5 Healthy Relationship Boundaries to Keep the Romance Alive

Healthy relationship boundaries are important to keeping every relationship alive and full of spark but they are something that aren’t often part of relationship building.

Healthy boundaries come in many shapes and sizes, depending on the couple, but there are 5 basic boundaries that should exist in every relationship.

#1 – It is important to spend time apart.

When they are falling in love, couples want to spend every available minute together. The feelings that accompany falling in love are addictive and hard to walk away from even for a short while.

It is important, however, that you spend time apart from the one you love.

You know the old saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder?” It’s true!

Think about how you feel when you go on a diet. How you can’t eat ice cream for a month while you lose those 5 pounds and, man, do you miss your ice cream. It’s the same thing in a relationship. Stepping away from your partner, even for a bit, makes you both notice the void that is created in his or her absence.

And then the heart grows fonder.

So spend some time apart. Miss each other. Value each other. Keep that spark alive.

#2 – Don’t let either of you be in charge.

In many relationships it happens that at some point one person becomes the one calling the shots. And while this seems to work on one level, ultimately the relationship will become uneven. And when things are uneven a relationship changes.

So make an effort to keep the decision making even in the relationship. If you are good at organizing your social life then do that but give him opportunity to choose events. If he is good at managing the finances let him do that but continue to have input into where the money goes and why.

Not letting any one of you be in charge is important. And it leads to #3.

#3 – Respect each other.

One of the biggest romance killers in a relationship is lack of respect and contempt.

The saying ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is an accurate one and something that happens in many committed relationships.

It is important in every relationship that you each respect each other. Respect each other within the confines of your relationship by speaking to each other honestly, sharing your feelings and needs in an open way. By not attacking each other personally and criticizing each others’ behaviors and actions.

Furthermore, it’s important to not criticize your partner out in the world. The general rule of thumb is that you not tell something about your partner to anyone that you haven’t already shared with your partner.

When I was married, I talked to my friends WAY more about the problems in my marriage than I did to my husband. This didn’t do our relationship any good because we weren’t communicating and giving our relationship a chance to improve. And when we were together I treated my husband with contempt because I no longer respected him.

I am no longer married.

So make sure you treat each other with respect, both inside and outside the relationship.

#4 – Keep the personal hygiene stuff personal.

Um so, what do I mean by this? Personal hygiene stuff?

I want you to think about what things you do around your partner. Are you willing to brush your teeth? To floss them after? To put on your makeup? To wear a face mask to bed? To pee as needed?

All of those things are, of course, necessary parts of life. And when we get familiar with our partners we are okay with doing them in front of them.

But I would suggest keeping personal hygiene stuff personal because doing those things in front of them can demystify you in the eyes of your partner.

I don’t mean that if your partner sees you doing those everyday things he will love you any less but if he doesn’t see you doing those things then you will continue to be that somewhat mysterious woman he fell in love with.

So do your bathroom chores by yourself. Keep that mystery, and the romance, going.

#5 – Be your own person outside of the relationship.

So many women, when they are in a relationship, become less of themselves.

Many women take on their partner’s friendships, their hobbies and their ways of doing things.

It is VERY important that all women stay themselves when in a relationship.

Why? Because every healthy relationship is based on truth and if you are anything other than your true self your relationship will never be really healthy.

It is also important that you continue to respect yourself and you will respect yourself by being yourself. By continuing to have your friends, to do your own hobbies, to have a career that you love and a healthy lifestyle that serves you, you will wake up every day feeling good about yourself.

And when you feel good about yourself your partner will love you even more because he knows you are being your true self, someone who is ambitious and smart and willing to take risks to get what she wants.

So be yourself in your relationship. A healthy relationship requires it.

Every relationship needs healthy relationship boundaries to keep the romance going.

Most couples don’t put thought into boundaries until things start to go wrong. Don’t be that couple. Set boundaries ahead of time so that you can stay on a positive track as you move forward together.

So spend time apart, share the power, treat each other with respect, keep personal hygiene personal and stay yourself. All of those things will lead to the healthy romantic relationship you have always longed for.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Questions To Ask When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed And Stuck

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stuck?

Do you look at your life and wonder how you are going to do it for even one more day?

Are the pressures brought on by work and family and health and home just becoming too much to bear?

Let me help you with some questions to ask yourself if you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck.

#1 – How overwhelmed am I?

I just got off the phone with a client who had contacted me two days ago. She was SO overwhelmed and stuck and she was at the end of her rope.

We set up an appointment for today and guess what! The overwhelm that she had felt just a few days back had evaporated. She had had a bad few days and just couldn’t take it anymore. But then she had a few good ones and felt better.

I am not saying that what happened to her will happen to you but I am saying to check in with yourself about just how overwhelmed you are.

You are feeling overwhelmed today. Were you feeling the same way yesterday? Or last weekend?

