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.
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.
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.
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.
There are so many places you can see clutter in your life. Where will you start? Which areas are most distressing to you? Physical clutter is where we’ll start, but don’t worry, I’ll be exploring so much more in the upcoming weeks.
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 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.
Learn more about reframing your thoughts and flipping the script on holiday drama so you can make family get togethers more tolerable, hopefully even enjoyable!
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?
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.
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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.
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Ever wonder how you should be measuring progress in therapy? How will you know if therapy is working? What are the signs? After all, you don't want to be in therapy forever, so you need to know when it is working, when it's worked, and when it might be time to look at another therapist or treatment option. This post explores some things you will notice as a client if therapy is successful.
In part 1, I discussed common fears people have about going to therapy. In part 2, I'll talk about the 8 reasons to process and overcome those fears, and go to therapy anyway. It can make such an impact on your life. Do the benefits outweigh the risks for you?
I hear people tell me all about their fears of going to therapy and reasons why they haven't scheduled that first appointment. It's normal to be apprehensive about therapy, after all, it's a new experience and you'll be talking to a complete stranger about your secrets. In part one, I'll be discussing 4 common fears about going to therapy, and briefly introduce the 8 reasons you should do it anyway.
Have you started the process of looking for a therapist? You may think it doesn't matter who the person is, or that it's ok to just pick the first person that has appointments during times you're available. I will explain why it's important to find the right therapist for you, and offer tips about how to do that in this post. Hope you find it helpful.