Motherhood Radio & TV- Exciting News!

Motherhood Radio News! www.DrchristinaHibbert.com #motherhood #radio #tv #momsIt’s been over a year since I started “Motherhood Radio“–one year, two months, to be exact–and what a ride it has been!

It’s been an absolute delight meeting fabulous guests, sharing incredible products and ideas, and imparting “mom wisdom” from in-the-trenches moms who are getting it done.

But the best part, by far, has been connecting with you–moms of all ages and stages around the globe who have become part of our “Motherhood” community.

 

Now, we’re taking it up a notch.

Today begins a new chapter for Motherhood Radio, as I venture into hosting the show on my own website, SoundCloud, and iTunes accounts!

What does this mean? Basically, it means I will have much more freedom with the show, and that I’ll be able to post it on several other podcast apps/sites, making it easier than ever to find, subscribe to, and access! This means the same fun, engaging, high quality shows will reach more listeners in an easier, more user-friendly way!

 

New episodes will continue to air each Monday morning…

So, be sure to check for new episodes regularly here on my Motherhood Radio page. Or, subscribe to have new episodes automatically delivered to your device through iTunes or SoundCloud or your favorite podcast site. (If you subscribed previously, you’ll need to resubscribe to this new platform.)

Yes, you can still access previous episodes through the WebTalkRadio website and iTunes platforms, and soon, you’ll also be able to access these episodes and subscribe to show updates through my website!

 

This week’s new NEW episode is right here and also on my Motherhood Radio page!

 

Finally, and this is VERY exciting…

Coming soon–Motherhood TV! Yes, I’ve been recording videos of the shows all along, but now we are working on forming an entire network of shows/videos all for YOU wonderful moms!

This is going to be a fun and fabulous way to engage, learn, and grow through motherhood together, and I can’t wait to share it with you! In the meantime, you can watch video of each radio episode on my YouTube channel. Subscribe to automatically receive new videos to your YouTube account, and you can also subscribe to my YouTube “Motherhood TV Playlist” and new episodes will pop up each week.

 

Let’s Grow Through Motherhood Together!

Many exciting things are ahead for our Motherhood community, so be sure to join our “Growing Through Motherhood” Facebook Group, if you haven’t already! Part educational, part support group, part community of moms who are in the thick of it with you, this is THE place for learning and growing as moms. It’s also the place where I post updates and where you can connect with my fabulous guests. Tell your friends, and be sure to share who you are, your questions, frustrations, and joys with us there!

I look forward to sharing this journey with all of you as we “grow through Motherhood” together each week on Motherhood Radio and TV!

 

 

Questions? Comments? Leave a comment, below!

 

 

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

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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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Exercise as a Family: 50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together! (Key 3)

Exercise as a Family-50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth #books from 8 Keys to Mental Health Through ExerciseIn my last post, I shared some of the incredible benefits of exercising as a family–including boosting family members’ physical and mental health and strengthening family relationships! Hopefully, learning about all those incredible benefits convinced you that family exercise is key if we want happy, healthy families.

Now, the question is “How?” How can you get your family moving? And how can you keep them moving, for life? Find out in the following excerpts from my new book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise!

 

 

Exercise As a Family: Before you get started…

When it comes to starting a habit of family exercise, there are a few things it’s important to know and to do:

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

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

1) ” Focus on being active, not on ‘exercise.’  You don’t have to ever use the word ‘exercise’ if you don’t want to. Just encourage your family to move—as much and as often as possible.’

2) “Focus on healthmental and physical—not on weight loss. Your goal is to increase your family’s activity in order to increase their mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health, not encourage your family members to lose weight.’

3) “Prioritize physical activity for your own mental health and be the example. If you get moving, your kids and family are more likely to follow.’ (8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise can show you how.)

4) “Make it fun! There are dozens of great ideas for how to do this, below.”

 

 

Family Exercise: 50 Fun Ways to Get (& Keep) Your Family Moving!

  • “Play ultimate Frisbee. (This is a family favorite around our house.)
  • “Play family soccer, football, or baseball.
  • “Explore your neighborhood, looking for animals, flowers, plants, trees, and people that peak your interest.
  • “Play monkey-in-the-middle.
  • “Play tag or hide and seek.
  • “Play catch or toss a football around.
  • “Play basketball games like HORSE, “Knock-Out,” or see who can shoot
    Hiking at Lake Powell. Beautiful, and fun for the whole family!

    Hiking at Lake Powell. Beautiful, and fun for the whole family!

    the most baskets in one minute.

