Best Self-Care Ever! StepBet

move-it

Hello Friends!

This post is a simple plug for one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

You have heard me talk about neural grooves and changing habits such as those that are not friendly to Me. In a post, “Pay a Dollar,” I said,

When you feel trapped by your own self, get friendly by remembering this.  You’re mistaken.  You’re talking about a brain groove, not a vampire.  It’s not hopeless.  Not much more, not much less than what it is.  A groove can be abandoned.  New paths can be made and when the stressor hits next time, you will have a longer moment to decide on which behavior to play.  You will have a choice and you will realize more often that you are not trapped by what you thought; you are not hopeless and ugly.

So how long does it take to form a habit? Or break one? To change neural grooves in the brain. Many say, twenty-one days. Others say, you have to do it every day for a year.

This game, StepBet, is designed to get us moving as a habit. I’m loving it. I invite all my patients to join me. My team. My friends! I’m not leaving you out! Smile. Check it out.

You put $40 up that says you will walk a determined number of steps every day, except one, each week for six weeks. If you miss a day, you lose your forty bucks. Some days, I start thinking, …”It’s just forty dollars…(whine – a long high pitched complaining cry.)” The money from those who don’t make it to six weeks goes into a kitty and later dispersed amongst all those who did. Yah! So fun!

Please join me, and let me know how it goes for you.

How StepBet Works

1. Get Your Goals

2. Place Your Bet

3. Step it Up!

Question: What do you do to be kind to yourself, habitually? Please tell your story!

Keep on!

Sequestering Physicians from the Muggles

muggles

When in the exam room, we do not want it to be about the physician.  However many of us don’t want it to be about the patient.

Some of us want it to be about the system, whatever system we are in, so that the system can run as smoothly as possible and get all our protocols met. Are we are making physician-robots?  We isolate them and ourselves. There is a pressure when working in a system to sequester the physicians, such as wizards from the Muggles.

As physicians, we care better for our patients when we realize what we are getting out of the relationship.  We give much better when we know what we are hoping to get and perhaps hoping not to get.  We give better even with medical care.  Is it comforting to think that when it is medical, it is objective, about data?  More safe, perhaps.   However, this binary logic, is false.  We do not practice in such.  We practice in a place where people smile and cry and bond and connect and receive from us and give to us.  When we practice, it is personal.  It is obvious that it is professional.  The delusion is that professional is an either/or condition.  Either professional or personal.  Not both.  Never both.  That is a buttered wall to grip before sliding into patient doctor sexual relations.  Sneeze.

There is a term called, Grace, you may have heard of.  Grace is the condition of receiving without purchase.  Having been gifted and celebrating in the gift without qualifying it.  Perhaps getting a great review from a patient on-line you are expected to respond to, and just saying, “Thank you.”  We have a hard time with this in our world.  “Getting” well.

I struggle with “getting.”  I cannot describe yet how to get well.  How to receive.  When a patient gives to me, I struggle not to qualify what I am getting in the same way I qualify taking a trip to Hawaii, “Oh, I’m going to a medical conference.”  Or, “Look at this new patio set I got from Home Depot!  It was totally on sale.  I got a great deal.”

In practicing medicine, we need to grow to an acceptance of what we receive, and receive with Grace.

I am sure being a patient is better when we realize what we are getting from the exchange too.  We get more, or perhaps differently, than what the insurance and copay gives purchase to.  I hope the patient-doctor relationship is more than what can be had on the street of a Turkish bazaar.

Question:  What are you getting from your patient-doctor relationship?  What is your clinician getting from you?  How can you receive with Grace?  Does this affect your accountability to yourself?  Is this an act of friendship to Me?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Get you some Grace, with Grace.

Honking my horn

….check it out ( yay! smiling!)

Sleep Well

Sleep Well: A “Friend to Yourself” Resource

by Sana Johnson-Quijada MD (Author)

In a culture that demands our time, our attention, and our energy 24-7, sleep has gotten a bad reputation. A full night of rest can feel like a weakness, an indulgence, something selfish. But sleep, says Dr. Sana Johnson-Quijada, is critical to our mental and physical health. And when we are not getting enough quality sleep, our lives suffer. Dr. Q explores the reasons why we sabotage healthy sleep patterns, identifies our unique sleep temperaments, and offers practical, positive, and achievable goals for sleeping better. From a daily sleep log to the 12 Rules of Sleep Hygiene, readers will walk away with the motivation and tools to get the rest they need.

