we reference chakras a lot. These spinning wheels of spiritual energy located in our bodies which correspond to physical nerve clusters and major organ centers,

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How To Battle Perfectionism + Not Let It Break You

I’m not perfect (gasp).  No one is.  No thing is.  It’s a simple idea, and something that should be chalked up to common knowledge.  So, why is it so difficult for me to admit?  Why do I cringe when I read what I wrote to open this newsletter? I’ve long struggled, and continue to struggle, with the idea of perfectionism (our previous Gem of the Week, Steffi Keung also opens up about this in her interview here).  When I was young and naive, I was convinced that ‘perfect’ was something attainable; that I could someday be the perfect person to everyone.  So I worked toward that goal.  I planned to be the perfect son, friend, student, worker, and significant other.  Every detail of every area of my life would be covered.  I would be accepted by all, and I’d excel in everything I attempted. Related Read: 3 Questions to Help You

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12 Reads to Help You Understand the Importance of Mental Health as a Creative

There are two secrets to success: 1) hard work and 2) a strong mindset. The first one takes a long time no matter who you are, no matter what you do. However, there are always those people who seem to skyrocket to success, but I’m realizing this isn’t the case. The people who seem to succeed faster, with less “effort” have simply just learned to master their mindset earlier than the rest of us, which allows them to be fulfilled within each step of the journey. And by mindset, I don’t mean this fluffy space in your head that only has room for positivity where visualizing a rainbow magically zaps away any problematic struggle or situation. By mindset, I mean the strength of your mental space and developing mental toughness and emotional intelligence. Today is World Mental Health Day, and because there is no cause out there that I think is

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From Self-Destruction to Self-Discipline: 5 Tips for Structuring Your Life

My name is Shaun Novak.  Most of you probably aren’t familiar with that name, so allow me to introduce myself.  I’m currently the COO of The Gem.  I’m a musician, vocalist, and music producer.  I’m a dreamer.  Most importantly, I’m a struggling entrepreneur who’s been battling depression for 10+ years.  I’ve been helping Allyn behind the scenes with the development of the site and Gem Nation for awhile now, occasionally peeking my head through the curtain (with a few blog posts here and there), but I’ve recently decided to take center stage on a regular basis.  I’ve racked up countless stories and struggles over the years, so my hope is that someone reading about them can relate and benefit from my experiences and mistakes. Related Read: 5 Powerful Ways Your Business Grows When You Use Your Story (+ FREE workbook inside)  There was a time when I felt like my self-discipline

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3 Questions to Help You Overcome Perfectionism and Improve Your Mental Health

Hi, my name is Wendy and I’m a perfectionist. (This is when you say “Hi Wendy!”) For the longest time I thought being a perfectionist was something to be proud of. I was a typical overachiever, straight A student. Even back when I was a kid I loved going to school. I was praised for my good grades. Being diligent and extremely detail-oriented, favoring quality over quantity, and working in a structured and organized manner; those were just some of my perfectionistic tendencies. I was convinced that these habits of perfectionism got me the good school results I got. Up until I entered the workplace that is. What I found was that corporate culture appreciates speed over diligence, quantity over quality, and group work in project teams over solo work. Needless to say, I was miserable. My perfectionism didn’t help me anymore. In fact, looking back, it had never helped

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Fashion as an Unexpected Form of Meditation

Transitioning through the different stages of life can sometimes feel like New York City traffic. The looming frustration of road blocks and the feeling that everything is moving except for you. When you’re imprisoned in a chaotic mind, finding time for a mental recess is necessary to release the buildup and press the reset button. Whether you view it as meditation or not, everyone has a different tactic to disconnect from the world and take a breather. May it be a book, music or simply thinking about puppies, those “distractions” can sometimes not only pull you out of a rut but also inspire your decisions. RELATED: Combating Overwhelm – Why It’s Destroying Your Decision Making Process If you are looking to experiment with innovative ways to pull yourself away from a funk, give fashion shows a try. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. From the rhythm of the music

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No One Has Their Shit Together

When you first meet me, I’m pretty quiet. I might not have a ton to say. I may not have a ton of questions to ask you or answers for you, but that’s because I do a lot of listening. Not in a judgmental sense, but out of an intention to learn. To actually hear your story. To connect with your energy and not just the words coming out of your mouth. The more you listen, the more people tell you. I’ve had a lot of conversations. I’ve listened to a lot of stories. I’ve heard a lot about life. I’ve had a lot of wisdom, vulnerability, courage, and confession shared with me. And while I’d never disclose the words and revelations composing these exchanges, the one thing I am constantly reminded of is: nobody has their shit together. Is this you? Another day, another to-do list that wasn’t performed in its

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