A Tiny Taste of Self-Compassion

If you’ve struggled with eating disorders in the past

And you find yourself under a good deal of stress

And that old familiar empty feeling invites you to be its friend, again

And you want the hunger pains because at least that means you’re feeling something

I gently invite you to sit down with yourself

Take some deep breaths

Have a cup of tea

Have something small and healthy to eat, something that makes you happy (dried fruit, a rice cake, a banana with sunflower butter)

Smile inside, be intentionally kind to your soul

And say, “no thank you” to the emptiness.

Fill your cup back up and remember that whatever it is that’s happening is temporary. It’s only a season and you are so strong.

Love yourself. You deserve love.

#WorldMentalHealthDay

#WorldMentalHealth
Im the daughter of a single parent who struggles with bipolar tendencies and PTSD. My family is dysfunctional. I struggle with SAD, some anxiety issues, and a compulsive eating disorder. I’m a 6 on the ACE scale and I relate with an anxious-avoidant attachment style….
But NONE of those things completely define me. They help me understand my subconscious reactions but they do not determine my actions
Seek to understand yourself, not to define yourself. 

Embrace your shadow to allow your light to shine brighter

Be transparent

Tell your story and help others who are struggling. 

Your mess can become your message.


Happy World Mental Health Day! 

Find lots more self-care images on my Pinterest board!
#worldmentalhealthday

Self-Care: 56 Ways to Nurture Yourself

  1. Drink tea
  2. Wear comfy clothes 
  3. Take a bubble bath
  4. Get a massage 
  5. Wrap up in a blanket 
  6. Color 
  7. Blow bubbles 
  8. Light candles 
  9. Read a children’s book 
  10. Make a snack 
  11. Nap 
  12. Listen to music 
  13. Sit in the sun 
  14. Watch a funny video 
  15. Watch a good movie with popcorn 
  16. Read a joke book
  17. Watch clouds 
  18. Play with your pet 
  19. Buy something you’ve always wanted 
  20. Make a healthy smoothie 
  21. People watch in the park 
  22. Take yourself out to dinner
  23. Buy art 
  24. Eat dark chocolate 
  25. Make an epic salad 
  26. Print photos 
  27. Make ahead food for the week 
  28. Aromatherapy 
  29. For every negative thought, write a positive 
  30. Buy yourself flowers 
  31. Make your favorite meal 
  32. Write yourself a love letter 
  33. Watch the sky 
  34. Eat your favorite dessert 
  35. Eat at your favorite restaurant 
  36. Sunday brunch 
  37. Film at the cinema 
  38. Smoothie bowl 
  39. Go to the park with sandwiches and a blanket and a book 
  40. Peel an orange 
  41. Practice good posture 
  42. Give yourself a pep talk 
  43. Mismatch your socks 
  44. Moisturize 
  45. Eat favorite childhood snack 
  46. Eat favorite candy 
  47. Make hot chocolate with extra marshmallows 
  48. Floss 
  49. Whiten your teeth 
  50. Make a happiness list 
  51. Watch Netflix 
  52. Visit pet store 
  53. Have a fancy lunch 
  54. Watch cartoons 
  55. Watch children’s movie 
  56. Roast marshmallows 

Self-Care: 41 Ways to Care for Your Brain 

  1. Self exploration
  2. Crossword puzzle 
  3. Research a topic 
  4. Play a word game 
  5. Organize 
  6. Listen to a podcast 
  7. Write a story 
  8. Learn something new 
  9. Visit a bookstore 
  10. Go to the library 
  11. Plan something 
  12. Read
  13. Journal
  14. Name 10 things you want to do before you die 
  15. List 10 places you want to go
  16. List 10 books you want to read 
  17. List 10 songs you want to hear 
  18. Fix all the things that are wrong around you 
  19. Be thankful for what you love 
  20. Realize you don’t need what holds you back 
  21. List why it’s good to be alive 
  22. Practice forgiveness 
  23. Do a puzzle 
  24. Write a letter to yourself 
  25. Update your todo list 
  26. Go to an event 
  27. Write a how-to
  28. Take pictures 
  29. Plan a vacation 
  30. Positive affirmations 
  31. YouTube video 
  32. Review restaurants on Yelp
  33. Listen to good music (entire albums!)
  34. Watch documentaries 
  35. Take free course in your field 
  36. Memory games 
  37. Think of 50 questions and research the answers 
  38. Read blogs
  39. Fake a smile to boost your attitude 
  40. Smell spices 
  41. Go on tumblr 

