Motherhood Reality Check: It’s Hard! and I’m Improving

It’s time for a reality check.

It seems with every transition (end of school, summer break, back to school, holidays), we moms have to reconfigure life and reevaluate where we are and where we hope to be. At least, that’s what I do, and I’ve found it helpful to stop for a moment and “get real” with myself during these times. It’s hard to reconfigure and reevaluate all the time, but it’s the process that ultimately leads us to the kind of motherhood “success” we each desire, after all.

As I’ve been on “tour” talking with moms across the US about my forthcoming book, “Mastery Of Motherhood,” I’ve been extra-aware of my own mom reality. Hearing other moms share their thoughts, stresses, worries, fears, and realities about their motherhood experiences has reminded me, once again, that we’re not so different, we moms. We share the same burdens and rejoice in the same joys.

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my “reality checks” in hopes you can relate. Perhaps it might show you some aspect of motherhood you haven’t considered before. Perhaps it might simply remind you you’re not alone. Hopefully, it will show you you’re doing better than you think.

Summer vacation in Oceanside, with a few of my kids. I love vacations!

 

Motherhood Reality: It’s hard! AND I’m Improving!

The following 5 truths are my current “mom reality.”

1) My kids/family/home are my greatest stressors.

I know. This shouldn’t be an epiphany to me. I should know this, should have always known this, right? But I haven’t! This epiphany came last year and was a true “aha!” moment: “My kids and husband and home responsibilities are my greatest stressor? What?! Hmm. Yeah. That makes sense!” I’m superb at helping others see clearly, but apparently not very quick with should-be-obvious realizations when they apply to myself.

I always told myself other things could account for my stress and burnout, but not my precious home and family. Why not? Because, I now admit, admitting this would make me feel like a “bad” mom/wife. So not true. I’d always thought it was my work responsibilities that made life stressful, like if I could just choose not to help others or do what I do for work I’d be without the tremendous stress I so often feel. Not so. And realizing the reality that my family is stressful doesn’t make me a bad mom. It makes me a normal mom!

Now I freely admit it, shouting from top of my computer monitor, “MY KIDS AND HOME AND HUSBAND ARE MY GREATEST STRESSORS!” And you know what else? I love them anyway. I accept this challenge of being a mom every day when I wake up and do it all over again, and I love that I get to choose over and over again to embrace the stress and mess and let it be, for that’s what motherhood is.

This is reality, and it’s hard, and never-ending, and messy, and makes me crazy and exhausted and burned out. And that is my “normal.” It’s the normal of every mom, isn’t it? AND it’s crazy, beautiful, full, overflowing, abundant life. This is life, and I am grateful.

The whole fam, at our 3rd son’s graduation, May 2017. “May-hem” (as I call it) is SO stressful, but it’s all worth it for memories like these!

2) Being “Mom” IS exhausting AND never-ending.

Every mom knows this, or will know this someday. I’ll say it again, “It’s HARD! It’s STRESSFUL!” Being a mother is the most exhausting work on the planet, I am sure, because it’s 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and then some! There may be fragmented breaks here and there, but most of the time moms are on call, go-go, busy, busy, and just plain worn-out.

The truth is we moms not only have the physical responsibilities for feeding and bathing and clothing our children; we have the emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual responsibility for them. Lately, there have been a lot of emotions running high in our home (with 5 adolescents and one that thinks she’s a teen, it’s easy to see why). It’s all I can do to collapse into bed at the end of a very long bedtime routine (because that’s when teens actually want to talk–at night, right before bed), having listened to each child’s problems and tried to offer the best advice and support and love, only to sleep a few hours and wake up at 5:30 or 6 to start it all over again. It’s exhausting! But again, it’s worth it, right? Otherwise, we wouldn’t do all we do.

If we can simply admit, “It’s exhausting and never-ending,” we won’t be fighting ourselves trying to pretend it’s something that it’s not. Doing so has helped me tremendously over the years–to feel less overwhelmed and to take more breaks, naps, and even to get away when I can, because I know it will replenish me, at least for a time, before I come back and wear myself out all over again.

Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

3) “Being mom” can be incredibly boring.

There, I said it. I feel bored “being mom,” more often than I should.

When they were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, it was hardest for sure. I did my best to do crafts and play toys or go to the park or Target—you know, all the things we moms do to entertain the kids (but really ourselves) when they’re young. But I’ve never been the best “play on the floor with my kids” mom, and it was a struggle.

Now, I’m usually just trying to keep up with my family, but in the summer especially, and even some school day afternoons when I’m home and my kids are busy doing what they’re doing, I feel bored. Allow me to rephrase that: I feel like I’m always waiting, and that, to me, is incredibly boring.

I’m waiting to know everyone’s schedules so I can fit myself in. I’m waiting for the older ones to get home so we can attempt a family dinner. I’m waiting for the youngest to come in begging for a friend to play, or for that friend to get picked up, or for my husband to get home, or etc, etc, etc. Waiting. Boring.

It’s the worst in the summer, when they’re all home and they’re bored, and I feel like I can’t start anything or do anything for myself because inevitably the moment I begin, someone will come in and “Mom, I’m bored,” or “Mom, I need a ride,” or “Mom, can I…?” or “Mom, what should I do?” So, I feel lazy and unproductive and like I’ve “given up” in the summer, because in a way I have so I don’t get frustrated being “interrupted” every 15 minutes.

But in a way, I’ve also reminded myself that I can use a little “bored” down time, just as my kids can. My go-to response for my kids’ “I’m bored-s” is, “Good! I’m glad you’re bored. It’s good for you. It means you have the opportunity to figure some things out for yourself!” The same applies to me.

I learned last year, coping with a very long concussion recovery, that I need more down time than I allow myself, and that it really is good to feel “bored” sometimes. I admit, I used to judge other moms and say, “That mom is bored? Must be nice! I don’t have time to be bored!” Now, I repent: “Forgive me, moms everywhere for my judgmental ways!”

Motherhood inherently includes some “boredom,” and that’s just the way it is. It’s okay to feel bored. Especially if we can use it to rest, relax, nap, or get creative and actually turn our boredom into some new experience or memorable memory.

Motherhood is hard, but on the whole, oh how beautiful! A favorite moment recently, my son getting his mission call to FIJI!

4) It’s easy to get completely burned out “being mom,” and it’s up to us to prevent this by prioritizing self-care.

The past year or two, I’ve been feeling really burned out, mom-wise. My husband has been feeling the same. We’ve been at this parenting thing now for just about 21 years! I now have three who’ve graduated from high school, and it’s hard in a different way to send them off into their futures, but once they’re off I always realize, “Hey, wait. I’m not done. I still have 3 at home!”

Parenting and mothering is forever, and that’s a fact. It can feel easier in some seasons of motherhood than others, but it’s relentless on the whole. That’s why it’s crucial we watch out for signs of burnout so we can prevent or relieve ourselves from such a state.

Over the years, I’ve become progressively better at recognizing when I’m getting burned out and preventing it. I can tell, when I’m way too tired, always feeling overwhelmed, constantly thinking, “I can’t handle this,” and/or saying things like, “You kids are driving me crazy!” that I’m either on the road to burnout, or I’ve already arrived. I’ve had to practice and learn how to stop. How to check in with myself and answer honestly. How to fulfill my needs and practice self-care, for, I have learned, self-care is a form of self-love, and self-love is crucial to fully loving others.

How can you tell if you’re burned out? Some simple questions to start: “Am I getting a relatively “normal” night of sleep most nights?” “Am I feeling emotionally ‘well’? Or am I struggling emotionally?” “Am I practicing self-care?” “Am I regularly feeling overwhelmed, stressed to my limits, completely exhausted, like I desperately need a break, and/or feeling like I just don’t want to be here?” All of these questions can help you determine if you might be getting to the level of burnout. If you find you are close or already there, then it’s crucial to stop and practice self-care immediately, today, right now! Here are some simple ways to begin practicing self-care, today.

5) I’m way too hard on myself, and most moms are, too.

Over the years, as I’ve counseled and spoken to moms, and as I’ve been doing this “Mastery Of Motherhood” tour lately, the same issue keeps coming up, clearly: We moms are harder on ourselves than anyone could ever be on us, or on themselves.

Why? Because we care. A lot. We are doing the most important work of all, and we want to do it “right.” We want our children to grow up to succeed, to feel loved, to become all we see in them! But, in case you haven’t gotten this point yet, it’s hard being Mom! It’s truly the hardest work on the earth.

We are tireless in our efforts to guide, save, advise, teach, learn from, and love our children. It is endlessly demanding when they are little. We have so little control as they get older. Our hearts break for them over and over. We lose sleep, our minds race with worried thoughts.

And I’m no exception. It’s something I have to work on every single day. Forgiving my flaws. Letting go of the blame baggage and guilt trips. Reminding myself I’m truly working my hardest to do my very best; AND my best isn’t always going to be perfect, or sometimes even good enough, for my children, but that’s okay, because that’s just the way it is. Forgiveness—of them, of myself, from them, from myself, from God—is the only way to master motherhood, and ourselves, in the end.

You can do this, too. Forgive yourself for all you feel you haven’t done “right,” and commit to simply do your best–today, each day, moment by moment. Take time to discover your current “motherhood reality check,” and then go easy on yourself. See how far you have come, how much you have learned. You really are doing so much better than you think.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to Motherhood Radio here, on SoundCloudiTunes, or watch on YouTube!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV showwith me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & NobleTarget.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Overcoming Mom Guilt

If there’s one topic that keeps coming up in my work with mothers (besides the need for self-care!), it’s “mom guilt.” If you’re a mother, you know what I mean. Guilt over our own frustrations, weaknesses, and learning moments and what these might have “done” to our children.Guilt over not doing enough, not being enough. Guilt that maybe we really aren’t good enough.

