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Practicing Patience: 20 Ways to Be More Patient Today

“Patience is a virtue,” it’s been said, and certainly it’s true. When we live with patience, we experience greater peace, joy, and love. We notice and embrace the beautiful parts of life and endure gracefully the hard parts. As we practice patience, we help our families and communities experience greater peace, joy, and love too.

 

I spent an entire year practicing patience on purpose. It was my theme for 2007, and it was also the year when my life fell to pieces. I began the year knowing I needed more patience—with my kids, my husband, and especially myself. But then, life threw me for a loop, and I needed patience all the more. During my year of Patience I learned several strategies that helped me become a far more patient person (many of which I share in my memoir, This is How We Grow, coming Nov. 13th!).

 

I had this "patience" sign made during my year of patience and put it in the basement, where my boys live. Every time I go down and see their messes and craziness, I'm reminded to practice patience. Totally works.

I had this “patience” sign made during my year of patience and put it in the basement, where my boys live. Every time I go down and see their messes and craziness, I’m reminded to practice patience. Totally works!

If there’s one thing I know about patience, it is this: We can all increase in patience, if we work on it. Like any skill, patience must be practiced. And, like any skill, it helps to have some simple ideas to show us how to improve.

 

Below are “20 ways to be more patient today.” The first eight come straight from my year of Patience; in fact, they’re the chapter titles for the first eight chapters of my book’s Part 1: Patience. Patience also happens to be the theme for lesson two of my This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group (for information, click here), which inspired me to add the other twelve ideas. I hope all 20 ways to be more patient will inspire you to practice patience today. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Choose one or two, and be a little more patient today.

 

1) Choose to grow. It’s much easier to be patient when you see the greater design of things. Frustrating moments, people, and situations can all teach us something, if we choose to learn the lesson. If we choose to grow.

 

2) Live strong. Life is hard. But we can do hard things. Don’t ever forget it.

 

3) Appreciate life. Look for all the great things that are in front of you right now. Never take for granted your loved ones, the beauty of the world, and the moments that make life worthwhile, and you will definitely become more patient.

 

4) Accept what is. You don’t have to like what is or even agree with it; you just have to accept it. In accepting what is, we stop fighting with ourselves over things. We can breathe, take a good long look and see, “This is what is happening right now.” And that is patience.

 

5) Live in the paradox. If you don’t have clarity, or if things seem to be paradoxical or confusing, go ahead and live in the paradox for a while. Give yourself time for things to work themselves out instead of impatiently forcing an outcome.

 

6) Ask “How.” Don’t get stuck in the “why’s” of life. “Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t I just be good at this?” Instead, ask “how.” “How do I carry on?” “How do I do what I’m being asked to do?” “How” is the question of patience.

 

7) Fake It ‘til you Make It. One of the best ways to practice patience is to act as if for a while. Act as if this thing didn’t bother you, or as if you know what you’re doing. I’m not saying you should be fake; no, I am definitely all for authenticity and being real. But, faking it for a while is a great way to get through the tough moments with patience.

 

8) Slow Down and See. Life is so busy, and it can be a huge cause of impatience. Slowing down allows us to see and appreciate the richness of life. I wrote a really great article about this, so check it out.

 

9) Get enough sleep. When we’re too tired, we don’t cope well. Period. Get your 7-9 hours per night and take naps as needed to refresh you and give you a boost in patience.

 

10) Practice deep breathing and/or meditation. Practicing deep breathing every day helps it become a habit. And taking a few deep breaths when stress comes our way can hugely affect our level of patience. Meditation is also a wonderful practice, taking us out of of thinking mind and into our soul. Here are two thirty-second videos that show you how to start practicing deep breathing and meditation.

 

11) Look for the love. If we want to be patient, it helps to understand why. It’s really about love. Loving ourselves and our growth to be the best we can be, and of course, loving others. When you’re about to lose your patience, especially with your kids, partner, or other loved one, stop and remember the love.

 

12) Write it out. Writing is one of the greatest tools for personal growth, for it helps us get things out of our head and onto paper, where we can go back and examine it. Writing helps us see what’s really going on and helps us gain perspective to increase our patience.

 

13) Use a thought record to try to understand things better. Understanding the connection between your thoguhts, feelings, body, and behavior, is powerful, for it helps you identify thoughts that hold you back. A thought record can help you tease feelings and thoughts apart and give you the opportunity to challenge and change unhealthy thoughts, creating more patience. This post and video can show you how.

 

14) Learn about the spiral of change. If you’re impatient about making change, understanding this model can be hugely helpful. There’s a lot more to making change than meets the eye, and usually, we’re making more progress than we believe.

 

15) Be kind to yourself. If you’re impatient with yourself over your faults, focus on self-love. Do something nice for yourself, recognize your strengths, and embrace your weaknesses as areas in which you can grow. Here are some ideas from my post, 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly.

 

16) Take a time-out. This is great for parents. We give our kids a time-out when they need to settle down, and it works just as well for adults. It’s also great when we’re feeling frustrated with a project or person. Taking time to let our bodies calm down can increase our brain power, mental clarity, and understanding, leading to greater patience.

 

17) Remember you can’t have all the answers all the time. It’s the questions that matter most anyway. As poet Rainer Maria Rilke once said, “”Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.”

 

18) Recognize the power of your body and hormones. Some days are just going to feel harder than others, and your patience will suffer more. Understanding how hormones and other factors, like sleep, exercise, and substance use affect your ability to think and feel healthy is an important part of being patient with yourself. On the hard days, give yourself a break, knowing it will soon pass if you take care of your body’s needs.

 

19) Acknowledge your Higher Power. Recognize that we cannot see the bigger picture, but God can. He knows what we need and don’t need and will never lead us astray. Putting our trust and faith in the great Divine, praying, seeking guidance and answers, and listening as they come is the key to lasting patience.

 

20) Let go. Let go of the need to know it all now. Let go of the need to be perfect. Let go of the desire to control your life or relationships. Let go of all you cannot understand. Let yourself trust that all will be well, and patiently, let go.

 

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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She continues to practice patience every day, especially when she’s too tired and her kids won’t let her get a nap![/author_info] [/author]

 

 

Practicing Patience: 20 Ways to Be More Patient Today; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

What helps you be more patient? Share your ideas with us in the comments, below!

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The Power of Pure Love: “You are Known, You are Needed, You are Loved”

Today, I speak from the heart. I’m not editing or re-reading or changing anything today, to make it perfect. I’m simply speaking what my soul whispers, and I hope it is received by those who need it most.

Yesterday, I was able to go to the temple in San Diego where I’m enjoying a few days away from it all. The temple is a place that always brings me peace, but yesterday it brought me something more. As I began the service I provide in that holy place, a woman volunteering there saw me coming toward her. “Good morning and welcome,” she said brightly, her eyes shining in delight. “I am so happy you have come here today.” Her words were common enough, at least for the temple which is always a place of welcoming, but the way in which she spoke the words was powerful. In those few phrases and in the one or two minutes we were together as she helped me on my way, I felt the power of her love for me. For me! Someone she’d never met and would likely never see again. Yet I felt it, and her love for me was so powerful, it brought me to tears.

A pic I took of the San Diego temple, yesterday. It is truly a remarkable building–beautiful.

 

I didn’t know I needed to feel that kind of love yesterday. I arrived happy, grateful, at peace, and feeling love for my family at home and for those I was seeing along my way. But this kind of love was different than the kind we profess to feel and “have” for one another. This is the love that transcends all–the pure love of Jesus Christ, as we call it in my faith–charity. Charity, though we’ve come to think of it as giving to the poor and serving the less fortunate, is so much more than these holy responsiblities. Charity is feeling God’s love for each of us, being filled to the brim, and then pouring that love out to all we see.

 

This woman yesterday was brimming over with this pure love, and as soon as she poured it onto me, I began to be filled as well and couldn’t help but then brim over with charity myself and seek to fill all others I came into contact with throughout my day. Even today, that pure love fills me, and as I sat to write a post today on some other topic, I couldn’t help but focus instead on sharing that love with all of you.

 

This week is the week of resurrection, of redemption, for all those of the Christian faith. This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after he was put to death and we celebrate the potential of redemption and resurrection for each and every one of us. Not just the future redemption and resurrection of the body, beyond the grave, though that is a miracle and wonder and gift beyond words. But also the redemption of each of us each day, through this powerful love that Jesus Christ possessed completely and couldn’t help but share with all He came into contact with as he “went about doing good”–even charity.

 

Through this charity–this purest of all loves, which “seeks not itself” but seeks instead to bless all others–we can be redeemed.

