Kids these days! Insert some fist-shaking and old man grumbling. You’ve heard it, maybe even thought it or said it. They get trophies for everything these days. Isn’t that the frequent refrain? Perhaps instead of grumbling about it, we should learn from it when trying to change our behavior.
I’m a bit of a connoisseur of habit research. A few years ago, I knew that my current lifestyle was killing me. I was overwhelmed, dragging myself through my days, barely sleeping at night, and then getting up to repeat it all over again.
Not unsurprisingly, I was growing more and more obese, my chronic illness was getting worse, migraines were taking over my life, and I was miserable. I knew I needed to make changes, but nothing stuck, so I began seeking ways to make long-lasting changes. …
Have you been working to improve your mental health? Maybe you are making strides to overcome past trauma? Good for you! Enjoy that feeling of pride and accomplishment while you can because likely others will resist the changes in you. You will need that newly found inner strength to weather it.
I’m not a therapist, not licensed to work in mental health. I don’t claim to be. What I am is a fellow warrior. I have experienced trauma through sexual abuse as a child and had an undiagnosed chronic illness that caused mental instability.
Both of these led to diagnoses with PTSD, anxiety disorder, and depression. I don’t speak based on training but experience. And I’m here to tell you that you may incur push-back from growing and healing is very real, so I want to prepare you. …
Everyone is pushing goal setting either through blogs, podcasts, or best-selling books. I’ve jumped on that train myself with vision boards and goal setting journals, but I’ve gotten curious about what science says and the best way to write them.
Should they be SMART goals?
Or maybe written in the present tense as if I’ve accomplished them already.
Others suggest rewriting daily.
I’ve used each of the above strategies, but I started to wonder who says that they are useful. I know I’ve had success with some of the above tactics, but in wanting to share more about setting short and long term goals, I wanted to have some substance behind me rather than just my hunches and opinions. …
Do you have trouble falling asleep? Trouble staying asleep? Do you toss and turn, then wake up exhausted?
Whenever I talked to a doctor or therapist about sleep, these were the usual questions. My answer was yes. Yes, to all of them.
Sometimes, it could be physical symptoms like joint pain or a migraine that kept me up, but more often than not, it was a racing mind. Sleep would remain elusive when worrying thoughts crept in because there was nothing else to distract me. …
During the last two months, I didn’t write. Life was in flux as I made significant changes, and writing felt like a luxury that I did not have time for. Yet, I missed it. Writing serves many purposes for me; most importantly, it is a release and mental clearinghouse. When I write, the article that I start often transforms into something different than I thought it would be. Writing serves to help me gain perspective, reason through issues, and take a step back.
During these past two months, I gained more followers than I have during any other previous months. I didn’t publish a single article. Did I earn lots of money? I made $3.14 in June and $1.83 in July. I know it is shocking to see realistic numbers revealed in an article related to writing on Medium. I mean, don’t we typically hear about $1000 articles or $2000 months? …
Stop right now and think back to six months ago and then a year ago. What were the things that you wished you could do? What were your goals? Did you imagine adding something to your life that you longed for? It could be a daily opportunity to write. Or maybe it was time to run each day.
What did you want to eliminate from your life? Did you have a job that you disliked or that didn’t align with your goals? Maybe you needed to end a toxic relationship. …
A week ago, I challenged myself to dig in as a writer and write about everything that made me anxious to put into words. These were all of the topics that I had blocked out basic articles for then quietly closed them, leaving them to linger in my drafts. The ones that gave me a tight feeling in my stomach when I’d reopen them trying to force myself to finish the hard part.
These weren’t stories that may have been hard for others.
In fact, some may seem oddly easy to others.
The one focused on education and parents who don’t believe in the ability of their special needs children may have been an easy task for some. Anyone can spout off an opinion. I’m not naive enough to think that my article was groundbreaking. Instead, it served to push me past a barrier. The threshold that always existed as a public school teacher required that I carefully step around issues and be careful what I said in public spaces. …
I grew up in a Christian family, attended Sunday school and Bible study, and raised my kids in the church. However, now, in my late forties, I don’t quite know what I’d call myself. I know I wouldn’t be considered a good Christian anymore. I have far too many doubts and questions. But I don’t think I’m an atheist either.
This lack of classification leaves me with a vague feeling. When I read and hear things linked to religion, I find I am always internally gauging my reaction.
I pledged to myself last week that I would spend this week writing about hard topics. I tackled all of the articles that I had previously sketched out but then shied away from when the real work of writing was needed. Having finished them, I tried to write about what it was like to share about the hard topics. But I couldn’t. I knew that I would not be honest if I didn’t address one more topic. …
I need to lose weight and get healthier. There is no challenge in identifying the problem. I am obese. Why I’m so overweight is tangled up in a myriad of causes. They lead back to diet culture, mental health issues, an illness that causes binge eating, trauma, and unhealthy patterns.
Those aren’t excuses, but instead, an honest look at how, when we see someone who is obese, it is not as simple as telling them to lose weight.
I want to be fit and healthy; whatever number on the scale comes with that.
However, it is not that simple when my weight has served me well in some ways. It has been my excuse not to participate in events or activities that my introverted self didn’t want to, but my voice failed me. It had also served as a means to avoid others trying to set me up on dates when again, I didn’t have the voice to speak for myself. …
I always wanted to be a parent.
I thought I’d do it well.
I had experience with little kids as an elementary school teacher.
It seemed like it would be automatic.
Yet, for so many years, I was not the excellent parent I wanted to be.
Likely you won’t be surprised to hear that experiencing trauma, in the form of sexual abuse as a child by more than one perpetrator, left me with a less than firm foundation mentally. For years I blocked it out until I had children of my own. It was then it came roaring to the forefront. …