Anxiety and self care

Wow. When I wrote this…it was back around Thanksgiving. I remember this one-two week period, distinctively. It was the moment I realized that I really and truly have to shut down, all of the things, so that I may feel all the feels and sort through all of the thoughts. Now that we are 3 months into Corona time, with all of the things that are currently going on in our world. I’ve realized that there are some amazing people out there who don’t know that what they are going through is ok. What you are feeling is ok. You are not alone. If you are someone who lacks the support you need, I’m working on creating a resources page. If your situation is urgent, I implore you…find and seek help in your local community. In the meantime, I hope this reflection of what I wrote back in November is helpful and brings you hope.

Anxiety and Self-care:

Over these last couple of weeks, I felt myself winding up…anxiety wise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on…but I felt like I needed to slow down. So, I did.

I allowed myself to not go full steam ahead.

I allowed myself to slow down and tune in.

If I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t. In fact, I slowed down to pretty much only my 30 Days of Thankfulness that I was 100% committed to.

I slowed down on house work—to what needed immediate attention…

You know, I have talked about my “5 Daily Things” I started making progress towards, after hearing John Maxwell speak this summer…and for 2 weeks…I didn’t focus on those at all.

And that’s fine. I needed to slow down and figure out what was triggering me.

It took a couple of weeks, and one good night of crying…but I finally figured it out and got all of that anxiety tension released.

I love this article about anxiety and self-care.

We really need to make ourselves, and listening to our bodies a priority.

When we are taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others.

There is room and grace for survival mode.

There is room and grace for missing out on taking care of ourselves. It happens.

But, once we cue in…we can slow down to figure out what’s going on. And what we need to do.

Check out the article. Tell me what you think. I’ve tried all of these tips and agree.

It’s funny, because I used to hate yoga for exercise. It felt slow and awkward. But last year, I tried it for a season and loved it. It was just what I needed..and I’ve been missing it, since I gave it up last summer.

When you think about self care, don’t be surprised if something you used to hate or would never think about doing for you turns into a something you like.

If something crosses your mind to try…try it.

If you’re a mama-or someone who needs self care, but doesn’t have a budget to spend on yourself…don’t worry.

When I started my self-care journey I had to get creative, because we didn’t have the budget for me to go get massages, pedicures, and the like every week.

I’ll share resources on some budget friendly and simple ways to find self-care. As well as, things that are self-care that you may not have thought about. I certainly didn’t.

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Groundhog Day

“Phil! Phil Conners, [is that you]?!”

Do you ever have days where you feel like Phil Conners, reliving Groundhog Day…over, and over, again?!

Some days…if I wake up hearing that.same.song.just.one.more.time. I may just let out the most epic, blood-curling scream, followed by a river….an overflow…of tears that would take years to unflood.

Most days, I see where God has brought me from. I see all that He has done for me. Peace washes over me, and I know to whom I belong.

And some days, I’m weary of the fight. I’m at my limit. I-just-can’t-do-it-anymore.

I’m the toddler throwing herself on the ground, screaming, rolling around, crying, screeching…and then, getting up and walking away like nothing ever happened.

Side note: I imagine my Heavenly Father, smiling, shaking His head, and saying: “My beloved, dear daughter…get up. This is not how we act. Get up and use your big girl words.”

And- you need to know…that all of those are o.k.

It’s part of the process, the journey…

Some days are a breeze.

Some days are hard as heck.

Some days are for uprooting the weeds in our heart…

And, some days are Groundhog Days….

But, even Phil Conners figured out how to get past living the same day over and over….

You and I can, too.

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: Budgeting/Finances

Background:

Finances. Eck. Not my favorite subject…people get weird when finances get brought up.

My finances have gone something like this…

(From the time I moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment)

Work 3 jobs, go to school, eat. sleep.repeat. Just like I didn’t make time to go through all of the stuff I had accumulated…I also didn’t make time and attention for my finances.

I struggled…just like every other person, starting out living on their own.

When my husband and I got married…it is by the grace of God that every need was met.

And, as we continued on in our marriage…we did ok.

For a couple of years.

Then, as I started working part-time and eventually stayed home for a year…our financial situation has slowly grown into a giant needing to be slayed.

But, if you rewind a year or two…you will see that I had prayed for this…

And looking back now….I just laugh…and shake my head…because that’s all you can do. I literally asked for this giant.

