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,

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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!

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My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise“ is

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
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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!

 

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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)

 

 

Announcing “Motherhood Essentials!” Empowerment for Family Health, Wellness & Finances plus FREE Webinars & Giveaway!

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It’s an exciting day, friends! A day when I get to share with you something I’ve been passionate about for years–something that has empowered me as a mother and expanded my family’s health, wellness and happiness: essential oils.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking:

“Essential oils? That’s what you’re so passionate about? Are you serious?” Yes. I am.

Believe me, I once felt like many of you–skeptical, to say the least. “How could a little bottle of plant extract actually do anything for me? Isn’t it all just a placebo effect?”

Now, after years of experimenting with essential oils, studying the research, and finding my own results time and again, I can tell you: “They DO work, and not just a placebo.”

 

 

The Power of Essential Oils: My Firsthand Experiences

One week post-concussion.

One week post-concussion.

I was first introduced to essential oils several years ago, while visiting a friend who was recovering from a broken femur (ouch!). This friend had been a go-to for me before for natural solutions to family health issues (like using vapor rub and apple cider vinegar on chest and bottoms of the feet for croup–and trust me, it works!). This friend had another friend who was a master of such things, and was happy to pass on everything she learned. Now, with a very painful broken leg, my friend had turned to her friend and her friend had introduced her to essential oils, to which she introduced me (have I sufficiently confused you yet?).

 

The point is, she became hooked on essential oils because of the real-life results she was experiencing as the oils soothed, comforted and supported the healing of her broken leg. As she told me of these results, I was intrigued. Then, when she told me how essential oils were supporting her children’s health during cold and flu season, I was sold (she has 7 kids!). I ordered my first essential oils from doTERRA–lemon, peppermint, and On Guard, a blend protective blend that protects against environmental and seasonal threats and supports a healthy immune system, and started using them with my own family.

 

I, too, became hooked. The more I used the oils, the more benefits I saw, not only for myself, but for my entire family. Having these oils on hand–even just the few I started with–gave me something I desperately craved as a mother when it came to my family’s health and wellness: options. Since then, I’ve grown in my understanding of how to use essential oils, and in the results they have offered. My kids started asking me, “Mom can you make me a ‘cocktail’ (as we call it)? I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a cold.” To this day I make these “cocktails” for the kids, which now include oregano, lemon, peppermint, and On Guard. Even my college-aged son recently stopped by to get a “cold cocktail” from mom before heading on a trip out of town, to combat his scratchy throat and sniffles. I love that my children feel empowered through essential oils, too.

 

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

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

I starting using essential oils like lavender to relax at night and help my kids and I sleep better, and now, lavender is always with me–it’s great for relieving itchy bug bites, calming nerves, and a host of other things. I diffuse my favorite uplifting blend, Elevation, to lift our family’s mood during the day, and I diffuse Serenity to help us calm down at night. I use doTERRA‘s Balance blend every day to bring more balance to my moods, and I love the Clary Calm blend and phytoestrogen supplement when hormones are wreaking havoc on me. In fact, I now start each day with a health shake that includes doTERRA’s Terra Greens “green drink” mix, and take the lifelong vitality pack of nutritional supplements/vitamins, including important omega-3’s (which actually improve mental health as well as physical).

 

In times of distress, I’ve also learned to turn to essential oils.

I used essential oils after a car accident I was in two years ago, especially doTERRA‘s Deep Blue soothing blend to combat the pain and discomfort of whiplash and for the lasting tightness in my shoulders and neck.

A few months ago, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after a concussion. Essential oils to the rescue! I employed an arsenal of oils to to help with the bruising, swelling, muscle pain, anxiety, stress, and headaches–still do.

And just a couple months ago, my daughter was stung by a bee just as we were leaving the funeral of yet another loved one, and within 30 minutes, a blend of spikenard and petitgrain essential oils had not only stopped her pain and misery; she excitedly showed me she could no longer see where the sting had even been!

Yes, essential oils work, and as a mother I love having these incredible options in my family health and wellness toolbox.

 

 

A Valuable Addition to your Family Health & Wellness “Toolbox”

That’s what family health and wellness are all about, right? Options. Having the tools in our physical and emotional health “toolbox” to turn to in times of need empowers us. These tools should include things like proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise; a willingness to examine our emotional health and wellness, to seek support and talk about these things. At times, outside help is part of our toolbox, including psychotherapy, faith counseling, doctor visits, and yes, medications. But is that all? No. At least, it doesn’t have to be.

 

Essential oils are an incredible addition to our family physical and emotional health and wellness toolbox. They’re not THE answer; they’re AN answer, an important one that can empower us as mothers, parents, and individuals with the options we need to increase our family’s physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health and to help the entire family “overcome, become, and flourish!”

Join the "Motherhood Essentials" Team, with Dr. Christina Hibbert! www.MotherhoodEssential.com www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

That’s why I’m thrilled to share with you my newest venture: “Motherhood Essentials!” including FREE Webinars & Giveaway!

Enter “Motherhood Essentials“–my new essential oils education, inspiration, empowerment, and leadership team!

I am partnering with doTERRA to bring their high quality essential oils to you–to help you learn how to use essential oils so you can experience the incredible benefits for your family.

I’m even more excited to provide opportunities for you to work directly with me to share these incredible products, support, and free eduction with others, all while fulfilling your own dreams and goals–personally and financially!

I can’t explain why it’s taken me so long to reach out and share the education, research, and “how-to’s” of essential oils I’ve learned, loved, and used so often, with all of you. I did write a blog post on essential oils sharing my favorite health and wellness benefits for families several months ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to make this a whole new venture.

FREE Webinar & Giveaway! How to Enter…"Motherhood Essentials" w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

And as part of this launch, I’m also doing a FREE webinar series (see more info below), and an incredible GIVEAWAY of a doTERRA Family Physician kit (over $130 value!)!

There are 3 Ways to Enter:

1) REGISTER for my FREE webinar series, here.

2) Join my “Motherhood Essentials” Facebook Group.

3) Subscribe to my Motherhood Essentials Newsletter.

If you do all three, you’ll not only get fabulous FREE education, recipes, “how-to’s” and more; you’ll also get three entries! Enter now!

