Where Do You Feel Minimalism? The Burden of Emotional Clutter

Emotional baggage…where do you feel it? Where does it come up in your body, in your mind, in your space, in your habits? This post helps you slow down and spend some time figuring out the deeper roots to some of your problems. And as always, I want you to remember and confidently know that you are enough without your stuff.

Who Cares About My Minimalism Journey?  Facing Your Relationship Clutter

Are relationships easy for you? Do you struggle with how to manage difficult relationships in your life? We carry clutter from past and present relationships everyday, often not noticing how heavy it all weighs on you. Read on to explore how relationship clutter is affecting your life, how it ties into all the other areas of clutter, and how it doesn’t matter where you start decluttering, you’ll see positive results.

Can You Apply Minimalism to the Technological World?  Curating your Digital Space

How many unread emails do you have? What about the number of photos stored on your phone? What percentage of your apps do you use on a regular basis that add value to your life? What if you cut your digital space and usage by 20%? By 50%? By 75%? Sit with that for a minute. If you’re feeling brave, read the post to begin exploring curating your digital consumption.

How Does Minimalism Affect Your Thought Process? Clearing out Your Mental Clutter

With over 50,000 thoughts a day, overwhelm can be inevitable if you don’t have a process for how to filter and manage your anxious or self deprecating thoughts. Like physical clutter, we tend to hang on to our mental clutter. I imagine it serves some kind of purpose for most of us to hold onto those thoughts, but ultimately they’re not helping you and recognizing how to let them go will be healing and relieving. Learn more about mental clutter and how to begin the process of declutter those unhelpful thoughts.

Why Minimalism? The Mental Health Cost of Too Much Clutter

If you’ve ever looked around your space and had the instinct to ask more questions about your life and evaluate how this mess has accumulated, minimalism can benefit you. There are clear costs involved in maintaining our clutter and desires for consumption. Read this post to learn about about the mental health cost of all kinds of clutter.

What is Minimalism? The Art of Knowing You Are Enough Without Your Stuff

What comes up for you when you hear the word minimalism? If you’re like most people, you will probably go straight to physical clutter and getting rid of stuff in your house. That’s a huge part of it, but there’s so much more. Let’s look at the many levels of minimalism.

Transparent but Vague: A Mantra to Get You Through the Holidays

Mantras, Mantras, Mantras…a great way to help you get through tough stuff. Holidays are hard for everyone for many different reasons. Who couldn’t use some additional coping skills for their toolbox?

Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey: Coping Skills & Back to Basics

HH Back to Basics.jpg

In these initial weeks following Hurricane Harvey, many people are trying to figure out what our new normal will be.  Some are headed back to work, some are helping with clean up and recovery, some are still in the midst of dealing with their devastation.  I think most of us are left with the question, "what the hell do we do now?" 

From what I've heard, seen, and been involved with, people have jumped into problem solving, fixing, and helping mode.  Over the last week homes have been stripped, laundry done by the masses, donations made, and volunteer hours served.  Everyone has been doing what they could to help.  People with damage have been calling insurance companies, having cars picked up, finding places to stay, and picking up the pieces of their lives.  Slowly our city is returning somewhat to normal operations.  Most businesses are open and people are back at work talking about their experiences.  It's a lot to process. 

How do we move forward from such a traumatic event?  The good news is that most people - and I mean the vast majority - will recover from this disaster, even those directly affected.  People are inherently resilient and able to utilize their strengths and coping skills to get through such an event.  We know this to be true from research, and so I've been exploring the idea of getting back to basics.  Right now the best way to help yourself and others move forward is to access simple ways to recover so you can reset your mind, body, and spirit.  

After all, this recovery process will take a long time.  We cannot expect that anyone could keep up this pace of triaged care and resources for the long haul.  I'm sure you've heard, it's a marathon and not a sprint, so we need to train and prep now for the journey we're going on.  

So what does back to basics practically look like? 

Sleeping 6.5-8 hours a night

Watch my video here that discusses why you've been experiencing sleep disturbance in the last couple of weeks and maybe for the next few weeks.  It's fascinating stuff and there are some good tips to get you back into regular sleep patterns so your brain and body can reset.  

Drink lots of water 

We need to flush out our stress hormones and chemicals that have backed up in our system from the last couple of weeks, and replenish our organs back to optimal functioning.  Being in survival mode for so many days takes a toll on the nervous system.  

Eating Healthy Foods

I think you get where this is going...restoring our bodies and brains to the best possible condition and functioning will reset everything. 

Daily exercise or movement 

Yes, again, to get the stress chemicals out of the body but also to bring about more balance.  Many people got stuck inside their homes and experienced a higher than normal amount of worrying and anxiety lately.  This takes place in the thinking part of our brain, and you can alleviate some of those symptoms by activating the moving part of the brain, allowing the different parts of the brain to have balance and work together giving you access to more of your coping skills.  Cool huh? 