Self-Care: 35 Ways to Get Moving and Actively Care for Yourself 

  1. Go for a walk 
  2. Wash dishes 
  3. Stretch 
  4. Dance 
  5. Water your plants and talk to them 
  6. Go to the park 
  7. Cook
  8. Dust/sweep 
  9. Buy yourself flowers 
  10. Go on an adventure 
  11. Hula hoop 
  12. Work out 
  13. Rearrange 
  14. Swim 
  15. Wash your sheets 
  16. Take a self-defense class 
  17. Weed your garden 
  18. Go bowling 
  19. Make a cake 
  20. KonMari 
  21. Build a fort 
  22. Dance class 
  23. Farmers market 
  24. Make breakfast (any time of day)
  25. Explore antique stores 
  26. Jump on your bed
  27. Do a quick clean up 
  28. Skip around 
  29. Organize your pantry 
  30. Do some last-minute traveling (groupon deals)
  31. Make your bed 
  32. Hike 
  33. Swing at the playground 
  34. Slide around in your socks 
  35. Play frisbee

Self-Care: 56 Social Ways to Take Care of Yourself

  1. Call a friend 
  2. Make a gift 
  3. Write a thank you card 
  4. Meet for lunch 
  5. Write a letter 
  6. Visit someone stuck at home 
  7. Counsel someone 
  8. Give money away 
  9. Have a game night 
  10. Go shopping 
  11. Bake for someone (your neighbor!)
  12. Send encouragement 
  13. Text something meaningful 
  14. Teach something 
  15. Blog 
  16. Reach out to your family 
  17. Meet with a mentor 
  18. Organize a picnic 
  19. Ask about your friends’ kids 
  20. Play hide and seek
  21. Shop at the dollar store to make care packages 
  22. Go to a MeetUp
  23. Costco samples with a friend 
  24. Network 
  25. Email your grandma (or send a real letter)
  26. Go to a concert 
  27. Drive around 
  28. Camp 
  29. Send out compliments 
  30. Organize a cocktail party 
  31. Skype 
  32. Volunteer 
  33. Have a girls night 
  34. Go to trader joes 
  35. Text solely in emoji 
  36. Have a swap 
  37. Ask your friends to send you a joke 
  38. Take family photos 
  39. Get into a photo booth 
  40. Ask for song or book recommendations 
  41. Make out 
  42. Visit friends at their office 
  43. Go to happy hour 
  44. Try on gowns 
  45. Social media clean up 
  46. Square dancing 
  47. Take a friend out for lunch
  48. Have a photoshoot 
  49. Talk to your neighbors 
  50. Send your mom flowers 
  51. Give as many hugs as you can 
  52. Leave a BIG tip 
  53. visit your family 
  54. Make a treat for the person you live with 
  55. Have a sleep over 
  56. Pay for the person behind you in line 

Self-Care: 35 Creative Ways to Take Care of Yourself

  1. Doodle
  2. Collage
  3. Paint
  4. Draw
  5. Visit an art gallery 
  6. Go to the symphony 
  7. Make a craft (helloooo Pinterest!)
  8. Write a poem
  9. Cook
  10. Decorate your house 
  11. Revisit an old hobby 
  12. Etsy shop (buy or sell) 
  13. Garden 
  14. Make jewelry 
  15. Make a mixtape playlist for yourself or a friend 
  16. Switch up the photos around your house 
  17. Make a list of 10 things you like 
  18. Write with a journaling prompt
  19. Cook something you’ve never made before 
  20. Take a photo for every hour of your day 
  21. Write awesome quotes on your mirror 
  22. Make a photo book 
  23. Get an item of clothing that you like (but that’s not quite right) altered 
  24. Remove stains 
  25. Make a list of all the things you want to do before your next birthday 
  26. Buy some balloons 
  27. Edit your Pinterest boards 
  28. Make some home videos 
  29. Apply for a subscription box
  30. Purchase something awesome on Amazon 
  31. Check out recipe blogs 
  32. Wear a fun hat 
  33. Get a new piercing 
  34. Order new business cards 
  35. Make homemade ice cream 