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My Motherhood Essentials “Why”…

I’ve asked myself many times, “Why am I doing this?” I’ve long preached about the importance of having a strong “why,” and after months of thought, prayer, and pondering, that’s exactly what I have–a powerful “why.”

 

I chose to create “Motherhood Essentials” for this simple reason: I love essential oils, and I love sharing and teaching about them. As an individual and parent, I use them everyday. As a psychologist, I’ve come to appreciate not only the physical health benefits of essential oils we so often hear about, but also some more surprising benefits–like benefits to emotional health, sleep, hormones, in pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond (join my FREE webinar series on this!). I am passionate about educating as many people as I can so they can reap these benefits, too.

 

Yes, I created “Motherhood Essentials” because I believe in doTERRA essential oils, because I want to share them with all of you, and because this blends perfectly into the work I have already been doing for years–offering education, inspiration, and showing as many people as I can how to “overcome, become, and flourish!” Essential oils is just one more way to do this.

 

 Learn more about the surprising benefits of essential oils for emotional health, sleep, hormones, and pregnancy/postpartum in this episode of Motherhood TV!

 

 

Why doTERRA essential oils?

1) “Quality matters, folks!” That’s what one of the top researchers on infectious diseases stated at the doTERRA One convention a couple months ago [1], as sheEssential Oils-Why Quality Matters www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com shared fascinating new research on the remarkable ways essential oils can work. doTERRA is tops when it comes to quality. (Learn more about why quality matters here).

 

2) They’re safe for the whole family. Because doTERRA oils are such high quality, they are a safe alternative or addition to other preventatitve and treatment options and can be used for the whole family, when used in the prescribed ways. (Learn more about how to use essential oils here.)

 

3) They work. Period. And in more ways than you’d guess! Dr. Parish’s research is even finding that the same oils can work in different ways for different organisms. This means How do I use essential oils? www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comthe health and wellness potential for essential oils is endless! In fact, Dr. Parish’s latest research is finding that essential oils have “some of the most powerful antimicrobial compounds in existence, and with further testing and research, they could lead to a whole new class of medications.”[2] In fact, new research is looking into essential oils as a new alternative to antibiotics. “Various oils have also been shown to effectively treat a wide range of common health issues such as nausea and migraines, and a rapidly growing body of research is finding that they are powerful enough to kill human cancer cells of the breast, colon, mouth, skin, and more.”[3]

 

4) They empower parents. Yes, these little bottles of essential oils empower us. Or, they have the potential to, if we allow them. Like I did, you too can just give them a try. Add lemon to your water for flavor and detoxification benefits. Add lavender to a hot bath for a relaxing soak and more restful sleep. Diffuse emotional aromatherapy oils in your home What are Essential Oils? "Motherhood Essentials" www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comfor a more peaceful environment. Or, try some of the exciting new doTERRA products, like Serenity sleep-promoting softgels or the Onguard blend I love so much. The point is, with essential oils in our toolkit, we have more options to turn to when we need them. And that is empowering.

 

5) doTERRA is a stand-up company. I had the opportunity to attend my first doTERRA convention a couple months ago, and I was blown away. Not only by the research, presentations, and quality of the entire convention, but even more so by the quality of the doTERRA company. Here are just a few facts about doTERRA:

  • doTERRA gives back–The thing I am most impressed about with doTERRA is how it serves so many around the world. doTERRA’s Healing Hands Foundation, partners "Motherhood Essentials" Home Page w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comwith wellness advocates like me to serve and provide financial support to needy communities around the globe. They were the first on the scene to help rebuild Napal after the devastating earthquakes of 2015, building the first new structures and schools, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars for relief efforts, and providing over 2,000 new jobs for families there. But this is just one of the ways doTERRA is making a global impact. They are involved in countless projects and efforts around the globe, in addition to providing jobs through sourcing facilities and contracts, and are also a part of Days for Girls, a non-profit that empowers young women and girls discover their potential and build self-worth through ensuring quality feminine hygiene products are available. I love what doTERRA is doing to serve. I am proud to be a part of this company.
  • doTERRA is a science and research– based company. doTERRA is also transparent in their testing of each bottle of essential oil and has even created a website where you can search the lot number of your bottle of oil and see the farmers, growers and GCMS report.
  • doTERRA sources their quality essential oils all over the world. With over 100 essential oils in its product line, doTERRA sources its oils from over 40 countries —more than half of which could be considered developing countries. To ensure that small scale farmers and harvesters in disadvantaged areas are treated ethically, dōTERRA has introduced an initiative called Cō-Impact Sourcing. It is remarkable how doTERRA has created a global network that empowers growers, developers, harvesters, and advocates around the world!

Join the 'Motherhood Essentials" Leadership Team & Work with Me! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

 

Join me, and see what we can Accomplish with ‘Motherhood Essentials!”

Bottom line: I want you to join me. I want you to be part of this “Motherhood Essentials” team and mission. I am sharing this new Motherhood Essentials team with you to empower you and invite you to join us–however best suits your family’s needs.

My threefold purpose with Motherhood Essentials (and I hope you’ll join me in this purpose) is to:"Motherhood Essentials" FREE Webinar Series! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com #essentialoils for #sleep #emotionalhealth #hormones #pregnancy #postpartum #wellness

1) Educate. The research and education on essential oils is solid, and it’s growing every day. I’m all about education. I love helping others learn, grow, and discover new ways to help themselves and their families. That’s why I’ve already set up my new “Motherhood Essentials” Webinar Series! In this FREE, online series, you can learn more about essential oils and how to use them for family emotional health, better sleep, to manage hormones and women’s health issues, in pregnancy and postpartum, and beyond. Join me and register for this incredible FREE series today! You can also join me for educational classes, posts and discussions by joining my Motherhood Essentials Facebook group, following me and our Motherhood Essentials posts on Instagram . I can’t wait to teach you how to USE these fabulous tools!

 

2) Share. I want to share these oils with you–to help you learn how to use them for greater health and wellness in your life. I also want to help you share these oils with others. You can join me for mentoring, leadership training, education, and other powerful skills by working with me; or, if you’re not ready to work with me, you can join our team in other ways!