A couple of years ago, as I was pursing a Network Marketing business…you would hear stories about how people were in this financial situation. They were hurting financially, and when they made the jump into Network Marketing…they needed a God miracle.

And one night…I remember praying to God. “Break my finances, God….and put me in a place where I need you. Break my finances and put our situation back together, help us start over from ground zero.”

I knew that I have never really been in that place of need and hurt. So, I never really jumped in like they did…because they had been in a different place than I had.

I also knew that, we honestly hadn’t been faithful with the little things. We hadn’t been faithful with the little bit we had been given, and if we couldn’t do that…how could we be trusted with the big blessings? If we weren’t faithful with the little, then when the big blessings came…it still wouldn’t be enough.

So, I wanted to be able to be trusted with the big, so that we could help others.

The Bible says: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. “ Luke 16:17

As I have mentioned before…I dream BIG. There is no small dream that crosses my mind.

And so, in that moment, I knew that I never really needed to depend on God in our finances in such a way that I had to worry in any way that it really hurt. I never needed to take a leap of faith, because I always leaned back on what was given in the natural.

Up until that point, we struggled, but we were comfortable- and God did always provide in some way or another, just when we needed it.

Over the last 2-3 years, God has shown us so much. We have learned so much.

And now, we are in a position where we are making the changes to set us up for long-term success.

And, waiting on God to slay this giant, once and for all.

Because, with prayer, action, and the Holy Spirit…God will have all the glory when this giant is slayed.

This is another one of those growth areas….

But, here is what we have done, so far…One Thing at a Time.

* A couple of years ago, my husband started working an extra part-time, work-from-home job so that I could stay home with our youngest when she was born.

* I went back to work for a year.

* We sold our house and downsized to Tiny Living. (There are other reasons for this, but that story is for another time.)

* I have started working jobs that can be on our time, flexible, and still contribute to household income. While also allowing for space to write, volunteer, and many others things that I love.

* Get rid of all monthly subscriptions or monthly bills that are not necessary and get back down to just the basics.

* Partner with referral and affiliate opportunities that come up- and I have to believe in their companies and products. I’m a big believer in multiple streams of income, and residual income. So, any chance I can take on that, and not have to invest a ton of money. I’m down. Again, as long as I love the product and company. What I love about these, is that they still take time to build. You have to put in hard work for reward…just like anything else. Anything worthwhile, takes time to build. And, as I do the hard work, the residual effect will take place in the long run. And if I do the hard work now, I don’t give up…the residual benefit will pay out later.

* I bought a budget wallet. If you want to know more about that-look up Dave Ramsey. Then look up a budget wallet on Amazon. Boom and done.

*Pray and allow God to do His thing. I literally asked to be in this position…(someone remind me next time to make sure I know what I’m asking for) and when He does…give the glory to God. (Again…I’m still learning how to do just that)

*Give faithfully- there’s a time and place for giving a God gift. A gift that is outside of what you can see there is room for. An outside of your comfort, I don’t see how God will make this work, but I’m going to do it, because He told me to gift. And then, there’s giving faithfully and consistently within your means. I’ve got the riskier one down-that one was hard. Now, it’s time to learn the latter. Equally hard, but in a different way.

There’s no way we could have taken all of this on at one time. We made changes slowly, over time.

If you find yourself walking along side me in this season, and you’re overwhelmed…

Remember…just one thing. Look up. Take a breath….seek God. And focus in on one thing you can change right now. Let God do the rest.

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: Time with Jesus

Often times, we try to over complicate things. We look around at other people, where there are in life. When we do that, sometimes, we are hard on ourselves. We try to do things that they are currently doing, because if they are doing those things…they must have done those things from the beginning to get where they are. And if they are doing things, then I must need to do those things, too. Right. Right? Wrong.

We were each made uniquely. What works for one person will not work for each one of us individually.

We can get ideas from other people. We can look at what they are doing, study what they are doing, and practice what they are doing. But we can not copy what they are doing, exactly. We have to be true to who we were made to be. We can take ideas from different sources, and combine those together, and then spin them all around into what works for us.

That’s what this is intended to be.

As I share about my “one thing” that was a key to unlock the other things….know that this is just one of many resources.