Tell Us What You Are Doing

A pair of Hopper balloons.

This morning, running with Kaia Fitness, I did not have a good book downloaded on my iphone and I was in-between groups of girls I could have chatted with. What to do while running?

Apparently I cannot do one thing at a time, such as simply running. Multitasking is one of my geniuses but also one of my many achilles. My friends at Viking Clinical Research say I have not floundered since I was in-utero. Which is not true.

There were orange groves on my left, vineyards on my right and in front coming out of the morning frost floated eight hot air balloons. Seriously gorgeous.

I decided to call my Missouri-brother and say, Happy Sabbath. Of course, when he picked up he said, “I hope you’re running Sana, cuz if you aren’t…?” I told him I was running.
To the fridge and he said, “That’s good, cuz it means you’re out of bed.”

Well connecting with him was fun, despite his snark. And now with you.

Happy Sabbath, friends. Please tell us today what you are doing to be a friend to yourself? Speak out! We need to hear you. Keep on.

Dr. Q

Unrequited Love of Me

tony

tony (Photo credit: Foxtongue)

A broken heart is.  Colors left behind give clues to whom was involved.

Wanda worked hard at her friendship.  She went into it with optimism.  She had chosen deliberately to do this, the steps toward taking care of herself. Taking these steps, like climbing a fine promise, notarized contract in hand.  She had the confidence of one who has turned aside from indenturehood to property.

Did Wanda get what she thought she would?

Miles was a good-looking man with nicely aged skin, obvious strength anyone noticed in his muscled limbs, and grooves more than wrinkles on his intense face.  He never lacked expression.  He was intense.  And it was with this body and emotion that he went into his relationship with Sara.

Did Miles get what he thought he would?

The most intimate exchanges, the most elemental, the very basic level of love to Me, you or any other is disappointing when it is a negotiation.  We will never get back what we gave for.  Relationships are never satisfying when they are mercantile, even with Me.

Question:  How do you get out of a mercantile relationship with yourself?  How do you give in friendship to “Me” without defined parameters of what you will get back?  When you do, what has happened in your relationship with “Me?”

Self-Care Tip:  Grow friendship with yourself as a lover not a merchant.

Related Posts:

Be as Good To Yourself As You Want Your Loved Ones to Be to Themselves

What Comes To Me From Others Is a Gift

Connecting to Others is a Condition of Freedom Rather Than Loss of It.

Super Act Of Friendship

fitness

fitness (Photo credit: o0bsessed)

One of my biggest bestest connections is now Kaia Fitness.  In the year 2012, shortly after the onset of a life-morphing tragedy, and while in line to order my green tea no classic soy latte with extra matcha and a scoop of protein, (big smile), I noticed two bonny blonds standing behind me.

I met the initiative and creative sisters themselves.  They both practice medicine and passion for being a friend to Me, which you can imagine, had me wagging.

Would you like to join us this morning in Kaia?

Here we are thirteen weeks later and I’m spilling over in gratitude.  So much that I can’t but tell you, too.

One of the favorite lines of Kaia-girls is in brief that no matter how slow or “behind” or ashamed we are of the condition of Me, we’re still better off than someone on the couch.   And I am.

I’m better off than I was thirteen weeks ago.  My body brings me more pleasure than shame.  My beloved tenuous weaving threads, including friendships, have increased in number and I am designed for connection.  I suffer less ridiculous guilt.  I have more of my freedoms, hope, purpose and presence with the frailty of my Time-tied life.  I see Me a little more; the blend of my flaws with my fine stitches.

I’m better to others.  That’s what others notice of course.  Barely.  Not the stars in my rug, but sometimes, they notice, or rather complain less about Me.  Otherwise, they don’t.  Not much more fanfare than that.  Not much endorphin-ee drama.

Yet again, I see that it all comes back to MeWhere it started.

Consider Sleep as a Symptom of Brain Health

English: Lou Ruvo Brain Institute

English: Lou Ruvo Brain Institute (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the brain gets sick, what does it look like?  Do we grow warts, or turn purple or loose our thumbs?  How does our brain say,

Help!