  • “Climb a hill, mountain, or tree.
  • “Do family relay or wheelbarrow races, or play tug of war.
  • “Have a family wrestling or arm-wrestling match. (Just don’t get too competitive!)
  • “Play Twister or Charades together.
  • “Go rollerblading, ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding.
  • “Take a family bike ride.
  • “Roll down a hill and then run back up.
  • “Go swimming, splash, and see who can swim the farthest underwater or tread water the longest.
  • “Have a water balloon fight or an egg toss contest with family teams.
  • “Play racquet sports like tennis, pickleball, Smashball, or racquetball together.
  • “Create an obstacle course, have a Hula-Hoop competition, or try double-dutch jump rope.”
  • Invite children of all ages to join you in your personal exercise. Let your toddler stretch while you do yoga, put young kids in the stroller or let them ride a bike while you go for a jog. Invite teenagers to lift weights with you at the gym or at home.
  • “Encourage your child to participate in and learn new sports, games, and activities. Teach them the skills they’ll need for these activities, to boost their confidence and sense of competency.
  • “Facilitate a safe walk to and from school a few times a week.
    • Exploring the caves and coast of Curacau with our two oldest! Exploring the caves and coast of Curacau with our two oldest!

    “Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • “Walk around the block after a meal.
  • “Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.
  • “Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: family park, swim, or bike day.
  • “Volunteer to help with after school physical activity programs or sports teams.
  • “Go golfing, horseback riding, or snowshoeing together.”
  • “Go hiking, rock-climbing, or try an indoor climbing gym or rock wall.
  • “Dance! Sing, twirl, jump, spin, move, and groove together. Make up a dance routine or just turn on the music and let yourself go!
  • “Try family yoga, Tai Chi, or Pilates.
  • “Do an exercise video together. Challenge each other to push harder and do better.
  • “In the winter, shovel snow from the driveway and build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go sledding together, or make snow angels.
  • “Clean the house to music, or make it a race to see who can pick up the
    Family water-skiing, wake-boarding, and getting thrown off the tube by dad is a favorite of ours!

    Family water-skiing, wake-boarding, and getting thrown off the tube by dad is a favorite of ours!

    most things in each room.

  • “Practice doing cartwheels, summersaults, or other gymnastics together.
  • “Play an active video game together like Wii Fit or a dancing game.
  • “On rainy days, try skating in socks on a wood floor.
  • “Make a goal to play at every park in your town.”
  • “Whenever possible, encourage your family to take the stairs. If you have stairs at home, make it a goal to go up and down at least 10 times a day.
  • “Train as a family for a charity walk, climb, or run.
  • “Celebrate special occasions—like birthdays or anniversaries—with something active, such as a hike, a volleyball or soccer game, or playing Frisbee at the park.
  • “Walk instead of driving whenever you can. If you have to drive, find a spot at the far end of the parking lot and walk to where you’re going. Race back to the car, being sure to look out for traffic.
  • “Turn yard work into fun (jump in the raked pile of leaves, or shoveled
    Sydney playing pickleball with her Bema. My mother-in-law loves pickleball, & brings her grandkids to play whenever she can!

    Sydney playing pickleball with her Bema. My mother-in-law loves pickleball, & brings her grandkids to play whenever she can!

    snow or turn on the music and sing as you work).

  • “Plan active family gatherings (hiking, rafting, tag, relay races, dance party, skating, family sports activity, sledding, skiing, and so on). When my husband’s family gets together, we have pickleball, basketball, whiffle ball, or trampoline trick competitions. It can get pretty intense.
  • “Make a game of chores. We like to move room-to-room as a family and set the timer for two minutes in each room. Then, we see who can pick up the most items as we get the whole house done in no time flat.
  • “Sneak activity into other activities, like shopping at the mall (take the stairs and walk quickly between stores).
  • “Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. March, do jumping jacks, twist, or dance together until the show starts again.
  • “Have a weekly family sports night. Invite friends or neighbors to participate once in a while, too.
  • “Use pedometers to keep track of family members’ daily steps. Issue a challenge to see who can take the most steps each day/week.”
  • “Pick up kids on your bike after school, or on the weekends walk to the city bus stop, take a trip downtown, and explore (don’t forget to stop for a treat). “

 

 

Exercising as a family can be peaceful and relaxing, too--like paddle-boarding together on a still lake at dawn.

Exercising as a family can be peaceful and relaxing, too–like paddle-boarding together on a still lake at dawn.

Whew!

If this list doesn’t inspire you to get up and out with your family, then I don’t know what will! And it’s only the beginning. Use your creativity, ask your kids what they would love to do together, and for more tips, strategies, and ideas for family exercise, check out Key 3 of8 Keys to Mental Health Through ExerciseThen, get out and get moving as a family, today!

