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4 Ways to Become Unstuck in Life

Lady looking stuck and frustrated

Feeling stuck is one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. You want to do more, but you cannot seem to get yourself together to do more. And if you express this to other people, everybody just tells you to just do it. Just go for it. This advice sounds so simplistic, yet it feels like the hardest thing to do because you feel stuck. And you may not even understand why you feel this way, but you do. Today I will be discussing a few ways that we become stuck and how we can reverse those feelings.

Mindset

Sometimes our mindsets keep us in circumstances although we desire more for ourselves. Some of us have a mindset of resignation. This mindset follows the line of thinking that it is what it is, I have all I am going to have, and I must make do with this. With this mindset, it is very easy to get stuck because, although you may want more for yourself, you think that what you have now is all that you will ever have. When you have this mindset, the natural response is why want more if this is all I will ever have? This frame of thinking sometimes comes when we have yet to get over decisions made in past circumstances that may have put us at a disadvantage. We may feel like we don’t deserve any better and that we have made our bed so now we must lay in it.

No Real Goals

There are times where we may say we want something but we don’t outline a plan to actually get it. When this happens, we are just basically verbalizing the desire, but we do not actually give ourselves opportunity to reach the destination we have for ourselves. Having no real destination puts you in a position to where you are basically just going through life but staying in the same position. Almost like a hamster on his wheel. Time is moving on, but you are not growing into your potential.  Setting goals is vital to avoiding the feeling of being stuck.

Being Fearful

Fear paralyzes so many people. Some people have the fear of failure. For these individuals, the fear of what could go wrong and the consequences of what could happen is more powerful than the desire to try. This failure to even attempt keeps you stuck where you are in life. But then there is also the fear of success. There are some individuals who shy away from being successful because success often comes with more responsibilities and judgment. The additional responsibilities and the potential to be judged sometimes keeps some from even trying.

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is when you doubt your ability to be successful or feeling like you do not belong. Those who experience imposter syndrome often feel like a fraud, as if they don’t have the necessary qualifications to even be in the company of certain people. People who are experiencing imposter syndrome experience a certain level of success. The problem arises when they do not try to go further for fear of being exposed as a fraud. They feel as if they are lucky to have gotten as far as they have and don’t want to push their luck by attempting to go further. This can leads to a feeling of being stuck because while they may have experienced some success, they are scared to go further.

In order to reach your full potential, you have to be free to do those things that will get you to your ultimate goal. In other words, you must become unstuck. Here are a few ways that this can be done.

Focus on Your Thought Patterns

This is a very important step in becoming unstuck. A lot of what has us stuck is often what we think of ourselves or our circumstances. Take a few moments to really examine your thoughts. Are they positive thoughts or are they negative thoughts? If you have negative thoughts, do they lead to negative self-talk? If you are having negative thoughts and if they are leading to negative self talk, challenge these thoughts. Try to see where they are coming from. Is it just coming from yourself doubt or are they based in long-term traumas? Really evaluate your thoughts and why you have them. You may find that you will find that you can move forward once you begin to change the way you think.

Make Small Changes

Sometimes we feel stuck because we have fallen into a rut. We have gotten into a comfort zone and we have snuggled comfortably into it. Sometimes all you need is a small change in your daily routine or habits to shake things up enough to become unstuck. If you find that you have big goals but you don’t set small goals in between, maybe that is something you can try. Setting those small goals may feel weird to you at first but that small change in habit may be enough to make you feel unstuck.  Also, just trying something new that you may not have thought you might enjoy can sometimes make you unstuck. This could open you up to other things that might get you moving in the right direction.

Build Your Confidence

As stated earlier, there are a lot of things that can go into you feeling stuck in life. Becoming unstuck requires you to look at yourself in a totally different way. Instead of feeling like this is all is going to be, you must start thinking that you can indeed live your best life. This requires you to build your confidence. Building your confidence often requires you to do those things that you may have been scared to do previously or that may feel a little uncomfortable. But once you do these things and realize that you can be successful at these things, you will begin to do more things and you will begin to experience success. This will hopefully move you toward setting higher and higher goals that you will continue to reach.

Find Your Passion

Lastly, find your passion. Oftentimes we feel stuck because have not yet found that thing that we love. We may do a lot of things that we like but very little of the things that we love. Doing the things that we love is what gets you moving to your ultimate goal. Dreaming big and aspiring beyond just your day to day is what will eventually lead to you not feeling so stuck.