 

Through this love we can…

  • Feel our true, divine potential, a reminder we are so much more than our thoughts, feelings, bodies, and behaviors. We are more than others say we are, and so much more than most of us believe. We are true daughters and sons of the Highest Being!
  • Remember what we once knew–that we are important and that we came to this earth, every single one of us, with an important work to do, a work only we can do.
  • Overcome the thoughts that drag us down and tell us we’re not good enough, because hear me when I say: “You are good enough! In fact, you’re a walking miracle! The world needs you! You are so very loved!”
  • Make our weaknesses into strengths. Our biggest challenges can become our greatest assets, and as we rely upon the Divine guidance to feel this Great Love, we will see not only that our weaknesses help us grow, but that they are the very thing we need to become something divine ourselves.
  • Increase our love for all others. As we seek this Love, and allow it to fill us, we can’t help but share this Love with all around us. We will possess greater patience and compassion for our children and spouses and friends and family. We will speak up and smile and offer a hand to all those around us we see in need. We will share the good things we think about others ever more freely, for we will see them as they truly are–their divine nature, their weaknesses that can become their strengths and their strengths that the world needs–and they will see the true us.

 

Pure Love is a cycle. It must be received even as it is given. With every drop of love we receive, we fill ourselves with love; and as we become full of love, the drops begin to fall onto others. The cycle keeps us all full–every one.

So, please, do not block this love. Don’t let the truths I wrote above slip in one ear and out the other. Don’t push them away or disbelieve them. Let them in. Give them some thought, and feel the love I have for you in these words, in this post, written from my love-filled heart.

 

One of the best things of my job a psychologist is the opportunity I have each day to practice seeing the very best in others, seeing their strengths and the potential for their weaknesses to be transformed into their greatness. I feel this love for my clients, and I feel this love for you.

 

It may seem hard to believe. You may be thinking, “She doesn’t even know me.” Well, I may not–yet. But I desire to know you. And trust me, you are known by One ever so much greater than I. You are important. We need you. “I am so happy you have come here today.” I truly am.

 

Feel the love that I, that your God, your Higher Power, has for you. Seek this Great Love. Seek to feel it and to believe it and to let yourself be filled. Let love in, then pour it over all you see and let the cycle begin, with you, today.

 

Please take a moment to share your thoughts and feelings with us by leaving a comment, below. I would love to hear what you have to say.

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When Life Drops You on Your Head| 5 Post-Concussion Lessons I’m Still Learning

When Life Drops You On Your Head- 5 Post-Concussion Lessons I'm Still Learning www.DrChristinaHibbert.comA mom falls over a wall while trying to parkour…

It’s not the beginning to a joke. No, it’s been my reality for the past seven weeks.

Apparently, I was attempting to “parkour,” or do a fancy little jump up and off of a knee-tall, brick planter box wall, when my yoga pants caught on my foot, and instead of twirling and landing gracefully as I’d envisioned, my leg hit the wall and I flipped and fell, hard, headfirst onto the ground.

I say “apparently,” because I still have no memory of the incident. I remember we were at my daughter’s choir concert and they’d just been singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I remember leaving early and hearing my husband say, “Hey, Christi! Parkour,” as he successfully jumped up and off the small wall. I remember thinking, “Totally! I’ve been working out hardcore, and I can parkour!” Apparently not.

 

Day 2 Post-concussion. The huge bump under my right side hairline has diminished and now my forehead and side of my face are swollen with fluid. I'm also getting the first bit of a shiner, which at this point, looks like pretty eyeliner. So, I've got that going for me.

Day 2 Post-concussion. The huge bump under my right side hairline has diminished and now my forehead and side of my face are swollen with fluid. I’m also getting the first bit of a shiner, which at this point, looks like pretty eyeliner. So, I’ve got that going for me.

The result was a concussion—my first, and boy was I clueless about what it means to get a “moderately severe” concussion. The next morning I was on Facebook and Instagram, dizzy and dazed, posting about my “concussion” from trying to “parkour,” laughing about it the whole time. “How ridiculous am I?” I joked. “Taking it easy and on the mend. I’ll be back to normal in no time!” Wrong. (Note: People should not be allowed on social media when they’ve had a concussion.)

Later that day, attempting to put the pieces of what happened back together, I listened to the recording my husband, OJ, made of me that night (you can hear a little of it, below). Oh. My. Goodness. I must have repeated the same ten phrases several dozen times. “Ow… Did I really hit my head? It feels like a dream–not real. Was I trying to parkour? Why would I do that? Should I go to the doctor? I hit my head? Oh, that is NOT good. I’m losing brain cells. Was I trying to parkour? Why would I DO that?” You get the picture.

OJ, being the “I can handle anything” guy he is, was carefully watching and tending to me. He figured he knew the signs of trouble for a concussion (he’s a dentist, after all–that’s pretty much like an ER doc, right?) and if he saw any, he’d take me to the hospital. I never blacked out. Good sign. Yes, I was nauseous, but even though I came close I did not lose my dinner at any point. My pupils weren’t dilated. Another good sign.

One week post-concussion. In a weird way, I appreciated the bruising. At least it was an injury people could SEE, and I didn't try to hide it for that very reason.

One week post-concussion. In a weird way, I appreciated the bruising. At least it was an injury people could SEE. I didn’t even try to cover it up, for that very reason.

There was a huge egg of a bump on my head, but there are ice and acetaminophen for that. And yeah, I couldn’t remember anything much, but I could remember a little–“I remember ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,'” I kept repeating. Very good. Still, even he had to admit he was a little worried when, two hours later, I was still repeating those same phrases. “I hit my head? Oh that is NOT good. I’m losing brain cells. Shouldn’t I go to the doctor?…”

“Uh… maybe,” he finally said.

Thankfully, I did start remembering things, and I did stop crying and start making some sense–at least a little. He faithfully monitored me through the night and I had no complications. Whew! I thought I was over the worst.

 

Sounds of a Concussion

Here’s a little sampling of what I sounded like, 2 hours post-concussion. OJ recorded me the whole time, and mostly I was sobbing and repeating myself over and over–not pretty. This part, however, I find humorous, knowing OJ had already heard me say these things dozens of times, and now here I was, trying to tell my son Colton what had happened. I do have some memory of this, but it’s still a bit hazy! (On a side note, below is the tweet Colton sent out the next day. Pretty funny!)

 

 

Lesson 1: A Concussion is a Big Deal–And So is Any Life Trauma

My Mom Got a Concussion www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

I’ve learned that, complications or no, a concussion is a big deal. Symptoms will vary but will most definitely impact your daily life, and it can take quite a long time to recover, depending on how severe and where on the brain the injury occurred.

My main symptoms were:

  • extreme dizziness, to the point I couldn’t walk without falling over for a couple of weeks
  • intense headaches
  • light and noise sensitivity at first
  • some memory loss, and cloudy thinking
  • a very sore neck, which had been twisted in the process of falling

I’d seen brain scans of concussions, but they were mostly from football or boxing injuries. Mine seemed so small by comparison that I minimized everything. But I was wrong. Any concussion is a big deal, and it must be treated like one. This is your brain we’re talking about! You’re going to need it, so you’d better take care of it.

The same goes for life traumas of all kinds. Though it may not directly change your brain functioning as drastically as a physical injury, emotional injuries do impact the brain, too. We feel “dizzy” or “broken” or overcome by the slightest thing, and we tell ourselves, “It’s not a big deal. Move on.” No. When life drops you, in any way, don’t minimize what you’re feeling, and don’t minimize what it will take to heal.

 

 

Lesson 2: When Life Drops You on your Head, You’d Best Learn Something

Going to my daughter's end-of-year presentation, pushed by my son, Tre, in a wheelchair. Even though it felt embarrassing, I asked for help and let it in. Yay, me!

Going to my daughter’s end-of-year presentation, pushed by my son, Tre, in a wheelchair. Even though it felt embarrassing, I asked for help and let it in. Yay, me!

I’m a big believer in growing through whatever trials may come. I’ve certainly had my share, and this one seemed small by comparison. Still, I knew I had some learning to do.

Immediately, I thought, “This is a sign I need to slow down, and so I will. I will just let myself recover.” I had no choice, really, because I was completely out—unable to do much of anything but recover. This was the end of the school year, though, and only a few weeks after my latest book came out. Summer was coming, meaning kids needing me all day, and I had things to do! Still, I stopped everything, believing I’d be back to normal within a week, or two, at least. Wrong once more.

I am re-learning patience. And I’m learning about gentleness. Being gentle with myself–not only with my recovering brain, but with my emotions, with my sense of self-worth, with who I feel like I am right now, and who I still hope to be.

When life drops you on your head, what do you need to learn? Stop and listen until you know. I’m still listening…

 

Lesson 3: When You Get a Concussion (or ANY Life Trauma) it’s Eseential to Let Yourself Heal

My last year of grad school, I did a neuropsychology internship in a brain injury unit of a hospital. I’d seen the effects of TBI’s (Traumatic Brain Injuries), but it wasn’t until I started searching, “How to Recover from a Concussion” that I realized I had had one. A mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), but still, trauma is trauma, and it’s no good for the brain.

I knew this the night of my fall and even gave myself a mental status exam at one point to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind! “I need to see if I’m oriented to person, place, time and situation,” I told OJ. He asked me the questions, and I was. Whew again! Yes, a concussion is a brain injury, and once I got that through my thick skull, it seemed somehow easier to accept that it would take time to heal.