 

3) Expand and grow. I only take on new projects when I believe they’re essential (pun intended) to my own personal growth and development, and my family’s. I truly believe "Motherhood Essentials" w/Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrchristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.comsharing and educating folks on doTERRA essential oils is part of my personal growth mission, and if it’s part of yours, too, then I want to help you expand your horizons and grow with me, as well.

 

 4) Work with you! Even more exciting, I am also building a “Motherhood Essentials” Leadership Team, and I want you to join me! Whether you’re looking for your next adventure, wanting something new, or looking to educate and inspire others in health and wellness; whether you’re looking to supplement or even replace your income while you learn, grow, and work with me, then I am looking for you! That’s the exciting thing about this leadership team–it means I get to work directly with go-getters like many of you who are passionate about family health and wellness, too. Together, we can share essential oils, provide rockin,’ free education, inspire others on the “how-to’s” of essential oil use, and empower moms, dads, and families to fulfill their health and wellness, and even financial, goals and dreams! If you’re ready for this, then join me! Click here to learn more and to apply.

 

 

Work with me on my "Motherhood Essentials" Leadership team! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com

That about sums it up…

I hope you feel inspired to get started with essential oils, and I really hope that if you are inspired, you’ll register for my FREE webinar series today.

The most important thing you can do is at least give essential oils a try. If you love them, then you’ll have some incredible new tools in that toolbox we talked about. If not, well, at How Do I Get Started with Essential Oils? www.DrChristinaHibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssentials.comleast you’ll know. Learn more about what essential oils really are, why quality matters, how to use essential oils, and how to get started by clicking one of these links. Then, join my Facebook group and follow our Instagram account and check out our posts. And, just see what you think.

I hope you’ll choose to try essential oils out, to give yourself, and your family, the option of essential oils. And I hope you will choose to do so with me.

Here’s to an exciting “Motherhood Essentials” Team adventure!

 

 

 

 

Listen to my Motherhood Episode “Motherhood Essentials: Support for Emotions, Sleep, Hormones, & Finances!” here, and for direct access to new episodes subscribe to us iTunes or watch episodes on YouTube or myNEW webpage, “Motherhood TV!.”

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Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

 

 

 

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.

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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

 

 

Join my "Motherhood Essentials" Team! Learn with me, work with me, win with me! www.DrChristinhibbert.com www.MotherhoodEssential.com #essentialoils #motherhood #giveaway #webinars #work #opportuity
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Related Posts/Articles:

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

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

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8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

 

[1] doTERRA One Convention. (Sept. 15, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT). Live address by Dr. Nicole Parish.

[2] The Alternative Daily. “Essential Oils vs. Antibiotics.” http://www.thealternativedaily.com/essential-oils-vs-antibiotics/

[3] The Atlantic. (Jan 16, 2015). “Essential Oils Might Be The New Antibiotics.” http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-new-antibiotics-might-be-essential-oils/384247/

What are Essential Oils?

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Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils have been used throughout history for their amazing health benefits.  Essential oils are effective! They are highly concentrated and 50-70x more powerful than herbs.

Have you ever wondered what the role of essential oils is in plants? Essential oils play key roles in the reproductive, protective, and regenerative processes of the plant.  Check out this video from doTERRA explaining these powerful potions:

 

 

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3 Steps to Enhancing & Trusting Your Intuition

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Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I wanted to see if I really could hear and follow my “conscience,” my intuition, the Spirit, the whispers. So, I did an experiment. I decided that, for one week, I would listen extra carefully to that inner, guiding voice and obey whatever it told me to do. It changed my life.

 

I’ve always been a spiritually-focused person. I pray, meditate, and study scriptures each day. I’ve always felt the bigger, greater purpose in life and have sought to know more about it. Now, however, I was learning in a whole new way–not with my brain, mind, or even my heart, but from the depths of my spirit, my soul. The more I slowed down and paid attention, the more whispers I heard. The more I heard, the more I followed, and quickly I began to see the miracle of trusting my intuition–peace. Peace, because life became so much smoother. Not easier, exactly, but smoother–like following a trail of bread crumbs toward a desired result.

 

Yes, a few of the bigger things felt smoother. Things like big decisions I needed to make about school and family life, or changes in my schedule that led to greater balance in my school, family, and home life with my husband and two children. Even more so, however, it was the little things. “The baby’s crying after his nap, but I just got in the bath. Ugh! I guess I’ll get out,” I’d tell myself. Then, I’d hear, “Wait.” So, I would. And you know what? He’d fall back asleep for another half hour. Or I’d feel I should stop for gas now, even though I still had a quarter tank left and wanted to just get home. But, I would, and the next morning, leaving for a long drive I’d be running late and think, “I’m so glad I don’t have to stop for gas right now!” Life felt so much smoother.

 

These big and little things taught me a valuable lesson: We all have this inner voice–intuition, conscience, the Spirit (whatever you want to call it)–and when we work on enhancing our ability to listen to and trust it, the payoff can be great. As I wrote in This is How We Grow: “We spend so much time and energy trying to do it on our own, do it our way, that we miss the very voice whispering exactly what we need. By submitting, humbling ourselves, and actively listening to those whispers, we receive answers, and by obeying those promptings we receive an ease and certainty about life. As one author so aptly put it: ‘Knock, ask, listen, receive, obey.’ It really is the simplest and most fulfilling way to live.” (p.388-9)

Paddle-boarding on a still lake at dawn--peaceful, quiet, ready to listen.

Paddle-boarding on a still lake at dawn–peaceful, quiet, ready to listen.

 

Yes, following our intuition is the simplest and most fulfilling way to live. It can not only protect us and keep us safe, through warnings and promptings that we heed; it can also lead us down that path of prosperity, peace, and personal power. It can lead us to the life we are meant to live, the work we are meant to do, the person we are destined to become. We will feel the power of following our intuition as we seek to enhance our ability to trust and obey the whispers. (For more, listen to my episode of “Motherhood” on Trusting your Intuition, and hear about a revolutionary home security system, SimpliSafe, too! For safety tips, follow SimpliSafe on Twitter!)

Watch the YouTube video of “Trusting and Following Your Intuition” here.

 

 

3 Steps to Enhancing and Trusting Intuition

The big question, as always, though, is how? How can we enhance our ability to hear, trust, and follow our intuition–in the small and big things of life? I have three simple steps I have found useful. I hope they will do the same for you!