Determined looking lady

Have you ever had this stuck feeling? What did you do to become unstuck? Or if you are still feeling stuck, what is going to be your first step in moving toward your goals? Comment below and let us know!

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4 Paths to a Bold, Fearless Life

woman in white living fearlessly

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.

Les Brown

I absolutely love this quote because it faces you think: am I truly living my dreams or am I living my fears? That is a legit question.  Many people may say they are living their dreams. But when they think about every time, they second guessed themselves or not giving 100% of their effort into something, the answer may change.  A lot of people live at least a portion of their lives in fear.  Some of this fear may be legit but some of it may be fueled by things that can be controlled.  The following are a few ways you can begin living your dreams.

Find the Source of Your Fear

This may take a bit of time, but it is imperative that you find the true source of your fear.  Once you determine the source of your fears, you can begin to break whatever it is into small, manageable chunks so you can overcome it and truly begin to live your best life.  Some of the solutions to overcoming these fears may require the assistance of a counselor or therapist.  It will be worth to really take the time to really dig and find the source of your fear so that you can live your life freely.

Change Your Mindset

Sometimes we start out living our lives vicariously, but we end up living lives filled with fear due to our mindsets that may shift over time.  We sometimes start out with growth mindsets where everything is going well and all breaks are seeming to go our way.  When all is well it is quite easy to believe that you can learn more, work harder, and keep reaching for your goals.  However, if you have a fixed mindset and you have allowed fear to creep in, then fear will become a part of your thinking and it will be difficult to move forward.  To be successful, you must minimize any fear that you are experiencing and adopt a growth mindset.

stylish dreamy black woman with afro hairstyle on blue background

Practice Mindfulness

If fear has crept into your life and seems to occupy most of your thoughts, you can attempt to control it through various methods.  Meditation is one technique can be used to help you face your fear and make it less intimidating.  Deep breathing can also be helpful when you need to move forward but you begin to feel fear creep in. This deep breathing can help calm you until the fear subsides. Journaling can also be a technique to put your thoughts on paper and work through your fears through your entries.  You will be able to look back and see how you have overcome your fears in the past to motivate you to work toward overcoming them now.  Also, positive thinking and reframing of negative thoughts into positive ones can help your fears not to appear to be so big that you cannot overcome them.   

Do Not Give Fear Energy

Feeling fear is sometimes just a part of living.  When you are trying something new or in an unfamiliar situation, fear is likely to arise.  The main thing is to not lean into the fear.  This can be challenging but the most beneficial thing to do is to let the fear come, acknowledge it, and then let it pass.  It can sometimes be challenging, and this may take a lot of practice.  Denying fear, the opportunity to completely consume you will take time and practice.

woman living fearlessly on beach

Do you feel as if you live life fearlessly? What advice would you give those who strive to live fearlessly?

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3 Ways to Begin Living in the Present

lady looking off in distance

It seems as if we are always in a rush. We are in a rush to get out of the door in the mornings. We are in a rush to get our children to school and to their extra-curricular activities. We are in a rush to get to work and then we are in a rush to get back home. And when we are not rushing from here to there, we have our faces in our cell phones either on social media or texting away. I am guilty of this and many of you probably are also.

It has only been very recently that I have come to the realization that my thoughts are often on my past or future but not often on the present moment. There is a lot of joy to be had and lessons to be learned in the present moment. Here are a few ways to stay in the moment and enjoy the journey of life.

Making Peace With Your Past

It is hard to live in the present moment when you are constantly looking behind you.  Past hurts, regrets, what ifs, and bad choices can rob you of the joy of living in the moment. It is critical that you make peace with your past so that you can move forward. What does make peace with your past look like? It looks different for different people. Your past experiences, whether good or bad, helped shape you into the person you are today. You cannot always erase memories, but you can make the conscious decision to not allow past experiences to hold you hostage.  Some experiences or memories may be so painful that you may need the help of a therapist to assist you in moving past them. Do whatever needs to be done to move forward so that you can enjoy the journey of life.

Know Your Destination But Enjoy the Process

As my daughter is starting to research and narrow down her college choices, the goal is to choose the college that is the best fit for her.  I am having to constantly remind myself not to rush through the process. I want to enjoy every moment. If you have a goal set for yourself, try to remember to enjoy the process. We often go through the motions with are minds on the destination but there are memories to be made in the present moment when you are working towards the goal. Remember to slow down and enjoy the process as you work towards your goals.