Or perhaps was last weekend great and yesterday manageable but today has sucked in every way possible?

So ask yourself how overwhelmed you are. Whether it’s short or long term, it’s important to define it so that you can understand what you are dealing with so you can manage it effectively.

If you recognize your overwhelm is the result of what is happening TODAY then steps must be taken to fix what is happening. If your overwhelm has been with you longer then it’s time to make a plan to deal with it definitively.

#2 – Do I know what EXACTLY is overwhelming me?

So my client was sitting there telling me how completely overwhelmed she was. I asked her what exactly it was that was overwhelming her.

Together we did a little excavation and made a list.

  •             She had a new job and one of her co-workers had it out for her
  •             She was moving out of the house and her mother wasn’t being supportive.
  •             She was having car trouble.
  •             She was struggling with credit card debt.

Two things happened when we made that list. First, she realized what exactly it was that was overwhelming her. And when she saw how short the list was it took away some of the power of the overwhelm. She saw that the rest of her life was great; she was just struggling in a few places.

Secondly, she realized that she could actually fix some of the things that were causing her the overwhelm. Fix them right away.

And knowing she had the power to change things made her feel much stronger right away.

#3 – What can I do to change what is overwhelming me?

For my client, we worked through things step by step, figuring out what she could do about each thing. Because we knew that if we fixed the issues she would feel less overwhelmed and stuck.

As to her new co-worker, my client knew that she could only change herself and her reaction to her co-worker and so she decided to do that. She would share nothing of herself with her co-worker and she would work hard to do her very best at work and be well thought of in the office.

With her mother, she recognized that she would be out of the house in 2 weeks and she would no longer have to deal with her mom. Their relationship was, by the way, causing a HUGE amount of the overwhelm in her life. She realized this by making her list. Seeing it on paper made it stand out to her.

As to the car and the debt, she knew that with this new job she would start making more money. She made a plan to put aside money every week to work on her car and chip away at the credit card debt.

At the end of this exercise she felt SO much better. She knew that she had a plan to take care of the overwhelm in her life.

#4 – Am I taking care of myself?

If you are feeling overwhelmed and stuck it could be that you aren’t taking care of yourself.

When we are feeling out of control of our life our physical health tends to pay the price.

Are you sleeping well? Taking breaks from work? Getting your exercise? Not using food for medication? Laughing with your friends?

All of these things are a very important part of managing feeling overwhelmed and stuck.

So take a moment and inventory how your body is feeling. If it is feeling anything but healthy and strong make a plan to change that immediately.

# 5 – Who can I ask for help?

This is the question that for many of us we have a hard time answering.

Why? Because women in America want to do it all themselves.

For whatever reason, the modern woman believes that she can take care of everything in her life as well as the life of her family, her friends and her job. She can go and go and go and go.

And then what happens? She goes to pieces because she just can’t take it anymore.

Reaching out for help is a key part of feeling less overwhelmed.

If you aren’t feeling healthy, reach out to a doctor or a trainer to get you in shape. If that project at work is making you crazy, pull together a team who can help you conquer it with ease. Is your house a mess? Hire an organizer and/or a cleaning service.

And of course, if you want help making a plan to get past your overwhelm and be happy, then you MUST hire a life coach. A life coach will work with you to identify exactly what it is that needs to be addressed so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and stuck.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stuck? Hopefully not so much anymore.

You know what to do, what questions to ask yourself.

Identify how overwhelmed you are and why. Make a plan to deal with issues that are getting to you. Take care of yourself and ask for help.

So go ahead. Do it! Imagine how much better you will feel if you do.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things You MUST Know If You Are Feeling Depressed For The First Time

You are feeling depressed for the first time. Are you feeling confused and overwhelmed and not sure what to do about it? It’s a scary feeling, one you have never experienced before.

Let me help you. I have struggled with depression for most of my life and there are some things that are essential to know if you are feeling depressed for the first time.

#1 – What kind of depression is it?

In my experience, there are two basic kinds of depression: situational depression and chemical depression.

Situational depression is caused by something that happens in your life. When something big happens that makes you sad, like the death of a parent or a divorce or the loss of a job, you can become situationally depressed. This kind of depression usually has a beginning, caused by a specific event, and an end, and is often treated differently from chemical depression.

Chemical depression is the result your brain chemistry being off in such a way that leads to depression. You are most often born with chemical depression but it can also by caused by a traumatic life event.

Chemical depression can happen to you even if your life is going great.

Chemical depression can be treated but it might be treated differently from situational depression.

I have suffered from chemical depression my whole life and experienced situational depression while I cared for my mother as she was dying of pancreatic cancer. Both kinds of depression were tough to deal with but I figured out how.

#2 – There are different types of treatment for different kinds of depression.