Through emotions and behaviors.  That’s how.

If we were an internist, a primary care physician, we would look at the vital signs.  We’d put our fingers on the wrist, count beats of the heart and breathing, and measure the pressure in the blood filled arteries.  This would tell us some of the story, the introduction to the body.

A church secretary came in complaining of indigestion times two weeks….

Or,

In a far off land, there once was a young maiden who by chance came to a magic filled glade…

Smile.

How does one do this in psychiatry though?  We start with the vital sign of SLEEP.

A farmer in the vast expanse of corn fields went each night to his bed with determination, gritted teeth and racing thoughts.  He worried over things that others thought were insignificant.  He ruminated and chewed over information.  Making decisions followed him around as if each were a crisis life balanced on.  The farmer was awake in the night for hours before his mind turned off.  And when he awakened, he was not refreshed….

Question:  Are you comfortable with considering sleep as a symptom of brain health?  When do you decide to look for medical reasons for poor sleep verses adjustment issues?  Please tell us your story.

Self-care tip:  Get to know your story to know better about your health.

God and being a Friend to Yourself – A Reference of Blog Posts

English: Givers at Downtown Alive, Lafayette, ...

English: Givers at Downtown Alive, Lafayette, Louisiana  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Reference of Blog Posts:

Sleep Related Blog Posts – A Reference Guide

Sleeping German Shepherd

Sleeping German Shepherd (Photo credit: rightsandwrongs)

Organizing the “shelves” 🙂

  1. Sleep.  Be a Friend to Yourself.

  2. Sleep Hygiene – My Version

  3. Self-Care Does NOT Always Mean Doing What You Want

  4. Draw Sleep Hygiene Into Your Culture

  5. Sleep Is The Vital Sign Of Psychiatry

  6. Just Go To Sleep

  7. Good Sleep

  8. You Can’t Barter With It.  Sleep.

  9. Keep It Simple

  10. Regardless The Reasons Not To, Go Get Your Sleep

  11. Sleep Does Not Lose As Gracefully As He Lets Us Think

Sleep. Be a friend to yourself.

English: Мy friend is Wikipedian. Русский: Мой...

English: Мy friend is Wikipedian. Русский: Мой друг – википедист. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being a friend to yourself, comes just when we need it.  When conflicts of interest seduce us into confusion, into late nights of activity; a talk perhaps or a project, a subject of interest, yahoo news perhaps – it is then that being a friend to yourself lovingly redirects our thoughts to the priority of sleep.

During sleep, our friend reminds us that we will heal.  We will receive treatment for the stressful day, better than medicine.  We will allow our broken neuronal connections to regenerate.  Our pantry will restock for clear thinking, kind behaviors to ourselves and emotions with ingredients like cortisol, hormones and neurotransmitters.  During sleep, our memories will find there place in the folds between our cells and plant.

When someone wants to talk to us, a conflict grows importantly, or when we mistake good parenting for enabling bad sleeping habits in our children, our friend, Me, says sleep.  Clarity and inner congruence swath us then and we know that we can’t give what we don’t have.  Tomorrow we can do those things.  Now, it’s time to sleep.

To ally yourself with your friend, Me, keep a sleep journal for a week and see how it looks.

Self-Care Tip:  Sleep.  Be a friend to yourself.

Printable Sleep Diary

Set Your Self-Care And Moral Jailer Free.

Repost

Self Care

Image by Mskadu via Flickr

Self-Care Tip – Set your self-care free.  Be a friend to yourself.

Self-care just is.

The problem about saying self-care starts and ends with Me is that people forget about the journey it travels between here and there.  People become fearful that it means alone-care, apart-from-God-care, selfish-care, and so on.

When we take care of “Me,” we can connect more with others, including God, have more inside of us to give to others, and have more interest in the world around.  The opposite disables our abilities to do those things.  Again we say, “Can’t give what we don’t have.”

God gave us this person, “Me,” to take care of.  He considers “Me” valuable and of high priority.  He celebrates with me and cheers me on.  He stands beside me and He doesn’t see self-care as having exclusionary implications to anyone else.

Please, shake it off.  Self-care is no more of a moral issue than anything else.  It just is.  It is a choice, a freedom, an opportunity.  It is as much about salvation as any other act of good or bad, and has no influence on our worth.  It just is.