Discover What You Can Offer Others

Everybody has a story to tell. Most people’s story can serve as a lesson to others. I have learned many lessons in my lifetime that can help people, but the lesson was always realized in hindsight. Taking your time through life will allow you to recognize the lessons, good or bad, in what you are going through. Life is a series of lessons for yourself as well as lessons that you can share with others. Sometimes the lesson is to take care of your health before you end up in the hospital. Other times, the lesson is not everyone or every issue is worthy of your time and energy.  Being able to get the lesson in real time can put you in a better position to cope in the present. This could help others benefit from the lesson and avoid unneccessary hardships.

In our fast-paced society, slowing down is a challenge. There will be times when you will have to consciously tell yourself to slow down. There are moments when I wish I had slowed down and really relished the moment. And then there are times when I wish I had slowed down long enough to get the lesson in the moment instead of realizing the lesson later.  I am getting better at this, but I am by no means there yet. It takes time and conscious effort but learning to enjoy the journey of life is a practice we should all strive for.

Do you feel like you are enjoying the journey of life? If so, comment below and share some things that you do to ensure that you are living in the moment.

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5 Risks of Living in Your Comfort Zone

young lady with red shirt and plant

I often hear that your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die.  That may sound extreme, but I believe it to be true for the most part.  I will never go as far as to say that nothing can be accomplished while you are in your comfort zone.  However, I would say that you have a much better chance of achieving your goals is you operate outside of your comfort zone.  The familiarity of your comfort zone may be calming and reassuring but it can also be the reason why many goals may not be achieved.  The following are a few risks of remaining in your comfort zone.

Growth is limited in your comfort zone.

You are not likely to do any growing in your comfort zone.  You live each day knowing what to expect and what not to expect.  This brings you a sense of security but with that security comes a lack of personal growth.  Personal growth consists of you learning new skills, expanding your knowledge, and seeking out new experiences.  When you are nestled comfortably in your comfort zone, you are less likely to take advantages of opportunities.  This leads to your potential for personal growth to be limited.

Fall into mental rut.

Life in your comfort zone is predictable.  Everything is the way it always is, and you like it that way.  However, you can get into such a rut in that you begin to believe that where you are is where you are destined to be.  Your days blur together, and you lose all desire to reach for your dreams and goals because you feel everything is fine the way it is.  The reason why you feel that everything is fine is because you are comfortable.  This can lead to feelings of being unfulfilled and inadequate.  If you are not careful, these feelings could lead to depression or anxiety.

Opportunities are missed in comfort zone..

When you are comfortable in your comfort zone, you run the risk of missing those opportunities that can get you closer to your goals.  I often shake my head at all of the times that I turned down an opportunity because it required me to do something outside of my comfort zone.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone means doing those things that feel foreign to you.  But these are the very things that could also mean the difference between living your dreams and living in your comfort zone.

Becoming watered down version of yourself.

Most of us have had big dreams and big goals that we have wanted to achieve.  Whether it was starting a business or going back to school, we had some goal that we wanted to achieve.  Life often happens and we end up in our comfort zone.  If any effort is put into achieving our goals, it is temporary.  The extra work and dedication needed to make these things happen become a bit much and you sometimes abandon them to return to what is comfortable.  You become the watered-down version of yourself because you still have those dreams that you had before you got into your comfort zone. The dreams remain but you never really become that person because you are hesitant to come out of your comfort zone. 

Frustration and regrets.

Sometimes we go through life and the years pass by before we realize that we are not really living our best lives.  This leads to frustration and regrets.  Frustration and regrets about what should have been or what could have been loom large.  You become frustrated because you may be feeling stuck and then looking back at the different opportunities that you may have passed on causes the regret. Your comfort zone feels good but what does not feel good is the thought that so much more could have been accomplished had you made even the tiniest step outside of your comfort zone.

grayscale photo of woman with daisy on ear

What are some of the things that you do to get out of your comfort zone?  What do you think you have missed out on while you lived in your comfort zone? 

Comment below and do not forget to follow the Serenity Room on our socials!