 

~The above quoted excerpts are from my newest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Available online or at your local bookseller (see links below)!

 

 

In case you missed it, check out Exercise as a Family to Strengthen Relationships, Mental & Physical Health! (Key 3) 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” with me by subscribing!

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My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

“…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!
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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

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Listen to “Motherhood” radio, “Overcoming Roadblocks (& Excuses) to Exercise for Mental (& Physical) Health” for more tips on family and exercise!  Listen on demand/download the episode at WebTalkRadio.net, and/or visit iTunes to subscribe.

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Exercise as a Family-50 Fun Ways to Get & Stay Moving Together www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth #books from 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

 

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Related Posts/Articles:

Exercise as a Family to Strengthen Relationships, Mental & Physical Health! (Key 3) 

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

Improve your Self-Esteem with Exercise–Key 2!

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

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Exercise as a Family to Build Stronger Relationships, Mental & Physical Health (Key 3!)

Exercise as a Family to Build Strong Relationships, Mental & PHysical Health www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealthRaising a healthy, happy family is a tall order, especially considering the many stressors, challenges and roadblocks children, parents, and well, everyone faces each day. How can we raise happy, healthy kids? How can we strengthen our family while building self-esteem and improving family relationships? Family exercise.

Now, I’m not talking about getting everyone in their spandex for a five-mile run or a high intensity step aerobics class. I’m talking about teaching our family to move–to be active, and to have fun while doing so.

“Exercise as a family” is Key 3 of my new book, “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise,” and you’re about to find out just why it’s so important.

 

 

The Family, Mental Health, & Exercise 

At Yellowstone with my family, we went hiking, biking, and had a great time playing frisbee, "keep away" and enjoying the beautiful scenery!

At Yellowstone with my family, we went hiking, biking, and had a great time playing frisbee, “keep away” and enjoying the beautiful scenery! Great for family relationships AND mental health!

“Family plays one of the most critical roles in how we view ourselves—in how we think and feel about who we are, are perceived in this world, and our attitudes toward a host of things, not least of which includes physical activity. Family is also one of the biggest influencers of our mental health. Healthy family environments promote and strengthen mental health, while unhealthy family systems can provoke or contribute to mental illness.

 

“It’s therefore no surprise that exercising as a family is one of the best ‘keys’ for mental health and physical activity across the lifespan. When the family is able to create and foster a positive relationship with exercise and physical activity, the entire family benefits, both physically and mentally.”

 

 

What are the Benefits of Exercising As A Family?

The physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health benefits of exercise for individual adults and children are well-researched, but what can our family gain from being active together?

 

“The family who exercises together…

 

“…gets and stays healthy together–physically and mentally

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

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

“All of the physical health benefits of exercise [for individuals] can also apply to the children, adolescents, and adults (of any age) in your family. Exercise is important for families because it can control weight, lower heart risks, improve school performance, and increase life expectancy (Bhargava 2014). Additionally, all of the mental health benefits [of exercise] can apply to each of your family members. Family exercise can improve mental and emotional well being, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve happiness and overall life satisfaction for everyone, creating a happier, healthier family unit…”

 

“…grows in self-worth and confidence together.”

“In Key 2 we discussed how exercise makes us feel better about ourselves and can lead to a greater sense of self-worth… We first learn self-worth and confidence in the home. If we want our children and spouse/partner to develop a habit of exercise for mental health for life, we should also try to demonstrate self-worth and confidence. As we provide our family members with opportunities to be active and try new activities, encourage and guide one another in learning new exercise skills, work together, and yes, have fun, we will grow together in confidence and self-worth…”

 

“…has fun together.” 

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break.

With the fam, zip lining in Mexico, last spring break.

“Exercise is not only good for our body and mind; it’s good for the soul—if we do it right. Exercise and activity can, and should, be fun. It should involve play, laughter, and memory making with family and friends. Kids are all about having fun, and games, sports, and activities like jumping rope, playing tag, and doing tricks on the trampoline are fun—and great exercise. But the fun isn’t just for the kids. Parents who make exercise fun for kids benefit by having a little fun, too…

 

“…remains active together, throughout life.”

“…Active parents tend to have active children. One study of 4- to 7-year-olds found that children with two active parents were nearly six times more likely to be active, too. Even more interestingly, they found that children with one active and one inactive parent were still more than three times more likely to be active than children with two inactive parents (Moore et al., 1991). Additional research has shown significant relationships between the physical activity levels of every possible family member combination (i.e. mother-father, father-son, mother-daughter, siblings, and so on) (Seabra et al., 2008), providing even greater evidence that families who are active together tend to stay active, together.”