For situational depression, depression that usually has a beginning and an end, the most effective treatment I found was talk therapy and the use of an anti-depressant.

Talk therapy is very effective for situational depression because there is usually something specific that needs to be processed. For me, I had to process the effects of being the caregiver of a dying parent and then how to cope when she died.

Medication was very effective for me as well. I described my anti-depressant as something that ‘raised the bottom of the pool for me to keep me from drowning.’

The talk therapy was important for me but it wasn’t enough. The anti-depressant enabled me to get to the therapy, engage with the therapist and move on. Some time after the death of my mother I was able to stop the anti-depressant medication, although I did continue the therapy for a while.

With chemical depression talk therapy can also be quite effective but medication is often an essential part of treatment.

I have suffered from depression my whole life; the result, I believe, of genetics – both my grandfather and my great grandfather were severely depressive. The fact that my brain chemistry is off is an inherited trait, much like the thyroid cancer my grandmother passed down to me.

For me, the most effective way to manage my brain chemistry is with medication. I have been on a mood stabilizer for 10 years now and it has balanced out my brain chemistry to the point where the depression no longer controls my life.

Because chemical depression often doesn’t have an “end,” other types of treatment can be very effective. I have found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy worked quite well for me. CBT teaches you how to talk back to your brain when it tries to bring you down. It teaches you how to identify thought patterns that don’t serve you which can help you manage your depression.

There are many other types of therapy and learned coping skills that work with chemical depression as well. Talk to you therapist about what might work best for you.

#3 – Depression is nothing to be embarrassed about.

In the United States mental illness is the #1 most discriminated against state of being, over race and sexual orientation. Many people believe that depression is something that can be avoided and if you are ‘strong enough’ you can power through it.

Many people also believe that taking medication is a mark of weakness. People don’t question my taking medication for a thyroid disorder but I get questioned every day about why I take psychotropic meds.

All that being said, virtually everyone in the US is touched in some way by depression. They might struggle with it or perhaps a parent or a child does. Whatever the case, there are many, many people out there living with mental illness and hiding yours won’t serve you.

In fact, one of the best ways that I manage my depression is by talking about it, with my family and friends, but also with other people who are struggling like me.

#4 – Your depression will get worse without treatment.

Both types of depression, both situational and chemical, will get worse without treatment.

I wasn’t diagnosed with depression until I was 42 years old when it got so bad that I had a breakdown. Earlier treatment might have prevented me from getting to that place.

It is essential that if you are struggling with depression that you reach out to your primary care provider right away. You can discuss with them the causes and symptoms of your depression and make a plan on how to move forward with treatment.

#5 – Take care of yourself.

If you are depressed for the first time it is very important that you take care of yourself.

Many people who are depressed self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, food and sex, among other things. While these things will make you feel better in the short term, in the long run you will find that these things only make your depression worse.

So make sure you are doing things that are good for you. Exercise regularly, sleep well and eat foods that are healthy. Spend time with people who are good to you and do activities that make your heart sing.

While these things won’t cure your depression, they will make living with it way more tolerable and allow you to live a quality life.

If you are feeling depressed for the first time it is essential that you recognize your depression for what it is and reach out for help right away.

Depression is a scary thing and while it is tempting to ignore it in the hopes that it will go away, really it won’t. I tried to ignore mine and instead found myself one day in a closet, banging my head against the wall.

So reach out to your primary care giver today. Get your treatment started. And make sure that you take care of yourself along the way.

You will be glad you did! I was.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons Why True Career Success Begins With Knowing Yourself

You know that woman you want to be? The one who seems to have the career of her dreams? What does she have that you don’t? Probably nothing. Because the key to true career success begins with knowing yourself.

Of course, knowing yourself is the key to success in every area of one’s life. Unless you really know who you are, what you are good at and what you want you can never truly succeed.

This is especially true for achieving career success.

So why does true career success begin with knowing yourself?

#1 – Because you will avoid unfulfilling jobs and choose a career path in which you will thrive.

If you know yourself you will know what kind of career you will matches your strengths and passion.

If you know yourself you will know what you are good at. Are you a big thinker or perhaps better at fine details? Are you creative or more analytical?

If you know yourself you will know what your passions are. Are you inspired to help other people? Are you drawn to the arts or to the sciences? What makes you really want to get out of bed in the morning?

If you know yourself you know that if you don’t bring your best, most passionate self to any career you won’t succeed.

#2 – Because you will have confidence that you will get the job done.

If you know yourself you will have the self-confidence necessary to get a job done and get it done well.

If you know yourself you will know what you are good at and what you are passionate about and you will choose a career path that will align with what you know. As a result, you will have no doubt about your ability to get things done.

Furthermore, a self-confident woman is a force to be reckoned in the workplace because she can hold her own in a man’s world, no easy feat in many cases.

#3 – Because you will achieve work/life balance.