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4 Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

positive woman smiling

There are many benefits to positive thinking.  Many people belief that if you start the day off with positive thinking then you have a greater chance of having a good day.  Another school of thought suggests that positive thinking attracts good people and good things to come your way.  I believe both things to be true.  A positive mindset will put you in a much better position to not see every challenge or difficult situation as the end of the world.  The great news is that a positive mindset also comes with some health benefits.

Better Heart Health and Positivity

There is scientific evidence that says that positivity can lead to a healthier heart.  When we think negatively or have a negative outlook, stress hormones are released.  This results in a higher heart rate and a rise in your blood pressure.  Having a positive mindset leads to less stress hormones being released which limits the amount of stress being put on your cardiovascular system.  A positive mindset can help ensure that your health is not under any additional or unnecessary stress that can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.

Positive Thinking Can Increase Life Span

A positive mindset can add years to your life.  It can sometimes keep you away from those things that unhealthy thoughts can lead you.  Negative thinking can send you down a rabbit hole that can lead to self-destructive behaviors such as alcoholism, drug use, or unhealthy eating habits.  All of these things can lead to a decrease in your life span.  Those individuals who keep a positive mindset are more likely to do those things that make them feel good and are healthy.  Exercising, healthy eating habits, and lower stress levels can add years to your life.

Positive Mindsets and Increased Pain Tolerance

Your positive thinking can even impact how much pain you can tolerate.   For example, When you are in pain or when you are thinking about something that may be painful, the way you think about the pain can impact your experience.  Thinking you are not going to be able to deal with your current or impending pain increases your stress levels which increases your pain levels.  Thinking positive thoughts reduces your anxiety and helps you to focus on something other than pain. This lowers your stress levels which can lead to an increase in pain tolerance.

Positive Thinking And Better Coping Skills

Positive thinking enables you to see the most positive outcome in a situation.  Negative thinking can lead you to make one bad decision that can lead to other bad decisions.  This cycle of perpetual bad decision making can lead to bad outcomes such as hopelessness, high stress levels, and chronic anxiety.  Positive mindsets lead to positive coping skills. These are the coping skills that relieve anxieties and not perpetuate it.  Mediation, journaling, and seeking therapy or counseling are all healthy ways of coping with challenging situations.  You are far more likely to choose positive coping skills when you have a positive mindset.

positive lady smiling

Comment below and tell me how you maintain a positive mindset?  What are some other health benefits of a positive mindset that you would add to this list?

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3 Reasons to Choose Affirmations Over Resolutions

Young lady looking at herself in the mirror and pointing while she says her affirmations

What a year this has been! As we prepare to enter 2021, what are you thinking about? Are you making resolutions, or do you see them as a waste of time? This time last year I was challenging myself to come up with a list of resolutions that were different than previous the years. It seemed like every New Year’s brought the same resolutions – eat better, exercise, more self-care. Well, my list ended up looking the same except for one resolution: to start and maintain my blog. That was my only different resolution and the only one I kept. This year I decided to do something a little different. Instead of going into the new year with resolutions, I am going into the new year by doing affirmations.

Affirmations are something I have been hearing and reading a lot about and want to incorporate into my daily routine. Resolutions are the things you want to see happen while affirmations are those things that you want to make happen. They are positive statements about yourself that work best when you are intentional about what you are saying. Here are three benefits of affirmations.

Lady with pink scarf on head looking at herself in mirror

Speak desires into existence

We can sometimes limit ourselves by the way we speak and the way we think. When you only think negative thoughts, negative words are far more likely to come out of your mouth. Speaking affirmations almost forces you to speak positively. When you hear yourself repeating these positive statements over and over, the hope is that you will eventually begin to believe them. So, speaking an affirmation surrounding healthy living can help fulfill the resolution of eating healthier. Healthy eating will almost come naturally after affirmations concerning your health and the desire to live healthily.  Affirmations utilize the power of your thoughts and words to create a desired change.

Build Self-Confidence

As stated earlier, negative thoughts will have you giving up before you even start. We often have lofty resolutions that we often do not keep due to our own lack of self-confidence. You can have a resolution of writing a book or going after your dream job but if deep down you do not feel like you really deserve it, it will not happen. Repeating affirmations and believing what you are saying can lead to your self-confidence rising to the point where you begin to make decisions and take actions that line up with your goals.

