Articles written by Audry Van Houweling

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An ode to Mother Nature

I am sitting at my office peering at the Three Sisters peeking through the trees surrounded by soft blankets of blushed pink and wisps of orange cream sunsetting on their peaks. I have a lot... — Updated 5/7/2024 Full story

 

Make better decisions

Buying a piece of custom furniture seems like one of those adult rites of passage. In the latter half of my 30s, I have decided to pursue my first custom piece — a couch. Throughout my n... — Updated 3/12/2024 Full story

 

How to make that resolution stick in 2024

How's that New Year's resolution coming along? As I write this, we are just over a week into 2024, which means according to researchers, it has been long enough for 23 percent of us to have... — Updated 1/30/2024

 

Finding rest amid uncertainty

When you sit with patients long enough, you start picking up on patterns. Individual wellness is often connected to the collective, and with our digitalized world becoming smaller, that colle... — Updated 11/21/2023 Full story

 

Radical responsibility

It feels good to have a scapegoat sometimes. The perception that we ourselves are free from blame, and that our challenges are the fault of circumstance or others, is an alluring reprieve... — Updated 9/26/2023 Full story

 

Lady, get lost - a case for solo adventuring

As I write this, I am sitting solo at my camp deep in the heart of the Steens Wilderness. One eye on my journal, and the other on my campfire grappling to sustain itself after a day of... — Updated 7/4/2023 Full story

 

Your Story Matters – Money on the mind

In my day job, I spend a lot of time talking to patients about relationships. To partners, to children, to coworkers, to themselves, but more frequently, the conversation has shifted to a per... — Updated 4/11/2023 Full story

 

The paradox of tolerance

In the world of mental health, we contend with the abstract intersections of nature versus nurture and what behaviors we have agency over versus those we may not. The role of accountability... — Updated 4/5/2023 Full story

 

Modern masculinity and mental health

Note: The list of men I respect and admire is long. This commentary is from a place of care rather than critique. I am an observer and welcome other perspectives, and I think more dialogue is needed. On August 28, my hometown of Bend was... — Updated 10/18/2022 Full story

 

Your Story Matters - Faulty foundations and future directions

What I enjoy most about my job are the stories. Tales of resilience, trudging through struggle, and persistence that is awe-inspiring. Tales of celebration and transformation, allowing lightness to be just as present as the heaviness. To... — Updated 8/9/2022 Full story

 

The consequences of unbridled entitlement

It was September 1939. My maternal grandmother was 15 when the wails of air raid sirens broadcasted throughout her home city of Warsaw, Poland. The Nazi invasion had begun. Targeted as “intellectuals” by the Nazis, my great grandparents wer... — Updated 3/22/2022 Full story

 

A New Year’s wish for 2022

Feelings of powerlessness are insidious. While sometimes an opportunity for productive action, most often they plunge us into a state of primitive adrenaline: fight, flight, or freeze. These feelings may echo times of powerlessness from time... — Updated 1/4/2022 Full story

 

Prioritizing resilience over stability

Life is hard. There is no way around this fact. If you are lucky enough to have resources and privilege to bypass certain stressors and outcomes, some of life’s curveballs may be dodged, but ultimately, we will all experience our own v... — Updated 12/15/2021 Full story

 

Mental health and the housing crisis

It’s true, Dorothy — there’s no place like home. In 2014 my husband and I started the search for our first home in the idyllic and pastoral town of Silverton. Like many millennials, we had embraced nomadism, hopping from one col... — Updated 2/9/2021 Full story

 

The new health metric — capacity for compassion

As I sit down to write this, nearly 375,00 Americans have left us from COVID-19. Many of these deaths were in isolation, away from loved ones, and the chance for processing and goodbyes interrupted by restrictions, adding to the isolation... — Updated 1/19/2021 Full story

 

Hope — despite it all

It’s been a tough year. Tough for individuals, tough for families, tough for communities, and tough for the greater world. Layers of “tough,” so to speak. As 2020 comes to a close, I think most of us have been up close and personal with... — Updated 12/23/2020 Full story

 

I’m tired, you’re tired, we’re all tired: Let’s talk burnout

Aren’t we all feeling so invigorated lately? Life has been so dang swell, right? It is just so easy these days to rise and shine with a smile, ready to seize the day! Don’t forget the glass is half-full so please turn that frown upside dow... — Updated 11/17/2020 Full story

 

Navigating the muddy waters of grief

Loss is part of life. No one escapes it. Grief will come for us all at one time or another. Nobody gets to claim the trophy on having suffered the “most grief.” There is no such competition. Ultimately, the worst grief is your own &md... — Updated 10/13/2020 Full story

 

Challenging confirmation bias

After my years working in mental health, I have come to recognize that people tend to find what they are looking for. It is the conscious and subconscious quest to validate our worldviews, justify our positions, and hold on to our territory... — Updated 9/16/2020 Full story

 

COVID stole my dopamine, now what?

Excitement. Pleasure. Novelty. Anticipation. Reward. The “zest,” the “looking forward to,” and the “passion.” The common denominator? Dopamine. It is the brain chemical we chase in our society and what we have a hard time living without. We... — Updated 7/22/2020 Full story

 

Our health depends on justice and equality

Working in functional medicine, a form of medicine that examines root causes and dedicated to a holistic vision of wellness, it is not enough to talk about nutrition, exercise, meditation, and gut health. I would be negligent as a... — Updated 6/9/2020 Full story

 

Your Story Matters: Holding on to empathy in a time of self-preservation

As I write this I am sitting in a cabin alongside the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. The only sound is the trickling of water just beyond the back porch. I am writing on a note pad because there is no phone or internet and my laptop is... — Updated 3/31/2020 Full story

 

Sex, spirit and shame

Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about spirituality. Let’s talk about shame. The interplay between the three are powerful, complex, and deserve honest discussion. When we talk about the need to feel known, the freedom to be vulne... — Updated 3/18/2020 Full story

 

Owning my wellness to love you more — a Valentine’s Day promise

One could name a lot of reasons to be stressed these days. Putting aside personal concerns, simply turning on the news can raise anybody’s blood pressure. Much of our social economy thrives on fear-based messaging that adds to unease and unc... — Updated 2/12/2020 Full story

 

Gut feelings: the intimate relationship between your gut and brain

Butterflies in your tummy, trust your gut, pit in your stomach, tied up in knots — common sayings with big implications. These days, the relationship between our gut, brain, and emotions is becoming more widely understood. The gut and... — Updated 1/21/2020 Full story

 

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