If you know yourself you will more easily achieve a work/life balance, a key to career success.

For many years it was believed that the harder we worked the more successful we became. And, while hard work is very important, so is having a quality life outside of work.

If you know yourself then you will be able to look at your career and your personal life, define what are priorities for you and make them happen.

Is it important to you that you get some exercise every day? Is it important that you be the first one into work in the morning? Is it important that you get home in time for dinner? Is it important that you go out one night a week with your co-workers?

If you know yourself you will more readily be able to define what you need for success in all areas of your life and make a plan to make sure that all of your needs are met.

#4 – Because you will know how much you can handle.

If you know yourself then you will have a clear understanding of just how much work you can handle.

Many women are guilty of biting off more then they can chew because they believe that they are the only one who can get the job done and get it done well.

If you know yourself you will have a clear understanding of how much you can take on without overwhelming yourself. This is important because if you are overwhelmed you won’t get the job done well and you will not be able to achieve good work/life balance.

And if you know how much work you can manage successfully then you will be more likely to achieve career success.

#5 – Because you will know your value in the workplace.

If you know yourself you will have a clear understanding of the value that you bring to your workplace.

If you know yourself you have a hold of your financial needs and therefore can make some good decisions regarding the work that you do.

Many of us take on jobs that do not give us the financial security that we need. As a result, we either take on another job or we live with the knowledge that we are barely making ends meet. Neither one of these things are conducive to getting a job done well.

So be clear with yourself as to what you need to live in the manner to which you are accustomed. And don’t be afraid to speak up to the powers that be about what you are worth.

A woman who knows herself knows her value to her employers and isn’t afraid to say it.

True career success begins with knowing yourself.

Before you begin your job search take some time to inventory yourself. What are you good at? What are your passions?

Armed with this information you will have the self-confidence to go forth in the world and find work at which you will succeed.

Once you have the job of your dreams, if you who know yourself, you will take on no more than you can handle so that you have a work/life balance that will allow you to succeed in all areas of you life.

So get to know yourself TODAY. You will be happy you did!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

How Healthy Is My Relationship? Take this quiz and find out.

How healthy is my relationship? It’s an important question and a good one to ask yourself regularly.

Long-term relationships start strong but without regular tending they can weaken over time. Much like managing your apps on your phone or keeping your status fresh on Facebook, it is important to always be checking your relationship for updates.

Healthy relationships are important to a healthy life so yourself regularly How healthy is my relationship?

So, what questions do you need to ask? Let me suggest the following:

#1 – Can you talk about anything?

Being able to talk about anything is the key to a healthy relationship.

Can you tell your partner when you don’t like something that he does? Or that seeing his mother EVERY Sunday is more than you would like? Or that you really don’t like extra sausage on your pizza? Or that that thing he likes to do in bed is just a little bit much for you?

Being able to be honest with your partner about everything in your life and relationship is a key to keeping it healthy.

#2 – Do you enjoy the sex?

Having a healthy sex life is an important part of every healthy relationship.

If your sex life is something that you just put up with, don’t really enjoy, or even dread, then it’s time to act.

Talk to your partner about how you feel and figure out together how to make things work for both of you.

#3 – Do you like each other’s friends and family?

Liking each other’s friends and family is another really important part of a healthy relationship.

Like it or not, when someone becomes part of a couple their partner’s previous relationships come along too. And if you don’t get along with his friends and family it can cause a huge rift. He will want to spend time with all of you and if he is forced to choose he will resent it.

So check in to see if you are both on board with liking each other’s friends. It’s important that you do.

#4 – Do you respect each other?

Of course it’s important to like and love the person with whom you are in a relationship. What is even more important is that you respect them.

If you are in a relationship with someone who you can’t respect, for whatever reason, who you regularly are critical of and treat with contempt then you are not in a healthy relationship.

Respecting the person you are with, respecting the choices that they make, the values they uphold, the way they are in the world, is an essential part of being happy together.

#5 – Do you laugh and have fun together?

Laughter is the number one aphrodisiac that I know of. People who can laugh together, often, will stay more attached, emotionally and physically, then those who don’t.

Do you and your partner laugh together and have fun together. Do you laugh often, even in times of stress? Do you like to do the same things? The things that make you happy? Do you have inside jokes that only you share?

Make sure that you and your partner enjoy life together. You will be glad you did!

#6 – Do you want to spend time together?

This is a big one. Do you and your partner actually make an effort to spend time together? Or do you make excuses to not have to do so?

A client of mine would come up with every excuse in the world to not spend time with her husband and volunteering at the kid’s school was a great way to do that.

Guess what! He found someone else, someone who wanted to spend time with him.

#7 – Do you feel good about yourself?

Feeling good about yourself is key to a healthy relationship.