If you are a person that finds yourself barely able to keep your head above the water…take what you can and practice it. Don’t try to make things happen that aren’t designed to be practiced yet. Some of the information you will find will be to hold on until later. Until you have unlocked other pieces in your life. Some of the information will not be for you, and that’s ok. Some of the information you will need to tweak and make it work for you, and that’s ok, too. Take solace in hope. I’ve been there. It’s hard, and as you keep pushing forward. You will come out the other side. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be other hard things. What it does mean is that you are stretching your perseverance muscle in this area. When you do that, you’ll be able to take what you learn and use that in other areas.

If you find yourself in a similar season, take solace in the fact that you are walking this road with someone beside you. I’m right there with you, in the trenches.

If you’ve been there and done that, gained a ton of wisdom, and this brings back fond or even painful memories. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and thank you for the wisdom you pour out into others.

Background:

Growing up…I went through this process…

1. Confusion…Who is Jesus? Who is God? I don’t really understand any of this….during this time, I tried to make myself fit into a box that I wasn’t understanding, tried to do things I hadn’t built a foundation for, and did I say I was confused?

2. Ok…I kinda get it…if you want to be good….you follow God. Is that right? I do good things, I go to heaven…right? (I would later find out that this is not quite how it works…but its where I was at.)

3. Accept Jesus as my savior. I was about 13…and I had no idea what it meant or what I was doing….again, this is where there was still confusion and more of the trying to do things I wasn’t ready for….like reading my bible on my own. I didn’t know where to go what to do, how to do it….but, I also didn’t ask for help. I didn’t let anyone know that I needed help…so, I didn’t allow for a foundation to be built the first time I gave my life to Jesus.

4. Live life. Do things my way. This went on until I was about 27. I had lived my teenage years, ventured into adulthood. Early adulthood looked like, wake up, eat, go to school, go to work, sleep repeat with life events like getting married and having kids, graduating, and starting a career. From 24-27 is when I was having a ton of anxiety and depression. This was my rock bottom. I knew that I couldn’t keep going doing things my way.

5. Give my life to Jesus. For real this time. This time, I surrendered a whole lot more…not completely..because surrender has been a process for me. Honestly, its a lifelong process. Living life, continuing to go to church, allowing seeds to be planted…I understood what was happening this time. But this was the key. This was the one thing that unlocked the other things.

Out of my Daily 5, Time with Jesus is number one, because relationship with Him means that everything else falls into place. Not perfectly, but the way it should be with room for human error.

I had tried all the things first…journaling, reading my bible, worship, going to church, going to retreats and conferences. Those are all great…but without the one thing, its like putting a square peg into a round hole.

It’s ok to practice all of those things. They build a foundation, too. They build up your perseverance in other ways. But, I needed to realize that I needed to focus my attention on one thing. The key that I was missing was having a relationship with Jesus and surrendering my life to HIm.

Once that took place. I put my attention on that. What it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus and tell him day in and day out: Jesus, I can’t do this without you. Until then, there was tension in the other areas. This journaling isn’t working. I don’t know how to read the Bible and find your voice. Feeling awkward worshipping. And not even know what worship is or how to do it.

But once I gave my life to Him, the tension in that area released, and everything started slowly (for my time table- and perfectly on God’s time table) coming together and making sense.

From there, I was able to learn how to Journal with Jesus. Read the Bible looking for God’s voice. Worship. Praying. All the things that make up spending time with Jesus.

Here’s the thing. We get overwhelmed when we need to make it simple. What it boils down to, is pinpoint the tension. If there’s more than one source of tension, pick one that gives you peace. Practice them all here and there, but put your focus on one. When the tension releases, look up. Breathe. Now, tackle that next area.

You know where you are at in your journey. Maybe you have already given your life to Jesus, but praying is your tension. Put your focus on learning how to pray. Whatever your tension is. Learn how to do that one thing. Go to the conferences, the classes at your church, meet with mentors. Sometimes, you even have to put the basics of learning how to spend time with Jesus down for a minute to learn how to deal with giving your junk (you know- anger, sadness, all the hard stuff) to Jesus. Sometimes, that’s the key to go deeper. It’s like a wall- and you have to walk through letting him break that wall down, and that’s your tension. Then, you pick back up to adding those other things into your time with Jesus.

There’s no perfect way. There’s no one right way. This has just been my process, and one resource to you. Another perspective that hopefully breaks it down a little more and makes it simple. Stop trying to do it all, if it isn’t working. Focus on one thing at a time.