I’ve had to let myself heal from emotional trauma so many times, and I felt like I was good at it. But this time, I’ve been forced to completely stop and heal. It is CRUCIAL to let my brain heal properly for as long as it takes, and the same goes for healing from emotional wounds. I’m still working on this, one day at a time.

 

Lesson 4: Others May Not See or Understand Your Injury, but Don’t Let That Stand In Your Way

At first, I saw this as a much-needed, forced break. “Great,” I thought. “I could definitely use some rest.” I let myself sleep, nap, lie down, do nothing, and just heal. But after a couple weeks, the emotional symptoms set in. I was prepared by my internet researching; depression, anxiety and frustration are common with post-concussion syndrome.

Still, it hit me hard–sadness, feeling worthless, fearing I’d never be well again. I was down and out, for sure. After a few days of that, I was able to pull myself out, thank goodness, but the dizziness continued, and that made me doubt I’d ever be well again. (Yet another common symptom of post-concussion syndrome).

The hardest part has been that others see me as normal, though I don’t always feel normal. It reminds me of depression–how hard it is for others to see. Not that they don’t want to see I’m still struggling; just that it’s not easy to tell. When others respond toward you like you’re back to normal, the temptation is to act like it’s true.

But I’ve learned, for real this time, that it’s wrong to do so. We MUST let ourselves heal for as long as it takes, and even if no one else understands how hard recovery may be, it’s still important to stand strong and do what you must.

At four weeks, I went to the doctor and I believe his exact words were, “It will just take time and rest. It could be weeks or it could be months.”

My post-concussion armory. Earplugs, to help me sleep, water, sunglasses to block light, acetominaphin for the pain, and an army of essential oils to calm, soothe, and comfort my bruising, aching, and swelling.

My post-concussion armory. Earplugs, to help me sleep, water, sunglasses to block light, acetominaphin for the pain, and an army of essential oils to calm, soothe, and comfort my bruising, aching, and swelling.

I’d been eating “brain foods,” sleeping as much as possible, using essential oils, taking vitamins, avoiding physical activity and too much mental stimulation, trying to avoid any and all stress (good luck!), and stay down. Ironically, just after the release of my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” I’d found the one thing exercise isn’t good for—a head injury!

When I asked the doctor what I should DO to heal quickly, I believe his exact words were: “Try to minimize screen time, especially phone and computers but also TV, physical activity, and social interaction. Oh, and thinking.”

What?! He’d just listed my daily routine!

What was I supposed to do? Lie on my bed and stare out the window? Yes. Or lie in a hammock and stare. Or close my eyes and just “be.” These have been my goal these past many weeks, and while it may sound dreamy to those who are overwhelmed by stress and kids and work and life (like I usually am!), trust me, it’s not dreamy when you literally can’t do what you normally could for weeks upon end.

 

Lesson 5: Learning…and Healing…Take Time

7 weeks later, I’m still dizzy off and on, I’m still slow to remember words (“What’s the word again? It’s not ‘fair’ or ‘parade’ or ‘carnival’…It’s…fireworks! Let’s go to the fireworks!”). I can’t work on a computer for more than an hour without getting cross-eyed and my head spinning.

What a Guy! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com

I can easily overdo it lately–and by overdoing it I mean answering emails, or helping someone with a problem, or reading a thought-provoking book, or writing; or going to the beach for vacation and playing in the waves with my kids. These are things I used to do easily, all in one day. Now, it’s hard to do just one or two without paying the price, and even harder to NOT do them at all, which is what I need to do and am trying to do as much as possible.

So, why has all this happened? That’s my big question, and I’m still listening for answers I know will eventually come. One thing I know is it’s forced me to stop. It’s forced me to reevaluate everything. It’s forced me to be different than I would usually be. It’s forced me to be still. And I believe we could all use a little more stillness, especially when we’ve been through something tough.

I know I need more stillness. It’s not easy for me, but it’s something I’ve known I needed for a while. Isn’t that always the way? When we don’t listen to those whispers, life steps in and forces us to listen.

There are certainly worse things than this, and I know I will recover in time. Again, I am re-learning patience. Always, learning patience. I am learning more of who I am and of what I am truly capable. I am learning what I need to learn. Isn’t that the benefit of being dropped on your head? The opportunity to once again grow.

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio on  iTunes or here, or watch episodes on my NEW webpage, “Motherhood TV!.”

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Easter & the Principle of At-One-Ment

Easter and the Principle of At-One-Ment;  www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

It’s Easter Sunday, and though I don’t usually write here about religion, I am compelled to write today. I am thinking about Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and whether you’re a follower of Christ or not, whether you celebrate Easter or not, whether you even believe in God or not, there is an important lesson here, for all of us.

 

Easter is about Jesus Christ’s life, His death, and His rising again. Christians call this masterful event the Atonement. The word “atonement” has long fascinated me, because it means, quite literally, “At-One-Ment.” It means that, as Christ died and three days later, rose again, He did something incomprehensible and miraculous–for every single one of us–enabling each us to live again, too. What comfort this brings to those, who, like me, who have lost dear loved ones, for those of us pondering, or facing, death. We, too, will live again!

 

The Meaning, and Power, of At-One-Ment

Yet, the At-one-ment is about so much more. It is literally a reminder that we choose to “at-one,” or to Easter and the principle of At-one-ment www.drchristinahibbert.com“become one,” with something, or some things, each and every minute of each and every day. With what are you at-one-ing right now?

 

We can choose to at-one with good and holy, pure and True thoughts, deeds, and emotions. Or, we can choose to at-one with those things that bring us down, that make us feel less than, destroy peace and happiness, and lead to bondage and misery. What is your choice today? 

 

The Atonement is about transformation–a reminder that we are more than meets the eye, and that we have greater Divine potential than we realize, if we will only let God–our Higher Power–lift us and help us reach it.

 

The Atonement is about hope–the hope that we truly are so much grander, kinder, full of love and potential, than meets the eye, and that there is so much more waiting for us if we will only act on that hope and, with faith, take that first step forward.

 

The Atonement is about peace–peace in life and peace in death. It’s about knowing there is life beyond this one, that we will be with our loved ones who’ve died again, and that we, too, can have peace. By letting go of the fears that hold us back, we can find peace, right here and right now.

 

The Atonement is about joy–joy in knowing there is more to life, and to us, than just surviving, day by day. We are actually made of joy, and as we dig down through the muck that life piles on top of it, we will find we are meant to be happy. It is our birthright, and with patience, hope, faith, and love, we can, and will become joy.

 

The Atonement is about personal growth. Truly, that’s what we can, and must, learn from this miracle–that we, too, can be changed, can learn, can grow, can become, can be transformed. It’s a reminder of our Divine potential. I see this potential in each and every soul I meet. Those I work with. Those I live with. Those I laugh with. Those I teach, and learn from. Those I meet on the street. Each and every one of us has a Divine potential beyond our wildest imaginings. We can, and with faith and a little work on our part, one day will, become who God sees us to be. Not the small vision we have for ourselves, though certainly that is a perfect place to start; but someone more beautiful, hopeful, joyful, full of peace and made of love, than we could have ever dreamed.

 

Above all, the Atonement is about love–the love of God for each and every one of us. It is a reminder that Easter and the At-One-Ment www.DrChristinaHIbbert.comwe are known, that we are loved, and that we are valued so much more than we realize. We have access to Divine help every moment, if we will but ask. This is the greatest love…”Greater love hath no man than this…” (Holy Bible, King James Version, John 15:13), and we, too, can seek, ask for, be filled with, and become this great Love.

We can kneel down and humbly “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love (Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Moroni 7: 48).” We can speak our heart’s greatest needs and desires and then get up and obey the whispers that lead us toward greater love and growth. We can reach out in love to others in need; we can “nurture with inspiration, and live Truth fearlessly” (Neill F. Marriott, Relief Society General Conference, March 26, 2016).

In so doing, we will find hope and joy and peace, personal growth, and transformation. As we embrace God’s love for us and love ourselves in like manner, we won’t be able to help but share that love with all around us. This is the power of the Atonement. This is personal transformation at its finest–unveiling our true potential.

 

With What Will We “At-One” Today?

Are we realizing that true potential today? Do we even believe it’s there? I know it’s there. I’ve witnessed it in myself, and in my children. In my husband, and in my friends. In my clients, and in my acquaintances. Friends, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I believe in the power of His Atonement. I know He lives, and that we, too, will live again. The question is, how will we live? Not only then, but now? How will we live today? With what will we choose to at-one right now?

 

I welcome your thoughts and comments, below. 

