Spreading the relaxing, tingly love of the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)

ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response,” which is basically a fancy made-up acronym for a heightened feeling of relaxation, accompanied by tingles, especially in the scalp and spine. I got into ASMR a year or so ago, during a stressful period of my PhD. I was watching a HELL of a lot of make-up and massage tutorials, not so much for the actual tips, but because they gave me a lovely relax-y buzz. And then Youtube, in its wisdom, suggested an ASMR Massage video…

I was in a plane crash: here’s how I deal with flight anxiety

In August 2005, I was a passenger on Air France flight 358, a flight from Paris, France, to Toronto, Ontario. Upon arriving over Toronto, our plane flew into a sudden storm, landed too far down the runway, and slid right off the end, bursting into flame. We had to evacuate down the emergency slides, and all of our luggage burned up with the plane. But I still fly.

Why I’m never taking my dogs to the vet again

There’s no better testament to how much owners influence the behavior of their dogs than the vastly different experiences that Aaron (that guy I married) and I have taking our dog Jackson to the vet. Here’s why I’m never taking our baby boy to the vet again…

Johanna & Gesche: From Swedish faery wedding to working hard (but not on their love)

Well not that much has happened or changed… We’ve been traveling, getting more tattoos, and decorating our apartment. We decided we’re not ready for kids yet so we’re adopting another kitten. Our love life hasn’t changed much, neither has our every day life. Except that we have more time planning our time and future together now that we don’t have to plan a wedding anymore (we were engaged for almost three of the five years we’ve been together before the wedding after all). We’re both working full time jobs and between that and friends/family and the kittens, time just flies by.

One-lowsmanship, money anxieties, and being a work in progress

There is a great article that John Cheese wrote about what growing up poor does to your brain. It’s pretty dead-on. One of the things is that when you have extra money, the desire is to spend it RIGHT NOW before some disaster happens and you have to use it to take care of that instead. For years, that was me. And then, after lots of soul searching and hard lessons, I went so far the opposite direction that my cheapness probably qualifies as a mental illness.

My dog has separation anxiety. Halp?

I need help. I have absolutely no idea how to calm down my dog that has separation anxiety. Our cat and other dog are his best friends and they stay home with him, so it’s not like he’s totally alone. Can any offbeat homies help me with my dog’s separation anxiety? Someone tell me there’s hope beyond medicating him.

The shy person’s guide to large parties

Large parties are rife with what I call “fringe friends” — strangers, distant family, or people you don’t know intimately. You might get invited to (or asked to organize) a wedding, reunion, baby shower, barbecue, work function, or camping trip. If you’re shy, this can be a source of anxiety instead of fun. Large parties prove difficult for those who are shy, and are a true challenge for the introverted host.

Here’s what has worked for me when hosting and socially navigating large parties.

How do I get my new college roommate in the loop about my anxiety and depression?

Juliana is returning to school time away to tend to problematic anxiety. What does she need to tell her new roommate?