Self-Esteem & Self-Worth: “Who Am I?” (Hint–You’re More Than You Think) Preview my NEW Book “Who Am I Without You”!

#SELFESTEEM & #SELFWORTH: "Who Am I?" Hint--you're more than you think! (Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou!) www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

#SELFESTEEM & #SELFWORTH: "Who Am I?" Hint--you're more than you think! (Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou!) www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
 
It’s time! My brand new book, Who Am I Without You, is being officially released this week! In honor of the book release, I’d love to share with you a preview of another one of my favorite chapters in this post. Hope it gives you a good feel for all you can learn about self-esteem, self-worth, and overcoming life’s toughest trials with a strong sense of who you truly are. (If you missed it, here’s a preview of Chapter 1.)
 
 
 
 
 

Chapter 22: Ask, “Who Am I?”

Hint—You’re More Than You Think.

“What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘

Who am I then?’ The one who sees that.”

~Eckhart Tolle

“Who Am I?” How would you answer this huge question?

I’ve asked clients and friends (and myself) many times, and I’ve heard all kinds of answers—“I’m a single mom,” “I’m an optimist,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m an eternal soul,” “I’m trying to figure that out.” It’s how we introduce ourselves to people—“My name is so and so and I work as a such and such and I like doing this and that.” For many, it’s easy to answer: “I’m a short, blond, artist;” “I’m a mom, a nurse, and I have a passion for scrapbooking.” For others, it’s not so easy: “It’s something I ask myself all the time;” “I’m not sure who I am yet, but I am learning.”

The way I see it, there are two ways to answer the question, “Who am I?”: 1) with our head and heart, or 2) with our soul. The head and heart tell us some facts about who we are, but it’s the soul that answers the question, “Yes, but who are you, really?”

 

You are not how you look, how you feel, or what you think.

Short or tall, fair or dark, thin or not-so-thin—these describe your body. But are you your body? No. It’s part of you, but it’s definitely only part of the story.Preview my new book, #WhoAmIWithoutYou in this post, "Who Am I?" Hint--You're more than you think! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com

How about your feelings? They can certainly be powerful; at times, it can seem like they are you. Yet, emotions arise from all kinds of things—the weather, hormones, sleep or lack thereof, challenges, blessings. We’ve already discussed how emotions may come or go like the weather (chapter seven). You are so much more than your emotions.

Then, what about your thoughts? Our thoughts heavily influence how we feel, what we do, and even what we believe, it’s true. Many people get so caught up in their thoughts they actually believe they are those thoughts. Nope. We are not our thoughts. The fact that we can talk about our thoughts proves there’s more to us than what we think.

 

You are not your roles.

“I am darn-tough/” target=”_blank”>a mother.” “I am a teacher.” “I am a partner.” We tend to focus heavily on our roles. This can be especially tough after a breakup when suddenly, “I’m a wife,” or “I’m a girlfriend” no longer applies. Roles are helpful in categorizing our lives. They help us understand our responsibilities and fulfill them. Roles give us a certain simplicity to life, but roles change, don’t they? As you are going through life transition, you’re surely feeling that. You are not your roles.

 

You are not what you do.

Many of us get caught up in what we do—or don’t do. We take on the identity of a “successful business woman” or “a runner” or “an animal lover.” For instance, I am a psychologist. It is heavily ingrained in the way I think and act in the world. I have a strong curiosity to comprehend how we humans work, and I have a natural ability to understand and have compassion for others. These things make me good at what I do, but do they define who I am? No. They’re just part of how I express myself in this world.

 

Who are you—in your soul?

So, if none of these things we think with our head or feel with our heart gives us the full picture, then I ask again, “Who are you, really?”

This is a question that can only be answered with the soul—with that deeper part of you, that timeless, ingrained knowing that you are more than meets the eye. As we work to discover your sense of self-worth, you will feel that bigger, eternal part of yourself, and you will know that your potential is endless and your ability to love is immense. You will come to know the real you—not the you everyone sees or hears or thinks they know, but the you that was created for a great purpose. You will begin to see yourself as God sees you, and that is true self-worth.

 

Integrating the mind, heart, and soul of who you are.

As we move into how to build unwavering self-esteem, it can help to see who you think and feel you are, because the more you see of yourself and how you are in the world, the more you can integrate it with who you really are, deep in your soul.

That’s what we’re working toward here—to hear what you’re saying in your head and feeling in your heart, and then bring them in line with what you experience in your soul. Are these three areas saying the same thing about who you are? Do you like what you are hearing?

 

Bottom line…

  • “Who am I?” is a huge question, and we tend to answer it with our head or our heart.
  • We are not our roles, our feelings, our thoughts, or behaviors. However, these things can help us understand ourselves better when integrated with the truth from our soul.

 

Tool: Ask, “Who am I?”

  • Head: Grab your journal or a paper and pen and sit in a quiet space. Create your “who am I” list. Write out all the titles and roles and qualities your head tells you that you are. Don’t judge, just list.

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION: Men, Illness, & Mental Health–Pernell’s Story

The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION: #Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, #2 in a 12 part series

The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION: #Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, #2 in a 12 part seriesI can’t tell you how thrilled I am to begin my “Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” blog series. After reviewing dozens of submissions, I’ve selected 12 individuals to share their stories of depression, hope, and healing.

 

The faces that accompany these posts are those of regular men and women of all walks and races, demonstrating that depression doesn’t play favorites–it can strike any of us, and there are many ways to treat it, recover, and heal. These stories show the many experiences of depression, the various ways it comes about, and how it affects daily life, work, family, and relationships.

 

My hope is that, through these stories, we will be able to 1) expose the many faces of depression–the people who suffer and how they overcome, so that 2) others may better understand depression, and 3) we may raise awareness of depression to 4) overcome the stigma. That we may learn to 4) ask about depression, and especially, that we may 5) begin to talk about it.

 

Men, Illness, & Mental Health: Story 2–Pernell

I started this series with my own story, a few months ago, and today, I am honored to share Pernell’s story.

 

I’ve known Pernell and his family through church and socially for the past 10 years. Pernell is a successful attorney with a beautiful wife (my kids’ amazing piano teacher) and family of four daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, and 5 grandchildren. He is a warm, intelligent leader, and someone people admire in our community.
 
When I received Pernell’s blog post submission I was surprised, to say the least. I remember when he went through the medical experiences he describes below, and I knew it had been very hard on him and his family. But I had no idea Pernell had ever suffered from depression. From the outside, you could never tell; this is one reason I wanted to do this series–because, as I said in my story, “You can’t always tell by looking.”
 
I hope, through reading Pernell’s words, you will feel the love he has for his family, for life, and for others suffering from mental health concerns. Yes, men get depression. Yes, it can often be triggered by health issues. And yes, it can happen to those who are successful and seem to “have it all.” Read on, and you’ll see what I mean. Then, join me again next month for story 3 as we FACE DEPRESSION, together.
 

 

Pernell’s Story

“15 years ago my brother was diagnosed with a rare liver disorder.  Within 3 years he needed a transplant.  His best chance of survival was to receive a liver from a living donor.  I volunteered and was a match. In April 2006 I donated 60% of my liver to him.  A week after leaving the hospital I was re-admitted due to a bile duct leak.  Try as they might, the doctors could not locate the leak.  I became so ill the doctors were about to operate again.  I had to fast for 3 days because of all the tests.  My hair began to fall out.  Finally, the doctors located the leak, inserted a stent and I began to recover.  However, during that week I remember sitting on a gurney waiting for an MRI.  I was left alone, and all of the sudden began to feel intense anxiety.  I remember thinking, ‘this is silly, just calm down!’  But, I couldn’t.  It was probably only a few minutes, but I was so relieved when someone finally came to get me.

 

“After discharge, I returned home to recover.  I was anxious to return to work and felt that six weeks was long enough. I did not take into account, however, the complications.   At that time, I was in a dispute with my partners over some issues.  I prepared a memo outlining the changes I wanted to see or I would leave.  During a meeting I shared the memo with the junior partners in hopes that they would support my position. They were not supportive. Disappointed, I simply returned to the daily grind of work when a few days after the meeting, I received a memo from the firm’s most senior partner attacking me for insubordination and calling an emergency meeting.  Immediately I knew that one of the junior partners  had relayed my memo to the senior partners.  I was shocked and horrified when I opened that memo and in my weakened physical and emotional condition from the transplant was simply not prepared for a battle.