 

Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do

Anxiety & Women-Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #anxiety #women #hormones #sleepIt’s 3:30 a.m. I was simply rolling over to fall back asleep, when my brain switched on like a 100-watt light bulb, and now I’m flooded with stress, worries, and thoughts of what I “need to get done” or about “my overwhelming life,” when I thought I’d put those thoughts to bed hours ago. I know I won’t fall back asleep. Still, I try. I try belly-breathing, then progressive muscle relaxation, then letting myself think for a while, to tire me out. Then, I pray. I pray for sleep. I pray that this knot of tension inside me will leave, that the fatigue my body is feeling will overpower the thoughts that hold me hostage. Finally, at 5 a.m., I get up and begin to type. It helps to get these thoughts out of me and maybe do some good for others in the process. Finally, I sneak down to the basement and exercise; I know it’s one of the best things I can do to not only distract my mind, but to provide much-needed energy for the day and hopefully later, the ability to finally rest.

 

This is anxiety, and trust me, it’s miserable. I don’t know why I haven’t written more about it before. That’s one thought that was spinning through my mind while I wasn’t sleeping this morning—Why haven’t I written about anxiety, when it’s the predominant symptom with which I struggle? When it’s one of the most common issues for all women, for all people? (Read “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Overcoming the Stigma”)

 

 

Anxiety & Women

It’s not only my predominant symptom: “Anxiety disorders include phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, and separation anxiety disorder, and are considered the most commonly occurring class of mental disorders (CDC 2015)” [2].”

 

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in women. Yes, more common than depression. Anxiety will affect one in three women throughout their lifetime [2], and often, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. Women are also twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder, and symptoms tend to appear earlier in life for women [1].

 

 

What is Anxiety?

So, what, exactly, is anxiety? Clients have described it to me as, “I’m on edge all the time.” “My mind won’t shut off.” “I can’t stop thinking about everything I need to do” or “worrying about everything that could Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What you Can Do; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comhappen.” “I can’t relax;” “I’m on edge all the time.” Or, I described it, above, “I can’t sleep even though I’m exhausted: My mind is holding me prisoner.”

 

Anxiety is, first and foremost, a feeling. We need anxiety to warn us of danger or to make us to take action when something needs to get done. If something is wrong and we feel worried, stressed, or afraid, anxiety helps set off the sympathetic nervous system, raising our heart rate and blood pressure and setting off stress hormones, like cortisol, in the brain, preparing us for action, telling us, “You need to do something about this!” When we take action, or when we are able to relieve the stressor or resolve the situation, our mind is supposed to shut off, our parasympathetic nervous system returning our body to a calmer state, heart rate slowing to normal, stress hormones subsiding.

 

What is an “Anxiety Disorder?”

Chronic anxiety, like an anxiety disorder, however, comes from an overactive stress response. Instead of resuming a calmer state once the threat has been overcome, the parasympathetic nervous system doesn’t kick in for those with an anxiety disorder. Instead, the mind stays on, keeping the body on high alert, even when there is no actual present threat. This keeps cortisol coursing through the body, blood pressure high, and heart rate working over time. This, understandably, makes it very difficult to relax, for the brain to shut off, to sleep. In turn, poor sleep and little relaxation contribute to anxiety and depression, among other things, and the cycle continues. It’s exhausting just thinking about it!

 

Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are several forms of anxiety disorder, including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (intense, pervasive anxiety), Panic Disorder (including panic attacks), Specific Phobias (or extreme fears), Social Phobia (or fear of social situations), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD, consisting of obsessive, stress-filled thoughts and compulsions to alleviate the stress), and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, with a traumatic trigger, followed by re-experiencing the event, like in nightmares of flashbacks, numbing/avoidance of things associated with the event, and heightened state of arousal).

 

Additionally, as mentioned above, anxiety may co-occur with major depression or other mental illnesses.

 

Anxiety & Hormones

In women, anxiety is also a common component of hormonal shifts, like those in pregnancy, postpartum, with PMS, PMDD, or in perimenopause. In fact, many women experience the most anxiety during the years leading up to menopause; and many of these women have never experienced anxiety before!

 

In pregnancy and postpartum, anxiety is common, as well, with approximately 6% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women experiencing a perinatal anxiety disorder. Approximately 10% will experience pregnancy or postpartum panic disorder (with associated panic attacks), 3-5% will experience pregnancy or postpartum OCD, and 9% will experience postpartum PTSD, usually following a traumatic childbirth.

 

Unfortunately, thanks to society’s “myths of motherhood,” many believe it’s “normal” for moms to feel anxious or worried, so too many mothers live with unnecessary anxiety that can make life miserable. The truth is constant anxiety is not normal, and it’s important for women to recognize their symptoms so they can seek and receive treatment to overcome the anxiety and to heal.

 

 

Anxiety, Hormones & Sleep

Anxiety is often associated with insomnia or other sleep issues. Again, this is a vicious cycle, as lack of sleep continues the cortisol and adrenaline in the body that only make anxiety worse, and vice Anxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do www.DrChristinaHibbert.comversa.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, women are much more likely report sleep issues than men, one reason being the many hormonal shifts women experience premenstrually, in pregnancy and postpartum, and during perimenopause. A few days or a week before a woman’s period starts, she may find she can’t fall asleep or, more commonly, can’t stay asleep, as I described above. As I’ve studied the link between sleep, anxiety, and hormones it’s become clear: women are much more vulnerable to sleep disturbance during times of shifting hormones, and each month those hormones shift twice! First, there’s a drop in Estrogen around day 14, or around ovulation, and then the bigger drop in Estrogen and Progesterone occurs a few days to a week before her period starts. This can make sleep feel impossible for women who are sensitive to these shifts, with terrible sleep one or more weeks every month. (For more on this, read myWomen’s Emotions blog series, parts 1, 2, and 3.)

 

What can You Do for Anxiety?

You don’t have to suffer, living with anxiety. Treatments are available and highly successful.

 

  • The “gold standard” for anxiety treatment is a combination of anti-anxiety medication (including antidepressants, which also reduce anxiety) and psychotherapy. The medication works to correct the overactive brain chemistry while therapy teaches techniques and skills for how to manage daily symptoms. Either one of these treatments on their own will likely be beneficial, as well, research shows. (More on “Antidepressant or Not?” here.)

 

 

  • Learning relaxation skills, like mindfulness, deep breathing, and meditation are also beneficial in treating anxiety. Research shows these self-help techniques allow you to train your brain and body to let go and relax. Additionally, anything that helps relieve tension and stress can help–like massage, naps, quiet time, a hot bath, reading, watching a television program (not a scary one!), or time with friends and family.

 

  • Exercise is another helpful treatmenteither alone or as an addition to these other options. The benefits of exercise are proven and extensive, and for anxiety, exercise can not only work out the tension and give the mind a way to let go; it also helps the body become tired, so you’re more likely to sleep better. Though some who struggle with anxiety find cardiovascular exercise difficult, because it may mimic the feeling of anxiety (heart rate up, shortness of breath), lifting weights, doing yoga or Pilates, or very mild walking have shown incredible benefits in rAnxiety & Women: Hormones, Sleep & What You Can Do www.DrChristinaHibbert.comeducing symptoms of anxiety. (Read more about this, as well as strategies to make exercise work for you, in my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!” [See Coupon to save 25%, below!])

 

  • Realize anxiety is not you! Then, FEEL the anxiety. One of the most helpful things I’ve learned over the years is that I am not the anxiety. It is a feeling in my body, not me. Too often, anxiety takes over like it’s running the show—the show being your life! And too often, we let it run the show. We feel like we are the anxiety. We fight feeling it because it’s so uncomfortable and we don’t know how to handle it. Or, at least, we think we don’t. One thing you can try is to sit and FEEL the anxiety. Notice where it is in your body. Breathe as you feel it and recognize it is not you. I find it helpful to imagine the anxiety is slightly in front of me as I lean my body away from it. It reminds me I am in charge of my life; my emotions are not. As we FEEL powerful emotions, like anxiety, they truly lose their power. (Read How to FEEL Powerful Emotions & watch the related 3-Minute Therapy video, here.)

 

  • Treat the sleep issues to treat the anxiety. If your sleep is severely affected by anxiety, it may be better to start by treating the sleep. Temporary sleep aids, including melatonin supplements, can help you finally get some rest, and just getting some sleep can help the anxiety begin to decrease. CBT can also help in treat the thoughts associated with sleep disturbances. Sometimes, there may be another sleep disorder, mental illness, or physical illness in play that’s causing your symptoms, so it’s always best to get a full physical evaluation first and talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. (Read Sleep Better, Cope Better: 6 Insomnia Causes & Cures, here.)

 

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is worth looking into for perimenopausal/ menopausal-related anxiety, and some women benefit from hormone therapies for perinatal anxiety disorders, PMS and PMDD. It can be tricky getting hormone therapies right, however, and many women are sensitive to hormone-based treatments, which may make symptoms worse, at least at first. It is therefore important that you work with a knowledgeable doctor about the best therapies for you. S/he can help monitor your mind and body’s response to hormone treatments as well as your progress. It may take some time to get it right, but when you find a treatment that works, it’s well worth it.