Last week was Mother’s Day–a day on which moms everywhere should feel celebrated, appreciated, and loved. But in my experience, too many moms, instead, feel guilty. Hearing of other mothers’ successes, they feel like “I’m not as good as that,” like “I shouldn’t be celebrated,” like “I’m failing as a mom.” We’ve all been there. At least, I know I have. So, why is it so easy to fall into the trap of mom guilt?

Mom Guilt: Why is it so Common?

First, we feel guilty because we love our families. We love our children, our spouse/partner, and we want the best for them. It’s therefore easy to feel down on ourselves when that “best” isn’t happening. Postpartum depression, anxiety, motherhood depression, hormone shifts that wreak havoc on our emotions, and major life events and stress can make us feel like we’re “weak,” like we can’t do the job we so desperately want to do in the way we want, need or feel we “should” do it.

When kids make poor choices, we moms often take it upon ourselves, making us feel like we’ve somehow failed as mothers. We feel guilty when we’re exhausted and need a break, when we need help, and even when we’re feeling good and just want some time to ourselves. We feel guilt when we don’t “love” every moment of motherhood, even though that’s just part of the deal of being a mom. And the list goes on…

All of this can lead to feelings of self-doubt, guilt, shame, and even self-loathing that bring us down, down, down in a spiral of negativity and despair. This is what guilt does, and why I always say, “Guilt is good for nothing.”

The 2 Types of Guilt

Actually, I used to say “Guilt is good for nothing..,” but now I add, “…unless you use it for something better.” There are actually two types of guilt, and understanding the difference between these is crucial to overcoming mom guilt.

First is what I call “Depressive Guilt.” Depressive guilt is that downward spiral I described above. It drags us down and makes us feel low and useless. This type of guilt is good for nothing, for the more depressive guilt we have, the worse our situation gets.

The second type of guilt is “Motivational Guilt,” and it is good for somethingif we use it for something good. Motivational guilt comes when we’ve done something wrong and we know it. It comes when we feel remorse for our words, thoughts, or behavior, and we know we need to change. Motivational guilt has the potential to lead to change; in fact, by nature, this type of guilt is meant to help us change.

Allow me to explain, using my favorite metaphor for guilt: gasoline. Gasoline is a good thing when we use it for good things, like helping a car to drive or a lawn mower to mow. But, gasoline is also highly flammable. If we pile up gasoline in our garage, or rather, if we hold on to depressive guilt, allowing it to fester or rot or bury itself deep inside and adding to it over and over, eventually, all it takes is one little spark and “Boom!” the whole thing goes up in flames. If, however, we use that gasoline (or motivational guilt) for some greater purpose; if we put it in our car and drive somewhere beautiful, or if we put it in the lawnmower and make the lawn beautiful, then we’re actually using it for change and growth. Motivational guilt can help us apologize, forgive, repent, and seek a better way, leading us to that “somewhere beautiful” we so long to be.

How to Overcome Mom Guilt

So how can we use this understanding of the two types of guilt to overcome our own mommy guilt?

1) First, acknowledge the guilt. We can’t do anything until we acknowledge something needs doing. Only once we’ve identified, “Yes, I feel guilty,” can we truly begin.

2) After you acknowledge the guilt, examine it. Ask yourself, “What is this guilt all about?” “What am I really feeling guilty for?” This will help you determine if it’s guilt for something you feel remorseful about and want to change or guilt that’s just pointing fingers, filling your heart with despair, and dragging you down.

3) Ask, “Is this depressive guilt or motivational guilt?” Answer honestly. Remember, guilt is a feeling, an emotion. It’s not a reflection of who you are.

4) If it’s motivational guilt, pointing you to change, then it’s time to start the process of change. You might go and say you’re sorry right away; you might take some time to formulate a plan for change in your parenting approach; or you might need to take a whole lot of time as you work on true forgiveness. As long as you use the guilt as fuel for change, it doesn’t matter how long it takes. (Read about the Spiral of Change, here.)

5) If it’s depressive guilt, then the answer is to practice letting go. I know “letting go” is much easier said than done, but it’s an essential element in overcoming mom guilt, much of which tends to be of the depressive sort. How can you let go? That’s a big topic for another day and another post (coming soon), but to start, you can do the following.

  • FEEL. “Freely Experience Emotion, with Love” (This is How We Grow, p.184). You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully experienced yet. You must FEEL the guilt in order to heal from the guilt, in order to let it go. Tell yourself you can feel the guilt and that, even if you don’t like feeling it, you will survive feeling that emotion.
  • Lean back from the emotion. As you FEEL the guilt, lean back from it, reminding yourself that it is not you. (Watch this 3-minute therapy video, “How to Overcome Powerful Emotions: FEEL,” on my YouTube channel.)
  • Remember letting go is a choice we make over and over again. Yes. Letting go is a continual choice only we can make. When I work on letting go, it’s helpful for me to ask myself, “What would I feel like if I didn’t have this emotion? If I didn’t carry this burden? If I could really just let this go?” I then imagine how I’d feel, and let me tell you, it is a hundred times better than carrying things around I can’t change and don’t need. Try this, and then cling to that imagined feeling of release, and choose to let things go. Repeat as often as needed until it has gone.

 

My daughter and me, walking along the beach. It’s moments like this that remind us, “You’re doing better than you think you are.”

Remember...

I hope you realize you ARE better than you think you are. You ARE enough. You ARE worthy of all the time, appreciation, care, and love you and your family wish to give. I hope you realize “Guilt is good for nothing…unless you use it for something better.” And I hope you choose to work on overcoming guilt so you can feel these things I’m telling you and begin to believe them for yourself.

 

 

 

For more tips, skills, and tools, listen to my one-on-one Motherhood Radio “session,” Overcoming Mom Guilt, here,

on SoundCloud, or on iTunes!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

 

 

The Benefits of Postpartum Depression

Yes, you read that title right.

I have long been an advocate for postpartum depression awareness, understanding, and education. I’ve helped hundreds of mothers and families heal through warmline support, support groups, education, and therapy. I’ve written articles about postpartum depression treatment, about the spectrum of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, about postpartum OCD, the stigma of postpartum psychosis, and produced an internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples (now free online, click here). I’ve even shared my own experiences with postpartum depression and anxiety, including my biggest struggles and what I believe others most need to know.

But today, I want to take a different approach to this topic that’s so near and dear to my heart. Today, I wish to focus on the benefits of PPD.

 

After baby #3, happy in the hospital. PPD & anxiety set in just days later.

 

PPD is HARD.

If you’re in the thick of postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, or psychosis, you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. How could there be benefits to this thing that intrudes into your life in the very moment you most want to be at your best, that attacks your identity, sense of self-worth, and the ability to connect and bond with your baby, partner, and family?

If you’re mid-way through the healing process, you might feel some of these benefits, or you might not—yet.

If you’ve made it safely to the other side of PPD, you’ve hopefully experienced some of these benefits and understand first hand what I’m talking about, but again, maybe not. Each of us is different, and our experiences are unique.

Wherever you are in your PPD experience, one thing is abundantly clear: just because I’m writing about the benefits of postpartum depression in no way takes away from the pain, suffering, and heartache of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It in no way takes away from how hard it is to finally find a way to overcome these disorders, to find the right treatment, and to do the work required to heal. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are absolutely among the most difficult of life’s challenges.

Loving my baby girl, but exhausted. This is reality.

 

The PPD Paradox

The paradox is that while postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and psychosis are gut-wrenching experiences for the whole family, they are also some of the most fertile soil for personal growth—if we “plant ourselves and grow.” (As I write in This is How We Grow.)

Yes, PPD is hard. AND, it also yields fruit, gifts for our growth and development. As a psychologist working with postpartum women and a 4-time PPD survivor, I’ve seen it over and again. Just like the “gifts” of grief and loss and heartache and other life challenges, of which I have also personally experienced many, if we look for and see them, the benefits of postpartum depression are plentiful.

 

Just weeks after our family went from three to six kids, I posed us for a Christmas card pic. Can you see the fear in my eyes as I pulled myself together to be the mom everyone needed me to be?

Top 10 Benefits of Postpartum Depression

So, what are they–these gifts? The following is my top 10 list of benefits of postpartum depression. You might have some of your own to add to my list. I hope you do. If nothing else, I hope this gets your mind focused on the belief that perhaps I’m right. Just maybe, postpartum depression can end up bringing benefits that somehow make it all worthwhile.

1) Understanding. Not only do we understand postpartum depression, or anxiety, or whatever it is we’ve gone through after childbirth; we understand similar experiences better, too. Experiences like death and loss and heartache and illness and pain and general life distress become more real and relatable after going through PPD.

2) Compassion and Empathy. This understanding brings greater compassion and empathy, which I’ve long believed to be one of the greatest benefits of going through PPD or any major life challenge. We simply “get it,” because we’ve been through it. That makes us more likely to know how to be there for others, as well, in ways we otherwise couldn’t have done.

3) Humility. When you’ve hit your lowest point, there’s no other way but humility. Humility in admitting something’s wrong. Humility in seeking help. Humility in letting help in. Humility is, ironically, one of the most powerful traits we can develop. It means we are teachable. It means we’re willing to see what needs to change and change it. It means we’re letting go of the ego and achieving personal growth.

