Category Archives: self care

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.

 

TIPPs for Distressful Thoughts

Hello friends!

The holidays can be a difficult time for many people and sometimes those suffering can experience thoughts of suicide or self harm.

Here are some ideas to help if you’ve had these thoughts: I’ve coached many clients to manage these distressful thoughts by using DBT skills and it works very well!

When first experiencing suicide or self harm thoughts can be very painful and distressing, use the TIPP skill (temperature, intense exercise, paced breathing, or paired muscle relaxation)

Temperature-hold an ice cube or dunk your face into an ice/cold water bowl for at least 5 seconds.

Intense exercise-run on a treadmill or outside for 3 minutes at a full sprint.

Paced breathing-deep breathing -slowly count to 4 as you breathe in, hold your breathe for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds-repeat for a couple of minutes.

Paired muscle relaxation-starting from your toes- tenae every muscle group for 5 seconds and then release- moving you to your head and face.

After having done all of TIPP, people are usually quite tired and in a different frame of mind but just in case…get involved in an activity with a friend, do something kind for someone else, connect with someone who loves you… and always important: make sure you get enough sleep, nutrition, exercise, and medications if any are recommended for you along with meeting with a professional.

I hope these tips (haha TIPP) help anyone who struggles in this area. Know you are important ❤️

Taking Care of You

Hello friends!

I’ve been absent for a bit, I apologize for my delay. I’ve been contemplating where to go with my blog for a couple of reasons.

First, I’ve realized that many people that are influencers often give away or resell their clothes after one photo shoot…(that doesn’t really appeal to me. I love my clothes and usually keep a quality piece for many years so that seems wasteful in my opinion although I know I cannot judge others…this is just what works for me).

Second, someone I knew from kindergarten through high school committed suicide about two weeks ago, no one knew he was suffering, and I’ve been thinking how to help others that struggle or suffer alone.

I thought for a time I might focus on offering advice for others how to deal with life when you have difficulties that seem too hard to bear. I am a therapist IRL working at a mental health/substance abuse treatment center for young adults, and I feel terribly sad knowing that people suffer without anyone knowing or without resources.

Here are some tips I’ve learned while studying DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy-created for people with Borderline Personality Disorder but very helpful with people struggling with suicide and self harm thoughts.

(A past client of mine created a little flip chart for therapists to reference when feeling like we are burned out and one page I particularly enjoy is:)

LOVE YOURSELF LIKE A NEW PUPPY: Prioritize good sleep habits, Nutrition, Exercise, Connection with people you enjoy (add:honest discussion about what is going on with you), Focus on practices that promote calmness and well being, Meditation, Journaling, Talk therapy, quiet time alone doing an activity you enjoy. (These ideas are gleaned from DBT)

Many people struggle with depression, anxiety, or suicide and self harm thoughts but that doesn’t have to mean your life is not worth living. Talk to someone and let them know what you are going through and get some help. Speaking up can be scary but after that, the darkness fades if you share it with someone. The burden is lighter if you share.

It’s Haute at Work

Hello Friends and Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday I wore a cute chunky sweater, it’s so comfy and warm (along with my cute leopard sneakers and jeans) because it’s November right and mornings are super cold (30 degrees)…

But as I walked into my office, I was hit with a wall of heat. WTH, my work temperature changes so much from season to season; I remember taking a cardigan to work in July because the AC is cranked so high my fingers are numb but then I leave the building and my black car with black leather interior is 103 degrees! It’s such an adjustment right??

So yesterday I had forgotten this phenomenon and wore a warm sweater! This is bad, I can’t even shed a layer!

In the afternoon, after I’ve met with five clients and had my door shut all day, I told my co worker that I was dying of heat. I also noticed as I was in the bathroom earlier, that my neck and chest were bright red (heat does not make my rosacea happy). She suggested I keep my door open, although I have a lot of computer documentation to do (as I’m a therapist) and I find it hard to keep the door open with people walking back and forth in the hall and still focusing on my work.

SO….I asked our kitchen (I work in a residential mental health facility) if I could have a bag of ice.

They fixed me up real good; a ziploc bag of ice and I’m sitting cool. I stuck it down the back of my jeans and I was able to keep my door shut and get my work done. After 10 minutes I poured out 1/2 cup of water and then back in my office with the ice bag down my front.

Problem solved!

 

(Today I wore a coat -early morning temps- but underneath have two light tops and am wearing sandals-I’m prepared today!)