 

  • Avoid/limit caffeine and other stimulants. If it’s your routine to wake up with a heavy dose of caffeine and/or to keep it pumping throughout the day, you may need to tackle that habit first. Caffeine and other stimulants only exacerbate anxiety. If you want the anxiety to diminish, first the caffeine has to vanish.

 

 

 

You can beat Anxiety!

Bottom line: you don’t have to live with constant anxiety. Yes, it will take work. Yes, it will take time. Yes, it will take patience–with yourself, and with others. But anxiety is not a normal part of life—for women, for moms, for men, for dads, for kids, for anyone.

 

If you’re suffering from any form of anxiety, please seek help. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider and ask what treatments might be best for you. And if you’re not finding the right answers, keep searching and asking until you do.

 

Don’t let anxiety get the better of you. Start right now. Breathe. Deeply. In and out. And again–in and out. Then, repeat after me, “This anxiety is not me. If I seek help and let it in, I can, and will overcome this anxiety, one breath, one moment, one step at a time.”

 

 

Do you struggle with anxiety? What is most helpful for you in treating symptoms of anxiety? What lessons have you learned that you can share with others experiencing the same thing? Please leave a comment, below, and let us know.

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My NEW book is almost here!  “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Pre-Order on Norton.com and SAVE 25% plus free shipping, with the code HIBBERT,
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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Personal Growth & Change

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[1] Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Anxiety and Women: Facts. 

[2] Hibbert, C. (2016). 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. W.W. Norton Publishing: New York, NY.

How to Get (& Stay) Motivated! (Sneak Peak Excerpt from my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise”)

How to Get (& Stay) Motivated-Sneak Peak Excerpt from my new book, %228 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise%22 www.DrChristinahibbert.com #exercise #mentalhealth #motivation

It’s late January and there’s no better time to talk about motivation. We may have set goals, resolutions, and themes, but are we still going strong? Or is motivation starting to wane?

I’ve been counting the days ’til the release of my new book, “8 Keys To Mental Health Through Exercise,” but in the meantime, I thought I’d give you a sneak peak, sharing some of “Key 4: Get Motivated!” Though written for those trying to get and stay motivated to exercise, you will see you can apply these strategies to any goal you’re trying to achieve. Be sure to do the exercises at the end, too! It’s a sure way to start feeling more motivated today. And check out 8 Keys to Mental Health Through ExerciseSAVE 25% plus free shipping, with the code HIBBERT, on Norton.com or find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
—Mahatma Gandhi

“What is Motivation?’

“We can all relate to feeling motivated by something, or unmotivated, can’t we? The first example that comes to mind is school and homework. I’m sure each of us can recall a time from school or college days when we needed to complete a paper, project, or studying, but we just didn’t feel motivated to do it. Perhaps we were able to make ourselves get up and do it anyway, but perhaps we procrastinated and paid the price later. Either way, we know what motivation, or lack of motivation, feels like. What we may not fully understand is what motivation really is and how it really works.’

“Motivation is a psychological construct used to explain behavior. It also helps us understand our desires, needs, wants, thoughts, and feelings. It’s what gets us up and doing what we know we could, should, or need to do. It’s what makes us want to change, grow, and improve. It explains why we want to repeat or to stop a behavior, and also helps us understand why we don’t act—why we avoid, reject, or even fear certain behaviors, feelings, and experiences. Motivation is a word that’s part of our daily thought processes and vocabulary, and it’s one of the most popular concepts that we’ve adapted from psychology into everyday life. Motivation is quite literally in everything we do (or don’t do).’

“Unfortunately, for the most part, we don’t understand or comprehend our own motivations. This is where so many of us get stuck. We know when we feel motivated. We know when we don’t feel motivated. But how regularly do we check in, evaluate, and try to understand our motivations—our motivations for how we treat people, why we do the things we do, what we avoid, and yes, our motivations for our daily behaviors, including exercise? For most of us, I’d say, it’s pretty infrequent. The truth is we don’t always know why we do what we do, and until we can understand our motivation, we’ll continually struggle to get to where we want to be. Let’s do an exercise to help illustrate what I mean. Please grab a pencil, find a quiet spot, and take a few moments to honestly ask yourself the following questions.’

“Reflection Questions: Self-Motivations”

“1. Why did I [decide to read this article] in the first place? What motivated me to [click on the link]?

2. Once I [clicked on the article,] what motivated me to [actually] start [and keep] reading?

3. …What do I hope to gain from reading this?

“Did you answer the reflection questions? If so, what motivated you to take the time to do this exercise? Was it because I asked nicely? (I did say, ‘please.’) If you did not answer the reflection questions, then what motivated you to skip it?’

“See? Motivation is in everything that we do (or don’t do), and when we begin to examine our motivations, we begin to find the key to initiative, drive, follow through, and ultimately, to achieving what we most desire.”

“How Does Motivation Work: Theory and Understanding”

“In order to understand our own motivations to implement and continue an exercise for mental health How to Get (& Stay) Motivated; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comprogram, it’s helpful to learn a little more about motivational theory and how motivation really works. There are numerous motivation theories (I recall taking a “Theories of Motivation” class in college that was three hours per week and lasted four months). This is not a book about motivation, and so we will not examine all the motivational theories. Instead, we will focus on three theories that, according to research, and in my opinion, are the most helpful when it comes to motivation in physical activity and exercise, especially exercise for mental health.”

“Self-Determination Theory”

“One of the most well-studied and validated motivational theories, when it comes to exercise, is called self-determination theory (SDT). Originally developed after years of research by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, self-determination theory grew from a humanistic perspective, meaning that, similar to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (another, well-known theory of motivation) SDT focuses on the fulfillment of human needs, self-actualization, and how we can realize our potential as human beings (Teixeira et al., 2012). In short, self-determination theory posits that we are most motivated when our motivation comes from within—when we are self-motivated and self-determined.’

“Some of the key elements of self-determination include the following:’

“Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation”

“First, SDT differentiates between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation means doing something because we enjoy, are excited about, appreciate the challenge of, feel accomplished at, and/or like putting our skills to use in a given activity. Examples of intrinsic motivation include someone who swims because she is talented and accomplished at it, someone who dances because he just loves to dance, or someone who enjoys the satisfaction she feels after rising to the challenge of a difficult workout. Each of these intrinsic motivators makes the activity itself worth doing, for different reasons but all of them internal and related directly to the activity.’

“On the flip side, extrinsic motivation refers to doing an activity to gain some form of outside reward. It involves a separate gain from that achieved by doing the activity for the activity’s sake. For example, we may exercise to gain the approval or acceptance of others, earn a tangible reward like money or a treat when we’re done, or because, if we don’t participate, say, in a school physical education class, we’ll get a bad grade. Extrinsic motivation can also involve our values and goals, such as someone who is motivated to exercise because he values becoming more muscular to feel better about his physical appearance (Ryan & Deci, 2000;Teixeira et al., 2012).’

“The best motivators for short-term activity are extrinsic motivators, but for long-term commitment, intrinsic motivation is key. Thus, we need to develop both if we want the optimal motivation to exercise for mental health [or to accomplish any other goals we’ve set for ourselves].”

“Causality Orientations”

Another element of self-determination theory, which goes along with internal and external motivation, is called “causality orientations”—a fancy term for the idea that we each have specific dispositional tendencies

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

Pre-order with code HIBBERT and save 25% plus free shipping on Norton.com! Click image for link.

when it comes to motivation. These tendencies can impact our motivation to exercise, and keep at it. Some of us are more internally oriented and more likely to follow our own thoughts, feelings, and courses of action. Others are more externally oriented, meaning they are more likely to follow external norms, advice, and directives. And some are generally “amotivated,” meaning they’re more likely to be unresponsive or passive to external or internal factors that might motivate their behavior (Teixeira et al., 2012). These differing orientations impact our beliefs, motivations, and practices of exercise for mental health (Markland, 2009). However, just because we have a tendency to act a certain way doesn’t mean that we’ll always act that way. Understanding our “causal orientation” simply provides an invitation to be more self-aware about what might, or might not, drive and motive us. Remember what we learned about practicing self-awareness [read this post]? It can help us become more self-accepting, self-loving, and ultimately, can increase our sense of self-worth. We can then use this awareness to find ways to overcome or improve our motivational tendencies when they don’t seem to be working well enough. (Review The Pyramid of Self-Worth…for more on how practicing self-awareness can improve self-worth, and thus internal motivation.)”

“Basic Psychological Needs”

“The third element of self-determination theory that’s useful when we’re talking about exercise motivation is the human need for: competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Teixeira et al., 2012). We’ve already seen how feeling competent in activity is a huge predictor of sticking with an activity—for children, teens, and adults. Additionally, we’ve discussed how social interaction and connectedness are strong motivators for, as well as benefits of, exercise. When we talk about autonomy, we mean that people like doing what they like to do. When we enjoy the activity or feel some intrinsic reward for doing it, we’re more likely to feel motivated to start and stick with it. All three of these basic human needs combine to influence our exercise motivation, for better or worse. When we can identify our competence, relatedness, and autonomy needs concerning exercise for mental health, we can find ways to better meet those needs, thus improving our motivation.”