Avoid caffeine, chocolate, nicotine, and alcohol

These substances all create a boost those chemicals that are keeping your body in overdrive.  I know you think they're helping, but they're actually prolonging your sleep and appetite disturbance.  

Engage in a Familiar Routine

This will help your body know what to anticipate and prepare your organs and brain for the activity you are going to complete.  Did you know if you go to the gym at the same time on specific days that your body starts to produce enzymes and chemicals that prepare the body and enhance your work out?  Same concept here as your mind and body are recovering.  

Give yourself some time

Remember that most people will return to normal functioning in a relatively short amount of time and that the reactions you are experiencing now are most likely normal.  Everyone experiences situations and reacts differently, and that's ok.  You don't need to worry if you experience it one way and your friend is having a different response.  The range of normal reactions is huge! The more you worry, the longer it will take to see the symptoms go away.  Give yourself time and permission to react however you are naturally, and be patient and mindful with what you need.  

For additional ideas, support, or to have a free 15-minute phone consult with me, call (832) 827-3288.  I'd love to hear from you and explore together how I can help. I'm a Marriage and Family Therapist in the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas.  I offer couples therapy, individual counseling, online sessions, and in home support.  

Stay Connected to me on social media:

Do You Have Your Emotional Emergency Kit Ready for 2017?

The new year is a great time to explore goals and resolutions, but more importantly I think you have the chance to improve overall coping skills.  2016 took an emotional toll on many, so get ready for anything that may arise in 2017 by putting together your emotional toolkit.  Check it out here. 

Is Mental Health on Your Wishlist? 9 Strategies for Keeping your Sanity this Holiday Season

Have you considered yourself or your mental health during the holidays?  It's such a great time of the year, but it can be stressful and bring up painful and uncomfortable emotions as well.  I'll give you 9 concrete strategies for managing your stress levels and finding ways to enjoy this time. 

How Are You REALLY Doing This Holiday Season? The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

You can probably list a million things you love about the holidays, and a million things that bring you down.  It's normal to experience a mix of pleasant and uncomfortable emotions during the holiday season.  How much avoiding are you doing, and how much are you missing what's important?  I go through 3 easy steps you can take to make the absolute most of your holiday. 

Talk about the Tough Stuff: Thanksgiving and Gratitude

What if you can't think of a single thing to put on your gratitude list this year?  When you're going through something hard, being grateful can be draining and feel impossible.  I explore the role of pain, gratitude, and numbing in my latest post, and how to make the most of these feelings as the holidays approach. 

What is Infertility Counseling?

Have you ever heard of infertility counseling?  Not many people have.  It's something kind of new in terms of therapy, but I've found it to be incredibly effective with people going through infertility.  There are so many emotions and symptoms that come in and out during this journey.  You deserve support, guidance, and acceptance during this process, and a qualified infertility counselor can provide that. 

The Postpartum Couple: What Will Happen To Us?

It's hard to know what will really happen to your relationship after you've had a baby.  Conflict increases for practically every couple and most people are shocked by this.  They don't know how to handle it and start to stress out, which results in even more fighting.  I talk about some things that will happen postbaby, how to move on from conflict, and give you an exercise to see quick improvement in your relationship. 

What to Expect When You're Not Expecting

Have you ever thought about what it's like to go through infertility until you're facing infertility?  Probably not, unless you have someone close to you that went through it too.  Either way, it's hard to know what to expect from this experience.  This post explores some of this common issues that people are faced with on their infertility journey.  Things will play out differently for everyone, but this will give you an overview of what you may encounter along the way. 

What I Learned About Therapy by Googling "How to Apply Lipstick"

Have you ever been afraid to ask a stupid question?  If everyone else just knows how to do something, what does it mean about you that you don't know how to do it?  And even more, what if it's something really simple?  This week I'm diving into a personal experience of googling "how to apply lipstick" and diving into the lessons I learned about therapy from this experience.  Asking for help can be hard, especially when it's something we feel like we should know.  A couple of take aways from my experience, you are not alone (wait until you learn how many results came up from my google search), no one takes what you know and where you are in that process for granted, and gaining support is essential. 

Infertility Talk: How to Deal with a "Blamer"

The blamer: the person who isn't afraid to ask the questions, who's comfortable hearing the uncomfortable, and sometimes lacks sensitivity.  When you're going through infertility, you'll be met with many different responses.  People won't always say the right things, but understanding their intentions can help diffuse the situation and guide you both in moving forward in a supportive way.  It may feel like you can't lean on anyone, like no one understands you, but if you let someone in they can be there for you.  In this post, I talk about ways to deal with a blamer and turn hurtful conversations into helpful ones.  

Infertility Talk: How to Deal with an "Existentialist"

Continuing the series, this week I talk about the third type of responder-the "existentialist".  The existentialist is the everything happens for a reason kind of person, helpful in many ways, hurtful in others.  I have some concrete strategies for how to deal with an existentialist and help them meet you where you are, as well as honor your feelings at the present time.