4) Character. We’ve all heard how life challenges build character; sometimes we might roll our eyes hearing this, especially while in the midst of those life challenges. But it’s true. We develop newfound strength, fortitude, skills, and abilities through overcoming PPD. This has the potential to make us into someone even greater than before.

5) Self-confidence. Watching ourselves overcome PPD shows us we can do it, and if we can do this, we can do anything. We have the ability to do hard things. PPD can show us just what we’re made of, which in turn can lead us to overcome other life challenges, too. As we strengthen our self-confidence, we’re more likely to speak up when we need something, to ask for help before we get to a breaking point, and to talk to others about PMADs so we can help them do the same. (Watch “How to Speak Up, Ask For, & Receive What You Need,” or listen on Motherhood Radio/TV.)

 

6) Self-worth. Self-confidence is just one aspect of self worth, which is often crushed by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Feeling embarrassed, guilty, self-hateful and worthless are part of these heart-wrenching disorders. I’ve found I almost always need to work on rebuilding self-worth my postpartum clients. However, doing the work of postpartum healing can lead to a deeper sense of self-worth, which can fuel your confidence, belief in, and even love for yourself moving forward. Such an important gift!

7) Charity. When we understand something like postpartum depression and have that newfound compassion, and empathy for others, along with a stronger self-confidence, character and self-worth, we often desire to give back. So many of the best PPD support persons, organizations, treatment providers, and advocates are PPD survivors. We’ve been there. We get it. We want to help others. This help is invaluable, showing others they’re truly not alone and modeling for others that healing is not only possible but we can flourish after PPD, too. (Watch “When the Bough Breaks: The Reality of PPD,” or listen on Motherhood Radio, here.)

 

8) Appreciation and gratitude. Those who have suffered greatly often find a new appreciation, awareness, and gratitude for life. We recognize the good and work to never take for granted when things go well. We feel grateful for ours and our family’s health and wellness, because we know how easily it can be taken away. We express that gratitude more, knowing how important gratitude is to our own, and others,’ healing and happiness. Yes, appreciation and gratitude are keys to flourishing.

8) Joy, hope, and love. Starting off with so many challenges may seem antithetical to hope, joy, and love, but in truth, it is an opportunity for greater abundance of these things. Being without hope or unable to feel joy or love shows us just how valuable these gifts are and just how badly we desire them. Working on feeling these things again can lead us to never take them for granted once they are replenished, and can lead to a greater ability to share these powerful experiences with our family, friends, and others, creating a cycle of joy, hope and love that repeats.

10) Deeper sense of who you truly are. All of these things help us see and feel and experience our true potential. We’ve overcome PPD. We’ve become more of who we’re meant to be, and now, we can use these experiences to flourish! Postpartum depression just might be the thing that leads us to become our best self; it certainly has been for me. PPD has fueled my work and compassion and service and love–for my family and for all others. As we receive all these gifts, these benefits of PPD, we just might find that without PPD we wouldn’t be who, and where, we are today. I know I certainly wouldn’t be.

This is us, Christmas Day, 2016. Hard to believe how far we’ve come–and how far I’ve come, because of the gifts of PPD.

 

What benefits of PPD have you discovered? Do you agree that PPD, as with all other major life experiences, offers gifts? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings, so leave a comment, below!

 

 

 

 

 

Join the FREE “Birth Healing Summit” and listen to my interview, “The Benefits of PPD,”

along with a dozen other remarkable expert interviews on healing after baby–body, mind, and spirit.

Ends soon, so click here to join today!

Watch or listen to my interview on “Motherhood” Radio/TV with Lynn Schulte, creator of the Birth Healing Summit, here, or below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me!

I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak, now through Jan 2018. In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins!

Learn more here, or click the icon above!

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

Tune in to “Motherhood” Radio & TV!

New episodes weekly!

 

 

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for access.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Mommy Fails & Mother’s Day: 3 Things Every Mom Needs to Hear

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Motherhood Essentials: Empowerment for Family Health, Wellness & Finances

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

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.

Be part of my NEW book, “Mastery of Motherhood” by inviting me to come to you!

In preparation for my newest book, I am heading on tour and taking my “Motherhood” radio/TV show with me! I’m looking for women’s and/or mom’s groups, conferences, gatherings, clubs–you name it–to invite me to speak! In return, I ask that your group members talk with me about “Mastery of Motherhood”–about the stresses and successes of “being mom,” and what you most need from a Motherhood book, and that you record a radio episode with me, too! Everyone learns. Everyone has a great time. Everyone wins. Learn more here, or click the icon below!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
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

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Mastery Of Motherhood: Be Part of My Book, Radio & TV tour!

 

Announcing…Mastery Of Motherhood!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be doing this–to finally be working on a book about the skills of motherhood with a focus on self-mastery/personal growth as the key. I have wanted to write a book on motherhood since graduate school, but it always seemed too daunting a task–who could possibly write a book about motherhood when it’s so vast, so important, so unexpected, so individual?

 

Now, over 15 years later, I’m ready to take on the challenge. Not because I am an “expert” at motherhood; far from it. More so, I want to write this book because I have learned so much as a mother and as a psychologist working with mothers for so many years.

 

I want to write this book because there aren’t any good books about the “how’s” of motherhood that offer ideas, principles, and true, research-based, helpful, practical tools for how to not only survive but to thrive in motherhood. I want to write because we need more support for one another as mothers, because I am passionate about helping all mothers succeed! I want to write this book because, as a mother, I know how important our role is, because I truly believe there’s no higher nor holier calling than being a mother, and because I also know we need help. We need guidance. We need support and love and wisdom to help us “grow through motherhood,” instead of just “going through” it (as I say on “Motherhood” Radio/TV).

 

Now is the time, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Helping some new friends learn to meditate at a book club event. We do have fun!

 

What’s even more exciting?

I’m heading out on the road, to connect with fabulous moms like you! 

I know I can’t write a book about motherhood without first talking with as many moms from as many places as possible. I want this book to be helpful, useful, and based on what moms actually need and not just some idea I have about what moms need.

 

Today I posted my 85th episode of “Motherhood” Radio/Tv! I’ve learned a tremendous amount about motherhood and moms of all ages and stages through these 85 episodes and the fabulous guests I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from along the way. Now, I’m taking Motherhood Radio/TV on the road as part of my Mastery of Motherhood book research tour, and YOU can be a part of it all! (Listen to the radio episode, 85, “Mastery of Motherhood” here.)

One of my absolute favorite things to do–travel, speak, and get to know incredible women like these!

 

Here’s how it will work:

1) Starting today, I am opening up my support@drchristinahibbert.com email address for speaking invitations. That’s right–I’m coming to you–free of charge! If you have a mom’s group, women’s group, church group, community group, or even want to pull together a group of friends and would like to invite me to come and speak to your group, then send me an email.

2) Email and tell me about your group, what your needs are, what you’re hoping I might do for you, and of course where you are and when you would like me to come.

3) I will then select at least 10 groups to visit over the next 9-12 months and will come to you FREE of charge, provide a fabulous, educational and/or motivational and/or inspirational talk/workshop for your group, and in return all I ask is that you allow me to talk with the group members and record some radio/TV excerpts (or perhaps a full episode) to use on “Motherhood.” Sound fun? It does to me!

Yes, I love to bring my guitar and play an original song, when I’m asked!


 
 

How will I select where I go?

I hope to accept as many group invitations as possible and will select where I go based first on the needs of the group and how persuasive the email is. If I get too many invitations to attend all, I may have to then select based on location (I’m hoping for a variety of places!), group size, and dates/timing.
 

I will do my best to make it to as many as possible; I love speaking with incredible groups of women and mothers. Still, I am a busy mom with many responsibilities, just like all of you, so we will work to make it work for us all.

From speaking at book signings & professional conferences to intimate groups in someone’s home–I love it all!


 
 

What are you waiting for?

Hop on your email today and tell me why I should come and visit your group. Be part of my new book, be featured on Motherhood radio/TV, learn and grow with me in person, and become a part of this incredible new “Mastery of Motherhood” movement with me!

 

I can’t wait to see you soon!

 

Meeting up with long-time friends (and making new friends) after speaking to a women’s group? Yes, please!

 
 

Questions?

Feel free to comment, below, or to email support@drchristinahibbert.com and I’ll do my best to answer promptly!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
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

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Motherhood Radio: Making Marriage Work: Resolving Conflict- 20 Solutions for our 20th Anniversary

Mommy Fails & Mother’s Day: 3 Things Every Mom Needs to Hear

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

Essential Oils 101: My Favorite Wellness Benefits for Moms, Kids, & Families

Motherhood Essentials: Empowerment for Family Health, Wellness & Finances

How to Sleep Better (part 2 of BONUS chapter)

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

 

Overcoming Mom Shame: #StopMomShaming Solutions (Mom.Life Q & A)

 

If you’re a mom, you’ve experienced it–unwanted advice, criticism, or shaming about your parenting, choices, or lifestyle that leaves you feeling devastated. Why are we so hard on each other? And why are we so hard on ourselves?

 

Mom.Life Mom-Shaming Survey Results

Mom-shaming is unfortunately an everyday part of today’s world, and the consequences can be heavy.

