VoyageATL: Meet Karen Whitehead

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Whitehead.

Karen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
So many people feel they are supposed to have their lives figured out at an early age. For me, I hope I am still growing and evolving as a person as long as I am on this earth! Almost ten years ago, I decided to go back to school. It was not an easy decision, but I knew after working in headhunting, education, fundraising and hospice, it was time to find a career that fit my passions as well as my transitioning life. As part of the sandwich generation, I have children still at home (the last one heads off to college this fall) and care for my mom who is in assisted living. After a great deal of research and support and encouragement from my husband, I decided to become a clinical social worker to blend my skills and interests in a way that is rewarding and flexible. Changing careers mid-life is an accomplishment I won’t soon forget. READ MORE

Anxiety | As seen in:

Aatpiv: Things That Are Unknowingly Increasing Your Stress Level

Stress is a normal bodily reaction to the events of our life. It can occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. But it’s very individual. What triggers stress for one person might be totally different for the next. However, most often, stress is caused by life events. These could be challenges at work, difficulty in relationships, moving to a new city, or illness and loss. Our level of stress can also rise when things feel out of balance. READ MORE

Reader’s Digest: 22 Ways to Remind Yourself That You’re Worthy

From pets to poppies to Post-It notes, you’re surrounded by signs that you’re worthy of love, success, and happiness. The trick is learning to see them. READ MORE

EliteReader: 10 Anxiety Hacks to Manage Attacks

Having anxiety is both physically and mentally exhausting. READ MORE

Upjourney: How to Stop Thinking About Something

Ever had a nagging thought that won’t go away? Lost sleep because your mind won’t give you a rest? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! READ MORE

A Sweat Life: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Mental Health Routine

We’re pretty good at taking care of our physical health: we work out regularly, we eat healthy (most of the time!), and we schedule a yearly physical exam. Those are definitely important, but most of us could probably use a tune up when it comes to making sure we’re mentally well. READ MORE

Huffpost: 10 Anxiety Hacks Therapists Swear By

The 40 million Americans who live with an anxiety disorder know how terrifying both the physical and mental symptoms can be. Issues like debilitating headaches, shortness of breath and persistent rumination make even the simplest daily tasks feel like impossible undertakings. For people without the disorder, acute instances of anxiety ― think job or financial stress ― can lead to the same symptoms and feelings. READ MORE

Bustle: 13 Genius Ways To Lessen Your Anxiety In The Morning, According To Experts

Plenty of people wake up in the morning anxiety-free and fully prepared for their day. And then there are the rest of us. It's not uncommon to feel anxious in the morning as you think about all the stressful and scary things that may lie ahead — whether they be meetings, appointments, or the simple act of commuting to work. Facing the stresses of the day is enough to make anyone's blood run cold, and is precisely why having a stress-relieving morning routine can be such a big help. READ MORE

Elite Daily: Why You Shouldn't Tell Someone With Depression To Just "Cheer Up"

Depression is a constant, dark overcast that follows you, your every breath, your every step, and your every move. It's similar to a shadow, only it doesn't walk with your step; it moves against you.
Gripping you, sometimes breaking down your proverbial spine, it makes you feel as if you have no backbone to shake it off. READ MORE

Cancer | As seen in:

SilverSneakers: 5 Ways to Support Someone Dealing with a Health Crisis

Showing you care might look different than you think. Follow these dos and don’ts to help make a difficult time a little bit easier. It’s unsettling to receive a scary health diagnosis. What can be just as unsettling: learning that a family member or friend received one.

Whether you feel shocked, frightened, overwhelmed, or a combination of all three, know your reaction isn’t right or wrong. It’s normal to feel uncertain for your loved one and to have questions—some of which you may not want to know the answer to. READ MORE

WebMD: Building Your Breast Cancer Community

Tarah Harvey, 33, of Austin, TX, agrees. “When I was diagnosed a little over a year ago, I was breastfeeding my baby. I didn’t know anyone else in my situation. My husband is super positive, as is my team at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. But connecting with people like me allows me to be really open about my fears,” READ MORE

Caregiving | As seen in:

Huffpost: What Happens to Therapists Who Listen to Trauma All Day

Most people are familiar with vicarious living — an act which involves having an experience through the lens of another person — in one way or another. Maybe you’ve refreshed a sibling’s Instagram feed one too many times while they were on vacation, or relished tales of your friends’ dating lives.

However, not all vicarious experiences are positive. Sometimes hearing the details of an unpleasant situation can cause vicarious trauma, the phenomenon where you feel negatively affected by a tragic situation like a mass shooting ― even if you weren’t physically present for it. READ MORE

SheKnows: Why Guilt is an Unexpected Aspect of Caregiving

When you first get the call letting you know that a loved one is ill, a million things go racing through your mind: What’s the prognosis? Should I drop everything and go to them right away? What will the treatment plan look like? READ MORE

New York Times: Strategies for Long-Distance Caregiving

A few months ago, my biggest sources of anxiety were politics, my finances, and whether I’d make my next work deadline. Then one afternoon my mother called to tell me she had leukemia. READ MORE

Home Care Assistance: 5 Solutions to Overcoming Resistance to Care

When you were a kid, you probably sat through “the talk” that had your parents (perhaps awkwardly) explaining the birds and the bees. Decades later, your roles have flip-flopped and now you’re faced with talking to your parents about considering home care options. READ MORE

Reader's Digest: 10 Ways to Help Elderly Parents Transition to Assisted Living

When a parent enters an assisted living facility, it isn’t always the happiest of occasions. But there are several ways to help your parent (and you) make the transition a lot smoother! READ MORE

HumanGood: Sandwich Generation Caregiving Challenges and Solutions

Many recent college graduates entered the workforce in the middle of the great recession. Some moved back in with their families, and some rely on financial help from their parents. READ MORE

Minority Nurse: Emotional Rescue: How to Protect Yourself from Stressful Work Experiences

The stress of nursing can take quite a toll on nurses emotionally and psychologically. Learn to recognize the signs, what to do, and when to seek help. READ MORE

Our Parents: Aging Transitions: Dissipating the Anger

An unfortunate side effect of aging that many adult children have noticed in their parents is a greater tendency toward anger. The pleasant adult they have known throughout their life is suddenly READ MORE