Become Aware of Negative Thought Patterns

Some affirmations are also helpful because you can see which ones are difficult for you to wrap your head around. If you already feel that you are loved, you will be able to say these types of affirmations easily. But if you find it hard to let go of your past mistakes and forgive yourself, then those affirmations that encourage you to forgive yourself may not come as easily.  This will let you know what areas you probably need to work on in your journey of personal growth. Your thought patterns and self-talk will become more evident as you begin saying affirmations.

stylish dreamy black woman with afro hairstyle on blue background
Photo by Matheus Natan on Pexels.com

Hopefully, these benefits of affirmations will help you begin to incorporate them into your daily life. Do you already do affirmations? Do you feel like they help? Comment below with either your experience with affirmations or whether you want to start saying affirmations.

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5 Self-Care Tips for the Holidays

Christmas gifts to help promote self-care
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

I think most of us would agree that this has been an extremely challenging year.  Many of us have experienced a lot of loss.  Some of us have lost loved ones.  Some of us have lost jobs.  And some of us have lost our homes.  The holidays can be tough when you are trying to adjust to loss of any magnitude and this year may be more challenging than most.  The following are what I hope to tips to help you practice self-care of yourself through these holidays.

The Power of No!

Holidays can be full of invitations.  The celebrations may look and feel a little different this year, but the invitations will probably still come.  You may feel obligated to attend or participate in these events because you were invited or because the event may be something that you would have attended in the past.  There is power in the word ‘no’.  I am talking about a good, old fashioned, solid ‘no’.  The kind of no that does not come with an explanation or an apology.  You deserve a holiday that does not leave you feeling overwhelmed and drained.

Stay Thankful

Holidays are a great time to reflect on our many blessings.  A great way to practice self-care is to think of the things that you must be thankful for.  A good way to do this is to keep a running list or journal to serve as a reminder of all the things you should be thankful for.  Revisiting your list or journal entries and thinking back on all the things you have to be thankful for can help a great deal. 

Allow Yourself to Feel

When those sad or unpleasant feelings begin to overwhelm you, your natural tendency may be to press them down and ignore them.  Doing this can lead to these emotions “eating you up” on the inside.  Allow yourself to feel whatever emotion that comes your way.  If you feel like laughing, laugh.  If you feel like crying, cry.  If you want to be to yourself because it is just too much to be around people, do that.  You can often do more harm to yourself than good when you try to suppress these feelings.  Be open to your feelings and allow yourself to feel them in their totality.  Accepting your feelings is a form of self-care as you allow yourself to feel emotions and work through them.

Keep a Routine

There is often great comfort in routine.  Knowing what is coming next can often ease a lot of anxiety.  There is a lot going on around the holidays and there is often a lot of pressure to get into the holiday spirit.  If you begin to feel down, sometimes the easiest way to get back to feeling like yourself a little is to continue your routine.  It may not be easy, and you may not feel up to continuing your entire routine but doing those things that are familiar can help prevent you from falling into a prolonged period of not feeling like yourself.

Keep Moving

There are so many benefits to physical activity.  Whether you are running, walking, or just moving around your house, physical activity decreases tension and stress while giving you a natural energy boost.  It can also reduce your risk of becoming depressed during this time.  When you stay in bed or start to become inactive, you may feel sluggish and your mental health may begin to be affected.  Move around even it is just to walk to the mailbox.  A part of self-care is to keep moving so that you can keep your energy level up and hopefully your mood elevated.

Christmas tree to help promote self-care
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

Hopefully, these self-care tips will help ease any unpleasant feelings that you may feel throughout this holiday season.  Remember that all these feelings are normal and that you may have to intentionally put yourself first. 

What are some things that you do to practice self-care during the holidays?

The Serenity Room wishes you a Happy Holiday Season!

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Free Yourself: 5 Benefits of Journaling

Woman writing in her journal

I have always been aware of the idea of journaling but I have never heard it advocated as a practice as much as I have this year.  I am sure that is due to the challenging year that this has been.  Journaling has been suggested by many as a healthy way to process the many emotions that may be felt during these times.  Many people often confuse keeping a journal with keeping a diary.  They are similar but the main difference is that a diary is a record of what happened.  A journal is a record of your thoughts and feelings.  There are several benefits to journaling.