 

1) Decide. First, we must decide we want to live this way–we want to follow our intuition and see where it leads us. That’s what author Gail Harris encouraged in our recent “Motherhood” radio episode on trusting our intuition, and I agree. Until we decide to live by our intuition–to trust and obey those whispers–we simply won’t be committed enough to actually hear and follow them. We must choose to trust that inner voice in order to then practice trusting and following it.

 

2) Experiment and practice. Just like I did years ago, it’s important to experiment and practice hearing and trusting your inner voice. If you’ve already decided this is how you want to live, then you’re well on your way. Next, you can choose to put that desire into daily, hourly, and really, moment-ly practice. It will take time to learn to hear the whispers of the Spirit, your conscience, or your intuition. Give yourself that time. It will take practice, trial and error, to know when it’s trying to tell you something, to stop and pay attention, and to follow. When you don’t listen and follow your intuition, you’ll know, because you’ll come to a block or a challenge or a realization that “I should’ve listened…” We practice, and we learn, and we practice again, and practice makes progress. Practice will eventually enhance our ability to trust, follow, and obey our intuition.

3 Steps to Enhancing and Trusting Intuition www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

3) Listen and obey. This is part of experimenting and practicing, but deserves its own step, because it’s really “the way” we learn to trust and follow our intuition. Moment by moment, listen for the whispers. Hear what they’re telling you. It may not actually sound like words but might be more of a feeling of what to do or not do. Pay attention to this feeling. Remember, intuition is soft and quiet. It’s not a loud shouting voice or feeling; it’s most often gentle but direct guidance. If you’re not still and quiet enough to listen, you will miss many of those promptings. Make stillness a part of your intuition practice. Meditate, pray, ponder, or just sit still and “be” for a while. Journal about what you hear or feel or sense within. All of these can help you develop that ability to more easily hear or feel those whispers as you grow.

 

Many people ask, “How do I know if it’s my intuition or just my brain, telling me what to do?” Here’s what I tell them: Your conscience won’t argue or reason about things; it will simply tell it like it is. “Do this.” “Don’t do that.” If you’re hearing things like, “Maybe I should…,” “I wonder if…” or “But what if…” it’s more likely your mind or brain reasoning things out. While it’s important to use our brains to reason things out sometimes, intuition works in a different way. It says it like it is. No “should’s” or “what if’s,” just direct, simple, soft guidance. Following our intuition is about learning to hear and trust those direct whispers that will lead us to Truth and Love and Joy and Peace–to our ultimate life’s purpose and the fulfillment of it.

 

 

Final Step…Repeat, and Learn

Repeat this process as many times as it takes to trust yourself and the guidance you continually receive. This is a skill, just like learning to play a musical instrument, and it must be practiced daily in order to feel proficient at it. In fact, for most of us I’d say our practice will most likely be life-long.

 

What’s the payoff? You’ll have to discover that for yourself, but from my experience, overall, the payoff of living by trusting and following your intuition is living with greater peace. Peace with knowing you’re doing what is “right” for you at every step, peace with feeling the power of a life of intuition that leads you to who you’re destined to be, and peace with yourself, for letting yourself be led where you ultimately need to go.

 

Listen to my episode of “Motherhood” radio on “Trusting and Following Your Intuition,” and learn about SimpliSafe, too! “Choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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My new book, available on Amazon.com!

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

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

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Exercise for Mental Health: Key 1, Make it Fun! (My “8 Keys” book launch at Zion Ponderosa’s Women’s Adventure Retreat!)

Exercise for Mental Health-Key 1, Make it Fun! My %228 Keys%22 Book Launch at Zion Ponderosa Women's Adventure Retreat www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

 

When it comes to mental health, happiness, and life satisfaction, there’s one common denominator: exercise.

 

The research on exercise and mental health is clear and solid: exercise is like medicine in the treatment of mental issues and disorders. From greater creativity, insight, and spiritual connection, to higher energy, less stress, and better sleep; from calming the anxious mind to relieving the depressed spirit, exercise is key. I’ve long been an advocate of exercise for mental health, but after writing “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” I have a new, eye-opened appreciation for the power of physical activity in our lives.

 

Exercise for Mental Health, Happiness & Life Satisfaction!

Exercise for Mental Health at ZionPonderosa Resort!

Rock wall climbing at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort

When many of us think of exercise, however, we think of pain or suffering or misery! Just the other day, while visiting my mother-in-law, I was doing my “P90X, Kenpo X” workout. When she saw me breathing heavy and sweating like crazy, she said, “This is what makes me want to run from exercise. When I see you doing that, it looks so hard, and that’s what makes me feel like I just want to go to the beach and read a book instead.”

 

Now, let me tell you, my mother-in-law is highly active. She’s a wonderful example of keeping moving, no matter your age–playing pickleball almost every morning for several hours! But to her, what I was doing didn’t look like fun at all. And even though it’s not necessarily my idea of “fun” either, it is fun for me to do different activities to keep my body adapting and changing in new and healthy ways, and that’s exactly what I was doing.

 

Hear this: You don’t have to suffer through exercise. You can, and should make it fun for you! Do what you find enjoyable. My husband golfs and plays basketball. My mother-in-law plays pickleball. My sons lift heavy weights. My daughters run on the golf course with the dog, ride bikes, and play tag. I don’t do any of these things regularly, like they do. I do what I like to do–walking, jogging, hiking, Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, bike-riding, weight-lifting, core training, and back in the day, I used to enjoy teaching step aerobics! (Yes, I was one of those up there with my leotard and tights calling out, “up, up, down, down, turn step, step kick….)

 

Times change, and so do our interests, but one thing remains the same: exercise can be, and should be fun!

 

 

Fun, Adventure, and Exercise for Mental Health: Zion Ponderosa Women’s Getaway!

Isn't this place gorgeous?! Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

Isn’t this place gorgeous?! Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.

So, get this. My brand new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” officially comes out on April 26th (unofficially, you can pre-order through Norton.com with code HIBBERT, get 25% off, free shipping, and get it now!).

 

Guess where I will be on April 26th? At an incredible women’s adventure retreat at Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort! They’ve invited me, as a guest blogger, to experience this retreat with all kinds of amazing activities and natural beauty, and it just happens to be the same week as the release of my new book on exercise! Talk about meant-to-be!