 

“stays together.”Exercise as a Family, www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #mentalhealth #health #family 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise #books

“Exercising as a family doesn’t just create physically and mentally healthy individuals, though that is a huge payoff. It creates a healthier family unit. Being active together doesn’t just help wear kids out so they’ll go to bed earlier and sleep longer (which, let’s face it parents, is a bonus). No. Exercise has the potential to bring families closer…”

 

Exercise as a Family

How can we build stronger family relationships, physical, and mental health? Exercise. Be active together. Have fun together. Live long and happy lives together. Strengthen your family–relationships, physically, and mentally–by seeking to build activity into your family’s life.

And for more ideas on how to do this, watch for “Exercise as a Family: 50 Fun Ways to Get (& Stay) Moving Together”–coming next–to get your family reaping the many benefits of exercise today!

 

~The above quoted excerpts are from my newest book, 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise. Available online or at your local bookseller! 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

“Overcome, become, & flourish” by subscribing today!

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

 

 

What benefits have you found from family exercise? How do you make it fun and get kids on board? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment, below!

 

 

My new book, available on Amazon.com!

 “8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise

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

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

 

 

 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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

 

 

 

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
“Choose to grow” with my bestselling, award-winning memoir, This is How We Grow!
Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Listen to “Motherhood” radio, “Overcoming Roadblocks (& Excuses) to Exercise for Mental (& Physical) Health” for more tips on family and exercise!  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

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise as a Family to Build Strong Relationships, Mental & PHysical Health www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #exercise #family #mentalhealth

Let’s Connect! 

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

 

 

 

 

Related Posts/Articles:

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

Improve your Self-Esteem with Exercise–Key 2!

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!

40 Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

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

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

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

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

Becoming the Butterfly: The Power of Personal Transformation

Beyond Resolutions: Discover your New Year’s Vision

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

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

6 Strategies for Mind-Body Wellness & Empowermen

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.

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DQerMSIcH3H4%26spfreload%3D10 img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/QerMSIcH3H4/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over bandwidth=high autostart=false responsive=16:9 /]

 

 

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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FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood
For the first time ever, my internationally-sold DVD, Postpartum Couples, is available online for FREE!

 

I’ve seen Postpartum Couples probably a couple hundred times, and yet I still get choked up as I listen to the stories of these three couples–as they honestly share what it was like for them to go through postpartum depression (PPD), anxiety, and psychosis.

 

The men especially get me choked up as they openly express their feelings about their wives and the experience of PPD, getting emotional right off the bat as they describe the challenges and how they overcame them together.

 

Postpartum Couples was actually the first video to explore both the mothers and the father’s experience of postpartum mood/anxiety disorders. It’s also the only video to discuss the impact on the couple’s relationship.

 

I’ve used Postpartum Couples in therapy, support groups, and presentations. I’ve shown it to pregnant and postpartum women, men, and couples; to mental health providers; and to doctors, nurses, and anyone working with postpartum families–to educate, illuminate, and raise awareness of the truth of postpartum depression and the hope of treatment and healing.

 

If you or someone you know might benefit from better understanding:

1) The symptoms,

2) The treatment, and

3) The prevention of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders;

4) The mother’s experience,

5) The father’s experience,

6) and how PPD may impact a couple’s relationship…

and many other important truths about postpartum depression

then, please click on this link, or on the image above or below, for more information and for INSTANT ACCESS to my Postpartum Couples DVD! And don’t forget to share this post!

 

It is my hope that, in making this video available for free online, we can increase awareness, education, and support for families and providers dealing with perinatal mood/anxiety disorders.

 

May all pregnant and postpartum moms, dads, and families feel and know:

You truly are not alone, you are not to blame, and with help, you can (and will) be well! (PSI’s Universal Motto)

 

FREE Postpartum Couples DVD! www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #postpartum #depression #anxiety #ppd #motherhood

 

For immediate postpartum support, help, or referrals in your area,

please visit Postpartum Support International.