Self-Care: 12 Ways to Take Care of Your Spirit

  1. Attend church 
  2. Read bible app devotion
  3. Listen to some worship music 
  4. Listen to an online sermon (I love both Andy Stanley and Elevation church)
  5. Pray with friends 
  6. Pray for friends 
  7. Read a physical bible 
  8. Meditate (2 great apps are Headspace and Breathe)
  9. Donate to charity 
  10. Make a list of how you want to feel (can make a list of how you DONT want to feel and then write the opposite of each)
  11. Wake up an hour earlier 
  12. Write affirmations 

Real Wonder Women, Real Talk: Anxiety and Depression. How do you deal when you feel miserable?

image

I am honored to know a whole bunch of inspiring, amazing women and I realized the other day that I would love to ask these ladies for their perspective on some important issues:

Health, self-care, anxiety, depression

I feel like it’s important for women to know that even when they feel alone in their experiences, other women have been there, too.

In this third part, I simply asked:

What do you do when you feel miserable?

(I’ve kept the names anonymous at the request of a lot of the women for when we get into headier topics.)

image

*****************************************

How do I take care of myself when I feel horrible?
If I’m physically sick, that’s easy.  I have a visual reason others can see for laying around, sleeping, watching TV, etc. 
It’s a different story though, if I’m not feeling good emotionally.  That’s tough.  There is so much pressure to ‘do’ and ‘go’ and ‘be’…it’s hard for me to validate just laying around, sleeping, taking it easy, etc.  I don’t know if that’s because I fear others will think I’m being lazy or if I’m too hard on myself.
After this past winter, I’ve decided that I suffer from S.A.D. to a mild extent.  There’s relief in that, but there’s also that stigma again.  I’m not quite sure how to deal with it or if there is a way to prevent it…guess it will be one of those things I’ll learn.  ☺

-D.K.
*****************************************

Miserable: cry. I get wrapped in my head and ruminate, making it worse. I pretty much think of everything bad that has every happened and may possibly happen and somehow embrace every wretched feeling.

I haven’t actually been diagnosed as having depression, but the more I look at my daily bouts of crying and frustration, it may be the case.

As a background: I have always been unstoppable, I power through everything like a fucking champ. However, it’s caught up to me, hundreds of fucked up traumas have caught up and crushed me and I have collapsed but have faith I can somehow move forward and hopefully soon.

-Y.R.
*****************************************

When I feel miserable, it’s generally a sign I need to rest. Sometimes I will sit on the couch, watch TV, and force myself to ignore any of the other “to-do”s. Sometimes I take a bath. Sometimes I go to bed, even if it’s 6:30. If I’m emotionally miserable, I usually write and try to figure out what is triggering it.

-B.V.
*****************************************

I isolate. I isolate and revert to negative thinking always turned internally. I’m starting to recognize it now. I’ll call someone, I’ll go to the beach, I’ll quick jump in the car and drive to my parents’ house. But if I don’t catch it right from the start, I let that miserable feeling worm its way through my entire life and my eating disorder takes over again

-Daryn

*****************************************
image

Honestly, in my darkest moments, as much as it hurts, I find that the best is just to surrender to the tears, the rage and find a safe way to let it all out.  Either by myself or to someone that I won’t hurt in that moment.  I am not scared of the darkness – I know if I allow myself to feel the pain, that eventually it will begin to subside.  We tend to hold onto it as long as we need it for some reason.  When that reason starts to disappear, our grip starts to loosen. 
That is what I have in this moment.  Hope that helps.  Would love to hear what others have to share.  ♥

-Lili
*****************************************

When I feel miserable, I eat poorly and watch too much TV.
Or shop online.
I haven’t been officially diagnosed with anxiety or depression but I obviously don’t deal with it well since I have stomach issues and headaches.
I’d say I’ve been mildly depressed on and off since having my daughter- the lifestyle change is something I struggle with. I like to be good at everything I do, so I struggle with balance and sometimes feeling like I do nothing well and everything mediocre, which I hate. I have also always required my very own time and space – lots of it – which since having children I don’t have.

