Category Archives: self care

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!)

It’s A Woman Thing

So last night, I had to unwind before going to bed. Work this week was not a pleasant experience. (For some reason I feel like work should be fun! It shouldn’t be work, I don’t know where I’ve got this odd idea)

My Oprah magazine came in the mail and I thought I would read a bit to focus on something else!

I found an article on Menopause and thought I would see if there’s anything in it to help explain WTH my life feels the way it does 😂😆 I was genuinely curious.

So, to give a little background. Thursday in heading in the door to work and finding out there isn’t an office – I felt this crazy surge of rage (and freak I’m not an angry person) and an image popped into my head of myself “throwing my metal water bottle at the speed of light smashing through the big glass window” in our main front office-WTH is wrong with me??

Anyway, back to my magazine and article on menopause. Did you know, unreasonable anger is a symptom of menopause?? When I read that, I thought you gotta be kidding me!! All this time I wondered if I was going crazy or if I was a bad person or somehow I’ve been crazy all along. Trust me, these are odd thoughts for me as a therapist but this totally makes sense to me.

There have been soooo many times at the checkout or in traffic or at work that I just feel outrageously angry and I never knew this is normal for a woman going through menopause.

First off, it might just be lucky that we don’t have many menopausal women going postal out in public cause I’ve managed to control my flash of anger but how is everyone else doing it?

Holy cow, wouldn’t it be nice if someone let us know this is what to expect when we will never be expecting?? Hopefully one day my hormones will settle down and I’ll be my normal self again.

Failure: A Therapist View

Hello friends and happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

I’ve been thinking about life challenges and want to share some of my therapist views …for free ❤️

I think life is hard at different times for all of us and we might often feel like a failure if things in our lives don’t go as we think they “should” or as we “expected”.

At times like these we feel a failure. BUT it’s super important to remember that feeling like a failure-is a feeling and it’s not a fact. Shoulds, expectations, and comparisons are not helpful in our lives, are actually detrimental, and cause us to second guess ourselves and our value as human beings.

One of my favorite TED talks is “How to Practice Emotional First Aid” by Guy Winch. It’s amazing and I’ve shared it with many clients. Look it up-live it.

When we feel like a failure, we normally stop what we’re doing. We give up; then that emotion wins! It’s just an emotion.

As long as we keep pushing toward future goals, we never fail.

If you feel like a failure, just remember I am rooting for you. We are all doing the best we can. You are not a failure.

Guy Winch-Ted Talk Emotional First Aid

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Hello friends and happy Thursday!

I just had to share something hilarious from last night.

Our daughter and her two children (age 8 and 4) are living with us. It’s been a big change for all of us and we often have such fun!

Last night my husband came home late from work; he’s been working long hours the last couple of weeks and I think the grandchildren miss seeing him because they go to bed around 8pm. So last night after arriving home, hubs is in the bathroom and my four year old grandson is really anxious to see grandpa!

He is standing outside the bathroom yelling to his grandpa….and we can hear the whole conversation….

“Grandpa unlock the door”….”just a minute bud, I’m almost done”

“Grandpa are you done”? ….”just a minute bud, I just got home from work”

” Grandpa Are you wiping“???!! (SILENCE)…..

OH MY HECK I COULD NOT STOP LAUGHING!! THIS WAS A EPIC LAUGH TOO!

I IMMEDIATELY SENT A TEXT MESSAGE TO HUBS IN THE BATHROOM….ARE YOU WIPING???? LOL

This comedic moment brought to you by my sweet four year old grandson. You are welcome.