Self-care Weekly Assignments written.

Self-care Weekly Assignments!

Monday: (Action) Future – 10 positive affirmations, out loud, in the mirror.
(Journal) Begin to visualize 1 year from now.

Tuesday: (Action) Body – 15 minutes of working out
(Journal) Favorite part of your body, and why.

Wednesday: (Action) Creative – color, dance, sing, crafts, finish project
(Journal) What kind of hobby do you want to start/get back into and why?

Thursday: (Action) Spiritual – Pray, meditate, read spiritual books
(Journal) Did you notice the universe trying to connect with you today?

Friday: (Action) Truth – Investigate a “fact” on Facebook, Huff Post, Buzzfeed, etc.
(Journal) What have you noticed differently this week from investing time in your relationship with yourself?

Check out our weekly vlog series “I Don’t Take My Own Advice” live on Siobhan Carr’s facebook page, Friday’s at 9:30pm EST.

We’ll be talking about our self-care week and how it worked for us. Hope it has brightened your week as it has ours!

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Self-care Weekly Assignments

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Good enough?

What is that little thought inside your head that says, “This is not good enough. If only we had that, then that would be good enough.”?

I know it’s probably the human instinct to be happy. We have to strive for better in order to continue growing, so we have to have thoughts pushing us forward.

But when does that little voice become a nuisance instead of a helper, and what can we do to use it to our advantage?

I have had that nagging voice yelling at me all my life, telling me I wasn’t good enough when I got my associates degree. Telling me I wasn’t good enough because I only got my Bachelor’s and not my Master’s. Telling me I could not possibly be good enough for a real job. Telling me, telling me, telling me.

When is it my turn to have a say?

Now. And now. And now.

Good Enough

As I said in my last article, it is that little girl who is scared and doesn’t want to end up homeless. She is very well-intentioned, but not extremely helpful or encouraging.

It is my job, every day, to talk to her and tell her that we can do this; together.

It is my job to write down all the things I’m grateful for, because they show her that there is more to life than the scary stuff.

It is my job to be the adult and give her play time, time with friends, time to think and wonder and create.

I may have lived through some very painful times, but it is my job to help her see that there is more good in the future. That we can make it through the day. That there is always someone to talk to.

I have gone to Australia by myself, and still, I only focus on the bad things in my mind. But that is my choice. All I have to say is, “Thank you for your input, but I’m doing just fine today.” And go on about my day.

When I can do that, amazing, wonderful things happen, and I don’t even have a reason to be scared.

I hope that you can find your inner strength today, and let someone else in on the fabulous person you are.

Leave comments about how you make it through the day.

 

 

My Gilmore Girl

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One of my biggest regrets to date was marrying my ex-husband when my daughter was too young to have a say in the decision. Before that union it was just the two of us, me and my girl. As a young, single mom with a beautiful, baby girl it was pretty easy to see us as the start of real life Gilmore Girls. I did my best to protect that special bond with her, even during the lowest parts of my marriage and the absolute blessing of my two sons. Unfortunately I didn’t always succeed in investing as much time in that bond as she deserved. After “the split” I viewed this new chapter as an opportunity to recommit to the individual relationships I have with all three of my children. Especially the little girl who taught me how to be a mom when I barely knew how to be an adult.

 

When I began to fall for my incredible girlfriend Casey, one of the first conversations I had with the brood was expressing to them that this was an “us” decision. I wanted to make sure that I learned from my first mistake and actively took to heart the fact that anyone that’s dating me is also dating them. When the bigs (my two oldest) and I sat down for a family meeting regarding the possibility of Casey moving in I empowered them with the freedom to always express to me any misgivings they felt. That if they felt uncomfortable at anytime with this new situation to come to me immediately. So when my sweet little Raven cuddled up to me one night and reminded me of this conversation I was nervous, but all ears.

 

“You told us that we should tell you if we ever have bad feelings about you and Casey, right?” Raven cautiously questioned. With my heart in my throat but my voice tempered, I assured her and asked for her to elaborate. Raven went on to tell me that she missed us, her and I. That she felt as though I didn’t have time to hangout with her ever since Casey moved in. Knowing she was probably right I sated my desire to self-criticize, and instead made a date. Tuesday nights would now be girls night, full of her choice of mindless television and self-care.

 

This week it was Project Mc2 and silver sparkle nail polish for her and bright red on me. Let’s start off with her television choice, this particular Netflix Original is about a group of teenage agents who work for an all-female secret spy network, so far so good. Actually, in all honesty it was pretty good as far as kids shows go. In one scene where the focus was on the team member whose specialty is combining chemistry and cooking, Raven told me how she wants to be a scientist when she grows up. When asked what kind of science she was interested in, my seven-year-old responded with Chemistry. Unsurprised by the coincidence I inquired further and she explained that she wanted to make things. I questioned if she meant inventor instead and her rebuttal was that she didn’t want recreate things that already existed but rather she wanted to create completely new things out of nothing. That she wanted to do science magic. This back and forth is a large contributor as to why I am now a fan of this show.