 

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise_978-0-393-71122-6 copy

Horseback riding is a great physical activity, too!

And talk about making exercise fun! For an entire week, I will be hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, zip-lining, ATV-riding, rapelling, and exploring the grandeur of Zion National Park. I will also get to go paint-balling, sand surfing in the sand dunes, swimming surrounded by the beauty of Utah, and on a helicopter tour! And the best part? I get to share it all with you through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, here on this blog, and even on my radio show, Motherhood!

 

Zion Ponderosa’s Retreat is a perfect example of making exercise fun, adventurous, and enjoyable. It’s a way to reap the mental and physical health benefits of exercise while touching nature in a grand fashion. (Just see the amazing pictures in this post!)

 

I cannot wait to get out, have some fun, and be adventurous at this getaway retreat, which has been called the “Best Active Women’s Getaway Experience.” (For more on Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, and their Women’s Getaway, click here.)

 

 

5 Ways to Make Exercise more Fun

I realize we can’t all go away on an adventure retreat. I was just lucky that they selected me to participate. And certainly, we can’t do big adventurous activities every day. But, we can apply the same idea of fun and adventure to our daily lives, and when we do so, we will reap all the incredible benefits exercise has to offer. Here are a few ways to get started today!

 

1) Pick activities that make you smile. It doesn’t have to be an exercise video, jogging, or going to the

The benefits of hiking--incredible views! Mark Wade, from Zion Ponderosa, at Observation Point.

The benefits of hiking–incredible views! Mark Wade, from Zion Ponderosa, at Observation Point.

gym. Exercise can include dancing, swimming, Zumba, playing with your kids, rollerblading, and so much more! Pick activities that get you moving while helping you have fun. Pick activities that you love!

 

2) Get outdoors! Exercising outside is not only beneficial because it gets you moving; it also gets you into the sun, which has been shown to improve mood, too. Nature is also an important element in boosting the mental health benefits of exercise.  The more you get outside to get moving, the happier you’ll feel!

 

3) Try something new. If you’re not sure what you enjoy, pick something you’ve always wanted to try and go for it. Perhaps you want to go kayaking or try paddle-boarding, or give skiing or snowboarding a try with some lessons. It’s good for us to break out of our rut by trying something new, and especially by trying something adventurous. You just might find a new favorite activity, and in the meantime, your brain and body will enjoy learning new skills.

 

4) Exercise with those you love. Friends, family, your partner–whomever you enjoy being around,

Ziplining--a new adventure at Zion Ponderosa Resort.

Ziplining–a new adventure at Zion Ponderosa Resort.

exercise with them. This not only improves your own mental and physical health; it will improve your family member’s health, and can also improve your relationships. That’s a win-win, and plus, it’s a lot more fun being adventurous and active together!

 

5) Let loose! Don’t hold yourself back for fear of looking or feeling silly. If you feel like dancing, crank up the music and dance! If you feel like riding your bike along the beach, go for it! If you want to try a new class at the gym, give it a shot! When we let go of our inhibitions, exercise becomes fun. When exercise is fun, we enjoy it, and stick with it, so much better.

 

 

 

For more on exercise and mental health, check out my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise.”  

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise
Pre-Order on Norton.com and SAVE 25% plus free shipping, with the code HIBBERT,
 or order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Target.com, or Walmart.com!

 

 

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Related Posts/Articles:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Anxiety & Women

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

 

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

 

 

What is Anxiety?

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

 

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

 

What is an “Anxiety Disorder?”

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

 

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

 

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

 

Anxiety & Hormones

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Anxiety, Hormones & Sleep

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

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

 

What can You Do for Anxiety?

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

You can beat Anxiety!

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

How to Feel More Peace & Joy This Season

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #mind #body #wellness #mentalhealth #healthThe body and mind are inextricably linked. What we do to one affects the other. When we care for one, we care for the other. How can we take better care of our bodies to improve our physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual wellness?

 

Body-Mind Connection

First, it’s important to really understand this body-mind connection. As I wrote in my forthcoming book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise (coming early 2016!): “The research is clear: our brain, immune and endocrine systems, nervous system, and our body’s organs share a chemical language with our emotional responses. They are literally in communication with one another continually (Gordon, 2000). The mind and body are basically inseparable.”

The fact is that powerful emotions, when unfelt, remain in our muscles and body. Emotions like grief, pain, heartache, fear, anxiety, and sadness can get stuck inside, causing all sorts of physical problems. If we want to be mentally and emotionally well, then we must remember to care for our bodies.

 

Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

Body-mind wellness can begin with either the body or the mind. When we work on one, we help the other. In this article, we’re focusing on caring for the body; that’s why I’m using the term “body-mind,” instead of “mind-body.” If we want to be well–body, mind, and soul–then we must focus on caring for all parts of us.

The beauty of taking care of our bodies is that it can empower us. It not only makes us physically stronger, but it also helps us realize that we have the power. We have the power to make change–to overcome mental and physical distress by working to bring more balance into our lives. As I say about balance, “it’s all about choices.” We each have a choice–to continue to run ourselves ragged, to neglect our bodies and therefore our mental and spiritual health, or to do something. To make choices that empower our physical and mental health, leading to greater health, energy, healing, and to greater joy.

 

6 Strategies for Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment

The following six strategies are a great starting place if you want to increase your body-mind wellness and if you want to empower your body and yourself. Start by practicing one of these strategies, and then when you’ve got a grip on that one, move on and practice another. These are all things that can be done at home, and they’re all things that can make a huge difference in your life, so make a commitment to care for your body (and mind) today!

 

1) Physical Activity (yes, Exercise).

When many people see that word, “exercise,” they immediately run away (pun intended). But the Body-Mind Wellness & Empowerment; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com, www.exercise4mentalhealth.com #exercise #health #mentalhealthtruth is that exercise is the single best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. And it’s not as hard as most people think. It’s really about being physically active–in whatever way you can. It’s about finding activities you enjoy, about moving your body as often as you can, and about taking it slowly, one step at a time (literally.) As I wrote in 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise (coming early 2016!), “Were exercise available in a pill, everyone would take it. It’s that good.” If you want a strong, empowered body and mind, then exercise is the way.

