What.Just.Happened?

Do you ever have days, and think back….What. Just.Happened?

Today was one of those days.

It started off ok.

Got a little better after church…

And then, went downhill from there.

I don’t even know what happened, except my anxiety kept growing worse and worse.

Every light and sound was over stimulating.

I even missed the mark.

Today, at church, the pastor talked a lot about grace and mercy…and, as I have been laying here, in bed…I read my devotional on YouVerse…and guess what, you guessed it. Giving mercy was the topic of discussion.

I wish that I had read it first thing this morning, though.

Because, even though the anxiety would have been there…maybe, I would have caught on quicker….decompressed quicker, and been able to give my family the grace and mercy quicker.

I’m going to miss the mark. There will be days that my anxiety will go downhill quicker than I can realize, until after its already said and done.

I’ve apologized, and as soon as I realized what was happening…I started the process of calming myself down, and changing my response. That’s all I can do, today.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.

I can avoid as many triggers as I can. Use the tools in my toolbox….

And, we can all start over.

Giving God Control

Giving God control is one of the hardest things to do.

By human nature…we all want to have control over our circumstances in life.

Add any kind of anxiety…and multiply that by ten.

When I have a situation that I am hoping will change…it usually doesn’t happen as quickly as I would like. So, I get impatient. I start grasping at everything, and try to control the situation. And…9x out of 10...I only make matters worse.

I....

*just end up making myself more anxious..leaving no space for peace.

*causing problems in my relationships…often times, unaware that I’ve even done so.

* put my promises on hold.

This week, I had a light bulb moment.

As I was going through devotionals in my you version bible app, and towards the end of the week, I gave up a few things.

I’m no expert on fasting. In fact..I’m quite the novice.

But, I felt led to give up these things for certain periods of time during the end of the week.

And just today, I gained some clarity on something I was seeking wisdom for.

But first, I had to give up control. And that was extremely hard to do.

You have to go through your own journey with giving God control…but, I love to forward resources that have helped me.

In the comments, I’ll leave links to the Bible devotionals that I went through this week. I’m not really tech savvy, so if I can’t get it to work…I’ll post the names of the devotionals and the authors..and hopefully that’ll make it easier.

They are really great. I hope you are blessed by them.

One Last Thing….

Ok, well maybe not the LAST LAST thing…

Walking through this “One Thing” series has been fun…and I continually find myself thinking of ways I implement it….

In writing this series, there was no way to get every single piece of advise, or every tip and trick I’ve used…

As we grow, so does our testimony…so, as more insight comes…so will the “One Thing” posts…

Until then….

It’s time to move onward!

One Thing: Health and wellness/ Exercise

Background:

Growing up I liked junk food. It was good, and so I ate it.

In college, I’m pretty sure I ate 3 meals a day from the drive-thru. Don’t judge me. (Yup, I saw the gasp and horrified look in your eyes-haha) It was just so easy.

I also started thinking about the things that went into my body. Through classes and seeing all these recalls on products, my eyes were opened to the fact that all these things entering my body…may not be the best thing for me.

As we got married and starting having kids, we still went through the dive-thru some, but not as much.

When my oldest was about 1.5, we went and watched my brother-in-law run a half-marathon. He had also recently become a vegetarian, and then soon after, vegan. That weekend, my husband and I went home and decided to make some changes. We watched a documentary called “Forks Over Knives”. We, cold turkey, stopped eating meat. We gave away all the meat we had left over. And…we started running and hiking.

With my pregnancy with my second son, I was more anemic, more foggy brained, and had more postpartum depression. Just before I found out I was pregnant with him is when I had my last long run of 10+ miles. And to this day, I miss it.

Shortly after he was born, I found one of two health and wellness companies that I love.

Since then, I have been in and out of making healthy decisions for me and my family.

I’ve learned a lot.

And now, it’s time to move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

* For a solid year, I was making great choices and learning a lot about what it meant to support my body. We were running all.the.time. And, participating in races. But, in all honesty…I let it get to my head…I was a little too prideful.

* With the postpartum depression, I had to put all my focus and energy on healing my mind. So, nutrition and exercise growth went right out the window.

