Category Archives: self care

No Makeup No Problem

There’s this idea that our appearance is the determination of our worth. Or our amount of followers determine our worth. Or our net worth/finances determine our personal worth.

You get where I’m going right?

Our worth as individuals is not dictated by appearance, weight, hair, social standing, financial status, or number of followers.

We are worthy because we are human beings-deserving of love and connection each of us no matter our appearance, age, weight, money, or status.

Let’s start valuing and loving ourselves (this includes our bodies-no matter our appearance or ability)

My 2020 mantra-YOU ARE ENOUGH

(No makeup-no problem)

I AM ENOUGH

Hello friends!

It took me a month or so to be brave to make this post.

At first I thought-maybe I should try to lose weight and then I caught myself. No not that. That is not right. I am enough.

Then this morning (when the stars aligned so to speak) I thought: my eyes are puffy. I have this red spot on my neck. Nooo not that again. I am enough.

It was also difficult to take a picture and be happy with one. I am enough.

I am enough, without makeup, with hair loss, in my body that is brave experiencing autoimmune disease, in my changing body, in my age. I am 56…..

I AM ENOUGH (even with all the pictures I did not like)

Domestic Violence

Last week I spent about three hours with a client that finally shared with me that her partner assaulted her the night before our session.

She gave all kinds of reasons why he did it; she did something wrong, he said he was sorry, she didn’t want people to talk about her, she didn’t want him to get in trouble, she didn’t want her family to beat him up, she’s not the kind of person to call the police, and she can take care of herself.

It’s so difficult for someone in an abusive relationship to speak up! They blame themselves or think they deserve to be treated the way they are.

My neighbor’s daughter was murdered by her ex boyfriend. It’s so tragic and terrible.

A little more than a year ago, I worried my daughter’s life was in danger from her husband; when she told me (finally) what was going on-I (with help from others) packed her up and moved her out of harms way in a few hours.

The time that women (usually a victim is a woman but not always) are trying to leave a relationship is the most dangerous and the time when that person is at high risk of being hurt or killed.

I am enclosing a link to a domestic violence website and a PDF of the cycle. Please speak up and get help. There are so many resources out there for you.

The Hotline

Domestic violence cycle

Painless

Hey friends! I hope you had a safe and fun 4th of July!

I’ve experienced a few physical injuries that might have contributed to my chronic neck pain- two falls and one big punch between the eyes (this gave me headaches, that’s why I think it hurt my neck). And I’ve found two (2) things that reduce my pain.

ICE-yes ice. I have a big ice pack in the freezer and some nights after work my neck and head are particularly tense and sore (lets be honest-some mornings and some days and some afternoons and some middle of the nights) and if I lay on that ice pack-most of my pain is numb because it’s so cold. (I once used heat after ice-never again-it was terrible to flare up the pain)! Also-sometimes laying down is terribly painful.

Guns-I had just made the decision to buy a gun (was in terrible pain) and stopped by a local gun store/range. A clerk told me about the different guns and then I rented some to try them out-DUDE I was distracted from my pain because I had to focus so especially solely on the gun I was using to be safe. Since I noticed this wonderful affect, I’ve been going to the gun range often as I can. I didn’t even notice when the slide took a chunk out of my hand until my blood was dripping down my hand (sorry but this is important information) I was so focused on shooting the gun and trying to figure out how to hit the target that I didn’t feel any pain.

THIS COULD BE A MARKETING POINT 😊

ICE and GUNS-why don’t doctors tell anyone about this??

Some of my Fears

Hello all,

Several years ago (actually about 2001) I was searching for my dog (Rufus) around 130am in my neighborhood with my (now ex) husband.

I ran out of the house in just a knee length T-shirt with no shoes. It was summer and I often run around with no shoes.

I couldn’t find Rufus and set back walking home. I was only about 3 blocks from my house (ex husband was on a bicycle looking) when I realized someone was following me. I turned around and a man was on the sidewalk nearby..I think he said “come here” and reached out to grab me. I jumped so far back and maybe I yelled I don’t remember. It was scary. I called the police the next day but nothing happened. I don’t remember feeling safe in my neighborhood again.

After this incident I took a Taekwondo class where I learned how to yell and punch. Who knew I had a hard time yelling?