 

 

 

 

 

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Achieving Balance–Why You’ve Got it Wrong, & How to Get it Right

Pregnancy & Postpartum Loss, Grief, & Family Healing (Part 1)

How to Cope with and Treat Perinatal Loss & Grief (Part 2)

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Pregnancy & Postpartum–Caroline’s Story

The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety): Pregnancy & Postpartum--Caroline's Story; #pregnancy, #postpartum, #ppd, www.DrChristinaHibbert.comWomen are particularly vulnerable to depression and anxiety in pregnancy and postpartum. In fact, 15% of pregnant and up to 20% of postpartum women experience depression, while 6% of pregnant and 10% of postpartum women experience anxiety in the form of extreme worry, panic, PTSD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. And it doesn’t just affect moms. An estimated 14% of dads in the U.S. experience Paternal Postnatal Depression, too!

 

I have had my share of postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety, and I know it’s a very hard thing to bear. I also know that I’m not alone in my experiences. Millions of other women (and men) have experienced PPD, too, and we must keep talking about it if we want others to know that they are not alone, if we want others to know help is available, and that, if they seek help and let it in, they will be well.

 

Caroline’s story is another example of the many faces of depression and anxiety. Hers is another face to add to this movement, and another voice to help raise awareness, reduce the stigma, and let all who suffer from (and overcome) depression and anxiety know: “You truly are not alone.”

 

Caroline’s Story…

“I am the face of anxiety and depression.

In November 2006, when I had my first child, a son, I had heard of Postnatal depression and was determined never to be struck by it, I was naive then, thinking I could control such a thing as PND.

‘Overall, my experience postpartum with my son was very positive. I made sure I kept busy and built up a good social network through going to mums and bubs sessions at the local library and joining the local breastfeeding support group and going to meetings. However, there were times when anxiety would kick in, I’d feel shaky and thoughts would rush through my head. I’d worry about dropping my precious baby down the stairs or stress about driving in the car with him. I thought about what I could do to help me feel calmer, I bought lavender and used the drops on tissues under my pillow and in my handbag and in an oil burner. I also started listening to guided meditations both before going to sleep and during the day"The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION"- #Pregnancy & #Postpartum Caroline and taking daily exercise – walking and swimming mainly. While these strategies helped, I really felt I needed to work with a counsellor, so I contacted the doctor (Dr Cate Howell) who narrated the mediation CD I was using and formed an ongoing therapeutic relationship with her and saw her as needed over the next three years.

‘When anxiety kicked in BIG time after the birth of my daughter in December 2009, I was so grateful that I already had a great doctor in Cate, I also knew that Cate didn’t reach for her prescription pad straight away as I had never taken medication for my anxiety before. My second episode of post-natal anxiety was much more intense than the first. I was having trouble sleeping (it’s torture when your baby and toddler are asleep and you can’t sleep!), I was pacing, felt shaky, had racing thoughts and couldn’t make simple decisions or complete simple tasks like packing a baby bag, something I had done hundreds of times before. I didn’t trust myself to be a safe driver as I was so shaky and sleep deprived so I gave my car keys to my husband.

‘I went to see Dr Cate as soon as I could and she was the most supportive doctor I could have wished for. Initially I was shocked, because I was much worse than last time. She said I would need to look at going on medication and she referred me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist did prescribe medication and also referred me to an in-patient mother-baby clinic. This experience was very scary as even though ultimately it was part of my recovery, it took me on a “medication roller coaster,” as I was determined to keep breastfeeding so could only try “breastfeeding friendly” medications first, some of which caused awful side effects. In the end, I gave up breastfeeding to go onto a medication which I have been on for nearly 5 years, except for a one year break.’

 

Depression, Anxiety, & Medication

‘I tried going off my medication at one point, because I figured I was no longer “postnatal,” so couldn’t experience severe anxiety or depression. I was wrong! My psychiatrist knew that I had reduced my medication, but not that I’d gone off it completely. I was fine for a year without medication, then became unwell again in 2013, very shaky, racy thoughts mainly around being not good enough, like a big bully in my brain was how I described it later to my son. I knew I’d need to go on medication again and didn’t want to risk the “medication rollercoaster” of side effects while being home caring for kids, so I checked myself into a private clinic for treatment both medication and group therapy.

 

 

Health & Healing

‘This most recent episode, while upsetting and disruptive, was also amazingly healing, as I was able to recognise the signs of what was happening to me and seek treatment first as an in-patient and then go on to do some courses as an outpatient. Of particular interest and use was an ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy)/mindfulness course. It also helped me to realise that medication is an essential part of my treatment plan.

‘Even though we don’t choose all of what makes up the rich tapestries of our lives, we can embrace all of life with gratitude and love and be open to the lessons that it holds. For example, I carry a lot of grief over the fact that, because of how severe my post-natal anxiety was and the medication I’m on, I probably won’t have a third, fourth, fifth or sixth child. I feel anger and frustration that I can’t raise the big family that I wanted to.