* I’ve spent the past 6 years doing heart work, and mind work…exercising as a stress reliever. I’ve found that I like home works outs, yoga, running, hiking, and kayaking.

* So, now I’m ready to move forward.

Going on:

*My first step is to start exercising every day, again. Although, this time, with a little more love for myself. I was hard on myself last time, and I’ve learned a lot about loving myself in the process.

*Right now, I am up to walking 2-3 times a week.

*Once I get my daily exercise down, all my other goals should naturally fall into place….but here they are

Health goals:

*Eat more natural, less processed

*Lose about 40-50 lbs.

* Exercise daily with running and cross-training.

* Share my love of wellness with others!

* Drink 1/2 my weight, in oz, of water, daily.

Have you been overwhelmingly searching for ways to support wellness in your life?

I encourage you to take it One Thing at a time. Love yourself in the process. Share what you love and learn with someone else- just be sure that they are looking for it, too.

One Thing: Education/self development

Background:

After exiting teaching full time, shifting to part-time teaching, and entering the Network Marketing business…I was immersed in self-development.right.when.I.needed.it.

My heart was vulnerable. I was open to change. I dove in.

There are road blocks, every now and again…but you take the time to do the heart work, and move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

*Again, this is an area I have yet to fully develop, or set a solid foundation for. So, it’s a growth area.

* I went to (physically and virtually) all the trainings. I read all the books. I took all the notes.

*I prayed, read my bible. And the funny thing is, all the self-development crossed over with my stages I was walking with Jesus.

* Do the heart work.

* take all the notes (usually in the book)

* Now that I have to rely on making myself step up to the plate, my two ways of diving in to education and self-development: reading and listening to podcasts. Because that’s easiest at the moment.

Why do I invest in self-development, you might ask?

Easy. Growth. If I don’t have a growth mindset, I’ll be stuck right where I am. I don’t want to always be stuck right where I am. I always want to be moving forward. Every now and again, I get in a comfy spot…but it doesn’t usually last long…and when I start getting restless…I dive back in!

Why do I invest my time in education and what do I mean by education?

By education, I just mean that I take the time to read or find another way to learn about something I am passionate about.

My favorite college professor taught me what it means to be a lifelong learner. So, that love of learning has spilled over into my life after college. So, I’m trying to always learn about something:

-parenting

-how to be a follower of Jesus

-what I want my role as a mom and wife to look like

-what kind of friend I want to be

-anything science

-history, too

-teaching and education

-health and wellness/ exercise and nutrition

-photography

-Psychology and Mental Health

So, I find books, podcasts and articles over these topics and learn what I can about them.

Again…just one thing at a time.

You kind of just naturally learn about the things you are currently interested in. If you don’t have an interest in something, today, that you did yesterday, put that book down. You’ll come back to it, and if you don’t that’s ok! Pick a book (or article, or documentary, or podcast…you get the picture) that you’re excited to learn about today.

One Thing: Connect

Social Anxiety.

The fear of being nervous or uncomfortable in social settings” (webmd.com)

Connecting with other people is so hard for me. And, although I was “diagnosed” with social anxiety. I’ve come to the point where I’m not claiming it. I’m not going to let that define who I am, in the sense that it stops me from living the life I want to live, and it stops me from being the person I was designed to be. It’s not happening.

What is happening, is I’m using that to help me grow. I’m using that to connect with other people who have walked the same or similar path.

I’m thankful for Network Marketing. There’s one company in particular that threw me into Personal Development like no other. If it weren’t for that company, at that time, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.

I’m thankful for my mom. She helped me say “no” to solutions that were not beneficial for me, and frankly that sent me on a path of creative solutions- teaching me to be resourceful.

I’m thankful for my loving God. For the healing He provides.

Let me set the record straight. Healing comes from many different ways, and healing is different for each person. And for many, if not most, healing is a daily habit- not a once and for all.

Side note: 3 years ago, I made a vision board. One of my areas of growth, that I wanted was deeper friendship. I have a very similar picture to the one in this post pasted on my vision board. 3 years later, I’ve seen how that vision has come to pass in many different ways.