Recently, the creators of the engaging and popular Mom.Life app conducted a survey of over 225 women on the topic of mom shaming, or unwanted criticism of their choices or appearance, to understand the far reaching effects. Here’s what they found:

  • Nearly 80% percent of the women surveyed report being shamed.
  • 53% say that shaming happens frequently or is rampant.
  • The leading focus of the shaming was feeding choice, followed by parenting style.
  • Other moms are most likely to be shamers (70%).
  • Dads were the least likely to shame moms.

Why are these numbers so high? And why are moms feeling the most shamed by other moms?

 

Understanding Mom-Shaming

You would think other moms would be the most compassionate, sympathetic, and understanding. After all, don’t we all “get” how difficult motherhood and parenting can be? Aren’t we all in the thick of hectic schedules, lack of sleep, and worry that we’re just not doing as well as every other mom?

The sad truth is mom-shaming is a rampant problem, and Mom.Life has taken up the charge to do something about it–a cause I heartily support.

I recently sat down with Mom.Life co-founders, Dee Anna McPherson and Charong Chow, to discuss solutions to #StopMomShaming (the title of their campaign), and also did a Q&A in the Mom.Life app (so fun!), both of which I’m happy to be sharing with you. Listen to or watch our entire conversation in this Motherhood Radio or Motherhood TV episode, and read my take on mom-shaming solutions, below.

 

Mom Shame Q & A with Mom.Life and Dr. Christina Hibbert

A short while ago, I was a featured expert for one of Mom.Life‘s incredible live events. These events are geared toward creating a safe, supportive environment in which moms can engage, live, with one another and discuss topics important and relevant to motherhood.

The topic for the event I was part of was #StopMomShaming, and there were excellent questions by app users and incredible feedback that created an enlightening conversation. Below are some of the most helpful questions and answers from this event. My hope is it will get you thinking about mom-shaming, and how you can be part of the solution, too. (Download the Mom.Life app now to follow me and join the #StopMomShaming movement, and leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!)

 

Question 1 (Mom.Life):

What is your take on mom shaming? We recently surveyed our moms, and the results were astounding. About 80% of mom have been shamed, mostly for parenting choices? And most shamers were moms themselves. Could you shed some light into this dynamic?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

It’s awful so many are still feeling shamed on a regular basis, but unfortunately it’s not surprising to me. It’s so easy for us to get stuck in “our way” and then to beleive it’s the “best” or “only” way. This leads to intentional or unintentional shaming about choices, when in reality, it’s CRUCIAL we each do this parenting thing our own way.

No one knows your specific situation. No one knows your specific children. And no one is the expert on your family’s needs but YOU. If we could hold our tongues, see the differences in our situations and what works, and just love one another, we’d all be so much happier and feel so much more loved and supported.

 

Question 2 (Mom.Life):

Love your response and insight! Mom shaming is so hurtful. Why do you think it affects us so much, especially our self-confidence?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

It’s the worst to feel “attacked” at the heart of what matters most to you, and that’s exactly what mom shaming does. We are all just trying to figure this motherhood thing out, and as I said before, we each have our own unique situations. Since we’re all doing this without a map, we don’t KNOW 100% what we’re doing, right? Even if I have 6 kids, I still don’t know what I’m doing with every one of them, because they’re all so unique and what worked for one doesn’t work for others. This makes us vulnerable from the start. When someone criticizes in that vulnerable area, it hits extra hard. It makes us question, “Am I a terrible mother?” when really, the criticism says so much more about the person who gave it. It’s called “projection,” and the things we criticize others for are usually the things WE most need to work on. That’s why they bother us in the first place and we feel the need to criticize.

 

Question 3 (Mom.Life):

So, it’s not really about us, then? I love that. Here’s a question from a mom in the app: It seems like no matter who we are we get mom shamed, I am a young mom (20) and get mom shamed by my own mom…how do I shut this down?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

Being shamed by our own parents/in-laws is the worst, and it’s unfortunately quite common. Often it’s unintentional and just your mother’s way of tell you how “she did it”. Other times, it’s on purpose. I think this comes from insecurity, as all shaming does. If we feel that sense of self-worth, we don’t need to shame others.

Perhaps your mother just doesn’t “get” what you’re trying to do as a mom. Perhaps she is jealous of how you are as a mom. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to just sit and take it. Boundaries are a wonderful tool for this. Boundaries are rules you set up to protect yourself and your family. It’s like a fence you construct and you decide if it’s a picket fence or a tall brick wall. You decide what is and is not okay for you as a mom with others, and then you talk with them about what you’ve decided, and if they’re ok with it, then great. If not, you’ll need to be tough and keep your boundaries nonetheless. You can still love someone and have strong boundaries. In fact, it’s healthy.

Question 4 (Mom.Life):

Any tips on not allowing mom shaming to bother you to begin with?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

I think it all comes down to a strong sense of self-worth, and I’ve learned that we moms struggle with this the very most. I believe there’s a difference between self-esteem (or what we think, feel, how we behave, look, and what others think about us–the “outward” things) and self-worth (who we truly are–the inner truth). I’ve developed a “pyramid of self-worth” to help people work on building this sense of self-worth, to FEEL that self-love and KNOW they’re truly valuable and worthy.

Almost all the issues I see clients for, at their core, have to deal with self-worth, and I started to see this pattern of women especially who’d say, “I know YOU say I’m worthy, and I can tell myself that, but I don’t FEEL it.” It made me wonder, “how to you help someone feel self-worth?” That’s when I developed the pyramid of self-worth, which is made up of 1) self-awareness, 2) self-acceptance, and 3) self-love practices. I write about this in both my books “Who am I without You” and “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” as well as on my YouTube channel!

 

Question 5 (Mom.Life):

Here’s a great question from the community: How do you make sure you’re sharing the love when you bring another baby home? How do you make sure you’re there for your partner and also for your other children?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

I used to worry so much about this when I was pregnant with my second! I’d wonder, “How could I ever love another baby like I love my first?” But you do. And it’s amazing how your love just grows and amplifies with other children and meaningful family relationships–as a mom of 6 I can say this for sure!

What IS truly challenging is making time so everyone feels they’re getting “enough” of you. It’s important to also get some of yourself, too, so I suggest writing down your priorities–what matters most, in order of most important to least. Then, write down how much time you’re willing to give to each thing each week (including work, relationships, the house cleaning, etc). Focus on getting your top three done everyday, and you will never feel like you’re lacking. The house can be messy, especially if it means you played with your toddler and spent time with your spouse. Let go of what’s not as important in favor of what IS.

I love the saying, “Saying no to something is really saying ‘Yes’ to something better.” Write this on your wall if you need to, but remember that a little of your time and attention, especially if it’s full of love, goes a long, long way. One other suggestion for bringing another baby home: Give the older child a “gift” from the new baby. It’s a great way for big bro/sis to start feeling like and love for their new sibling!

Singing & rocking my youngest, Sydney. Though I was able to breastfeed her, I introduced a bottle early on. I knew I needed it to help me survive PPD.

Question 6 (Mom.Life):

One mom writes: I can’t help but to keep blaming myself for my weight gain. It is my fault and I feel worse because I didn’t “bounce back” like everyone else. Any advice on how I can gain my confidence back and stop blaming myself so much?

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

Self-blame is a tough cycle to live in. It’s so easy to look at others and compare and think, “They are so much better than I am. I stink!” when really we don’t know their struggles, and they’re probably doing the same thing with us about something else. We compare our worst to others’ best, and that’s a vicious cycle. Our sense of self-worth is so tied up in this. If you don’t love yourself or if you can’t practice compassion with yourself–with who you are, your strengths, weakness, the “good, bad, ugly, and exceptional”– of course, you will blame yourself for every perceived “failure.”

The key is to work on building that sense of self-worth, as I mentioned above. Then, you will feel stronger and able to say, “I don’t like that I haven’t lost this weight, but I accept this is where I am right now.” Then, you have the option to change where you are, to improve. And you’ll be coming at it in such a healthier way. As far as weight loss, my newest book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” there’s a whole chapter on Self-worth, and I don’t even discuss setting up a fitness program until Key 7! That’s because, if we really want to set and achieve goals–like the goal to exercise or be healthy–we first need a LOT of mental preparation. We need to change how we view “success” and “failure,” we need to build our self-worth so we’ll stick with it, and we need to learn how to stay motivated. Working on these things is a great start to eventually loving all of who you are and achieving your dreams! (Join my “Exercise to Mental Health” course here!)

 

Question 7 (Mom.Life):

Here’s another good question from a mom: How can I feel less lonely as a new mom? How do I make sure I am my own person and not be known as JJ’s mommy? Is it selfish sometimes to be my own person? I don’t want to only be my son’s mommy.

Answer (Dr. Hibbert):

What a great question! First, let me say this clearly: IT IS NOT SELFISH FOR YOU TO BE YOUR OWN PERSON. I see so many mothers who are empty nesters and can’t even answer what they like to do because they’ve given ALL their time and energy to their children and lost themselves along the way. Our goal as mothers is to raise children who become healthy, productive, independent adults, so we do ourselves AND them no good by not remembering who WE are. In fact, I have seen in my own life and so many others’ the power of being YOU as a mom. As we develop our own talents and gifts and share them with others, we SHOW our children how to do the same. We give them permission to “go for it!” because we’ve done so, too. I took my 11 year old daughter with me to an event where I was speaking and doing a book signing, for parents who had all lost a child. She watched me speak and helped with the book signing and at the end of the day she said, “Wow, mom. You are important. You help so many people. I’m so proud of you!” This has helped her want to do the same. We can’t be selfish if we don’t have a SELF. And trust me, as mothers, we give our children so much more when we let that self shine boldly through!