If you don’t feel good about who you are in the world, if you don’t feel like you need someone to ‘complete you,’ if you know that you will be just fine alone, then you are in a place to have a healthy relationship.

People who are needy or clingy or fraught with insecurities do not make good partners. So take care of yourself and be all that you can be so that you can be a contributing half of a healthy relationship.

#8- Do you have plans for the future together?

People in healthy relationships share their plans for the future.

They think about tomorrow, next week, next month and even next year.

They do so because they are invested in being together and part of being together is making plans for the future.

If either one of you isn’t interested in talking about the future then you are not in a relationship that has one.

# 9 – Do you know each other’s love language?

Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages speaks to the belief that everyone has a way that they express and receive love and that everyone’s language is different. And, often, people express love in the ways that THEY want to be loved as opposed to in ways their partners want to be loved.

We might feel loved when we get a piece of jewelry but our partner might feel loved when we do a chore for them. So if we give them a piece of jewelry they won’t feel loved, even if we might, but if we take out the trash then all is good.

Does that make sense? Check out The 5 Love Languages here for more information. Everyone just wants to be loved.

So how did you do on my questionnaire?

Can you answer the question How healthy is my relationship? in an affirmative way?

If yes, YAY!

If no, make an effort to tweak the things that seem a bit off and see if you can bring your relationship around to a healthier place.

Make an effort to communicate. Make sure your sex life is good. Enjoy life and each other’s friends and families. Respect each other and plan together. And read more about the 5 Love Languages. They always help!

So get to work NOW! Make your relationship a healthy one…

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

Are You Productive? Find Out By Answering These 5 Questions

Are you productive? Do you find yourself struggling every day to get everything done that you need to get done and still have some time left for yourself?

Do you wonder if you just don’t have enough time or if you waste the time that you do have?

There are 5 questions that you should ask yourself if you are wondering if you are productive.

#1 – How much time do you spend on your screen?

Cell phones, pads and computers have taken over our lives and they are the number one cause of lack of productivity.

Have you heard of the term “screen suck?” It means the time that we spend on our computer when we don’t mean to. Like when you go on to ‘quickly check your email’ and end up still on an hour later having watched too many cute animal videos.

Being sucked into our screen kills productivity.

So how much time do you spend in in front of your screen? If it’s more than hour, spent surfing instead of getting work done, your productivity is probably lagging.

#2 – Do you have a ‘To-Do’ list?

The most productive people have a list of things that need to get done.

As much as we would all like to believe that we can maintain a running list to-do in our head, it is almost impossible to do so.

Between work and family and social life and work there are so many things that need to get done and to get them done you must keep track of them.

So, if you don’t have an ongoing list, one that prioritizes things that need to get done, you most likely aren’t as productive as you could be.

#3 – Can you say NO?

You know when that mom approaches you at pick-up time and asks if you would mind running the annual school auction? Or when your boss asks you to take over yet another project? How good are you at saying NO?

The most productive people know how many hours they have available in the day and are strong enough to say NO instead of adding one more thing to their already heavy load.

On top of being less productive, when you take on too many things you also become less effective. You can’t do the things you take on as well as you might because you just can’t devote the mental and physical energy needed to do it.

So learn to say NO! Your productivity will increase immediately if you do.

#4 – Can you ask for help?

The most productive people in the world are NOT the people who try to do it all themselves. The most productive people in the world are the ones who are willing to delegate and share tasks to get things done efficiently.

Do you need to do everything in order to get that new project completed on time or are there people you can ask to support you in this endeavor?

Can you take on that school auction and still keep your household running well or might it be a good idea to get someone in to clean your house a couple of times a month?

In this world it’s almost a badge of honor to be so busy that you barely sleep and feel constantly overwhelmed. But the most productive people don’t wear that badge. They know that by asking for help they will be more efficient and effective in their endeavors and not struggle with being overwhelmed and exhausted.

#5 – Are you taking care of yourself?

Being a productive person in the world depends a lot on your physical and emotional wellbeing.

If you are someone who never gets enough sleep, doesn’t eat well or struggles with depression being productive will be challenging.

To be productive you need to have mental clarity and physical stamina. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, take a walk and pay attention to your mental health.

If you do you will be well fortified in your efforts to be productive.

So, after asking yourself those questions, what is the answer? Are you productive?

If not, then follow my suggestions.

Limit your screen time, make a list, learn to say no, to ask for help and take care of your physical and mental health.

This is a jam-packed, chaotic and exhausting world that we live in but you can make your little corner of it less so by managing your habits so that you can be productive.

Imagine going to bed at night with most of the things on your list crossed off? How great would that feel?

So go for it! Change those habits and answer YES to the question ‘Are you productive?’

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

What It Means When You’re Feeling Depressed But Nothing Is Wrong (And What to Do About It)

Have you recently been feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?

I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.

This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it, and I was. Until I wasn’t.

One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.

