Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursdays

Reflections

Thoughtful Thursday #217 – Bullying

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No one wants to be bullied and as we know the objective is to oppress, torment, intimidate and browbeat someone into submission.

Bullying is easily recognized if we are observing it in real-time. But do we recognize bullying when we do it to ourselves? Probably not, here are some signals you are bullying yourself.

  1. your inner critic has a field day beating you up by noticing everything that you do wrong.
  2. your inner critic says unkind, mean things to you.
  3. some believe that the inner critic is a motivator to do better, this is completely false.
  4. anxiety, image issues, social anxiety can be the inner critic hounding you with negativity.
  5. watching TV shows that are violent and traumatize you with fear. (I binge watch crime shows.)

You can’t completely get rid of the inner critic however you can arrest its relentlessness and power with a these few tips.

  1. pay attention to your thoughts.
  2. don’t beat yourself up about these thoughts.
  3. notice what your triggers are.
  4. respond to yourself with kindness.
  5. speak to yourself with compassion.
  6. turn off your TV for a while and limit the shows that are violent. (I’m watching more happy programs.)
  7. redirect your thoughts and actions to something happy.

Being mindful, kind and compassionate to yourself is an important skill to learn and takes some time.

Instead, you want caring, reassuring, encouraging and supportive words and actions towards yourself.

You are so worth the time and effort.

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Thoughtful Thursday #216 – Reparenting Yourself

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You grew up in a dysfunctional family, your self esteem is shot, your squirming over an embarrassing action, you want to disappear, you feel rejected at every turn. Sounds like your hurt inner child is expressing itself.

Then you probably need to reparent yourself.

Many of us have grown up in chaos, we have no recollection of who our true self is. That is OK. Of course you don’t know who you are in your core, it is impossible to know if you grew up with chaos and confusion. This is where you can learn to be your own best parent.

Will it be easy, probably not, your tip is the child within feels your feelings, the hurt child within acts those feeling out inappropriately. Here is where reparenting comes in. If you can give space to those trapped feelings, both good and bad, your parent self can step in and stop any extreme behavior, or at least give a time out.

There is much written about reparenting, here are a few resources:

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Strengthening My Recovery (Book)

Alcoholics Anonymous

Taming Your Outer Child (Book)

How to Reparent Yourself (Youtube video)

Google “Reparenting Yourself”

https://www.healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.com/inner-child-healing (Website)

beatingtrauma.com (website of Elisabeth Corey, trauma survivor and life coach)

http://pete-walker.com (Therapist and trauma survivor)

You are worth the effort and can bear the temporary, uncomfortable feelings of doing this important inner work. Give it a try.

 

 

 

Stalkers Do Not Take Days Off

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Stalking is a violent crime. Stalking is conduct directed at a particular person that causes fear.

Ignoring a stalker’s menacing behavior hoping they will go away doesn’t work. You must act right away to protect yourself. Early intervention is the key to your safety.

  1. be alert and proactive.
  2. create security methods like locks, alarms or cameras.
  3. tell everyone you are being stalked.
  4. save any presents, emails, cards, documents.
  5. photograph everything and the person who is stalking you.
  6. keep a log of events.
  7. document everything.

Start a paper trail with the police department, if you are in danger call 911 and keep calling 911 until the stalking stops.

For more information:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-to-do-if-youre-being-stalked-advice-from-an-expert/

Stay safe.

Symptoms of Depression

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To be clinically depressed one would have at least two symptoms almost every day for at least two weeks.

Very sad mood.

Loss of joy and interest in activities that used to be enjoyable.

Lack of energy and tiredness.

Feeling worthless and guilty for no good reason.

Wishing to be dead and thinking about it often.

Can’t concentrate and making decisions.

Unsettled and restless, sometimes too slow sometimes agitated.

Sleep difficulties.

Changes in eating habits.

This list is not all-inclusive and not everyone will exhibit all of these symptoms. Symptoms of depression affection emotion, thoughts, behavior and physical well-being.

The causes of depression are varied. A break up or living in conflict, poverty, unemployment, disability, victimization, victim of a crime, long-term illness, death of an important person, side effects of certain medication, stress of having another mental disorder like schizophrenia, withdrawal from substances, hormonal, there is also bipolar disorder depression, depression following childbirth, seasonal depression.

It is ideal to have early intervention but that is not always possible.