Then a few years ago (again quite a few, this is 2007) I worked at our local State Mental Hospital graveyard shift. One morning around 6am-I am almost off -and as I walked out the staff door into the general patient area-a psychotic woman (much bigger than I) punched me in the face-between the eyes-(it did not break my nose but hurt like hell later and gave me terrible headaches) I cannot remember her punching me but found myself on the ground in the hall with her arm around my neck-choke style. Several staff members got her arms from around my neck and I stumbled to the staff desk.

A few years ago I called 911 because I could see a man beating up a woman on our street corner. I didn’t feel safe going outside in the middle of the night to confront someone.

As a woman (especially one getting older) I feel vulnerable and I don’t want to be beat up again or fear for my safety in my neighborhood or in the car by myself.

So the last few weeks I have been visiting my local Ready Gunner-and I’ve rented about 10 handguns deciding what I like and what I’m comfortable with. This last Tuesday I bought a Glock 43X and now I need to spend time at the range getting more comfortable with my new friend.

Ambiguous Loss and Covid 19

Hello Friends.

Life has changed so much since I last posted and there are daily changes.

About two weeks ago, I noticed that I feel sad and overwhelmed when I wake up and then I thought “things are still the same, it’s not a bad dream”. This feeling is similar to the time that my son died and many years ago when my dad died.

I remember waking up (during both these events/timelines) and being hit with a wave of sadness and feeling overwhelmed and discouraged (similar to how I feel now) and not knowing when the feeling would end or if it would end.

I think many people have feelings like this now with Covid 19. It’s terribly difficult wading through an emotionally painful, difficult experience and not knowing when or if it will end. I recently discovered this is called “Ambiguous Loss”, coined by Pauline Boss, Ph.D., and Emeritus Professor and Clinical Supervisor of Marriage and Family Therapy, at University of Minnesota.

I was part of a webinar training based on her book about a week ago and I wanted to share some newfound insights. Ambiguous loss is described as “An unclear loss that defies closure…often times it does not have validation or clarification or resolution”. Boss’ research includes information from POW experiencing crisis from Vietnam, 911 families, military deployment, and families of loved ones with dementia. Most every person right now has experienced some type of ambiguous loss-losing connections with loved ones who are physically absent but emotionally present whether they are sick or well, people experiencing job loss or co worker relationship loss, and healthcare providers going into a situation where they can be at high risk.

There are physical symptoms of ambiguous loss including depression, anxiety, family discord, confusion, grieving, hope, hopelessness, shock but it’s important to remember all these symptoms are NORMAL. She identified the ways all of us can shift from experiencing despair to hope and I will list them below with an example of what I am doing.

  1. Finding Meaning- I realize that my family relationships are very important to me (how are we pulling together?) and connecting in some way helps me distract from the world.
  2. Tempering (Adjusting) Mastery-learn to hold two opposing ideas at the same time-I have a lot of anxiety listening to the news about Covid 19 AND I feel peace when I don’t listen to the news and connect with others or reach out to help someone else (be cautious to blame oneself or others).
  3. Reconstructing Identity-try to recognize how my roles have changed before, during, and after Covid 19 (separate myself from Covid 19 and don’t stay in a role that doesn’t work-working from home and doing therapy by video-“no shoulds”)
  4. Normalizing Ambivalence-and I love this one because my webinar had a quote “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Tolkien   Try to acknowledge yours and others feelings, try not to judge yourself or others, and listen to each other. It’s actually kinda cool to think I’m sort of like Frodo and this is an adventure (I choose the word adventure instead of tragedy) I have never experienced.  Here’s another example:I want to see my family and friends, but I don’t want to get sick or get them sick.
  5. Revising Attachment-try to acknowledge how difficult it is separating social ties through social distancing and try to do new ways to strengthen or create other attachments, maybe through Facetime or Zoom or Marco Polo.
  6. Discovering Hope-I also love this one because Hope is increased through strengthening our connection spirituality. Whether you have a Higher Power or believe in God, discovering hope is huge and can comfort us. I know I feel comfort and peace when I connect with God by reading my scriptures, or praying, or listening to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints General Conference talk. I have found life is so much less stressful when I connect with God.

 

I hope this information is helpful for all of you to manage this stressful time in our world which is new for all of us.

My hopes and prayers go with all of you my friends.

 

 

Isolating Together

Hello friends!

I haven’t posted for some time as I’ve been dealing with some pretty terrible neck pain along with our continually changing world.

The last couple of months I’ve had two sets (six shots each) of “diagnostic” shots in my neck to determine if “therapeutic shots”-shots of electricity to burn my nerves in the bulging discs of my neck will decrease my pain.

