nurturing

Nurturing the Self

Written by Rob Giltner, MAMFT

We are living in a world that is different than what we are used to, and while most things aren’t closed down, we aren’t able to live our lives the way we were a year ago. Just getting through our daily routines has so many additional stressors that weren’t there before, and carrying all this extra stress can take a mental and physical toll. During this time, we need to recognize the signs that our body gives us when it’s overwhelmed.

Warning Signs of Chronic Stress

  • Anxious & Negative Thoughts
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Impaired Decision Making
  • Digestive Issues
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Irritable & Angry Mood Swings
  • Overall Feeling of Isolation
  • Depression & Hopelessness
  • Body Pains
  • Frequent Illness like Colds or Infections

When stressed, we need to step back, slow, down, and make sure that we are finding healthy ways to cope. Our lives are very busy. We may have to move at a frantic pace to keep up with the busyness. One side effect of that fast pace life that is we can forget or neglect parts of ourselves that may need nurturing. If we have a garden and we get very busy with work we may forget to water our garden. This would result in the plants dying. We must “water” and nurture are own parts as if they are apart of our own individual garden.

We all have aspects of ourselves that need to be nurtured, whether it be our inner child, inner warrior, inner doctor, or inner parent. When we nurture these parts of ourselves, we can face our repressed emotions, discover the needs that need to be soothed, and offer self-care.

finding inspiration

Finding Inspiration

Written by Megan Bayles Bartley, MAMFT, LMFT

I love to be inspired. When I’m inspired it’s like an endorphin rush courses through my veins and I feel amazing. Maybe I’ve been feeling anxiety or sadness or anger and am looking for something that shifts my attention. What I feed grows, so while I give myself a chance to feel my feelings, I also want to choose to feed what feelings I want to grow.

Maybe feeling inspired feels so great because inspiration usually happens when we’re least expecting it. It surprises us and catches you “off guard.” Or sometimes we want to be inspired so our eyes are open looking for it to happen.

However, inspiration is not usually something that can be forced. If I sit down at my computer to write something inspiring it’s usually because something has come to me and the I write it down.  When we sit down in front of a blank page and attempt to “force” inspiration to happen, usually we find ourselves getting frustrated and annoyed and lack focus.  This is because we can’t force ourselves to be inspired.

What we can do is put ourselves in situations or around people who inspire us. We can read inspiring books, go to museums, be in nature and feel inspiration.

A book that inspires me every time I read it is Melody Beattie’s “Journey to the Heart.” Her words are so loving and caring and encouraging it inspires me to be loving and caring and encouraging of myself. If you are looking for a daily devotional or daily inspiration, I highly recommend it.

Cheers!

alcohol

Awakening the Autopilot with Alcohol

Written by Rob Giltner, MAMFT

When we think of ourselves being on autopilot it can be helpful to consider that feeling as a trance. We go in and out of trances multiple times throughout the day. A trance can be a simple day dream or perhaps being zoned out while driving. There can be positive and negative trances which can influence our behavior.

Alcohol can create a strong trance.

When we drink too much and become inebriated we are in a bit of a trance. Continued use of alcohol can create a different type of trance. When our use of alcohol begins to negatively affect our lives we can experience two things; shame and guilt. Shame, which can be described as “I am bad,” can put us on autopilot by believing we are “bad.”

When assessing our use of alcohol it can be very helpful to consider our use as a relationship. We all have a relationship with alcohol. And with any relationship, it can be healthy or unhealthy. If we notice our relationship with alcohol to be unhealthy it could be because we might be on autopilot or in a trance.

A negative relationship with alcohol can be tricky. Alcohol may want to stay in a relationship with us even when we do not. It can manipulate our thinking or judgment in order to stay. Alcohol could make us rationalize and/or justify our behavior to maintain the relationship.

If we notice we might be in a trance and have a negative relationship with alcohol there are a few things we should do to protect us and make sure we are healthy.

  • First, we would want to find any ways our use has created a loss of self. A loss of self could be a loss of happiness or peace. It could be a loss of a friend or family member. Or it could be a loss of a hobby.
  • We would then need to set up boundaries to protect ourselves from alcohol and regain anything we may have lost. Not drinking and ending a relationship with alcohol is one boundary someone might make. Another, could be to limit the amount of alcohol an individual uses.
  • Lastly, if the trance of alcohol puts us in is very strong, therapy is a must. Therapy can help us heal from the affects alcohol and end the trance it creates.