‘At the same time, however, I realise that the family I do have is such a gift! I have a healthy 8 year boy and a 5 year old girl who light up my life each day, and I have my health and a lifelong commitment to and passion for growth and healing.”

~Caroline

 

 

Help the Movement!

Read & Share Stories from ‘The Many FACEs of DEPRESSION” series:

Overcoming the Stigma of Depression & Anxiety: “I am the FACE of DEPRESSION (& Anxiety)”–My Story

Men, Illness, & Mental Health : Pernell’s Story

Motherhood, Postpartum, & Spirituality: Jami’s Story

 

 
 

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Blog Hop!

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Pernell’s Story

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

~Pernell McGuire
Flagstaff, AZ

 
 

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

 
 

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

 
 

Dr. Christina Hibbert www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

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#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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Loss, Love & A NEW Way to do Valentine’s Day: 10 Ways to GROW in Love

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

 

Love, Loss, & Valentine’s Day

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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 Loss, Love, & a NEW Way to do #ValentinesDay: 10 Ways to GROW in #Love; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com
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About Dr. Christina Hibbert
Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She really hopes you’ll join the Personal Growth Group and choose to grow together!

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

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Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& You) Grow

Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& You) Grow; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comMy oldest child is now officially away at college. After weeks of buying supplies, packing, and trying to teach him all the last minute lessons I could think of, we unpacked his dorm room, I squeezed him tightly, and then I got in the car and drove four hours back home, bawling the whole way.

 

I’d heard of moms who cried when dropping their “babies” at college, but honestly, I never thought that would be me. I’d mentally prepared for months, after all—envisioning what it would be like, and reminding myself often that time is short and to soak it all up when I had the chance. And I was mentally prepared. Though more exhausting than I could have realized, it was smooth sailing getting everything ready for him to go—until I drove away and the emotions took over. Yes, though mentally prepared, I was definitely not emotionally prepared.

 

And how can we be, really? How can we be emotionally prepared for the many times we’re called upon as parents to let them go? We can’t really even know what to be prepared for until we’re there, in the moment, feeling it, like I was last weekend.

 

 

Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go

Now, as I write this, it’s been 5 days, and though I’ve finally stopped crying, it’s taken some time to figure out what I was actually feeling about my son leaving home. I’ve discovered a few important things, and I believe they apply to all the times of parenting loss—letting go when they wean from breastfeeding, when they start preschool or Kindergarten, when they move on to high school and start distancing themselves as teens, when they leave home, get married, and yes, when they have babies of their own. These are all exciting transitions. AND they’re loss. And loss is hard.

 

 

10 Lessons on Letting Go as Children (& We) Grow

I don’t have it all figured out yet. Heck, I’m still not even through this letting go experience. But I have learned some valuable lessons I hope will help you through your times of parenting loss and letting go, too:

 

 

Lesson 1: Seek support, because truly, you’re not alone.Parenting, Loss, & Letting Go as Children (& We) Grow; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com

I posted this picture (right) on Facebook two hours into my drive home—because I felt like a crazy woman, literally sobbing while listening to heart-wrenching songs like Jason Mraz’s version of “It’s so Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” and the killer, Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up.” It felt like it used to after a tough breakup, but this was just my son moving on, doing what he should be doing, and I felt happy and excited for him. So, why all the tears? Really, I was posting this photo because I wanted support. I wanted to know I wasn’t the only one who cried like a baby all the way home (and yes, pretty much all weekend, too.)

 

 

Lesson 2: Give yourself time and space to figure out what this life transition or loss means to you.

By the morning after the drop-off, however, I no longer wanted to hear any of the very sweet and considerate comments on my Facebook post. It was starting to feel like everyone was telling me how I should feel, but I still had no idea what I was really even feeling yet. The most common comment, “I know exactly how you feel,” while comforting at first, started making me think, “Really? Well, if you know how I feel, then maybe you can tell me what I’m feeling, because I have no clue!” Other comments just missed the mark for me: “This is good for him, so don’t be sad,” for instance. I wasn’t sad, exactly, and I didn’t even feel like I missed him yet. I thought, “Yes. I know! I’m actually happy for him, but I’m still crying!” And some very sweet friends encouraged, “Now you’ll have more time for your work that you love!” “Uh…” I wanted to remind everyone, “I still have five kids at home!” I couldn’t go with what this meant for anyone else. I had to figure it out for myself.

 

 

Lesson 3: FEEL what you feel.