Stretching is crucial to overcoming muscle tension, to keeping us limber as we grow older, and to helping us relax. Try yoga, pilates, or light stretching in the morning, after activities, or before bed.

Cardiovascular exercise, like walking, bike-riding, or even playing with your kids in the yard, not only improves your heart and keeps you in shape; it’s a miracle drug for your mental health. It is one of the best ways to increase energy, mental clarity, and to overcome feelings of depression, and it also increases oxygen flow in your body, which can help reduce stress and tension.

Resistance training, like lifting weights, doing push-ups, or using bands to build muscle and tone up is wonderful for relieving anxiety and tension in the body. If you’re feeling stressed and tense, go lift some weights. (For more on exercise, read: 40 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Exercise, or Get Mentally & Physically FITT: How to Create an Exercise Program that Works. And visit http://www.exercise4mentalhealth.com for more on my new book!)

 

2) Breathing. 

Simply put, our bodies and minds need oxygen! When we feel stressed, worried, or depressed, we often hold our breath, or we get so busy in life that we forget to practice breathing in ways that calm and help us.

Deep breathing is one of the best things we can learn to reduce stress, to tackle problems in life, and to increase physical and mental health. This video can show you how.

 

3) Sleep.

Quite frankly, most of us don’t get enough sleep. Our bodies need sleep to restore health and wellness, and our minds desperately need sleep to be fresh, energized, and well. Sleep recharges the brain, solidifies memories, increases learning, and gives us the rest we so desperately need every single day. Sleep deprivation builds up over time, and eventually can create or exacerbate symptoms of mental illness, not to mention how it can lead to physical illness, injury, and pain.

Most people need 7-9 hours a night, and if you’re not getting it, then it’s time to focus on repaying your sleep debt. Naps, sleeping in on days off or weekends, and for parents, getting someone to watch the kids while you sleep, are all great ways to get a few more zzz’s. This article, Sleep Better, Cope Better: 6 Insomnia Causes & Cures, can help, too!

 

4) Rest/Relaxation.

Rest and relaxation is not the same as sleep. It might include a nap or some sleep, but resting is really about recharging your body, mind, and spirit. Relaxation may be different for each of us. For some, it

My husband took this pic of me revising my new book, "8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise," while eating lunch and chilling with the dog in a hammock. It's one way I can put a little more "relax" into my day, even when I'm on a deadline!

My husband took this pic of me revising my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” while eating lunch and chilling with the dog in a hammock. It’s one way I can put a little more “relax” into my day, even when I’m on a deadline!

may be going out to dinner with friends. For others, it may be reading in a hammock, watching TV, or playing golf. Whatever recharges you, you need more of that!

Your body needs to rest from its labors, and so does your mind. Focus on what relaxes you and do a little bit of that each day. 10 minutes is a great place to start, if you’re short on time, but be sure to add in an hour or more every week. When we push ourselves too much, our body suffers, as I’ve learned the hard way. And when our body suffers, our mind does too. Make rest and relaxation a priority!

 

5) Massage Therapy.

I am a huge believer in massage therapy. This entire article was inspired by my Motherhood radio episode, “Body-Mind Connection, Wellness, & Empowerment,” with my extremely knowledgeable massage therapist, Cori Getchell. A couple months ago, I was in a car accident and experienced some pretty intense whiplash as a result. I started tri-weekly therapy with a chiropractor and some intense weekly massage therapy. There’s a difference between the relaxing spa massages you think about and this kind of therapy. This is intense. Painful. But so worth it. Through massage, I’ve been able to heal my headaches, muscle pain, tension, and other aches I didn’t even know I had!

Massage can release the emotions that are trapped inside; I’ve had several experiences where I just start talking and even crying about things I’ve been through because the therapist has hit a powerful trigger point. As she works out the physical pain, I heal emotionally.

I realize massage can be expensive, but it isn’t just for the rich and famous. It’s also not an “indulgence,” like many people believe. In many cases, it’s a necessity; it’s a tool for healing and health, for wellness, and yes, for empowerment. It’s for anyone who wants to heal their body.

Try a massage therapy school, where they have discounted rates. Train your spouse/partner to apply pressure to sore areas or to do myofacial release, or lifting of the muscles to lengthen and heal them. There are home techniques you can try, and you can learn all about them in this episode of Motherhood, so check it out, either by downloading the podcast or by watching the interview on my YouTube channel!

 

6) De-stress your body to de-stress your mind.

This is what I’ve been working on lately. I’ve had a wake up call that my body is over-stressed. When I sit and type all day, or sit and listen to other people’s problems all day, my body pays the price. When I push myself, fail to get enough sleep, and keep adding to my “to-do’s,” my body pays the price. Extreme pain, illness, and exhaustion are the result of over-doing it, and then, my mental health suffers as a result.

We mustn’t keep piling on to our bodies. We must stop, notice what we’re doing to our body, take a deep breath, and then make change. The consequences are too great if we don’t. I don’t know about you, but I want to live a long, healthy, happy life. That can only be achieved by slowing down and practicing serious self-care. And that starts with the body. What can you do to care for your body today? (Read Stress Management: 15 Proven Ways to Stress Less (& Smile More) and 5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Mind (& Life!)  and 10 Ways to Simplify Your Busy Life! for more.)

 

 

What is your biggest block to caring for your body? What helps you be physical and mentally well and empowered? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment, below!

 

 

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

Link for this episode: Body-Mind Connection, Wellness, & Empowerment

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
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"Who Am I Without You?" 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #book #selfesteem #breakup #divorce

 My latest book, “Who Am I Without You,” is available now at
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10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life

10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comSimplify. Don’t you love that word? That concept? I sure do. I love the idea of a simpler life.

 

Simpler doesn’t mean simple or boring. No. For most of us, life will always be anything but that. To me, simplifying means to move from a “busy, overwhelming, or stressful” life to a “full, rich, and meaningful life.”

 

Ask yourself, “Is my life busy? Too busy? Overwhelming? Stressful?” “Is my life full? Rich? Meaningful?” Where do you fit in this spectrum? Do you need to make some changes in your life? Simplifying your busy life is all about time—first and foremost, it’s about taking the time to implement strategies that lead to a simpler life. Then, it’s about using your time efficiently and effectively so the end result is a healthier, happier you.