Journal to Relieve Anxiety and Stress

Have you ever had so much on your mind that it was just too much to process?  And after you talked it out you realized that your issue was not as bad as you thought?  Journaling is similar to talking something out with a friend.  Anxiety and stress can be eased when you write out your thoughts concerning those things that are making you anxious.  Journaling can provide you with clarity if it is a decision or circumstance that is causing you stress.  Writing out your thoughts on the issue that is making you anxious could greatly assist you with solving the issue or allowing you to see the big picture.  Either of these outcomes can ease stress and anxiety.

Journal to Recognize Patterns

Whether we realize it or not, we all have patterns.  If you talk to your friends about a situation enough they can probably tell you where the situation is headed based on similar conversations.  Journaling can help you see those patterns for yourself.  As you write about how different situations make you feel or your thought process around certain decisions, you will begin to notice patterns.  You may notice that use negative self-talk or you may notice that you do not have as much confidence in yourself as you should.  Patterns can be seen as you write and then reflect on those things that you have written.  Reading past entries can provide you a new perspective on your behavior.

Journal sitting on desk

Journal to Become Empowered

Journaling can give you a sense of empowerment as you can write your deepest, most intimate thoughts.  Whether writing about your experiences or through journal prompts, you will begin to gain more clarity on how you think and how certain experiences have shaped you.  Journaling can help you discover more about yourself.  You can discover what makes you happy, what causes you stress, as well as those aspects of yourself that you wish to improve.  Discovering your personal strengths and the power you possess in these strengths is a wonderful feeling.  But discovering those areas that you may need to work on to enhance your personal growth can be life changing.

Journal to Track Goals

Journals can help you track progress toward an established goal.  After identifying your goal, a journal can help you determine both your good and bad habits that may be helping or hindering you from achieving your goal.  It could be your innermost thoughts or the company you keep but reflecting on past journal entries will help you to begin to see what your barriers are.  Likewise, you will be able to see who or what promotes a healthy path to your goals.  You will be able to learn a lot about yourself in the process and this will make future goals easier to achieve.

Journal In a Safe Zone

Have you ever just wanted to be brutally honest with someone regarding the way you felt but was leery due to the judgment that may follow this honesty?  All of us feel vulnerable from time to time.  A journal is a safe place to write what you feel in a safe space.  No one will see your inner most thoughts except those you choose to see them.  A journal is a place where you can be your most authentic self.  Feel free to write honestly as being candid is one of the main ways to get the total benefits of journaling.  You can learn a lot about yourself when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. 

Open journal on desk

These are just a few benefits of journaling.  Do you journal?  What are some benefits of journaling that you would add to this list?

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Self-Care for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Mother kissing child

As a special needs parent, your self- care regimen is important. Caring for a child with special needs can be stressful.  In fact, the word stressful may be an understatement.  We all can attest that there are great days where our kids achieve something that we thought would not happen as soon as it did.  Your fellow special needs parents can understand the joy of a child eating a new food or acquiring a new skill or even speaking after countless doctors have told you that your child is nonverbal and will remain that way.

There is another thing I think we all can agree with when it comes to being parents of children with special needs and that is the fact that we often neglect to take care of ourselves.  As a busy mother of four children – one having an autism diagnosis – I am guilty if not taking care of myself like I should.  The following are a few ways that we can practice self-care.

Take 5-10 minutes for yourself

Depending on your situation, this suggestion may seem virtually impossible.  But you can do it.  You can spend this time mindlessly doodling.  Or you can use this time to just taking deep, cleansing breaths.  Deep breathing allows your body to relax and release any stress while giving you a boost of energy.  The life of a special needs parent can be very hectic and stressful.  Taking mental breaks can be just the thing you need to get you through your day.

Every day is not going to be a good day

We would all like to think that we can hold it together all day every day.  We hold the belief so tightly that we often think we have failed if we have a bad day.  Every day is not going to be a good day.  A bad day does not make you a bad parent. A bad day does not mean that you are not cut out to be a special needs parent or caregiver.  A bad day does not make you a failure.  Try your best to keep things in perspective.  Some days are just going to be hard but, as cliché’ as it sounds, tomorrow is a new day.

Allow yourself to feel

Life can be challenging as a special needs parent.  There is the constant worry that all of your child’s needs are not being met.  There is the isolation that your family may experience due to your child not being able to be around large crowds or loud places.  You may feel hesitant to honestly express yourself due to not wanting to sound like you are complaining.  But it is imperative that you allow yourself to feel whatever you may be feeling in the moment. Whether you journal or whether you have a good friend you can share your feelings with, allow yourself to feel. Allowing yourself to feel is a form of self-care because this can release some of your anxieties.