-L.M.
*****************************************

image

*****************************************

It’s been so eye-opening reading the responses and seeing how so many women are struggling with the same stuff!!
Depression and anxiety can feel so lonely.
Crying can feel so defeating, sometimes like failure.
Our society sees any emotional or mental difficulties as being weakness when actually I think that it might just be part of being HUMAN!!!!

It’s been interesting to see some people list crying as a form of self-care!!

I think it’s so important to let women know they are not alone and that it’s okay to feel sad….

It’s important to remove stigmas so we can transition to a place of helping each other. Giving women permission to connect even in their darkest places could prevent us all from going too deep into that pit where we feel shame and loneliness and disconnect….
*****************************************
If you’d like to add your story, please feel free. You never know how much it could help someone else.

So much love!

Real Wonder Women, Real Talk: How do you define “Self-Care”?

image

I am honored to know a whole bunch of inspiring, amazing women and I realized the other day that I would love to ask these ladies for their perspective on some important issues:

Health, self-care, anxiety, depression

I feel like it’s important for women to know that even when they feel alone in their experiences, other women have been there, too.

In this second part, I simply asked:

How do you practice or define “self-care”?

(I’ve kept the names anonymous at the request of a lot of the women for when we get into headier topics.)
*****************************************

“Self care: often times neglected, most of the time neglected. I think I’m using this interview to ignore real life.
When I have the ability, I do yoga. When I continue to do yoga each day it gets easier and easier.”

-Y.R.

*****************************************

“I am just now struggling with some depression that comes and goes for me.  My self-care for it involves eating well and frequently because low blood sugar affects my moods.  Getting outside as much as possible.  Exercise.  Remembering to have some fun.  Connecting with people.  Crying.  Getting some TLC from loved ones or from massage therapists.”

-Lili

*****************************************

image

“Aside from maintaining good hygiene, I define self-care as taking care of my physical needs in a healthy manner and allowing myself to enjoy ‘wants’ – without going overboard, of course! 

Honestly, I should probably take better care of my mental/emotional needs and wants, too.  Why is that difficult and hard???  …maybe because our society really doesn’t allow us to be emotionally weak. There’s a stigma to that, I think.”

-D.K.
*****************************************

Self care isn’t really something I practice. At all. Ever. But I’m trying more now. Like before I would sit and watch 3 hours of TV after the girls went to bed and consider that “me time.” Within the last 2 weeks since being diagnosed with Gastritis and a possible ulcer I’m trying to pay more attention to my health via self care. I am walking/running on our new treadmill about 3 times/week and have just bought a book to read for pleasure, after the girls go to bed. I’m trying to be in bed, going to sleep by 10:30 and am trying a low fodmap diet to help with the gastritis. I’m also making an appointment at a naturopathic office to help me figure out what’s going on with my migraines and stomach.

-L.M.
*****************************************

Self-care: I rarely do! I work out 2x a week minimum and try to eat healthy and sleep at least 7 hours, but that’s about it. I’d like to have more time to truly unwind. I’m reactive instead of proactive. I blame this partly on the fact my massage therapist is now 14 hours away. ;)

-B.V.
*****************************************

Right now, self-care comes in two forms. For the first form, I’ve found that I have to revert to my most basic needs as a human to practice self-care. Self-care looks like taking 30 minutes to prepare a healthy meal and then sitting down to actually eat it but it also includes taking actual steps to deal with my eating disorder. Seeing a therapist, not working out a couple days a week, eating a scoop of ice cream with my friends…this is all part of the self-care I need right now. Of course, this will change as I make strides in my recovery. But for now, a majority of my self-care is simply trying to love myself enough to keep walking down the path of recovery. The second form is what I call “sea-salt therapy.” I hop in my car, drive to the beach, and let the ocean do the talking. Salty hair is the best kind of self-care.