The last two weeks I’ve had these therapeutic shots and isolated at home on my bed because of the pain but I know not everyone is comfortable or ok in isolation.

I have many mental health clients that struggle mightily with depression; and isolation makes this worse. One thing that helps somewhat: everyone is going through this right now. If you struggle with depression or suicide thoughts, you are not alone-many people in our country or world right now are struggling with isolation and we can support each other.

Here are some ideas to stay connected during this time:

Join an online book club, watch live Facebook comedy shows, FaceTime your friends or family, get outside and go for a walk or a bike ride (isolation does not mean don’t go outside), read a good book-libraries have online resources too, visit a museum online, take an online course, learn how to speak a new language-there are many apps to discover, take a virtual national park tour, learn how to cook, learn how to sew, finish those crafts that you never had time, write your life story ( I wrote mine at 18 years old-there’s more to update!) scrapbook your photo memories, do some family history research online, call a relative you haven’t spoke to for a long time, and there are lots more ideas of things to stay busy and emotionally healthy.

I am adding a few ideas I have found online:

Mindful Eating

Hello friends!

It’s that time of year when nearly everyone I know talks about diets and losing weight. I don’t know what that’s the main focus in life, it might be due to media influences but diet companies are big business and spend $$$$ to advertise in lots of different ways-showing us we need to look a certain way to be attractive or accepted.

I’m tired of this particular scam. I also have a few years education in eating disorder arena. A month ago, I participated in a webinar comparing intermittent fasting/diets as usual with mindful eating.

Mindful eating has the most long term health benefits of any popular “diet” or intermittent fasting. Most people on diets lose weight but (I think it’s almost 95% of the time) gain all the weight back + more.

Mindful eating involves a lifestyle change-eating when you are hungry, don’t eat while doing something else, don’t eat while watching tv, and taking time to savor each bite. You can’t charge a lot of money for this nutrition style but over the long run far outweigh any diets or fads (there is nothing that guarantees weight loss although sometimes happens as we listen to what our body needs).

It’s takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to send a message to the brain that it’s full. I mindfully ate a gummy bear yesterday-spent about 5 minutes smelling, touching, seeing, and then tasting in my mouth before chomping down -I noticed several artificial smells-tastes that were NOT appealing and I only ate one.

Let’s all jump on the mindful eating bandwagon and make “health” not weight a focus of our lives-not just a January resolution.

January

Has been amazingly terrible haha

I had all these plans to blog- with these cool ideas that are nothing to do with clothes

And then my grandkids got sick, my daughter got sick, hubs got sick (I put away all the holiday decor by myself), I was super diligent about hygiene and cleanliness but then I got sick-laid around last weekend feeling like I would die-missed two days of work, went back to work (stubborn me don’t want to use 40 hours of PTO being sick) and now I’m laying on the couch another weekend trying to feel normal again!

January is the Monday of the whole year!

Hopefully soon I’ll feel myself and those creative juices will flow again ❤️

You Are Enough-Be Vulnerable

Hello Friends!

It’s getting close to the New Year and I want to leave you with a few thoughts consistent with my last post.

In treatment with my clients lately I’ve been focusing on helping people increase their awareness of shame and how to combat it. Shame keeps us stuck, it keeps us from reaching out, it tells us we are not enough, we are not important. Shame is paralyzing and keeps us isolated.

Many people deal with depression and suicide thoughts and feel ashamed because they think that there is something wrong with them, they think this is something they deserve, they are suffering in silence and it is not necessary. According to the National Institute for Mental Health shares statistics that 17.3 million adults had at least one major depressive episode (2017-data courtesy of SAMHSA). Depression is no respecter of persons; these numbers indicate anyone is vulnerable to develop depression whether it is situational or genetic factors.

Situational depression can affect people through illness, marital change, employment change, or death of a loved one; even a move away from loved ones could affect developing depression. In addition trauma can affect a development of depression too.

There isn’t a reason to be ashamed for having depression or suicide thoughts. These things affect many people.

I suggest listening to Brene Brown on YouTube; she has a couple of really excellent TEDtalks about shame and vulnerability. These are also very popular, getting millions of views. She emphasizes the way to overcome or silence shame is to be vulnerable. As a therapist I see this meaning: talk to someone about your struggles. Find social support somewhere that you can speak openly about your struggles and discover that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

PLEASE REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING- it works.