 

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with international time management expert and host of “Getting a Grip on Time: Do More With Less,” Robyn Pearce. Boy was she full of excellent, practical tips for making the most of your time! Our discussion not only produced a great radio show, it inspired me to want to share a few things I’ve learned about simplifying life, too.

Listen to “Simplify Your Busy Life” on Motherhood Radio, or watch the “Simplify Your Busy Life” interview on my YouTube channel.

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10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life
Here are ten of my favorite ways to simplify life, to get out of the “busy,” “overwhelmed,” and “stressful” life and into the “good,” “happy,” and “abundant” life!

 

1) Slow down and get still.

This is my number one. If we don’t make time to slow down and be still, we won’t know the truth—the truth about where we currently are, the truth about where we desire to be, and the truth about what we really need from life right now. We miss life when we fail to slow down. We miss opportunities for spiritual connection, opportunities to hear and follow the whispers that lead to a more meaningful life.

 

Make stillness a priority. Start with 5 minutes. Then, build up to 10, 15, 30, or more. Use your time to ponder life, to pray, to study inspiring books and scriptures, to meditate, and to get in touch with what matters most to you.

 

 

2) Decide what matters most.

If you want to simplify, you simply must know your priorities. What’s most important in your life?

10 Ways to Simplify your Busy Life; www.DrChristinaHIbbert.com

My family is one of my top priorities, but I have to make a concerted effort to create quality time with each child and with my husband.

What are your values? What are your top five things that matter most? You may value family, faith, work, play, relationships, fun, cleanliness, or a host of other things. Getting still can help you get honest and remember what matters most to you.

 

First, list all the things that are important to you. Then, narrow your list to your top five. List them on a sheet of paper, in a journal, or on your smartphone.

 

 

3) Prune by priorities.

Now, are you spending your time according to what matters most to you? For instance, if you really value family time, do you spend the most time with your family? If not, then why not? If we want to simplify life, we need to live according to our priorities. Stress, overwhelm, busyness, and emptiness come from living out of line with our priorities–from living a life of distraction, trying to keep up with others, chasing fame or fortune, or perfectionism.

 

Write down how you’ve spent your time over the past week. Be honest, and write down all the different kinds of things you did. Now, compare this list to your list of what matters most, from above. Do the two lists compare? If not, then start pruning. Start to look for the things that don’t measure up to your priorities and prepare to let them go.

 

 

4) Plan ahead, and schedule your time.

We schedule work, appointments, and activities with other people, but what about your top priorities? Are they on your “to do” list? Are they in your schedule? If you value exercise, sleep, and good health, are these things on your daily schedule? If you know you need stillness in your life, is it a part of your daily routine and plan? The truth is that if we don’t plan and schedule the most important things, then we probably won’t get to them.

 

Plan ahead to make sure you are focusing on the most important things in your life. Schedule time for you. Schedule time for relationships. Schedule time for exercise, sleep, and healthy eating. Schedule time for play. Oh, and remember to keep your appointments with yourself just as you would with someone else!

 

 

5) Do the most important things first.

This is so important when it comes to simplifying life. When you do the most important things first, then the rest just falls into place. You start to feel more balance in your life, and you find you no longer waste as much time and energy on distractions and unimportant things.

 

When you make your daily “to do” list, be sure to put your “things that matter most” on your list. Then, write an “A,” “B,” or “C” next to each item on your list. Make your priorities “A” items, along with the most important family, home, faith, work, and personal activities. “B’s” are the things you need to get to, but aren’t essential today. “C’s” are “would be nice to do” items. Then, cross off the “C” items. You’re not going to have time for them, and they aren’t important today! Then, cross off your “B” items. You’re probably not going to have time for these either, so just simplify your list and get rid of them. IF you happen to get to a few “B” items after your “A’s” are complete, then yay for you! But in the meantime, you’re taking the pressure off and simplifying your day.

 

 

6) Manage your time and your energy

“Time management is really energy management.” This was one of my favorite tips Robyn gave in our radio interview, because she is so right! It’s really about making sure we have enough energy to not only fulfill our responsibilities, but to live the life we desire. As Robyn writes, “Around the world I’m hearing the phrase ‘energy management’ more and more. Think of your energy levels as your filter or indicator as to whether you’re doing the right things. Sluggish energy is a powerful clue – if something isn’t flowing smoothly there are almost always ways to either change activity or improve things. A good filter question: ‘What’s blocking my energy here? What can I do about it?’” (Read more in “Eight Top Time Management Tips”.)

 

One thing to keep in mind is how much time you’re spending on social media, the internet, TV, etc. It’s so easy to hop on Facebook in the morning or to check email, but how often does that suck you into a time warp and before you know it, it’s been an hour, or longer? These things, though “fun” or entertaining in the short term, can actually be energy drains, distracting your precious energy away from the most important things. Be on the lookout for things that take your time and energy away from your top priorities and push them off until later. Or, set a timer for yourself and then, mind it! Also, seek to do the hardest or most important tasks when you are most energized. For example, I’m a morning person, so I know that if I write or tackle chores in the morning, I’m much more efficient and far less stressed!

 

 

7) Learn to say a loving “no.”

Saying no is not a horrible, mean thing. In fact, it may be one of the most loving things you can do—for yourself and for others. Years ago, I learned that saying no to something is really saying “yes” to 10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life- www.DrChristinaHibbert.comsomething better. Instead of focusing on saying “no” to helping a friend, think of saying “yes” to being there when your child needs you. Perhaps saying “no” to a night out with coworkers is really saying “yes” to building your relationship with your spouse.

 

A good tip is to only say “yes” to things that energize you—if you really have time and space in your life to do those things. Be honest with yourself about that! Sometimes, even the things that energize us need to wait until a better time. Then, be sure to say “no” to things that zap energy. You can say “no” in a kind, loving way. And saying no helps others, too, by setting healthy boundaries and helping them have realistic expectations.

 

 

8) Eliminate physical clutter.

We all know the concept of “a clean house is a sign of a clean mind.” While I’m not advocating for spending unnecessary time on housekeeping, it definitely helps to reduce the clutter at home.