Sleep Away Camp Takeaways

This summer, my oldest son spent his first week away at Sleep away camp. And it was the best.

When we signed him up, I was finishing my last semester of teaching. And as summer came close, and began…I was focusing on one trip at a time. (We spent this summer traveling). So, when it came to planning for his week at camp, we waited until the last minute… Which was fine…but this year, I plan to prepare all year.

When you enroll with Kanakuk, you have a sign-up for “My Kanakuk”. This is where you look at your registrations, and the Kamp(s) your child(ren) attend. Inside your account is where you can find all of the info to prepare for the upcoming camp. The whole system is really put together well with a ton of helpful resources.

One day, I can go over all the logistics. But, today…I want to talk about my takeaways.

Takeaways:

* Letting your kids venture out on their own is scary. Anything could happen, even in the safest places. And that’s why you have to let go, and let God, pray and lay it all down.

* It’s also rewarding, for them and for you. They learn skills that you can not teach them, or that are more receptive coming from other people. And you get to see them grow, and step into the person they are made to become.

* They are more adventurous when you’re not around. So, they will allow themselves to try an activity that they might not if you were there. Hello confidence. The director of the camp my son went to warned us about this, and let me tell you…my son started the year off more confidently than he has any other school year.

* You know that thing you’ve been praying for? It most likely won’t happen right then. But, if you let things just happen naturally, seeds will be planted. And, little by little you’ll see God move in your child. You’ll see the little nudges. You’ll see the softening take place. You just have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

* The best thing you can do is give up control. It’s when that happens, that you start to see everything fall into place.

* Through everything. The best thing you can do is love them the best way you know how.

* Pray. Every day.

*Write Notes. And leave them in your child’s bag. And, be ok with the fact that they may be having too much fun to read all of them.

If you have been on the fence about sending your child to sleep away camp. I hope this helps you to find that courage. It may not be for everyone. You know your child best. But, if you have that stirring in your heart, that this is something you should or could do for your child. I would challenge you to lay it all down. Take it one step at a time. And not let finances get in the way. He always works the finances out, when it’s His plan.

Be blessed.

~ Rooted Mama

One Thing.

I am a dreamer.

I get an idea- and I dream it up, bigger and bigger, until its this massive idea that is overwhelming.

And then. I freeze.

I freeze from being overwhelmed.

I freeze out of fear.

Have you been there?

It’s…frustrating. It’s terrifying.

My family can not live off of dreams.

I also have faith and hope. I have faith and hope that these big dreams are going to work out. And little by little, they do. But, that BIG, MASSIVE, breakthrough that I am searching for. It hasn’t come to fruition, YET.

I say yet, because my God is big.

He is bigger than I can ever imagine.

I keep putting Him in a box.

And He keeps reminding me that…

1. He doesn’t belong in a box

2. And even if He did- He’s much bigger than a box

I believe that God moves in BIG ways. But, He can’t move, if we don’t have action.

So, when we are overwhelmed with “God, I don’t even know what I am supposed to do anymore?” “What do I do?”

Just do one thing.

What is the ONE thing you can do right now?

What’s the one thing you can do right now- it’s that little thing that will help you breathe easier.

You got it?

Wait, wait, wait. Don’t make it complicated. Quit overthinking it. Don’t let your thoughts run wild…go back to it.

What’s that one thing? Hold on to it. Focus on it. Start it. Complete it. That’s it.

Ready?

Great. Let’s go get it done.

Step on my Toes

We were visiting my husband’s grandparents in Lufkin, Tx. His grandpa has been very sick, for a while, and we haven’t been sure how much longer he will be here. So, when we get the chance, we head out to Lufkin for a visit.

One weekend in July, we decided to go out for a visit. During our time there, he spent telling us some stories, or giving advice.

And one of the most profound things that I took away that weekend came at one of the shortest, but direct conversations.

“When I go to a new church, I meet with the Pastor”, he said. And I tell him “Listen, I expect you to step on my toes. If you can’t give a message that is going to step on my toes, then I won’t be sitting in those seats.” He went on to say that there are too many people, nowadays, that are too afraid of getting their feelings hurt, and too many pastors that are afraid to hurt people’s feelings.

How true is that?

We need to step outside of ourselves. We need to allow and encourage our leaders, and people in our closest circle, the people that we trust, to speak truth, love, and kindness- even if they have to step on our toes.