This was one of my strangest experiences, because I had no thoughts about what I was feeling. Just pure emotion. When I tried to think about and figure out what I was feeling, my mind was a complete blank! I wasn’t thinking, “I miss my son,” or even “I’m so worried,” or really anything. I can’t recall a time in my life when I felt such an outpouring of emotion with no thoughts attached. That led me to realize I just need to FEEL, which, in my book, means Freely Experience Emotion with Love. That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do. (More on how to FEEL here.)

 

 

Lesson 4: You’re experiencing loss, and that means you need to grieve.

I eventually identified what I was feeling as “loss.” I’ve had a lot of experience with loss and grief, and this felt very similar. A friend asked, “Does it feel like heartache?” (which, I must say was a very helpful question since she wasn’t telling me what to feel but rather trying to understand what I was feeling). Yes, it has felt like heartache and loss and grief and some sadness, but again, none of these feelings were related to any thoughts. It was like my body had just reached a marathon finish line and it was exhausted and pouring out emotion. It has mostly felt like loss, and I know that all loss must be grieved. (More on “How to Grieve,” here.)

 

 

Lesson 5: Letting go as kids grow is all about change, and change is hard, even when it’s positive change.

First day of school for my middle/high schoolers. They're getting so big so fast!

First day of school for my middle/high schoolers. They’re getting so big so fast!

I’ve come to realize, for me, this is all about change. It’s a major life transition—not only for my son, but for me and for our family. Things are changing, and they’ll never be the same again. Yes, he’ll come home, but not like before. Even having “only 5 kids” feels strange, and they are feeling it, too, praying for their brother and missing him already. My next son is a senior, so he’s leaving in a year, and it’s just going to keep coming. Though I welcome the future and I really do love and encourage personal growth (which this is) for my kids and for me—growing and changing is hard, and yes, can even be painful. Change is hard, even when it’s good change.

 

 

Lesson 6: Actively choose to let go.

Right after I left my son, I said a prayer as I was driving. I told my Heavenly Father, “He’s all yours now. Love him and be there for him when I cannot. I know You will. I know You love him even more than I do.” I could physically feel myself letting go, and that’s when the sobbing began. Like losing a piece of my heart, I could feel it stretching and growing me.

 

 

My baby isn't a baby anymore=More "growth" for me! First day of second grade, a few weeks ago.

My baby isn’t a baby anymore=More “growth” for me! First day of second grade, a few weeks ago.

Lesson 7: It’s good to “Live in the Paradox”—to feel the positive emotions while also feeling the hard stuff.

As I wrote in This Is How We Grow, “Human brains don’t do so well with paradoxes…When faced with two contradicting…feelings…the brain tends to feel stressed…We feel elevated joy and deepest sorrow all at the same time. This is just the way mortality is, and I have come to understand that it is okay to live in the absurd contradiction of paradox.” (p.59) These past days, I’ve been experiencing all these wonderful positive emotions—joy, excitement, and especially deep love and gratitude—all while experiencing the loss. I’ve tried to remember and feel the good stuff even while feeling the hard stuff.

 

 

Lesson 8: The hardest parts of life can help us appreciate the “normal-” and “good-hard” parts—like letting kids go as they grow.

My family has definitely known the “bad-hard” stuff—like death and suicide, traumatic loss and pain. I know better than to take for granted the “normal- hard” stuff, like teenaged pushing back or parenting troubles, and the “good- hard” stuff, like kids growing up and moving on. In fact, that has been my prayer this summer, that we would have a break from the hardest stuff and get to experience the “normal-” and “good-” hard stuff instead for a while. This is an answer to my prayers, and I do not forget that, even through my tears. I’ve also been very mindful of all the moms who will never see their babies again. Those who have had to do the ultimate letting go. It’s not lost on me that what I’m experiencing as my son goes to college is a blessing and a gift. I must never take these experiences for granted.

 

 

Lesson 9: Just because it’s not “bad-hard,” doesn’t mean it’s not real; it doesn’t mean it’s easy or in any way less meaningful than other’s losses or life transitions.

Don’t compare to what others have had to endure. Your loss is your loss, and as I said before, all loss is hard, even the “good-hard” stuff. At first, I told myself I was “ridiculous,” because this wasn’t as hard as other things I’ve been through. But that is ridiculous. Just because it’s not as hard as other experiences doesn’t mean it’s not valid. Life is hard, and we can do hard things. Honor your own experience. Feel and take it in. Some day, these memories will be a comfort to you.

 

 

Lesson 10: When we let go as they grow, it forces us to grow, too.