“Three Premises of Self-Determination Theory”

“Finally, self-determination theory is based on three premises, and these premises play an important role in exercise motivation. First is the premise that we humans are inherently proactive about seeking to master our internal world. This means we tend to work on developing and conquering our drives, thoughts, and emotions. This is a good thing when it comes to exercise for mental health, because if we want to master our internal world, then we’re more likely to prioritize our mental health, and consequently, the strategies needed to “master” it, including exercise. Second, we tend toward growth, development, and integration. This means our natural tendency as humans is to want to improve and be whole. Third, however, is the premise that, though we may seek to master our internal world and inherently tend toward optimal actions and development, they don’t happen automatically. We have to work at it (Ryan & Deci, 2000).’

“That’s what this book is all about—working on new ways to master your internal world, or mental health, and seek the optional actions, like exercise, that will get you to your optimal development. The activity below, and others in this book, can show you how…”

“Reflection Questions:”

“Self-Determination Theory and You”

“1. What is your “causal orientation,” or your natural dispositional tendency, when it comes to exercise [or whatever your current goals may be]? Are you more motivated by internal factors, like your own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings about exercise? Are you more motivated by external factors, like social interaction, accountability, and rewards? Or, are you more in the category of “amotivated”—more passive or unmoved by either internal or external rewards?

2. How does your orientation impact your desire, motivation, and actions to engage in physical activity [or to actively work on your goals, resolutions, or theme]?

3. How important are competence, enjoyment, and autonomy to you, in your life? How important are they in motivating you to exercise [or to achieve your goals]? Write about each of these.

4. What are your thoughts on the “three premises of self-determination theory,” above? Do you believe you’re “inherently proactive” when it comes to mastering your internal world—your mental health, emotions, drives, desires, feelings, thoughts, and behaviors? Why or why not?

5. Do you feel naturally drawn toward growth and integration or is this more of a struggle for you? Why or why not?

6. Do you agree that these things don’t just happen without hard work? Are you willing to do the work you need to do? Why or why not?”

-Excerpted and adapted from key 4 of my brand new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise.” Coming April 2016, and available for pre-order TODAY on Norton.com (save 25% plus free shipping with code HIBBERT) on Amazon & Barnes & Noble! Watch for more sneak peak excerpts, coming soon!

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My NEW book is almost here!  “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Pre-Order on Norton.com and SAVE 25% plus free shipping, with the code HIBBERT,
 or order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

 

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

 

 

Listen to my episode of  “Motherhood” radio, “How to ‘Choose to Grow’ & Make Lasting Change,” for more tips on motivation!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

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How to Get (& Stay) Motivated-Sneak Peak Excerpt from my new book, %228 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise%22 www.DrChristinahibbert.com #exercise #mentalhealth #motivation
Let’s Connect! 

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Related Posts/Articles:

New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Personal Growth & Change

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

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Join my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth.

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New Year, New You! Top 6 Strategies for Change & Personal Growth

New Year, New YOU! Top 6 Strategies for Change & Personal Growth; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

There’s something about January and another new year that gets my personal growth juices flowing. I just love the meaning of this time of year—the idea of hope and renewal, of a second (or fiftieth) chance, of the unrealized potential just waiting to be tapped and developed.

 

Decembers are always trying for me. Though I love the message and meaning of Christmas and the feel of the holiday season, it seems that, for as long as I can remember, it’s been a time of particular challenge, a time of once again “overcoming.” These past two months have been exactly that– filled with family stressors that left me with physical and emotional challenges, it has been a time of winter both literally and figuratively. Once again, I’ve retreated into my home, into my family and faith, and focused only on the basics as a way to pull through and to grow. And I have. I’m feeling much better—renewed, and ready to emerge once again, as it works with the seasons of personal growth.

 

Now, I get to focus on a new year, a new theme, and hopefully a newer, improved me. As we each emerge from seasons of winter, or as we drift into fall, or blossom in spring, we feel the hope of summer and flourishing, and that’s what January is all about. In fact, the word “January” comes from the Roman god, Janus, god of gates and doorways. Janus is depicted as having two faces, one facing forward and the other back. Let this time of year be your chance to look back and forward at the same time, to learn from the past and move on through the doorway to a newer, brighter future (and you!).

 

 

My Top 6 Strategies for New Year’s Change & Personal Growth

The following are 6 of the best strategies I can offer to help you create a new you this year, based on many years of my own personal growth and of helping others “choose to grow,” too. Use these suggestions to inspire, motivate, direct, and guide you into this new year’s opportunity.

The past is gone, and the future is yet to be written. Today, the present, is a gift, a clean slate. So, grab a pen and begin to write–a new future, a new you!

 

 

  • Get clear on your mission and vision. After you know where you are, it’s important to envision Personal Growth Tools: "How to Create Your Life's Vision"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comwhere you hope to be. Or rather, envision who you’d like to become. Creating a mission statement can help; it can give your life focus and purpose and remind you of what really matters, day to day. My free gift, “How to Create Your Mission Statement” is a great place to start (coming next week–subscribe, top right or below, for first dibs!). Once you know what you want for your life’s purpose, it helps to create your vision. This is the shorter term application of your life’s mission. Use your mission statement to see your future, and then keep that future in mind and apply it each day by living with vision. These posts, Personal Growth Tools: Creating Your Life’s Vision & Beyond Resolutions: Discovering your New Year’s Vision can help. (And join my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group, season 2, for more on how to discover & fulfill your life’s mission & purpose!)

 

  • Push yourself, but not too much. Just enough. What if you could be just 5% more loving, or 5% better at a talent you’re developing, or at your work? Imagine how that 5% would add up, over time. Becoming the Butterfly-The Powerf of Personal Transformation www.DrChristinaHibbert.comAnd it’s not overwhelming, is it? 5%? It’s completely doable for all of us. We must push ourselves out of our comfort zones—that’s what personal growth is all about. But we don’t have to jump out of the nest before we’re ready to fly. Focus on believing in yourself. Actively develop a strong sense of self-worth, and remind yourself each day that you can, and will, continue to grow, if you choose to do so. Then, use the 5% rule to push your comfort zone and prepare to take flight! (Read “How to feel Self-Worth: The Pyramid of Self-Worth” and check out my book, “Who Am I Without You?” for a 52-week guide to developing self-worth.)

 

  • Set one, two, or a few achievable goals or, instead, try a yearly theme. One problem too many of us create for ourselves is trying to do too much at once or tackling something that’s too big or we’re not ready for. Change is a process—one that’s more like a spiral staircase we ascend and descend several times before we get to the top (read this to learn more about making lasting change). We have to be ready to make change in order for it to actually work, and we have to set goals that are realistic, achievable, and measurable. You might try what I do, instead, and select a yearly theme. This is a way to focus deeply on one important trait or quality you’d like to become, for an entire year. Then, you can set smaller goals to help you along the way. Whatever you do, however, don’t overdo it. One step at a time is all it takes. Trust me. (For help and ideas, read “New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps to Personal Growth Success.)

 

 

  • Do it your way. While these are my best suggestions, learned through years of focusing on change and growth, both personally and professionally, they may not encompass what you need to make change. There is no one way to fulfill your life’s purpose or to achieve your goals. The best advice I can give is to find what works for you and do that. Don’t compare to how others are doing things. Don’t turn to social media to see if you’re “measuring up.” Do it your way, and let it be good enough, because it most definitely is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join my “This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! 

And for those who’ve already registered, keep your eyes open for “the next 30 days”–coming soon!

My Gift to You! Happy New Year!

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goals

 

Listen to my new episode of  “Motherhood” radio, “New Year, New You–How to “Cultivate the Good Life & Record It,” available Monday January 4, 2016, for more ideas! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show.

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

Share your best strategies for New year’s resolutions, goals, change, and growth, by leaving a comment, below!

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My NEW book is almost here!  “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Pre-order today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

New Year, New YOU! Top 6 Strategies for Change & Personal Growth; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

 

“This is How We Grow” 30-Day Personal Growth Plan–My New Year’s Gift to You!

New Year’s Goal-Setting: 5 Steps for Personal Growth Success

Becoming the Butterfly: The Power of Personal Transformation

Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

What I’ve Learned about Personal Growth from a Decade of New Year’s Themes

Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to create an exercise program that Works!

6 Strategies for Mind-Body Wellness & Empowerment

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization

Let Your Heart Desire

10 Ways I “Choose to Grow” Each Day

Living a Life of Purpose & Meaning: The Key to True Happiness

Parenting Skills Top 10: #1 Do Your Own “Work” First

End of Year Family Awards Celebrates Kids’ Accomplishments!

Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less & Smile More

Slow Down & See: How to Appreciate the Richness of Life

Be of Good Cheer: 12 Ways to Be More Cheerful

50 ways to Love your Loved Ones

Restful Nights & Joyful Mornings? Dream Yourself to Sleep!