Background:

Let’s just paint the picture, real quick, and get a little vulnerable.

I was the little girl who was afraid of light switches. The kid/teenager who timed it right, on most occasions, that other girls/women didn’t see the stall I walked into in public restrooms. I waited in the public restroom for the other girls and women to finish their business, wash their hands, and walk out of the bathroom before I exited the stall. (I’m sure more people saw me than I realized, but I tried really hard to time it just right). Don’t ask me why I did these things. I have no idea. Haha. I’m sure it relates to the fear of social settings, and a need for control of that fear?

I was the teenager who had panic attacks in places like the fair and IKEA. Sweaty, itchy, swelling hands. Heart racing. Hard to catch your breath, panic attacks.

Got the picture?

It affected me in one way or another on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until I started talking about most of these things with my husband (then boyfriend), that I realized these things are not “normal” to all people. (Yikes).

Side note: Normal is a relative term. I’m thoroughly aware that most people have something they struggle with. Anxiety and social anxiety are common. When the anxiety is high, and affects your daily functional level- is not typical of people functioning in their healthy state.

To this day, I still have a hard time looking people in the eye when I am mad, frustrated, angry, or uncomfortable.

Most of the struggles that I have had due to “social anxiety”, I have overcome or at least improved upon.

I’ve gotten much better in many of these areas. I’ve grown so much, and am proud of that growth. I’ve worked hard and overcome a lot for it.

Yet, connecting with people, is still an area that I have to continually work at, process, and improve on, and it feels hard and uncomfortable most days.

So what has the process been for this?

* I don’t think that I really did much growing in my high school and early college years. I just survived the anxiety and avoided uncomfortable situations to the best of my ability.

* Taking classes in college that pushed my limits, helped.

* After I hit my “rock bottom” with anxiety and depression, I started going to therapy. This helped me a ton.

*Pray. Read my Bible. Pray. Bible study. Pray. Go to Church. Pray. Read more in my bible. Pray. Go to all on the conferences at church available, the classes too. Did I mention pray?

* Shortly and also overlapping this time, I was with a network marketing company that valued personal development. All the time spent in personal development, giving my life to Jesus, classes at church, and discipleship school….my friends and family…all contributed to me moving past the debilitating part of social anxiety- into growth and standing firm into who I was made to be.

* I went through a time where answering phone calls, text messages, and emails, immediately, was too much. So, I answered when I could…and sometimes not at all- mainly because the notifications drove me crazy, so I would open, read, and then forget to respond until days/weeks later…or I would just not remember at all.

* Eventually, I came out of all of that, began enjoying hanging out, calling and texting, again.

* Creating a weekly, and then a daily habit of building relationships with my family and friends. If I’m not careful, I could accidentally go weeks to months, before I see the people closest to me, outside of my husband and kids. I can very easily get stuck in a routine of dropping kids and hubby off at work, being at home, and daily pick ups. So, I make a habit out of connecting with other people, in some way. Making connections and building relationships has easily gone from something I dread (you know the part where you have to make yourself go be around people) to something I thoroughly enjoy.

My process most likely won’t work the same for you as it did for me. All the same, if I did exactly what you did..it won’t work for me.

We were all designed differently.

The most important part, is I took One Thing at a time. Slow steps. When I took on too much, I had set backs and started over again.

The best thing you can do is figure out what One Thing you can do.

Is there anything you can do to connect with other people right now?

Make a list of the areas within relationships that you want to grow. Start with one.

What’s the One Thing you can do? Write it down. Add it to your daily list. Check it off once a week. Once a week will become 2,3,4,5,6x…and then a daily habit. Sometimes, it’ll take months just to make that one thing a daily habit.

Seriously.

Growth doesn’t happen over night. You may not even see it until years later…

It takes a lot of work to get past any struggles related to connecting with people, but once you do….you meet some pretty amazing people.

One thing: Cleaning and organizing

Cleaning and Organizing.

This has been an area that has been hard to come back from.

Background:

I love cleaning. When I am stressed (you know..the good kind), getting everything into order feels great. I love it. I love everything looking nice and neat and having its place….it gives me peace.