 

 

Have you ever been shamed? By whom, and about what? Do you feel mom-shaming is a problem? Why or why not? What are the solutions to #StopMomShaming?

Join the conversation below by leaving a comment!

Join my “Exercise to Mental Health” 6-week online course! Visit www.ExercisetoMentalHealth.com for information!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
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

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

 

 

So, did you do it? Did you set New Year’s resolution s? Did you come up with a new vision, goals, or even a yearly theme like I do?

 

If so, I have an important question for you: What is going to make you stick with and achieve those resolutions this year?

 

 

New Year, New Potential

The beginning of a new year is a time of potential. It’s a time of change, growth, transformation—or at least, it has the power to be.

We set goals, make resolutions, or develop a yearly theme to guide our efforts, but do we truly change, grow, transform? Or do we simply set sail only to take a pleasure cruise around the harbor and come right back to port?

We all know the drill. Most of us make a list around New Year’s including things we want to change, to overcome, to quit, to develop, to become! Some of us might have a list pages long of ideas and dreams and goals. Others might have one main focus for the year. It is SO fabulous that we use this time of year to turn our thoughts to self-improvement and personal transformation!

BUT…(and you know what’s coming)… the sad truth is most of us will not actually achieve the things we set out to do. In fact, it’s estimated that only 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them. 8%! That’s the problem with this time of year—most of us don’t fully tap into that potential. Most of us set resolutions only to start slacking a few weeks later, to give up and ultimately feel like we’ve “failed.”

Why? Why is it so challenging to make lasting change? And what are the solutions for overcoming this?

 

Why is Personal Transformation So Hard?

To answer the first question, watch the video below. I created this as a New Year’s gift for my newsletter subscribers (subscribe above, right or below), and in it I reveal the 5 main blocks to change, growth, personal transformation. So, click and watch for answers! (It’s the first of a 3-part series and you can find them all on my YouTube channel!)

 

How can we actually Keep our Resolutions this Year?

What can we do to achieve personal growth and transformation in 2017? If you watched the video above you’ll understand why I believe we need the following 4 things if we want new year’s resolution success this, and every, year:

1) We need to be taught/shown how. We need specific ideas relevant to what we’re trying to achieve, and if someone can actually show us how to make the changes we desire, all the better!

2) We need goals that are tailored to our situation and needs. We need to do things our way, in a way that fits with our life circumstances and situation. We can’t just do it someone else’s way: we need our own way if we’re to succeed. In fact, research shows that of those who set specific goals, instead of making resolutions, up to 90% achieve them!

3) We need support. And the right kind of support. We need people to encourage, teach, and help us along our way. We cannot do it alone.

4) We need to learn the skills of mental fortitude to stick with it. This is where most of us really fail. We were never taught the mental skills we need to get and stay motivated, create realistic and achievable goals, overcome the inevitable roadblocks, and empower our thoughts and beliefs to find success!

4 New Year’s ReSOLUTIONS!

That’s what I want to help you do–develop these skills of mental fortitude so you can truly make this your year for mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical transformation! Over the years, I’ve created many programs, articles, and resources to help you do just this, and below are my faves. I hope you’ll pick one, or more, and get started today!

 

1) NEW! Exercise to Mental Health Personal Transformation Program! 

I’m thrilled to announce my BRAND NEW program, Exercise to Mental Health! In this 6-week online course I developed based on my latest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, I’m taking the research-based principles of mental fortitude presented in my book and bringing them to life.

This 6 session video course all about the “how” of achieving your personal transformation goals. Not only is this a way for you to work with me to build mental fortitude, but it will also teach you how to overcome the roadblocks to success that you’ll inevitably face.

I won’t go into the details here, because I have a brand new website to tell you all about it (http://www.ExerciseToMentalHealth.com). Click that link and check it out, because this is the BEST solution I’ve found to empower you to: 1) develop the skills of mental fortitude you need to stick with and achieve your goals, 2) understand how to make the lasting change you desire, 3) tailor your plan to your unique life and experiences, and of course, 4) do all this while receiving support from new friends and from me! Don’t wait!

 

2) Join me for the Zion Ponderosa Women’s Adventure Retreat & experience “The Adventure of a Lifetime–discovering yourself!”

Yes, this is happening, and I couldn’t be more excited! This is one of the most fun, rewarding, awe-inspiring adventures I’ve ever been on, and now, I’m bringing it to my friends and followers as an exclusive retreat with me to rediscover yourself, build self-worth, and leave with the skills you need to go for your dreams! And all for an incredible discounted rate! 

Space is limited, and registration has just opened, so don’t hesitate! For more info, visit this post all about it, and follow the instructions for specific details and/or to register

3) This is How We Grow Personal Growth Group

One of my first resources to encourage and show people how to “grow through life,” this online video-based group has been wildly popular! Many have even formed their own, in-person groups, supporting friends and neighbors along the way.

And guess what? I’m back for season 3! Yes, coming later this month, I’ll be starting lessons for season 3 of our group, with a whole new theme, a monthly video lesson, and of course, continuing support in our Facebook group.

If you haven’t already joined, it’s FREE and easy. Just click here for details and to register and you’ll receive all the new lessons, as well as links to our past lessons. Oh how I love growing with you!

3) This is How We Grow 30-Day Personal Growth Plan

Based on my bestselling book, This is How We Grow, my FREE 30-day plan is a great kick start! For 30 days, you’ll receive a daily email with a short inspirational “lesson” and activity to promote your personal growth. A great way to get started on your path to personal growth!

4) Join one of my Facebook Groups!

If you’re lacking support, I have a variety of Facebook groups geared toward just that–helping you know you’re not alone, connecting with others going through similar things, and getting inspired, together. Click on one that interests you and join us!

Growing Through Motherhood

“This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group

“Motherhood Essentials” Essentials Oils for Family Health & Wellness

Who Am I Without You? Women’s Breakup/Divorce Support

Growing through PPD: Postpartum Depression/Anxiety Support

Women’s Emotions: Overcoming, becoming, flourishing!

Blog to Book Deal: Author Platform Branding

Growing Through Grief, Loss, Trauma

 

Most of all…

The most important thing you can do if you’re struggling to reach your goals is to reach out for help in some way. Check out one of the posts, below, to help you set specific goals and learn skills of personal growth. And don’t quit until you discover the skills, plan, strategies, and support you need to make this your best year yet!

 

 

Bonus: Suggestion 5–Read one of my books! Great for getting you on your way to personal transformation!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

Join my NEW “Exercise to Mental Health” course and make this your year of transformation!

Click below or visit ExerciseToMentalHealth.com.

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
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

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

The Food-Mood Connection: Nutrition, Exercise, Energy & Happiness

 

Part 3 of my BONUS Chapter from 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise continues today, and we’re talking about something we all love—food! Nutrition works with exercise, sleep, and the other keys to create a healthy lifestyle, mental health, wellness, and yes, happiness. Let’s take a look at the “food-mood connection” and what you can do to make it work for you!

“Everyone has their own definition of a healthy lifestyle, and mine has come to mean making health a priority but not an obsession.”
~Daphne Oz

 

It’s been said that eating healthy and being physically active are the two most important things you can do for your overall health and wellbeing at any age (Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services, 2015). If we’re not eating well, we won’t have energy to handle life or to exercise, our physical health will suffer, and so will our mental health. While many people focus on healthier nutrition as a means to lose weight (and while this is certainly a benefit of healthy eating), there are many more benefits to be gained from proper nutrition, both physically and mentally.

 

Good nutrition is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and some cancers, and it also promotes weight loss and overall wellbeing. Nutrition can also improve mood and mental health, especially when combined with exercise (ODPHP, 2015).

 
 

The food-mood connection
 
Eating patterns are clearly linked with mental health, especially depression. Research shows that diets consisting of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, and whole grains are associated with lower likelihood of anxiety and depressive disorders, while diets high in fried, processed, sugary foods, refined grains, and beer are linked with higher mood-related symptoms (Jacka et al., 2010). This food-mood relationship seems to go both ways: when we eat unhealthy foods, we feel worse, and when we feel badly, we tend to eat unhealthier foods, and more of them.
 
One study from Spain, with over 10,000 participants over a 4-year period, showed that diets high in fish and nuts were linked with lower rates of depression, while diets higher in meats and whole-fat dairy products were associated with higher depression rates (Sanchez-Villegas et al., 2009). Another large-scale study from England, lasting over five years, confirmed this link between depressed mood and diet. High consumption of processed foods, refined grains, high-fat dairy products, sweets, and condiments was linked to higher depression scores, while a Mediterranean-type diet was linked with lower depression scores (Akbarly et al., 2009).
Conversely, sad or depressed mood is highly correlated with overeating (Jansen et al, 2008; Dingemans et al, 2009).

 

Nutrition and Exercise
 
Exercise can decrease sadness and depression, making it less likely one will overeat. Choosing to go for a walk or swim when hard days or bad moods hit helps in two ways: 1) it boosts your mood and lowers stress, and 2) it gets you doing something healthy and not overeating. Of course, nutrition and physical activity go hand in hand when it comes to living healthy, and both work to keep us in good physical shape (ODPHP, 2015).
 

Since I prioritize exercise, my kids have learned to, too! (In my “exercise room” in “the dungeon,” early in the morning.)