-Daryn
*****************************************

image

Self-care has been something I’ve struggled with a lot, personally. I wrote about my experience and my process here. Check it out if you’re curious. (I also include two links that can really help you feel better immediately.)

Self-Care: My Personal Journey

image

Self-care has been something I’ve struggled with a lot. They say you teach what you most want to learn and as a massage therapist I’m ALWAYS teaching other people how to take care of their bodies and their minds.

I’d tell people to drink more water because I could tell their muscles were craving it….and I was barely drinking any at all.

image

Finally I began my self-care journey by setting up massage trades with a good friend of mine, Laura Harrington. We began to make a point of trading once a month.

Then I went to a chiropractor, Rachel Heneberry. With only a few gentle adjustments, she provides so much relief.

Then, just last year I started going to an acupuncturist every month, Emily Hanger. She is the SWEETEST human being on the planet. (In a very grounding way) She nurtures me and makes me feel so loved.

Then I added in a myofascialist, Lisa Shelton. She takes care of my fascia and helps me release holding patterns from stress. She also is really great to talk to and provides a wonderfully different perspective on life.

At first I would schedule everyone in the same week….and then I decided I needed something intentionally every week of the month.

Now, I’ve added a therapist, Bevin Yowell. Hello stigma. Why is our society so afraid of admitting they need to talk to someone about their life and their past?? I love how my therapist gives me constructive feedback and she gives me homework (simple stuff like saying HI! To my housemate when she gets home instead of pretending I don’t exist….)

image

Having all these wonderful women caring for my body, caring for my mind, wanting to know what is happening in my life: the process has been LIFE changing. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel like enough because each one of those women brings me another piece of my puzzle and I only see each them one time a month. A LOT can happen in 30 days….

Also, I meet with a friend of mine, Dawn Nay, from church for breakfast at least once a month. When we meet we might just talk about random things but I know I have permission to spill my guts if I need to.

In my private life I also love to do yoga and take baths and take naps….I have a list of things I can do when I feel awful. If I’m feeling lonely, I intentionally go through and ask my most inspiring lady friends out for lunch or over for tea or wine….it’s so important to be intentional.

Another thing I do is I use an asyra machine which reads your entire body and tells you EXACTLY what is happening in your body at that point in your life. It tells you what foods you need to back off on and what things you need to add in. I love it because it is so comprehensive!!

image

There’s also a website I’ve found:
Interactive Self-Care Guide
Which is great for people like me who can feel so lost all of a sudden and need someone to suggest things that will make me feel better when I’m not eating or cleaning or doing anything.

And finally, something that has changed my whole life and given me permission to feel all my feelings has been my hormone horoscope app and the website: hormonehoroscope.com
Gabrielle does SUCH an amazing job explaining these things that happen in our minds and bodies EVERY. MONTH.
If you’re a woman, go check it out right now. I promise you will learn so much!!

I encourage you to find people in your life who will listen to you and encourage you and give you constructive feedback. It is also important that those people give you permission to be who you are and feel how you are feeling RIGHT NOW. Step away from those who want you to stuff your feelings or pretend you’re fine.

In order to practice self-care, you need to feel it all. And if you can find some people who will stand beside you and allow you to do that, hold on!!!! Your life will change in a beautiful way.

If you need a massage therapist who will love you right where you are, feel free to contact me for an appointment.

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself

20121123-180801.jpgbreathe.

Congratulations on surviving Black Friday!!

Small Business Saturday is today and Monday is Cyber Monday.

I don’t like to do a lot of shopping but I so appreciate people who support small businesses (like mine!).

Artists and privately owned businesses LOVE to receive your business. It makes us feel appreciated.

Because I care about you, I want you to make sure you treat yourself with more conscientious tenderness during this holiday season.

I encourage you to give yourself a gift and take a moment to really b r e a t h e.

Take a break, often.
Take a bath, get a massage, do some yoga.

Even though you feel like rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off: s t o p.

Be present.

And thank you for making small business owners smile today.
We really appreciate it more than we can express.