I am so thankful to the folks behind Crisis Text Line, a free service that has amazing resources for people in crisis. They define crisis in a broad sense that moves beyond the typical definition. Here's what they have to say: "You’re in crisis. That doesn’t just mean suicide: it’s any painful emotion for which you need support." They have trained volunteers who typically respond to a text within 5 minutes or less. They also have a kick-ass website with tons of great info and coping skills.
I tested it out today and had a lovely conversation with River, a volunteer who responded to my inquiry in about 2 minutes. Clients often reach out to me via text when they are in distress - the problem is that there are many times I am unable to respond immediately because I do not have access to my phone. When I do respond, they usually tell me the feeling has passed. I wish I could be there to help them through it myself, but it gives me soooo much comfort knowing that I can share this resource with clients ahead of time, before the moment of crisis hits.
Check out the website for more info: https://www.crisistextline.org/
These Inside Out figurines arrived a few days ago, and I am so happy to have them in my office as I work with clients on accessing their core emotions, rather than getting stuck in anxiety, shame, and guilt.
What are core emotions, you ask? Just like in Pixar's Inside Out, core emotions are the ones we are wired with for survival. Sadness, anger, joy, fear, and disgust are depicted in the movie (and in my office!). Two more that were left out: excitement and sexual excitement.
"So, wait a second, Kelly. You're saying that anxiety, shame and guilt are NOT core emotions?" Yep, that's right! They are inhibitory emotions. They suck up all our energy and time so we don’t ever fully feel our core stuff, and therefore, don’t get a chance to fully heal. Instead, we just feel caught up in a hamster wheel of despair that goes nowhere.
So, if you’ve been spending all your energy and time in anxiety, shame, and guilt, contact me so we can get you unstuck and on the path to wellness! It's hard work, but like the movie reminds us, totally worth the journey.
This is such a hard news week for so many survivors of sexual assault. It is difficult to not feel constantly triggered or dismissed by everyone's opinions. Please take good care of yourselves and find control where you can. This list of tips provides a few positive and easy ways to start.
I started hating Mother's Day when I was 14 years old. It wasn't simply an act of adolescent rebellion - it was the age that my mother died of cancer.
From that point on, Mother's Day often arrived in a storm of tears, nausea, dread and jealousy. I wanted to be the one making cards and buying gifts. I wanted to serve burnt waffles with too-cold butter to my mom in bed. I wanted all the warm feelings and melodramatic sweeping music that was portrayed on the Mother's Day specials on my favorite sitcoms.
Every year, the dread would start in March, grow throughout April, and then capsize in May. By actual Mother's Day, I was depleted from all the anticipatory anxiety I had been building up and just felt depressed. I hate to say it, but it stayed this way for many years.
At one point, I decided that enough was enough. I would reclaim Mother's Day by making it a celebration of my father, since he had to be both father and mother on a daily basis. SeveraI years later, I expanded it to include my aunts and grandmother. Once I became a mother, I realized that I wanted to find a way to make peace with my grief so that I could enjoy the day with my own family.
So, it's been a work in progress. I do not love Mother's Day by any means, but I no longer dread it. In fact, I often forget about it until someone mentions it to me. I now use it as a way to pause and honor my mother as well as honor all of the other amazing women in my life. I use it as an excuse to kiss my sweet girls' faces and take in their scent during a tight hug. And this year, I'm doing something new. I am offering other women in my community a chance to start their own healing process and reclaim the day. I expect it to include a lot of tears, a lot of laughs and who knows - maybe I'll even bring in some burnt waffles.
Happy Mother's Day, y'all.
Valentine's Day can be sticky for a lot of people (and not just because of all the candy). While the general focus of the day should be on letting the people in your life know how much you love them, our culture tends to put the emphasis on today being about romantic love over everything else.
If you are not single by choice, if you have lost a partner to death, divorce or a relationship ending before you were ready, or if you are unable to physically be near your lover, you probably dread this day and want it to be over with as soon as possible. I hear you. I see you. I feel your pain.