Be kind to yourself

Sometimes we can be our own enemy. We can often become hindered by own negative self-talk and negative thoughts. Do whatever you can to remain positive.  Remind yourself of the great job that you are doing. Find something to do that is just for you. Read a good book even if you can only read a couple of pages a day. Find a show that you like on TV and watch it even if it takes forever to get through the whole series. The point is to not lose yourself and to stay connected to what you enjoy. So write if you like to write, read if you like to read, do whatever it is that you like to do even if you can only do it every now and then. Doing what you like to do it a form of self-care.

Take care of your mental health

Special needs parents experience a wide range of issues. There is guilt, anxiety, stress, depression, the list goes on and on. It is imperative that you take care of your mental health. Surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift you.  This can be achieved through support groups or through connecting with people who have a similar circumstance to yours. Be aware of your mental health and do not hesitate to see a therapist if you feel that that is what you need.  In other words, your self-care journey includes taking care of your mental health needs the same way that you take care of the needs of those that you care for and love.

Mother and son

It is not easy being the parent or caregiver of a special needs child. You always wonder if you are doing enough and you can sometimes be your own toughest critic.  I am here to tell you that you are doing a great job. You get up every day and do it have to be done for your family. Keep doing what you are doing and remember to take care of yourself.

What other self-care ideas would you add to this list?

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5 Benefits of Positive Thinking

Woman thinking positively and smiling
Photo by Caio Cardenas on Pexels.com

My last couple of posts have been on barriers to positivity and ways to achieve mindfulness.  This week’s post is going to focus on the benefits of positive thinking.  It can often be challenging to think positively and to always look at the bright side. Although it is challenging there are so many benefits to positive thinking. 

Woman holding firecracker and thinking positively

Positive Thinking Gives Hope

Have you ever been in a situation where the only think you had was the hope that everything was going to be all right?  Hope is often lost when you only dwell on the things that can go wrong.  By its definition, hope is the expectation and desire that something will happen.  When things are beginning to look bleak and your thoughts are beginning to shift to the negative, positive thinking can help you get focused on positive outcomes.  Positive thinking can often give you renewed hope in situations that you felt were hopeless. 

Woman looking resilient due to thinking positively

Positive Thinking Leads to Resilience

Consistent positive thinking leads to positive thinking becoming a habit.  It will become second nature to see the good in a situation and you will find that you do not always consciously talk yourself into thinking positively.  Resilience will make you better able to respond to adversity of tough circumstances with the belief that everything will work out in the long run.  Focusing on positive outcomes, and only positive outcomes, can help build the resilience that you need to make it through tough times.

Attract Other Positive People

Having a positive outlook on life will make it more likely that you will want that for other people.  Your positivity will lead you to encourage others and to want nothing but positive outcomes for them.  Consistent positive people will either attract people to you or drive people away from you.  Those with a not so positive outlook will either adapt or slowly distance themselves.  In the end, your circle will consist of those individuals whose positive thinking matches yours.  This will lead you to having a more positive set of friends and acquaintances who will consistently reciprocate your positivity.

Gratitude

Positive thinking helps you to see the positive side of things – even the things we often take for granted. When you consistently think negatively, you can miss the good things that are happening around you.  Negative thinking can sometimes have you thinking that nothing is going right and that there is nothing to be grateful.  Positive thinking will open your eyes to see the many things that you should be thankful for.  This gratitude can help you enjoy life more as you remain grateful for all that you have. This gratefulness can go a long way while working towards the things that you desire.

Better Mental Health

When you focus your energy on thinking positively, you may feel that a lot of the worries and heaviness that you carry around is alleviated.  Having a more positive outcome can help to ease anxiety which can lead to less stress.  As many of us know, stress is one of those things that can take a life of its own.  Positive thinking has been shown to lessen bouts of anxiety and depression and leading to a more consistent positive outlook on life.  Positive thinking can also help you gain a more positive view of yourself which can lead to more positive self-talk which increase your sense of self-worth.

Woman celebrating improved mental health because she started thinking positively

As you can see there are quite a few benefits to thinking positively.  Over time and with practice, hopefully you will begin to experience these benefits.

What would you add to this list?