If you are suffering with any of these issues reach out to mental health care providers and if you are involved with someone who needs help remember the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan: ALGEE – Assess the risk of suicide or harm. L – Listen non judgmental. G-Give reassurance and information E-Encourage professional help. E-Encourage self-help and support strategies.

And of course if the situation is dangerous call 911.

Helpful Resources:

http://www.depression-screening.org

http://www.moodgym.anu.edu.au

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center _ 1-888-357-7924

Thoughtful Thursday #211 – ALGEE

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Most have never seen this acronym. I learned it in my Mental Health First Aid class. This is the acronym for the action plan for anyone dealing with trying to help others with mental or physical distress. Many times those closest to us reveal their problems and we want to help but don’t know how. Here’s an effective action plan.

Action A – Assess for risk of suicide or harm. Is the person having suicidal thoughts or behaviors, or engaging in non-suicidal self-injury like cutting.

Action L – Listen non-judgmentally. This can be hard in a crisis, instead try very hard not to express your own negative judgements. Stay calm.

Action G – Give reassurance and information. Treat the person with kindness and respect and give hope for recovery. Have empathy.

Action E – Encourage appropriate professional help. Refer to resources like mental health care providers. Give ideas where to get help.

Action E – Encourage self-help and other support strategies. Healthy lifestyle, support system, problem solving, belief in taking control of their life.

If someone is out of control and dangerous to you or themselves call 911.

 

Here’s just a few Helpful Resources:

If you are in NYC call 1-888-NYC-WELL. They will help all age groups.

Suggest going to their personal physician and ask for resources for mental health.

The Balanced Mind Foundation – http://www.bpkids.org

Cyberbullying Research Center – http://www.cyberbullying.us

National Alliance on Mental Illness – http://www.nami.org

American Psychiatric Association Answer Center – 1-888-357-7924

American Psychological Association Public Education Line – 1-800-964-2000

Hope this helps.

As a helper you can get overwhelmed by another’s mental health issues.

As a helper it is perfectly OK to reach out for help too.

As a helper your work is important.

Good Luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Healthy Lifestyle for Good Mental Health

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This information is from MentalhealthAmerica.net, take a moment and read up on how to help your mental health and the mental health of others.

Mental Health Month 2018 – Toolkit Download

Full Toolkit

Full Toolkit (PDF 39.4 MB)

Full Toolkit Zip (zip file – images included)

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and
treatable. So much of what we do physically impacts us mentally –it’s important to pay attention to both your
physical health and your mental health, which can help you achieve overall wellness and set you on a path to
recovery.
This May is Mental Health Month; purelysimplewords.com  is raising awareness about the connection between
physical health and mental health, through the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and
inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough
sleep can go a long way in making you healthy all around.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and
anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role
in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four
approach to mental health.
Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live
longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health.
Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night’s sleep is important
to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can
have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities
like meditation or yoga.
purelysimplewords.com wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a
healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but by looking at your overall health every day – both physically and mentally –
you can go a long way in ensuring that you focus on your Fitness #4Mind4Body.

For more information, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may.

Fact Sheets/ Poster

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Diet and Nutrition (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Exercise (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Gut Brain Connection (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Sleep (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: FACT SHEET Stress (PDF)

Fitness 4Mind4Body: POSTER Take the Challenge (PDF) Meant to be printed 11 x 17 paper

Worksheets

When Changing Diet is Hard (PDF)

When Changing Exercise is Hard (PDF)

When Changing Sleep is Hard (PDF)

When Managing Stress is Hard (PDF)

Social Media Materials

Sample Social Media Posts (PDF)

Images (To download, right- click the image and select “Save Image As.”)

Challenge Call to Action (PNG 250 x 250 px)

Screening Call to Action Button (PNG 250 x 250 px)

Facebook Profile Picture (PNG 180 x 180 px)

Facebook Cover (PNG 820 x 312 px)

Facebook Shareable (PNG 1200 x 630 px)

Twitter Profile (PNG 400 x 400 px)

Twitter Header (PNG 1500 x 500 px)

Twitter Shareable (PNG 442 x 220 px)

Instagram Profile Picture (PNG 110 x 110 px)

Instagram Shareable (PNG 1080 x 1080 px)


Horizontal Banner (PNG 468 x 100 px)

Vertical Banner (PNG 100 x 468 px)

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

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An announcement to my blog community.

I am now officially a Mental Health First Aider for youth and adults. I took two free classes offered by the NYC Dept. Of Health and Mental Hygiene.