That’s the ultimate lesson for me at this time of my life. It’s hard to grow, but I’m doing it. Learning to let go is hard, whenever we must do it, but we work at it because we know it forces us to grow right along with our children. A later curfew here, a driver’s license there, more freedom in their own choices—we let go, and they, and we, grow. That’s what parenting, and love, and family, are all about. (Read Parenting Success: It’s More about the Parent than the Child)

 

 

Have you had to “let go” with your child(ren) lately? What did it feel like for you? What lessons have you learned about parenting, loss, and letting go as they (and you) grow? Please leave a comment, below!

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
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The Best Father’s Day Gift: 7 Ways to Show Dad How Much He Matters

The Best Father's Day Gift: 7 Ways to show Dad how much he Matters; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comDads Matter.

I write often about how much moms matter, and certainly we do matter—tremendously. But today, it’s dad’s turn. Dads matter, too. Tremendously.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many dads who don’t fully realize how important they are. They don’t realize the potential they have to influence their children and families for the better. Many feel insignificant when it comes to their role as a father or feel inadequate at parenting and raising children.

 

7 Ways to Show Dad How Much He Matters
This Father’s Day, why not give your favorite dad the best gift of all—confidence and support in his most important role. Show him how much he matters—to you, to your children, to the world. Here are 7 ideas to get you started.

 

1) Show him the research on how fathers impact children for the better. I wrote an article about this last year—In The Best Father's Day Gift: 7 Ways to Show Dad How Much He Matters; www.DrChristinaHibbert.com #fathersday #fatherhood #dadPraise of Fathers: 10 Research-Based Ways Dads Impact Kids for the Better—and it still holds true. The research is clear: children need their fathers (or a loving father figure). They benefit greatly when dad is an active part of their lives. Show him this research and add your testimony of the great impact fathers have had on your life or the lives of your children.

 

2) Moms—Let Dad do things “his” way, then see the good in it. Tell him how grateful you are for what he does as a dad. Often we mothers are the biggest block to our husbands/partners feeling successful as fathers. We are the “gateway” to the children, and whether we mean to or not, we can block opportunities for him to shine in his role as “dad.” It’s taken me years to stop preventing my husband from wrestling with our kids late at night. It used to drive me crazy because they’d be all riled up before sleep, but I realized it’s more important for them to have those memories with their dad. He feels great playing with them, and I feel grateful he wants to play. Let him do things his way, then see the good and tell him what you see.

 

3) Write a heartfelt letter, and encourage his children to do the same. Dad may seem too “tough” for a love letter, but trust me, he’s not. Write about your favorite memories. Write about what you love most about him. Write how much good he does for you and how much you need him in your life. Write, “I love you.” Don’t waste a minute of life’s precious time. Make sure he knows exactly how much he matters to you—and the kids—by writing it down.

 

4) Give him opportunities to be a leader in the home. We women can sometimes take over things at home, making it frustrating for the men who really do want to be the role model and lead the family. Invite him to be in charge of an important family activity, meeting, or event. Tell him how much you admire his leadership abilities and encourage him to use them with the children. Support and encourage his efforts. Repeat daily.

 

5) Encourage him to spend quality, one-on-one time with each child, and encourage the children to do the same. Parenting is really about the relationship we develop with each child. Help Dad strengthen his relationships by encouraging one-The Best Father's Day Gift: 7 Ways to Show Dad How Much He Matters; www.DrChristinaHibbert.comon-one time. Daddy-daughter dates, father-son activities—these are pivotal in creating strong family relationships. Even if you’re an adult, spending one-on-one time with your father is a wonderful gift. Having time to get to know one another without other family members around builds bonds that last a lifetime. It shows children, and fathers, how much they really matter.

 

6) Speak his love language. How does he best receive love? Is it physical touch? Spending time? Words of affirmation? Gifts? Acts of service? Discover his love language, then use it to show him how much he matters. Have his children do the same. (More on Love Languages here.)

 

7) Commit to building him up as a father, then communicate your commitment. As a mom of six, I know how easy it can be to get caught up in just keeping up. Too often, I forget how important it is to nurture my husband’s role and relationships as a father. It is important. As my children have grown, I have seen how he compliments me and how, together as parents, we have so much more to offer our children.

 

Don’t forget the fathers in your life. Commit to supporting and strengthening them in their role as a father. Then, tell them how much you need them. Write it, say it, sing it…whatever method works best for you.

 

We need strong fathers in our families. We need strong fathers in our world. This Father’s Day, and every day, commit to giving the best gift of all—the gift of encouragement, support, and unconditional love for fathers and all they do.

 

 

How have fathers made an impact in your life? What are your suggestions for strengthening dads, showing them they matter? Leave a comment, below!

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s award-winning Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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