Lord, What must I do to be saved?

– Paul’s Jailer.  Me.  Could be you.

Questions:  How do you speak to the stigma in your church, community or self toward being a friend to yourself?  How do you get to Me, despite the pressure to pay-up to all the others around you in emotional and physical energy first?  How is your relationship with God when you are friendly with yourself?  Please tell me your story.

Is Religion A Barrier In Your Friendship With Yourself?

Hello Friends.

I’d like to introduce to you, my pastor, John K. McGhee, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.S.P.H.  

We met about ten years ago in Boston, and worshiped together there for no more than a couple of months.  In contrast to how quickly I chose him, I’ve been very slow about letting him go.  He lives around the globe, talking about health, Love, God and individuals.  He has been and continues to be an important presence in my life and although I sit in other churches, he’s my pastor.  May God continue to bless him, his family and his work. 

Guest post by Dr. John Kenneth McGhee.

Dr. Sana’s blog is persuasive, and possibly life-changing.  However there may be some spiritually inclined conservative Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants who may be uncomfortable with her emphasis on self-care as a vital first-step to healthy interactions. Isn’t it quite selfish and rather ungodly to focus on self-care?  Don’t the great monotheistic faiths teach that people achieve their greatest potential when they unselfishly focus on serving others?

I wonder what God thinks about self-care?  Probably it is impossible to know with certainty.  Who can know God’s thoughts?

However, one can find ample evidence from the Holy Books to support a few principles about self-care.

1.  Self-care is promoted in the Torah.  Genesis 1:28 – 2:3   clearly identifies that God told Adam and Eve to have plenty of sex, and babies; eat nutritious food; and enjoy a delightful weekly rest.

2.  Self-care is promoted in the New Testament.  3 John 2 clearly identifies a principle stated by the human being who was one of Dr. Jesus Christ’s closest friends.  “Beloved I wish above all that you would prosper and be in health.”  Here we recognize God’s concern with finance and health care on a very personal level.  The language implies that there is a direct action involved by God’s friends that they would become financially viable and do what it takes to remain in good health.

3.  Perhaps the most concentrated teaching on self-care is given by Paul who mentored Timothy so effectively.  In I Timothy 4: 7 – 16, I find the following direct commands:

  • Train yourself in godliness – this requires time to read, time to pray, time to think, time to do acts of kindness;
  • Don’t let anyone put you down because you are a young teacher – this requires time to nourish a healthy ego, time to know who you are, time to build character;
  • Do not neglect the gift(s) you have received – this requires time to write; time to develop musical or other artistic talents, time to share gifts with others in a faith fellowship community;
  • And finally Paul counsels Timothy, “Pay close attention to yourself.”

Questions:  What conflicts do you have in becoming your own friend with your religious beliefs?  Is religion a barrier to you being friendly to you?  Or, how has it been otherwise?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Be aware of barriers to friendship with yourself, even religion.

Want Life despite the freakishly terrible. It’s really That Good.

Hope

Hope (Photo credit: bitzcelt)

So many of us don’t get much to speak of as a chance at life until we are older.  Raped with penetration by age five and following, traded for favors, fear and more fear, isolated, escaping from one to other places of objectification.  We don’t like closets.  We avoid reminders but since there is no place we don’t remember our traumas, we are, we know, not hidden well enough.

And then one day, Hope gets through the diseased surface of our primitive defense and delivers her message.  The message comes again, as Hope is unchangingly drawn to us.  Hope has been here before, but this time for what ever reason, it might be our age, finally seventeen or twenty-eight or fifty-four, it might be a nosey teacher or a fatal car crash involving one of our victimizers or our home is moved, but this time that Hope comes, we have the fortune of being pierced through.

When there are holes, Light can enter.  When Light enters, Light takes chase to darkness and then, served on a moment-gilded-platter, we have it.

This may not be your story, but is for enough.  Even one, right?  Even one matters.  Things really are that sick in more “homes,” represented by the normally garbed, disguised at school, work, church, stores and behind their computer screens.  We are all invariably fooled.  All of us respond to these disguises with what is available from our biopsychosocial-selves.  We respond by naming them consciously and unconsciously with a name that serves the needs of our biopsychosocial-self.  We could say that the disguises are designed both by them and us.  It is what it is.  We are all fools, this way by different degrees.

