Suzanne Manser, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

5 Steps to True Self-Care

What do you think of when you think of “self-care?” A couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day whilst mindlessly scrolling social media? Netflix and ice cream? A bubble bath? A mani-pedi? Those all sound lovely. But they are not true self-care. Most of us spend 98% of our day prioritizing Not-Self-Care (e.g., work, other people, productivity, and shoulds). By the end of the day, our buckets are drained. We are exhausted, burnt out, and looking for escape. We reach for our own flavor of escape, whether it alters our mood, numbs our brains, or mainlines

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Tips on Life from a New 50-Year-Old

Remember when you were a little kid, and you just assumed that adults knew what they were doing? That was a comforting feeling. And then you became an adult. I don’t know about you, but I was never given the handbook. I quickly started to realize that neither were most of the adults around me, and then I started to suspect that there was no handbook. It was not comforting to understand that we were all milling about, making it up as we went. I am a person who likes structure and certainty, and I wanted someone to tell me

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How to Get Through the Holidays Without Focusing on Your Weight

Are you dreading the holidays because you’re worried about gaining weight? Are you already strategizing about what you will and won’t let yourself eat on Thanksgiving? Are you worried about what certain family members will think about your body size? Welcome to the tribe, my friend. You are not alone. The holiday season is notorious for good foods and bad body images. Instead of prioritizing fun or connection during this time, we obsess about how not to gain weight. Instead of a season of joy, it becomes six weeks of anxiety and low self-esteem. Let’s change that. I’ve got a

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How To Go with the Flow, for Those of Us with Anxiety

The Anxious Approach Those of us with anxious brains tend to go through life with a white-knuckle grip on it. We like structure, we like to have a plan, and we like to know what to expect. If we don’t know what to expect, we can’t properly prepare. If we can’t properly prepare, we won’t be able to handle the catastrophe that is inevitably just around the bend. That’s what our anxious brains tell us. This is how I have always approached life. I overthink so I can anticipate every possible scenario, I prepare for all of them, and then

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The Skinny on Changing Your Body Image

BODY IMAGE Do you know the definition of body image? It’s one of those concepts that we all kind of know what we mean, but not exactly. Body image is how you see, feel, and think about your body. It is how your brain interprets your body, and its various parts, on any given day, in any given moment. Body image is usually categorized as “positive” or “negative.” It can change, and it can be different for different body areas. Body image is not simply a reflection of how your body looks. Though it is related to what you see

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Bringing Our Bodies Back Into the World: A 5-Step Guide

As mask mandates are lifted, we are bringing our bodies back into the world, and some of us – a lot of us – are not thrilled about it. We don’t feel good about our bodies, and we feel even less good about them being seen by others. We’re bracing ourselves for being judged as “too big.” There is so much that comes with being perceived as “too big” – it means you are being seen as not good enough, not acceptable, not loveable, and you need to change. That is a crappy message to receive, regardless of its complete

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Put Your Inner Critic Out of a Job (and give her a new one)

Most critics’ jobs are to critique. To analyze and assess. The inner critic is different – her job is solely to criticize. That is her entire job. She’s not analyzing anything. She’s not even assessing. She’s not trying to be fair at all. She’s just throwing out criticism after criticism because that’s her function. That is her whole purpose in existing.

Your inner critic is an amalgamation of every negative thing anyone ever said about you, every side eye someone gave you, everything you ever interpreted as a negative judgment of you, and all of your insecurities. She gathers anything that will make you feel bad about yourself and uses it against you. She doesn’t care if it’s true; she just wants it to hurt.

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The Rough Side of Re-entry

Vaccinations are happening. We are slowly starting to leave the house, go places, see people, do things. This is such a relief for so many people: those who haven’t been able to work, those who are lonely, those who are bored, extroverts. These folks are sprinting toward re-entry with grins on their faces and wide-open arms. Others of us are cautiously sauntering at best. We expect re-entry to be at least a little rough.

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What’s All the Hullaballoo about Boundaries?

I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately. We all know it’s important to have good boundaries, but we’re not always clear why it’s important or what having good boundaries means exactly. A boundary is a marker that says, “This is where I end and you begin. Between me and that marker is my psychological space. I have full domain over that space. I get to say what is important to me, what is true for me, what my needs and wants are, what my feelings are, and what my pain points are. I get to say what my beliefs and opinions

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