 

“I went home and tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  I felt enormous pain in my abdomen and thought it was another complication.  My wife drove me to the Mayo clinic the next day, but they found nothing wrong.  Slowly, the pains subsided, and I went back to work.  From that day, however, something was not right.  I could not sleep or concentrate.  Even the most menial of tasks were beyond my capacity.  I would cry The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION--#Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com (2nd in a 12 part series)over anything.  I could barely talk to my clients. I came home one day for lunch and could barely whisper to my wife, ‘I’m in trouble, I need help.’  She  called a psychologist. He agreed to see me and it was apparent I had anxiety and depression.  Initially, it was a great relief to be able to put a label on what I was feeling.  But that did not make the feelings go away.  The anxiety was so intense, that my heart would beat twice as fast as normal.  My teeth would chatter together.  My saliva glands and tear ducts were on overload.  I could not sleep more than 3 hours a night, and when I did, I did not dream. I also was depressed. I could see no point to life.  I remember seeing people walk their dogs and thinking, ‘what a completely worthless thing to do.’  Life had lost all meaning to me.  I thought that I would gladly go through the pain of the transplant again just to stop the emotional pain I was feeling.  I kept asking God why this would happen to me.  I had done what I thought was a good thing by helping my brother and could not understand why I was being punished.

 

“The hardest part was actually believing I would ever get better. I did not believe it.  I felt I had been permanently damaged.   That my brain chemistry had been forever altered. But, I kept seeing the psychologist.  I walked every day with my wife.  I would go to work and tell myself that if I could just make it until noon, I could go home and see my wife and everything would be O.K.  I would then go back to work and tell myself the same thing to get to the end of the day.   Through it all I continued to work, but for six months I was deeply depressed.  I resolved to find something to laugh about each day.  It’s weird being depressed and laughing, but that is what I did.  Slowly, the depression began to fade, but not the anxiety.  I have lived with that in some measure for the past 8 years.  It was almost cyclical.  I would be fine for a couple of weeks and then have a really bad week.  I left my former law firm about a year after all of the problems began and founded a very successful law firm.  Even so, every Sunday night the anxiety would hit me the hardest as I thought about having to go to work the next day.  At this point, the anxiety is all but gone.  I am not depressed.  I have an amazing wife and family, and other blessings too numerous to count.

 

“However, I know first hand the ugliness of mental illness.  Compared to the pain of being a liver donor, mental illness wins hands down.  I have learned there are many who suffer and need help.  While I  have no professional credentials, I have learned how to offer encouragement, empathy and  compassion to those who suffer.  I also learned that there is always hope.  Even though I could not see it at the depths of my despair,  I was able to persevere long enough to get my head above water long enough to see the edge of the pool and at least know that somehow I could get there.  Thankfully, with a lot of help I was able to get there and recover.”

 

~Pernell McGuire
Flagstaff, AZ

 
 

Share your thoughts. What would you like to say to Pernell? What do you understand about depression, and what would you like the world to understand? Leave a comment, below, and let your voice be heard!

 
 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 
 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

New! Who Am I Without You? available at AmazonBarnes & NobleNew HarbingerTarget, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

The Many FACEs of #DEPRESSION: #Men, Illness, & #MentalHealth, Pernell's Story; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, #2 in a 12 part series
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Loss, Love & A NEW Way to do Valentine’s Day: 10 Ways to GROW in Love

Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comAs I write, it’s a few days before Valentine’s Day. The world seems to be covered in pink and red, candy hearts, and flowers; it’s beautiful. I, however, am thinking of those who don’t have a Valentine this year.

 

Love, Loss, & Valentine’s Day

Perhaps it’s because I’m about to release my new book on self-esteem after a breakup or divorce. Perhaps it’s because I’m thinking of my dear friend who died last April and of her husband, facing this Valentine’s Day alone for the first time. Perhaps, it’s because I know all too well that most love stories have sudden drops and falls, and I know there are so many who are feeling this now.

 

I can’t help but think of my parents, who always send us Valentine’s cards and who are missing their two departed daughters, and son-in-law, again this year. I think of my grandmothers, who have been living without their beloved husbands for years, or my mother-in-law, a widow of almost six years. I think of my own losses. And, I remember how much I have loved, and been loved.

 

Those who have lost a loved one—a parent, a child, a partner, a spouse, a friend—know what I mean. These simple holidays can bring up a great deal of pain, or at least, a great deal of memories.

 

 

A NEW Way to do Valentine’s Day: GROW in Love

Valentine’s Day can put such pressure on us to be in love and to show it through gifts and grand romantic gestures. But what if, instead, Valentine’s Day could serve as a beautiful, vivid reminder that we have loved, and that we may continue to love? What if it could serve as a tribute to our loss and continued love? What if this Valentine’s Day could be our opportunity to grow in love?

 

Growing in love means choosing to open our hearts, to receive love when it comes, and to give love freely. It means choosing to become more full of love for everyone we meet, and especially for those who need it most. As we grow in love, we become more at peace, full of joy, and the best part? We feel loved in return. Isn’t life really about growing in love, rather than falling in love, anyway? Falling may be an important start, but growing in love is deeper, more lasting, and crucial to healing and personal growth.

 

 

10 Ways to Grow in Love: On Valentine’s Day, and Every Day

Here are 10 ways to get you started growing in love. Pick one, or two, or all, and give them a try. By discovering a new way to do Valentine’s Day you just might discover something of great value: hope, healing, self-worth, and yes, greater love.

 

  • Practice opening your heart. This is a simple, important way to start. If our heart isn’t open, it’s hard to grow in love. Try this: Sit in a quiet place and breathe deeply. Focus on your heart as you continue to breathe. Does it feel open, relaxed, and ready to give and receive love? Or, does it feel closed and guarded? Just notice it, but don’t judge, as you breathe. Think of someone you love dearly. Picture them vividly in your mind. What do you love about them? How do they make you feel? Purposefully open your heart to that love. Continue to breathe as you focus on feeling greater love for them and keeping your heart open. Practice opening your heart for five minutes, and then, continue to open your heart throughout the day. When you feel your heart closing, take a deep breath and open again. It may be difficult at first, but if you practice each day, you will become more open to the gift of love.

 

  • Practice self-love. It’s true we cannot give what we do not possess. If we don’t love ourselves, it’s
    Give yourself a little love, or help someone else get a loving break.

    Give yourself a little love, or help someone else get a loving break.

    very hard to love others and grow in love. Start practicing self-love. Do something kind for yourself today. Nothing too fancy or extravagant, but something that helps you feel self-love. It could be a hot bath, a walk with a friend, a trip to the mall, a movie night, or anything you need. Whatever you’d do to show someone else kindness, do that for yourself today. (More on how to practice self-love here.)

 

  • Serve. It doesn’t matter whom. It doesn’t matter how. Service is healing to the grieving heart, and to us all. Listen to a friend in need, volunteer at a food bank, or visit someone who’s in the hospital. Just serve. In your own way. Your heart will soar in love as a result.

 

  • Do an anonymous act of kindness today. Pay for someone else’s meal, pick up trash in someone’s yard, drop cookies on someone’s doorstep. Look for opportunities to do an act of kindness, and take it.

 

  • Send a card or note to someone who’s lost love recently—on Valentine’s Day, or on any day. Let them know you’re thinking of them and that you remember their loved one, too. When my youngest sister, Miki, died at age 8, her best friend continued to bring my mom flowers every year on Miki’s birthday. We will never forget that act of love. Gestures such as this can mean the world to the grieving, and healing, heart. (More on Helping Others Through Grief & Loss, here)

 

  • Offer to watch someone’s children while they go for an evening out. Help a mother, father, or couple to get time together or an evening out with friends, to give them a break from the job of parenting and refresh them.

 

  • Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them, “I was just thinking about you and want to hear all about your life.” It’s not only giving love, it’s helping you receive greater friendship and love in return.

 

  • Give a big smile and say “Hello!” to strangers. You never know who needs that smile and acknowledgement. You could make someone’s day or even be a turning point in their life. And, when you put love out, you get so much more in return.

 

  • Receive love. When someone offers you a compliment, a kind word, a loving gesture—say, “Thank you,” and mean it. Don’t push love away. Breathe, and let it in. It will fill and grow you, and you’ll have so much more love to give.