 

With the final credits rolling up the screen, freshly painted nails fully dry, and the clock nearing 9:30, I directed her to finish her chocolate milk and scurry off to bed. As she leaned in for a goodnight hug and kiss she stopped short looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you for listening.” There are those few moments where all of my self-doubt and internal self-deprecation have no choice but to shut the hell up; this was a big one. I know that I will never do this whole parenting thing perfect, nor will I ever be able to go back and alter past decisions, but at least if I can hold on to those four words expressed by one of the kindest creatures I have ever known, there’s a chance we might be doing alright.

Ten things I don’t hate about PTSD

I was officially diagnosed with PTSD a year and a half ago, but for the better part of the last decade that four letter word has been mentioned to me by more than a handful of mental health professionals. Like most people who receive this news I spent a while in denial, after that I was ashamed, and now I split my time between neutral and pissed off. Pissed off at the symptoms that keep me feeling broken.

A few weeks back I was enjoying one of those bad days. It was the first one for some time so this one in particular was kicking my ass. In an attempt to find some solace I spoke to a friend, one of those mentor types, and he had a peculiar suggestion. He empathized with the self-pity cycle surrounding all the downright shitty attributes to my specific mental quirks, going as far as to comment how easy it would be to come up with ten things I HATE about PTSD right off the cuff. Then he inquired if I had ever thought about the positive side to it. Clearly seeing the mixture of confusion and anger growing on my face he elaborated. See he believes, as do I that everything that exists in the material world has a sense of duality to it. Under that logic if there is a negative to something there must be a positive as well. Therein lied my challenge, to come up with ten good things about my PTSD… so here goes.

Ten good things about PTSD…shit:

  1. I always know how many exits there are in any given room and I have probably already visualized multiple different disasters or violent events and which escape route would be the best for each.
  2. I have an incredibly fine tuned gut when it comes to people. I can tell without even having a conversation with someone but by hearing them speak, watching them move across a space, and their facial features as they express different emotions whether or not they are likely to be safe.
  3. That ability to read people has given me a talent in picking out the best people, the gems amongst the coal. With very little difficulty I am able to find these remarkable humans that possess a level of genuine sincerity that is to be admired.
  4. I have about the same information and working knowledge about grounding exercises as most clinical physicians.
  5. This gives me a unique ability for helping people who may be too scared to go to one yet.
  6. It grants me quite a transparent and raw approach to parenthood, I have conversations with my kids that I think most moms would probably be intimidated having. Because my life in run on extremes. When it comes to communicating with other humans it’s either absolute surface or let me show you my soul and see if you understand. There’s not much in between. It allows me a very beautiful relationship with those kids.
  7. I have incredibly fast reflexes. Whether it comes to avoiding car accidents or catching a child moments before their cute little face meets sidewalk; unfortunately the racing heartbeat afterwards is less than enjoyable, but se la vie.
  8. Due to the gratuitous amount of trauma therapy I am painfully aware of the importance of self-care, I have a very in tune relationship with myself. I guess that’s always the upside to being crazy if you’re actually attempting to take care of it, or work on it, or just survive you tend to pay attention to things that other people probably don’t have to. Like actively altering your self-talk to make sure that it’s positive or ensuring that you don’t go longer than a week without taking a shower even if you don’t want to. Like making yourself bubble baths even when the idea of sitting in one sounds awful, but so does everything else. So you draw the bath and you light the candles and you turn on whatever music seems enjoyable or at least the most tolerable and you just sit there trying your best just to sit, even if it’s just for ten minutes.
  9. You are never bored even when you want to be. Your brain is always going, always thinking. Upside of that is with practice and focus you can turn the ever racing thoughts into creative things. Which means even as an adult you have an incredibly powerful imagination.
  10. You’re not alone. Even though you feel that way. When I was diagnosed I was in denial for a really long time. I kept repeating over and over in my head that I didn’t have that traumatic of a life. I didn’t really tell anyone for a while, not even those in my immediate support network. And it wasn’t until I just happened to be driving in the car with this woman I knew, not that well but we were friendly. Out of nowhere she mentions that she has PTSD and like a kid almost giddy I responded with “So do I!” There is something really beautiful about finally being able to talk to some other person about the shadow people who you see on occasion when things get bad. And to not have them look at you with this twisted face of confusion and want to be compassion, but the truth is if you don’t live it, if you haven’t felt it and you don’t know it; you have no idea what it’s like. But when you open yourself up, you realize that you’re not alone. When you finally find other people that do get it, your brain doesn’t have to feel like a cage anymore. All those strange quirks that you have, the ones that you would never want to admit in public just become simple jokes between friends.