But back to those pierced by Hope.  Being a friend to yourself may not occur to us for what seems forever along the line that Time determinably follows in our dimension.  Being a friend to Me finds us now where light enters.  Hope and Light can have their way on our damaged selves.

Hope ports to all new beginnings.  The judgment of what makes living, through such distances, worth it is not for anyone but the individual and God.  However our opinion, served from our biopsychosocial selves is that life is worth living even in the distance before Hope pierces us through.   See Post, Your Pain is Not Special. It Is Normal., to read more on this.

We who have gotten friendly with Me, want Life despite the freakishly terrible.  Either we are masochistic to continue through such horrors, to continue living, or it is true.  What comes with hope, with being a Friend to Yourself, with Love, when experienced cannot be qualified or quantified other than to say, that Love wins.

Questions:  Do you believe Love wins?  If not, why?  What do you say about being a friend to yourself to those who are in the midst of being victimized?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Want Life despite the freakishly terrible.  It’s true.  It’s that worth it.  Be a friend to yourself.

Science & Sensibility » Research Review: Maternal Metabolic Conditions and Risk for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Hello friends.  Here is the link to my recent entry on obesity, autism and some of how to be a friend to yourself in the on-line Journal, Science & Sensibility.  Thank you for sharing space.  Keep on.

Science & Sensibility » Research Review: Maternal Metabolic Conditions and Risk for Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Sleep Hygiene – my version

1.  The bedroom is only for sleep and for sex.

  • If you aren’t having sex than all you get to do is sleep.  No food, no phone, no TV.  Only sleep.
  • The bedroom is a sanctuary for sleep. Your subconscious is way to powerful to toy with.  When you go to bed you want it to be telling you to sleep, not read that last chapter or check the latest on @Twitter.
  • This can be a change in family culture and affects everyone in the home.

2.  No naps longer than 20 minutes during the day time – Known as a “Power Nap.”

  • If you are tired and have the luxury of lying down, do it!  But set your alarm to wake you up in 20 minutes.  You can do this 20 times a day if you want to.  But no longer than 20 minutes.  Anything longer will break into your deeper stages of sleep and throw off your sleep cycle (also known as sleep architecture) at night.

3.  No caffeine second half of the day.

4.  Exercise but not before bed.

  • Exercise will help regulate your sleep cycle at night if you just give your sleep initiation some space.
  • Try to get forty to sixty minutes 5-7 days a week of aerobic exercise to get best results.
  • Look at exercise like a pill.  A prescription.  Something for your medical and emotional health (inspiring to me), not necessarily for your waistline (inspiration notoriously short-lived.)
  • Every day think, “I’m exercising so I feel good, so I sleep good, so I can do what I want in life” – what ever that may be for you.  Some people will say, “…so I’m not a crazy Mom!”

5.  Keep the lights dim before bed.

  • Light turns off melatonin release from the pineal gland in our brains.  Darkness releases it.  Having your face 6 inches from the computer screen or TV before you lay down doesn’t give your body much time to turn itself off.  Melatonin is a cornerstone in sleep architecture.
  • Some people who feel they must be on the computer or TV before bed have found that wearing sunglasses for at least the last 30 minutes helps.

6.  Go to bed and get out of bed at the same time every day.

7.  If you can’t fall asleep in 30 minutes, get out of bed and do something else until you feel sleepy.  Then go to bed and try again.

  • Refer back to #5 when choosing what and how to do your activities during that time.

8.  If you can’t fall asleep in 30 minutes, consider taking a sleep aid.

9.  Do not take any sleep aids over-the-counter except melatonin, valerian root, or chamomile.

  • All others including anything containing diphenhydramine, block your deep sleep. You may end up sleeping a longer amount of time, but you won’t be getting restorative sleep.  It is during the deep sleep that your body heals, replenishes it’s hormones and neurotransmitters, and consolidates memories.

10.  If you choose to take a prescription sleep aid, do not take benzodiazepines such as diazepam, temazepam, clonazepam, alprazolam, or lorazepam to name a few.  These also block deep sleep.