Together, they also help manage and improve health conditions and prevent obesity. It’s estimated that approximately one in three adults (34%) and one in six children/teens (16.2%) in the U.S. are obese, and the epidemic has been growing (ODPHP, 2015). Obesity is related to a host of illnesses that can lead to death, so it is imperative that we each honestly examine our diet to see if we are doing our best when it comes to nutrition and exercise.
 
The benefits of proper nutrition cannot be understated, yet less than one in three adults, and even less adolescents, eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day (CDCP, 2009). Additionally, as we know, most adults (81.6%) and adolescents (81.8%) fail to get the recommended amount of daily exercise (USDHHS, 2008), meaning that too few of us are taking advantage of these two life-promoting health habits.

 

 

Tips for Improved Nutrition
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created MyPlate (replacing the former Food Guide Pyramid), a simple way to understand what kinds of food promote good health and nutrition and how much of each food group we should eat each day.
 
MyPlate suggests that we eat 10% fruits, 40%vegetables, or half a plate full of fruits and vegetables at each meal. The other half of the plate should be filled with whole grains (30%) and healthy protein (20%). Add in a cupful of dairy, such as milk or yogurt, and you’ve got a balanced meal. Additionally, MyPlate recommends that at least half the grains we eat come from whole grain sources, that we vary protein choices (fish, poultry, lean meat, and nuts), and that we stay mindful of portion control, sodium, and sugar levels (USDA, 2015).

 

Additional ways to eat healthier include:
 
• Focus on what to eat instead of what not to eat. Most people focus on avoiding certain foods, and while this can help, it’s definitely not as helpful as focusing on what to eat. Focus on consuming as many health-promoting foods as possible, especially vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, and try to eat them as early in the day as possible. You’ll be more likely to get all the good stuff in and have less room for unhealthy foods.
 

• Eat the rainbow: Color and variety are key. Seek whole foods that are vibrant in color and eat as many as you can (i.e. blueberries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, etc.)
 
• Eat breakfast. Skipping breakfast is associated with greater smoking, alcohol use, and a sedentary lifestyle, often meaning higher weight, in both adults and adolescents. Those who skip breakfast are also less likely to exercise, and parents who skip breakfast are more likely to have kids that do the same, so parents, be the example (Keski-Rahkonen et al., 2003).
 
• Eat 5 smaller meals a day, and have healthy snacks. Starting the day with breakfast and then eating every three to four hours will help you feel more full and be less likely to overeat, too (Paturel, 2014). Eating regular high fiber, carbohydrate, and protein snacks will keep you full without adding extra weight (Paturel, 2014).
 
• Get your vitamins from food, and add in supplements as needed. Eating foods that are rich antioxidants like Vitamins C and E has been shown to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (Engleheart et al., 2002). Antioxidants are found in fruits, especially blue and blackberries, vegetables, beans, whole-grain products, nuts, seeds, and even dark chocolate (Mayo Clinic, 2015). Omega-3 fatty acids are also important to overall health and mental health. Studies show omega-3’s (found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, and, canola, flax, and soybean oils) are better than a placebo in treating depression in children and adults, as well as in treating bipolar disorder and postpartum depression (Grosso et al., 2014; Osher & Belmaker, 2009) (Freeman et al., 2005) (dosing—3mg-6g). Vitamin D is another nutrient crucial to mental and physical health. It not only helps with crucial calcium absorption; it helps activate genes that control the immune system and release important neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, which make us feel mentally well, and Vitamin D deficiency is highly linked with depression and seasonal affective disorder (Greenblatt, J.M., 2011; Veith et al., 2004). If you’re unable to get these nutrients from your diet, consider asking your doctor about a high quality supplement. Adding in a multivitamin, an Omega-3 supplement, essential oils for cleansing, immune-boosting, and mood enhancing purposes, and even incorporating a “green drink” shake each day is a great way to get all your important nutrients in and keep your physical and mental health strong. (Learn more about my favorite multivitamin, omega-3 and “green drink” supplements, here.)
 
Water is crucial, and avoid sugary drinks. The average-sized adult should drink at least 64 ounces of water each day, and avoid juice, sodas, and too much caffeine. These are not only unhealthy for your body; they also can intensify symptoms of anxiety and affect sleep.


Quality sleep is associated with better nutrition. When you’re too tired you’re more likely to eat poorly and less likely to sleep well (National Sleep Foundation, 2009). (Learn “How to Sleep Better” in part 2 of this chapter excerpt!)

 
• Keep a food diary.
I remember having to do this for a nutrition class in college, and what an eye-opener! If you aren’t sure how well you’re doing with your nutrition, write it all down for a day or two. It won’t take long to see exactly where you can improve.
 
• Of course, staying active is also important for healthy eating and diet. Exercise and nutrition, when used correctly, are an energy-creating machine. (Learn more about Exercise Motivation & Dedication here and in my latest book!)

 

One Saturday, after my kids had helped me get a little time alone, I took them for a family bike ride. I win. They win. We all win.

 

“Balance” & a Healthy Lifestyle—it’s all about choices
 
Overall, a healthy lifestyle is really about finding balance in what we do with our body and mind. The trouble is, finding balance is tough. Balance is a feeling, and it can be challenge to feel balanced by directly seeking to feel it.
 
Instead, health—physical and mental—is about choices. Each day, we can choose health. We can choose to focus on those behaviors that lead us toward greater health, or on those that lead us away. We can make small choices that improve our lifestyle and that make a positive impact on our mental health over time. We can choose behaviors that promote exercise (like joining my new “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” course-subscribe for more info, below!), and we can use exercise to help us feel healthier and engage in healthier lifestyle choices. That is how we achieve a balanced lifestyle. It truly is all about choice.
 
It can feel like a lot to tackle, but the idea isn’t to do all of these things right now. Choose one and start there. Then, add another. And remember that change takes time. I’ve heard it said that it takes sixty to ninety days to create a new habit. Give yourself the time you need to implement a healthier lifestlyle, piece by piece. Your body, and mind, will thank you for it.

 

Reflect for Success

1) How are your lifestyle choices influencing your life? Examine each lifestyle choice, below and ask yourself, “What are my strengths in this area?” and then, “What might I need to improve?” List the things you discover. Then, select one small change you can start making today. When you’ve accomplished that change, move on to another.
Sleep: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
Nutrition:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Family/Relationships:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Work:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Play & Downtime:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Stillness & Spiritual Connection:
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of this BONUS Chapter from my NEW Book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise! And coming soon…the “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” course! For more information, please subscribe to my newsletter, above right or below.

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
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

 

 

 

Register, just below, for INSTANT ACCESS to my FREE, 4-part series on “Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Hormones, Family Sleep, & Pregnancy, Postpartum & Motherhood!” And subscribe to my “Motherhood Essentials” newsletter for tips, recipes, and how-to’s on using essential oils for your family’s health and wellness!

 

 

 

Learn more about how you can be part of my NEW “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team and work directly with me! Join us as I mentor and teach you how to promote family health, happiness, and wellness through the incredible benefits of essential oils. For more details, click below!

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 
  Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

#LightTheWorld: 25 Days of Christmas Service, 25 Opportunities to Heal, Love, Grow

#LightTheWorld: 25 days of Christmas Service; 25 Opportunities to Heal, Love, Grow www.drchristinahibbert.com www.mormon.org

 

It’s Christmas time again, and that means decorations, lights, gifts, parties, and for most of us, stress. But is this what Christmas is really about? How often do we fail to remember the true meaning of Christmas–the loving–simply because we’re caught up in the doing?

Starting today, December 1st, join me and millions of others as we “Light the World” with 25 days and ways of Christlike service. Each day in December, select one way to love others–to do as Jesus Christ has always done and listen, share, be there, hug, heal, inspire, uplift, love. It doesn’t have to be a huge event; it doesn’t even need to add to your already busy schedule. All it takes is an open heart and eyes to see the needs around you. Then, a willingness to reach out in love.

 

Watch this 2-minute video to for inspiration and to learn more…

 

The Power of Service = The Power of Love

If there’s one thing I have learned through all of my personal trials and setbacks, stresses and burdens, it’s that serving others is one of the very best ways to heal ourselves and to grow. As we offer love, we can’t help but feel it in return; and we could all use a little more love in today’s world.

The Power to Heal

Whether you’re facing grief, loss, heartache, depression, anxiety, parenting stress, marital strain, relationship issues, health

My family with my friend's family, sending balloons to Jody in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

My family with my friend’s family, sending balloons to Jody in heaven to remember her one year death anniversary. We need each other.

concerns, etc., as you turn your mind to how you can love someone else, you will find your pain, sorrow, despair, burden lift and lighten. This is the gift of service and the gift of love–it heals, not only those we serve, but even more so, it heals us.

The Power to Grow

Love also grows us. It is through loving that we begin to comprehend our true worth, to see our strengths and abilities, and then we can choose to amplify them in the world.

One thing I know for sure is that each of us has a divine purpose and mission in life and this purpose is always about loving, in some form. Perhaps we love through teaching, or perhaps through learning; we may love through listening or through speaking; we may love by laboring with our hands or laboring with our minds and hearts.

Whatever we do, we do it because of love, and as we tap into that love and use it to serve those around us–our friends and family, yes, but also those we don’t yet know at all, we grow.

 

Light the World! In 25 Ways, over 25 Days

Will you join me? 25 days and 25 ways to serve and love others. In return, you’ll receive 25 days and at least 25 ways to experience love, healing and growth. Isn’t it worth your time and energy? I believe it absolutely is.