For the month of May I will post what I learned in my Mental Health First Aider class and in life, I hope you will benefit from these new posts.

The class taught us how to access a mental or medical emergency. As an aider we don’t diagnosis but instead provide emotional support and guide the person to the necessary resources. Listen non-judgmentally, encourage appropriate professional help and other support strategies.

It’s time to remove the stigma of reaching out for mental health resources. It’s time to take care of our mental health and guide those who are interested in mental health.

If you need help, more information or want to help as an aider in New York City Call 1-888-NYC-WELL. 1-888-692-9355.

WWW.mentalhealthfirstaid.org for additional information.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Veterans crisis hotline: 1-800-273-8255

For anyone 21 years old and younger call:1-888-NYC-WELL – 1-888-692-9355.

Some of you from my Facebook page have already seen this.

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Thoughtful Thursday #210 – Get Out Of Your Head

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Go to therapy – you have to get out of your head.

I was made fun of, threatened, abandoned and booed for going to therapy by those who were threatened by my bravery and their fear of being exposed as addicts and criminals.

You are brave. Just try one tiny thing that will relieve your mind of worry and pressure and trauma. And those irritating recurring problems that seem to never go away.

Find a benign, non religious, knowledgeable therapist. There are tons of therapists who will not be judgmental of you and will be a sounding board for you to make new decisions for a happier life. A therapist is always on your side, your protector, your ally, your cheering section that will help you process those unseen, just under the surface emotions and a therapist will help you think for yourself.

Find a therapist that gets you. If he or she does not get you then move on to a new one. Your very well-being depends on it. Your mental health is very important, perhaps more important than physical health. Learn about yourself, make your mental health a priority.

Will this step be easy. No it won’t because the mind resists change, but the mind has to tag along when you take steps to help yourself.

Thoughtful Thursday #208 – Trauma Can Define Your Entire Life

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It doesn’t matter what the trauma is, whether  physical, sexual,  emotional, neglect, serious accident, assault, illness, medical procedure, victim or witness to domestic violence, bullying, war, traumatic grief, homelessness, or natural disaster. Trauma is a deeply distressing and disturbing experience.

Just about everyone has experienced a trauma. When we are very young we don’t have the words or resources to express what has happened to us. As an adult our protective defences can kick in to protect us and we are at a loss to express our emotions about the trauma.

Trauma ends up defining our entire lives for the good or the bad. But mostly the bad. Trauma always permanently changes our lives. We end up changing how we view the world with defense mechanisms like repression, denial, intellectualization, rationalization, acting out, projection, isolation, dissociation, and avoidance just to name a few. This is the tragic and sad result of trauma.

Each defense mechanism is there to protect us. These are learned behaviors that our mind creates to protect us from the terror of trauma. And that is OK.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can 100% recover from the damage of trauma and all its destructive power and regain your life.

You can’t recover alone. Defenses don’t help. Fear will keep you isolated. The work of self discovery is not easy, it can be raw and scary and uncomfortable and it is an everyday effort no matter how small the effort is.

It takes just a little bit of courage in making your mental health a priority, find a therapist who specialized in trauma, research the subject, talk it out with a trusted person, write and write again, find an activity that will ground you like art, walking, exercise, and meditation.

The deeper you go in uncovering the effect a trauma has had the faster the recovery and the recovery will be permanent.

Making your mental health a priority will bring inconceivable benefit to you and your universe. You will no longer be held hostage to victimization. Never again to be taken advantage of, free to be who you were meant to be. Happy, calm, progressive, and healthy.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday #207 – Separation

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Many of us have grown up in either mildly dysfunctional or maddeningly dysfunctional family systems. We could have lived through addictions, violence, mental illness, instability, abandonment and the result was trauma. At some point we have to stop seeking validation from those in our family system who can’t even  validate themselves.

It’s time to separate. It’s time to let go of believing that they will change. It’s more probable that toxic people will always let you down and you deserve so much more. It’s time to miss events with those who are emotionally unavailable and toxic. When we separate we can acknowledge our pain and the depth of our family’s broken and unfit system. When we recognise our pain the healing begins.

When the healing begins you will regain your health, sanity, dignity and wholeness with this important and critical self-care. Will it be easy, nope. But so worth the effort.

It’s time to find out who you are in your own wholeness, separate from the trauma, drama and maladaptive idea of who you are.  It’s time for you to go back to the  unbroken and undamaged person you are meant to be, in one piece, peaceful and confident.

You are worth it.