 

Clear out one closet, cupboard, or room a couple times each week until things feel more organized. Develop a system that helps you stay clutter free. As Robyn suggests, “Instead of saying ‘I’ll just put it here while I think about it’, get into the habit of letting go. The reality is, even if you do think about it again, why would you want to?”

 

 

9) Eliminate mental/emotional clutter by practicing letting go.

Just like the physical clutter, we often hold on to mental clutter that weighs us down. Past hurts, 10 Ways to SIMPLIFY Your Busy Life; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #WhoAmIWithoutYou #quotesheartache, depression, grief, sorrow, fear, worry, anger, anxiety—the list goes on, and it only makes life more complicated, heavy, and miserable. Simplifying your busy life means dealing with your mental and emotional “baggage” so you can stop carrying it around all the time.

 

This article, “5 Steps to a Clutter Free Mind (& Life), is a great place to start. Then, practice letting go. FEEL the emotions that come, and then let go of them a little piece at a time. If you’re feeling grief over the loss of a friend, for instance, you might first let go of the sadness of not being able to see them at work anymore. Then, let go of not being able to go out on the weekends together. Eventually, you can let go of the pain of not having them to be there for you, and so on.

 

 

10) Build in “sanity gaps.” Robyn mentioned the concept of “Sanity Gaps” in our interview, and I love it. It’s a great way to reinforce the fact that we need time for fun, for relaxation, for rest, and replenishment. “Think of taking regular time off as a defrag of your brain,” Robyn says. “You’ll come back fresher and you’ll also produce better results (just like the computer!)”

 

Be sure to schedule “sanity gaps” into your days and weeks, and to keep your “sanity appointments!” They are just as important as any other important, in fact, perhaps, more so. They are the little things that keep you sane. What could be more important than that? (Read Robyn’s “Eight Top Time Management Tips” here.)

 

 

Learn more about Robyn Pearce, and get her FREE “How to Master Time” Report and FREE Time Resources Pack, on her website, www.GettingAGrip.com.

 

 

 

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Link for this episode: Simplify Your Busy Life

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“8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise” Book

8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #mentalhealth

“[A] useful and supportive exercise guide…enlightening and empowering…”

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My new book!

Advance Praise for “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise”

“[A] useful and supportive exercise guide . . . . As Hibbert makes clear, she has not written a workout regimen or weight-loss how-to, but a guide to using exercise to become both mentally and physically stronger. . . . [A]n enlightening and empowering instrument for people who have struggled with mental illness.” — Publishers Weekly

“The 8 Keys books series provides clear, concise, empirically supported evidence for anyone from beginners to experts; 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise is certainly no exception to this mantra. . . . Dr. Hibbert works through the process of change with an array of exercises and reflection questions that ease even the most ambivalent reader into the process. . . . [A]n eye-opening read not only for those searching for the motivation to commit to adding exercise to their routine, but for anyone striving towards self-empowerment. Dr. Hibbert synthesizes a large body of research into a captivating argument for how and why exercise serves as an immensely powerful mechanism for improving mental wellbeing.” — Somatic Psychotherapy Today

“Exercise is essential in maintaining good health—both physical and mental. . . . Hibbert’s book should help readers stick with a successful plan.” — Booklist

“As a therapist, I’m a big proponent of exercise for its positive effects on mood. I frequently talk to my clients about the positive effect of exercise on the body and mind. But even when you know all the positives, you don’t always fully utilize exercise as a way to get or stay mentally well. This is why 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise is such a useful tool. . . . [I]t’s full of reflection questions, writing prompts, and action items. . . . [G]reat for those of us who want to experience more of the benefits of exercise, but need a bit of help creating a plan and overcoming the mental blocks to doing so.” —PsychCentral

“These 8 keys hold the potential to change your life! In this wonderful book, Dr. Hibbert provides us with effective and easy-to-implement tools that allow the mind and the body to unite, change, and heal. A must-read for anyone seeking to change their bodies in a holistic way.” — Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of The Conscious Parent

“Exercise is a magic pill for mental well-being; it clears your mind, calms your body, and makes you feel good about YOU and what you have accomplished. Dr. Hibbert has captured this mind-body connection, and why we must all move toward improved mental health through exercise.” — Kathy Kaehler, celebrity health, fitness, and nutrition expert and bestselling author

“A delightful synopsis of why exercise is so essential to our mental health. With a narrative that is both a pleasure to read and superbly sensitive to the common barriers that get in our way, Dr. Hibbert shows the reader how to harness the motivation for self-care and well-being. Hibbert’s clinical skills and down-to-earth guidance can make a believer out of the most resistant exerciser!” — Karen Kleiman, Founder and Director of The Postpartum Stress Center, author of Therapy and the Postpartum Woman

“I love this book because it combines solid research with practical, easy-to-follow steps to achieve the motivation and skills to exercise for better mental health. Being at your ‘personal best’ and, for parents, being a great role model to your children, means taking care of yourself first. If you’re serious about getting fit mentally and physically, this book will help you to flourish!” — Dr. Rosina McAlpine, parenting expert and author of Inspired Children; winwinparenting.com

“An incredible, accessible, and useful tool for ANYONE hoping to get exercising. Dr. Hibbert offers guidance, support, and tangible solutions to assist the reader through physical or mental roadblocks in order to strive to be their best self. I can’t imagine anyone finishing the book without finding themself an improved individual. I’m grateful it has been written so that more people can benefit from exercise and tackle it through these carefully designed steps.” — Dana Pieper, creator of EveryBody Fitness

 

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8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise 

Supplemental Materials

 

Worksheets

Earthquake Assessment Chart, p. 37

Exercise Motivation Self-Evaluation, p. 94-5

Exercise 4 Mental Health SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet, p. 111-116

Thought Record, Part 1, p. 134

Thought Record, Part 1, Example, p. 137

Thought Record, part 2, p. 139

Thought Record, part 2, Example, p. 141

Exercise 4 Mental Health SMART Goal-Setting Worksheet, p. 111-116

My “Exercise 4 Mental Health Plan” Worksheet, p. 202-7

 

Videos

How to FEEL Powerful Emotions

Change Your Thoughts Using a Thought Record

Using Thought Record, Part 2

 

 

 

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With exercise for mental health, it should be a long, healthy, happy life!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Listen to my latest episode of “Motherhood” radio and “choose to grow through motherhood” with me!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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

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