A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with clinical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.

That day changed my life.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be clinically depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.

So what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions.

#1 – Ask yourself a few questions.

A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are clinically depressed is to ask yourself some questions. They are:

  • Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Are you more irritable than usual?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
  • Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
  • Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
  • Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
  • Are you more anxious than you used to be?
  • Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
  • Do you have a hard time focusing?
  • Do you think about committing suicide?
  • Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches.

If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions you might be struggling with clinical depression.

#2 – See your primary care doctor immediately.

If you are feeling depressed and nothing is wrong It is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.

Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.

Either way, see you doctor right away.

#3 – Stick to whatever regimen the doctor prescribes.

This is a key part of dealing with clinical depression.

What often happens is that a doctor prescribes a medication to help someone manage their depression and then once they are feeling better they stop taking it. And what happens next? The depression comes back.

So stick to your treatment. Continue to take your meds. Just like you would if your doctor had prescribed meds to help you with a thyroid issue. Or diabetes.

#4 – Surround yourself with people who love you.

Many people who suffer from clinical depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family. Making the effort to spend time with people and to pretend to enjoy themselves is just too much. So they don’t.

Make an effort to get yourself out there and spend time with people who love you. Spending time with people who make you laugh, who keep you out of your head and make you feel good about yourself is very important to managing your clinical depression.

#5 – Don’t be embarrassed.

Many people who are diagnosed with clinical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up.” That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.

Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can ‘suck it up.’ You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head on.

Clinical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease.

Clinical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong? Luckily more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma about mental illness.

So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Clinical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong then you may be struggling with clinical depression.

The best way to deal with it is to get yourself to see your doctor right away and then stick with the medical treatment they prescribe. Also make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who love you.

You, like millions of other women, can have a full and happy life living with clinical depression. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call your doctor.

Do it TODAY!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Emotional Skills Women In The Best Relationships Have Mastered

I think that most women would say that being in a great relationship is a priority in their life and yet many women struggle with the skills necessary to maintain such a relationship.

There are 5 keys skills that all women need to master, skills that will allow them to have a great relationship and succeed in other areas of their life.

#1 – Believing in oneself.

This is the most basic skill that a woman must possess to be in the best relationship. Because if a woman doesn’t have a good relationship with herself she will never be able to have a good relationship with others.

Women who don’t believe in themselves look to others to ‘complete them.’ They aren’t confident in their ability to make their way in the world alone and think that without a mate they will never be able to do so.

This lack of self confidence puts an incredible amount of pressure on a partner, to expect them to carry the one they love. Most people are working hard to carry themselves through life and having to carry another is a burden that is often too much to bear. And the relationship fails.

So work hard to believe in yourself. Have your own life and friends and a job that feeds your soul and your self-confidence. Carry your own weight in the world and you will be a good partner in a relationship.

#2 – Being willing and able to communicate.

Communication is essential in every relationship. Without it a relationship is doomed.

Being able to talk to your partner about everything, both the good and the bad, is a key skill to have in a good relationship. If you aren’t able to tell your partner that you love them or appreciate them then you won’t be able to reach the closeness that you desire.

And if you can’t tell your partner that they have hurt you or that you are angry with them, and instead internalize your emotions, then your relationship will fail.

So work hard at developing good communication skills. Make an effort to verbalize your feelings, both good and bad. Tell your partner that you love them every day. Make sure that if something is amiss you talk about it before it grows into something big and destructive.

You will be glad you did.

#3 – The ability to be alone.

Maybe women struggle with being alone. Alone in their home, alone out in the world, alone.

A key part of being in a good relationship is the ability to be happy alone.

Once again, the need to rely on someone else for your happiness and ease can be very destructive in a relationship. If any time that your partner needs to do something without you you get clingy and needy then you will push your partner away.

Make an effort to learn how to be alone. Develop hobbies that you can do when your partner is away. Make plans with friends. Don’t rely on your partner to keep you feeling happy and secure.

Because if you don’t do so you will find yourself alone, permanently.

#4 – Being willing to talk about sex.

For whatever reason many women struggle with being able to talk about sex. And sex is a very important part of a good relationship.

What do I mean by the ability to talk about sex? I mean the ability to communicate with your partner how you feel about the sexual part of your relationship. If you are struggling with some aspect of it or particularly enjoy another.

Sex issues can wreak havoc in a good relationship and if partners aren’t honest about how they are feeling the issues will snowball.

On the other hand, the ability to talk about the good parts of your sex life can only make it better. Being able to tell your partner what you like not only enhances your pleasure but talking about it outside of bed is really, really fun!

So make an effort to share your feelings about sex with your partner. And I can guarantee you if you tell your partner what you like about what he is doing he will happy to accommodate you whenever you want him to.

#5 – Being honest.

No relationship of any kind can survive without honesty.

Why? Because honesty is the basis of trust and without trust a relationship simply can’t succeed.

It is essential that you are honest with your partner about everything, from the small and inconsequential to the very important, scary stuff.

If you don’t like the way he slurps his coffee to the point that you don’t want to drink coffee with him, tell him. If you don’t like that you have to spend every Sunday morning with his parents, tell him.

Because if you are honest with your partner you can work together to resolve an issue. If you don’t tell the truth then the issue will be left to fester and the relationship will founder.

So tell the truth. Let your partner know that they can rely on you to be honest with them about issues in your relationships. And if you do they will respond in kind.

And you will live happily every after!

Being in a good relationship is a wonderful thing and something that is attainable for every women.

Work every day to develop and perfect the skills necessary to keep your relationship healthy and strong.

Believe in yourself, talk about how you are feelings, be okay with being alone, talk about sex and always be honest. These skills will get your far in your relationship, and in your life.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

The Most Meaningful Career Success Advice For Women

A client recently asked me what was the best career success advice for women that I could share with her.

She was a young woman in her mid-20s and just starting out. I have had 30 years out in the work world and she wanted my insight.

After some reflection, I realized that there are 5 pieces of career success advice that I would give any young women as she takes on the crazy world of career building.

#1 – Be self-aware.

The most important part of career success is to know who you are and what you want to do.

Many of us just fall into jobs. Our parents encourage us in one direction, our friends in another. Or perhaps we decide to take a job just because it pays well. Sometimes we take a job thinking that it will be temporary while we figure out what we really want to do.

And then we find ourselves stuck. Stuck in a job that we hate.

Let me tell you that if you don’t have a job that you LOVE you will have a hard time achieving career success.

Take the time before you embark on your career search to examine what you want to be doing for the rest of your life by asking yourself a few questions:

What are your best skills and the ones you most enjoy doing?
What kinds of work interests you the most?
How important is making a lot of money?
Do you feel like you want to help change the world?
How important is work/life balance?

Once you have the answers to these questions you can start your job search with a clear vision of what kind of work you want. And getting the job of your dreams is an excellent beginning to achieving career success.

#2 – Be brave.

I know that this might seem weird in 2017 but many women in the workplace still have a hard time advocating for themselves.

Sheryl Sandberg writes in her book Lean In ‘that women keep themselves from advancing because they don’t have the self-confidence and drive that men do.’

I am not sure that I completely agree with this statement but I know that some elements of it are true.

As women our tendency is to hang back and observe, to reflect before we speak and sometimes to not speak at all. Women are more cautious. Women don’t apply for promotions unless they fit the profile perfectly and are less likely than men to ask for a well-deserved raise.

It is important that women in the workplace today don’t hang back. It is important that women identify who they want to be in the workplace and what they want and go after it with a vengeance.

They must speak up and lead, even in the face of men who might try to push against them. They must believe, deep down, that they CAN do this job and that they will succeed.

#3 – Be honest.

It is important in all areas of life, but especially in the career world, to be honest. Honest with yourself and with others.

First of all, we must be honest with ourselves. Are we doing our best at work? Are we taking responsibility for getting our job done well and when things go awry are we accepting the blame for our errors? Are we honest with our feelings about our boss and our co-workers? Are we honest about how we feel our careers align with our morals and values? Are we clear that we are doing the right thing for ourselves and our families?

We must also be honest with our co-workers. So many women take on more than they can handle because they don’t believe that anyone else can do it as well as they can. As a result, many women are overworked and overwhelmed.

It is important that we allow ourselves to delegate and share, when necessary, and if our co-workers can’t do the work up to company standards then we must be honest with them and show them how to get things done correctly.

Career success is achieved when women know that they are doing the best job that they can do and that they are doing only their job, not the jobs of others. Being honest will prevent overwhelm and enable you to get the recognition that you deserve in the workplace and thereby achieve heightened career success.

#4 – Be forward thinking.

It is so easy to become focused on the day-to-day happenings at work that we stop looking forward to the big picture.

Yes, you have your job but your job is part of the larger workplace. How does your job fit in that workplace? What can you do to be more of an asset to that workplace? How could your job expand in the future to include more responsibility and contribution? Is there a future for you outside of this job? Do you have a plan to get there?

It is important that you always keep your head up at work and are forward thinking. Career success will be achieved when you have an idea and a goal and you have a clear plan to work towards it.

#5 – Be a woman.

Many women believe that in order to be considered equals to men in the workplace we need to act like men. Back in the 70s and 80s, when women were entering the workforce, they wore suits to work, so that they could appear more manly.

Suits are mostly a thing of the past these days but still women tend to try to act like men in the workplace in order to get ahead.

I believe that, rather then act like men, women need to use their skills as a woman to achieve career success.

Women are intuitive. Women can multi-task. Women are excellent communicators. Women are big picture planners. Women have the ability to connect with people on a personal level. Women know how to fly under the radar and get the job done.

So now you see. A woman possesses all of the skills that she needs to be more than successful in her career. She just needs to pull them out of her toolbox and use them. Every day.

Getting meaningful career success advice is vital for any woman entering the workforce.

Women like to get things done, quickly and efficiently, but in the workplace it is essential to look to more experienced women to help them make a plan and achieve success.

Women have all of the skills necessary to achieve that same career success as men they just have to be prepared to use them and use them well. And then, when they add their feminine superpowers to the mix, the sky is the limit.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

Why Are Healthy Relationships Important To A Healthy Life?

Why are healthy relationships important to a healthy life? Why is it so important that we share our lives with people who make our lives better? The reasons are many and they are worth noting.

We all want to live a healthy life. Happy, strong, loved and nurtured. And while many of think we can do it alone we can’t.

Relationships can be of any sort – a romantic relationship, a familial relationship, a friendship. Having a healthy relationship of some sort is essential for a healthy life.

But I can do it alone you think. And yes you can. Being able to stand on your own is important but you do need people by your side to be truly healthy.

There are 5 elements of a healthy life and how your relationships align with those elements is very important.

#1 – Alignment of morals and values.

We all have a set of morals and values that we live by. Things that we believe are important in our everyday lives. It essential for a healthy life that anyone we have in our lives, whether a partner or a friend, shares some, if not all, of our values.

Because to live a healthy life, to live in integrity, is important. And if someone you are sharing your life with doesn’t have values that are aligned with your then you won’t be living a truly healthy life.

For me an important value is telling the truth. I have been in relationships where men would lie to me. As often as not they said they were trying to protect me but the truth is that lying made me feel insecure and uncomfortable. I would never lie to them…why can they lie to me.

All of those relationships are past now. I knew that to live a healthy life I needed to be in a healthy relationship, one with shared values.

#2 – Alignment of physical health.

Of course an essential part of living a happy life is maintaining physical health. While the goal is to eat well and exercise each of us do that to a varying degree of success. For a healthy life is important is that the people in your life have similar beliefs about physical health.

I have a client who is involved with a man who is in a different physical place than she is. She is vibrant and active and physically fit. Her man has back issues and would rather not exercise more than necessary and has less than ideal eating habits.

She loves him but she struggles with the relationship because they just can’t do all of the things that she wants to do together. He does try but he just can’t. She finds that she isn’t living a truly healthy life because he is holding her back from the physically active life she seeks.

#3 – Alignment of mental health.

Good mental health is an essential part of a healthy life. In this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world we live in many of us struggle with depression, or worse. And part of winning that struggle is being in a healthy relationship with someone who is in a state of mental health that complements ours.

I have a client whose partner suffers from depression and has for years. My client says that she understands the depression but I am not sure if she has really accepted it. She doesn’t understand why he can’t ‘suck it up’ and rally on the days when he is depressed. This causes friction in their relationship and some days she wonders if they will survive it.

For a healthy relationship to stay healthy it is important the partners understand and accept each other’s mental health, that they are willing to support them not matter what.

#4 – Alignment of community.

An essential part of a healthy life is a healthy community, a community outside of your immediate family that shares ideas and interests and values. For a healthy relationship it is important that this sense of community is shared by both parties.

A friend of mine sent her kids to a Waldorf School, an alternative school that has very strong beliefs about food, education and media consumption that are quite contrary to modern way of doing things. She believed strongly in these beliefs and jumped into the community with a full and open heart. Her involvement in this community was a huge part of the healthy life she was living.

Her husband, on the other hand, just didn’t get the whole thing. He thought the educational concepts were whacko and that the other parents were weird. He refused to attend community events and if he did go he was crabby. What she needed to be healthy and happy he just didn’t, and wouldn’t, accept. And without that acceptance the relationship crumbled.

#5 – Alignment of finances.

Ah yes. Money. It often comes down to that.

Healthy finances are an essential part of a healthy life and if two people in a partnership are not aligned on finances the relationship will not be a healthy one.

A client of mine married someone who was very wealthy. She didn’t come from a lot of money but he had a lifestyle that he wanted to maintain and she was happy to spend money to maintain that lifestyle. The issue was that her husband was very frugal and cautious about where the money went in the attainment of that lifestyle but she, because she didn’t have much experience managing money, spent frivolously. This spending was a significant source of friction in their marriage and they were forced to separate.

Why are healthy relationships important for a healthy life?

Because the most important parts of our lives, morals, physical and mental health, community and finances all require balance and alignment between partners in order for us to live the healthy lives that we want.

To achieve that balance it is essential that people in relationship communicate clearly what is important to them and do whatever it take sot come to a place of understanding, support and acceptance of the 5 important pieces of a healthy life.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!