  • Sleep aids safe for deep sleep and sleep architecture, include atypical benzodiazepine receptor ligands – such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), or zaleplon (Sonata).  The main differences between these are how long it takes for them to be metabolized/washed out of the body.  Some are quick and some last the full 8 hours.
  • Trazodone (Desyrel) is also safe for sleep structure and maintenance.
  • Sometimes people will find that combining something like zolpidem with trazodone is most effective for them rather than using only one agent.

11.  Do not use alcohol to sleep.  Alcohol is a depressant (will make you depressed) and also blocks deep sleep.

12.  Do not smoke before bed or if you awaken from sleep.  Nicotine is stimulating.

13.  Don’t sleep with your pets or children.  They are disruptive.

  • It’s not personal.  It’s sleep hygiene.

Self Care Tip #34 – Use these tips to decode how to sleep well.  Be a friend to yourself.

Questions:  Why do you skip the bits of sleep hygiene that you do?  What helps you in your tough work of being your own friend in regards to sleep?  Please tell us your story.  

Don’t Let Your Sense of Need Get Away From You

Pinocchio Illustration - When He Becomes a Donkey

Pinocchio Illustration - When He Becomes a Donkey (Photo credit: Kev.Kirsche)

Self-Care Tip:  Find your need, grip it tight enough to not let it be taken from you and loose enough that fatigue will not lose it for you.

If we don’t know our need, if we don’t know our wanting, the reason we say “Evangelize,” “Buy this!,” “Don’t miss it!,” if we don’t know why we care what other people are doing, we will not be so productive.  We will be a poor salesman.  We will have a droll experience.  Things will not make sense to us and will be something other than friendly.  We bore ourselves when we don’t know why.

What was it like when not being a friend to Me?  Remember the way we treated others, the disconnection from the people we wanted and the way life didn’t absorb.  Remember why we started with Me.

This is everywhere in our lives – taking medications and resenting it, skipping our exercise, staying up late at night when we are feeling so good, turning our addictions over to our Higher Power becomes rhetoric and you know what more.

This is just a short trip into this idea today.  I’ve been blessed remembering my lows, being in my lows, and experiencing my wanting.  I’ve been messed up when I didn’t.  I don’t want so many goodies that I turn into a donkey.

Keep on.

Questions:   How has remembering your wanting improved your ability to be a friend to yourself?  How do you keep the memory of your wanting even when you don’t?  Please tell me your story?

Hatred and Brain Health

Hatred

Hatred (Photo credit: dton23)

Have you ever noticed that hating the person who hurt you is never enough?  The damage does not respond.  The edges do not come back together.  Hating them harder, hating them more effectively, with your voice, with your body, committing your talents toward their detriment, recruiting forces, community – this is not enough.  Finally, you grow plans from dragon teeth.  You wish them death and an after-life of repeating hateful deaths.  It is still not enough.  You are left with you.

When the extreme, when the hate that is to say, is not enough something is wrong.  But it’s not what you think.  The thing that is wrong is not that.

We could say you are a sinner.  We could say pray more.  We could say exercise, destress, do yoga, karate, eat less sugar and drink grass juice.  We could and perhaps we do.  But this time, please put that aside.  It is not disqualified.  It’s just not the bit we are going to talk about.  Don’t be mad at me.

The hate is in the brain.  The brain picked this to perseverate on and return to like the tongue over a canker.  Lick.  Ouch.  We don’t ask for these emotions.  We don’t ask for these behaviors.  They come, symptomatically telling us a story about our condition.  Hear the story?

It goes something like this.  We are persons who know enough to know that this is a feeling stronger than deserved. This is a response not entirely rational.  This is a behavior that we would choose not to do otherwise and nor would a friend of ours support.  Our mother would tell us, “No.”  We experience a whole body response that surprises some level of our awareness and that part stands by uncertainly with her fingers picking at her lip.

The story tells about the other times when we endured worse and responded without as much personalizing.  We remember that someone else we knew acted like this and we didn’t think much of it.  We thought they were “off.”  We realize that what we are experiencing might not have as much to do with the crime as we thought.  It might just be that we are not feeling and behaving well.  It might be our brain.

That darn double-crossing organ!  How is anyone supposed to trust themselves?  It’s tough but we have each other and we have our story and we have grass juice.  We have God.  We have medication.  We have ECT (electroconvulsive therapy.)  We have acupuncture, our support groups and DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy.)

Considering where emotions and behaviors come from is the bit that gives us a chance to find and be found by help.  Hate is a very strong emotion from the brain and it isn’t so friendly to Me.  If we can’t put it aside, consider the brain.

Self-Care Tip:  When emotions and behaviors come that you don’t want, and won’t go away even when you say, “Please,” consider your brain health.

Question:  What has helped you disentangle the effect from a cause that wasn’t really the cause?  

How do you allow for the biology of brain health when it comes to feelings so personal?  

How is considering the brain a friendly thing to Me?  Please tell us your story.

The Holidays and Lonely Me

The Holidays and Lonely Me.

Easter’s a-comin’, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, laundry day, everyone gets a day…  Can invoke loneliness though the intent is to draw company.  Oxymorons doing there thing.

I reposted this to celebrate.  Keep on.

Social-Media as Self-Care

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Hello Friends.

Introducing you to mutually interested others in being a friend to yourself:

#MHON is a supportive Twitter chat led by credentialed Mental Health professionals around Mental Health issues. Every week or so, a different licensed mental health professional is featured, who discusses his or her specialty and takes questions from the participants.

#MHON runs weekly on Wednesdays  at 12 Noon – 1 PM EST. #MHON is co-moderated by Kathy Morelli, LPC, Tammy Whitten, LMFT, and Ann Becker-Schutte, PhD.  Contact them

via Twitter: @KathyAMorelli  @WomenAndStress  @DrBeckerSchutte

You can participate in chat and also as a host if you are a licensed mental health professional.  Since this is good for Me/you, yours truly put myself out there, and have happily been “invited” (okay, self-invited) to be a guest host on May 16.  Yay!

Join in in any way you like.  Also if you have any other sources of self-care like this that you’d like to share, please let us know.  More “Yays!”

Disclaimer: #MHON  is not intended to be a substitute for ongoing care by your personal doctor or therapist, but is informational and psycho-educational in nature.

How Your Indulgence Improves Your Friendship With Yourself

Ann Morgan Guilbert as Grandma Yetta.

Image via Wikipedia

I remembered my grandma’s hair today.  She had this little vanity.  Used to roll it up at night and put her net over.  In the morning she was careful about it.

She had good hair.  In her 80’s it was still pretty full and it was white.  Really white like forgiveness.  Something about it carried a message.  “Here is a woman who has beauty.”

When my grandfather died, I am told that there were men who wanted to marry her.  Men with farms, a business or something to offer.  Grandma, when she thought the time was right, would introduce them to her four sons.  Big sons, with big bones and the quietness from working in the inconsiderate conditions of nature and element.  Sons who had a father once but lost him, like a ring that slips off your finger in the water without you knowing it was gone.  Worse than that.

It’s important to have a message when you live under working conditions, where horrors happen.  A little sister burns to death in front of you.  Your finger gets twisted off in a washing machine like a bottle cap.  You canned.  Canning was never a hobby for Grandma but I never had the sense that she disliked it.

What made Grandma’s hair stand out so for me and my brothers was that it was her indulgence.  Why an old woman with no teeth, in a wooden farm-house sleeping next to a man she didn’t marry for love, (although she loved him), would roll her hair every night as if she was going to have family pictures in the morning – just has to make you smile.

She used to leave her dentures in a cup of water by her bed and her mouth would leak a little when they weren’t in.  How good her kisses were.  I’m glad I didn’t know to think they were gross.  Even when Grandma got really old, smelled like medicine and her rotting insides, I didn’t think so.

Mom would go in and roll Grandma’s hair for her because her fingers turned at odd angles.  She couldn’t do her hair and she couldn’t play piano.   Later, when moved into a nursing facility, there was a beauty contest.  My mom found out about it and enrolled my grandma without her knowing.  She told Mom afterward that she won because of her hair.  I had never heard Grandma talk about her hair like that, even though the rest of us had, and my brother’s and I laughed until we cried.  And then we cried some more.

Question:  What is your indulgence?  What is the message in it from your secret self out to the world? What does it bring to your ability to be your own friend.  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Celebrate your indulgence, acknowledge its message about you and see what it brings to your ability to be your own friend.