When I moved out of my parent’s house at 20…21…I didn’t have much. I had some paper stuff I needed to go through, but I always had the mindset that I’ll do it later when I have time. (Insert shocked face emoji). Newsflash….you will never just have the time…you have to MAKE the time. Remember how I said that in my early to mid twenties I woke up, ate, went to work, school, and slept. There were life events thrown in there, too. Getting married, having kids, spending time with family, friends. Doing things to be busy. All the things, and avoiding all the papers I had to go through. We kept so busy that while I lived in my apartment by myself, my house was a constant mess, and I didn’t make the time to create habits early on. Yikes. That’s ok, though. I’ve learned since then….

Jump ahead to that time of deep anxiety and some depression. All that paper stuff I didn’t take the time to go through and organize and get rid of when I was living by myself got combined with my husband’s stuff when we got married. When we first got married, we lived in a tiiiny one bedroom apartment, and all of the stuff that needed to be organized got stuffed in this one tiny area. We were both still in school. Newly married, and becoming new parents. So, guess what happened? Yup, all our high school and childhood stuff got combined together, and now we were adding more stuff when we welcomed our new sweet baby. Because I never made myself create the habit of going through it….it all just kept growing. And growing. As we moved into our house, and added another kid…it kept growing. I would start organizing it, and that’s when I started working full time as a teacher. My husband was in his second or third year teaching, I was beginning my first year teaching. We were also having our 2nd baby. Now we had two kids 2 and under. With that followed my husband breaking his leg, and it made the perfect storm for a tough year. It’s when all of the things started falling apart. And that meant I didn’t have the energy anymore to do all the things. Including the house work.

Up until that part, I was basically doing all the house work on my own. Not all, but a big majority of it. That’s because while I was working part time, I had the ability and the space to do a lot of the work myself. It was annoying at times, but I had the time and energy, so I did it.

Side note: My husband has said on occasion, that he feels like he is doing all the work. He has felt just as I have. In reality, it’s all about perspective. Each one of our perspectives have felt true to us. The most important part is communicating that and then finding a common ground, leaving each other room and space to grow.

When I started working full time, I just couldn’t handle it anymore with all of the other added stress, so I slowly started letting things go. I didn’t have the energy to care about things being cleaned to my extremely high standards. So, a lot didn’t get done. And things just piled up. And I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until my husband broke his leg. While we were in the hospital my family came over and cleaned the house for us, and that’s when I realized I need to get back to where I was. I just didn’t realize how long it would take.

The one thing that was the key….I had to let go of control. As my husband healed from his surgery, I had to allows myself to break down. All of the anxiety and depression from other circumstances had taken a toll, and I needed to deal with it. I had to learn how to take care of myself, and allow my husband space to do things around the house without my nagging. Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have to ask over and over again….but I also could have handled it differently.

This is the process I went through to build back up. And honestly, I am still climbing out of that hole. I have gotten back to cleaning specific areas daily, weekly, and monthly. But, I’m also having to go through 10+ years of junk that I didn’t have the energy or time to go through. Here’s the process:

* Let go of control. Allow my husband and kids the space to contribute on their time and terms. This one is hard. I struggle with it every day, still. It also means learning how to be ok with your home not looking to your standards daily, and learning to know when to say enough is enough. Eventually, your family will feel it, too and they will know that they love your home to look peaceful.

* Pick one chore that I can do. Likely, the first one will be one that has to be done. My mind says…I don’t know about alll of those other things, but this one has to be done and I can do it.

* Day in, day out. Make that chore a habit. Until it becomes something you just do. Now, look up. Look around. Look up. That’s when I tend to notice the next thing that causes the most tension, and then get to work on adding in that chore into the routine. Day in, day out.

* Repeat. There have been times where energy is low. I get used to doing most everything, again. Or just because I have time, I do it all myself. I just have to remind myself to go through the process of allowing and encouraging my family that this is a team effort, and adding new projects to my routine.

If you’re thinking “how can I ever do this?” Trust me. You can. Take it moment by moment. Breathe by breathe. Day by Day. Eventually, you will be able to see past your current storm. You’re building perseverance and resilience. You’ve got this.

Much Love.

Rooted Mama.