I want this Valentine's Day to serve as a reminder that you do not need to have romantic love in order to love yourself. Yes, this might mean you miss out on chocolates, bubble baths, and prix fixe dinners, though those are all nice, of course. What it does mean is that you spend the day focusing on your whole self, not just on the perceived flaws. It means talking to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend and not your worst enemy. It means taking responsibility for things in your life which you can control and practicing acceptance over things you cannot. And most importantly, it means you understand that in order to receive love from others, you need to start off with the conviction that you are deserving of love and kindness.
So with that, I wish everyone a happy Valentine's day! This article lists 20 authentic ways to love yourself today. I challenge you to practice at least one.
Each week, we will take a look at one of the most effective and efficient ways to manage stress and other intense emotions. Follow me on Facebook to learn how tapping can work for you!
You'll have a chance to suggest a topic or difficult emotion that you would like to see dealt with through tapping. You can follow along with me or save it for later.
Recommendations can be made on Facebook (though these will be public) or privately through my email, and each week a new one will be selected.
Holiday stress have your head spinning already? Here’s a quick, effective technique you can use to reduce your stress and move forward. The best part is, unlike your grandmother’s “special eggnog,” there are no harmful side effects!
Please share with the friends or family members you love who bend over backwards to make your holiday a lovely one.
I'm inspired by the #MeToo campaign for shedding light on the everyday, unspeakable traumas that women endure, just for being women. We all need to be working to diminish the shame that so many women carry at their core.
Birth trauma has similar impacts on women - the feelings of violation, guilt, lack of control, and overwhelming fear - but is rarely talked about. Join us as we break down the wall of silence and come together as a community to support each other, share our stories, and find peace within ourselves.
Mindful Soul Center for Wellbeing and Insight Mental Wellness invite you to join us for this educational and healing event on Saturday, November 18th, from 1-4pm hosted by The Village-South Jersey Breastfeeding & Wellness in Haddonfield, NJ. $45 pre-registered or $55 at the door.
Save Your Seat by emailing Janel@mindfulsoulwellbeing.com
Please note: This is a “mommy only” workshop so you can just focus on you! Space available if anyone needs to pump.
Insight Mental Wellness open and accepting new clients
Thank you so much for your patience! I am excited to be getting back to work in a new office (pictures coming soon) starting October 9, 2017. I will hold regular office hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days will be spent with my daughters. I feel so fortunate to have found a job where I can control my schedule and find that awesome (but often unattainable) balance between work and family.
I have some exciting things coming up in November in collaboration with The Village - South Jersey Breastfeeding and Wellness. On November 12, we will resume the Mothering Without My Mother support group. This free group is meant to be a starting ground for connection and conversation between women who are navigating the waters of motherhood without their own mothers. We will focus on the different kinds of issues that you may be dealing with privately that keep you silent during regular supportive groups, or in conversations with friends who vent about the frustrations of dealing with their own mothers. Discuss the unique kinds of grief that the role of motherhood can bring up for you with people who “get it.” We pay particular focus to learning how to practice self-care while caring for so many others.
And on November 18 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Insight Mental Wellness and Mindful Soul Center for Wellbeing will be presenting Healing Invisible Wounds: A Birth Trauma Workshop at The Village. This workshop is intended for women who are reeling from the physical and/or emotional trauma they suffered in childbirth. Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth (PATTCh) defines birth trauma as occurring when, "the individual (mother, father, or other witness believes the mother’s or her baby’s life was in danger, or that a serious threat to the mother’s or her baby’s physical or emotional integrity existed." They also state that between 25 and 34 per cent of women report that their births were traumatic (www.pattch.org). Many of these women go on to suffer their trauma in silence, which can lead to the development of mental health disorders including Post traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression (Postpartum Onset) and Anxiety (Postpartum Onset). In hosting this workshop, we hope to increase awareness, decrease stigma, and provide access to resources to help women heal. This will include a panel of experts in the areas of mental health, physical therapy and osteopathic medicine. There will also be a treatment component to help decrease the acute symptoms of trauma the participants are coping with. More information about this event will be forthcoming.
Happy Fall everyone!