 

  • Hug as many people as you can. I am a hugger. I know the power of a love-filled hug. You’d be surprised how many people are craving for that little bit of love through a hug. Especially those who’ve lost a spouse or partner; give them a hug. Don’t worry about what they will think. If you’re doing it out of genuine love, it will always be well-received. Hug as often as others let you; it will heal you both and help you grow in love.

 

 

What are your thoughts on this new way to do Valentine’s Day? What suggestions do you have to help you, and others, grow in love? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

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

Pre-order Who Am I Without You at AmazonBarnes & NobleNew HarbingerTarget, or your local bookseller!

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Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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 Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
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10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

About Dr. Christina Hibbert
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 really hopes you’ll join the Personal Growth Group and choose to grow together!

Comments

  1. Thank you, Christi, for this wonderful meditation! I just did it after a long and stressful day, and it completely relaxed me and renewed my spirit! You are a wonderful guide. Thank you for all you share. I learn and grow so much with you! Keep the meditations coming!!

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Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: “Spirit Meditation” [video]

#Meditation for #MentalHealth, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #video #YouTube #blog #spirituality #personalgrowth

#Meditation for #MentalHealth, Personal, & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #video #YouTube #blog #spirituality #personalgrowthI haven’t always been a meditator. I used to think it was kind of strange, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try it for a long time. But about six years ago, when I was going through some of my hardest trials, a craving for peace, personal, and spiritual growth began pulling me toward mindfulness and meditation. I was in need of something–something new, something to calm and center me, something to quiet my mind, something to bring a greater sense of mental health and wellness.

 

The Power of Meditation

Enter meditation. I first attempted to meditate by sitting still and breathing. I’d been practicing deep breathing for years and had done visualization exercises plenty of times with my clients and myself. But this time, I was trying to quiet my overstimulated, overwhelmed mind. I was trying not to think. I was trying to let go of every thought that came. It was extremely difficult. I found myself thinking about all kinds of other things; my mind wandered and I seemed at a loss to bring it back. I felt frustrated and defeated.

 

I attempted again, many times, and yes, it became a little more “do-able” over time, but mostly, it was a struggle for me. I’d studied and knew of the many benefits of meditation, and I wanted those benefits. But, I figured, maybe I just wasn’t cut out for meditating.

 

I was wrong. A couple years later, having given up on meditation, I attended a women’s conference and the speaker led us through a powerful meditation. As I write, in This is How We Grow, “I could actually feel my spirit. I comprehended, even for a moment, that it truly has no beginning and no end. When I focused, I could expand my spirit even bigger than my body, allowing me to experience just how vast each soul truly is. Meditation–I’d been trying to do it for so long, yet [the speaker] converted me in a five-minute experience. I was hooked.” (p. 363)

 

 

Meditation for Mental Health: Benefits

I was hooked, and I still am. Meditation has become a staple of my mornings, along with exercise, Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditationprayer, and scripture study. It has become a portal to greater peace, focus, and awareness in my daily life, a gateway to a deeper spiritual connection and power throughout each day. When I meditate, I feel more focused and efficient in my work, more patient in my parenting, and more loving in my relationships. When I forget to meditate, I feel the difference, and I miss it greatly.

 

Meditation and mindfulness have been studied often and shown to improve mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Here are some of the specific benefits meditation offers:

1) Greater sense of peace and calm.

2) Clearer mind and thinking.

3) Helps you focus on the present, bringing a greater sense of awareness to your world, loved ones, and blessings.

4) Improves the immune system, which means less illness and greater overall health (which is also great for mental health!).

5) Helps reduce and manage life stress. Mindfulness meditation not only lowers stress; it leads to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

6) Helps reduce negative emotions, and can benefit emotional health after the meditation is over because it changes the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.

7) Shown to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain.

8) Can actually change the brain in positive ways that may protect against mental illness.

9) Can improve sleep!

10) Meditation has been shown to increase compassion and a desire to “do good.”

11) A wonderful tool for personal growth, calming the thinking mind and opening one up to a deeper sense of who you truly are.

12) Can increase spiritual awareness, openness, and connection with God and the Divine.

 

 

The Spirit Meditation

I’ve experienced all of these benefits, and that’s a big reason I keep making myself practice mindfulness and meditation each day, and why I’m hoping you will give it a try, too.

 

Below is a video of my favorite meditation. It’s based off the one I wrote about above, the one that opened me up to the true power of meditation. Though there are countless ways to meditate, and I often try different techniques, this one is my favorite. It’s the one I do most days, and I want to share it with you. I also share it in my new book, Who Am I Without You?, along with several other tools that can help anyone going through anything, so I hope you’ll visit the link just above and check those out, too!

 

What can Meditation do for YOU? Let’s find out…

Click on the video below and give yourself the gift of 7 minutes today. Only 7 minutes to see how meditation might benefit you! Then, leave me a comment, below, or on my YouTube channel, and tell me all about it. I hope it’s one of the best things you learn to do for your mental well-being, personal growth, and spirituality, too!

 

You need to install or upgrade Flash Player to view this content, install or upgrade by clicking here.

 
 

What are your thoughts on mindfulness and meditation? Have you practiced meditation? If so, what kinds of exercises do you prefer? What benefits have you experienced? Did you try the “Spirit Meditation ” What did you think? I’d love to hear all about it, so please leave a comment, below!

 

 

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

Pre-order Who Am I Without You at AmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, Target, or your local bookseller!

Coming March 1, 2015!

 
 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 
 

 

 

 

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal, & Spiritual Growth- Spirit Meditation
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Related Posts/Articles:

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: “You’re not alone”

Preview Chapter 1 here!

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: "You're Not Alone." A preview of chapter 1 of Dr. Christina Hibbert's new book, Who Am I Without You? www.DrchristinaHibbert.com  
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This post is adapted from my new book, Who Am I Without You? with New Harbinger Publications, coming March 1, 2015 (and available for pre-order now)!

In fact, this post is a preview of chapter one.

If you’re going through a breakup, divorce, or relationship loss, then this post [and the book] are for you. If you have a loved one going through it, then this is the perfect gift.

 
 

“I think this is what we all want to hear: that we are not alone in hitting the bottom, and that it is possible to come out of that place courageous, beautiful, and strong.”
~Anna White

 

Relationship loss—we’ve all experienced it, or will at some point. I’m no exception. I may not have experienced your exact heartache or circumstances, but trust me: I understand loss. I’m here to help you through.

 
 

You’re not alone.

Knowing you’re not alone is one of the most important things when a relationship ends, because it can feel very alone. It can feel like, “No one gets how I feel right now.” You’re right: No one does understand exactly how you feel. We each have our unique experience of loss after a breakup. However, it’s also true you may be feeling many of the same things women have been feeling for years, and that can actually be freeing.

 
 
If you feel broken from your breakup or loss, “You’re not alone.”

Experiencing a breakup is a universal loss. Sad but true, breakups and divorce are one of the most common human experiences. Just look at the statistics:

• 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States (APA website, 2013).

• For second marriages, the divorce rate is 60-65%, and third marriages, 72-74% (Divorce Statistics website, 2013).

• Though there aren’t any solid statistics on breakups, some estimate one-third of women have experienced a significant breakup in the past ten years.

 

Whether you’re young or old, divorcing or splitting from your boyfriend; whether it ended civilly or with a text that said, “Sorry, babe. It’s over,” it still hurts. Considering these statistics, there are a lot of hurting women out there.

You’re not alone.

 
 

If your self-esteem has taken a hit after your breakup, “You’re not alone.”

How is your self-esteem right now? If you’re fresh from a breakup, I would guess it’s at an all-time low. Take this brief assessment and see for yourself.

Self-Esteem Assessment

Directions: Place a check mark beside all sentences that apply to you right now.

1) I feel confident most of the time._____
2) I often think negatively about myself._____
3) I feel worthy of love._____
4) I am fearful of or sensitive to rejection._____
5) I accept my flaws and work on them._____
6) I give others’ opinions of me more weight than my own._____
7) I take good care of myself and tend to my needs._____
8) I often compare myself, my life, or my relationships to others._____
9) I feel attractive._____
10) I feel like other people don’t accept me._____
11) I feel capable of achieving success in my life._____
12) I often feel fearful or anxious, especially around others._____
13) I often think positively about myself._____
14) I feel inadequate or inferior to others._____
15) I embrace my strengths and my weaknesses._____
16) I am concerned, and often critical, about my body and looks._____
17) I feel comfortable in social situations._____
18) I have difficulty trusting others._____
19) I understand who I really am, and I like me._____
20) I am a perfectionist._____

Scoring:
Give yourself one point for every odd number you checked, and one point for every even number you did not check. Add up your score. Then, compare, below.

Results:
20-16: High Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem seems strong, especially considering all you’ve been going through. This doesn’t mean you don’t have a thing or two to learn about self-worth and self-esteem, but it does mean you’re starting off in pretty great shape.

15-11: High Average Self-Esteem
You have your moments when you feel “less than,” but overall, your self-esteem is okay. There’s room for improvement, but you’ve got a foundation on which to build.

10-6: Low Average Self-Esteem
You struggle with self-esteem, or at least, you’re struggling now. Don’t worry, though. That’s what this book is for: to show you how to improve.

5-0: Low Self-Esteem
Your self-esteem has definitely taken a hit—either from your breakup, or from earlier in life. You’re not the only one who struggles, however, and you’re certainly not beyond hope. Together, we will help you discover the truth about who you are and rebuild your sense of self-worth.

 
 
If you feel like no one’s on your side, you’re wrong. (Did I mention, “You’re Not Alone?”)

I’m here. Or rather, this post (and my new book) is here—with my words, encouragement, comfort, motivation, direction, and yes, love. You can visit this post (or the book) any time and know that as I write these words for you, I do so out of respect and admiration for your willingness to work through your heartache. I do so out of a desire for you to know you’re not alone. One day, you’ll be flourishing in life and love again.

 
 
Tool: Examine your true feelings.

1) When I say, “You’re Not Alone,” how do you really feel? Do you believe me? Do you have doubts? Write about this in your journal or notebook.

2) How do you feel about your self-esteem assessment score? In what ways might your self-esteem be impacted by your breakup? Did you struggle with self-esteem previously? Can you relate to any of the things I wrote about above, like feeling “less than” or “unlovable”? Why or why not? Write it down.

(Excerpt from Who Am I Without You, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, with New Harbinger Publications.)

 
 

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

Pre-order Who Am I Without You at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

Coming March 1, 2015!

 
 

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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: "You're Not Alone." A preview of chapter 1 of Dr. Christina Hibbert's new book, Who Am I Without You? www.DrchristinaHibbert.com

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 
 
 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

 

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

 

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

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

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

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

"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #personalgrowth #goalsAs I write this, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and we all know the first Monday of the new year is the busiest day for personal growth. We turn our thoughts to letting go of the past and creating our vision for the future—or, at least, we try to.

 

We set goals, make resolutions, develop themes, and put our good intentions to work. At least, for a while. Research shows that by the end of January each year, approximately 64% of people are still working on their resolutions, wheras six months later, only 44% are sticking with it.[1]

 

However, we mustn’t give up hope, for research also shows that those who resolve to make positive change in their lives, whether they reach their goals right away or not, are ultimately more successful than those who fail to even try.

 

Why is it so hard to change?

Why is it so hard to achieve personal growth? I have a few ideas…

 

1) We don’t know how to change. We may know we want x, y, or z; we may really want to improve this, or overcome that. But, we don’t know how.

 

2) Change is hard, by nature. It’s part of the process of growth and change to struggle and fail, and to have to go back to the drawing board and try again. Understanding and even expecting this “spiral of change” is the key to true growth.

 

3) We focus too much on our own version of what “successful” change should look like, failing to see how much we’ve actually grown in the process. We think if we don’t stick to our goal, or if we mess up, we’ve failed, so we quit. We give up too soon, not realizing that “success” is really about growing, not about achieving some idealized goal.

 

4) We don’t have the support we need to stick with it. We need motivation, dedication, inspiration to make lasting change! When we are trying to change on our own, we may feel these things for a while, but long-term it definitely helps to have some encouragement, advice, and assistance from others.

 

So, what are we to do?

 

I am thrilled to introduce my This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan!

Register Now!

Based on my bestselling, IPPY Award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow, this 30-Day Personal Growth Plan is designed to show you how to make lasting change, to teach you the skills and tools you need to grow to where you want to be. This plan draws from the lessons, insights, and practical tools and skills I’ve utilized in my own life and with my clients to help you overcome, become, and flourish!

 

Make Lasting Change & GROW!

Whatever your current goals, whatever your current challenges, this plan will be a valuable guide you will want to draw from for years to come. I know, because I’m working the plan along with you! In fact, I’ve created this plan at the suggestion of one of the judges from the book award I received, who said, “You should create a study guide to help people apply the lessons you teach in your book.” That’s exactly what I’ve done, and I hope it will benefit you as much as it has benefitted me.

 

Receive Daily Lessons, Tools, & Inspiration!"This is How We Grow" FREE 30-Day Personal Growth Plan! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

By registering, you will immediately receive the 30-day Personal Growth Plan Guide, an 8-page eBook complete with the themes for the next 30 days and an inspirational quote for each theme, to pique your interest and keep you motivated!

 

Bonus!

As a bonus, you will also receive a short email lesson from me each day, for the next 30-days, with questions and exercises to teach, encourage, and inspire you in your personal growth journey! Additionally, you will receive videos, worksheets, and other tools and exercises to ensure you not only learn but apply the skills you need to make the positive change you desire.

 

Customized Just for YOU!

 

This plan is designed to complement your unique personal growth goals, to custom fit your needs, desires, and life vision. It is here to motivate you to keep going when the going gets tough, reminding you that each day, you can “Choose to grow.”

 

Don’t miss your chance to GROW!

Register for my This is How We Grow 30-Day Growth Plan here! 

Also, be sure to subscribe, below, (if you haven’t already) so you can keep up to date on other exciting opportunities!

 

Join and stick with me as I teach, motivate, counsel, and inspire you along your personal growth path. It’s far cheaper than therapy! And hopefully, just about as helpful. Join me for your best year yet–a year of overcoming, a year of becoming, a year of flourishing–a year of growth!

 

Register Here! 

 

And if you want more personal growth lessons and support, then join my…
Join Dr. Hibbert's "This Is How We Grow" Personal Growth Group! FREE. Online. Growth. www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

FREE. Online. Growth. What more could you ask for?
For more details about the Personal Growth GROUP, click here.

 

**Disclaimer: The This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group and 30-Day Personal Growth Plan are purely educational. It does not replace the need for professional mental health care, including psychotherapy.**

 

 

 

 

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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

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

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, above, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 
 

 

 
 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

This Is How We Grow wins an IPPY Award in NYC & is one of Aspire Magazine’s “Top 10 Inspirational Books!”

Personal Growth & Family Vacation?: 10 Things I Learned in an RV with my Family of 8 for 8 Days

PPD & Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–The 2 Most Important Things

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise!

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

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

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

 

 

Resources:

[1] Prochaska, J., Norcross, J, and Diclemente, C. (2007). Changing for Good: A revolutionary six-stage program for overcoming bad habits and moving your life positively forward. William Morrow Publishing.

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement & Stop the Stigma! Submit Your Story/ Photo!

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.comLast week, I shared my personal struggles with depression in my post, Overcoming the Stigma of Depression: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety).” I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support from so many who have joined me, stating, “I, too, am the face of depression.”

 

 

Overcoming The Powerful Stigma of Mental Illness & Depression

It’s a wonderful start: getting people talking and asking about depression, and hopefully increasing understanding and support. But there’s much more to be done if we hope to one day overcome the stigma of depression.

 

Even though I’ve received dozens of messages of support from online friends and followers, I’ve only had three real-life friends/family members reach out  to me after reading my article, and two of them are really more like acquaintances than close friends. All of them have also been affected by depression, either themselves or in a close family member. They didn’t do much other than say, “I’m so sorry you’ve been struggling. How are you doing now?” Or, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Or, “I think you’re brave to have written that article. You’ve helped me be brave, too.” It helps to hear my own friends talk about it.

 

But there were only three. While I didn’t write the article to get sympathy or support from my friends and family, I was surprised by how few of them have spoken to me about it. I’m sure I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s why I wrote the article to begin with–because the stigma of depression is so strong, it silences us.

 

I’m sure most of my friends and family don’t judge or criticize me for my depression. It’s just that, unlike with other types of illness (injuries, cancer, surgery), they don’t know how to react. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing (kind of like how people don’t know how to handle grief). They don’t know what to do, especially if they haven’t experienced depression first hand. So, again, they do nothing and hope I just “get better” so we don’t have to talk about it. They click “like” on the picture of me holding my sign, and I am grateful for that. But they say nothing.

 

This is the power of stigma, my friends.

 

 

“The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement

I am getting better, day by day, thanks to my ability to overcome the stigma of depression, seek help, and let help in. I’m feeling stronger again, thanks to the support of my husband, children, and a couple of close friends."I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

But no matter how I’m feeling, I continue to feel the need to make sure this conversation doesn’t die. I need to keep giving depression a face and a voice, to lend it mine, to keep us talking about depression, and anxiety–for my children, for my clients, for my family, friends, and for myself.

 

Thus, I present “The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” Movement. My hope is that you will join me. My hope is that we can give depression a face and a voice. My hope is that one day things will change and we will no longer feel the need to stay silent. We will no longer feel the need to hold depression as a shameful secret.

 

 

Submit your Story/ Photo & Help Me Stop the Stigma!

I invite anyone who has been touched by depression–either personally or in a loved one–to share your story and/or your photo, to publicly declare, “I, too, am the FACE of DEPRESSION.” After the submission deadline (see rules, below), I will then select 6 stories to publish in full on my website throughout 2015. I will also publish excerpts from other stories, along with as many photos as I receive. Together, we can show the many faces of depression. Together, we can help people face depression, to ask about it, and to understand it.

 

We can stop the stigma of depression. One face. One photo. One story at a time. We can give this illness a voice and, one day, stop the stigma.

 

The Many Faces of #Depression: Join the Movement & Stop the #Stigma @ www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Join “The Many Faces of Depression” Movement! 

Submit Your Story and/or Photo!

Submission Rules & Guidelines

  1. Written submissions:
    1. Posts must focus on the theme “I am the face of depression” and share your personal story.
    2. Length of post: 600-1000 words. Longer posts will not be considered for publication.
    3. Submissions must be received no later than January 10, January 25 2015, midnight PST.
    4. Please focus on: 1) Brief details of your experiences with depression, 2) What depression feels like for you or your loved one (symptoms), and 3) What methods of treatment have been helpful for you? 4) What have you learned from depression, or how have you grown? And what would you like others to know about it? (You can use my post as a model, though keep in mind that mine is much longer than the allotted length above.)
    5. To be considered for a full post, you must include at least one photo of you, holding an “I am the face of depression” sign. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign    “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    6. If you do not wish to post a photo and do not wish to be considered for a full post, you may submit a short post with no photo.
    7. By entering, you agree to allow your article to be posted on my website, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, either in full or in part, and you also agree for your photo to be posted in “The Many Faces of Depression” collection on the same website.
    8. Authors of the 6 articles that are selected to be posted in full will be notified by email prior to publication. Others will be notified that they have not been selected and will be given information about the publication dates for excerpts.
    9. Please do not include any profanity or inappropriate material. Such articles will not be considered for publication
    10. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    11. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
  2. Photo submissions
    1. All are invited to submit a clear photo of yourself holding an “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” sign.
    2. You are welcome to download a sign, or to create your own. If you create your own, it must say, “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” or “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” and include our web address www.DrChristinaHibbert.com in font large enough to read in the picture. To download a sign, click here: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” Sign   “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)” Sign
    3. Only one photo entry per person, and entries must be received no later than January 10, January 25, 2015 midnight, PST.
    4. Please, no inappropriate attire or materials in the photos. Such will not be considered for publication.
    5. Please subscribe, below, and then share the articles and photos as they are posted!
    6. Must be at least 18 years of age to enter.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE for Articles and Photos:

DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Due to the holiday busyness and getting back into the new year, I’ve extended the deadline for submissions! I hope this is helpful to those of you who asked for more time. I know it’s helpful to me! 

January 10, 2015
January 25, 2015!

 

SUBMISSIONS & Questions Should Be EMAILED to:

support@drchristinahibbert.com

 

Thank you for adding your voice to mine! I look forward to seeing what we can do together! 

 

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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

Don’t miss a thing! 

SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

 You may manage your subscription options from your profile

 
 
 
 
 
 

Related Posts/Articles:

10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

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

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

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

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

This Is How We Grow wins an IPPY Award in NYC & is one of Aspire Magazine’s “Top 10 Inspirational Books!”

Personal Growth & Family Vacation?: 10 Things I Learned in an RV with my Family of 8 for 8 Days

PPD & Motherhood Mental Health: Self-Care & Letting Help In–The 2 Most Important Things

10 Ways I Choose to Grow Each Day 

Personal Growth & Self-Actualization: What Will Your Choice Be?

“These are my Strengths!” and “This is my Lame-O List!”: How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses

Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child

Learning Self-Love: 5 Tricks for Treating Yourself More Kindly

How to Make Lasting Change!

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise!

Overcoming the Stigma of Depression & Anxiety: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION”

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comI am the face of depression and anxiety. It has taken me a while to come to grips with this fact. I don’t want to be someone who struggles with depression. I’ve worked hard throughout my life to understand mental illness and to apply the tools I’ve learned professionally to my personal life so I could prevent depression and anxiety. I have a strong family history of mental illness, especially depression, and this drove me early on. I did not want to suffer like my family members had.

 

But fighting doesn’t necessarily stop clinical depression. I had postpartum depression/anxiety after all four of my childbirth experiences, try as I did to prevent it. I’ve been through trauma, and more times of grief than I can count, all of which included significant feelings of depression. And yes, I’ve experienced episodes of Major Depression.

 

The first was when I was 18, a couple of months after my 8 year-old sister died, just when I thought I’d gotten through the worst of my grief. That was the first time I went to therapy, and it was life changing. It encouraged me to become a psychologist so I could help others like me.

 

The second came smack dab in the middle of graduate school. I knew life was busy, but I was floored when I suddenly found myself struggling to get up and take care of my school, work, children, husband, and self. After weeks of fighting it, I realized I needed to stop saying, “I don’t want to be depressed.” I was depressed. Sometimes, the problem is the fighting. This was a great lesson in learning to “accept what is.”

 

My third episode hit about six years ago, nearly one year after my sister and brother-in-law had died and my world had been turned upside down as I had suddenly become a mother of six. I’d already been in therapy for over a year, but with the addition of a court battle, adopting our new sons, and the deaths of two more family members, I found myself lower than ever.

 

As I wrote in my memoir, of that time: “It’s official. I’m depressed…That’s what Dr. Hale said on Monday, ‘Helplessness and hopelessness? Sounds like depression.’…Why is this such a shock?…I feel unmotivated, lost, pessimistic, and this makes me feel like I’ve failed. I thought I’d be better by now…I thought I was stronger… Now I’m starting to see an antidepressant as a possibility. I can’t continue feeling so low when I need to be at my best. I can’t afford to keep saying, ‘I’ll feel happy when….’ Could a little pill be the missing piece I need to help me grow?” (This is How We Grow, p. 216-17). It was. My first time taking an antidepressant, I took it for the next six months. It helped tremendously.

 

Watch my “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” YouTube video, and then add your voice to mine… 

You need to install or upgrade Flash Player to view this content, install or upgrade by clicking here.

 

Fast forward to seven weeks ago. I had been working hard to stop being so busy, because I wanted to take care of myself. My dear friend had died as a result of depression and suicide six months before, and I had once again worked through intense grief. I took from her death the great importance of prioritizing my health—for my children, for my husband, and for myself. I was working on slowing down, doing less, and focusing on wellness.

 

That’s why it caught me so off-guard. At first, I thought it was “hormones.” Then, insomnia crept in. I’m normally not a great sleeper, but this insomnia was getting out of control. My thoughts were racing, and I couldn’t settle down. I thought, perhaps, the lack of sleep was causing my mood symptoms, but three weeks later, I had to wonder if it wasn’t the other way around.

 

“Am I depressed?” I began to wonder, but pushed the thought aside. Again, “I don’t want to be depressed” kept flooding my mind. I stopped every extra activity, stayed in, carved out alone time, and tried to nap and sleep as much as possible. I tried talking with a close friend, letting my husband help me, and writing. I tried to exercise more and take more Omega-3’s.

 

But I was getting worse. My anxiety was getting out of control, making me sick to my stomach for weeks, and making me so frustrated I was horrible to be around. I was starting to feel incredibly down on myself, and worse than that: hopeless. Finally, I made an appointment with my doctor. Many tests later she confirmed what I had already guessed: “You’re perfectly healthy. You have a slight hormone imbalance, but that probably isn’t causing your mood symptoms.” I knew she was right. Enter Major Depression episode number four.

 

 

Watch this 3-Minute therapy video on Anxiety: The #1 Mental Health Issue in Women

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Why am I sharing this now?

Maybe it’s the fact that my friend lost her life last April, as a result of depression she felt she had to hide. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m still fired up about the court hearing I attended a couple months ago where this dear woman is serving 40 years

40th birthday selfie. I don't look depressed, do I? I gave it my all and made a great day! "You can't always tell by looking."

40th birthday selfie. I don’t look depressed, do I? I gave it my all, & made a great day! But, “You can’t always tell by looking.”

after suffering from postpartum psychosis, about the injustice of how mental health is perceived and treated in this country. Maybe it’s the fact that as I go through depression and anxiety once again, I am once again faced with the way people don’t want to know about it, how it feels like I have to hide it, how I would be better off if I had a physical illness because at least people would see that it’s real. Perhaps it’s that I just celebrated my 40th birthday, and I feel like I don’t want to hold anything back anymore.

 

Whatever it is, I can no longer sit by and let those struggling with depression be forced into the shadows, be treated like lepers or, worse, be completely ignored. I want to, no I need to, help give depression a face and a voice. I need others to acknowledge it as real, to seek to understand it, to see that those who suffer from depression are excellent, wonderful, successful people! To see that we all have mental and physical vulnerabilities, and depression just happens to be one of them, and that’s okay.

 

It’s okay to suffer from depression. We can admit it. We can say it. It doesn’t make us any less. And guess what? You can’t always tell by looking. So ask.

 

 

The Many Faces of Depression

Ask, “Can you tell me about your depression?” Because, the more we talk about it—the more those who struggle say it out loud—the more we can understand the many faces of depression. Though its symptoms may generally be the same, depression can look, and feel, very differently for different people. Understanding this will help us break down the stigmas that make those who suffer from depression feel like they have to hide.

 

For me, depression means anxiety. I can’t say which comes first, but I do know that the anxiety makes me feel far more depressed. My thoughts spin out of control. I try to get them back in check, using a thought record, journaling, talking about them, but they seem to be controlling me instead of the other way around, bringing me down and zapping my energy.

 

I also have symptoms like:

  • Insomnia
  • Extreme stress (every little thing can seem like too much)
  • Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated (frustrated I can’t fix this, frustrated that others can’t seem to help me, frustrated with feeling so alone, but mostly, frustrated about being depressed again.)"I am the FACE of DEPRESSION": Overcoming the Stigma of #Depression & #Anxiety; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
  • Low energy, fatigue, exhaustion
  • Sadness and crying
  • Anger (Crying, then getting angry because of how I feel, then feeling sad again and crying some more. I can’t understand my emotions and I definitely can’t seem to control them.)
  • Feeling restless (I have a hard time focusing on things I usually enjoy, like a good book. I feel like I need to get up and do something.)
  • Changes in appetite (some days I’m overdoing it with junk food; others, I have no appetite)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, muscle tension, and headaches. (The stress and anxiety literally make me sick.)
  • Feeling alone (like I don’t’ know who to turn to. I have helped so many people through depression, but where do I turn when I need help? I struggle with this, feeling like no one would get it. Everyone thinks “I’m fine,” and they keep asking me for help, but I’m not. And no one understands. I’m working on this, though, because my rational brain knows I’m really not alone at all.)
  • Feelings of resentment (I admit, I have been resenting everyone who needs me. “I need myself!” I keep saying. I’m learning to say “no” and take care of me.)
  • Negativity (It’s a core component of depression–negative view of self, the world, and the future. But eventually, I can’t stand hearing myself think.)
  • Desire to escape (Watching TV and movies, driving somewhere, anything to get me out of my head and current situation.)
  • Self-critical thinking (Thoughts like, “My body betrayed me.” “Why can’t I just be well? I’m weak.” “I’m a hypocrite, helping others while I can’t help myself.” “Why do I have to struggle with depression while others do not?” These thoughts plague me until I finally have to let them go and accept what is.)
  • Hopelessness and helplessness (“I’m broken.” “Someone needs to fix me.” When I reach this point, I know it’s Depression. The healthy me is a big believer in hope and taking action.)

 

For me, Treatment for Depression includes things like:

  • Psychotherapy. I’ve been through many rounds of therapy in my life, and each time it has helped me in some new and important way. I learn new skills, process deep and painful emotions, uncover faulty beliefs, and it really helps to have an impartial and knowledgable supporter who can listen and help me see things I can’t see on my own.
  • Antidepressants. Sometimes, I need them. I’m finally accepting that. This time and the last, I opted for an antidepressant, because I’d been struggling too long to be well and I can’t afford to wait months or years to feel better. I know, this is a tough decision for many, and it always is for me. I encourage you to read my article, “Antidepressant? Or Not?: 12 Facts on Depression & Medication”  to help you in your decision.
  • Exercise. Always a first line defense against depression. I’m even writing my next book about it.
  • Sleep. I’m letting myself sleep in when I can, nap, and do whatever it takes to get my body back to healthy. A little Melatonin helps, too, when I can’t fall asleep at night.
  • Reducing stress. I’m taking this one seriously this time. Doctors orders.
  • Supplements & vitamins. Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamins B, E, and D, Calcium, Multivitamin, and Magnesium.
  • Reevaluating and strengthening my support system. I’m learning who I can rely on and letting them help me.
  • Identifying and changing faulty beliefs. I’m working on this one. Again. A deeper level of self-understanding and awareness, I know this is going to make a huge difference in my life.
  • Alone time. To process, ponder, and make myself face what’s going on. This is how I receive understanding.
  • Time with people I love. Connection gets me out of myself and reminds me how loved I really am.
  • Powerful prayer and scripture study. Increasing my faith, relying upon God, seeking instruction and revelation for my health and happiness. This is probably the most important thing of all for me.

 

 

Break down the Stigma: Face Depression, Give it a Voice"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the #Stigma of #Depression; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Mine isn’t the only experience of depression. Depression is the most common cause of disease in the world. And yet we keep silent about it. We force those who suffer to keep silent, because we can’t seem to break down the stigma of depression.

 

Well, not anymore, at least not for me. I can speak up now, because I’m working through my depression. I’m feeling much better these past few days, but I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me. And I will continue to speak out as a voice for depression and anxiety for as long as it takes. I will use my voice to help others learn to use theirs.

 

Join me in breaking down the stigma of depression by:

1) Speaking up when we are suffering from depression, giving it a voice and a face.

2) Facing depression when someone you know and love is struggling. Being there for them. Offering support and help.

3) Asking those you know and love to “Tell me about your depression.”

4) Simply joining the discussion, listening, learning, and seeking to understand.

5) Joining my “Many Faces of Depression” movement by sharing your personal story and photo here on my site. (More information on this to come soon, so subscribe (below), and stay tuned!)

 

We must speak up. We must show our faces, face depression, and give it a voice, even when we are struggling with depression. Especially when we are struggling, we must show the truth. It is the only way to stop the stigma and help the world, and each of us, heal and be whole again.

 

 

Do you or someone you love suffer from Depression or Anxiety? What is it like, and what helps? Leave a comment, below, and join your voice with mine.

 

 

 

 

 Join “The Many Faces of Depression” movement!

Submit you story and/or photo, download “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION” printables, and be featured on my website in 2015!

Click here for information, rules and guidelines, and thank you for joining your voice with mine!

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

"I am the face of depression & anxiety": Overcoming the Stigma of Depression, Dr. Christina Hibbert; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

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Addicted to Busyness? What It Means, & 6 Steps to Overcome

Addicted to Busyness? What it is, & 6 Steps to Overcome; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Addicted to Busyness? What it is, & 6 Steps to Overcome; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comIn part 1, I shared some of my experiences with busyness and how I recently realized I was actually addicted. Today, I want to focus on you.

Do you struggle with busyness? Are you, like I was, “addicted” to it? Does this bother you, or is it just something you “accept” about yourself or laugh off?

I hope to help you gain a little insight into your relationship with busyness, and then I hope to provide you with some ideas for how you might overcome it (should you choose!).

 

 

What, exactly, do I mean by “busyness?”

After I posted my story (part 1), some readers posed some excellent questions. The first was, “What exactly constitutes ‘busyness’?”

Great question, because life is naturally full of responsibilities, opportunities, challenges, and hopefully goals and dreams. How, then, do we know if we’re caught up in busyness or if we’re simply living a full and healthy life? Just because we have many things going on doesn’t necessarily mean we’re busy.

 

To me, busyness differs from a “full life” by how it impacts you.

When life is “full,” you are…

  • Healthy
  • Happy (at least most of the time)
  • Fulfilling your life’s calling
  • Discovering meaning and purpose in each day
  • When life is “full,” you’re growing, and it feels good.

 

When life is “busy,”…

  • You feel like you’re just keeping up.
  • You feel like you can’t stop, take a break, or slow down.
  • You might feel healthy and happy sometimes,
  • But many days you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling burned out.
  • You’re more likely to suffer from illness, chronic stress, and anxiety or depression.
  • You may think in your mind, “This is too much!” or “What’s the point of all this?” and yet you keep saying “Yes,” or adding things.
  • Your sense of self-worth may be tied up in your busyness.
  • Even if you enjoy much of what you do, you will still feel something deep down telling you, “This is not what life is all about.”

 

 

Can we really be “addicted” to busyness?

After reading my Part 1 post, someone asked if I really believe busyness is an addiction, similar to a drug or alcohol addiction, or was I just using that word for the impact? Excellent question.

Yes, I really mean “addicted.” I don’t believe everyone who is busy is addicted to it. As I wrote about in part 1, some times of life are naturally busy, whether we want them to be or not, and we simply have to do what must be done. However, I do believe busyness can grow to the level of a true addiction.

I say this for a couple of reasons: 1) No matter how unhealthy it had been making me, and no matter how much I knew I shouldn’t keep saying “yes” and adding on, I kept doing it. I couldn’t stop. That’s an addiction. 2) When I finally forced myself to stop, I experienced symptoms of withdrawal. That’s one way to know for sure if you’re truly addicted to anything, be it alcohol, caffeine, or busyness–do you have symptoms of withdrawal? I did. I was agitated, restless, bored, and desperate to add something back into my life so I could avoid feeling that way. The symptoms of withdrawal might not be as bad with busyness detox as for someone coming off Heroin, but it is the same process.

Actually, that’s what being addicted to busyness is–a process addiction. A “process addiction” occurs when a person becomes addicted to an activity. Online gaming is a great example of a process addiction, and it’s actually one of the newest mental health disorders that’s been added to the DSM-5 (“Internet-Gaming Addiction”). Other process addictions include things like social media or internet addiction, and even worse, pornography, all of which can significantly impair a person’s well-being and destroy a family or life.

So, yes, I do believe busyness can become an addiction.

 

 

The Illness of Busyness: “Why is it so bad?”
We wear our busyness like a badge of honor, like an identity, or proof of worthiness. But we’ve got it wrong. Being too busy can diminish our quality of Addicted to Busyness? What it is, & 6 Steps to Overcome; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comlife and can impact relationships, family, and our sense of self.

 

Problems with “busyness”:

1) It distracts us away from the deeper, more meaningful things. We say we’re doing it for more memories, or for our kids, or so we can have a richer life, but really busyness prevents us from having time, perspective, understanding, and self-awareness.

 

2) It’s a form of escape. We can avoid what’s really going on—avoid life problems, relationships, or bad habits we need to change—through busyness. The problem is, avoiding prevents positive change and personal growth.

 

3) It’s a false substitute for true self-worth. We are not what we do. I don’t care who you are or what your daily work or “busyness” entails, it has nothing to do with your worth and value. Yet, we allow ourselves to believe this. Society reinforces this. But it’s a lie.

 

4) It’s like a drug. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being addicted to anything. Busyness as a habit is unhealthy, body, mind and soul, and when we can’t stop ourselves from being busy, then it’s just as harmful as a drug.

 

5) It detracts from personal growth and our true life’s purpose. Being busy all the time prevents us from hearing the whispers that direct our life and reveal meaning and purpose. It distracts us from learning about ourselves, from growing emotionally and spiritually, and from really seeing what we and our life are really about.

 

 

6 Steps to overcome busyness addiction
If you can relate at all to my story, or to anything I’ve said above, then it’s time to decide: Do you want to stay addicted to busyness? Or do you want to heed this wake up call for a deeper, richer life?

If it’s the latter, then here are 6 steps to get you started:

 

1) Give yourself a “busyness detox” time frame. One month, two, or more? It’s up to you, but set a time frame for detox that will give you a real chance to make change. I gave myself the summer, which allowed me plenty of time to get through the detox. Without so much time, I probably never would have realized I was even addicted.

 

2) Start saying “no” and cut out all non-necessities. Saying no is really saying “yes” to something better. In this case, it’s saying “yes” to greater meaning, understanding, and improved joy, love, and relationships. For a while, you need to focus only on what matters most. Let the rest go. Kind of like figuring out what foods you’re allergic to, you first have to cut it all out before you can slowly add back what is good for you.

 

3) Spell out what you will do during your busyness detox. It helps to not only know what you’re not going to do, but to know what you are going to do. My goal this summer was to only spend time with my family, read, rest, recover, relax, only work on essential projects, and serve when I felt inspired to do so. It opened me to new ideas and ways to heal and connect and create memories. It led to finally feeling like I was really living.

 

4) When boredom, restlessness, grief, anxiety, or even depression sets in, ride it out. Feel it. Talk about it. Write about it—often. Seek to understand what you are feeling and go through the emotions. Start therapy if you need it. Don’t let yourself escape by becoming busy again. Stay with it.

 

5) After you’ve detoxed, only add back those things that are essential to you and your family’s well-being or that bring your life greater meaning and purpose. Start adding things only after you’ve fully detoxed, and only add those things that are truly important. Don’t add anything out of guilt. Add things that expand and enrich your life, not just those things you feel you “should” do. Focus on those things that help you give and receive greater love. It helps to first work on meaning and purpose in your life (My This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group is a great place to start!). Then, give yourself plenty of time.

Ask…“Is this essential to the care of myself or my family?” “Does it add greater meaning to my life or detract from it?” “Is this part of my life’s purpose?” “Do I really want, need, or desire this in my life?” Don’t cheat. Be firm about what you accept back into your life. You owe it to yourself to do this right.

 

6) Keep checking in. If you don’t make this a priority, you’ll find yourself back in the busyness addiction in no time. Check in often and be honest about how you’re doing. It’s much easier to make course corrections along the way than to turn a blind eye and wake up months down the road right back where you started. You can do this! And you’re not alone. You’re in great company, trust me.

 

 

Questions, comments, thoughts about busyness, addiction, and where you currently are? I’d love to hear your insights on this important topic, so please leave a comment, below!

Part 1: Confession–“I was addicted to busyness & didn’t even know it!”

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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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 Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
available now on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

 Addicted to Busyness? What it is, & 6 Steps to Overcome; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
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SUBSCRIBE, just below, “like” my Facebook pages (Dr. Christina HibbertThis Is How We Grow), and follow me on Twitter,Pinterest, & Instagram!

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Related Posts/Articles:

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

When Life Hands You Lemons, Stop & Reevaluate: 4 Steps to Reevaluate Life & Fearlessly Meet Your Needs

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

“This is How We Grow:” Understanding the Seasons of Personal Growth

Join my Free, Online “This Is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group!

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Confession: “I was Addicted to Busyness & Didn’t Even Know It”

Confession: "I was addicted to busyness & didn't even know it." www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #blog

Confession: "I was addicted to busyness & didn't even know it." www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #blogI’m no stranger to busyness. I came by it honestly. Since graduate school–with two young kids (5 months & 3 years), my husband in dental school, and caring for my younger sister who lived with us–life has been incredibly busy. I became pregnant with our 3rd baby during our fourth year, in addition to internships, dissertation, and part-time work so we could keep our family financially afloat.

My husband graduated and started work as a dentist–in another state–three months before I graduated. Each week, he would commute from LA, where the kids and I stayed so I could finish my internship and classwork and they could finish school, to Phoenix, and back. Finally, I graduated, 8-months pregnant, on a Sunday. I gave birth the following Sunday, and we moved back to Phoenix the following Friday.

Like I said, life was naturally incredibly busy.

 

 

How “Life” can Sweep You Into Busyness

After we graduated, I stayed home full-time, in a new city, with a newborn, 4 and 6 year-old, while my husband started full-time work as a dentist. I used to say I “did nothing” during this time, but that’s not true. I may not have been in school or working outside the home, but I was a full-time mom of 3, and motherhood is busy by nature. Add to that my third battle with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, and it was a lot. Looking back, I think I was also so used to the pace of graduate school that I unknowingly kept it up, filling our days with activities, play dates, church responsibilities, breastfeeding (of course), hosting parties, and making delicious meals. I was trying to do it

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break. Just being a parent can push us into busyness addiction if we're not careful! (This is "good" busy, though--making memories!)

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break. Just being a parent can push us into busyness addiction if we’re not careful! (This is “good” busy, though–making memories!)

all, and it was taking its toll.

Little sleep, very long days, and then, one year later, we moved again, and I started working toward licensure as a clinical psychologist. Soon after, I signed a contract in a group practice. My employers kept increasing my hours until I was forced to see 28 clients a week, on top of caring for 3 kids, a new home, major struggles in my family of origin, and a husband recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and starting his own dental practice. It was way too much.

I thought I was going to slow down when I finally quit my job to stay home after having my fourth and final baby. But, as many of you know, things only intensified as my sister and brother-in-law died weeks before and I suddenly became the mother of six children.

 

 

When “Busyness” is Survival

During this time of my life, busyness became survival. If I didn’t keep moving, I couldn’t keep up. Soon, months had flown by. I got used to this new level of busyness—even worse than graduate school–a constant stream of needs, responsibilities, and energy that demanded my attention, 24/7. Also, busyness helped me avoid the intense grief and pain from the loss of my sister & brother-in-law since I didn’t yet have time to fully process and mend.

Sometimes, we have to stay busy to survive, and that’s okay.

A little over a year later, I felt the call to start a very part-time private practice. I was cautious and worried about

This is me, on our family vacation last year, finishing my second book proposal, due that day, while my 10 year-old daughter drove the boat (in my husband's lap) back to the dock so I could email it out! Talk about too busy.

This is me, on our family vacation last year, finishing my second book proposal, due that day, while my 10 year-old daughter drove the boat (in my husband’s lap) back to the dock so I could email it out! Talk about too busy.

overdoing it since life still hadn’t slowed down much, but I also believe in service and helping others. I couldn’t explain it; it simply felt like the right thing to do. It made life busier, but also richer; I finally felt like that part of me I thought had died was alive again.

And then, I started writing. First, just 10 minutes at night, after my kids went to sleep; writing was therapy. Soon, it

was 5, then 10, then 20 hours a week as I decided to write our story into a book. Whenever I wasn’t taking care of kids, I was writing—and then publishing, which included starting a website/blog, building a platform through social media, and an intense editing schedule, all of which I did when my kids were at school, asleep, or when I could wrangle up some help to watch them (my husband was great!).

 

 

The Highs & Lows of “Busyness”
I loved and despised it. I cherished the meaning, challenge, and purpose of what I was doing, but loathed how it sucked every moment from me, how I felt like I could never rest or relax, how I was always just “keeping up.”

Soon, I was releasing my first book while also writing my second for a new publisher. Add to that parenting challenges, book marketing, and plain old life stress, and I was on the verge of a complete meltdown.

 

 

What Opened My Eyes & Led to Busyness Detox
It wasn’t until my friend took her life, at the end of April, that it really hit me, that I truly got it. The harshest kind of lesson.

“This has to stop!” I told myself. “I can’t afford to keep burning out anymore. My family can’t afford it. They need aConfession: "I was addicted to busyness & didn't even know it." www.DrChristinaHibbert.com healthy, flourishing mother. I need it, too.”

I quit everything. Initially, it was so I could grieve and focus on healing, for my family and for me, and it was a relief. So many people always need me, and it felt unbearably overwhelming at that time. Letting it all go was like finally breathing when I hadn’t even realized I’d been drowning.

A month in, however, the understimulation took its toll. Boredom arrived. It’s my usual pattern: Overdo it, burnout, completely stop everything to recoup, love it for a while, start feeling restless, bored, depressed, look for a new “project” to fight the boredom. Add things until the restlessness vanishes. Repeat.

I was tempted to add something: “Maybe I should pitch a new book idea, or become a college professor.”

Luckily, I was in therapy (again), and my psychologist gave me some excellent advice: “You’ve just been through another major trauma, one that has triggered your many previous traumas and losses,” he said. “You’re finally feeling some relief from the intense grief you’ve been feeling. You have six kids who are still trying to heal from this, too, not to mention just keeping up with the usual demands of a large family. You have a loving husband who wants to spend time with you. You have a home to care for. You’re helping people at your practice one morning a week, at your church in your calling, and you help your friends, family, and people online. You’ve published your first book, you just finished your second, and are about to start your third,” he reminded me. Then, the kicker. “Isn’t that enough?”

It clicked.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes, it is definitely enough.”

Enough of the “busyness!” I needed to let the restlessness ride. I made the choice then and there that I would not add a single thing. Instead, I would focus the rest of that month and the rest of the summer solely on making memories with my family, on reading, relaxing, catching up on sleep, and healing. I would focus on those things that truly mattered.

It was more than enough.

 

 

The Truth about My Relationship with Busyness

It’s embarrassing to admit all this; I thought I was just busy because that was what life had thrown me. I didn’t see

how much I’d added to the busyness, nor how addicted to that pace I had become. This summer was my first step inConfession: "I was addicted to busyness & didn't even know it." www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #blog #motherhood #mh seeing how much I’ve used busyness as my identity over the years, how much I’ve relied upon it to give my life some sense of meaning, to give me a sense of purpose and value.

I’ve long known, intellectually, that busyness does not equal value or “who I am;” it’s not a badge of honor or proof of status, superiority, or worthiness. I’ve known this. I’ve taught it. I’ve said many times over the years, “I don’t want to be busy,” and I meant it! I wanted space in my life so I could be available to serve, to love, to live, to be. I told myself it was just life that was forcing me to be busy, that it wasn’t my choice. But I was wrong. Yes, sometimes it was life, but sometimes, it was me.

It wasn’t until just a couple of weeks ago, three months after my decision to let myself stick with the restlessness and boredom, that I could really see the truth: I was in busyness detox. Just like coming off a drug, I had to let myself go through the uncomfortable feelings of boredom, anxiety, frustration, of feeling like nothing was interesting, like I wasn’t doing enough, in order to get to the other side and see the truth.

 

 

What I Know Now

Now, on the other side, I feel free. Yes, my life is still full. With six kids and a job like mine, it’s always going to be,

Life after busyness. Ahhh...

Life after busyness. Ahhh…

and I am grateful for it. I like full. Full is beautiful.

But I’m not busy. Sure, I have busy moments, but I am proceeding very carefully. I am careful about what I allow into my life now. I pray and ponder about every opportunity that comes my way to see if it’s something that fits with the life I want, and need, to live at this time of my life.

I allow myself much more down time now, too. I need it to feel healthy and happy, to be the person I truly want to be. I can watch TV or nap or read. I can go on vacation. I can go out with my husband and not feel guilty. I feel greater peace and greater joy. I am finally truly living.

Busyness of the sake of being busy, I’ve learned, is the opposite of living. It’s a slow death. It’s a distraction from what matters most. It prevents the best in life by settling for the “good” or even the “ok.” It’s the opposite of flourishing.

I choose flourishing. What will your choice be?

 

 

 

 What are your thoughts on busyness? Could you relate to any part of my story? How do you know when you are “too busy,” and what do you do to detox and overcome? I love hearing from you, so please leave a comment, below!
 And, if you can relate, then…

Part 2–Addicted to Busyness? What It Means & 6 Steps to Overcome

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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Confession: "I was addicted to busyness & didn't even know it." www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #blog
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