You can get started by visiting this post, with a free advent calendar you can download and post in your home. For each day in December, this calendar first lists how Jesus helped others and then offers suggestions for how you may do the same. It is a simple way to focus more on Christ this Christmas and to serve all month long and become more like Him.

Get your kids involved. Make it a family effort. Each person can select one item off the calendar each day for their service. And you’ll notice these aren’t difficult things to do: “point out a virtue in someone they don’t see in themselves,” “ask your children what they think you should pray about as a family,” “watch an online tutorial to learn a new skill that can benefit others.”

Watch this 30-second video to get started…

 

 

50 Ways to Offer Christlike Love & Service this Christmas & Holiday Season!

You may also opt to create your own “calendar” of service. Here are 50 suggestions to get you inspired!

  1. Use your mobile device or computer calendar and set a reminder for each day–to look for someone in need and serve them.
  2. Make an effort to smile at everyone you meet, even if you are having a bad day.
  3. Reply to an email from someone in need. I have several I’ve received through my website from those who are grieving and haven’t gotten to yet. My goal for today is to spend 30 minutes replying, to offer support, encouragement, and love.
  4. Listen to your child as s/he tells you about his/her day. Show them how much they matter.canstockphoto7236288
  5. Hug a friend when you see them, just because.
  6. Gather unused clothing items and donate them to a charity, shelter, or family in need.
  7. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Tell them how much you miss them.
  8. Read to children, at home or as a volunteer in a library, hospital, or school.
  9. Create something beautiful and give it away.
  10. Write a note to someone you love. Tell them how much they mean to you.
  11. Pay for the person behind you’s groceries or food in the drive-through.
  12. Help someone shovel snow or rake leaves/pine needles.
  13. As a family, gather gently used toys and household items and donate them to a shelter.
  14. Make a treat for someone who’s having a rough day and drop them by with a note that says, “Thinking of you.”
  15. Focus on how you serve your family. Notice the tasks, large and small that you’re already doing for them and infuse each one with just a little more love.
  16. Forgive someone.
  17. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who’s made a difference in your life. Show up on their doorstep and read it to them. Dr. Martin Seligman has found this one activity significantly increases happiness in both the giver and the receiver.
  18. Read a book that teaches you about loving, serving, or helping others. A parenting book, self-help book, or a book on a virtue you’re hoping to develop and share.
  19. Visit a Facebook support group or other online support group you’re a part of and offer virtual love and support to someone in need.
  20. If you see someone who looks down while you’re out, smile, ask how they’re doing, and offer a word of encouragement. I
    Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

    Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.

    always do this with new moms. Simply telling them, “It’s so hard, but it’s so worth it,” or “You’re doing a great job!” to a mom who’s struggling with a baby or young children in a store can make a huge difference.

  21. Look up ways you can help refugees in your area. Lifting Hands International is an incredible organization started by a friend of mine that offers many ways you can get involved. (Listen to my interview about this on “Motherhood,” here.) You can also visit this wishlist on Amazon and purchase items to help refugees.
  22. Teach your children a story from the life of Jesus Christ. Help them understand how to offer Christlike love to others.
  23. Pray as a family to know who needs your help each day.
  24. Watch others when you’re out doing your work or errands. Notice their struggles and offer a hand. Hold a door open, unload groceries for someone, pick up something they drop. Anything to show you see them and care.
  25. Share a message of hope, love, and encouragement on social media.
  26. Look for opportunities to donate to worthy causes and do so according to your family’s means.
  27. As a family, gather items that might be useful for a homeless person, like toothbrush/paste, warm socks/gloves, water, snacks, etc. Put together bags of these items and carry them in your car. When you see someone in need, offer them a care bag.
  28. For 24 hours, refrain from criticising anyone or anything. If you mess up, start over. Give the gift of a positive attitude to yourself and all around you! (P.S. It’s harder than you might think!)
  29. Learn more about a cause that stands out to you. Search for ways you can get involved.
  30. Volunteer for a warmline or hotline. Postpartum Support International is always looking for warmline volunteers, and here in AZ, our Postpartum Support Chapter is as well. (Email me (above right) if you’re interested and I’ll get you hooked up with the right people.)
  31. Sing to a child, to calm them or inspire them.
  32. If you play a musical instrument, volunteer to play at a retirement, assisted-living, or hospice home, or to play for someone who is elderly or ill. My son did this for a friend who is very sick with cancer the other week, and it was a joy for our entire family to see how happy it made her.
  33. Ask a meaningful question on Facebook or Instagram and then offer support. Something like, “What are your biggest struggles today?” or “How are you doing, in 3 words or less?” can open the door to seeing others’ needs and offering your love.
  34. Skype or Facetime with someone you haven’t seen in a while. Or, let your kids do so. My youngest’s best friend moved away a couple years ago, but we help them have “playdates” on Facetime often, to keep their friendship alive!
  35. Write a poem and send it to someone you love, admire, or just want to show you care.
  36. Turn off your phone and spend some time meditating today. Here’s a video to show you how. Focus on how grateful you are for all you’ve been given. Think of Jesus and how he lived. Commit to remember Him more often and strive to be more like Him.
  37. Start thinking about a quality, virtue, or trait you’d like to develop. Make a commitment to work on it for an entire year,
    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!

    starting this January. I do this every year and call it my Yearly Theme. It’s helped me develop and improve myself and become who I truly desire to be.

  38. Help someone who’s in a wheelchair, on crutches, or has a hard time standing or walking to walk.
  39. Call your mom or dad every week this month and tell them you love them.
  40. Make a video that teaches something valuable, to help those in need. Post it to YouTube and share on social media. I love doing this and have many such videos, all of them free, on my YouTube channel.
  41. When hugging your child, spouse, partner, or loved one, hold on extra long. Be the last to let go.
  42. Say, “I love you,” to at least 1 person every single day. The more often, the better!
  43. Adopt a family for Christmas. Get their wishlist and purchase gifts, wrap them, and deliver them as a family. We have done this so many years, and it’s our very favorite part of the holidays every time!
  44. Start a “Christmas Jar.” We do this every year, and it’s our best tradition. Set out a jar. Every family member puts their loose change, extra cash, and any other money they’d like to donate, into the jar. On Christmas Eve, wrap up the jar. Drive around until you find someone who looks down on their luck. We say a prayer before we go, to help us find the right person, and every single year, we know we’ve found the one who needed it most. Have the kids, or you, hop out of the car and hand them the Christmas Jar, saying, “Merry Christmas!” You can make such a difference doing this one activity.
  45. Think of someone you’ve had a hard time loving. Pray for ways to break through. Offer one loving gesture to them.
  46. Set up a family service swap! We love doing this one, too. During December, each of our family members must do one service for every other family member. It could be doing their chores for a night, hanging out with them for a special movie night, or letting them borrow something they’ve been wanting to use (for my teens, this is a biggie!). What a great way to inspire Christlike service in our own homes.
  47. Go caroling with family and friends. Visit the lonely, afflicted, and downtrodden and brighten their day.
  48. Let someone cry on your shoulder. Don’t try to fix things. Just say, “I’m so sorry” and “I am here.”
  49. When you see something good in someone else, tell them. Everybody loves a compliment.
  50. Commit to daily prayer, to express your gratitude and inspire you in the best ways to serve and love others.

Watch this video of my daughter and I singing “The Song of Love” we wrote together! 

What are you waiting for?

Now, get out there and do something. Anything. Start with a desire to try and a hopeful attitude, and even that is a great service you can begin giving today.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

Watch my FREE 4-Part Webinar Series on the Power of Essential Oils for Emotional Health, Family Sleep, Hormones, & Pregnancy/Postpartum Wellness!
Click below to register for instant access!

"Motherhood Essentials" FREE Webinar Series! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com #essentialoils for #sleep #emotionalhealth #hormones #pregnancy #postpartum #wellness

 #LightTheWorld: 25 days of Christmas Service; 25 Opportunities to Heal, Love, Grow www.drchristinahibbert.com www.mormon.org
Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

 

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

How to Sleep Better- Exercise, Mental Health & Tools to Cure Insomnia (Bonus Chapter from New Book!)

how-to-sleep-better-www-drchristinahibbert-comWe live in a sleep-deprived culture. Too many people fail to grasp the absolute necessity of adequate sleep; and chronic insomnia can impact our health drastically. Insomnia is associated with high blood pressure, fatigue, weight struggles, and memory loss. It’s also associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, stress, worry, poorer thinking, decision-making, and judgment, and overall, poorer coping (Heffron, 2014).

Sleep is as crucial to mental health as it is to physical health; maybe even more so. It serves to restore the mind, gives us energy to handle life’s situations, and helps us manage our emotions. Healthy sleep is associated with greater energy, learning, performance, and better overall health (Sleep Institute, 2009). As I often say, “Sleep better, cope better.”

I have long struggled with sleep and know firsthand the connection it has to mental wellbeing. Because of this, I’ve studied and treated sleep disturbances in my practice for many years, helping those with depression or anxiety or chronic stress understand the connection to sleep, and facilitating the creation of healthier sleep beliefs and behaviors. I know that when I’m sleep deprived I’m grumpy, irrational, and just can’t seem to be nice! I have less energy, I’m less likely to exercise, and I’m not alone.