Join my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth.

10 Ways I “Choose to Grow” Each Day

The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection

15 Proven Ways to Stress Less (& Smile More)

Create the Life You Desire: Part 2, The 3 Steps of Creating

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”Be of Good Cheer”: 12 Ways to Become More Cheerful

The Positive Psychology of Flourishing: What is it? And am I doing it?

Holiday Stress Survival Guide: How to feel more Peace & Joy this Season

Holiday Stress Survival Guide-How to Feel More Peace & Joy this Season; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #holidays #christmas #mentalhealth #stress It’s that time of year again—time for “getting it all done,” time for planning and parties and presents and…peace?

 

Are you feeling peaceful this season? Are you feeling joyful? For many, the answer is, “no.” In a season when the reason for the holidays is supposed to be focused on the peace, joy, and hope of the birth of Christ, or on the miracle of the Hannukah oil, or on the unity, purpose, and faith associated with Kwanzaa, the truth is the real meaning is often lost in the hustle and bustle.

 

Our physical and mental health can also be lost in the holiday bustle, thanks to too-full calendars, shopping, decorating, wrapping, less sleep, relationship stress, poor eating, less exercise, and the mental and emotional toll all of this can take. I know, because I end up seeing more clients just before and right after the holidays, due to holiday-related stress, than any other time of year. They often show up right after Thanksgiving, then disappear during the middle of December, and reappear after the new year, exhausted and in need of succor.

 

I also know, because I’m not much better than my clients. I try to be, but I feel it every year—the push to “get it all done,” the high expectations I put on myself to make this “the best Christmas ever,” or to make handmade gifts for my family, or to host a party for friends, or to attend too many events, or to keep adding “to do’s” on to my already-full family schedule when all we really want is “to be.

 

That’s what I’m seeking this holiday season—a little less “doing,” and a little more “being.” I’m seeking to not only talk about but to feel the true meaning of Christmas. I’m seeking to give gifts that matter, that mean something, that last far longer than those that come in a box. I’m seeking greater peace, and joy, and meaning, and love.

 

 

How to Feel More Peace & Joy This Season

How can we make the holidays less stressful and more peaceful? How can we feel the joy this season is meant to restore? The following guide is here to help you not only survive, but to truly thrive this holiday season. Read it well, then get out there and do even one thing to make this year the most meaningful, peace-filled holiday of all.

 

  • Slow down and see. Before you can understand what you really need and desire, you have to stop Slow Down and See: How to Appreciate LIfe's Richness, via www.drchristinahibbert.comall the doing. Even 10-30 minutes of stillness can allow your brain and body to slow down and allow you to get in tune with what’s really going on. Ask yourself, “How am I really doing?” Then, ask, “What wonderful things am I missing in my life because I just haven’t been paying attention?” Too often, we miss the best parts of life because we’re moving too fast, but when we stop and pay attention, we begin to see and feel the true richness life has to offer. Finally, ask honestly,  “What do I need?” Only once you see what’s really going on can you choose to make a change. For more help on this, try this exercise in Slow Down & See: How to Appreciate the Richness of Life or read Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less & Smile More.

 

  • Simplify. It seems like an oxymoron, but the holidays are when we need simplicity the most. 10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life- www.DrChristinaHibbert.comWhatever you can cut out of your schedule, do it. For instance, I recently took a few months off of seeing clients and a month 1/2 off of blogging so I could focus more on family and self-care. Say a polite “no” to extra events you just don’t need or even to sending Christmas cards. Opt for a movie night with your kids, in PJs, instead of throwing a party or having a night on the town. Let go of the need to make everything look perfect and instead do the bare minimum decorations. And when it comes to presents, try “The 4-Gift Christmas.” It’s made a world of difference in my family, and it could just do the same for you.

 

 

  • Give gifts of meaning. I decided this year to give my family the gift of a more loving me. So, on "The 5 Gifts of Meaning," via www.drchristinahibbert.comDecember 1, I put myself to work on being more loving. Each day, I’ve been looking for ways to actively put more love into my family’s life. When I start to feel stressed or overwhelmed by my kids (which happens often!),I stop myself so I can instead seek the more loving alternative. I move to a quiet area and pray for help to change how I feel and show me a better way to be. I sit and feel the frustration or worry or whatever it may be. And when I’m ready, I go back and approach my family in a more loving way. I’m still learning, and I’ve got the rest of this month to practice (and all of next year–“Loving” is my new yearly theme!). So, I know I will improve, and that’s what counts. The best gifts don’t come in a box. This season, create a more meaningful holiday by giving gifts of meaning. For more ideas how to do this, check out “Create a More Meaningful Christmas with The 5 Gifts of Meaning” and “Give the Gift of Hope.”

 

  • Focus on relationships. How much more meaningful can we get than to improve relationships Love Greatly, "Mental Illness, Stigma & Suicide: Finding Hope in the Darkest Times"; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comthat need improving, connect with those with whom we need to connect, and spending time with those we love most? Make your holiday activities about strengthening relationships this year. My example, above, of seeking to be more loving is one way to focus on and improve relationships. It’s also a time to look for ways to spend quality time with those who mean the most to you. And if you’re struggling with family relationships, use my Holiday Relationship Stress Survival Guide to get you back on the right track.

 

  • Create joy. Don’t wait around to feel joyful. Instead, try acting cheerfully. No matter how you feel, you can choose to be of good cheer, and when you do, you’ll find you begin to feel more joyful as a result. If you want more joy this season, seek to create it. Smile on purpose. Seek ways to laugh more. Look for the good, and put more positivity into your vocabulary and emotions. Isn’t this what the holidays are all about? Joy, love, peace, hope, cheer? Let the good stuff begin with you. For some great ideas on how to be more cheerful, read Be of Good Cheer: 12 Ways to Become More Cheerful!

 

 How are you surviving and thriving this holiday season? Share your tips, thoughts, and ideas, by leaving a comment, below!

Listen to  “Motherhood” radio for more ideas! Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe to the show.

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile, here, or above, right.

 

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My NEW book is almost here! “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Pre-order today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
 TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Holiday Stress Survival Guide-How to Feel More Peace & Joy this Season; www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #holidays #christmas #mentalhealth #stress
Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram!

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:


FREE Webinar! Intro to “Women’s Emotions”: What you were never taught about your Brain, Hormones, & Mental Health”

Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

What creates the ups and downs so common in female emotions?
What role does the brain play, and how do hormones factor in?
Why is it that most women were never taught these crucial truths?

 

Join me for my new, FREE webinar all about “Women’s Emotions,” as we explore the relationship between hormones, the brain, life experiences, and the unique qualities that create women’s emotional and mental health.

 

Register Here!

 

I’ve been teaching seminars on women’s emotional health for years, and I’ve found that this is information EVERY woman is needs.

Those who work with women, especially in the medical or mental health fields, need this information; those who love women (like husbands and partners) need this information; and those who want to better understand their own mental and emotional health so they can pass this information on to friends, family, and daughters especially need it.

In fact, many women are desperate for this understanding–desperate for answers to why they feel how they feel, why their moods fluctuate so much, and what they can do to increase wellness and mental and emotional health in their lives. In fact, my previous articles on “Women’s Emotions,” parts 1, 2, and 3, have been some of my most popular, and each time I teach on this topic, the women in the audience (and often the men who love them) ask, “Why was I never taught these things?”

 

This is why I am so thrilled to share this brand new webinar series with you!

Personally and professionally I have found this information to be life-changing, and I hope it will be for all who join us, too!

 

 

Here’s what you will learn in this FREE webinar!

 

 

In the first 30 minutes:

  • Learn the facts on female emotions, why they can be so challenging.
  • Understand the underlying factors creating women’s mental and emotional health.
  • Receive tools to help you overcome mental health struggles and build emotional wellness.
  • Leave with a new framework for understanding your, or women’s, mental and emotional health.
  • And, most importantly, know what you can DO.

 

The second 30 minutes will be a LIVE Q & A!

Submit your questions in real-time, and I will answer as many as possible. This is a wonderful opportunity to have your questions answered, live! If you can’t attend live, no problem! The webinar will be recorded, so you can access and view it any time!

 

Register Today!

Just click this link and you’ll be taken to the registration page, which includes a short video introduction to the webinar and easy registration!

Don’t stay in the dark about your own emotions any longer. Register for “Introduction to Women’s Emotions” today!”

 

 

 

P.S. If you have any questions about the webinar or registration, feel free to ask in the comments, below!

 

 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
 TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 Introduction to Women's Emotions- What you were never taught about your brain, hormones, & mental health! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
Let’s Connect! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “Like” me on Facebook Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow, & follow me on TwitterPinterest, & Instagram!

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Creativity & Motherhood: 10 Ways to Uplift & Inspire Your Kids, Family, & Self!

Motherhood & Creativity- Uplift & Inspire! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

As women, and especially as mothers, we are creators. Creators of human beings, creators of families, creators of homes. We nurture, love, uplift, and inspire, and all of these requires creativity.

 

It’s easy as busy women and moms, however, to let our creativity fade, to let the busyness of life overtake us, ruling our schedules and making us believe our need for creation is unimportant, impossible, or insignificant. Yet, we need to create. We were born to create! We must continually nurture our creative qualities and pursuits if we want to keep our spirit alive and kicking, and when we do so, we have so much more to offer. In fact, it is through creativity that we uplift and inspire–our kids, our families, our communities, and yes, ourSELVEs.

 

 

10 Ways to Boost Creativity & Uplift and Inspire!

I was inspired by my interview on Motherhood radio with Rhonna Farrer, graphic artist and creator of the award-winning apps, Rhonna Designs & RD Magic (which I LOVE!). It is truly energizing to be around people who embrace & actively foster their creativity, and Rhonna is definitely one of those people! In fact, her tagline, “Uplift & Inspire,” inspired this blog post as well as our radio episode on Motherhood & Creativity: Uplift & Inspire! (Listen here on demand or download podcasts from iTunes!)

 

If your creativity needs a boost, check out the following 10 tips I believe are essential to nurturing and keeping creativity flowing in motherhood. Then, use that creativity to get out there and uplift & inspire, today!

 

I struggled with my confidence as a writer for years before I finally made myself believe in me. 2 years later, I'd not only published my first book, but I won an award for This is How We Grow! Others obviously believed in me, too. :)

I struggled with my confidence as a writer for years before I finally made myself believe in me. 2 years later, I’d not only published my first book, but I won an award for This is How We Grow! Others obviously believed in me, too. 🙂

1) Acknowledge your creativity. 

I can’t tell you how often I hear people say, “…but I’m not a creative person!” To that I say “Wrong!” We are all creative in some way or another; the trouble is we think creativity only applies to artistic ability, when in reality it’s so much more. You may be a creative thinker, problem solver, or nurturer. However and whatever you create–be it a clean home, happy disposition, or physical or mental health–is your creativity shining through. Your creativity may shine in your garden, at the dinner table, or while playing with your kids. It may pop up in how you handle your relationships, how you serve others, or how you learn. We ALL create. The first step is to acknowledge your preferred forms of creativity.

 

 

2) Believe in yourself. 

Of course, for any of these things to happen, you’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to recognize your creativity and believe you can and will be able to apply it to make the world, or your home, or even your life, better. If you don’t have confidence in your creativity at the start, then fake it ’til you make it. Practice, like you would with weight lifting, until your confidence muscles become stronger. Even if you don’t feel confident, you can still practice creativity. The more you work on building your creative muscles, the more likely your confidence is to start shining through. (For more on building self-confidence and self-worth, click here.)

 

 

3) Practice nurturing your creativity each day.

To flourish, creativity must be nurtured. That means making creativity a part of each day–on purpose! It may sound difficult, but it’s simpler than you think. Writing, drawing, singing, dancing, crafting, gardening, decorating, brainstorming–even (and especially) mothering can get your creative juices flowing! The trick is to make creativity a practice–part of your daily routine. Rhonna Farrer has a fabulous way to nurture her creativity. Each day she selects one of 100 creativity-boosting exercises from a jar and does it. For example, doodling on a chalkboard or writing down thoughts or ideas throughout the day. Check out Rhonna Farrer’s “Boost Your Creativity” post, workshop, and kit to try it out, too!

 

 

4) Ditch the excuses. 

Created with the Rhonna Designs app!

Created with the Rhonna Designs app!

Okay. I know it’s not easy to cultivate creativity when you’re exhausted, sleep deprived, barely showered (or not quite showered), and just trying to keep up! Trust me, with 6 kids, this is my life every day. BUT, I can also say that creativity can fit in with motherhood, no matter what season of ‘being mom’ you’re in.

There truly is a “reason for every season,” and you can fit creativity into every stage of motherhood. Sit and practice piano with your baby strapped to your back, pull out the finger-paints and dig in with your toddler, or work with your teenager on redecorating her room. Practicing creativity doesn’t have to add more time to your already busy life. It’s more about using your time as wisely as possible, about simplifying things by creatively approaching each task. It’s about getting out of the “box” of excuses for why you can’t be creative and finding a whole new box to explore!

 

 

5) Nurture your relationships with creativity.

When I was in high school, my friends and I started “creative dating.” We’d invite new guys out

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ "This is How We Grow" book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night!

My husband, OJ, and me at my 39th birthday/ “This is How We Grow” book release party! Such a fabulous, fun night!

each week and then plan outrageous, fun dates with them that included things like playing cards in the airport, dinner on mountaintops, gondola rides with Italian opera, and a serenade in 3-part harmony (by us) to top it off! We can bring the same creativity to our marriages and relationships, if we focus and work on it. Play games, tell jokes, dance, sing, laugh together. Anything that gets you out of your rut!

For my birthday a couple years ago, we had a super fun game/competition/book launch party, with Jenga, Perfection, Connect 4, and “SingStar” competitions, as well as a few intense “Down on the banks of the hanky pinky…bullfrog” hand slapping competitions between my friends to win copies of my book! Other prizes included a “Bacon Wave,” kitchen appliances we no longer needed, and even our old TV! Everyone felt like a kid again; it was a great time! Think outside of the box with your family, partners, and friends–it will not only uplift and inspire your relationships, it will strengthen your creativity!

 

 

6) Practice creativity in your parenting.

Whether it’s helping your child find a solution to their problem, doing the end-of-the-year projects with them at midnight (the day before it’s due!), or finding creative discipline solutions that work, parenting is all about creativity. Actively incorporate creativity into your daily parenting by looking for new ways to handle your children’s needs, respond to intense situations, keep your family healthy and active, and teach important values and skills. Instead of talking out a problem, have them draw a picture of it. Then, together, draw a picture of a creative solution. There are countless ways to boost your creativity as a parent. All you have to do is look for and implement them! (Read more about Parenting Skills, here.)

 

 

7) Create the Life you Desire. 

It’s up to us to envision, execute, and ultimately to create the life we desire. It won’t just fall into our lap. It takes work, and it requires creativity. Don’t sell yourself short. Learn to use your creativity to bring to pass the life of your dreams! Learn how in Create the Life you Desire, Parts 1 & 2!Create your Life’s Vision, and Becoming the Butterfly: The power of personal transformation!

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

8) Create the body and mind you desire.

Physical and mental health are both acts of creation, as well. We can’t be healthy, and happy, until we make our health a priority. Exercise is one of the best tools for creating the body and mind you desire, and this article can show you how to create an exercise program that works for you! Sleep, nutrition, alone time, and self-care are other elements of creation that build wellness and help us flourish. We have to see these as creative acts, as acts that ultimately lead to health. Then, we have to practice creating the body and mind we desire. (For more ideas, read 6 Strategies for Body-Mind EmpowermentThe Mind-Body-Spirit Connection, and w5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Mind (and life!) And be sure to check out my new book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!)

 

 

9) Create happiness.

Research shows that only 50% of happiness is determined by genetics and personality. The other 50% is up to us. Only we can create happiness and discover joy; we can’t afford to wait around, hoping it distills upon us. How do we do this? These posts are a great starting place: Beyond Happiness: 10 Ways to Create Joy, Living a Life of Meaning & Purpose: The key to true happiness, and Joy is in the Moments.

 

 

I love this quote and created this meme using the Rhonna Designs app!

I love this quote and created this meme using the Rhonna Designs app!

10) Create love.

There is no greater creative purpose than that of creating love. And yes, loving is a highly creative process. As we focus on others’ needs, seek to meet those needs, nurture, uplift, and inspire, we grow, and as we focus on personal growth, we have so much more love to share!

As I write in This is How We Grow, “…Love comes from God and nature and light, and fills us, if we let it, like a well that never runs dry. As we receive this love, we become so full of love it pours out our eyes and mouth and arms, filling those around us, too. Love cannot be kept, but must be given and received again— a continuous cycle that, when complete, generates greater and higher love. Yes, choosing to grow is choosing to love.” (Kindle Locations 6847-6849). 

 

We can create the love we desire. We can create the life we desire. As we nurture our creativity, we will be “constantly filled” with “beautiful stuff.” Then, it’s up to us to tip over and let that beauty out. It’s up to us to share, to serve, to uplift, and to inspire.

 

 

How do you keep your creativity alive? What inspires you? How do you use creativity to uplift others? Share your ideas, tips, and creative pursuits with us, below, by leaving a comment!

 
 
 

Be sure to check out my New show, “Motherhood,” on WebTalkRadio.net!

Link for this episode: Motherhood & Creativity: Uplift & Inspire!

(Featuring Rhonna Ferrer, of Rhonna Designs!)

Listen to "Motherhood" with Dr. Christina Hibbert! Each week on WebTalkRadio.net & iTunes! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #radio

 

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Design created by Rhonna Farrer, using her fabulous RD apps!

Design created by Rhonna Farrer, using her fabulous RD apps!

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