It is estimated that:

  • 30-35% of adults have at least brief insomnia symptoms (Heffron, 2014).
  • 15-20% are diagnosed with a short-term insomnia disorder, lasting less than three months (Heffron, 2014).
  • 10% are diagnosed with a chronic insomnia disorder, lasting at least three months and occurring at least three nights per week (Heffron, 2014).
  • For many, staying asleep is more of an issue than falling asleep. In one study of 6,781 people with insomnia, only 38% struggled to initiate sleep while 61% had trouble staying asleep. 52% of those with insomnia also reported waking up too early in the morning (Walsh et al., 2011).
  • Without adequate sleep, we’re less likely to exercise. Disrupted sleep is correlated with a decreased desire to exercise and increased pain when exercising (Meney et al, 1998; VanHelder & Radomski, 1989).
  • Conversely, exercise improves quality and duration of sleep (Reid et al., 2010).

 

Spring-Cleaning for the Soul: 18 Ways to Be Happy, Healthy, & Sane; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Sleep Treatment

It’s estimated that four percent of adults in the U.S. use prescription sleeping pills each month (Heffron, 2014), and while these can be a helpful temporary fix under a doctor’s care, they can also have significant side effects and risks. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered an effective treatment for insomnia since it focuses on changing the underlying beliefs related to sleep. The tools of using thought records [click here to learn how] can also be applied to sleep.

Exercise is considered one of the best treatments for sleep in the long run, however. Over time, exercise calms a person’s stress response, and this, in turn, leads to a greater readiness to fall and stay asleep.

 

 

Exercise & Sleep

It has long been recognized that exercise is associated with higher quality sleep in people of all ages (King et al., 1997; Reid et al., 2010). But how, exactly, does this relationship work?

It appears that sleep may actually have a greater impact on exercise than exercise has on sleep, at least at first (Reynolds, 2013). When starting an exercise program, the amount of sleep you’ve had the night before actually influences how long, or if, you’ll exercise the next day. Those who have trouble falling and staying asleep the night before are less likely to exercise the following day, and if they do exercise, they’re more likely to feel pain and fatigue and quit earlier (Baron et al., 2013).

Continued, regular exercise will eventually lead to better quality and duration of sleep, but it may not happen the first night. One study showed it took four months of regular exercise for insomniacs to experience positive changes in sleep (Reid et al., 2010), but don’t let that discourage you. The effects of exercise on your sleep will become obvious over time. It may take a month, or several months, but stick with it and you’ll be sleeping well (Baron et al., 2013). In fact, the benefits of exercise on sleep appear to be as good or better than most sleeping pills and other treatments (Reynolds, 2013), so stick with it!

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

Tips for Improved Sleep

  • Make sleep a priority. Too many of us believe it’s okay to live a sleep-deprived life, but hopefully by now you can see this is flawed thinking. Make sleep a top priority in your life, focusing on ways to get to bed on time, to make up for lost sleep, and to let yourself rest when you need it.
  • Sleep seven to nine hours a night, on average. The total recommended sleep time will vary somewhat based on age, health, stress, and other factors, but in general, seven to nine hours is ideal.
  • Sleep debt is a real thing. When you’ve been getting too little sleep, you need to make it up if you want to be well. Taking naps, sleeping in on the weekends, and going to bed a little earlier a few times a week can all help you repay your sleep debt and get back on the healthy track.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Adults need bedtime routines just as much as babies and children do. Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, and the right temperature to encourage sleep. Use your bed for sleep only, and refrain from doing mentally stimulating activities in your bedroom like work or even watching TV. Your mind and body need time to calm down and prepare for sleep, so begin your routine an hour before bedtime. Do calming activities, like reading, taking a bath or shower, listening to calming music, or whatever promotes sleep for you.
  • Keep the same bed- and wake-times as much as possible, even on the weekends.
  • Avoid “screen time” close to bedtime. It gets your mind stimulated and can lead to poorer sleep. Turn off the TV, computer, or phone well before bed to let your brain calm down.
  • The more caffeine you consume, the poorer your quality of sleep and exercise will be. On the flip side, the more fatigued you are, the more likely you are to rely on caffeine to “wake up” in the day (National Sleep Foundation, 2009).
  • Exercise at least three hours before bed. This gives the body several hours to regain a cooler temperature, which is associated with better sleep (National Sleep Foundation, 2009).
  • Illness, stress, or even hormones can make you need more sleep, and many people feel sleepier in the winter months, as well. It’s a good thing to get a little extra sleep when your body’s craving it, so indulge!
  • Oversleeping is another sleep issue that is has been linked to increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, headaches, obesity, depression, and even death. If you’re sleeping more than the recommended seven to nine hours per night, on average, consult your physician. She can help you determine what might be contributing to your sleep problems and recommend treatment options (Ratini, 2012).
  • Use relaxation, essential oils, and other rest-promoting tools to improve quantity and quality of sleep. Join my FREE webinar on how essential oils can improve sleep--diffuse lavendar or a restful blend like Serenity at bedtime, in your own room and your childrens’; place a relaxing essential oil on the bottoms of your feet, back of the neck, or on your palms and cup your hands over your nose to inhale the rest-promting aroma. Or try a natural rest-promoting supplement, like Doterra’s Serenity blend, which is taken internally (more on Essential oils on my new “Motherhood Essentials” webpages and webinars). Other relaxation tools, like deep breathing, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation, will promote healthier sleep when practiced regularly, too.
  • And, of course, exercise regularly to build up a better quality and duration of sleep over time.

 

how-to-sleep-better-www-drchristinahibbert-com

Additionally…

If you suffer from insomnia, like so many do, try these suggestions: (redirect to website)

  • If thoughts, worries, and negative emotions flood you when you lie down to sleep, write them down and then “dream” yourself to sleep! Getting the thoughts or worries on paper gets them out of your head, reduces intense emotions, and gives you the chance to leave it ‘til morning and fall asleep easier. Then, instead of thinking of all the “negative” stuff before you fall sleep, focus on the good. Visualize your desires, hopes and vision for the future, and “dream” yourself to sleep. You’ll not only fall asleep smiling, you’ll sleep better and wake happier too!
  • If you can’t relax enough to fall asleep, practice relaxation skills and only go to bed when you’re sleepy. If you’re not sleepy yet, engage in a calm activity (like reading, light housework, etc.) until you’re ready to lie down. Learn relaxation skills like deep breathing, meditation, and visualization, and then practice these skills for 10-30 minutes before bed. Listening to the same soothing music each night is also a good way to condition your body to relax into sleep.
  • If you feel sleepy in the daytime and awake at bedtime, re-program your body to fall asleep on time. Limit caffeine and sugar after about three p.m. Set your alarm to start waking you up earlier. This should help you feel more tired at bedtime. If these aren’t working, your internal “clock” might be off. You can reset your circadian rhythms with light therapy. Sit in direct sunlight (either by a window or outside) in the early morning for 20-60 minutes each day for two weeks. If you don’t live in a sunny place, you can buy a light box for the same effect. Sunlight helps reset your body’s sleep patterns naturally, allowing you to fall asleep earlier and feel more rested in the daytime.
  • If you fall asleep fine, then wake up in the middle of the night and fall asleep, “get up” to get back to sleep.After 15-20 minutes, if you’re unable to sleep, leave your bed and engage in a calm, quiet activity until you feel sleepy enough to try to fall asleep. Repeat as needed. Though it may not happen immediately (or even that same night), you’ll eventually get tired enough to sleep again.
  • If you’re a clock-watcher, lying awake, counting the minutes of sleep you’ve lost and reminding yourself just how tired you’ll be the next day, then turn the clock around and stop telling yourself lies. Watching the clock sets you up for failure, filling your mind with negative thoughts that make sleep even more elusive. Instead, set your alarm before bed, then turn the clock around. If you can’t see it, you’ll be forced to let it go. Stop criticizing yourself for your lack of sleep. Most of what you’re saying is probably not even true–you can’t predict tomorrow, and it certainly won’t help you sleep any better tonight.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of insomnia causes and cures (pun intended), but these suggestions are a great place to start. If, however, you’ve tried these things and nothing seems to help, you may be experiencing a sleep disorder. Talk to your healthcare provider, who can refer you to a sleep specialist.

 

 

Read Part 1 of this BONUS Chapter from my NEW Book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

and watch for Part 3 on Nutrition, Exercise, and Health & Wellness, coming soon!

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is here!

“…Enlightening and empowering…” ~Publisher’s Weekly

Order online at Norton.com, AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com, or visit your local bookseller today!

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with 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

Build true self-worth, confidence, and love with “Who Am I Without You.”
Available now at
TargetAmazonBarnes & NobleNew Harbinger, or your local bookseller!

 

 

Watch my “Postpartum Couples” DVD FREE, online!

Click here for details.

rp_IMG_7423-320x290.jpg

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Take my FREE Webinar, “Intro to Women’s Emotions,” or register for my 3-part Webinar Course on “Women’s Emotions: Caring for your Brain, Hormones, and Mental Health to Overcome, Become & Flourish!’

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

 

 

Creating a Healthy #Lifestyle- #Exercise, #Work, #Play #Support #spirituality www.DrChristinaHibbert.com (Bonus Chapter from "8 Keys to #MentalHealth Through Exercise!")
Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

Mom Mental Health Through Exercise: Pregnancy, Postpartum, Motherhood & Beyond

Exercise for Mental Health: How to Get (& Stay Motivated)

40 Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationship, Mental & Physical Health

50 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercise to Improve Self-Esteem

Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun!

Meditation for Mental Health, Personal & Spiritual Growth: The Spirit Meditation

 

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS